Hi all. I thought I’d write an answer to a question I’ve gotten a lot lately. The question usually comes in the form of what workshops or in-person classes do I have coming up. I figured I could answer it publicly here, so you have a better idea where I’m at on this.
For those that don’t know, I used to do quite a few workshops and in-person seminars and classes. I worked at Kelby for 10 years and traveled several times a month doing seminars and conferences. When I left Kelby, I did do some of my own workshops each year as well.
For me, the workshops weren’t bad because (once I was out on my own) I had better control over how many I did. But I will say the seminar and conference circuit took its toll. I’d regularly amass 100-150K miles on Delta each year. And while some consider those milage milestones a badge of honor (sure, I did get upgraded a lot), I look at it as it just means I was spending a lot of time away from family and my personal life.
The 2020 Blip
Just as a quick side, note. Covid of course forced me to stop workshops in 2020. But in a way, before 2020 I was already there. I was only doing 1 or 2 workshops a year. But I want to make sure you know that my choices going forward have nothing to do with Covid at this point. To me, it is FAR in the rear-view mirror, and has been for quite a while.
I only mention this because I know there are a lot of people annoyed at companies (I am) using Covid as an excuse for anything. And I just want you to know that it has nothing to do with my choices going forward.
As far as where I’m at now, my business is 100% online. And it has been for years. My workshops did contribute to my income, but 90+% of it was still always from online training.
I do get asked by people to teach more in person workshops as well as do some traveling seminars like I used to. But the problem with that is it takes a lot of time to support, plan, market, and pull off in-person training. So when I did do anything in person, the online part of my business suffered. Essentially, I was putting the hundreds of thousands of people who follow me on hold, so that I could teach to maybe 10, 20 or maybe even a few hundred people in person. If I did do more in person stuff, sure some of you would get some great in person training for a day or two. But 99.999% of you reading this would hear/learn much less from me.
From there, you could say “Just hire some one to do it”. Well, back when I was at Kelby I was manager of a team there. And while I really enjoyed my career, if I look back on my most disliked moments of my time there, managing those people ranks at the VERY top of it. It was just a constant stream of whining, complaining, competitiveness, jealousy, HR meetings, useless performance reviews scales of 1 to 5, toxic “he said/she said garbage”… you name it. My door was revolving – the moment I got to sit down to actually work and create, some one else walked in with another problem. Now, in fairness – that was 100% driven by me. I thought, at the time, I wanted to be a manager. But it was a great lesson learned that I simply do not – and I’d be silly to repeat it right?
Between my wife and I, we do EVERYTHING for the company. Marketing, website maintenance, finances, emails, content, graphics, design, accounting, you name it. We do have my wife’s sister (the amazing Stephanie, if you’ve ever emailed in) help out with customer support, but that’s it.
If I started more in person training, it would mean having to hire some one (or multiple people) to help run it. And that is something I learned about myself, that I just don’t want to do.
For me, success is not just how much money my business makes, how many employees I have, and how many miles a year I get to travel (and I used to think it was). For me, it’s about whether I can have the time to spend with my family, on my personal hobbies, to travel (without having to work while I do it), AND to make an income that allows me to live the life I want.
So for now, MattK.com will be run by my wife and I, 100% online, with no in-person workshops other than a few events that I speak at throughout the year. Thanks!