A rather beleaguered entrepreneur, Debbie, called me the other day desperate for help getting her e-course done.
Was it the tech part that was holding her back?
Was it lack of knowledge about her topic that was holding her back?
Was it lack of experience with real clients or students that was holding her back?
It turned out she was nearly paralyzed with concern (okay, let’s call it fear) that she would make a sub-par course (okay, let’s call it crappy).
A Crappy Course.
What could be more embarrassing than to send your clients – or potential clients – to a so-so course? Or worse?
Debbie did NOT want that. So it had been over 3 months since she stopped working on her course. Paralyzed, really, with fear.
Does this sound familiar? Do you have a half-finished course waiting to be be launched (or book – or retreat – or whatever)?
What do you *do* with that?
Get to the Root
When I work with people in Debbie’s situation, the first thing I want to do it get to the root of what’s really going on.
Because, hey, there’s what you say and what you think is going on, and then there’s what’s REALLY going on.
So don’t be saying, “I just don’t have the time, waa waa waa” if what is REALLY going on is that you’re freaking out that your students are going to bail on the course, never finish it, and make you look like an idiot.
Having said that, let’s go deep a bit and see if one (or more) of these root issues resonates with you:
Root Issue #1: You’re biting off more than you can chew.
To figure out if this is your root issue, take some time to articulate your hopes and dreams for your e-course (in respect to both your business and your learners). Write them down or talk them through with someone.
Debbie’s hopes and dreams, for example, included putting her business on automatic so she could focus all her energy on her small children before they started school. They included providing people with the know-how (via her e-course) to multiply conversions on their website and see a big uptick in their revenues. She wanted to deliver big outcomes right out the gate.
Yes, we all want to “think big” and get past our Upper Limit Problems, blah, blah, blah, but let’s face it – if our hopes and dreams are SO big that we can’t move forward, they’re not serving us, they’re hindering us.
If it seems your high aspirations might be what’s keeping you stuck, there are several things you might do:
- Downsize the course – Make it an intro course, for example, and not your big-deal flagship course.
- Downsize the topic – Eliminate some modules and cut your topic down to size to make it more manageable.
- Pull back on the big promises and start smaller.
- Do the work in this post, “Avoid this Common Mistake & Get Super Clear on Your Course Goals”
Root Issue #2: You’re not sure if it’s any good.
Are you one of those people who is really uneasy with putting things out in the world without first getting super strong validation that it’s good?
I worked with a lovely lady who was half-way through her course when this root issue brought her e-course creation process to a crawl. She didn’t know if her course structure was any good, if her interface was any good, if the way she was explaining things was any good, if how she was teaching was any good.
If that sounds too familiar, here’s a few suggestions:
- If you have a business buddy or a mastermind group that you trust, ask them to to comb through your course lesson by lesson and give you honest feedback (even if it’s just a text document at this point). Getting the green light from another entrepreneur can be just what you need.
- Do you know a teacher or trainer who can give you feedback from that angle? Great – see what they think you might do better to increase learning.
- Or, reach out to me for a course audit. I’ll point out the red flags (if you have them) and let you know what you might do to make it an even better course.
Root Issue #3: You don’t really have a strategy for engaging your learners – and keeping them engaged.
Are you worried that your course is going to put people to sleep and not help your learners do or be any better off than they are now?
If you don’t have a strategy for engaging your learners, you need one.
- See the Stuck Point above for ideas.
- Pilot your course with some of your potential learners. Although you’ll learn something by hoisting your course draft on your sister or spouse, try to find someone who really does want to learn what you’re teaching. Find out:
- The sections of the course that really captured their attention.
- Where they were spacing out.
- What they actually learned. See if they’re open to being quizzed if you don’t do that already in your course. Ask them to accomplish a related task and tell you how they went.)
- Then (doi!) make your improvements.
Root Issue #4: You can’t find the time to work on it.
Now this is a tricky one because so often procrastination is just protecting you from looking at your fear or reluctance (or whatever else is really behind your procrastination). Hopefully you’ve seen how to address some of that from the points above, but if not – if this really is a simple Don’t-Have-Time problem – make a plan now.
First thing I suggest you do is take out your calendar and block out chunks of time there. There’s research to show anywhere between 90 minutes and 4 hours is optimal for time blocks.
Ideally find a block of time when you have the most energy. Brian Tracy would say to “eat that frog” first thing in the morning. In fact a lot of time management gurus say that. But for many of us the best time is after the kids go to sleep (which was initially Pat Flynn’s approach to doing his deep work). Just find what works for you.
Amy Porterfield is a big fan of time blocking, too, and calls it her “Tiger Time.” Cute. It’s her Don’t-You-Dare-Bother-Me! blocked off time that is sacrosanct to getting her deep work done.
Find an accountability buddy or a mastermind group who will do their best to hold you to your schedule. I’ve done this for folks too, so you can check in with me about doing this for you.
I’ve also written a couple of posts on how to get out of the procrastination rut that includes some other great tips. You can check out the first one, here.
Procrastination is the easiest problem to solve of the 4. For gosh sake, don’t let it keep stopping you!
If you’ve just been skimming down this page and haven’t done any of the work – do stop here and think about these 4 common issues:
- You’re biting off more than you can chew.
- You’re not sure if your course is any good.
- You don’t really have a strategy for engaging your learners – and keeping them engaged.
- You haven’t carved out time to work on it.
Which one do you think is the biggest for you?
Okay, good. Come up with a plan for that one. Then, in a few weeks or a month, if you still need to, tackle the next one that’s keeping you stuck.
Here’s to GETTING UNSTUCK and getting your e-course done! Whoop!