Back from Paternity Leave! The future of this podcast, our business and what’s next for us

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I’m excited to be back in the saddle recording episodes. For the first time since I started this show back in early 2016, I’ve taken the past few months off to spend time with our brand new baby girl—who is sleeping soundly in the other room. 

This episode is really short and is more of an update episode, which I don’t think I’ve ever done (unless you count the first episode of this show). 

So before I dive back into regularly scheduled episodes, I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the RVE podcast, where it’s going, the kinds of guests I’ll be interviewing, and a bit about what’s next for Alyssa and me personally.

What’s next for us:

I’ll start with what’s next for Alyssa and me.

While this show isn’t about us but about so many of the amazing people we’ve brought on the podcast, in a lot of ways this show was originally born because of the place we were at in our lives in 2016. We’d spent a year and a half traveling around the country, made our Hourly America documentary, and we were working on growing our video production company from our RV.

At the time, we’d started meeting other people like us who were living out on the road and creating a really interesting life for themselves. When I started the podcast, a big part of my personal goal from interviewing guests was to also learn how other people were creating businesses that gave them the freedom to travel and spend time with their family or what they were passionate about. 

The interviews and the relationships I made from this show have honestly changed our lives in a lot of ways. Not just from the information shared, but because a lot of the guests on this show have turned into some of our very dear friends.

Over the past few years Alyssa and I started doing more and more client projects, we started the RV Entrepreneur Summit (which was born out of this podcast and many of you amazing people who listen to it), Alyssa self-published her book A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV, and then I co-founded CampgroundBooking

And this past fall when Alyssa and I realized we were expecting a baby, it kind of forced us to press pause on a lot of things. We’d been doing quite a bit of Youtube, which we promptly decided wasn’t on the list of biggest priorities at that time for us. And because Alyssa got pretty sick during early pregnancy, we also put a pause on our full-time travel to be in one place and around family. We even sold our Winnebago Brave to a couple who was hitting the road, as it was going to sit in storage for a bit otherwise.

In a weird way, at the time it felt like we were giving up this big part of our identity. We host this podcast and conference and have built so much up around RVing, but now we were going to be living in an apartment for a year. In hindsight, I realize it’s really dumb to let yourself get wrapped up in placing your identity in something like that, but it’s just how I was feeling at the time.

While we were stationary—since we weren’t doing Youtube or moving around a bunch, my goal was to make the most of my extra time by going all-in on CampgroundBooking. I’ve wanted to grow a tech company since I first joined a startup after college in Austin, but my focus has always been split between travel and work. I wanted to treat this period as my chance to go all-in on taking this product into the market and seeing what we could do.

When we arrived in Texas last fall, aside from a few consulting projects we’d picked up for the company, we only had a recurring revenue of about $150/month for CampgroundBooking (after 2+ years of product development).

Now—nine months later—that number has increased to over $8,000/month of revenue coming in (from over $200k/month that we’re processing for campgrounds). We’ve finally figured out a pricing model that actually worked for the company and our product is in an entirely better place than it was a year ago. (More about that in an upcoming podcast episode!)

And while it’s been great to have time to focus on the company and have quality time with our newborn daughter, Alyssa and I now have a whole new set of questions about what the future holds, similar to how we did back in 2016 when this show started.

The direction of the podcast moving forward

When it comes to business, some of those questions are how can we take this product that we’ve validated, brought to market, and poured sweat equity into, and actually deploy it in a way that reaches hundreds or thousands of parks? 

When it comes to travel, how can we go see all the places on our bucket list and still provide a stable environment for Ellie to grow up in? And what does it look like to travel more internationally by RV? Something we’ll know a slightly more bit about during our upcoming campervan trip to Italy in October.

And when it comes to life — I guess the real question is how can we have it all? Which I realize sounds ridiculous. But how can we continue to grow a tech startup that has aspirations of reaching thousands or millions of people, be good parents, and still live a life we’re proud of? Full of adventure, seeing new places, and doing things outside our comfort zone?

I share this with you because whether I intend to or not, these questions that we’re sorting through in life are the ones that will inevitably come through in tone or quite literally, in episodes of The RV Entrepreneur. 

My hope is that by sharing them with you now, you can have a better understanding of where we are at and how that may impact the conversations you hear on this podcast.

What kinds of guests I’ll interview moving forward

One example of how this will play out is that I won’t be as strict about only bringing people on who have been full-time RVing for at least 6 months AND running a business at the same time. 

This was my criteria for a long time, which I no longer even qualify for at this point. Instead, I’ll try to find guests who can offer up valuable business experience and also in some way touches the travel, RV, or outdoors industry.

The three central ingredients for this show will stay the same: business, travel, and RVing. 

These are areas I still really enjoy digging into and as long as you enjoy listening, I want to keep talking about them.

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One thing that keeps coming to mind as I write my notes for this episode is Taylor Swift. I know when I say that name out loud, there’s typically a visceral reaction one way or another. I gotta tell you, I’m a big fan. 

I also acknowledge that using Taylor Swift in a comparison of any kind is risky unless I really hit the nail on the head, so here’s why she comes to mind.

The thing I admire most about Taylor is that even though she reached the pinnacle of success as a country artist, she wasn’t afraid to branch out and try something in a new genre of music. 

Sometimes we find something that is working for us and we latch onto that thing for dear life, even if it’s something we no longer have a passion for. We keep at it because it’s expected or because it’s easy or because it’s just second nature.

Alyssa and I loved the nearly 5 years we spent living full-time on the road, but I can’t say if we’ll go back out full-time or do more of a home base travel.

And I’ve enjoyed spending a lot of my time blogging and doing client projects that offered a ton of flexibility, but right now I’m pumped about growing CampgroundBooking. An endeavor that’s taking a lot of nights and weekends and not quite the “RV entrepreneur lifestyle” we’ve been used to.

So, when it comes to what’s next for the RV Entrepreneur podcast, I hope that gives you some insight into where the show is going. 

And if you left this episode more confused then when it started and you’d like to just want to know when another interview is coming out, that’s good because I’m releasing this brief episode along with my next episode with Joe Russo, where we talk about how powerful it can be when you quit treat something like a hobby and start treating it like a real business. 

So excited to continue this podcast’s journey with all of you and thank you for listening to the RV Entrepreneur podcast.