Have you really stopped to think about HOW amazing our opportunities in business are these days?  I can launch a business in under 15 minutes.  I can reach an audience that LITERALLY consists of the entire world. And I educate myself, my way, in my own time, and with my own passionately infused results.  Taking an online course doesn’t require me to have a high GPA, take out a loan against my first born, or move to a completely different state.

With today’s technology, you have the opportunity at your FRIGGING fingertips to learn…NOT from someone who is following a text book and lesson plan, but from someone who has been in the trenches of exactly what are you are struggling with. They are AS EQUALLY passionate about solving your problem as YOU are!

Funny thing, though.  With all of these easily accessible ways to stuff your brain with life changing and relevant information…did you know that only 14% of the people who sign up for a course ACTUALLY FINISH the course???

THAT. IS. INSANE!!

The average online course ranges in price from $100 – $1500.  No matter HOW you slice it, they are expensive!  Soooo…why aren’t they being finished? I have a few theories.

  1. You’ve purchased the course because it’s on sale…and you KNOW it’s something you’ll need later.
  2. You have the contagious case of small business owner ADD.
  3. You get half way through it before you realize it’s just…not what you thought it was.
  4. Life happens.  Family, job, day napping on a couch because you were up until four AM with a barfing dog.

(I’m curious…leave a comment below and let me know the reasons YOU haven’t finished a course!)

So, how do you buy a course and MAKE TIME for that course?  Since I suffer from ALL of the above numbers, I’ve actually created a system (damn it, I love that word) to help me get through the over $3,000 in courses I own and have never finished!  I’ll walk you through it.

Step 1: Create an Airtable base dedicated to ANY purchased items for your business.  This includes e-books, simple PDF’s, templates, videos, challenges and courses.  Anything that you’ve purchased that helps you to solve a problem. (I’ve created a video for you to walk you through this step!)

Step 2: Fill in your Airtable base!  You’ll need WHO you purchased the product from, what kind of product it is, the actual product (pdf, ebook, zip files, videos, etc) or the access information to get to the course area. Really spend some time pulling together all of this information!!  This will make your life SO much easier in the future!

Step 3: I didn’t mention it above, but I also recommend creating a column indicating HOW MUCH you paid for the product!  This can really give you a kick in the butt when you are ready to learn!

Step 4: Do a quick assessment of the topics you have in front of you.  If you’ve made a plan for sprints (if you don’t know what these are…check out Mariah Coz’s amazing webinar on them here!) and the next month of your business (will you be focusing on increasing traffic, bringing in more sign ups, increasing sales, organizing finances, etc.) then this will be a TON easier!!  You are going to want to decide in WHICH order you’ll need to be tackling this information!

Step 5: Block out 10 minutes EVERY DAY to do ONE thing related to a course you’ll need in the upcoming month.  Do NOT tell yourself that you’ll “get through one module every night”!!  This opens you up to the “I don’t have time to finish the module…so I’ll start it tomorrow” excuse.  You ONLY need to do ONE thing regarding the course or ebook.  Read for 10 minutes.  Watch one of the videos. Start on the homework.  A LOT of the time, you’ll find that 10 minutes will automatically turn into 30 minutes or an hour anways.

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I recommend, also, doing Step 5 at the same time every single day.  If you have 10 minutes before you need to head to the office, 10 minutes before the kids wake up, 10 minutes right before bed…USE those 10 minutes!

Step 6: Keep a mini journal!  I like to keep a private “blogger” blog pinned to the top of my Chrome browser.  Every day, I take a screen shot of my website’s traffic, a screenshot of my sign ups in ConvertKit, and WHAT I did that day of any business interest.

It’s not gorgeous…but it does the trick!!  In addition to putting in the information above, I’ve started adding in a few sentences about the course or ebook I’m reading…and what I need to remember from that day’s lesson.  Blogger makes it SUPER easy to add a “label” to your posts…so I recommend labeling your post with the name of the course!  That way, you can easily see your progress as you work through it.

A note on challenges:

Of COURSE you know that I’m the challenge queen…so I couldn’t leave you guys without giving you a few tips on how to stay on top of all of those challenges you are signing up for!!

After you’ve signed up for a blogger’s free e-course or challenge, there is a VERY good chance (no matter how amazing the content) that you’ll get distracted half way through, miss an email, or simply procrastinate even starting it!  I have a two different methods below to help you organize your joined challenges in a way that makes them easier to find when you need them!!

Step 1: You’ll want to set a reminder every day to check for the daily email from the challenge.  Yes…you’ll be able to organize them with tags in Gmail, but you’ll still want to make sure they not being sent to your Unrolled folder (if you are using the Unrolled app), SPAM or some other folder you don’t pay attention to.

The Gmail method:

Step 2: You’ll want to add a “label” to your label’s list. I recommend using a topic like “finances”, “income”, “challenges”, “launches”, “seo”, etc instead of the name of the challenge or the challenge creator.

You can do this in gmail by going to Settings -> Labels -> Create New Label -> “Challenges” -> Save -> Create New label -> (Topic of the challenge) -> Nest Under Challenges -> Save

Step 3: It’s time to create a filter!  A filter will ensure that not EVERY email from this blogger will end up in your folder…just the challenge emails.  Fair warning…this doesn’t ALWAYS work the way it should!!  When the blogger launches this challenge again, those launch emails may end up tucked away in there as well. That’s alright, since you’re absolutely going to want to save the actual lessons as PDF’s and organize them in Airtable a LOT like we did in that first lesson above!

Step 4:  You’ll want to save each email as a PDF as you get them…and from there, you can upload them to your e-challenge Airtable base for easy download and consumption later on down the road! If you haven’t watched the first video above…that walks you through setting your base up!

So, my friends…that is it!!  This method will keep you enthusiastic and PRESENT in those freakin’ expensive (sometimes better than college classes) courses that you keep collecting like baseball cards!

Have any great tips or tricks to share with the class? Post them below in the comment area!