Greetings from the only coffee shop with WiFi I could find in Baku, Azerbaijan. Not speaking Azeri, Russian, or Turkish doesn’t help with getting directions, but I’m holding up OK.
More on the trip next week as I continue to Georgia via overnight train, assuming I can figure out how to get to the train station.
This is the Sunday Store Update. I use this time for a short update on the business side of AONC—although this week I’ll be writing about someone else’s business.
As threatened in a previous Sunday update, I have a few things planned for my business expansion in 2010, including two online communities that will take the Unconventional Guides series to an all-new level. Before I promote my own projects, though, I want to give credit where credit is due.
Earlier this year I saw two people who are now friends create an impressive online class around the concept of “now is the time for dreaming.” Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen are the creators of this project, and the class is called Mondo Beyondo:
I was one of the interview subjects when they were creating their inaugural materials, and afterwards Andrea asked if I would advise on the business development side of the course. Naturally I said yes, but this turned into a problem—when I looked at their materials and business plan, I couldn’t find anything to improve upon. From the copywriting to the registration to the overall course structure, they were doing everything right. (Thankfully I was an unpaid advisor; otherwise, I’m not sure what I would have told them.)
Since then I’ve had an airport meeting with both Andrea and Jen in Portland, and I saw Jen again in Washington, D.C. last month. Jen has also given me a lot of wise advice about the future of AONC and how to relate to people now that our group is growing larger by the day. I think about her feedback every time I plan a meetup, among other things.
I understand if you want to wait for my own 2010 projects (one starts in January and the other in March; stay tuned), but Andrea and Jen have really created something great with this one. I’ve seen the inside of the course as well, and the fun group of people sharing their ideas is impressive. Their next group starts in January, and you can sign up here if you’d like.
My own projects will be original, of course, but I want to be clear about the influence the Mondo Beyondo course has had on my planning. I’m not an affiliate and don’t otherwise benefit from my endorsement of Andrea and Jen’s great work.
Here’s wishing you well from Azerbaijan! If you’re ever in the neighborhood and need coffee and wi-fi, I recommend the Aroma Cafe. (hat tip: Audrey Scott).
Image by Amber