Ethan Waldman – Founder of Cloud Coach

[quote style=”boxed”]I’m what you could call a multipotentialite. I have lots of interests and have trouble sticking to just one thing. I bring ideas to life by forcing myself to focus on one for long enough to complete it.[/quote]

Meet Ethan Waldman. He’s a technology coach, mac fanatic, and multi instrumentalist from Burlington, Vermont, and the founder of Cloud Coach.

Ethan believes that being self sufficient with technology is absolutely key to running a business, and provides clients with the vision and patient coaching they need to get there. While he understands the technical, Ethan appreciates the value of being able to translate it all back into language that anyone can understand.

Since launching Cloud-Coach in February of 2011, Ethan’s professional background in Instructional Design has really shined. His writing has been featured on ProBlogger, Illuminated Mind, Write to Done and more. He has also released a number of free guides for technology beginners , as well as the Inbox Zero Training Program which helps people learn how to get a handle on their email overload.

Ethan Waldman loves hot yoga, bicycle touring and back country skiing. Most of all, he loves helping clients become empowered with self-sufficiency by teaching them technology skills they never thought they could learn.

What are you working on right now?

Starting on June 1, 2012 I will be building a tiny house on wheels. I’ve been steeped in the design process, researching material, power, water and everything else that goes into a big house. I’ve got limited construction experience, so this is going to be an adventure.

Where did the idea for Cloud-Coach come from?

I love helping people with technology. More people have said “you should do this professionally” than I can ignore. I had long been over my life in a cubicle, so I launched my website in February in 2011 and am leaving the 9-5 world for good as of June 1.

What does your typical day look like?

It probably includes more time in front of the computer screen than I would like. But it almost always includes coffee brewed in a french press, a run or hot yoga class, and a hoppy IPA at the end.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m what you could call a multipotentialite. I have lots of interests and have trouble sticking to just one thing. I bring ideas to life by forcing myself to focus on one for long enough to complete it.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

As I said above, the tiny house movement is a burgeoning way of life. Call it a response to the financial crisis, or just a return to common sense, but I’m enamored with the idea of owning and needing less in order to have a life that is rich in other ways. Like more time and resources to travel, eat great food, and enjoy the relationships that I have.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

My very first job was as a bus boy at a restaurant on the New Jersey shore. The owner was an alcoholic, so you never knew which version of management you were going to get on any particular day. I think I learned the importance of having strong leadership. And that you should avoid working for someone who’s an alcoholic.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Absolutely nothing. I believe that everything I’ve done has led me to where I am now. Since I’m happy about the path I’m on, I don’t see any value in second guessing how I got here.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Practice gratitude. It’s so easy to compare yourself to your competitors and feel like you’re not good enough. I write down three new things I’m grateful for every day, and it helps keep me positive about my business. Positivity is really important.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Anyone who’s tried to start a business while also working a day job knows that there is never enough time to get everything done that you want to. Faced with a serious lack of time, I’ve learned how to just get done the really high value things and pass on the rest. It’s a seriously good skill to have.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

You don’t have to be good at everything to launch a business. Don’t be afraid to work with a mentor, pay for coaching, or hire someone who has a skill that you don’t have, because acquiring that skill is probably a waste of time, when you could just be doing what you’re already great at.

If you could change on thing in the world – what would it be – and how would you go about it?

I think the fear of losing healthcare coverage stops a lot of people from leaving comfortable jobs and taking a risk on a new business. The USA is way behind on this. Healthcare is a human right. Single payer all the way.

Tell us a secret.

I don’t like Nutella.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them? – Lets me queue up a bunch of tweets and facebook posts so I don’t need to be active on social media all day long. – I’m kind of obsessed with tracking my finances. Mint is awesome if you like to see where your money is going. –  When I first saw lifehacker, I said “I wish I had thought of that”. I find out about so much cool stuff through them.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back by Brooks Palmer. This book was the catalyst for me in wanting to build a tiny house. It helped me let go of a lot of my stuff that was no longer serving me.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

@emiliewapnick – Great writing and inspiration for the multipotentialites of the world.

@AHAbraham – Original thinker, lots of interesting ideas and quotes, and generally nice guy.

@LOLGOP – If you enjoy left leaning political humor, I’ve probably laughed out loud more times reading this guy’s tweets than any one else. Speaking of which…

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Watching the video for Dollar Shave Club dot com. Right at the part where he says “Lookin good Pop-Pop!” It’s so funny, you forget it’s an advertisement.

Who is your hero?

Probably Ira Glass from This American Life.

What’s the hardest thing about running your business online?

Honestly, writing does not come easily to me. Every post takes me a while and really takes a lot of energy. I didn’t expect writing to be so challenging.

If you could get paid to do anything, what would it be?

I could have a sing-a-long around a camp fire every night and never get tired of it. Yes, that.


Ethan Waldman on Twitter –
Cloud Coach on Facebook –