Let’s have a little fun today and imagine creating a course is like going on a quest. Like a ‘Lord of the Rings’ type quest – which I guess makes us all Frodo Bagginses.
So despite us being simple hobbits and against all odds, we’ll set out on a quest to Mordor to destroy the Ring. Or just create an online course (Which now seems much less overwhelming compared to Mordor, right).
With every great quest, there needs to be a purpose
Frodo’s main purpose was to save Middle Earth by destroying Sauron. For you, your purpose is the main reason why you want to create a course. Commonly known as your “Why”. Why do you want to create a course? Your main purpose may be to free-up some time in your day to spend with your family. To expand your reach so you can help more people. Or just make a couple of extra bucks. All are equally noble.
A quest is defined as a journey that someone takes in order to achieve a goal or complete an important task. For Frodo, the important task was to destroy the ring in the fires of Mordor. For us, as course creators, the important task is to create a course.
Every hero on a quest has certain tools to help them
Frodo Baggins had a sword that warned him when Orcs were near and elvish chainmail armour to protect him. As a course creator, you’re going to need a map and some tools. The map is your course outline. This outlines the steps your learners will need to take to reach the transformation your course provides. It also helps you figure out what content you’ll need to create for the course. And the tools? Well, this is everything from your webcam, microphone, ring-light, for creating your videos. To your editing software, the design software you use to create your course downloadables etc.
Who will accompany you on the journey?
Frodo had The Fellowship of the Ring to protect him. With Gandalf as his main guide and Sam as his companion. Who will fulfil these roles in your life? You’ll need a fellowship of people to help you when you need help. Perhaps this could be a Facebook group where you ask and have your questions answered. You’ll need a guide or mentor to show you the way. This could be someone who’s been there and knows the best path to take (AHEM…someone like me). And lastly, you’ll need a companion to share your journey with and to hold you accountable when you feel lost or like giving up.
Who/what are your enemies?
In the Lord of the Rings quest, there was one main enemy, Sauron. But with course creation there are many.
They are things like:
- Imposter Syndrome “Who am I to create a course on this, I’m no expert! I’m not even going to bother to try and compete”. You don’t need to be an expert. You just need to be able to help those who are one step behind you.
- Overwhelm “There’s so much to figure out – it’s so much easier to give up”. Overwhelm in course creation is very real. Try to break it down into tiny chunks to work on in 20-minute sections. And batch things like video recording and content writing. This’ll help ease the feeling of overwhelm.
- Shiny Object Syndrome “Hey, wouldn’t that be cool for my course, let me deep-dive into a Youtube rabbit hole and research this new thing.” Ignore any shiny objects that come to distract you and take you off course. You could always add them at a later stage if you really want to.
- Decision fatigue “There are so many different systems and programs and platforms to choose from. How do I choose? It’s easier to just give up.” Just pick one and run with it. Most online programs have a trial period and if you absolutely hate it you can pick something else and try that. It’s a digital tool – not something that’s tattooed on your body.
- Perfectionism “But it’s not as good as so-and-so’s course. I need to make it better so I don’t embarrass myself.” And you constantly tweak and revise and work on it, thinking you’ll launch it when it’s perfect. Hint: It’s never going to be perfect. Just launch it as a beta and tweak it if you need to based on peoples feedback. What seems like a problem for you may not be for your learners.
- Procrastination “I really don’t have time to work on this now. I’ll work on it as soon as I’ve finished X.” This’ll keep you stuck in limbo and never completing your quest. Designate at least 20 minutes a day to course creation and just get started!
You need to see these for exactly what they are – enemies you need to defeat in order to complete your quest. And if you are able to defeat them what lies at the end of your quest? An online course that provides you with an additional income. Establishes you as an expert in your field. Allows you to scale your reach and help a lot more people. And frees you from exchanging your time for money. Who wouldn’t want that?
Does creating a course seem a lot more doable now? I mean if a simple hobbit was able to take a perilous journey, battle orcs and destroy the ring on the fires of Mordor, then surely you can achieve your quest too.