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Rebel Entrepreneur With Alan Donegan | Ep 195

Alan Donegan, the founder of Pop up Business School joins the show to take a look at how businesses can continue to thrive during this difficult time.

Popup biz school is an event based business… going into communities for two weeks at a time and teaching people how to start and run their own businesses. His biz has been hit hard during the pandemic since the whole basis of the business is getting people together.

Alan went from running live events to trying to figure out how to put these events online. But the cancelations started pouring in and he lost about 250,000 pounds (roughly $300,000) overnight. He has eight people on payroll and no idea when the money will start coming in again.

However, he’s been following FI principals both personally and in his business and has a year’s worth of expenses saved. So even with no revenue he can last quite a while–obviously that’s not ideal. It took him eight years to build this savings and he’d rather not spend that all the way down. So the question is: how do you both protect what you have while still trying to recover the business?

Alan explains it as a scale between attack and defense.

Defense is laying off his entire staff and holding tight until things recover. Attack is going out there and doing massive customer research and work to develop the next product that will help them during these times.

Alan has decided to go on the attack for 30 days and then reevaluate. He believes that in times of challenge you should push harder.

How Alan Is Moving Forward With Pop up Business School

Alan’s first order of business was to figure out what business owners are truly struggling with right now. His team started calling business owners and speaking to them directly.

When business owners tell him their problems, he turns it into a question. A common problem is that they can no longer run face to face events. So the question becomes “how can we generate an income online and make a difference in people’s lives?”

There is a grieving process in all this and you can’t skip it. Alan was all set to run a Popup Business School event in Google’s headquarters in New York. Along with this, Alan has been pitching doing a TV show with a streaming service and a TV network were going to come to the Google event to see him perform in person and potentially agree to produce his show. All of that has vanished. It’s difficult not to grieve those losses.

But don’t get trapped in grief, the sooner you can turn your problem into a question the sooner you will bounce back. It’s easy to focus on what you’ve lost but look to change your mindset. It’s important to focus on your mission and not get caught up in how things have always been done.

If you have finished grieving and are ready to move forward the first thing you need to do is change our state–go for a run, play with the dog, dance, etc. Realize that this is time is an opportunity to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do.

Current Reality

It’s important to be honest about the state of things. There are always both good and bad things going on. Only seeing the good or only seeing the bad will not serve you. Even all this is over we will be living in a new reality and we must face it honestly if we are to move forward.

Building revenue in your business might be hard right now, but we can still build loyalty. Popup Business School is doing bi-weekly Facebook live events to support business owners. It’s free to give away your support and energy.

He’s also building processes to run Popup Schools more efficiently in the future.

His team is also building their skills. They are learning more about social media, negotiation, online promotion, etc. You can build capabilities, skills, and knowledge during this time so you can come out stronger on the other side of this.

Alan’s New Podcast–Rebel Entrepreneur

Alan decided to launch this podcast so he can get his message out further than ever before. You can build a business without debt. He wants to smash the belief that it takes money to make money.

His tagline is Passion, Purpose, and Profit. He believes everyone can start a business doing what they love.

The podcast will be extremely actionable. He will be teaching the lessons from Popup Business School as well as doing case studies that show his teachings in action. So you not only get the tools you’ll need but also examples of it in real life.

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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