Erin Hopmann

How do you feel about the project?
Feeling a little meh today. It was a low-energy day, and I hate those days. Funny how sometimes there doesn’t have to be any reason, just… meh.

Working from home is also a blessing and a curse. Pajamas til noon? Yes, please! Fun coworkers sitting beside you? Oh, wait. In days without meetings or visits to coffee shops, by mid-afternoon, stir-craziness often sets in. And that’s what happened today.

What’s the plan?
Keep on keepin’ on.

While Frank is building out the back-end support for the change we’re about to introduce, Jess and I worked on how we’re communicating out this fee change. And the domino effect of this change. 30 Days has made us totally transparent about what’s going on. We took a risk. One of the potential downsides is that people write us off: “Are they failing? Then I’m not gonna teach a class.”

We hope these people are few and far between, but please try to shift your mindset if this occurred to you. We think you’ll like the new fee structure. In fact, we promise you’ll like it. And we’re not going to hang up a “sorry, we’re closed” sign without fair warning. You can hold me to it.

There are just a lot of angles to consider, and we found ourselves wordsmithing to a nauseating degree. “If we put it like this, what will new teachers who come to Dabble think?” “Let’s remove so much emotion from it.” (30 Days has permeated a lot, eh?) Finally, tonight, we just said, “ugh, let’s put it aside til tomorrow.”

Are you happy?
Yes. That was a pretty easy question to answer. I have a lot to be thankful for.

But I also have a tendency to worry. I think sometimes, anxiety can get in the way of happiness. In actuality, they’re two very different things. To be able to tease them apart, and realize that anxiety is (hopefully) situational and temporary, while happiness is more of a state of mind is important. At least for me. (Disclaimer: I’m no researcher, just dabbling in a little armchair psychology.)

Lately, I find myself getting bogged down by Dabble worries, personal financial concerns, and a few other things. Stopping to breathe (shout-out to Dan for forcing me to meditate a bit a few weeks ago!) is a good reminder that so much of these worries are temporary.

I’ll be fine. Most importantly, I’m happy!

Odds & Ends
Speaking of happy, I’m reminded of a goofy thing my dad used to do when we were kids. He read one time that you should get 10 good laughs in on a daily basis. Not just chuckles or smiles. Legitimate, genuine, hearty laughs. So, he started asking us at the dinner table every night: “did you get your 10 laughs in?” We would roll our eyes at him, “geez, Dad.” But it’s stuck with me over the years. The reminder that life’s too short to worry.

So, did you get your 10 laughs in today?


Jess Lybeck

How do you feel about the project?
Things are going well, but today I was a little more wound up than usual. Frustrated by the little things.

Erin & I know that this next step is important – so we’ve both been weighing in on everything from copy to design. Instead of dividing & conquering, we’ve found ourselves bumping into each other. I think it’s a necessary evil for the short term – but it’s prevented things from just “flowing”. I hope we get out of this mode shortly.

What’s the plan?
The little stuff … Updating video, help documentation, teach landing pages, class submission process to accommodate this new direction. We’ve gone from the strategy side to getting in the trenches and digging out a home for this new feature on page at a time.

The big stuff … really thinking about how we let this marketplace act like a marketplace. Erin had some inspiring talks with people yesterday. How can we help supply of classes & demand from Dabblers meet each other in the middle? We have lots of ideas of how this could happen. A homepage overhaul is in order.

Are you happy?
Yes. But I could be happier.

One side of my brain is really enjoying everyday. It’s aware of the ups & downs, but stays centered. Appreciative of all that I have around me and all that is happening in the moment. Passion, hard work, friends, family and fun are abundant right now. It could be called stressful – or it just might be the most exciting and awesome time of my life.

The other side of my brain is constantly planning, prodding and trying to create a better future for Dabble (and myself). Dissatisfied with what is, trying to create what will be. Perfection is always just beyond my grasp. Constantly thinking … “If I could only just get to that next level”.

It’s this second side that brings me down. It’s unrealistic. It’s omnipresent. It’s constantly saying I’m not doing good enough. It’s saying happiness is around the corner – not here. That’s the entrepreneur way.

But it’s a trick – these feelings of dissatisfaction won’t go away when I get to that next level, build that new feature or make a million dollars. My ego will ensure that the bar goes higher and higher, always just out of reach.

For me to be truly happy, I know I need to get better at finding happiness where I’m standing. Ironically, I’m not there yet.

Odds & Ends
Is there really only 7 days left? We’ve been at this project for 23 days – but we’ve been fighting this battle for a lot longer. I can feel the effects of continued obsessive focus. I think it’ll be good to step away for a bit, my wedding is coming at a great time. We both need a break and a fresh perspective.


We plan on answering different questions every day. Submit a question you’d like answered by emailing 30daysofhonesty (at) dabble.co.

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6 responses to “Day Twenty-Three”

  1. Oz says:

    I taught a great course Monday night (and have courses scheduled for October).

    Some of the students were discussing concern about “Dabble might be closing.” They’d taken several classes and love the idea of “dabbling.” for $35 they were taking an Excel course with me. For $35 I can offer a demo and provide insight. That’s very different from a hands-on course where we’d need desks, computers and tech support … and charge way more than $35.

    My students love the no-pressure “show me what you know” opportunity. So, there’s a place for Dabble. So, let’s figure out what’s going to keep this train smoking!

    • Erin Hopmann says:

      Thanks, Oz! Love to hear the feedback. Love to hear your classes are going through October… and beyond hopefully!

  2. Oz says:

    Hell yeah! I’ve got ideas for courses, I’ve gotta book the space and get the classes up. I’m planning to be around a while.

  3. Maureen says:

    Just saw your piece on GOOD. I haven’t dug around too far but my first take was how have you moved your concept to small town USA? I was just having a conversation with a few women friends about small teachable classes. You have a great concept. I look forward to seeing your new price structure.

    • Erin Hopmann says:

      Hi Maureen – thanks for the comment. We’ve not yet officially launched any small towns. But the platform supports that growth right now. Agree with you – there is a ton of potential in small towns. Lots of latent talent and often a dearth of opportunities to learn like this. Stay tuned!

  4. Oz, Host your classes at Nextspace.us. I bet they can do it for you in River North.