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Category Archives for eCourses, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

From Meditation Teacher to eCourse Adventure Guide (an epic story)

The story begins in the year 2011.

I had facilitated more than 500 meditation workshops and circles over the course of two years and fulfilled a dream of guiding retreats in Peru, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and more…

But I was burnt out.

I wasn’t fulfilled in my work anymore.

It was time for a change.

And so here I was, sitting in the mountains above Cusco, Peru.

I was in the midst of a personal ceremony with the plant medicine San Pedro.

This experience was a defining moment in my creative and entrepreneurial journey.

My epiphany.

My first task was to get clear on what my intentions were for my life moving forward.

Here’s what came through:

  • More freedom with my time.
  • The ability to impact more lives than I was able to with my small workshops and 1-1 clients.
  • The ability to generate more income than I was able to by teaching in person.
  • More time to pursue my dream of playing professional golf. (This is my second year playing pro!)

My epiphany happened in a single moment. My entire vision and path into the future came to me all at once. I could suddenly see what I was to do with crystal clarity.

The solution was for me to harness the power of the internet and create transformational learning experiences in the digital realm.

In that moment, I had no idea how to do auto-responders, let alone build entire courses or learning pathways.

But this was “IT!” The answer I’d been searching for…

I made a commitment to devote the next 5-years to JUST online courses and education. Truth betold, December of this year will be the 5-year mark since making that commitment…

After getting back from Peru, I scaled my teaching back from 250 workshops per year to about 6-12 per year.

I poured my heart, soul and all my energy into building my meditation courses.

My first sale was a game-changer!

I got started on my new path immediately, while on my retreat in Peru.

In fact, one day while filming a video lesson on site at my retreat space up in the mountains, an American who was staying down the road came by and watched what I was up to.

When I was done recording, he asked what I was filming for.

I told him, I was creating a 40 day meditation course.

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a $100 bill and said he’d like to be my first student.

My jaw dropped.

It was THAT moment, that I knew I was on the right path.

Thank you David, wherever you are!

peru

It began to spread.

After getting back from Peru, I spent the next 3-months figuring out how to create videos, make PDFs, set-up auto-responders, build a sales page. It felt like I was learning a foreign language.

My first launch was humble: 16 people and $1600 in sales.

But I was so stoked.

People were actually paying me money and I wasn’t tied down to my workshops.

EUREKA!

Launch by launch, my meditation programs started to spread.

Now, nearly 5-years later, my meditation courses and tracks have spread to more than 50 countries around the world.

Still today, I earn residual income from sales of those early programs.

Overall, 80-90% of my income comes from the internet.

I have clients who license my tracks for their companies.

I’m one of the top teachers on Omvana.com, one of the top meditation apps online.

And I am essentially a retired meditation teacher whose work is still growing and spreading around the globe.

It’s truly a dream come true.

Then came my first e-course creation client.

With the success of my meditation courses, word started to spread that I knew how to make eCourses.

Over the course of a few months I had about 10 people ask me how I built my courses.

At that time, I took on about 5 personal clients, helping them to build courses of their own.

Working closely with these clients, helped me to reverse engineer my own learning journey of building courses and facilitate that same process for them.

It was really fun for me to help pull out their brilliance and translate that into courses and learning paths for their students. I really enjoyed having the focus be on them and their students, rather than myself for a change.

I feel very proud of the work we did back then, especially for the limited knowledge-base I had to draw from at that time.

One of my first clients, Jannine Murray, has gone on to sell around 100,000 eCourses since!

Another one of my early clients turned her $7 eBook into a $250 multimedia eCourse.

Demand kept growing, so I built the eCourse Creation Blueprint.

This was my first attempt at building a course on building courses.

It was typical of all the others in the industry; powerpoints, PDFs and a private Facebook group.

It was not a work of art. I didn’t get super lit up about my day-to-day work.

I was hustling for sales and checking things off my to-do list.

Even though I was making money, it didn’t feel like I had “arrived” at my life’s work.

The bromance that birthed a behemoth.

I met Andy on my honeymoon in Hawaii in 2012.

We were both creative, entrepreneurial, conscious-living dudes who loved to geek out on online marketing, transformation and the world of internet businesses.

After meeting, we built a skype friendship over the course of a couple years.

I’d send him clients and hired him to build a couple platforms for me. We also chatted on skype almost weekly.

I was always impressed by his eye for design, knowledge of marketing and his ability to create really cool websites and platforms.

Finally, after 2 years getting to know each other, I asked Andy if he wanted to step in as an equal partner with my eCourse Creation Blueprint membership.

He said yes and came to Canada for what will go down in history as a pinnacle turning point in both of our lives.

The day the Great eCourse Adventure was born.

Around the 5th day of Andy’s two week trip to Salt Spring Island, BC, we were about to go into production mode for the upgraded eCourse Blueprint course.

However, fate had a different plan for us.

While standing on a mountain near my house, I turned to Andy and asked him if he would have purchased our course if finding it a few years prior, when he needed the information most.

He said, “NO!” and I said the same.

In that moment, we knew something had to change.

(You can listen to the full audio clip of this story below)


Back down to the house we went, wondering WTF we could create that would inspire us both to pull out our wallets and want to buy.

As an exercise in creativity, we started describing all the qualities of a course that would need to be in place in order to make us want to buy, and keep us around long enough to complete the course.

Here are a few of the points we came up with:

  • It would need to be fun to go through and for us to create
  • It would have to be a work of art, original and super unique
  • It would need to have a community of really cool people built around it
  • It would need to draw upon all our skills and interests in a creative way
  • It would need to be a …… great e-course adventure!

When those words fell out of my mouth, my wife Celeste was upstairs and she yelled down at us, “I love that!”

On a piece of paper, we wrote down “The Great eCourse Adventure” and “eCourse Creation Blueprint” beside each other and asked ourselves, which one would we buy?

In that moment, the eCourse blueprint was dead and we set out to discover what this Great eCourse Adventure was.

andy and brad

The creative vortex opened up.

The next 10 days were the wildest whirlwind of inspiration, excitement, creativity and sleeplessness I think I’ve ever had.

By choosing, The Great eCourse Adventure, a portal opened up inside of us and the creative channels were fully activated.

Close to everything you see, feel and experience in the GEA came to us in the first 48-hours of conceiving the idea.

  • The nature and fun of the course
  • The journey up the mountain, where characters teach the lessons
  • The adventure map you get when signing up
  • The online community
  • The gamification elements of earning backpack supplies and Bajillion (our mountain currency)
  • The storyline that takes place from Basecamp to Launch Summit.
  • Having our autoresponders keep people in the story
  • and so much more…

Suddenly, instead of building another boring eCourse and online business, we were creating an entire world!

With only ten days to go until Andy was flying back to Hawaii and a deep need for us to generate some cash to bring this idea to life, we got to work.

We wrote, scripted and storyboarded the first 3-checkpoints (16 lessons). Truth be-told, we didn’t even know how to do green screen when we began building the journey. We just knew it was possible!

We also built our online community space, sales page and membership area.

And we launched a 2-month pre-sales experience where people could go through the first 3-checkpoints for free, with the opportunity to buy our beta launch for $300.

We ended up making about $30,000 in pre-sales, which funded us to build the mountain.

It took us 9 months to build the mountain.

If we would have known how much work it would have taken to build the Great eCourse Adventure, we likely would have turned back and sought out an easier path.

But that’s not what pioneers do.

We started our group of beta testers in January 2016 and in those next 5-months, Andy came back to Canada three more times for some more 3-week binge work sessions.

In those stints, we would write, film, improve the community, grow the vision, work on branding, marketing and all sorts of other stuff. We would basically work around the clock.

At that same time, my wife was pregnant (and ill), I was training at sunrise everyday for pro golf, AND we just got a puppy named Bonkers. Things were super full on every single day!

The way we found balance from burning out, was by going on these huge hikes with a journal and writing down all of our ideas on paper before we sat in front of the computer. This was so helpful for our creative process.

Nature and movement are winning combinations.

This has been a lifestyle shift that has stuck for us and something we encourage our students to apply to their work flow as well.

Whoops, we forgot our “free opt-in!”

When we finally uploaded the final lesson to the platform and all of the version 1 tasks were complete, we realized we were missing one important thing.

We didn’t have a free thing to bring people into the world we built for them.

So back to work we went, brainstorming what we could create as a prequal to arriving at the mountain.

We experimented with green screen webinars and repurposing lessons from the course, but none of it brought people into the story and showed the quality of experience they were enrolling themselves in…

Finally, we had the idea come to us.

We were going to build the eCourse Frontier Starship and fly people on a Star Wars themed adventure to the new world of online learning.

Along the way, we would teach them our philosophies on creating highly engaging, immersive, transformational eLearning experiences.

After three months of writing, filming and editing, we launched our Masterclass. 

Originally, we shared the masterclass live via a webinar and had a 90% retention rate.

We knew we created something super special!

blair

Then we reinvented the eBook.

In January 2017, we hired Tad Hargrave for a daylong coaching session.

In this session we refined our unique point of view for the sake of communicating on our website, in our marketing materials and with all of the content we create.

Inspired by that session, we wrote an eBook in a week.

After considering publishing the eBook, we asked ourselves, “Would we read an eBook?”

After both of us saying, “Hell no”, we knew it was time to pave another way.

We experimented with interactive eBooks and all sorts of other ideas, but nothing stuck.

Finally, we figured it out.

We would design a choose your own adventure, interactive learning website called, Courses Worth Sharing. 

The purpose of the website was to teach people how to develop online courses that are so good, their students can’t help but tell everyone they know about it.

This website opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the types of courses and learning pathways we could create.

With that, the UCSE 5000 is coming to be.

In this present moment, we are building an experience design platform.

This will allow us all to build unique and engaging learning experiences with much more ease, fun and customization capabilities.

It will be the soul solution that so many creators are searching for, allowing you to house your online community, build your courses, automate your digital Universe, and build wildly imaginative pages, websites and learning experiences.

Here’s an announcement we made about it a couple weeks ago.

More updates will be coming soon!

If you have read this far, then we would like to welcome you to The Age of Experience Design.

Experience designers will be the ones to pave the way in the e-learning industry.

We’re all beginning to wake up to the fact that we must focus on designing the student’ experience with the student fully in mind and heart.

We encourage you to immerse yourself fully into the world and content we have created here at eCourse Adventures, because there is magic being cultivated in this community and you will want to be a part of it if you’re interested in experience design.

This is not about six figure incomes. This is not about “building your list.”

This is about creating immensely valuable experiences that educate, inspire and entertain.

If there is anything I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial path, it is that we are always where we should be, no matter how much we want something else.

We must be like a sponge and soak in all the goodness, the gifts, the lessons and the wisdom that’s available here and now.

There is no CEO in shining armour who can save you. There is no marketing maven who is coming to your rescue.

You must pull forth from the depths of your being, the work that you are meant to do.

This will require courage, growth and becoming the YOU you’re truly meant to be.

Are you here? Are you with us? Do you feel me?

Share your thoughts below. I’d love to meet you.

To check out my work at The Great eCourse Adventure, go here.

What Would Happen if you Had a “Giving Up is Not an Option Attitude?”

If there is one thing that the last 13 years of entrepreneurship (and life) have taught me is, we only get good if we’re consistent.

With everyone searching for the hack or shortcut, we should be focused on putting the time in. Sure, getting a tip will make us more efficient and better, but 10,000 hours to mastery is 10,000 hours to mastery.

When we first start out doing something, we’re usually pretty terrible.

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Using Schedules as Creative Containers to GSD

I love schedules. I think they are fantastic inventions!

I didn’t always like them though.

I used to think they prevented me from being in the flow and allowing the spark of spontaneity.

But as my life becomes more full and my time more precious, I realize how important my schedule is for allowing me to stay present with what’s in front of me.

When I block off chunks of time for specific tasks or to-do’s, it gives me a creative container to focus on that ONE thing, rather than many things.

These creative windows of time allow me to really GSD (get shit done).

My days don’t ‘just happen,’ I design them with intention.

For example: I generally wake up at 4AM these days. My first two hours of waking time I usually devote to my creative writing (like right now as I write this). This is a non-email time for me. I sit, I stretch and breathe, I sip my coffee and I write, based on what comes up or what I need to complete for the week and day ahead.

Then my next creative container is sunrise golf. Usually from 6:30-9ish these days.

Then I get a big 3-hour window of time to enjoy breakfast, coffee and hangout time with Celeste and our son Sauryn.

Then I block off from noon – 5pm for my specific business projects. Each day of the week has a theme for the kinds of projects I focus on within that 5-hour block of time, so that I’m not scattered all over the place everyday. This is key for me.

Within the creative containers I’m scheduling, I allow myself to be in flow with the creative process.

Sometimes I’m not inspired to sit at my desk, so I’ll go for a hike or chip golf balls in the yard while thinking about something.

Other times I’m not inspired to sit on Skype for hours on end, so I do my conference meetings on my cell phone so I can be outside, or sometimes I’m even cleaning the house while on meetings.

The freedom is in the schedule for me.

When I am with Sauryn, I am WITH him.

When I am working on a specific task, I am in it fully.

Whereas, when I let my schedule stay loose, I find myself just floating around, never really accomplishing anything satisfying. Usually at the end of the day, I’ll feel like I didn’t do enough and go to bed kind of disappointed.

I also take real weekends now, which for an at home entrepreneur can be hard because my business mind is always fifty steps ahead of the game.

But I find having that space on weekends to simply be, flow with family and have fun really helps me be more focused and efficient in my week days.

We also do wifi-free Sundays, where we unplug the internet. Those are our favourites!

Schedules give me focus, freedom and a space to be present. I love them!

AND sometimes, my scheduled plan falls apart and something better comes up. I’m always 100% open and flexible to that happening too…

How do schedules support or hinder your creative process? Share below.

The things I wish I would’ve known in my 20’s

I dropped out of school at 20 to start my first business.

That was 12 years ago.

My 20’s were brutally hard as I tried to figure out how to make it in this world, how to “become a man,” how to offer my gifts, how to run a business properly, how to make my dreams real, how to heal my issues…

All these pursuits added a great deal of weight and stress to my plate.

I made incredibly ungrounded, unintelligent choices with my business, trying to make “big things happen” because I didn’t have the wisdom or patience to allow things to unfold at their own organic pacing.

I sought to prove myself to my family and the world. To make a name for myself.

I had many humbling lessons…
so many epic failures…
and a whole lot of hardship.

Fortunately, I am a stubborn Taurus with a lot of passion and an unwilligness to give up.

But I KNOW my journey could have been easier, more graceful, prosperous and fun.

I was cocky. I wanted to “figure it out on my own.”

I now realize, it would’ve been more beneficial to find mentors, seek out help and guidance from others further along on the path than me, and to adopt a strong desire to learn from everyone.

I believe our 20’s is a time for doing the deep soul-searching kind of work. To discover who we are without our parents and without our peers at school.

This is a seriously INCREDIBLE webinar summit that I wish I would’ve had access to when I was in my 20’s. 

My guess is, it would’ve saved me a lot of heartache and strife.

If you’re in your 20’s and “searching” then sign up and show up to each interview.

If you know somebody in this stage of their life, pass the link on and encourage them to go.

This was a very fun interview for me, as I got to share some of the hardships I grew through and how I got through my 20’s stronger and more “Me” than ever.

I’m looking forward to sharing in a conversation with you, after you’ve listened.

If you want something, then go f*%*ing get it.

If you want something, then go f*%*ing get it.

Visualizing the end result and waiting for the Universe to deliver is not enough to change the world or get results.

Success requires showing up. Day in and day out.

It requires showing up when you don’t want to, when you resist the hell out of it, when you’re hung over, when you’re exhausted and wanna quit or when you’re scared shitless. 

Indecision is procrastination…

and indecision is to make the decision to do nothing.

Take a risk, take some action, follow through and do what you say you’re going to or want to do.

There is no harm in trying and failing.

Failure will give you cool scars and stories to tell around the campfire later down the road.

Life is impermanent and so is failure. Both will pass you by and how cool will it be to look back on your life and remember all the things you tried and failed at, as well as the things you actually succeeded at?

You’ll have neither if you stay in that space of indecision though. You’ll just have a bland blur of mediocre memories and nothing all too special to smile at on your death bed. (live a little already)

Given that you’re gonna die, don’t you think you should at least try?

Because it is far better to struggle for a life you aspire to than to struggle in a life you’re dissatisfied with.

This is your adventure, don’t let someone else choose your path for you.

Decide what you want.

Show up.

Get it.

Do it.

Big Visions Require Big Sacrifices

Big visions require big sacrifices. 

Truth is, most people aren’t willing to sacrifice:

there comforts
reputation
security
money
time
effort
etc..

to bring those visions to life.

I can’t say I blame them. I’ve often questioned what the fuck I’m doing.

Spending my life working towards lofty goals. It seems like madness, it honestly does.

Yet at the same time, it feels like the right thing to do.
In some crazy way, it actually feels like the best thing to do with the majority of my time on Planet Earth.

Perhaps it’s my ego tricking me as it searches for:
approval
power
money
status
etc…

Or, maybe it’s me just doing what I’m hardwired to do.

I have these natural abilities as a leader, creator and entrepreneur.
I feel it’d be a waste to not use them for the betterment of others.

I know there are many days where I wish I was wired to want a much simpler existence. Today was one of them.

But there is drive that keeps me motoring forward (sometimes it even drives me a little crazy). 

“Just take the next step. Go a little farther. You’ve come this far, see what’s over the next mountain.”

Is the effort worth it? I guess I’ll find out, won’t I?

So far. It’s made for a helluva a story and the story just keeps getting richer.

Nobody said it would be easy and if they did they were trying to sell you something.

Creating your dreams takes hard work. 

I know amongst the new agey’ish communities, hard work is something that is frowned upon.

“You need to be more open and in the flow. Just visualize and allow it.”

Umm, no. That doesn’t work if you wanna Get Shit Done #GSD and have a bunch of fun doing it.

A great idea takes millions micro steps to complete. It’s just the reality of turning etheric thought forms into tangible, physical experiences or ‘things’ that have the power to change the world.

Right now I’m pulling off 20 hour days. 

I know it’s not healthy, but I’m choosing to have a blast because I know it is only temporary.

Right now I am in Vancouver going through my Golf Teacher Training Course so starting next week I’ll be teaching golf clinics, lessons and retreats to people wanting to be a better golfer by learning relaxation and focus techniques that help them to increase power, accuracy and consistency.

We are also in launch-mode for The Great eCourse Adventure and this time the stakes are higher. We’re investing $10,000 into Facebook Ads to grow our community and ripple. With that being said, we are busting our asses to create the ultimate on-boarding experience for people when they come to our website.

The amount of work, self-inquiry and experimentation this takes is way more than we ever imagined.

This week my schedule is:

  • waking up at 5/5:30 a.m and doing a few hours of work.
  • going to my Teacher training from 8am – 7pm.
  • Getting home and working til 12:30/1am
  • Doing it all over again.

For some reason the purpose feels so much bigger than my need for a typical 7/8 hours of sleep. 

I’m waking up smiling and diving into my work  like it’s a devotional practice.

This is my meditation right now.

How can allow myself to stay present, at peace and grateful in the midst of this insane workload, pressure and schedule? 

If you catch yourself saying, “I want this or I want that,” then be prepared to put 100% of your daily actions and intentions into achieving that.

The thing about achieving these lofty goals is that we have to allow ourselves to be a beginner and adventure through the unknown. It’s just the reality of doing what we’ve never done. Learn to make friends with it.

Okay, this was only supposed to be an update and now I’m rambling.

Have a good one!

 

The Power & Clarity from Making Manifesto Magic

I’ve been doing one of the hardest, most self reflective writing assignments I’ve dove into in a long time.

I’ve been writing our Manifesto for The Great eCourse Adventure. Essentially, breaking down what we believe in and stand for into a series of short, clear, concise statements that summarize why we do what we do and who we do it for.

We’ve probably spent about 20+ hours working on it (so far) and we still have a long way to go.

I know that sounds like a lot of time, but I couldn’t imagine a better use of our time at this stage of the game. The Manifesto acts as a map for every action, project, marketing material we create and move we make with our business. If ever we feel uncertain about a choice, we can draw upon our Manifesto and see if it’s in alignment or out of alignment.

It is the root system of what we create.

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From Information to Transformation: Reimagining the eCourse Experience

So you’ve been thinking about creating an eCourse huh?

Of course you have. Who hasn’t?

Creating a freedom lifestyle by teaching what you love (and living off the passive income from eCourse sales) is a pretty wicked dream… and a doable one at that.

There’s a bit of a Gold Rush happening right now as the online education industry surpasses the $100 billion mark this year.

With massive growth comes some big challenges.

One challenge is, everyone’s hunting for gold in the same river and the river is getting crowded.

What happens when the river gets too crowded?

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Our “Screw Facebook Ads Approach” to Marketing our eCourse

“NO” is the worst thing that’ll happen when we ask for what we want. This is a lesson I have been learning a lot about lately.

It’s been my go-to mantra with our “Screw Facebook Ads Approach” for marketing our current eCourse launch… which I’m in the middle of right now.

Call me old fashioned. Or maybe it’s because I live on a small island where we depend on community for survival and sanity… but I want to connect with real humans around the world who share my passions.

I’m sorry Facebook, but I’m not inspired to give you my money anymore and I’m not overly stoked by the whole Facebook Ads industry that’s popped up in the last few years.

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