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139 – Ending Things in Business (Not a Clickbait Title)

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

139 – Ending Things in Business (Not a Clickbait Title)

How do you know when it’s time to move on and quit doing something?
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on Ending Things in Business (Not a Clickbait Title) below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.

Five Key Takeaways for Ending Things in Business (Not a Clickbait Title)

1. Quitting makes space for something else

Maybe you want to try a new idea or explore something new, but you’re so afraid to let go of whatever projects or ideas you’ve done in the past. For us, business is a tool to fuel the life that we want to live. Quitting or ending things in business is about identifying, first and foremost, what we want our day-to-day lives to look like and then using our business as a tool to fuel that.

2. Let your business evolve to reflect your evolving self

It’s only natural that your business would change with you. A lot of times we hide when we shut things down or when we move things because we’re just so afraid of the perception of people seeing us like, “Oh, well, that didn’t work out,” or “I’m not going to keep following them because they didn’t follow through on a thing,” or “They weren’t successful with the thing.” This keeps people trapped in a lot of situations they don’t want to be in and keeps people trapped in businesses that no longer feel in alignment with who their new version of them is, which is a recipe for unhappiness. We are 100% okay with pivoting or ending something IF it no longer feels authentic or the right thing for us in our lives.

3. Be authentic with your audience from the beginning

We think being so authentic with your audience from the beginning creates a more flexible foundation for your business. For example, our coaching program, WAIM Unlimited, is a “Lifetime model” for us. But even then, it’s not a promise that someone has access to you for all time, it’s that whatever we do create, someone will be able to access that. We’ve made it clear from the beginning that the unlimited part of the WAIM promises lifetime access to the back catalog, Teachery, and coaching sessions, not us. We have also let our audience in on who we are as people and so and how we’re changing and what we’re thinking about, and how we feel like we’re growing.

By keeping that line of communication open, the transition becomes smoother because you’ve let people in along the way. Be honest about your audience when you’re feeling that itch to grow and expand. Then if you decide to expand into a different project, they’re not going to be blindsided.

4. Communicate with your audience and set expectations

This is the key: If you’re shifting, give people plenty of head’s up, be honest about WHY you’re shifting, and always keep your previous promises top of mind to make it right (aka refund when necessary if someone is not going to get something they paid for). You want your customers to get enough value for the price that they paid and they feel like that’s enough.

5. Try to test drive the new thing

If you feel yourself growing into this new frontier, what are some ways that you can test drive that? If it’s a podcast, can you record a couple of episodes before you launch it to see how you liked it, to see how it felt before you end the previous thing? That stepping stone approach for your transition can help overlap the previous thing with the new thing for a little bit so that you don’t find yourself stranded, jumping to this whole new island and now stuck on this side. With test drives, you can at least not close something down and end it to start this whole brand new thing and put all your eggs in that new basket without actually knowing if you’re going to enjoy that.

Show Notes for Episode 139: for Ending Things in Business (Not a Clickbait Title)

We hope our podcast episode title wasn’t too attention-grabby, but the topic really is “ending things” — haha!

Thank you to Nicole Antoinette for sending in a very thought-provoking topic idea and having us go down a bit of a rambling rabbit hole. Ending things in business, whether it’s quitting, pivoting, or a nice smooth planned transition doesn’t get talked about a lot in the online space. So, we wanted to talk about it.

✈️ Our pramvel stories take you through quite a roller-coaster week in the small town of Wicken, England. We found a very unique Airbnb, a lovely corn maze, and a sunflower field, but then Jason had an allergy-induced asthma attack.

👌Check out one of our favorite (simple!) Airbnb’s of the year, The Dutch Barn:

Full Transcript of Episode 139: Ending things (not a clickbait title and not this podcast)

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What is it All For?, a podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an UN-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here, too.

Jason: You’re bringing a lot of stuff to this. First, you had some snacks laying around, some little snack crumbs. You were yanking on cords. That’s not a euphemism for anybody who listens to this potty humor like we do. Are you ready?

Caroline: Why would that be potty humor, Jason?

Jason: Yanking on cords? Because that’s where things happen, in the potty. You’re welcome. Hello, and welcome to our podcast. This is us. We’re us. This is how things start. This is the realness. Are you good?

Caroline: Not really.

Jason: Okay.

Caroling: (laughing)

Jason: You’re taking it all in?

Caroline: Yeah. I’m taking it all in, my brain.

Jason: This is living with me. This is life.

Caroline: Oh, I know. It’s happening for twelve years.

Jason: First of all, I just want to say thank you to those of you who have been sending us emails about our luscious time in Portugal, as we mentioned last week.

Caroline: The feedback has been luscious.

Jason: So luscious. We have a lot of questions that you have sent through on, like, What’s our budget? Like, How much money are we saving? What are we afraid of? There’s a bunch of good questions that have come through, so we’ll be answering those in future episodes.

Caroline: Yeah, at some point, we’ll do a whole Q and A about…

Jason: Definitely people want to know about the visa process and your anxiety and how we’re doing that.

Caroline: The answer is yes.

Jason: As we found out yesterday in the discussion. But that’s just the truth. That’s the reality of any big life move. We were talking about this actually, yesterday as of recording this. The time doesn’t matter. What is time? Is that yesterday was kind of a day when we realized you were having some anxiety about this whole thing, which is totally fine and normal, but we just haven’t really talked about it because I think we were in the honeymoon phase of how exciting this is and the dream.

Caroline: Totally, and we were, and we are so excited. But you have to give yourself time and space to process such a big change. Well, I say you. I mean, people like me.

Jason: Let’s save more of that conversation for the future. What I want to say is though, if we went back a year ago, it’s like a year, and then two months forward, I bet we have a podcast episode where you sound exactly like you did last year before starting this trip.

Caroline: Oh, my gosh. Completely.

Jason: With where you are right now.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And it’s just like, I don’t say that as a criticism. I say that as an acknowledgment of, like, this is natural for…

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: Enneagram 4’s, for the INFJs.

Caroline: You know, it’s so funny. I was just thinking, like, the very fact that we were able to have that conversation and I could just share with you because I wasn’t even really aware of it myself, but we were experiencing some tension, and whenever there’s tension between us and we’re not on the same page, there’s something that has not been said that needs to get said. And so I’m digging around in my self-awareness. I’m like, What is happening that is not… That needs to get said? And I dug and I dug and I dug, and finally I was like, Oh, I think what’s happening here is that we’re not aligned, because I think I haven’t shared fully with you just how much this feels like a big move to me. And we haven’t really sat down and fully processed it, but just by having that conversation, being honest about the fact that I need you to know where I’m at with it, which is I still am 110% in, but it’s scary and it’s big, and it feels like a big shift. Just by saying that, I feel like a million times better about it today.

Jason: Fantastic. So that’s the pramvel to the pramvel because…

Caroline: That was Portu-pram.

Jason: That wasn’t on the list. I had a question in our list of things to talk about. Before we get to travel stuff. This is an age old debate that has come up in so many different times across the Internet, and I wanted to share it with you as well because I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it. And the question is, Do you wash your legs in the shower?

Caroline: Okay, first of all, I’m very nervous to tread into this territory because I don’t know if you know this, but the Internet gets really touchy about other people’s hygiene habits. There was like a whole thing about Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis not washing their body or washing their body. I can’t remember which one they do or don’t do, but the Internet really got in an uproar. So I hesitate to share my personal hygiene habits, but since you asked…

Jason: Yeah. Well, I just need to know about your legs. Do you wash them?

Caroline: Well, here’s what’s tricky.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: I wash them when I’m shaving them.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: Which doesn’t happen that often. The answer is no. No.

Jason: Well, because here’s the theory, right?

Caroline: It runs down.

Jason: It runs down.

Caroline: (laughing)

Jason: So can I tell you what happens for me is about once every, probably three to five showers, I think about the fact that I know that everybody talks about, Do you wash your legs or not? And then I wash my legs.

Caroline: Really? You feel like you have an audience and someone’s gonna like…

Jason: And I’m just like, Man, I’m going to wash them. I’m going to do it because I haven’t in a couple of days.

Caroline: This is where accountability is, really…

Jason: But then on the other days when I’m not too worried about it and I’m just doing my business, I start up top and I just let the soap meander its way and clean my legs.

Caroline: I think also, it’s like, Who am I really going to be around? I’m clean enough.

Jason: But also it doesn’t even matter, right? Like, if you were going to be around a lot of people, Would you really care about washing your legs more? Because who smells your legs? No one gets close to your legs. It’s the upper half that everyone’s getting close to. Shoulders. Do you always wash your shoulder area?

Caroline: I don’t know anymore.

Jason: (laughing)

Caroline: I’m sort of thinking through my routine here and I’m like, honestly…

Jason: What do I do?

Caroline: I do all the things that I have to do, which is like, the shaving, the hair, the must dos, and then there’s so many, like, lathers and products that happen in that process, and I just figure I’m clean. So many bubbles have touched my body at that point that I’m like, I’m clean enough.

Jason: All right, so here’s the question to our listeners, Do you wash your legs? Do not wash your legs? Let us know. All right, let’s get to the actual pramvel here.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: Last week, we talked to you about our time in the south of England.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: And we took you to Tuddenham Mill, then we took you to Rye, then we took you to the Windmill, which is in Kent. Now, from there, that’s where we left you. We had to drive about a three hour drive to get up near Milton Keynes.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: And the reason we had to do this is because we started the journey in Scotland and we picked up a rental car in Scotland and we were actually supposed to return that rental car, switch it around, blah, blah, blah. But there was a rail strike, so our rental car company was awesome. Also for anybody who needs to rent a car, especially in Scotland, but also in the UK as well. Celtic Legend. That’s Celtic for all of our US listeners. But Celtic Legend is 100% an amazing rental car company. And who can say that?

Caroline: Who can say that?

Jason: About rental car companies, they’re not great to deal with.

Caroline: I’m like, who…?

Jason: They were fantastic. So feel free to look them up.

Caroline: Okay, let me fill in some blanks because sometimes your brain just goes… What you were meaning to say was, when we were in Scotland, we rented the car to drive around Scotland. We were going to return it in Scotland and then take the train. This is why the rail strike… You just like, threw in rail strike without mentioning that we were going to train.

Jason: It’s fine, it’s fine.

Caroline: We were going to train down to England. The rail strike happened. We thought, Just to be safe, let’s go ahead and just keep the rental car. Celtic Legend really helped us with that. And they said, You can return it in England, in Milton Keynes. Okay? So we kept the same car for basically the entire two months that we were in the UK. And it was fantastic. And this is like, such a travel puzzle. This is, like, one of the many travel puzzles that we have to do during planning. It’s like, okay, we have to return it in Milton Keynes, and we have to somehow get to Heathrow and like…

Jason: Because we couldn’t return the car in Heathrow. Like, it had to be returned at a location. So…

Caroline: And that’s about 45 minutes away from Heathrow?

Jason: An hour, yeah.

Caroline: An hour. So then we’re like, Okay, let’s try to find an Airbnb near Milton Keynes.

Jason: But we didn’t want to be in the city of Milton Keynes.

Caroline: We didn’t want to be in the city because also, another reason that we ended up building in this little week of time was because way back in Greece, I was like, I’m just feeling really overwhelmed with the whole Fall travel schedule and because I knew England was going to be like boom, boom, boom, which it ended up being. And at times actually even worse because of my eyes. So I’m so grateful that I listened to my intuition and we built in that extra week and we found an amazing Airbnb.

Jason: Yeah, this was a shocker.

Caroline: This was a shocker. This was a surprise.

Jason: This, I think you’ll see the link in the description. If you listen to the show and you want to check out the Airbnbs, the links to our Airbnbs are always there. This one is going to underwhelm you when you look at the photos. You’re going to click through the photos and you’ll be like, Guys, this is so basic and simple.

Caroline: And we loved it.

Jason: But let me tell you that this very simple, kind of like Scandinavian Dutch barn, as it was called.

Caroline: It was an old barn that they renovated into these units.

Jason: There’s five of them.

Caroline: There are five different units. Some are bigger, some are smaller, and it’s sort of like families can come and stay, but it’s all in this big barn, basically.

Jason: And it’s just extremely simple. Like, again, you’re going to look at the photos and you’re going to go, This place… Like, you guys stayed at the place in Rye, and that place was like award-winning design. Then you stayed in the Windmill, and that place was beautiful in antique-y, but honestly, out of the three of them, I think the Dutch barn was the most comfortable.

Caroline: It absolutely was.

Jason: Which is weird to say because it’s like the Rye place was so much bigger and everything was so much more expensive, but everything just, like, worked perfectly and functionally, which is why I think Scandinavian design resonates with some people so much, because it’s the functionality and the simplicity all in one.

Caroline: It’s the form and the function coming together in such a perfect way. And also what we loved about it was you’re kind of in the middle of nowhere, just like a little bit out in these fields, and the unit that we were in was like an upstairs unit. And it had just, like, this perfect little economical kitchen, a little dining table, a little couch, and there was this almost, like, Ikea piece of furniture closet thing that separated the living area–and by that, I just mean the couch–from the bed. But it had all the things we needed. And then my favorite part about it is it has windows on both sides, so the whole room is basically the width of the barn, but it’s full of windows down the side on both sides. And so you just got this amazing light that filled the whole place. We would go out and walk on this little loop in the field.

Jason: Yeah, we just found a nearby field. It’s probably just someone’s land. And we just walked on it.

Caroline: We just walked a loop every night. We had our little prepared meals that we found that we loved, where it was easy, it was restful, it was bright. My eyes finally got a chance to really come back to life.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It was perfect.

Jason: I would say the highlight of that place, like the actual place itself, was this was the first time for me that I busted out the Nintendo Switch on a trip, and I had been eyeing up the new Kirby Forgotten Land game because it came out earlier in the year, and I always loved the character Kirby. Kirby turned 30 years old this year, which is just fun. Also super fun. I picked this up from a podcast called Wonderful, which one of our WAIMers recommended to us, thank you. Is that Kirby was actually, the character was named after the lawyer, John Kirby, who worked for Nintendo that helped them fight the lawsuit against Universal for the use of the word Kong in Donkey Kong. And Nintendo won. And so they had this game that they were working on that had this placeholder character…

Caroline: That was what I was gonna say is my favorite part is they named it Kirby as a placeholder, and then they were like, That’s his name.

Jason: No, no, they had the character as a placeholder.

Caroline: Oh, that’s right. The character was a placeholder.

Jason: And then they were like, Let’s just stick with this little pink blob. It’s kind of cute. And then also, at the same time, they won this lawsuit so like, We’re naming it Kirby.

Caroline: That’s right. The character was a placeholder.

Jason: So that has nothing to do with the actual game. The game is very fun. You got into it as well.

Caroline: Totally. It’s very fun.

Jason: And just like a great sit on the couch…

Caroline: An adventure game. Get little challenges and things.

Jason: I know that sounds silly when we’re talking about full time travel for an entire year, but you really need the week of playing Nintendo Switch in a comfortable place and just not a lot of extra things going on to get your mind right and recharge before then moving on to your next.

Caroline: Absolutely.

Jason: Adventure.

Caroline: Absolutely.

Jason: Do you want to talk about the amazingly fun thing that we did that led to a not amazingly fun thing?

Caroline: I do, I do. So, on our last day in Milton Keynes. The couple of times that we went to the grocery store, we would pass by on the main road that you get to the Dutch barn, this little farm, basically, or a field. And what it was is it’s this corn maze/ pumpkin patch/ just a little like… You guys know…

Jason: Sunflower field.

Caroline: Sunflower field. This farm where it’s really like a family-friendly place where you can come and do activities and whatever. And so we were so excited to go into the sunflower field. There was just rows and rows and rows and rows of sunflowers.

Jason: Never seen so many sunflowers in our lives.

Caroline: And we thought that would be a fun thing. And so we go there the day before we leave. And first of all, it’s all like moms and kids.

Jason: Oh, not a single…

Caroline: Not a single, just like single…

Jason: Person.

Caroline: Adult person.

Jason: Or couple like us. Not a single one. I just started standing kind of near kids. Not in a creepy way, but in like, Look, I brought kids too. I’m not an adult here by myself.

Caroline: (laughing) Yeah, and we were like, are we weird? I don’t know. I mean, I guess it was like a Thursday, so not many just like adult people are like, Let me go to the sunflower field on a Thursday. Anyway, we had such a great time. We all start like what we did at the end. We ended up doing a corn maze, which was so fun. Granted, it was the biggest corn maze I’ve ever seen.

Jason: Oh. We tracked it, I think it was like a half mile of walking just through the corn maze.

Caroline: And they did give you a map, but we were like, We’re not going to use the map. And I thought the way I had it in my head was much like a hedge maze where there’s going to be like, dead ends.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: There was no dead ends. It was just like basically…

Jason: It’s what I told you, there’s so many kids that come to this place. They’re not going to do dead ends.

Caroline: They don’t wanna trap a dead end.

Jason: It’s like, just keep going.

Caroline: Just keep going. Yeah. So if you just keep going, you’ll eventually get out. It just depends on which direction you go is if you went shorter, longer. Anyway, I had a blast in that thing.

Jason: Yeah, it was fun.

Caroline: But what we did near the beginning is we went to the sunflower fields and we walked all along the sunflower fields. We took some photos. Jason, in fact, did want to take his photo a little bit in.

Jason: Do you think this is the cause of everything? You’re ridiculous.

Caroline: I do. I think you broke the rules, and you are being punished for it.

Jason: (laughing) I stepped 1ft into the sunflowers. 1ft.

Caroline: And you paid the price. So we do this whole thing. It’s so fun.

Jason: So before we get back…

Caroline: Before we get back.

Jason: This was one of the many dinosaur signs.

Caroline: Oh, that’s right. Okay.

Jason: Because there was a separate maze that was a dinosaur maze.

Caroline: It was a dino maze.

Jason: We can do the dinosaur maze because we’d already done the corn maze. We didn’t do another maze in our lives. But dinosaurs have popped up, and if you’ve not kept along, Lourinhã, which is the town that we are going to move to in Portugal, is the dinosaur capital of Europe. We’re just going to run with that. I know there… Excuse me. There are a couple of places that want to be this. Like, Isle of Wight wants to be this.

Caroline: No, it’s Lourinhã.

Jason: But they have dinosaurs everywhere in Lourinhã. They have all these different things. Anyway, this is one of the many where we saw dinosaurs ahead of time before a Portugal.

Caroline: Exactly. Which we obviously didn’t know at the time, but we were like, that was a dinosaur. We ended up watching Jurassic Park while we were at the Dutch barn. And then basically a week later when we visited Lourinhã and we were like, We love it here. And then we found out about the dinosaur town. We were like, All the dinosaur signs have been there. So that was like a fun little alignment of things. So Jason, it’s a fun activity day.

Jason: Yeah. Great day.

Caroline: We had a great day.

Jason: A lot of good photos.

Caroline: We get back to the Dutch barn and, remember, this is the day before we’re supposed to go return the rental car the next day, get an Uber to the airport, fly to Portugal. What happened?

Jason: Oh, I had an asthma attack.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: So I grew up for those of you who don’t know my entire life story, which I wish you would, I grew up with very bad asthma as a child. I had to go in an ambulance to a hospital a couple of times because I had really severe asthma attacks as a kid. I grew up in Arizona, so there was something in the air in Arizona that really got me because I remember when I was eight years old, we moved to California and I still had some asthma, but it was not debilitating. Also, I think as a child, you kind of start to grow out of it a little bit for certain people. So California, it wasn’t that bad. I move across the country to the Northeast, basically goes away. I moved to Florida. It pretty much essentially is gone. And there’s a couple of times seasonally when my allergies will act up and I’ll need an inhaler.

Caroline: I think the entire time we’ve been together, when we lived in Florida, you used your inhaler like, twice.

Jason: Yeah. So then what happens is I moved back to California with my lovely co-host here in 2015.

Caroline: Oh, that’s me.

Jason: My asthma disappears. It is gone.

Caroline: You didn’t use it a single time we were here.

Jason: I didn’t have an inhaler. I never got one. We lived there for six years. Didn’t even have a symptom (coughing) and now I’m coughing.

Caroline: Good timing.

Jason: That was partially choking on spit.

Caroline: Cool.

Jason: Then we come to Europe. I don’t have an inhaler because I literally have not needed one for six years of my life, and before that didn’t need very much. We do the Dutch barn adventure. We go to the corn maze. We get in the flower fields. I step 1ft into a sunflower patch, and I have an allergy-induced asthma attack. And so I don’t have an inhaler. I have a very highly sensitive wife. And it is not a fun situation because for those of you who have never had an asthma attack, it’s basically like you can’t catch your breath, and it happens for as long as it takes for your body to be able to catch up or work out whatever has caused it. So in my case, the very interesting thing that happened was so from about 6:00 p.m. That night until the next day when we were leaving, I did not sleep like a wink. I went to the couch and just basically laid there trying to breathe all night. And we had talked about maybe going to the hospital and maybe trying to figure out and I was like, Let’s just see how it goes.

Caroline: I need to interject because this is what is so challenging about being a partnership like ours, where one person refuses to admit when they have anything wrong with them, that’s Jason. And then the other person is highly sensitive and is, like, deeply afraid that something’s going to happen to you and that I’m not going to be able to help you. And so it’s a terrifying situation because, two things, it was also an opportunity, something that I’m trying to work on, is not always bringing that level of fear that sometimes can be very out, like, too much, not appropriate…

Jason: Yeah. It’s extra.

Caroline: Not an appropriate amount of fear for the situation, right? I’m trying to work on that because I do think it can be debilitating in my life to keep that level of anxiety up all the time. And so we’ve had many conversations about me trying to trust you when you tell me that you’re okay. In this whole thing, I’m like, trying to battle between being absolutely terrified because I’m like, Do I need to put my foot down and take them to the hospital? I don’t know. And one of my deepest fears is that I will not make a decision. Like something would happen to you that I could have stepped in and made a decision about, that I ended up not making the right decision and that somehow I’m responsible. That’s my own shit I have to work through in therapy about being responsible for other people. That’s a whole other thing. But that’s what goes through my head, right? I hate seeing you in pain. Like, I hate seeing you struggle because it’s very rare, so that’s happening. And then I’m like, But Caroline like, keep it cool. You don’t need to be so overbearing if he says that he’s okay. So we developed, like, a little rating system. I was like, Where’s your breathing out right now? And you told me I think it was like, ten being like, I can’t breathe, to one, being like, Oh, it’s so easy to breathe. And I think you were at?

Jason: Seven.

Caroline: Yeah, and I was like, Okay, actually, I think you told me you were at like a five or four.

Jason: No, no, no. I told you I was at a seven because you said if we get to an eight, we have to go to a hospital.

Caroline: Okay. I said, If we get to an eight, we made an agreement…

Jason: Because I basically got to this point where I had an extreme shortness of breath and it was hard to breathe, but it wasn’t to the point where I was scared of where I was. I felt like I hit this point, and it’s basically where my body was like, Okay, we have to get rid of these allergies. Let’s do this. And we’re going to be trying to breathe and cough and get these things out. And I could physically tell, like, Okay, I’m not feeling any worse than it’s. Like, this sucks. It’s not good. But it’s also like, if you’ve ever been injured at all, you know the pain of it, right? Like, Oh, this hurts, but I can bear through this.

Caroline: And I think also an important aside is that we did have a kind of similar incident that happened very early on in our travels in Ireland.

Jason: In Scotland.

Caroline: No, no, no, in Ireland, you ate something and you couldn’t kind of breathe. It wasn’t as bad as this, but you were struggling.

Jason: It was definitely a food allergy.

Caroline: No, it was a food allergy. And I think, actually, looking back, I think it was edible flowers. I think the same thing. It’s like pollen, some kind of pollen allergy. But remember, you were kind of struggling and you were like, Listen, I’m going to take a thing. I’m going to go to bed. It’s going to be fine when I wake up in the morning. And you were fine in the morning.

Jason: In Ireland.

Caroline: In Ireland.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So I’m kind of operating also on a little bit of historical data, saying, I know it’s scary right now, but he’s telling me that he’s not at a dangerous place and he is probably going to sleep this off. Come to find out, it was a little bit worse than the Ireland situation, but…

Jason: Yeah, so here’s how it kind of went down. So all night, I didn’t sleep, basically about, like, 2:00 A.m., I gave up and I just started looking up, like, Can you work through an asthma attack on your own, or do you have to go to the hospital? Not that I was feeling worse, but I was just basically preparing for, if by 5:00 a.m., I’m not feeling better, we’re going to have to go because I can’t get on a plane like this. We had to leave or whatever. So I started to feel a little bit better. I found a breathing exercise that helped. And if you have asthma and you want, like, a go to breathing exercise, you can just look up, like, asthma breathing exercise on YouTube. Again, I’m not a doctor, but it was a doctor who was doing this. And I’m not saying I take all of my health and advice from YouTube, but in this moment, that was actually helpful. It took me from a seven to a five and a half. And so I could kind of catch my breath a little bit more. I was coughing a little bit less because that’s what you really don’t want to do when you have an asthma attack, is cough, because it really exacerbates and you can’t get out of this cycle.

Caroline: Again, not a doctor, just things that you’ve Googled.

Jason: So, anyway, but here’s the very interesting part of this whole thing. So it’s like 7:30 a.m., we need to pack up the car, and we need to go. So… Go ahead.

Caroline: No, I was just saying I also didn’t sleep at night because you very explicitly were like it was adding a lot worse to the situation by me being anxious. You were not happy about that because it was just like, you’re struggling, and then you’re worried about me worried about you. And so I was trying to play it cool, and I was like, Okay, I’m just going to go over here.

Jason: I’m a cool mom.

Caroline: I’m a cool mom. I’m going to go sleep. I can totally sleep while you’re struggling to breathe in the next room. And so I didn’t sleep very well at all either. But at that point, I’m trying to manage my own anxiety so that I’m not making it worse for you.

Jason: Yeah. So anyway, 7:30 in the morning rolls around. I looked up, Could I get an inhaler from a pharmacist/ chemist, as they called them, in the UK? You can’t without a prescription from a general doctor. Obviously, I don’t have a general doctor in the UK. Didn’t want to go to a hospital. We did try to go to a pharmacist just to ask if there was any concession they could make. I filled out a thing online, couldn’t get one. But here’s what’s really interesting. We get in the car at 7:30. The car is packed up. My breathing is at, like, a five and a half, almost a six. It’s a little bit worse now because I’ve been carrying things up and downstairs or whatever. We start driving, and immediately the filtered, air conditioned air, I jumped down to, like, a four.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: On the breathing.

Caroline: By the time we made it to the…

Jason: Rental car.

Caroline: To the rental car.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: No, because remember, you went to the pharmacy to try to get the thing, but I would say maybe driving the rental car place.

Jason: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

Caroline: To drop off the car.

Jason: Yeah. So I’m down to, like, a four on the breathing, so I’m already feeling so much better. We then take a car to the airport. We get to the airport. We miss the fast track through security in the airport, we’re not going to talk about it, and we’re standing in line to go through security for, like, bag check and everything. And now I’m at, like, a two in my breathing. My breathing is almost back to normal. And it’s just wild because that shows you that to me, it’s very clear proof that this is allergy-induced asthma. Like, there’s something that I walked through, it was near or whatever.

Caroline: And we have further proof, which is that…

Jason: So this is what’s even more wild.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: We get on that flight, we go to Portugal, which we talked about. We already told you, we did our scouting trip. We’re going to talk more about that. I do not have a single time…

Caroline: Breathing issue.

Jason: Having difficulty breathing the entire time in Portugal. Literally, the day that we land, it’s gone. There’s not a single issue. We end up picking up an inhaler. We’ll talk about that in a separate thing. Spoiler alert, we come back to the UK. Just going to spoil it. The asthma returns here in the UK.

Caroline: Yeah, well, to be more specific, it’s not even the asthma anymore because it’s different than when it was. It’s not that you’re struggling to breathe, it’s that now you have this wheezy cough.

Jason: Yeah, but it’s… (coughing)

Caroline: There it is, there it is.

Jason: And it’s just hilarious because not a single symptom of it in Portugal. So I’m just allergic to the UK. That’s the whole point of this pramvel.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: I’m going to keep coming back because there’s so much to see and Scotland’s beautiful and Ireland’s beautiful, and England has so much, and we need to go to Wales and we have to go down to Cornwall and see all these different places. And I’m just going to have to figure out a way to plug up all of my allergen receptors so that I can come here.

Caroline: And it is wild. It’s so obvious. Like, we’ll open the window to get a breeze and he’ll start coughing more and then we’ll close it and a couple of hours go by and he hasn’t coughed at all. And so it’s just really wild.

Jason: For those of you who are going to email and be like, Oh, did you look up, like, taking, like, allergy medicine? Yes, I have been taking Claritin every single day.

Caroline: That has helped.

Jason: Which has definitely helped. I do have an inhaler that I picked up in Portugal. So, anyway, that’s probably so much more than anybody cared about at all, but it’s just to share that in doing a full year of travel, you’re going to run into stuff. We run into shingles, we both run into COVID, we’ve run into an anxiety flare up, we’ve run into a vision problem, we’ve now run into an asthma attack. I haven’t had any asthma in years. And so it’s just these are the things that I think when you watch, especially for me, like, you watch all these YouTubers traveling and you just get this perfect life. It’s like, Oh, wow, your travel seems so amazing. And there’s not a single problem. You’re just going to all these countries, and it’s just wonderful. And it’s like, No, I bet they’re all having similar things. It’s just people don’t talk about it.

Caroline: Exactly. They don’t want to share because it’s like the whole point is to show kind of the dreamier part of it.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Yeah, it was scary, but I think each one of those situations is an opportunity to work through it together. And it does ultimately help my anxiety because it shows me that we’re capable of handling things as they pop up.

Jason: Yeah. And hopefully it helps you trust me and that I know I’m not the best at admitting when I’m in pain or anything, but I’m also pretty well in tune with my body and knowing when I’m at a dangerous place and we need to do something, or like, I’m at a place where, yeah, this sucks, but I can manage. And I don’t think we need to uproot our entire travel schedule and cancel a flight and go to a hospital and do all these things.

Caroline: Yeah, I’m learning. Because the funny thing is, being together this long, you haven’t had many situations where you’re in pain or you’re hurting. And so in a weird way, it helps me gauge how you handle that so that I can trust you in what you’re telling me because I have historical data to be like, Oh, no, he would tell me, because I can tell when you’re looking up where the hospital is. I know that, Okay, now we’re getting into territory of where he’s actually serious about if he feels crappy, we’re going to go.

Jason: If I stop just looking up, like, where to get the best cinnamon rolls are in this town.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: And I switch over to hospitals we know. All right, that’s enough, pramvel. I don’t know if anybody cared at all about any of those things, but we just wanted to share. And obviously this is, like, a nice place to have a conversation about it. Sharing on YouTube about it, like, we probably won’t just because…

Caroline: That’s why those people don’t, Jason.

Jason: Exactly. Okay, let’s talk about this episode that was inspired by one of our I think we have 18 listeners now, and this listener had some great questions for us.

Caroline: Okay, shout out to my friend Nicole Antoinette. By the way, she has an awesome podcast. It’s called Pop Up Pod. And she does these, like, pop-up seasons all about answering different questions. So I was a guest on…

Jason: Are you getting paid for this?

Caroline: I was just wanting people to know. She’s a great podcaster.

Jason: I’m going to bleep it out unless I get a check in the mail. I am not…

Caroline: (laughin) Nicole, this is not sponsored.

Jason: Nicole says it’s a check for $10.

Caroline: $10 for that ad space?

Jason: Yep.

Caroline: No, but it’s a really cool idea for a podcast. It just pops up whenever. Her whole first season was about, Should we get married? And so it was an exploration of different people kind of answering that question. And I was on about talking about our journey to ask ourselves that question of should we get married? And I think actually her second season is all about enough, funny enough. So she sent me a voice note with this question. And I thought it was so, such a great podcast topic because I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about it. And it’s this whole idea of ending things in business. Like, so often we hear people talk about starting a new business or having an idea or starting a podcast, but we don’t talk a lot about what happens when you want to end something or end an idea and how do you kind of pivot gracefully out of that or how do you wrap things up in a way or all those different questions. And I think it pertains this larger idea of making commitments in your business. And how do we think about that? How do we think about long term commitments in our business? Are we afraid to commit to something? Because what if we change and what if we no longer want to offer it anymore? And it’s just like, I think a really fun idea to talk about. So that’s what we’re going to talk about in this episode. And I think it’s also important because I think a lot of people are afraid to start things sometimes because they don’t know if it’s going to last forever or be a long thing. And I want this episode, of course, we’re only going to share our experience with it, but I want it to be comforting in a way, to be like we change all the time. We pivot all the time. Just because something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it for a time.

Jason: Yeah. I think one of the things we can definitely talk about. I mean, as two people who have started and stopped a lot of projects. I don’t know how many of you have ever been to our About page on But there’s a whole section there of all of our projects and you can see the ones that have been retired and basically those are ones that we’ve ended. Some of them have ended gracefully, some of them have ended in a ball of fire. Some of them have ended because we were carefully crafting and moving them into other things. And I do think that there is a little bit of a stigma when you’re especially working for yourself and you shut something down and it looks like, Oh, that’s a failure, or you couldn’t hack it and so you moved on to something easier or whatever. It’s like no, it’s a thing that and I remember Paul Jarvis and I talking about this in our podcast, which is just like quitting makes space for something else.

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: And it’s such an important mindset shift to get to and not to think like, Quitting is failure.

Caroline: 100%. I couldn’t agree more. And I think what happens is a lot of people find themselves changing personally, and maybe they want to try a new idea or explore something new, but they’re so afraid to let go of whatever projects or ideas they’ve done in the past. And what happens is their whole world gets very cluttered because of that reason. They’re afraid to end things that are no longer serving them and it only creates more chaos in your business. But I guess first and foremost, like, the most important thing is, Jason and I have always felt, this is just our approach to business. I’m not saying that this is the right way or the wrong way.

Jason: Oh, no if you say it on podcast, it’s the right way.

Caroline: Yeah, yeah. I’m not saying everyone should feel this way, but for us, business is a tool to fuel the life that we want to live. Like, I think we’re only on this planet for none of us knows how long. I think life is such a precious thing. I don’t think that we were created to work, but I think that work is a necessary part of life. And so I just am not someone who puts work on this pedestal as the most important thing. It’s more about identifying what we want our day to day lives to look like and then using our business as a tool to fuel that, right? With that being said, and if we believe that, then it also stands to reason that your business should be a reflection of who you are as a person and the ever-changing, ever-evolving core person that you are. So as you are changing, I think it’s only natural that your business would change with you.

Jason: 100%.

Caroline: If you are in a season of your life where you’re like, Man… So the perfect example is, like, Made Vibrant. So this is my business before Wandering Aimfully.

Jason: Are we getting a check for that?

Caroline: Absolutely. $10.

Jason: Brand shout out?

Caroline: Add that to the list.

Jason: Alright, alright.

Caroline: I started out as a designer, but over time I really grew into this artist piece of my identity. Like, I really started to see myself as an artist for the first time and I discovered this new creative side of myself. And so I started doing a lot more art and sharing it on Instagram. And I needed my business to then it felt kind of almost, not inauthentic, but it just didn’t match up then to have this business that was all about…

Jason: They weren’t in alignment.

Caroline: They weren’t in alignment. So as I changed personally and evolved into like a new version of myself, I wanted my business to have projects that felt in alignment with that more artistic side. And so I started a couple of things. Not all of them worked out, but some things I had to kind of like, end or decide to maybe put on a shelf, like my branding course and things like that in order to step into this new version of myself. And I think that’s totally fine.

Jason: Yeah. I think a lot of times we hide when we shut things down or when we move things because we’re just so afraid of the perception of people seeing us like, Oh, well, that didn’t work out and like, okay, I’m not going to keep following them because they didn’t follow through on a thing or they weren’t successful with the thing. And it’s like that stigma kind of sucks because it keeps people trapped in a lot of situations they don’t want to be in.

Caroline: Exactly. It keeps people trapped in businesses that no longer feel in alignment with who their new version of them is. And that is a recipe for unhappiness.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So I think it’s just remembering, especially if you own your own business, sometimes we can almost create these boundaries and these businesses for ourselves that would have been even worse than if we had been working for someone else.

Jason: Well, yeah, I’ve talked about this for years. I call this the career dungeon, which is this like you leave the nine to five world only to build a business that traps you into working like nine to nine.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And it just feels like you’re always looking at your email, you’re always looking at social accounts, you’re always looking at your stats and your money and you’re just like constantly pressured and you’re the worst boss ever to yourself.

Caroline: And I think that kind of can be extrapolated to, if you yourself are changing and you feel that you have this new need in your life, whether it’s, Oh, I feel like I have a lot to say, like, I really want to start a podcast, but it doesn’t really align with my business right now, so I’m going to just stay into this business. And meanwhile, that desire in you to express yourself in this new way nags at you and it grows. And all of a sudden before you know it like it causes this deep dissatisfaction because you’re so afraid to leave behind this older version of your business that matched an older version of who you are. So I just want to embolden people to embrace the pivot, embrace the growth. That isn’t a failure. It’s complicated and you have to think about how to make that transition, which we’ll talk about in a second. It’s kind of like, Okay, now that I know that I have permission to do this, how do I actually do this? But I just want to remind people that your business shouldn’t make you miserable. So if you’re changing, be okay with the fact that your business can change too.

Jason: All right, let’s talk about the transition then and kind of cutting to, if someone listening to this is in a place where they feel like, Oh, yeah, I have been working on this business for a couple of years or even a couple of months and just like it really feels out of alignment or it just feels like it’s not working. How do you shut that thing down? How do you quit in a good way?

Caroline: Yeah. I mean, it’s going to be different for every project. But I think the first and most important thing, this is just from our perspective because I think a big fear people have is like my audience is going to be…

Jason: They’re going to leave.

Caroline: They’re going to leave.

Jason: I started this whole Squarespace business and now I don’t want to work on squarespace anymore. And I’m going to send them an email and say, I don’t want to work on squarespace anymore. And they’re just going to all unsubscribe. Like, that’s the fear.

Caroline: Yeah. And so our workaround for that has always been, this is why I think being so authentic with your audience from the beginning creates such a more flexible foundation for your business. So from the very beginning, we have let our audience in, our email audience more specifically, on who we are as people and so and how we’re changing and what we’re thinking about and how we feel like we’re growing. And so by keeping that line of communication open, it’s not a surprise then to use my previous example when suddenly I’m like, Hey, I’m really feeling like I want to lean into this new artist identity that I’m really owning right now, so I’m going to start a print shop. And so it doesn’t feel like it comes out of left field because people who have been on my list and have been following along are like, Oh, she told us that. She told us that this has been percolating for a while, that she’s been embracing us. We’ve seen it. And so that transition becomes smoother because you’ve let people in along the way. So I think that’s my first piece of advice, just like, be honest about your audience when you’re feeling that itch to grow and to expand. Because then if you decide to expand into a different project, they’re not going to be blindsided.

Jason: Yeah. I think the other thing too is to give yourself permission to take a break. So if you’re sending consistent content in any shape or form, you could just let people know, like, Hey, I’m going to take a break for a month or two. There’s some things I want to work on, some things I’m thinking about, and I’ll just be back in that time. And in that time you can kind of use that to investigate, What do I want to be working on next? What am I being drawn to? And maybe you’re not being drawn to anything. I think that’s the other thing that’s also a little bit in the muddy gray area of this, which is like, it’s great if you want to end something because you have a new thing lined up. But what if you don’t have a new thing lined up? Like, what if you just are feeling so disillusioned with what you’re working on and you want to move to something else? And I think a big part of that is just you have to stop working on the thing that is draining your brain every single day of your life and sucking all the creativity out of the work that you want to do and then start allowing space for a new thing to emerge. And that becomes a really powerful way to not feel like, Okay, next week I have to tell my email audience that I’m switching over to this. It’s like, No, next week I just say, I’m taking a break and I’ll be back. And I don’t have to say why. I don’t have to give every bit of information. And we love being authentic, but there’s also a time to just leave things a little bit vague so that you can have space to think about things.

Caroline: Yeah. And now to specifically talk about when it comes to, like, a paid something, you have a membership, you have something else. I do want to say it becomes more complicated, right?

Jason: Well, yeah. What you do is you just leave them high and dry and dry.

Caroline: You leave them high and drive. You ghost them.

Jason: You keep accepting those checks.

Caroline: You send them nothing. You take the money and run. No, obviously we’re kidding. It becomes more complicated when, like, for example, if you’ve decided you wanted to do a year long membership or something, but now you’re halfway through the year and you realize you’re not liking it, it’s not working out, and people are like, Well, what do you do? And there are two options. You can either finish out the year and hate it. You can do that. But for us, I would sit down and I would do the math and go, Okay, if people, for example, signed up for an annual membership and paid for the full year, this has actually happened to me. I started a membership. I only did it for four months. People had paid for the whole year because that was how I got some revenue going. And I just sat down and said, What would it take to refund these people for the months that they did not get? And is that worth it to me? Do I have the ability to refund those people?

Jason: It hurts.

Caroline: It hurts. I took a financial hit. It sucked. I felt flaky. I felt awful. But I do think it’s important to at least make sure that you’re making good on the financial end of the promise that you made.

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: That is an important piece of this. You don’t just leave people high and dry. You make sure that, if someone paid you for something, that they received value in exchange, and if they didn’t receive that value for what you promised, there does need to be a refund. But I’m telling you that because I don’t think a lot of people talk about this. How do you do that? Oh, you just write back to people and say, Hey, you paid for an annual membership. I’m sorry to say I’m closing down the membership for these reasons. You paid for the full year. I only delivered to you four months, so I’m going to issue you a refund of this amount.

Jason: Yeah. And I think it just helps build trust, too, because then the people who are on the other end of that, they’ve trusted you with their money, they now see like, Oh, okay, I understand also, this person isn’t just trying to take my money and run for the thing I didn’t get. And now in the next thing, like, whatever your next thing is that you’re working on, that person will know that, Hey, this project didn’t go well, but she still handled it, or they still handled it really well. And I was really happy with how that was resolved. Now I’m happy to trust and buy this next thing. And I don’t know if it’s going to work out for them, but I’m here to support them on their journey. And that decision becomes much easier when you show people that you’re a human. Things go wrong, things don’t work out, you want to make them right, and then you move on to the next thing.

Caroline: Yeah. And that kind of relates to this idea, which is just be really mindful of the promises that you make when you set up the project to begin with. So one of the specific questions that Nicole had for me was, like, especially with WAIM and the fact that we operate on this lifetime model, and it was like, Well, do you just do coaching forever then? How does that work? So for those of you who don’t have the full history. Our Wandering Aimfully coaching program was really born out of this original idea that Jason had, which was called Buy My Future and it was basically a bundle of all the courses and things that he had created and you paid a flat rate. And then he basically said, You’re getting access to all these things but also you pay me one time and then you get access to anything I create in the future. But the thing about that, it becomes very easy to just say that off the bat. And people are like, Wait, so they can just email you anytime for your whole life? And it’s like the key is making it very clear that in the promise of that agreement is you get access to anything I create in the future. And so it just means, like, Hey, I know that I’m going to continue to make things. I’m not telling you how many things I’m going to create. I’m not promising that I’ll create one thing a year. I’m just telling you what a reasonable expectation is and that you can trust me in saying that if you pay me one time, I will not make you pay me again.

Jason: Yeah. And the key for especially, like, a lifetime model product like we offer is that, when someone joins, you want them to basically get enough value for the price that they paid so they would not have to get anything else in the future. And they feel like that’s enough.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: And we’re at the point I actually was thinking about that this morning with Wandering Aimfully, because I got an email from someone who’s raising their prices for their community, and they’re basically, like, doubling their price. It’s like $2,000 a year, now it’s $3,000 a year or whatever. And I was thinking about it.

Caroline: Just so you know, that’s not doubling.

Jason: Yeah, that’s fine.

Caroline: Just so you know, that’s how math works.

Jason: I think maybe it was $1,000 to $2,000. That’s what it was.

Caroline: Oh, okay. Good, good.

Jason: I know why I said $3,000. The reason why I said this is because I was looking at our $2,000 total program price for Wandering Aimfully for a lifetime. I was like, Oh, you know what’s really interesting is we have not raised the price of this product in four years, and the price of eggs has gone up. The price of living as a human has gone up. Our expenses to run this business have gone up. I’m not saying I want to raise the price, but I’m just saying we’ve never even thought about it. We’ve never even talked about it. And you start to see other people do it, and then it makes you question, right? And then you’re like, Okay, well, should we be like, is there a reason? Because eggs are more expensive. Like, I got to be able to buy, and then you have to come back down from that, and you have to go, but I don’t need to.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: And we have defined an enough number. We have reached that enough number, which is amazing. We have a new enough number that we’re working toward, but in a long term time frame, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. And we make enough money, and we spend enough money as expenses for our business to have profit, and it works. And we don’t have to raise the price just because we now have 36 coaching sessions in Wandering Aimfully, which is almost 100 hours of coaching content that did not exist when people joined who paid $2,000.

Caroline: Right. So that’s the point I want to make here, too, which is that especially as it relates to WAIM and how we think about the kind of long term commitment of committing to it, we just really believe in creating so much value that it hasn’t been an issue. I get this question all the time. I’ve seen people talk about WAIM on other places. People are talking about lifetime memberships, and they’re like, Oh, aren’t you worried that like, this and that? I’m like, I don’t have to worry about that as long as I believe that I will do what’s right by our customers and as long as they believe that we are trustworthy enough to do right by them, we’ve never had an issue. We don’t have the issue of people being like, Oh, well, you promised this and we only got this. And then what I also want to say, and I think that the reason that we don’t have issues is because we give our all to the value that we have promised and we do deliver enough and we stay true to our promises that it gives us enough wiggle room to change a few things. And people are not upset about it at all because they trust us, right? So it’s about trust. I think also what’s interesting, though, is the way that it’s sort of evolved over time now is that we think about WAIM in a yearly flexible basis. And what I mean by that is usually before the Fall, right now, we do two enrollments a year. We do a Spring enrollment and a Fall enrollment. And for now that works really well for us. But what happens is as we get ready for the Fall enrollment, usually when people join in the Fall, they’re having an eye on the next year of like, What is coaching going to look like? And it changes every year for us because in the beginning it was just very much around topics.

Jason: And we had so many that we want to talk about. As I just mentioned, we’ve done 36 coaching topics.

Caroline: And then we had like a full two years, I think, doing that. And then we thought for the travel this year, we thought we’ll do this Unsolved Businesses, like case study style. We tried that for a couple of months. It became so unsustainable because, if anything, like if it comes to doing a case study of one of our WAIMers’ businesses, we just want to go so much harder. And so it’s just the amount of time while we couldn’t do it justice while we were on the road. And so we explained that to our members. We said, Here’s why we can’t keep up with that. We’ll try to do them when we can. And we went back to more of a topic space, and people have been so accepting of that. And so now we’re in talks of what is that going to look like next year for coaching. We’ll make sure that that’s clear on our sales page so that when people join in the Fall, they’ll know what they’re getting for the next year. And there’s going to come a year where we don’t do monthly coaching at all, maybe, or where we don’t have the Slack community at all, maybe. But I can promise you that we will be clear in communicating that with our customers, explaining to them why we’re making any changes, making sure that we’re delivering value above all else so that no one feels shortchanged. And then I think that it all shapes out just fine because the trust is there.

Jason: And I think it’s again what I just said a minute ago, which is there’s enough value when someone immediately buys that it’s worth it. So if you’re someone who’s listening to this and you’re thinking about your own lifetime model pricing, if you have a lot of stuff and you’re trying to think about, like, Oh, well, if I charged $1500 for this thing that I have, is there enough value sitting there in the things that you already have to make it worth someone’s while to feel like they got the value from it? And that’s how I think you know you have enough stuff for a lifetime model, because it just becomes a no brainer for someone to be like, Oh, okay, great. I bought this, and I feel like I have enough stuff. And even if nothing else came, I would still be happy with this purchase.

Caroline: Yeah. And I think if you’re someone who’s considering an idea, you want to start this new thing. Maybe you’re changing personally, and so you want to test out different business ideas to match that. But you’re afraid because you don’t know if you can commit to it long term. I think pay attention to that. Sit down and actually write down a contingency plan for yourself. Say to yourself, I don’t want my fear to hold me back from starting this. But let’s say I want to start a Patreon and I’m going to offer an annual. And if I get six months into it and people and I decide I don’t want to do it anymore, how would I handle that? How would I make it right by my customers? And by deciding that ahead of time, I think that can make you a little bit more courageous in your pursuit of starting something. Because you know what you’ll do if you decide that you don’t like it?

Jason: Yeah, and I think the other thing on kind of like the other business side of this that we have, which is Teachery, which is like the long term of owning a software product and the reality of, well, really the only end to a software product for us is selling it to somebody else so that they can continue to invest in it and run it and grow it. And we have thought about what that looks like in a 10 to 15 year plan. And there’s no immediate thought to that. And it’s funny because I usually get like, we get two to three emails a year of people being like, Hey, we’re an M and A company, Merger and Acquisition. We want to pick up Teachery because everybody wants a course platform now. And a lot of times with a company the size of Teachery, it’s actually really cheap for them because it would cost them a million dollars in development fees to build it. And they’d rather just buy something like Teachery because then they have the nuts and bolts of it done and very graciously, I always say no, because we’re not interested in that, but I do know that is inevitability for us. And so I bring that up because I think when you’re thinking about starting a business, the years that you want to be running that business, it is worth thinking about from the beginning, How would I want this business to end? And a coaching program is very much like it’s tied to you, and so you eventually have to phase everyone out of it. And shocking as this might be for some of you listening to this, eventually WAIM will go away. I don’t know when that will be. We have no plans for that to happen, but it is an inevitability and we will disappear from your faces, and your ears, and I don’t know what that’s going to look like, but it just will happen. I’m so sorry, and we’re going to miss you. But with Teachery, WAIM, maybe that timeline is five years, ten years. It could be 20 years. I don’t know.

Caroline: By the way, just to remind you, because you might be like, Well, but it’s a lifetime membership. Again, we might disappear.

Jason: Right, the access to all the things.

Caroline: But the access to all the things, everything that someone gets when they join WAIM, as long as the Internet is around, our commitment and our promise is that you will always be able to access those things even if we take a step back.

Jason: And even if I write my third entrepreneurial book, which I plan on writing at some point in life. It might be 20 years down the road from now. I will figure out a way to digitally give that to all the people who paid us for Buy My Future, Buy Our Future, Wandering Aimfully. So 20 years down the road, I will still honor that commitment if that’s the thing that I’ve created.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: I’ll figure out a way to do it. But I was going to say is when you’re looking at whether you have a coaching program or whether you have a course or whether you work with clients or whether you work on a software product like Teachery, it’s just worth thinking about, what does the end of this look like that I would be interested in? And just writing that down, because then it helps make your decision easier when something pops up in your inbox that changes either the direction you want to go or like a thing with Teachery where someone wants to buy it. It’s such an easy no for us right now, because Teachery does not make enough money for the economics to work out for us to sell it right now. But in ten years it definitely will, because it will have grown enough organically that that price will be the price that we want to have somebody buy it so that we can retire and we can be done. Those are the plus sides of this. And I think we already talked about kind of like, what to do as a contingency if things don’t work out. And I do think this is just such an interesting conversation that, when you start a business, you don’t really ever think about the end of it. But I think it’s helpful just to think about the best case scenario so that you know, while you’re working on it and when things get tough and when you get these random emails and things like, you know, what your original plan was when you were really excited about the thing.

Caroline: Yeah. The last thing I don’t have in our notes. But it just popped into my head. Is advice that we give people often, which is if you’re someone right now who’s feeling like, disillusioned with whatever the business model is or maybe you’re doing a podcast and you’re like, I don’t enjoy it anymore or something, the final piece of advice that I would give is whatever you, I know sometimes you need to shut something down entirely in order to know what the next thing is. That might be your route. But if it’s not, and if it’s not completely draining you, we always give people the advice of trying to test drive the new thing so at least so that you don’t close something down and end it to start this whole brand new thing and put all your eggs in that new basket without actually knowing if you’re going to enjoy that. Right?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So it’s like, find a way if you feel yourself growing into this new frontier, what are some ways that you can test drive that? If it’s a podcast, can you record a couple of episodes before you launch it to see how you liked it, to see how it felt before you end the previous thing? Again, this is not advice, blanket advice that goes for everyone, but that stepping stone approach of where that transition approach where you kind of overlap the previous thing with the new thing for a little bit so that you don’t find yourself stranded. Like, I just jumped to this whole new island and now I’m stuck on this side.

Jason: Yeah, this goes back to the grass is always greener conversation we have a lot where, like, if you’re a person who works with clients and you see all these people succeeding with digital products and you’re like, Okay, I got to pivot to digital products. But then you get into it and you’re like, I don’t like making courses. I don’t like writing sales pages. I don’t like building an audience.

Caroline: But meanwhile, you just made an announcement on Instagram, said, I’m closing down my client shop.

Jason: Exactly. Instead, it’s like dip your toes in the coarse waters. The same thing for building a software product. It’s like that is a whole beast and an undertaking that, I never knew the amount of customer support emails I would be answering to help people set their passwords because they still use an @ Hotmail email address and our password reset immediately goes to their spam inbox like, I have a copy and paste email that I send to every @ Hotmail user because I know exactly where that email is sitting. And it’s just like, those are the things you don’t think about that you’re going to run into. But yeah, I think all this conversation about ending things, about thinking about gracefully transitioning to the next thing and exploring lifetime models, I really do believe that the way that we operate Wandering Aimfully as a lifetime model has worked out so well for us, and that doesn’t mean it’s going to work out perfectly for everybody. But I think if you’re someone like us who has a lot of stuff and you’re really feeling overwhelmed by how do I market all these things, how do I fit all this into my content calendar?

Caroline: And you feel confident, like, we enjoy business so much that I have no doubt that I will just continue to always want to make things. I think that’s the other thing we didn’t really talk about. But part of what allows us to make that kind of like bold commitment is I know that the person who enjoys making things and creating and business, that’s an unmovable part of my personality. My desire to be public facing and those things might wane. My desire to make content might change. What type of content might change. But the desire to make things will never go away. I know that.

Jason: I was just thinking, and we do this all the time, where I’m like, Okay, we now have 36 coaching sessions. Someone could join WAIM tomorrow and we could put them on a monthly email schedule and it would feel like they’re getting a brand new coaching session every month. Just be like, here’s three years of coaching, ready to go. You could just have one topic to focus on, but you start to think about those things too. Like the further you get into it. You don’t have to think about those things in the beginning. As we did not.

Caroline: Well, that’s why, funny enough, our approach for next year’s coaching is actually not to create new sessions every month because now we’re getting to the point where it can become overwhelming when you drop off into WAIM coaching and you’re like. Oh wait. There’s three years worth of coaching before and now there’s going to be all new. So we haven’t announced this or anything, but we decided that next year we’re going to do themes instead of individual sessions. So you’ll have a marketing month, you’ll have a content month, you’ll have all the themes, and then we will pick out the best lessons from each previous coaching session and you’ll have resources to dive into. So again, the needs are changing, right? So in the beginning it was like we needed to add stuff and feel like there was fresh. Now we have plenty of stuff. Now the need has become let’s rein it in a little bit and let’s actually corral all of our resources together in a more digestible way. We’ll communicate really well with our WAIMers about that.

Jason: I was really hoping and we’ll still show up, live, which I think is like one of the most impactful things for people is to be in a place, live. I thought what you were going to announce to everybody was my idea, which was we’re actually going to go back through the 36 coaching sessions, starting from the beginning, and every month we’re going to go, live, and we’re going to react to our coaching session. And so watch it and then we’ll pause and be like, Okay, so what Jason actually meant to say here… And that would be it. It would just be like a react to our coaching every month moving forward.

Caroline: Yeah. We should do a private YouTube channel just for WAIMers of just reacting to coaching sessions.

Jason: All right. Well, I think that’s it. I think we can end this podcast. What do you think? Not the whole podcast. This episode.

Caroline: No, we’re not going to end the whole podcast.

Jason: Right, we’re just ending this episode.

Caroline: We’re not clickbait, clickbait.

Jason: Yeah. How many episodes of this podcast do you think we’re going to do? If you had to just guess right now we’re at 139.

Caroline: Ooh.

Jason: Yeah. If you had to guess, what do you think we’re going to get to before…?

Caroline: I think we’ll definitely get to 200.

Jason: I think we’ll get to 200 as well.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: All right.

Caroline: I’m keeping it flexible.

Jason: You all have 61 episodes left to enjoy.

Caroline: The countdown is on.

Jason: Tell your friends or unsubscribe, whichever you feel compelled to. If you’re just like, Oh, I can’t. I can’t. If I know they’re going to end at 61, I can’t be here for that countdown. That’s going to give me anxiety. All right, that’s it. We’ll talk to you later.

Caroline: Thanks for listening. This was fun. Also, thanks to Nicole for that great question. And if you, listener, have any topics or questions or anything where you’re just like, I wish they would talk more about this, email us.

Jason: Well, no, what I would prefer is send a check.

Caroline: A check for $10.

Jason: $10, made out to Wandering Aimfully The Podcast and send it to 123 Main Street.

Caroline: It’s called, What is it all for?

Jason: USA, Portugal, because that’ll route through and that will get to us.

Caroline: The old USA Portugal.

Jason: And then yeah, I think that’s it. I think that’s how it works.

Caroline: Great.

Jason: Okay. All right. Thanks, everybody. We’re silly. Okay, we love you, bye.

Caroline: Okay, bye.

139 – Ending Things in Business (Not a Clickbait Title)

(Big Fat Takeaway)

Quitting or stopping doesn't necessarily mean you failed. Ending things in business makes space for something else.


This article written by

Jason Zook

I'm all about that Cinnamon Roll life (that just seemed like a "cool" way to say I love baking and eating cinnamon rolls). Also, I co-run this WAIM thing as well as Teachery. Currently, 75ish% completion of Tears of the Kingdom 🧝‍♀️⚔️.

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