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We’re getting hitched. Again.

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The project started as a ridiculous idea that wouldn’t go away. You know, ideas like “we should move to El Salvador, live in a grass hut and restore a dilapidated coffee farm into a national brand,” or “hey, if we sold the house and bought a vintage Airstream trailer, we would never have to pay a mortgage, and we could park it anywhere with a great view and awesome farm surroundings!” That second one, actually, is the idea as it appeared. It came up over tea six months ago, and yesterday we bought the vintage Airstream.

As previously confessed, we won’t defend the plan as normal or even reasonable. It’s not. But when we began to talk about it, we realized it would be fun. And it would certainly be a challenge, and an opportunity for growth. Not normal, but an adventure.

That adventure started with an extensive search of Airstream options, from the gutted 1930-somethings to the $150,000 yacht-style 2017 models. Our capacity for handiwork eliminated the first, and our bank account eliminated the latter, so we settled somewhere well below average on a 1983 Airstream Excella that reaches 31 feet from hitch to tail lights. We picked it up on the coast of Washington, and hauled it 781 miles home, where Six Sigma’s trusty Ford Diesel pulled it to the top of the gravel infested hill above our house.   There Rachel and the kids are cleaning it out as I write.

While any plan involving a 248 square foot living quarters and 3 kids is subject to alteration, here is where we’re at: Sell the house (the sign is up), fix and paint the rig, test it on a few weekend tours, and then downsize our belongs to fit in the plethora of cubbies and overhead storage compartments. After that, we plan to move in, and experience the many views of Six Sigma Ranch, along with a selection of farms across Northern California.

Christian

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Required Response: Remember, we are selling to humans.

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We sell meat products for Six Sigma Ranch at a local farmer’s market. In the beginning, when someone would approach our stand, I would tell about the products and mention that we have a waiting list for large lots. I would give them a flier and encourage them to sign up on our website.

 

Early each week, I’d go check for new sign-ups and there wouldn’t be any. It was not that the customers were not interested. They came to ask questions and genuinely wanted our products, but somewhere in the business of life they put my flyer down and forgot about it.

 

A better tack is a concept called “required response.”

 

Economist Richard Thaler in his book Nudge tells about different ways people can sign up to become an organ donor.  Here is an example from Illinois:

 

“Here is how it works: When you go to renew your driver’s license and update your photograph, you are required to answer this question: “Do you wish to be an organ donor?” The state now has a 60 percent donor signup rate, according to Donate Life Illinois, a coalition of agencies. That is much higher than the national rate of 38 percent reported by Donate Life America.” – Richard Thaler

 

Did you catch that it raised the sign-ups by 22%?

 

This is how I could turn my disappointing sign-up numbers into a real win. Instead of giving away the flyer, I could ask people to fill out the sign-up form right there at the table and give a reward to them for doing so, like a free tour of the property that is usually a $10 value. More sign-ups mean more tours and more fun had by all.

 

 

-Rachel

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