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Aug 28, 2020

What If Only 1 Person Signs Up for Your Offer?

Bonnie Shay during our zoom study hall session

As the mother of high school kids (back in the day), I sat at a roundtable of parents where everyone bragged that their kid never slept through the night when they were babies. However, back in the day, when I was the mother of a that toddler, no one admitted that their kid was keeping them up at night. My point, when hard stuff is happening, it’s too painful to admit it. But, it becomes a bragging right years later. (Remember Woody Allen’s definition of comedy? Comedy = Tragedy + Time. Remember when we all used to love Woody Allen? (But I digress.)

I’m going to break that trend and tell you that when I offered Ready, Set, Zoom – An Online Creative Study Hall – only one person signed up. I thought about canceling. Did I want to show up for 36 hours for just one participant?

Lucky for me, that one participant was Bonnie Hillman Shay, who I knew from a retreat of mine she attended a few years ago. If there was only one taker, I felt blessed that it was Bonnie. I knew that her exceptional work ethic would keep me committed and on my toes. The exact purpose of the program I offered.

Guess what happened? I finished three projects and designed a brochure for my art in that time.

During our coaching session, before we began Ready, Set, Zoom, Bonnie said she’d like to create an operations manual – a perfect assignment to dedicate herself to. It fits right into Stephen Covey’s Quadrant II: Important, But Not Urgent. Bonnie saw my offer as an opportunity to make her client relationships more robust by having a dedicated process she takes each one through. She succeeded! A+

I learned to follow through on an offer, no matter how many people enroll, from an esteemed lawyer named Jill Botway who taught the Business Law portion of a course for women business owners. I took that class, commuting into NYC every week for six months, decades ago. The night she spoke, I was the only participant in the program who attended. Business Law is not a sexy topic, but I showed up anyway. Jill taught the class as though the most esteemed audience she’d ever instructed was there. I was honored and amazed at her professionalism and brilliance. I remember several examples she shared that night, but my biggest takeaway was her treating me with such respect and not dismissing class early.

Disappointed that your zoom class, webinar, or other offer didn’t fill? Hold it anyway and notice what you learn.



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  1. Kristian Nammack

    Thank you – what a great reminder. Thanks, also, for reminding me of Stephen Covey’s diagram. I need to tape that to my bulletin board above my desk!

    • Jane Pollak

      @Kristian You’re welcome! You can remind me when I forget.

  2. Patty

    What a great story and reminder about how important ONE person can be.

    • Jane Pollak

      @Pattydhopp And how lovely to be that one important person! Thanks for your comment, Patty!


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