Kiva, Teams, and a Change in Forum Rules — TDC Preseason Week 8

Preseason now is getting very serious because there is just a little bit over a week before the real Thirty Day Challenge will start. There will be hardly any technical lesson to go. The rest is going to be about team and getting set.

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Interviews with previous successful 30DC participants and people who have extremely good experiences with 30DC will be available too. It is time to whip up the enthusiasm and get as many people as possible.

Thirty Day Challenge Continues to Support Kiva

Ed mentioned about the charity that is very dear to his heart, Kiva. It is based on a concept from a guy called Muhammad Yunus, now a Noble prize winner and author of a book titled Banker to the Poor. Basically he came up with a concept called the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

What was happening in Bangladesh was that people to be able to make a product, for example a basket. They have to borrow money from money lender to get the right amount of money to buy the goods. Coincidentally, they have to buy the goods from the money lender as well.

It was a horrific rate of interest, like 20 percent a day. So people are kept in the incredible cycle of poverty. Yunus realizes if he is able the loan, a tiny amount of money, hence the name micro-lending, many people are able to be in the business and get out of this cycle of poverty.

This is a bit like the Thirty Day Challenge in a sense that a lot of things are supposed to evolve. What was brilliant is that in Grameen Bank, it has now grown to a massive organization in Bangladesh. They have their own telecommunication company (there are a lot of communication companies in Bangladesh). They are the biggest bank in Bangladesh. And it’s all based on the micro-lending concept.

Their repayment rates are actually higher than actually traditional normal banks. The way they approve loan is brilliant. Basically, only women can approve the loans. In each community, everybody who lends money is the one who approves the loans. They have to pitch the loan to the other group of women. The group decides whether somebody gets the loan or not.

And it is a small amount of money…

The concept has been extraordinary successful because just like the Thirty Day Challenge is not just giving you the fish and say buzz off, 30DC teaches you how to fish. It is all about you starting a small business.

It is true that the focus is to make $1 for the month but the reality is, 30DC is setting you up for the fundamentals to start your own business. It is not about making $1 and throw whatever you do away at the end of the month.

Successful 30DC-ers, now hundreds of them, you start with one dollar. But the fundamentals and everything you are building up is all about building you a business. A small business that hopefully grows into a big business.

Dan actually found Kiva. They had taken a Web 2.0 approach to this whole concept about micro-lending. Individuals could lend, say $20. That could go to a farmer who gets a cow. When s/he gets milk, s/he’ll pays back the loan.

Most charity, if you donate $100, it does something hopefully very good, but that’s it. It’s gone. With Kiva, they pay you back. They are not loaning for charity. They do so to create a business.

TDC started to support Kiva last year. Pete Williams put together a charity auction which was very successful. In the end, TDC raised a bit more than $10,000 which was put into Kiva. The stats are extraordinary. So far, TDC loaned out $6,000 and is one of the top 0.1% of lenders.

Currently, ninety six people have the loans, that means as many people start businesses. Out of those loans, 100 percent pay back. No one dud loan. That embodies the spirit of what TDC is doing, and that’s why TDC is a big supporter of Kiva.

TDC is going to be working with Kiva this year. The Street Team is going to get the word out about Thirty Day Challenge and make a difference by being an effective Venture Capitalist to a whole bunch of people around the world where they are living in poverty not because the lack of talent or skills.

Again, Kiva is a brilliant charity. It’s the core concept of the Thirty Day Challenge. Instead of giving a fish, teach them how to fish.

Another auction is going to be available this year. Wait until you see some auction items this year.

A Few Days to Go Before Thirty Day Challenge 2008

There will only be one lesson about tool. Now is the time to turn away from tools and start focusing on what’s going on the mind.

At the end of the day, the thing that will stop you in the TDC is not the techniques. If you take the time to watch the video (or read the summary), use the forum (the forum has people who are just there to help get through the technical challenges), those are not the things that are going to stop you.

It is something on your mind that is going to stop you because trying to do anything for 30 days is a huge achievement in an of itself. It is your choice if you want to smash through the walls that block your way to build a successful business or otherwise.

Join a Team — It is Important

There are always people who are so anti team. In fact, 30DC had a Facebook group last year for people who didn’t want to be on a team.

The reason Ed did 30DC is to teach the concept of team. A successful element that is common across the board is for a business is that it is part of a team. When Ed started the first niche business, he met up with everyone in the team in Victoria every Wednesday.

For one reason, you want to look accountable when coming to the next group meeting. Your brain wants to do the best for you. It tries to give stuff that you want and gets you out of trouble. If it can do something to avoid you looking silly, it will. A team is good for accountability, motivation, and a bit of competition.

Internet marketing, and generally starting a new online business, in 2008 is a team sport.

There will be rare exceptions of people who are able to do this, be very happy, and make a very good living alone.

During the TDC, not only that you will learn how to make your first dollar, but what’s more valuable is learning how to build a business that grows.

You are doing exactly the same work as when you are tackling the million dollar or $500 a month market.

Because the number of things you need to do as a small business online, to be able to successfully own the marketplace that you’re in and become big, you need to have a team. No one individual can stay up 24 hours a day, just drinking Red Bull, even people with that quality can not do things alone in 2008.

Teams are really important now. As you go forward, you will be able to make your first dollar by yourself. But as your business grows, you want to bring on members on a team. That can be any number of things, like people you outsource, staffs, or 30DC team mates.

Create a small business eventually will require a team. A team doesn’t have to be costly at all.

In previous weeks, TDC has covered about FriendFeed. If you haven’t yet watched the videos, please do so. In that, you will have a whole bunch of details on how to use FriendFeed rooms, for example.

You have extraordinary capacity inside of FriendFeed to help you run your team. Twitter is a huge and cool tool to keep in touch with your team. You will learn about this over the course of the next couple of weeks.

There will be a few changes. During the month of August, there will be a live stream every night, precisely from Sunday to Thursday night. TDC will be supporting people and have guests and the whole thing as part of the huge effort.

Organizing Meet Ups

People have started to organize meet ups. That means they actually get out of the computer and go to meet a fellow 30DC-er. This is new for this year. Building an online business can be isolating. It is nice to be able to connect with your peers in particular industry.

There are a couple of sites that can help you organize these things, namely MeetUp and Upcoming. Upcoming integrates beautifully with FriendFeed.

On August 1st, a special Manchester TDC Launch party will be held. Andrew Nezbitt is organizing one in Brisbane. There will also be a meet up in Melbourne as well. Hopefully there will be a live broadcast from some of these events.

You don’t have to be on the same team to meet up. Part of the fun of TDC is working with other people around the globe. That broadens the experience. But it is a great opportunity to meet fellows and catch up.

Thirty Day Challenge Forums

TDC wants to make forums your home to discuss creating a small business online, Internet marketing, and so on, so the rules will be loosen up in a way. The change will occur over the course of next week. There will be Thirty Day Challenge section for specific TDC lessons and discussions.

There will also be a general Internet marketing forum where you can discuss Internet marketing and generally how to build a business online.

As part of opening up the forum, TDC also needs to change the rules a little bit about how people use the forum. People want to promote things they are doing online. On the other hand, it can be hard to distinguish if people are promoting stuff because they like it or just for the sake of earning commission.

It is a real problem. TDC has struggled with that for a few years. TDC wants to encourage participation, so the signature rules are going to change. There will be a grace period over the next 7 days or so.

You will have the ability to put in a quote and a link to your FriendFeed. This is cool for a bunch of reasons. If you contribute to the forum, and have a lot of interesting comments, and putting in good information, people would want to subscribe to your FriendFeed.

If you want to promote something, as an affiliate or product owner, you can do what you want on your FriendFeed. You have to decide what people who are following you will be interested or otherwise.

It is just FriendFeed. When you setup FriendFeed properly, your Facebook, Twitter, everything is in there. It is a one stop shop for you to promote anything that you want people to do. If they want to follow you on Twitter, they can click and go to FriendFeed and follow you.

This is a good way to do things to avoid long and bloated signatures, keep the forum clean. It also gives people the opportunity to promote stuff.

Other Tidbits

Thirty Day Challenge is now officially iPhone ready.

You should start spreading the word and letting people know about this year’s challenge. Usually the last ten days is when most people actually join up.

The lab is doing a great job to put up the Thirty Day Challenge program. This year, more than any other year in Thirty Day Challenge, is about you creating a business for yourself.

For some people, what you do online is not a business simply because it is online, it can’t be real. That’s untrue.

You spend money and put in effort into a business and hopefully the business produces more. The same principle applies online as well.

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