Tag Archives: nomadpreneur 101

The Funny Things That Customers Do: I reserve the right to refuse…

As a nomadpreneur, I conduct a large portion of my business on the internet. I have websites through which I offer products and services to a wide range of markets.

I was listening, the other day, to a radio broadcast that was discussing the effect that technology has had on human interaction. A fascinating phenomenon of the internet is how it has changed many people’s communication styles. With no need to meet and interact face to face with the person they are emailing, many people have devolved to very crass, rude, inappropriate and offensive ways of speaking to each other. With their identities masked by anonymity, many people feel empowered to insult,  ridicule, curse and assume a combative postures in their communications with other human beings–in ways that would be unthinkable were they actually in the physical presence of the person with whom they are communicating.

Case in point. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I own and maintain a website called FreeSummerConcerts.com, through which–as the name suggests–I offer listings of all the free concerts happening in New York City each summer. Registration to the site is free.

Yesterday, a visitor to my site (“Rbish”) used the online form to sign up for the listings and added the following comment:

You guys suck big time! You post some corny ass ethiopian concert but you dont post the Nas/Damien Marley concert? You suck!

You should note, for the record, that the Nas/Damien Marley concerts he’s referring to are NOT free concerts but part of a national tour.*

Here is my reply to “Rbish”

 

Dear Rbish,

While I’m thankful for your feedback about my site, you should be aware that your style of communication and choice of words is unacceptable. I only serve adults who know how to conduct themselves according to commonly agreed-upon standards of polite behavior.

Despite what you’ve been led to believe about your rights of free speech, your CHOICE to speak in the way you choose DOES have consequences. You do not have the option of acting rudely AND also expect to be served graciously–if at all.

Therefore, you will not be added to my freesummerconcerts list. Unless you register under a different email account (which, of course, you are free to do unless I block your IP address too), you will not receive my weekly listings of concerts because your current email address has been flagged and banned from my system.

 

Walt Goodridge

owner of the FreeSummerConcerts.com site
*********

*It is my own adherence to certain rules of polite interaction that prevented me from responding to Rbish “what part of “FREE summer concerts” is giving you difficulty?”  (I thought it, but I didn’t write it!)

So, the bottom line is this: When you are in my domain (pun intended), you will behave yourself according to rules of common decency.

 

p.s. To read more of the funny things that customers do, and my responses, see these archived articles:

http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=3&newsID=98750 (1)

http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=3&newsID=100526 (2)

http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=3&newsID=100748 (3)

As you read these three accounts above–specifically #2 and #3–you may encounter what appears to be a contradiction as pointed out by a faithful reader. The story in item #3 recounts one of my very first forays into doing business in the music industry. I hadn’t developed my set of standard practices. It turned out that in this case, that having a contract proved fortuitous since the fellow in question was a “ne’er do well” who needed state court encouragement to “do well.” As I grew, both in experience, and in personal philosophical conviction, I developed the avoidance of contracts.


The short happy tale of 41 Australians and the Jamaican on Saipan!

Now it can be told!  One of the reasons I returned to Saipan from China specifically when I did was to arrange a special tour for a group of visiting Australians to the island of Saipan. Way back in October of 2010, while I was in Beijing, China, I received a request through my DiscoverSaipan site from Narelle M., one of the activity organizers on a 45-day Sun Princess Cruise Lines tour originating in Sydney, and then continuing to Hong Kong to Japan, a few Pacific Islands and back to Australia. (One of the beautiful benefits of running internet-based businesses is the ability to do so from any location on earth with internet access).

Narelle and I continued our communication throughout my China adventure and we built the  excitement as the date approached. However, by the time the cruise kicked off in early March, Narelle was not able to be physically present on the cruise, so I continued organizing with Gaye H. As things progressed, the “Cherry Blossom Tour,” as it had been billed, had to cancel its stops in Japan due to the recent events there. However, the Pacific island leg of the tour was still on!

Most of the arrangements for transportation were made back in November (Thanks for the assist, Miki!), and as the number of interested cruise passengers increased,  I had to add more and more vans to handle the ever-increasing group.

Once I returned to Saipan, I met with Scott Russell and Merced Alda of the Mariana Council for the Humanities, as well as local saipanpreneur, Catherine Perry, and Gordon Marciano of PDI, who graciously helped pull things together in the few days before the ship was to arrive.

I wanted to offer our visitors a Saipan experience unlike the standard “big bus, big guns” tour most visitors receive. I wanted to show them the Saipan I fell in love with: the fantastic scenery, the local culture, the warm-hearted residents, and simple daily lifestyle that make Saipan a secret paradise and coveted escape from the ills of modern living. For that, I would need to assemble a special team.

Both Catherine and Scott suggested “Uncle” Lino Olapai as a representative of Saipan Carolinian culture (Lino is author of a book entitled The Rope of Tradition, which can be ordered here; Saipan residents may purchase at Bestseller Books), and John Castro as a representative of things Chamorro.


John (left), Lino and I meet at Java Joe’s a few days before to discuss the tour

My friend, Norman Xing, suggested a Chinese NMC liberal arts student and former tour bus driver who would also be part of the team.

And, to add some feminine energy to the team, John recruited Catherine Shai, homemaker and former cultural dancer.

I awoke on the morning of Tuesday, March 5, 2011, to an auspicious Saipan sunrise. The past three days had seen rain and overcast weather which, if it continued, would threaten the fun and excitement of my Saipan in a Day Tour.


The sunrise on the actual morning of the tour.

We learned a day or two before that, due to an issue with a faulty engine, the ocean liner was delayed and scheduled to arrive at 11:45am.

 

Vans are picked up…Thanks, Cheryl and Jenny at Microl Toyota!


More vans are picked up…Thanks Layer and Monica at Hertz!

The team met, vans were picked up, logistics were arranged, and all was proceeding well.

The A team: Chamorro Korean Catherine, Chamorro John, Carolinian Lino, Chinese Tom, Jamaican Walt. Thanks Doug! Great Photo!


By 11:00am, the ship could be seen making its final approach to Saipan

We arrived at the dock, and as  the members of our 3-van/1-SUV caravan waited for our turn to enter the restricted area, a torrential downpour began at about 12 noon!

Storm clouds gather ominously

After about half hour of rain, the clouds began to pass and we were able to see breaks of blue sky coming in from the south. I knew this would be a good day!


By the time the passengers started to alight, the sky over Saipan was a stunning blue!

We met our group, headed out to my favorite spot, did our special welcome, and did our thing!

Lino leads the group of visitors towards our vans

 

Welcome, introductions, flowers, mwars and the fun begins!

As I told the visiting Aussies (and New Zealanders and at least two Americans): There is only ONE Lino Olopai  on Saipan, and we’ve got him! If you want local expertise on Chamorro culture, there’s only ONE John Castro, and we’ve got him on our tour too! I assured them, that once they returned to the ship and compared notes with the other passengers, they would have had an experience like no other!


Looking on intently
 

I’ll have to keep some of our Secret Saipan tour, well… a secret, you understand, but I’ll just say that based on the feedback we received, as well as the happy goodbyes, a good time was had by most!


An adventurous ten took Walt’s trek to the best scenic spot on Saipan


Sacred spots and more!


As it was requested by some of our guests, we decided to incorporate some of the big guns into their experience


Next to a big bus….”Ok, where do we go next?”


Bird island


Lino holds court at the Micro Beach Pavilion….history, culture and more!

As the evening drew to a close, I noted to myself that the cloudy evening sky obscured one of Saipan’s greatest assets: the famous Saipan sunset. However, almost on cue, even with an invisible sun, some streaks of hot pink emerged to color the sky and water in front of Micro Beach seemingly just for the benefit of our guests. It lasted no more than 5 minutes, but was enough to elicit some oohs and ahhs from the crowd, and provide a nice end to a special day!


Sunset makes a special brief appearance just for us.


We dropped our visitors back at the dock and said our goodbyes….You should have been there!

And thus concludes The Short Happy Tale of the 41 Australians, the two Chamorros, the Carolinian, the Chinese, and the Jamaican on Saipan!


From Harlem to Hainan!

What do the free Summer concerts in New York City for 2011 have to do with me in China???

So, here I sit on a beach on a tropical island off the coast of The People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, 8,361 miles (13,455k) away on another island in the United States of America, people are looking forward to what they’ll do for their 2011 summer in New York. I know this because one of my websites, www.FreeSummerConcerts.com has started to receive a marked increase in visits starting a few days ago.

Back in the summer of 2005, shortly before I left Harlem, New York, for Saipan, I started the site to provide a compilation of all the free music events throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The site was an instant success (“free” always works online), and as you can see from the tracker snapshot below, the interest and sign-ups begin as early as January each year even though the site won’t actually resume until the first day of Summer, June 21, 2011.

So, every summer, from wherever I happen to be (last year I was on Saipan), I research and compile the free music events throughout the city, and (1)post them to the website, (2) email them twice weekly to a mailing list of tens of thousands. The site generates money if/when visitors click on the Google ads on the site.

I promote the site thusly:

Never miss a free concert
in NYC’s parks, piers, plazas and pathways!

Every summer, New York’s parks, piers, plazas and pathways host some of best musical entertainment in the world! From Rock, Reggae, Jazz, European Classical, R&B, Electronic, Hip Hop, Country, Salsa, Folk and more– it’s all absolutely free! Wouldn’t it be convenient to know what’s going on and when so you don’t miss out? Let FreeSummerConcerts.com notify you by email of practically every morning-time, lunch hour, after work and weekend concert well in advance to make your plans!

400+ free events each year!

A Partial List of Events We Cover:

Central Park Summerstage | City Parks Events | River to River Concert Series| Martin Luther King Concert Series at Wingate Field | Seaside Concert Series Summer in The (Union) Square | Music at the (Chelsea) Piers | Harlem Meer Events| Lincoln Center Out of Doors| Charlie Parker Jazz Festival | JazzMobile Celebrate Brooklyn | 47th Annual Washington Square Music Festival | JVC Jazz Festival Namburg Orchestral Concerts | Jones Beach Ampitheater | Madison Square Park | Siren Festival | World Financial Center Concerts | NBC Today Show

Here’s what happened over the past 20 days

Here is what happened over the past 20 weeks.

And what happened over the past 20 months.

I find these tracker details fascinating. have no idea what happened on January 14 to have visits jump from a daily average of about 5 or 6, to suddenly 32. Then, once the tipping point occurs, it continues and grows.

Just another secret lesson in “Nomadpreneuring 101!” From The Jamaican on the island of Hainan, China, to you wherever you are!

shhhh….Secret behind the Secret: This particular post also serves as a promotional tool. Once the search engines record this post, it will show up in people’s google alerts, and also higher in the google listings for searches.

You can check out the ever-changing stats of my site yourself by visiting the site, scrolling all the way down and clicking on this little icon: Free Summer Concerts

Guess what I’VE been doing?

From: walt@jamaicaninchina.com

Subject: Jamaican in China!—Guess what I’VE been doing???

Date: September 24, 2010 3:52:10 PM GMT+08:00

I suppose you might be wondering what I’ve been doing, and why you haven’t heard from me in a bit. Well, I HAVEN’T BEEN gallivanting on the Great Wall of China. I HAVEN’T been loitering in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province, home of the Terra Cotta Warriors, NOR have I been encouraging shy girls to “Say Hello To Me!”

So, WHAT, you ponder, have I been doing? Well, I’ve spent the last three days sequestered in a 10 x 20 hotel room debugging a software program. That’s right! It’s as exciting as it sounds! Haven’t left the room for three days, fasted for two of them, all in an effort to get a software program working correctly.

Based on recent feedback from customers and friends, I now realize that the order process for my online products has way too many steps. Sign in, billing address, shipping address, confirmation, shipping confirmation, credit card information, and finally checkout. Wasn’t an issue before, but as people  get more impatient, and as other online vendors streamline their own order process, the bar is set higher for my own sites.

One customer, in particular, included the following comment when she placed her order (teachable moment, here, so pay attention all you potential internet entrepreneurs and future nomadpreneurs):

“The ordering process is too long…too many screen before the order is complete.   I really need this information so I was determined to complete this order.  Otherwise, I would have given up.”

A good friend had said pretty much the same thing a few days earlier. So, not being one to ignore messages from the universe, I set about finding a better shopping cart and found one with a one-page/one step checkout process! Once implemented, it would streamline the order process, encourage sales, and improve cash flow. There was only one little challenge….it didn’t work!!!

Well, actually, it DID work very well, except for one feature that didn’t seamlessly mesh with my existing checkout system. So, I set about debugging the PHP software to get it to work. My last three days in China have gone pretty much like this:

  • Get up in the morning
  • Stare at php code
  • Teach myself php code
  • isolate which file out of 6008 program files is causing the error
  • Deduce a fix
  • change a line of code
  • save the file
  • upload the file
  • Place a sample order with a sample product (enter my billing address, credit card information, click submit)
  • Receive an error message
  • Stare at php code
  • Teach myself php code
  • isolate which file out of 6008 program files is causing the error
  • Deduce a fix
  • change another line of code
  • save the file
  • upload the file
  • Place a sample order with a sample product (enter my billing address, credit card information, click submit) to test if my fix worked
  • Receive an error message,
  • Stare at php codeyou get the idea…At the same time, I’m submitting requests to the tech support department of the vendor, searching the online forum of current users of the software to discover if others have experienced and solved similar issues, posting to the forums, waiting for responses, implementing suggestions from experienced users…. As a last resort, I purchased vendor support and got a “patch” to fix the bug. However, the patch didn’t work. In frustration, I contacted the vendor, cancelled my order and requested a refund, and went to bed (now day two of my fast).

    However, I love a challenge! Never let it be said that I was bested by a software program.

    So, I got up today (Friday, and went at it again.) It would be a few hours until the vendor responded to my refund request, so I would attempt to get this thing to work one more time.

    Long story short (guess it’s already too late for that), at about 12 noon today, after practically rewriting the code of the errant file…..SUCCESS! Order complete! Features performed seamlessly!

    So, to celebrate, I went out into a cool Autumn day and treated myself to some fresh-squeezed carrot/apple juice, then some cucumber/celery juice, a little outing on the subway, and then on to my favorite restaurant!

    I’m still not finished, though. I’m back in the hotel room, and now that I’ve got the back end working (the important order-completion part), I still have to input all the products from all my websites, configure a few more features, customize the look of the cart and do some final tests. So, that should be another day or two here in the hotel, but there’s a light at the end of the PHP tunnel! See you on the other side, at which time, I’ll do my best to show you some more interesting things than the inside of a hotel room!

  • Nomadpreneuring 101–Question of the Day



    Hey Walt, You’re actually living the life I’ve always wanted…to be anywhere in the world with my computer and still be making money…
    So tell me, how are you able to travel around from country to country…how do you work your business? I’m curious because I’m thinking about making a move myself…–Roy

    Roy is a college friend now living in California, whom I see every few years. Before I share my answer to his question of the day, let me first say that while this is a blog about my personal adventures and the lifestyle I choose to live, I’ve come to understand (and you should, too this about me) that everything I am and everything I do serves my life’s purpose.
    Before I was the Jamaican in China, I was (and continue to be) a business author known as “the Passion Prophet.” My life’s purpose through my books is to “share what I know, so that others may grow.”
    The overall theme of my writings is to help people discover, develop and profit from the pursuit of their passions. This current year’s theme is “Reclaim Your Power! Break Free! Live True to Your Self!”
    So when I share my Jamaican in China adventure, it’s not just to tell a story, but to show what is possible, to help people break free from limiting beliefs and habits. I’m here to prove a point. And that point is: you can create the lifestyle of your dreams, and here is someone (me) who is doing it, so this is just one way it can be done.
    With that said, here’s how I replied to Roy…..


    Hey Roy,
    Thanks for the question.

    Right now I’m sitting outside of the Apple store in Beijing, China, using their wi fi access.

    Yesterday I had to endure the incessant jiggling at Hooters while I used the access at their restaurant. I know. Life can be tough sometimes.

    Anyway, later today, a technician is scheduled to configure my mac to access the wi-fi where I’m currently staying, and things should be back on track.

    I’ve spent the last several years creating streams of income that don’t require my constant presence. The basis of all of the ventures is the Philosophy and Formula I shared in my book, Turn Your Passion Into Profit (Sign up online to receive some free gifts and free chapter)

    At this point, most everything is on auto-pilot. The sites are up and running 24-hours a day, people order my products, and all I need to do is respond to an occasional customer service issue and send out weekly emails. Essentially, all I need is internet access to keep track of things and “work my business.”

    I use Skype to if I have to make calls if I need to take orders or speak to customers or vendors directly.

    Even the tourism business I started in Saipan can be run all by email with the help of the vendors on island with whom I have relationships.

    You can get all the intimate details of every aspect of how I’ve structured my nomadpreneur business in the 48-Hour Quickstart Manual and learn tips on creating Websites That Sell

    Visit the PassionProfit.com site, sign up and receive access to view the products, plus a free online course…..and when my nomad schedule allows, I also do a little one-on-one coaching

    !

    Most
    of my products are also available on this special page on Amazon.com.

    Beijing Hooters girl dance break! Do you mind? I’m trying to work over here!