October 20, 2016 at 11:42 am #30966
Firstly, apologies for my absence around the campfires. I haven’t fallen off the mountain, just been getting my head down and having a little silent climb for a while.
I’ve been writing more scripts, exercises, and journal questions, and continuing to take my pilot group through the material. I did another batch of filming with my librarian and am pretty pleased with the footage. I think the sound could be better, but there’s always something you wanna improve, right? Progress is slow with script writing, but it is happening in baby steps. Right now I’m just coming towards the end of my module 4 out of 12. I haven’t done anything for Module 1 yet as I don’t have everything I need to be able to write that one yet. So, 2, 3 and nearly 4 are done. Current word total is 22k words.
I’ve figured out a few of the platform puzzles I had and the platform is coming along. My current stuck point is around the videos and the branding. I want to be able to make the videos look like they belong in the platform so there are some branding questions to answer there. I’m not sure what kind of imagery to use on the site so that it feels like it fits with my new logo and the awesome new video endcard I’ve had designed (which you can see here if you’re interested – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KMT7SWYYjM) I’ve got a couple of people I’m working with on that, but again progress is slow, and even slower when I have to depend on external input. Another challenge is that my mum just moved house, which means I lost my studio! I can’t afford to rent one so still waiting for a solution to become clear on that.
Bandwidth-wise I’ve been struggling a little too. We’ve had a few illnesses and things, and I took on a big extra freelancing contract last month which was great for the bank balance and terrible for progress on my course. My main contract has become more demanding in the last month so I’ve cut back on things wherever possible, including, unfortunately, being more present in the campfires, just so that I can throw all my spare energy into writing the course. So that’s why I haven’t really been around as much – sorry!
Since my realisation about how much I want to be on camera, I’ve been feeling pretty good. It’s totally been backed up by what I’ve read in Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’. Also, it feels with my more natural inclination to direct a performance out of others. Interestingly, Susan Cain says introverts can behave like extroverts when they’re involved in a project their passionate about:
“But even if you’re stretching yourself in the service of a core personal project, you don’t want to act out of character too much, or for too long […] the best way to act out of character is to stay as true to yourself as you possibly can – starting by creating as many ‘restorative niches’ as possible in your daily life.”
So while I’m happy to have a presence in my videos, and am even starting to enjoy it, a big restorative niche for me is in directing rather than being on camera. I love directing. This is what brought me to the local amateur theatre group several years ago, and to all the fabulous amateur actors I’ve met and become friends with as a result. I’ve created what Susan Cain calls a ‘Free Trait Agreement’ around this:
“A Free Trait Agreement acknowledges that we’ll each act out of character some of the time – in exchange for being ourselves the rest of the time. […] The person with whom you can best strike a Free Trait Agreement – after overcoming his or her resistance – is yourself.”
She goes on to talk about how acting out of character for too long, without enough restorative niches, leads to rapid burn out. I think this is exactly what I foresaw for myself when contemplating doing all the videos myself.
Interestingly, one of my pilot group commented that she thought it would make the course look like a bigger, more credible operation if the videos feature multiple people. That was a really interesting take. It will also be hugely interesting to see what the group thinks of the videos when I’m actually able to start posting them and to see if they experience a disconnect when I’m not presenting the material myself.
That’s all for now.
Bam. Kapow.October 25, 2016 at 5:54 am #31031
Lisa, I know we had some back and forths, via an email thread, but I just wanted to say here…
What you are doing with being more of a writer and creative director in this is INDUSTRY CHANGING!
You are doing something that I think a lot of introverts didn’t think they were “allowed to do”.
I’m so excited to see your big, beautiful vision come to life!October 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm #31034
Wow, industry changing? That’s kinda cool. I like that. As long as I can do it like a proper introvert – quietly, in my own time and in my own home… (Ha!)
Now, if you’ll bear with me I need a moment. Because I don’t know if maybe Mercury is in retrograde or something but MAN, I’ve been running into technical barriers left right and centre today.
Learndash is not behaving at all! It makes me want to hurl it out of a window, but instead I am sitting here waiting for my support tickets to be answered by various plugin developers. I’ve just wasted a whole evening trying to get broken stuff to work, and trying to figure out exactly why it’s not. It’s so frustrating!
F$%K! F$%K! F$%K!
🙁October 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm #31038
Feeling ya Lisa.
If there’s anything I’ve learned:
1. If it feels like a push, then perhaps there is a more important task to be doing. Let it go, do the other more inspiring thing. Take space from that which is frustrating and move on. Which, waiting for the support ticket is a good call.
2. The other thing is, if you’re grinding it out and learning these lessons now, it’s all for good reason. Not easy in the middle of it, but it’s all working out. Look how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned!
I really honour you for the learning curve you said yes to. It’s super inspiring to a mid-range Techie like me!November 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm #31516
Following my last, very frustrated post, I am pleased to report a huge tech breakthrough which has resulted in all of my current tech issues being fixed. Some things I managed to fix myself, some I got support tickets to help with, and one thing I paid to have fixed and then realised it was a super easy fix that I totally could have done myself if I’d just realised what the problem was.
Lessons have been learned, the learning curve has been accelerated, and right now I’m feeling way more positive about building the platform GEA-style.
What a difference a week makes.
I’ve also been talking to a video specialist who’s quoting for me on some design work, having a custom lower third made to match my new endcard, and writing furiously to take myself to the end of module 4 (current word count 26k). Next steps are to continue progressing the platform, working on some website copy, writing my Orientation module and finding a new studio so that filming can continue.
Oh and a recommendation. In a post a while back I recommended a visual CSS editing plugin called Yellow Pencil. I have now realised this plugin is terrible. Please don’t buy it if you were considering it. I am having a far easier time with a new, and free, plugin I found called Site Origin CSS. It’s way easier, very intuitive and 100% less annoying. It also plays nice with the other plugins. So far, anyway.
Keep climbing everyone.
p.s. And thanks for the motivational push Brad!November 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm #31523
This is such awesome news Lisa. I am really stoked for your newfound momentum. Glad the gentle nudge helped break through!
If you’re wanting to shop around, I know Blair could design a pretty kick ass lower thirds bumper as well for a reasonable price (in CAD $, which is cheaper). If you want an intro to investigate, let me know. No pressure obviously.November 11, 2016 at 2:52 am #31604
Andy FreistMountain Guide@andyfreist
Yay for breakthroughs!
Seriously, you are doing some next level work Lisa!
Master ZenTeach told me to tell you that he will be very disappointed if you don’t finish your course. No pressure or anything 😉November 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm #31879
Andy, please tell Master ZenTeach not to worry his floaty self. I have no intention of letting this baby go unfinished!
That said, whew I’m on such a rollercoaster, riding from a high one week to a low the next. Trying to find some balance and steady progress is hard work.
I got some new design work completed, got over a few more tech hurdles (and created a few new issues in the process), and even got to grips with adding bits of custom PHP to my WP install. I’m in avoidance mode on writing again, but I know it seems to come in phases so I just need to trust that it will come when it’s ready.
I also made a stupid mistake today.
I looked up.
I don’t mean that I took a break. I mean that I looked up, trying to look for launch summit, all while I’m still caught Twister-style, with one leg in Camp Medias, the other in Technosis Temple, and one hand still trying to get the last tiny bits of Creatora Heights done. The other hand is reaching forward to Automatora River, and I’m just trying really hard not to fall over. So, you can see why looking up is not a good idea.
And what did looking up look like? It looked like watching the AWESOME space webinar that you guys made (seriously, WOW), and remembering what a shit ton of work I have to do to get where you are. It also looked like realising how many potential business partners, skilled ‘outsourcees’, and other moral supporters I have reached out to to try to get some help with this massive project, have all, disappointingly, come to nothing.
It feels like I am literally doing everything on my own. The only help I have been able to buy in is logo design, and motion graphic design. And while you guys, and my buddy Dr. Wayne, have been a shed load of encouragement (and, occasionally, tech rescuers!), I can’t help feeling that I need my own team to progress this climb. I’m developing the platform, holding the vision, writing the content, filming, editing, thinking about marketing and strategy and puzzling through a learning curve the likes of which I have never attempted before. And I need help. So. Bad.
I just don’t know where to start because I have no budget. Everything spare is going straight back in to business development, plugins, or design.
In terms of outsourcing skills, I could separate off the video editing / post production work, because it makes a neat task to outsource, but I really doubt I could afford someone to do it. And thanks for the offer of contacting Blair for the lower third design Brad, but I’d already given the green light to my designer. It’s all done now, and feeling pretty pleased with the result. (I’m sure Blair’s skills would be uber useful elsewhere, but I’m concerned that I might not be able to offer much in return. Still if you think he’d be open to a conversation around that, Brad, that I’d love to talk to him.)
I notice that I’m really missing the partnership that you guys have, and the team behind you. I’ve been seeking someone to partner up with but I can’t seem to find someone who hasn’t already got their plate full with their own projects, who has skills that I could really use, and who feels as passionately about what I’m building as I do. I’ve come to the realisation it could well be time to offer some kind of stake or profit share, but I don’t know what that might look like. Or who to offer it to. I’m planning to try to get to module 7 done on my own before attempting to pre-sell, and even that seems like a huge peak to climb.
And unless I can find the help I need (or until I can successfully clone myself), I wonder if my project is going to continue feeling so restricted, and so painfully slow.
How do you set about finding not just someone to outsource to, but an invested, skilled and generally awesome partner?
A colleague and mentor reminded me today that sometimes, you can’t ever look more than three steps ahead. In fact, we worked on this article today about exactly that: http://www.careershifters.org/expert-advice/the-three-steps-approach-to-a-successful-shift
I need to get my head back down and keep focusing on three steps ahead, not the final destination. It would just help so much if I had someone to share the load.
Thanks for listening guys. It’s good to vent.
🙂November 15, 2016 at 4:02 pm #31887
Is it just me or did you just drop a bomb-ass-diggity prayer to the Universe.
“Lisa to Universe. Lisa to Universe. I am calling in my team!”
All I can say Lisa is, I searched for my team for what felt like FOREVER. I had many failed attempts at partnership. But I did not give up. I kept doing ALL the steps I could take, learning all the skills I needed and I kept plugging away.
I think at this point, perfection is your enemy. Do not strive for perfection with your course. Not now anyways. Otherwise it’ll take you forever to complete. Instead, strive to get’er done well.
If it wasn’t for the tight timeline with the GEA due to pre-sales, we never would’ve gotten it done because we would’ve gave ourselves way too much time to think. Now, after a year since starting, I’m going back through some of the lessons in the earlier phases and improving them.
On that note, here is a recommendation for your lessons:
Give yourself space in the videos and scripts to change the lessons up down the road. Let your handouts, etc deliver the nitty gritty details. Make the lessons more about landing the point, giving your to-do’s and providing some entertainment.
Your team will come, just like our team came together. But there is a right and perfect timing that it will come in. In the meantime, keeping your head down and on the tasks you know you must do is important.
I definitely recommend breaking your tasks down into chunks os that you’re not doing platform, writing and automations all in one day.
Here are a few questions…
1. Where do you need to be with everything in order to pre-sell?
2. What is Lisa a rockstar at and what elements bring her the most joy? (you should be doing those as often as possible right now — if writing is it, then leave the platform for a bit and write your ass off — if building the platform is it, then keep doing that)
3. If you were to design your “dream partnership”, what skills would that person have? What $ percentage would they receive in exchange for kicking ass at that role?
You are doing so awesome Lisa. I get that the peak can look so far away, but I encourage you to now look down and see how far you’ve come since Basecamp. You’re a long ways away from where you started!November 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm #31891
PS – I’m really grateful for your courage to be vulnerable and share your struggles. Seriously an awesome post that I know all of us can relate to!November 23, 2016 at 9:57 am #32142
Thank you Brad, I really needed that.
Yep. Universe, if you’re listening, I’m ready. Ready to welcome a super-enthusiastic, reliable, available collaborator who’s prepared to work for future profit share, and who’s crazy fun to work with. I’d love for them to have technical skill in either video production, or WordPress development, they’re passionate about helping people who feel stuck, and they get why coaching works.
To answer your questions,
1) I think I need to have 7 modules written, filmed and loaded on the site with the associated PDFs, journal questions, etc. Module 7 is a big landmark transformation and marks the end of the first part of the programme, so it feels like getting to that point offers clear value. Right now I have 3 written and most of 1 filmed. I’ve done a lot of work on the platform but still to do are: getting all the basic website copy in place, landing page / sales (ewww) copy, getting a membership / payment solution in place that manages the EU VAT mess, setting up forum topics, and two bespoke areas which I’m calling the Database and the Blueprint (no idea how I’m going to deal with those yet), graphic design for badges, course cover images, headers and someone to help me make sure that it all feels consistent in terms of branding.
2) This is really hard. I think the writing brings me the most sheer joy. The website platform and the video production brings me satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, but there are so many headaches to overcome these things are more of an uphill struggle and so there’s frustration built in there too. I need to get back to the writing right now, I think. So, I’m looking into the possibility of finding another accountability partner who can keep me on track with my word count.
3) I think I’m managed to express what I’m looking for in a partner in my universal shout out above, but as to the $ percentage they’d get, I have no idea at all what would be reasonable! I find I’m really reluctant to think about giving up equity, (this is my creative baby), but I feel OK about profit share. Brad could you share anything about how you worked this out as a team and did you get agreements in writing, etc? And what happens if, for example, you choose you want to close down GEA one day?
In terms of how else you could help (to answer your reply on my Audioblocks post), 1) any chance of arranging that coaching session? I sent you an email about it early this month, but I’m not sure it came through. 2) Would love to get some advice on the video production side. Could you put me in touch with Blair? And 3) Who on your team does the graphics/design stuff? I’m looking for some branding/design support and have a little budget for it, so if they have any availability for an initial chat to see if it’s a good fit, hook me up!
As ever, you guys rock. Thanks for your awesome and continued support.
May the e-course gods rain Bajillion upon you…
🙂November 25, 2016 at 11:55 am #32212
Hey Lisa. I’ve been letting this stew for a couple days. Here we go. These are my thoughts on everything mentioned in your four points and questions…
1. Do the platform stuff later OR as it really inspires you.
2. IF writing and producing this inspires you the most, then do that. Do that til the job is done. The reason we have “Creator Heights and Camp Medias before Technosis” is because you wanna have those things done before moving to Technosis, as they’ll really influence your direction.
PLUS if aiming to get a partner. IF you can create all your awesome videos and content, you’re WAY MORE likely to showcase that work and find the right partner to do the tech stuff. Know what I mean ? You can’t launch your course til Checkpoint 7 is complete, so focus on doing that and do it everyday til it’s done 😉
Do your genius and deal with your non-genius stuff when you cross that bridge. Focusing on the stressful stuff slows down your momentum. IF later you are the one to build the platform, then so be it. But don’t let it drag you down now. This is a time to get creative!
3. As for “branding and icons for your badges.” This was one of hte best investments we’ve made to date for GEA. If you search “Icon Packs” you’ll find your perfect one. You could even search “Super Hero Icon Packs” and have some luck.
4. Blair’s email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Michael Mann’s email address (for design stuff) is: email@example.com
6. Yes, lets set up a coaching session next week. Sorry I didn’t see that email. Could you do in and around 11:30am PST next Tuesday?
7. The campfire’s got a lot of new, fresh enthusiasm. You may find your new buddy there 😀
You’re doin great work sister. I get the “feelings of walking through the sludge.” Just keep going. One happy step atta time. You’re creating it! The pieces WILL fall into place.May 10, 2017 at 2:01 pm #41099
I’m a little embarrassed to notice that my last update was 5 months ago. How did that happen?
But right now, I’m buzzing after enjoying Yu-Kai’s gamification coaching campfire, and wanted to share how nice it is to be back in the space where engagement, motivation, and connection are key again. That can sometimes get lost when you’re wading through pricing structures, tech options and systems-y stuff.
So, a little update on the big shifts I’ve been through recently:
I stopped writing my course. And it’s been a really good thing (bear with me).
I was throwing all my energy into creating this huge epic course of mine. I got 6 modules in out of the 12. It was going well but I started to lose momentum. Things were feeling stuck, hard, forced and not good. So I decided to pause and re-evaluate. During this time I took the opportunity to start a little Money Mindset course I’d bought. I started working through the materials.
Suddenly everything changed.
I realised that by throwing myself into this big, meaty, epic course, I was preventing myself getting something light and fast up and running quickly. It was already really successfully preventing me from all the discomfort of actually launching with something, because there was such a lot of work to do on it that the end date for that was always safely in the distance. I was actually sabotaging my own plans by keeping at it this way. So, I decided to change tack. I decided to design a course that was smaller, lighter though still high value.
I realised that the e-course-only model wasn’t going to offer me the stability I needed.
I realised that running launches several times a year, or at least always having to stress about sales, with potential feast or famine periods, all while I was supporting a (hopefully) increasing number of my customers in course forums, was not going to work for me. I realised that I am an experienced and specialised coach. If I’m going to be present and coaching in forums, that’s high value too. So, I started to realise that what I thought was just a creative course based product had two equally valuable strands: community AND content. Realising the value of all the peripheral stuff made me see that the model that suits this best is actually a membership site based around a course, and that people needed to pay to have access to both on a monthly recurring basis. Switching to the membership model was a HUGE mindset shift. So, I was delighted when Brad and Andy let us know that they too were switching to a membership payment model. This was hugely reassuring for me that I wasn’t going nuts! So, now, I’m intending to launch a beta version with a smaller MVP course costing £25 per month (crazy good value for my niche), slowly increasing to £47 / month over time and as I’m able to add more to the course materials. I feel really good about this. The numbers add up, and my early members would be able to help shape the content in the way that helps them most.
With a new model in mind and prioritising a lighter faster approach, I realised that I needed to get something live fast.
To do that I needed to be super clear on my brand and create a slick, edgy, fun branding concept that could tie everything together and look totally awesome. I’ve been tackling the branding piecemeal so far; it’s been taking too long, and it just hasn’t felt right. Once the branding’s clear I could do a new website and start working on getting people interested in what I’m building, even if only in a simple way to start with. Realising (again, from the Money Mindset course, I think) that I needed to invest in myself to get this started and after the bizarre realisation that I’d oversaved on my taxes last year resulting in a savings cushion that I hadn’t realised I had, which turned out to be exactly the amount I needed, I decided to invest in an awesome website and branding designer. She has been AWESOME. Every page, every concept she comes up with is blowing my mind and it so unbelievably exciting seeing the Career Avengers brand come to life.
I now have branding guidelines, colours, fonts, imagery guidelines, copy foundations, everything. Now the website design is building apace, so I’ve just had a photo shoot that captures a little of my bold playful brand, so that I can be seen on my new site. The design should all be complete, on or around my birthday which is mid-June. EXCITED!
I bought access to a membership building course, which has some great expertise in it, (but MAN the materials are dry – these guys need you Brad and Andy!).
Anyway, I’m working through that to do the planning and tech sides of things before I come back here to work on that MVP course. I’m also doing a little validation of the membership site idea, running it past former clients to see what they think and to let me know if and to check how much they’d be willing to pay for something like this.
So, I’ve not been idle, despite being away for such a long time. I’m so excited to show you the new designs, and my revised logo, which now looks less ‘kids soft play centre’ and more fun and bold. I hope you agree! Web design will follow, as I want to post the link to something live rather than a static image.
Brandy – could you update the logo you have for me with this one?
As soon as the new site is live I’m going to move away from my old brand and move all my coaching services across to this, the membership site and then the course, will follow in phases.
I’ve been so completely surprised what an impact it’s made to start unlocking those unhelpful money mindset blocks and looking at the things that have been holding me back. The abundance mindset I’ve found has helped me take this massive and surprising steps. I’ve refocus on the priorities that will get me to the impact I want to be making, I’ve pivoted in order to move forward better. Career Avengers is now a very different thing to what it was when I started out a year ago. I feel like I’ve been meandering around this mountain on a very long and scenic route. I’m pretty sure I’ve gone round in circles a few times. There was a point where I forgot I was even on a mountain. I’ve watched so many people here start and launch courses, all while I’ve piddled around endlessly in Creatora Heights / Camp Medias. That changes. Now.
In Sept, I intend to launch my MVP course and beta membership. Please GEA. Hold me accountable to this.
I will not have my full big epic course ready when this happens.
And you know what? That feels really good.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.May 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm #41106
Strong work, buddy!
Keep up the progress, even when it doesn’t feel like it is what you’d been envisioning. (Just went through the same process on a smaller scale with the last challenge.)
You ready for daily check ins again?May 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm #41110
Awesome, amazing update Lisa. Everything you share is in alignment with the epiphanies Andy and I have been having in the last 6 months. You are definitely on the right track with it.
@andyfreist will change your logo in the Courses Worth Sharing website. Was it anywhere else? I can’t remember.
As for the course you’re taking, by all means, reach out to the creators of it and tell them about the GEA and how much it could help them with their engagement factor. 😉
We are definitely happy to hold you accountable and cheer you on as you go. Just make sure you do your progress logs on a regular basis again so we know when you’re slacking!
YAY you Lisa 😀
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