I sit back in awe and pinch myself! I have just launched my FIRST online course, The 30-Day Side Hustle Challenge. If you had told me a year ago that I would present the WORLD with my very own course, I would have laughed at you!
I had an epiphany to take my passion of teaching people how to earn their financial freedom one step further. I wanted to give everyone I knew the tools to create a profitable side hustle from scratch – and with minimal capital outlay of course! After all, I teach people to be brave and to have the courage to own their financial destiny. So, to turn my dream into a reality, I employed my number one tactic of getting things done – I declared it PUBLICLY. This meant I was accountable to YOU to get it done.
The response has been overwhelming. I underestimated the hunger of people to change their lives. But I was naïve to think it would be a simple exercise. I had one challenge after the other. And I was rushing against time to meet a 3-week deadline! As they always say, if we knew what it would take to get anything worth doing done, we would never start anything!
But my battle isn’t over just yet…
- My epiphany and burst of inspiration to create and market my online course
- My idea, content, podcast reveal and behind-the-scenes videos
- The journey of a masterpiece in motion – or so I thought!
- My personal tsunami – my buoyant creative optimism was smacked into reality.
- I underestimated the hunger of people to change their lives
- Getting my head in the game and leading by example – ready or not!
- My challenge: building a course in three weeks
- To produce a top-quality online training course takes a huge amount of work that I had no clue about
- This included numerous iterations of scripts, presentation slides, video recording and external editing
- My steep learning curve into world of online courses
- The time of work outweighs the time that participants will listen and complete the work!
- The challenge of balancing my day job, my wealth management company, and my side hustle epiphany!
- I employed my number one tactic of getting things done – I declared it publically
- As a strategist at heart, I can see the vision, but I need deadlines to make it happen
- The relevance of being accountable to someone drives the process forward
- I’d spent over $25,000 on Working Women’s Wealth and I needed to break even or shut down my mission to teach a million women about money
- If you set yourself a goal, make sure you deliver on it!
- Your voice of confidence must be louder than your voice of doubt
- Be brave and have the courage to follow through
- Focus on whether it’s possible, not whether it’s probable!
- Building my Beta group that provides valuable feedback
- I set clear objectives of what I was testing and hoping to achieve
- In other words, could someone follow each step, each day, and sell something online in 30 days?
- The euphoria of getting it right! I launched the course with minimal hiccups.
- But it left one very BIG problem unsolved – listen to part 2 in two weeks’ time
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Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to Working Women’s Wealth, where we discuss what it takes to build real wealth in a way normal humans can understand. Here’s your host, Lisa Linfield.
Lisa Linfield: 00:21 Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth. I recently set a target that I was going to write and produce an online course in 30 days, and the course was going to be called the 30 Day Side Hustle Challenge. It seemed obvious to me at the time, as it would, that if you’re going to expect people to set up an online business in 30 days, you should produce an online course in 30 days, as one does. You see, that’s what happens when you having a day of prayer and relaxation, and, suddenly, an epiphany hits you. It’s a bit, I guess, like what I think would have happened in La La land with Leonardo da Vinci and the Sistine Chapel. One day he was just sitting there and, poof, the inspiration hit him and he just sketched, and sketched, and sketched, and then created this amazing masterpiece.
And so I sat for that Sunday, and I wrote and I sketched, and I wrote and I sketched, and I set up the entire lesson flow of the course. The more I did it, the more excited I got and the more it flowed, and it just seemed like this was going to be easy peasy, lemon squeezy. And because I could see what it looked like, I thought it seemed that it would be very doable, as you know. And so I then had a fantastic buzz, and in this buzz of creativity, I thought it would be a great idea to announce on my podcast that I was recording for that Wednesday, that I was going to launch this course, and, basically, three weeks after that, the course would go live, and it would teach everybody how to launch this online business, and it would be great. I mean, that’s what you do, because it’s flowing, and it’s easy, and it’ll all sort itself out. And I did it.
One of the other things I committed to do was that I was going to record a behind the scenes video every single day, and each day that I did it, I would record the video, and then when people do it, they would see what it was like to just commit and deliver this. So the first day went okay. I woke up at 5 AM, because you’re setting an example, so it’s really important that you wake up at 5 AM, because like the people doing my course, I have a day job. I run a successful wealth management business and I have clients that I need to see, and so what I’d need to do is wake up at 5:00 every morning and put in the hour of work that I need to deliver the content that people need to do.
Monday went fine. I continued to add some detail to my sketch and it was all just flowing, and that was fantastic. And Tuesday, I set my alarm for 5:00 again, and I woke up at 5:00, except that there was one thing that was just a small challenge, is that the electricity had been off since, probably, midnight the night before, so that behind the scenes video was going to be a little bit challenging to do in my studio, so I needed to do it outside with wet hair. This time a year ago, you would never ever had caught me dead on camera, something that was going to last forever and ever amen, with wet hair. So what I decided to do was embrace it. I can’t serve the people that I’m serving and miss my commitment. If they need to be committed to doing this, then I need to be committed to doing this.
I decided that wet hair and all, we’d launch this behind the scenes video. But I should have known that this was going to be a small challenge, that this was the indicators of the way things were going, and, by the end of day two, I was as grumpy as all grumpy, because waking up early in the morning’s not my gift, and I had snapped at my husband, I snapped at my children, and I had way decided that this was the stupidest idea I had ever come across, because my absolute busiest time of my entire year is this October, November period, because, not only are there end of year reviews, financial reviews for all of my clients, but the kids are absolutely manic at school with end of year plays, and ballet exams, and netball matches, and all these things that go on, and I’m at the end of my year, I am tired, and we’re all just waiting for the summer holiday that happens in South Africa the end of year, the end of the financial year, the school year, the everybody’s year, and we’re all as grumpy anyway.
And to put this thing of 30 days producing an online course, no. Friend, that was just a stupid idea. So by Tuesday night, day two, I’d quit doing this thing, and I had decided that this was a stupid idea. The only problem, which I realized when I woke up on day three, which was Wednesday, was that I’d just had a podcast episode go live that committed me to launching this course in three weeks time, and this was a slight challenge to the whole quitting thing, which was that I had just told everybody that I was doing it, and you couldn’t exactly say, “Mm, terribly sorry.” But it was okay, because, although people had listened, nobody would sign up, really, it’s just me. And, I mean, really, no-one would do it.
And then I had a really exciting, and energizing, and motivating, but seriously daunting realization, and, by the end of the day, a whole bunch of people had signed up for my course, and, I guess, there’s one thing in life, which is when choice is seemingly taken away from you and the option to run away and hide, and that whole kind of burn the boats things happens, when there is no return. And the amazing thing about that whole story of burn the boats was the reason why they burnt the boats is because, if there is a way out, as human beings, we will always take that way out.
So I had no choice but reconnect to my bolt of inspiration, and start getting on with building this course, and the only challenge was that the three weeks and counting was ticking by, and I’d just lost a day, because this wasn’t going to happen, and that started a journey of feeling like I was being chased by a tsunami. You see, to produce a really top quality online course takes a little bit more than the time it takes for people to watch the videos and do their exercises. You first have to write the script, and in writing the script, it takes a number of revisions and wordsmithing and all of that stuff, which is never as quick as you can speak it.
Then I take the written script and I put it roughly into PowerPoint, into something that I think will work in a PowerPoint structure, and after I’ve done that, I then send it to a PowerPoint designer, who makes it all beautiful, after a few back and forth sessions with me. Then after that, I sit and I learn my script, and then record the videos. Now, each of those videos probably are shot two to three times, because I never get it right first time round. So what I do is that I then record it and then send it to the editor. And between the editor and I, and a few back and forth, back and forths, it then takes a little while until that video’s then stabilized and ready to go live.
So, besides having to actually build all of the technology around the page that presents the lesson, the downloads, all of the other add on research pieces, the actual time it takes to produce 20 to 30 minutes of video and 20 to 30 minutes of exercises is way longer than the hour that it takes the people to do it. So how on earth, I thought, that I’d be able to do my little side hustle in just an hour every morning at 5:00 is unbeknownst to me.
And what also happened was that I committed that I would teach people both the easy way, which is paid for, and the free way, which is a little bit longer. It meant that I had to, for every single how to video, record two different versions of the exact same thing, but I didn’t know both versions. Sometimes, through my journey, I’d use the free version, and sometimes I’d use the paid for version, and some of those things have pretty long lead times, so I had this whole entire set of work that was way outside the one hour I thought it would take to do this.
And let’s not forget, I always have a day job in a wealth management business. There are regular meetings every single day, every single week, every single month. We need to review the markets, we need to see what’s going on, I meet with my investment team, I do client reviews. The clients are, obviously, highly anxious, because the market goes up and then the market zooms down at a rapid rate, and then the midterm elections in the middle, and all of these things that make for investing slightly challenging at this times. And this was supposed to be my side hustle, this thing that just took me an hour every single day to do.
But if I was totally honest, I guess in my mind or in my subconscious, I knew that this would take quite a uphill battle, but I also knew that I deeply, deeply, deeply wanted to get it done. I’d set this goal, I really wanted to achieve it, and without external accountability, I would never be able to achieve it. So by declaring it publicly before I could run away and hide, it meant that I had committed myself to delivering it, and I guess it was the number one secret that I learnt when I was in corporate, was that whenever I had a task to do or I’d come up with a great vision because I’m a strategist by nature, I would sit down and set up the meeting with my boss to present the concept completed, or the product or whatever it was that I needed to do, and then by putting that meeting in the diary, I would then work backwards to make sure that all the key milestones were achieved, and set up the meetings with all the other key stakeholders, which I couldn’t move.
And so, by setting up all these external accountability, all these people outside of myself, it meant that I committed to delivering, and there was no way in heaven that I was never going to deliver. And I use this technique every day in my business today, because the minute I do a client review or see a new client, I set up the meeting for the next steps, and that makes sure that both my clients and myself focus on getting the next steps done, and that accountability means that together we achieve way more than, I guess, what one would normally do, if you let time and space happen, because all of us will take way longer than we need to get the things done than we would have done if we had it set in the diary.
And so that’s why inviting all these people to sign up in three weeks time had made me accountable for achieving this goal, making sure that I delivered something I’d promised myself for a whole year to do, and not just promised myself, I’d actually sat at my mid year review in July and prioritized the setting of this course and doing this course as my number one priority. I needed to launch this online course. If there was nothing else that I did, I had set myself a goal to do it. Why? Because I’d spent a lot of money setting up Working Women’s Wealth, and I realized that as much as I have this passion to teach a million women, I couldn’t drain the company finances.
And that is the second secret of getting things done, is that you never ever allow yourself to not achieve at least a small piece of the goals that set, or at least know that you’ve tried to hit those goals. And the reason why is because when you keep missing your own goals, that little voice inside yourself, that small voice of doubt, gets louder, and louder, and louder, and that’s the reason why you need to make sure that you get things done. You see, when I facilitate people through personal goal setting, one of the biggest challenges people have is that ability to dream, an unconstrained dream. Why? Because that little voice inside their head keeps going, “Well, you didn’t do it last time. It’s absolutely impossible. You’ve missed everything else, why on earth do you think you’re going to do this?” And so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, and that’s where we lose hope.
So there I am, day three, the grumpy person inside me has said there’s not a hope in heaven I’m doing, and the overachiever has said, “Actually, hold on a second, people not only listened to the podcast, they went onto the webpage, they filled out the form, there must really be a need for this,” and that’s where my fear of failure, fear of public humiliation, or maybe it was just that need to be the perfect little achiever, kicked in. Y see, when those fears stop you from doing your dreams, when they stop you from stepping out, and they keep your world small, and safe, and comfy, and cozy, then fear is a bad thing. But when you are brave and when you have the courage to act despite those fears, that voice of grumpiness, that voice of doubt starts to get softer, and softer, and softer. And, often, we miss the fact that we can use those fears to our advantage, and that’s exactly what happened.
You see, I had publicly declared this target, of which people had heard it and responded to it, and now of the fears of, I mean, there’s no way I’m not going to achieve that. I’m not going to humiliate myself, having publicly declared that I was going to launch this course, and so that fear of failure and that fear of humiliation became the energy that helped me run against the tsunami of three weeks and counting. So I set about building the course. I developed the content, I wrote the slides, I sent them through, we got the slides done, I set about starting the videos and every single part of the process, and working out how all of that technology worked.
After about two weeks, it was time for my next solo, and I think this thing just jumped on top of me. I couldn’t believe it was here, and I knew that what I had to do was open the sales pitch, because that solo was one week before we went live. And so I made sure that every single thing was in place, ready for these sales, and that’s when the rollercoaster ride began. You see, whenever you launch a course, your first intake of people are known as beta people, meaning that they are people who are willing and prepared to test. They’re usually a little more adventurous, they’re quite fine if there’s a link or two that’s broken, and they enjoy the process of partnering with you to get the course really perfect.
And the challenge with that, or the great gift of that is that they get more interaction with the founder. So in a normal online course, you usually are, or you could get a one hour, once a week open time with the founder. In a beta course, you get to work with the founder, and they really listen and are engaged in everything you say, because they’re wanting to learn from each of the course participants in terms of what works, what doesn’t work, what could make it even better, because you’re all aligned in producing a great piece of content.
And so each time you do this, you need to have clear objectives as to what are you actually testing. And I was clear on the three things I was testing. The first one was could I launch a course? Could I actually get an online course done? I mean, I’ve never done this before. It was a bit like launching a podcast, I’d never done it. I have done courses on how to build online courses, I’ve been planning it for a year, or thinking about wanting to do it for a year, but it also just seemed so big that I’d never be able to do it.
And the second thing was that my next test was would anybody be prepared to pay any money for it? Because when someone is prepared to pay one dollar for one thing once, it means that there may be someone else out there who’s also prepared to it. And then the third thing is whether the content meets what’s on the box. So could someone who followed this course to the T for 30 days launch a product online that could generate them money? And so I opened the sales page that week before the course was meant to go live, and it was my major test of point two, was anybody prepared to pay any money? And I cant begin to tell you how nervous I was. It was literally like I was at my most important exam ever.
And so I sat there like a little child. It went live, and about every two minutes I pressed refresh. Is there a sale? Is there a sale? No. Is there a sale? Yay. And I sent my husband text messages every single time someone would sign up. I really can’t explain the high of that feeling that someone, somewhere was prepared to pay one dollar once for one product. And so it opened and it followed the normal you, which, in online courses or in sales, is that they’re always people who are the first flow, the people who know that this is exactly something they want and they buy, and it was a high beyond all belief, because I actually hit my sales target for that course on the very first day, and I was … I mean, I was just raving, I was so excited.
That night I was like a little pig, and I was deep in my stuff, and with my gin and tonic I watched the sunset and I thought that the world is my oyster. And then it happened. I turned, I looked back over my shoulder, and I saw that the enormous tsunami was about to crash on top of me. If you want to hear what happens, listen out for the episode in two weeks time. I’m Lisa Linfield, this is Working Women’s Wealth, and have a great week.