Want to learn how to play the ukulele or become a beekeeper, or need a creative kick-in-the-pants to start your own business?
Not a problem. Say hello to PopExpert , a new web-based way to find an expert on just about anything and learn via live one-on-one video chat.
Sound good? Well, turns out you’re not the only one who wants to hear Twitter strategy from Noa Gafni, former head of social media at Hearst, or select Christophe Garnier, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year as your very own career cheerleader. PopExpert is not even a year old, yet has already earned quite the buzz in the startup and online learning worlds and picked up $2.2 million in seed capital.
But before clicking through to find your new yoga guru or career coach, here’s a quickie Q&A; with PopExpert’s co-founder and CEO Ingrid Sanders—on how she got the bright idea and her #1 secret to success.
You left the tech world for an unpaid “sabbatical”—and found yourself walking on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, hiking the Dolomites in Italy, and rock climbing in Borneo. How did this adventure inspire PopExpert?
I was also studying yoga and nutrition during this time—and because I’m Type A, I became certified as a health coach and a yoga teacher.
Once I realized how much I valued learning, I was afraid that when I went back to working long hours, it would become inaccessible.
So, we decided to provide one-on-one video sessions with coaches, teachers, and mentors—to help others experience a “sabbatical” in the context of a busy life.
We’ve already mentioned bees and ukuleles, but what other areas of expertise does PopExpert offer?
We believe that taking the time to learn how to get better at both work and play is key to living a happy life. So we started with categories that support that—nutrition, meditation, relationships, productivity at work, and career development. And, it’s important not to forget music, language, and comedy.
For example, one of my teachers, Kenneth Folk, is on the website. He’s a very talented mediation teacher. He’s been teaching over Skype for about five years—and he’s really comfortable with the idea of live one-on-one video sessions.
And in relationships, we have Kara Sabine, who is really talented and quirky, and does a great job helping women in their 30s navigate dating.
Anything else you’d like to add for readers interested in taking this virtual sort of sabbatical?
I think we all know this now from a cultural perspective, as the economy has reinforced it—but there is a less of direct and obvious path to success. There are fewer guarantees, so continuing to learn and expand your skills and be entrepreneurial (regardless of your role) will help you drive your success.
TopicsJob Skills , Inspiring Women , Tools & Skills , Startups , Entrepreneurs , Syndication , Q&A Interviews , Successful Entrepreneurs
Varci Vartanian is a jack (er, Jill) of all trades. After a successful career in healthcare, she traded her lab coat for her current position as chief temper tantrum tamer/play date consultant for her two-year-old. She also enjoys writing short stories, freelance magazine work, and carbohydrates.More from this Author