Following My Own Advice

Worker or businessman banging head against the office desk, crisis or stress, vector cartoon stick figure or character illustration.

I am sitting on my sofa at home, legs sprawled out on the coffee table, writing on my computer.

There are likely other things I should be doing. I have a lot of work to do after all. I have a new set of on-line classes to start. In this new set of classes, I plan to take my students through the same process I take my coaching clients through. From beginning to end. Much of it free. The rest of it cheaply (really cheaply). There’s a lot that goes into doing an online class. But instead of doing all those things, I am writing in my journal. Getting ready to follow some of my own advice.

You see, I have been muddling through this whole online course thing for a while, following the advice of all the pundits and people who are experts, self-proclaimed or otherwise. It’s kind of hard to tell which is which sometimes. People who do on-line classes generally are doing it for one of two reasons.

Some of them want to sell a lot of on-line classes. Create a good course, find a good platform, spend a lot of money on marketing, and that’s not a hard thing to do. Sooner or later you start selling more course than you spend on advertising and voila, you are making some money. But the thing is, that’s not really what I want to do. I would not mind selling a lot of courses, but the idea of spending so much time and money on marketing just doesn’t do it for me.

The other group want to make their classes a classic sales funnel for something else. Coaching services. Other services. Expensive services preferably. Automated services preferably, because if everything is automated, then you can do more, sell more. After all, you only have so much time, and you want to make as much money as possible, right? That’s the theory for the funnel guys. And there is a formula for that as well. Create products and classes. Sell the hell out of them with marketing money. and voila! You get subscribers and they pay money for your automated classes and bingo boingo, you make some money. There’s a formula for everything.

I’ve spent some considerable time following the formulas. People like my classes (You can see them here if you are interested.) I’ve done OK. I am not happy. You see, this is what I have learned. The formulas all work if you throw enough time and money at them. The funnels all work. The trouble is, I am not about formulas. All my life, be it in the broadcast technology business, the marketing business, or my work as a coach, spiritual counselor, and part-time pastor, has been based on one on one relationships, not mass marketing. It has been based on finding the right path, the right solution, for each individual person. It’s custom work.

And that is not what the formulas and algorithms are all about. They are about solutions that mostly work, somewhat work for the most amount of people. They are designed to sell, not help. And I am all about helping (I actually have a mission statement from 2011 that I still believe in deeply. You can see it here if you are interested.).

Many of my clients, most of them actually, have had coaches before me. And they made progress, but never got where they wanted to be. Most of them who work with me get there, where ever their particular “there” is. And it is not from a formula. success comes out of one on one listening, learning, encouragement, accountability – everything focused on THEM. Not the formula.

But at the same time, some people do make progress with just lessons. And I am a pretty good teacher. How then, to combine them both, create and atmosphere and platform to allow for both, and let a person choose when they are ready for the next step, without a lot of psychobabble, algorithm-driven, slightly tawdry upsell? That my friends, has been my internal struggle. I could tell you one thing though, it was NOT by doing the same old thing everyone else was doing.

That’s the mistake most of my clients made after all. Doing the same thing and expecting to get different results. We know that doesn’t work. Alfred Einstein even called that approach insanity. My advice to clients is always “If that has not worked over and over, why are you still doing that?”

And after a year of what some might call success, but not what I would call success, I am declaring it time to follow my own advice. I will still use my current platform to do courses on. But at the same time, I am closing in on the launch of a different way to do on-line classes that provide a personal touch on-line rarely offers. I am not going to advertise much, against what “they” say. I am not going to use a lot of marketing trickery (unlike what “they” tell me. I am going to be pretty informal and unstructured (wrong and wrong). I am going to give members unprecedented access to me, and they won’t have to pay for every question they ask. (oh so wrong). I’m going to create a community part with resources and blog entries and again access – for free (so, so, so wrong.)

I am just going to do it. The first class will launch in about three weeks. I will post here my progress here, so you will know what is being put into it. When the community part is done, or the sign-up is ready, I will post it here, and on the blog that comes with being a part of the community. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please check in here over the next few weeks. Maybe even sign up to get posts in your email. If it sounds like something someone else you know would like, send them a link or share on social media.

Know this. I am tired of following the rules. It’s never worked out for me before. I have no idea why I thought it would this time. But I’m done. I am following my own advice.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

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