The Online Course Opportunity and Your Expertise

jazmin-quaynor-392995The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is typically one that is slow or completely non-existent for business. Traditionally, I use that week to do a lot of offline activities to plan for the upcoming year. This year I took two great online courses, and decided to build one of my own in 2018.

First, the plan.

The last few years, I went through Michael Hyatt’s Your Best Year Ever online course and found it very helpful in the way it structures your planning process, challenges your assumptions, pressure tests your goals and is full of logical advice. He has captured the course in a book that launches today, Tuesday January 2, and if you grab it now it comes with some bonuses available until the end of the week, Friday January 5. His bonuses are terrific  and will help you apply what you learn in the book. If you are still in your planning stage for 2018, I recommend it. Here’s a link that will get you the book and bonuses.

As part of my 2018 goals, I am going to build an online course to accompany the launch of my next book due out later this year. The book, Retaining Expert Knowledge: What to Keep in an Age of Information Overload, takes the Working with SMEs series into some new territory. Writing this book met one of my 2017 goals to write a book with a major publisher, and I am very happy about meeting that goal. (More about the upcoming book in later blog posts.) Writing a book is just the first step, however, because it is getting the book and ideas out to the public that is the most important part of the process.

As part of that effort, I am going to build an online course to help readers apply the content of Retaining Expert Knowledge to their areas of expertise and their companies. Which leads me to the second course I took last week.

Executing the Plan

Big plans are accomplished one small step at a time. As Michael Hyatt says in his course (paraphrased), you only need to take the next small step to attain big goals. If your goal is big, hairy and audacious enough, you won’t know exactly how to get there. Hyatt advises that you set goals outside your comfort zone and take the very next small step that you can see, and it will usually appear in the form of resources or some kind of help that you need. That is exactly what happened. I had signed up with an elearning hosting platform, and they offered a course to make the most of your investment.

For three days, I delved into how to use this particular online platform and now I am very excited about building and presenting an online course for Retaining Expert Knowledge.

The course reminded us:

  1. Online learning is mainstream.
  2. Education is now lifelong.
  3. People want bite-sized information.
  4. Information wants to be free.
  5. The size of the online opportunity is about to explode.

Learning from Experts

For those experts who read this blog and the trainers who work with them, that list tells us that we’ve only just begun. As knowledge and information explodes, we have so much to share and people have less time to absorb it. It is a great time to share what you know and do it in a way that you can reach a lot of people.

Massive amounts of information are free or very inexpensive. Because information is free, you have to earn the space you take up in someone’s brain. Keep it short. Keep it relevant. And provide value. Blogs are one of the new “free information” sources, as well as endless streams of webinars, podcasts and more.

That is why when building a course for sale, experts need to build premium courses.  Your Expertise 101 is free, and Your Expertise 301 premium course has some price attached to it as well as support that helps your learners apply the information.

Today is the first workday of 2018. It is exciting to do what we love. And it is equally exciting to share what we love. If you are an expert in some area and have something to share or teach, think about the fact that adult learning is all-the-time, online, bite-sized and much of it is free.

You don’t have to wait to be asked. Get out there and share what you’ve got. People want to know. You can be part of the knowledge explosion.

 

Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever!

. Lost305656_YourBestYearEverHyatt_posts12  No matter how good your life is, isn’t there one thing you want to  achieve that has exceeded your grasp until now? Time to saddle up. With two more weeks to 2017 on the calendar, it’s time to come up with a plan to reach your next highest level.

Let me recommend Michael Hyatt’s Your Best Year Ever online course and the new Your Best Year Ever book for goal-setting and goal-achieving.

Many of my readers are experts, executives and people who like to excel. Because I know that you like to make the most of life, that is why I call this to your attention to this program.

Last December, I jumped into the Best Year Ever online course through one of the Best Year Ever affiliate partners, Ray Edwards, top-drawer copywriter for people like Tony Robbins, Jeff Walker and Hyatt. Those of us who took the online course with Ray benefitted from his support, wisdom and humor all year with online support groups in real time. It was fun and provided a level of interaction with others that was truly helpful in moving some of the mountains in my life and getting me unstuck when things got tough.

[To take the course with Ray, here’s a link that will get you support through Ray Edwards International.]

Working through the online Best Year Ever course over five days for an hour each morning between last Christmas and New Year’s Day, I looked at all areas of my life, saw where I was already living large and places where I wasn’t living very well at all. I made some adjustments, I worked hard during 2017 and had a lot of support from Ray’s team. I moved a few mountains…well, at least, got a few scoops of dirt in my shovel…in some important areas.

The 20 pounds I wanted to lose? They went to the Lost and Found. I lost some and most of them found me again.

The book I wanted to write? Check. My first professionally published book combining much of my work is slated to come out early in 2018. More on that as we get closer.

My finances? Meh.

I learned a few things. One is that you can really make massive progress in a few areas of your life and check off a few important boxes. In other areas, you can continue to plan, line things up, course correct and continue.

That’s what I am doing for 2018. Because I took the journey in 2017, I can recommend enthusiastically that if you still have a few mountains to move, this is a great way to do it. You’ll go through a self-assessment and goal-setting process that will reveal some things to you and show you the way forward. And you’ll get year ’round support from people who have done it before. The course has a few options, some with online support and some with a live conference option.

Your Best Year Ever program has been a bright light in 2017 for me. Therefore, it has  been an honor to be part of Michael Hyatt’s launch team of 500 believers who are promoting the book version of Your Best Year Ever. No, I don’t get paid to say this. I do, however, get the satisfaction of being part of something valuable and being an evangelist for something worthwhile.

For those of you who don’t know about Michael…

Michael Hyatt is the grand-daddy of online leadership mentors and a role model for entrepreneurs. Among the recent proliferation of online businesses owners and self-published book authors, Hyatt stands out as the one who cut the trail, the one who went first and showed others the way. He built a very successful online business with a lot of self-discipline, planning and focus. He has broken down his methods in a series of online courses, books and live programs.

Hyatt first came to my attention as the CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing, the company I knew as the publishers of John Maxwell’s leadership books. Maxwell is iconic in the leadership industry. If Hyatt led that company, I figured he is the real deal. He is.

To get started making 2018 Your Best Year Ever, click here to take the Best Year Ever online LifeScore survey find out where you stand now in all domains of your life. Then decide which mountains you will move in 2018.

For those who would rather read the book, it will be available January 2, 2018. Here’s a link to pre-order Your Best Year Ever the book.

NOTE: There are several different links that will lead you to the Best Year Ever online course directly through Michael Hyatt, one that will lead you to the online course with support from Ray Edwards International, one that will take you to a page to pre-order the book and one that leads you to a free online LifeScore to get you started.

 

 

Public Workshop in the Philadelphia Area: 3 Clear Strategies for Finding, Capturing & Transferring Retiring Expertise

What are your plans for preserving your internal corporate expertise in 2017? Join us for a public workshop on December 16 based on the book Finding Your SMEs: Capturing Knowledge from Retiring Subject Matter Experts in Your Organization Before They Leave, where we will look at the kinds of expertise you need to capture and how to make those decisions.

Here are the details.

Topic: Working with Subject Matter Experts: 3 Clear Strategies for Finding, Capturing & Transferring Retiring Expertise.

Date: December 16, 2016

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cost: $30 (lunch will be provided)

An additional session in January will be available to accommodate holiday schedules. Seating is limited. Recommended that you send more than one person from your organization to facilitate discussion within your company.

A nearly perceptible anxiety surrounds the retiring baby boom generation in corporate America today. Many thriving businesses began in the post World War II manufacturing boom. As those knowledge workers leave for the sunny golf courses of Florida, they take with them lifetimes of knowledge and skills that some businesses will never replace.  But it doesn’t have to be that way for your organization.

Join us for the workshop on December 16. Click here to register.

Our host for the event, AmpTech, serves as a provider of expertise for innovators, entrepreneurs and startups.

AmpTech Commercialization Center

As part of the Greater Philadelphia Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem, AmpTech maintains a collaborative environment where start-ups, service providers, investors, academia and local businesses can join together to get products and services to market FASTER. AmpTech bridges the gap for start-ups and corporate innovators by providing a place to develop products quickly and under one roof. AmpTech provides rapid prototyping capabilities establishing an opportunity to pilot various technologies before market launch.

31 General Warren Blvd, Malvern, PA 19355, USA
info@amptech.org   |   484-320-8938
http://amptech.org/

For more information about AmpTech, click here.

If you have questions, you can also contact me directly at workingwithsmes@gmail.com.

Dear Mr. or Madam President: The U.S. Needs to Be a Learning Organization

Today is probably the most important day in U.S. history in many decades. Unless you are living off-planet, you know most voters will go to the polls to elect a new president. We won’t be electing just any president this year. We’ll be electing a human to solve super-human problems. No matter who takes the Oval Office, they will be called on to solve crazy big issues:  gross overspending, slow growth, rising rates of poverty and disenfranchisement, and the immediate threat of a global nuclear war.

For the first time in decades, the electorate has a clear choice. While some call this year’s candidates divisive, I think it is a healthy sign that we have departed from traditional Frick-and-Frack politics. The stark differences between the two major party candidates goes well beyond male and female. Their vastly different styles and philosophies have given people in the U.S. clear, distinct paths to really think about the nation’s direction forward. The most important part of that sentence is that people are thinking about the path forward. People are thinking about solutions and they are passionate about their ideas. Nobody denies we are in need of a new direction and people are excited about it.

Now, to harness all this great energy to clear a path forward.

U.S. Department of Human Potential

Great organizations today are learning organizations. As our country thinks about how to solve our problems, we need to consider techniques used by the most successful organizations. Today, all great organizations are learning organizations – they preserve and manage knowledge, develop talent and encourage innovation. The U.S. is already doing some of those things with some innovative initiatives.

Just as companies appoint a Chief Information Officer to the C-suite, recently our country installed a national CIO to oversee the big picture and direction of our national IT infrastructure. Following that lead, the new U.S. president should consider creating a national cabinet level Chief Learning Officer to combine and replace the outdated Departments of Labor and Education. A national CLO would oversee our efforts to develop human potential as a critical national priority just as leading companies are installing CLOs in the C-suite. And by combining the Departments of Education and Labor, we recognize that our citizens are continually learning, growing and contributing at every stage of life.

The reason we need a U.S. Department of Human Potential is simple: Human productivity is the core of every nation’s wealth.

Gold Is a Proxy for Human Productivity

Some financiers might say the country with the most gold wins. That is only partially true. Gold is a proxy for wealth, and true wealth is the full development and use of a country’s human potential. A country might be rich in mineral wealth but that is usually concentrated among a few. For stable societies based on broad income distribution, real wealth is about people reaching their full potential. All people, and that includes not just factory workers and corporate executives, but artists and actors and software entrepreneurs. Everybody wins when all participants in the great human tapestry are able to fully contribute as value is exchanged among them.

The hard work and ingenuity of U.S. citizens and immigrants in the early 20th Century led to the largest social expansions of education, access to health and leisure time in history. The well-educated and healthy populace created wealth that it then, quite accidentally, squandered by offshoring too much of the work to other countries. The countries that accepted the opportunities to do the work have prospered and, in fact, have accumulated most of the gold as a result of their decision to maximize their human potential (see China).

This isn’t to ignore the low-wages and poor working conditions that often proliferated in those countries where sweat shops harnessed human labor like animals. Let me suggest that as hard physical labor is being replaced by robotics, those conditions can be corrected.

What I am suggesting here is that the countries that maximize their human potential also eventually become the most prosperous, which is why I stated that gold is a proxy for human productivity. And that is exactly why we need a national CLO to help direct the development of our human potential.

Science and technological advances will allow dangerous jobs under poor working conditions to go the way of the dodo bird. But first, we need to turn our national attention to building our most precious resource, our people.

From that, social stability, prosperity and peace can follow.

What is your company doing to preserve and enhance its expertise so you are part of the next great wave of prosperity?

 

How To Run A Successful Coaching Business from Home: Life Beyond The Cubicle

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This is reposted from Evercoach and ran on November 18, 2015. Check it out here with the cool layout and more graphics. Thank you to Ajit Nawalkha and the team at Evercoach.

 

Did corporate mergers and acquisitions leave you out in the world to fend for yourself? That’s great!

You’ve already got the personal discipline and structure to succeed on your own.

Coaches and consultants fresh from inside a large organization have a lot to offer new clients. You have a depth of experience and knowledge that only your years in the hallowed halls of a corporate enterprise can provide.

This could be the start of something big.

At first, you might find the cubicle-less-ness of your world gives you a feeling of freedom that is more illusory than real. If a large company isn’t imposing a schedule on you, you need to do it for yourself to realize your full potential.

As a self-employed businesswoman, I have been able to garden when the weather is lovely on Tuesday at 10 a.m., take walks at 2:30 in the afternoon just to stretch and enjoy the sunshine, attend school functions in the middle of the day to see my son perform in a toga, go to a yoga class two mornings a week and even disappear for long weekends. So, I’m here to tell you that yes, it’s possible to work from Maui and enjoy the view of the beach as long as you remember you are running a business to pay for it.

Here are 10 tips for running a coaching business from home that separate the pros from the posers:

Set aside dedicated office space

Make this space every bit as free from personal artifacts as your corporate cubicle. Pics of the spouse and kids are okay, but put the toy box in another room.

The sooner you can get out of the corner of your bedroom and into a professional room of your own, the better. You can write off your home office space as long as you aren’t using a desk and computer that you share with your kids in the family room; talk to your accountant.

Update your equipment and software

You are your own tech department now.

Make sure you are running the programs and have the applications that your customers and clients are using. You don’t want to be frivolous with your spending during your startup, but this is a very good place to be investing your limited funds in your home business.

Consider upgrades as an ongoing business expense. Again, this is the cost of doing business so keep receipts for your accountant.

Make a daily schedule and stick to it 

Block out a big, uninterrupted chunk of time each day to do your most demanding and important work.

Then limit emails to a specific time slot and don’t get sucked into all-day IM sessions with your besties.

Get dressed for work

Nothing elaborate here. You can leave grandma’s diamond earrings in their box, but go to the trouble to put on a clean shirt and jeans in the spirit of dress-down Friday.

It affects your attitude and reminds you that you aren’t on vacation.

Your office should be a no-jammie zone to keep your head in the game. (Although I’ll admit I’ve reported to work sick or exhausted in my jammies a few times!)

Close the office door at the end of the day

Take time to enjoy uninterrupted family dinnertime or personal time.

Physically closing a door defines a mental boundary, too. So shut the door and mentally punch out when your work is through.

Network locally

There’s nothing like human contact to keep you grounded.

Regularly get out of your home office and stay connected to other professionals. If you work by yourself, make sure you network so you can look into some else’s eyeballs occasionally and to stay current with trends and best practices.

Take a class. Join a local professional organization. Regularly schedule networking time with colleagues.

Connect online

Attend professional webinars to stay current in your field.

Join LinkedIn groups or professional forums related to coaching. Connect and learn from other professionals by participating in masterminds.

The opportunity to learn from other coaches and trainers at the top of their game has never been easier. Take full advantage of it.

Hire caregivers

Hire a babysitter if you are responsible for young kids during the workday. This reminds you that you are at work and earning a living, especially when paying for child care. Extend this to caring for very ill family members.

As a client, there is nothing more annoying than realizing that the attention, care and time that you are paying for is divided between you and a three year old who wants more Cheerios.

Be flexible

You may have to work 24/7 in the global economy. Restricting your day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone is probably unrealistic if you need to respond to a client five time zones away.

In the global economy “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere”.

This rule isn’t in conflict with Rule #5, but an expansion of it. Rules and boundaries are good for keeping yourself on a schedule, but adjusting to your clients’ needs is even better.

I’ve trained online classes with a German company from my home office in the Eastern U.S. and it required some flexibility on my part. I’ve also facilitated classes in a nursing home at midnight because the third shift deserves stress management skills as much- or more!- as day shift. It doesn’t happen every day, but my business calls on me to meet the needs of a global 24/7 workforce.

Pay for professional services

Make a few wise investments in your business by paying for accounting and legal services.

Accountants and lawyers understand tax rules and good contract language for agreements. In many cases, you will only use their services a few times or once a year, but it is money well spent.

A good accountant who specializes in small business can tell you about important tax write-offs and help you make good decisions about whether to buy or lease equipment, the best allocation of retirement savings and other advice that will save you far more than you spend. A lawyer can help you write good contract language for getting paid and for defining your relationships with your clients.

Starting your own successful coaching business takes discipline and time to transition from a conventional job. However, with a little planning you will find that it is worth the effort to put some rules and structure around your new enterprise.

When you establish a few boundaries, your personal life will benefit from the freedom you have on your time off, and your clients will benefit from your undivided attention during your working hours.