My Steep Learning Curve
My readers may have noticed my absence for a while. That’s because I was totally absorbed in a new project that represents a steep learning curve for me. It’s complete now and I’m ready to share my experience that hopefully, you will find inspiring.
I’ve been learning how to create my own websites over the past couple of years and finally decided that I want to work with retirees that want to create extra income with an online business. They have discovered that ageism is alive and well in the regular job market and are looking for alternatives. So I created Being Your CEO just for them.
Several months were spent on solidifying what my niche would be and what I would do for this client group. I developed a written content plan that has been invaluable in helping me stay focused and moving forward. I wrote a couple of blog posts about our Third Age realities and hosted my weekly YouTube Success Circles for solopreneurs as well.
The more I thought about the solopreneur experience, I realized that I must provide tools that would ensure that they get off to a positive start that would ensure their success. So I decided to create a course on business planning – a topic that many would rather avoid. I named it Creating Your Business Mastery Plan. My intent was to break the planning process down into essential, non-intimidating steps.
Since creating my last ten-day course How To Build a Retirement Career that directed applicants to autoresponder (MadMimi) to send out modules in what is called a Drip Campaign, I decided I wanted to discover an actual Learning Management System (LMS). There are lots of them out there, but I wanted to host the course on the website so that participants would stay engaged with Being Your Own CEO.
One day, an online colleague pointed me to Learn Dash, a WordPress plugin. That sounded like something worth exploring. It’s quite expensive but I reasoned that if I could sell a course or two, I could recover the cost. Besides, I have learned that free stuff is not always the best way to go. So I signed up.
I had no problem with the course content since I had covered this ground years ago in an Adult Education program at St. FX University. The learning curve was related to this new technology. After watching numerous instructional videos, the initial set up seemed quite easy – right there on my website. I got the payment structure set up with PayPal and Stripe and was about to go live with it when BOOM!!!.
Then Came The Problems
I discovered that the website server did not have the required level of PHP for the Learn Dash program. That took a couple of weeks to get sorted. Then came the next BOOM!!! Learn Dash published a completely new version of the plugin. They were so proud of it since they had been working on it for over a year. This meant that I had to unlearn what I had spent weeks learning and start again.
Once completed, the site needed to be beta tested by external folks. I set the price at $1 and had some of my online colleagues give it a shot. They couldn’t get in. There were many discussions with my server support, the Learn Dash support and my tech coach before I finally got it working. That was another few weeks. Time lost altogether is approximately two months. Please have a look to see if you think the time was worth it – Business Courses Online. I would appreciate your feedback.
- The learning curve is worth it going forward because I will have other courses to do and may have a client or two that need support as they do the same.
- Beta testers are essential because you need their feedback about the user experience.
- You can trade support and feedback services with other solopreneurs – your online community is so important.
- Patience and willingness to watch a lot of instructional videos and applying lessons learned is absolutely a requirement. You gotta love learning new things!!!
- A tech coach sure does help keep things moving forward.
Was It Worth It?
Speaking as a retiree well over 70, I would say YES! I loved that I could decide on a course of action and make it become a reality, even if it did take longer than I anticipated. And I can’t emphasize enough the value and joy derived from my online community. There’s a lot of give-and-take, of course.
Today’s meditation with Deepak Chopra was “I am open to the presence of miracles”. I couldn’t help but conclude that the completion of this course on my website was indeed a miracle.
What miracles are you ready for?
Update – January 2020
After numerous difficulties with masses of spam attempts on my website from those I did not want to see there and impossible experiences by those I did want to engage in my courses, I sought technical support from the Plugin Support. This went on for a long time without finding a solution, and I finally said “ENOUGH…I’M DONE!” I sought and received a full refund for the financial outlay. However, there was no way to recoup the expense of the incredible amount of lost time. Lesson learned!
I will post about the next experiment on a new Post. I will look for your help in testing this one.