#19 Ally Mona – The history behind LimitlessLaowai & this week’s wrap-up
Ally is a wife, a mama, a learner, an entrepreneur, and most recently, a podcast host! Tune into this week’s wrap-up session to hear the brief history of the Limitless Project and insight into Ally’s top lessons learned thus far. If you’ve not noticed yet, definitely note that each Friday will be a little different at Limitless. As suggested by the Limitless Community, you’ll hear from Ally, Ron, or them both about lessons learned from the week while they work to build LimitlessLaowai Podcasts.
It’s not worth putting out a project that is helping others if I’m doing a disservice to my own family.
(Man, I wish we had a cool graphic for this!)
- May – We moved to first floor flat, giving us more living space and a grill (yahooooo!)
- June – We started having weekly BBQs, anyone and everyone welcome each week, met loads of cool, new people who were asking the same questions we did 6 years ago. Wheels started spinning then to potentially fill that gap with a product that could help people adjust.
- Early August – Spoke at a Shanghai 123 Orientation event; had the miserable thought that maybe some of those new arrivals weren’t prepared enough to make it.
- Late August – Podcast idea solidified (Ron’s brilliant idea); after all, we’re podcast junkies and love that you can listen while you do whatever else needs to get done. Expats are busy, productive people, and this is the perfect format to listen on your commute to work, while doing dishes, walking the dog, exercising, you name it.
- September – Worked intently on the business plan and conducting market research (which is where 6 podcast categories came from); launch date moved from March 1, 2015 to December 1, 2014, which scared me to death but put the wheels in faster motion!
- October – Started reaching out to guests, CEOs first, wanted to really branch out from just our community, used LinkedIn primarily; built website and brand
- November – Did 3 weeks straight of interviewing, MASSIVE learning curve
- December 1 – Official launch date, not ready but decided we never would be, reaaally.
- December 17 – 17 episodes launched, over 2200 downloads. I’m thrilled, although because there really isn’t a blueprint for us to follow here in China I really didn’t know what to expect.
- Including expats in smaller cities.
- Phase 2 is to target HS and college students.
- Lots of PR in China through online community groups, international schools, grassroots through you guys, and through HR companies in China who are bringing expats over.
Numbers are important, but creating quality content is more so
This is all about downloads, and reach, and seeing the numbers rise, even though it’s free for the listener, each one feels like a purchase, which is just so exciting for me, because that means that people are getting motivated and connected through Limitless. BUT on a morning where there’s less downloads than usual, I’m rocked and because I don’t have 6 months of data, each day feels really crucial to success and I need to keep telling myself, that this is a 6-month long marathon. We’ll know in 6 months, whether it’s going to take or whether we missed the mark
The learning curve is steep and exhilarating for me, but doing the same thing over again is not
So I’m already anticipating that as the process gets more streamlined, I’m going to have to find something that tickles my creative side. I’m not unstimulated for sure at the moment. But I can see a day when the hours of cutting, and getting things online, could become quite tedious for me. Especially dealing with China’s internet. This week it just about killed me.
I’m rotten at balance
I’m not sure we knew what we were getting into when creating a 5-day-a-week podcast. We did so for a couple of reason:
- Because I believe that people need the content and lots of it
- To create a high barrier of entry into the market
Let’s get back to balance for a minute. I didn’t realize, obviously, that each episode would be taking so long (4-5 hours!). And go back to the original story, I launched before what I thought would be ideal, so it’s been kinda stressful in the house to be dead honest. So to alleviate that, Ron and I are back to scheduled date nights, the kind that are in black permanent marker on the calendar, and I’m really trying to be very intentional about having quality time with the girls when they get home from school until bed. In the end, it’s not worth putting out a project that helps others, when you’re doing a disservice to your own family. I supposed that’s the biggest conclusion I’ve come to this week. And I’m grateful for that, so early on in the game.