EBK Day 5 Update: Home Where the Light Is

We pulled into Portland’s Union Station this morning at 10:20 a.m. I have no plans for the rest of the week, and might even take a day off tomorrow.

As promised, we closed down the order page for the Empire Building Kit right at the 24-hour point, and no additional sales will be made for at least one month. Thanks to everyone who purchased, and thanks to everyone else who read along or told someone about it.

If you missed it and want to learn more about when it will be available again, you can join the waiting list here.

[I won’t have much to say about it for a while, because now I have to get ready for the massive webinar I’m producing for the first group of future emperors. ]

Trip Logistics

A number of people asked about the logistics for the trip. My routing on the way home from Cape Verde was SID-LIS-MUC-ORD. I booked that flight with miles on Lufthansa and TAP Portugal from the recent U.S. Airways bonanza. (As a matter of fact, my ticket to Cape Verde was another Star Alliance award.) Then I bought a separate round-trip ORD-PIT ticket to get to the TedX gig.

Aside from Cape Verde, my flights in Europe were all part of my latest OneWorld Round-the-World ticket. I’ll be coming to the end of that one soon and need to think about setting up another, but in this case I traveled DFW-LHR-KBP-BUD-LCA-LHR. The next flight connects back to Asia sometime later in the year.

My biggest concern for the westbound train ride was WiFi access. I’ve had a MiFi from Verizon for several months that has really rocked my world, but it’s only 80% reliable. When you’re producing your biggest business project of the year, 80% isn’t good enough. At the last minute I decided to buy a second MiFi from Sprint, on the theory that two options to get online were better than one. It turned out that J.D. also had his own MiFi—so we were well stocked in that department.

Three MiFis combined with two cell phones, two MacBooks, one PC netbook, and one brand-new iPad (that was J.D.’s) helped us to stay connected with only minor service interruptions as we rode along the Oregon trail.

And That’s a Wrap

Thanks again for all your support. It’s been a fun journey from Portland to Central America to Europe to Cape Verde to Pittsburgh to Chicago and finally home.

As promised, the EBK is now off the market. It will relaunch in about a month (no train ride, TedX talk, or five-country journey this time) and I’ll also allow our affiliate partners to sell it for 51% commission. Otherwise, I’ll be focused on other projects, including a bunch of writing I need to catch up on. I try to maintain an 80/20 model of free vs. paid work, and I’ve got a lot of fun things planned on the free side now that the first line of EBK is out and running.

The business lesson from this crazy experience was: have fun and tell stories. Make what you do FUN. If it’s not fun, why do it? Remember Charlie’s productivity system. It works.

When you tell stories, people get engaged. We had 400+ entries in the giveaway, many of which made a good case for themselves. I was in Cyprus with a terrible internet connection, trying to figure out how in the world to decide who should win. (My biased judges helped out a lot—thanks, Dad.)

During a Munich layover on the way home I wandered around from cafe to cafe, writing notes from all the case studies. I talked with Johnny B. Truant from the Dallas airport, Tsilli from the Miami airport, Brooke and Nathalie from a (very random) LAX airport motel room, and so on.

Throughout the process, I received a number of notes from readers saying things like:

“I don’t even want to have my own business, but I’m having a lot of fun reading about how you are doing this.”

Those kind of notes make me happy. Once in a while I meet with more traditional businesspeople and they ask what “industry” I’m in. I usually say world domination, which can be fun, but I think that storytelling is also a good description.

Whether your interest is empire-building or something else, always think about the stories. And of course, don’t just tell other people’s stories—create your own story. Are you working on yours?

And by the way: it’s nice to be home! I think I’ll take a five-hour nap this afternoon.


Image: Dead Air

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  • jptownley says:

    While I certainly ‘work for myself’ – I definitely have too few clients and too few offerings. And not enough money. It’s almost like being an employee.

    Yesterday I dove into the case studies and some of the transcripts – and the ideas are starting to bubble up – what to grow, maybe what to shrink!

    This is going to be a really awesome year for Empire Building.

  • Devin says:

    Hey Chris,

    Welcome home. However, your Internet problems in Cyprus only made me jealous of wanting to go there myself and have my own Internet problems. I think I should start planning an around the world trip. Never have done one. I think it is about time.

    Glad you made it home safe and launched and closed successfully.

  • Susan says:

    It’s been fun to watch the journey! You make it look easy. I suspect in reality, you’re exhausted. Happy, but exhausted.

  • Chris, you remind me what I enjoy about traveling. It’s like a growing experience, not to mention fun. Time to suspend my coaching for a while and put on a backpack 😉

  • Baker says:

    It’s inspiring to see someone so deserving have so much fun and success!

    You rock!

  • Etsuko says:

    Welcome home!

    You certainly deserve a 5 hours nap or a day off after all the hard work. You don’t just offer your inspiration and awesome products, you make it fun for us too.


  • It was awesome connecting with you! I totally get that Home is where the light is, woo! 🙂 And yes, Charlie’s got a great productivity system. Woohoo for the first group of emperors. I know you’re going to rock that webinar Chris.

  • Raye says:

    Welcome back home! Thank you for being a great example of the creating your own stories concept. You have been consistently doing that by working, planning, taking risks and massive action (I’m sure you could add more to this list). Your writing, business and travel adventures encourage me to keep moving forward with my dreams… breathe life into my own stories.
    To future empire-building and world domination daring acts and bold deeds…
    God bless you Chris, get some sleep! 🙂

  • Patrenia says:

    I’m so glad to know you made it home safely. Be sure you get plenty of rest today…”we” have lots of work to do:-). I am definitely enjoying what I have seen so far…thank you!

  • Congrats again, Chris. Your nap is well deserved! I echo Susan’s comments that you make it look so easy. Good luck on the next big projects, you have a lot on your plate, but I know you’ll pull it off flawlessly.

  • Meg says:

    Baker’s right, you definitely rock Chris! 🙂 Only the second EBK email today and I feel like I had a bit of a breakthrough…. Remarkable for me!

    I am working on my story, for sure! I recently applied for one of five spots on my school’s trip to Germany at the end of the summer. I’m nervous, because I’m one of nine applicants and feel less-than-stellar for it… But I’m trying. I’ve decided that even if I don’t get this trip, I *am* planning to put a stamp in my newly minted passport in the next two years, bottom line!

  • Chris, I’ve been following your launch and learned a lot. Thanks for the vaule you provide. And you are so right – telling stories is the most powerful way to connect with your Right people. I almost stopped writing blog posts if I can’t include a personal story in it. That alone transformed my blog.

  • Pat Wynne says:

    Your energy is awesome! I love travelling and have also enjoyed 3 days and nights on Amtrak from Chicago to Seattle. At 72 I need more time to recover at home, but read your exploits with great pleasure. All power to your future.

  • Mike says:

    Absolutely awesome, its fantastic to hear these inspirational stories and it offers amazing encouragement for us . Personally, recently I’ve felt a certain excitement that I haven’t felt in a long, long time. I spent 5 years in the corporate world and ditched it this past January. I’ve finally found an independent contracting gig that I’m really in love with, and my ideas for online business have flourished like never before. I get up at 5:30am beaming with excitement — such a change from 4 months ago, where I would dread rising for the the one hour commute downtown… slogging through an 8 hour day… driving another hour… then feeling too tired/mentally exhausted to anything but eat, watch TV and sleep.

    I feel alive again, thanks Chris.

  • Have a great nap, Chris!

    You deserve it. And thanks for all the good stuff you post on this blog!

    The Idle Rebel

  • Anh Han says:

    Just a quick pointer for fellow empire builders – check your spam folder!

    The day 3 email got caught by gmails spam filters.

  • emma says:

    I’m thinking you definitely deserve that nap, so I hope you did indeed take it! Can’t wait to see what happens next on your grand adventure, and thank you a thousand fold for making it so honest and public. Even on the days when you’re not starting revolutions in empire building, your insight, creativity and consistent actions are inspiring.

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