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Focusing on What Works

TJe world

A lot of things are not working right now.

From the health care system to supply chains to being able to reliably plan things like work, child care, travel, and school, everyone on the planet is living with prolonged and severe stress.

It's hard not to succumb to exhaustion, anger, and despair. Those feelings are only natural.  I'm not here to blow Pollyanna sunshine around...we need to acknowledge what's real and to feel the way we feel. BUT...

For many of us, whether we are parents, entrepreneurs, educators, something else, or all of the above: WE are all we've got. The space between our ears has got to run the show, and in a positive way... or the show will not go on.

I know you know what I'm talking about, so I won't waste time. We are all acutely aware of what's NOT working right now, and the many things that are out of our control.

So let's get right to focusing on what does work, and what we CAN control.

The Importance of Self-Efficacy

"Self-efficacy" is one of the three motivational factors described by educational theorist and researcher Robert M. Gagné.

Self-efficacy means "being able to take effective action on one's own behalf". That's a fairly abstract concept during normal times, because people are generally USED TO taking effective action on their own behalf, all the time.

So explaining "self-efficacy" can be like trying to explain water to a fish: you're always swimming in it, so it's hard to understand what it IS. Until now.

 That thing that's missing from all of our lives right now?

 That's self-efficacy. 

When you work your hardest to get ahead, only to find yourself slipping behind:

 that's LACK of self-efficacy

The entire planet is facing a self-efficacy crisis right now. We've all been working our hardest, stepping out of (or being unceremoniously thrown out of) our comfort zones, being creative and adaptable and keeping our spirits up, but at a certain point, when faced with an invisible shape-shifting enemy that's literally trying to kill us... it can all feel like too much.

This is where YOU, and the importance of the expertise you want to teach and share with the world, come in.

glass globe sitting on top of a graph or chart

I've worked with hundreds of experts creating courses in all kinds of subject areas.

Whenever I ask them, "What's the difference you want your course to make for your own life, and for the world?" the first thing they focus on is how they want their course to change the world and make a difference for other people in positive ways.

I know that's your focus too... or you wouldn't be reading this blog. 

So let me ask you: would it be helpful to focus on building more self-efficacy into your own life, and the lives of the people you serve, in these turbulent times?

We can't do anything about the conditions out there,

but we can do everything about our own focus, attitude, and the structures we build to help others improve theirs.

That's what an online course is designed to do.

How do you build self-efficacy into an online course?

The online space has been a safe space during these turbulent times. If you want to build community and create a positive path forward for the people you feel called on to serve, creating an online course is a solid place to do that. So the CONTEXT of an online course provides self-efficacy to begin with.

To build self-efficacy into the STRUCTURE and CONTENT of your course, it helps to follow a proven, step-by-step process that ensures your course is designed for the way people actually learn. I created this schematic to show you the step-by-step process we follow in the Course Design Formula® Master Course:

the cdf journey map

If you’d like to make creating an online course that really teaches at a deep level, a priority this year, 

schedule a time NOW to talk with me

about whether the Course Design Formula® Master Course (starting January 18th, 2022) is right for you.

 Spaces are limited so book your call now.

(If you can't find a time slot that works for you on my calendar, 

just send me an email to Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com

with "Master Course" in the subject line).

Join the January 2022 cohort

of the Course Design Formula® Master Course

CLASS STARTS JANUARY 18TH, 2022

Book your enrollment interview now!

I'd love for you to be able to look back next June and see the first half of 2022 as the time when you learned how to  make a tremendous positive difference in highly effective and practical ways.

Your Year in Pictures, 2021

Messy group of disorganized photos covered up by pieces of paper

I've noticed a message about the year in pictures for 2021, from various websites and publications,and the message is:

 "It isn't pretty. Are you SURE you want to look back?"

While I couldn't fully read the New York Times version, since I decided it isn't healthy to digest a steady diet of bad news, my glimpse at the headline before it got covered over by advertising messages promised a photo album of the apocalypse, with cities covered in dust.

(Hey, if I want to see things covered in dust I need look no farther than my own living room, amiright?)

Low-angle closeup of "Caution High Winds" traffic sign with strong winds visible in the cloud formations behind


While 2020, as I wrote at this time last year, may have been

 "a nonstop series of life or death storms for our little

 planet,"  2021 has been more like one BIG storm that never seems to end.

Just when you think it's safe to peek your head outside, you get blasted back  under your rock by the howling wind of another Covid variant.

And sometimes by the ACTUAL howling wind as well.

We've read the positive-thinking books. We've got the meditation apps. 

We know that it's important to have a positive mindset, in order to bring more positive things into our  businesses and lives ....

But it's a Catch-22 when negativity comes flying at us day after day after day, for years. 

No blowing smoke here, this is a very long slog up a very steep hill.

It isn't easy. And it isn't over.

So how should we look back and remember 2021?

My suggestion is, don't.

Don't look back. 

Look forward.

Keep going.

Envision the good that  you want to do in the world and focus on that with laser vision.

Because everything else is going to heck in a handbasket, and there's nothing we can do about it.

Just focus on your circle of influence and make the positive changes you can in your world and life... and especially in your courses and teaching work.

Young couple running away from waterfall (blurred motion)

What is the specific change you're here to make in the world, and how can you best achieve that? 

What will it take to make that happen, given all the odds that are stacked against all of us on this planet, right now?

Here's how my version of that looks (I'd love to hear yours!):

I'm here to help people create effective and engaging online courses that really DELIVER on the transformation they promise.

An important goal of my business is to take the stress and overwhelm out of online course design.

I'm like a professional organizer for your mind... helping you structure and display the aspects of your expertise you want to share with the world, in ways that (as Marie Kondo famously puts it) "spark joy" for you and your course participants.

In the midst of the swirling chaos, crazy weather, and general mayhem of the past year, it's been a source of great joy to celebrate my coaching clients' and course participants' successes as they launch their courses and deliver meaningful transformation that beautifully expresses their life's work.

I truly couldn't ask for anything more.



Your course content... 

before and after

applying the

Course Design

 Formula® to it!

Wide angle view of young woman with hands covering face kneeling on bed among large tiles of clothes and other objects in a chaotic bedroom. León, Castilla y León, Spain.
An organized closet

How about you? Despite everything that's going on outside your sphere of influence,

what have you been able to focus on in 2021 that WAS in your control?

What's the difference your work and teaching made in the world this past year?

As you look back on 2021, what pictures do you see in your own mind,

 that reflect the impact your work has made on others' lives?

POV From the bridge of a boat sailing ocean
Sailboat in stormy seas, lighthouse in distance (Digital Composite)
Composite image of a lighthouse beacon shining with stormy weather and crashing waves

When you're out there  on a stormy ocean, it helps to have a group of fellow travelers to help you reach your goal.

For each of us, our guiding mission and vision

 serves as the beacon that keeps us on track no matter what the external conditions are...

and our community is our group of fellow travelers to support us in reaching our goals.

In 2021, our community met every week on Saturdays to brainstorm and synergize about how to survive and thrive with online courses and online business in these challenging times.

The members of the Learn and Get Smarter community are experts in many fields, and we shared ideas and pooled our expertise on topics ranging from systems thinking to human behavior to software development... and of course, teaching and learning.

As a result, we all learned and got smarter. We created a community of practice around transformational online teaching, and a weekly practice of building community and supporting each other in these very challenging times.

I'm thankful for the participation and sharing, the generosity of spirt, and the sheer brilliance, that the members of this community have shared with each other and with me. Thank you for being who you are and for doing what you do.

What's your mission and vision for teaching online,

and what beacons and landmarks have you set for yourself 

to head towards in 2022?

If you’d like to make creating an online course that really teaches at a deep level, a priority in the new year, 

schedule a time NOW to talk with me

about whether the Course Design Formula® Master Course (starting January 18th, 2022) is right for you.

 Spaces are limited so book your call now.

Join the January 2022 cohort

of the Course Design Formula® Master Course

CLASS STARTS JANUARY 18TH, 2022

Book your enrollment interview now!


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of this community, for your vision,

 and all your hard work to make the world a better place in these challenging times.

I hope that 2022 will be a year filled with blessings, growth, and service

for you and your students, clients, community, and family.

We'll resume the Saturday community meetings on January 8th, 2022.


Have a great holiday season and I will see you next year!

2022. 2022 business goals concept illustration. Business team seeking new opportunities. Leadership. Vision. Achievement. Success vector design


Designing your life and work for the year ahead

Kids arranging arrow symbol

It's an interesting time of year as we collectively reflect on 2021 and start envisioning the lives we want to live in 2022.

With so many things out of our control these days, it's more important than ever to focus and be intentional about the things we CAN change,  and the difference we are here to make.

At this time of year, many experts provide helpful guidance in how to do this:

  • Michael Hyatt's LifeScore Assessment helps you identify the areas of life you want to focus on most.
  • Chris Brogan has a process called "My Three Words" that helps you select the three words you want to focus on this coming year.
  • Ryan Deiss, CEO of Digital Marketer and the Scalable Company, is running a "Top to Bottom Challenge" focused on how to scale your business.

Here in our own community, Puzzle Artist Alli Berman graciously shared her "Color Your Gratitude for the New Year" mandala-making activity at last week's Learn and Get Smarter community meeting.

You can learn more about mandalas and how Alli uses them to create focus and intention that brings all the important aspects of our lives together, from this short video.

You can learn more about Alli and her work on her website.

If you're interested in a "Color Your Gratitude" class for yourself or your organization, email her at alli@puzzlearttherapy.com with "GRATITUDE" in the subject line.


What's the difference you are  here to make in the world?

And.. would you like help doing it?

The fifth cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course wrapped up last week...with amazing results.
 
At our final class meeting, I used the Mentimeter app to focus and capture the group's feedback, and saved it in the flipbook you'll find below.

My students have given me permission to share their feedback about what they can now do and how they now feel about creating online courses for their own businesses, as a direct result of participating in the Master Course.

Check out what they have to say in the flipbook below.
(On a computer or tablet, click on the white square in the lower right corner of the blue rectangle, just below the logo, to expand the flipbook to full screen for easier reading. On a phone, use landscape orientation and drag across the book with your fingers to make the pages bigger).

I am so thankful for and proud of my amazing Master Course students, for all their hard work and accomplishments over the past six months.

 I'd love for everyone in this community who feels ready to do so, to experience it for themselves!

The Course Design Formula® Master Course starts 

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

4 PM Pacific/ 7 PM Eastern

January cohort screenshot

Would you like to be part of it?


If you'd like to join the course,

click here 

to schedule an enrollment meeting

and/or write to

Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com

to set up a private admissions interview.

You might also enjoy watching my on-demand webinar

which teaches three secrets of online course design

 (secrets we go into in much more depth, in the Master Course).

Screenshot of webinar registration page

Sign up to the Webinar

Secure your place in our free webinar on course design and learn to make your course stand out from the crowd!

 I'm here to support you in your online teaching journey. 

How do YOU want to change the world in 2022 and beyond?


Come to the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting... Saturdays at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern on Zoom

We're focusing on how to  use our online teaching practices and online businesses to help ourselves and others survive and thrive during these challenging times. 

Click here to register for the meeting

(We meet on December 18th, 2021 and then again on January 8th, 2022).

No meetings on Christmas Day and New Years Day... HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

many people online in a conference call

What are your goals for summer, 2021?

2021 Summer Calendar Folders

In a time of as much upheaval and uncertainty as we've all  been going through, it can be challenging to set and achieve goals. 

When everything around us is in a state of unpredictable change, just getting ourselves and our loved ones, clients, students, and associates through the day, is often as big a goal as we can manage or achieve.

That said, I’ll go out on a limb here and ask:


WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS SUMMER?



When you set aside all the things that are in flux and that you have no control over, 

what things that you DO have control over,

would most move the needle forward in your life right now?

I’ve been enjoying the audiobook of Atomic Habits by James Clear, and reflecting on the habits that lead to success  in achieving goals,

for myself and my students. 

(The picture below contains my affiliate link for this book... just to let you know).

  • Having a specific time and place where we have to show up, to get things done
  • Having a community of people we care about, and who care about us, who want to see us succeed
  • Surrounding ourselves with positive role models who are living proof that what we want to do is possible
  • Committing to a series of small, achievable steps we can follow in a clearly laid out sequence, over time
  • Making it FUN to do the things we want and need to do, to achieve our goals
  • Setting our sights on small short term milestones that lead to a larger result

Learning how to teach effectively online can feel overwhelming, I realize.

Many people all over the world got thrown into the deep end of online teaching and learning this past year...without a paddle to steer with and without a rope to hold onto.

I provide guidance, tools, support, and resources to make the experience of teaching online enjoyable and fun.

My students and clients develop grace and ease  both teaching in general, and teaching online specifically.

The Course Design Formula® Master Course  focuses on the factors that lead to success

 in becoming a transformational online teacher:

  • Guided, step by step ACTIVE learning focused on getting you RESULTS
  • A caring community of experts and peers
  • Intensive individualized support from me

This course is only offered twice a year, and I may never offer it again at its current price point, because people keep telling me I’m not charging enough. Admission is by private interview only.  

The June 2021 cohort starts on Tuesday, June 15, 2021  (that’s THIS Tuesday) so if you’ve been thinking about enrolling, now is the time.

Learn more about the Course Design Formula® Master Course

Check out my free, on-demand webinar to learn more


If you’d like to make this summer count and become a skilled transformational online teacher by this fall, write to me at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com and let me know what your goals are for teaching online. We’ll find a time to talk on Zoom (I’d send you my scheduler, but it’s pretty much booked up) and see if the course is a good fit for your needs. If you’d like to learn more, check out my webinar.

I’ve also created another course, Streamlined Course Creation, that follows the process I use in my private one- on- one course design coaching sessions. If you’re in a hurry to create a specific course, check out Streamlined Course Creation to enroll directly, or learn more about it here.


What are your goals for this summer when it comes to teaching online?

 What kind of support and guidance would best help you achieve your goals?

Drop me a note to Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com and let me know how this summer is shaping up for you,

 and where you’d like your online teaching and course design skills to be by September.

2021 Summer Calendar Folders


Whatever your goals, hopes, dreams, visions, and plans, I hope this summer will be a time of safety, good health, community, learning, relaxation and fun, for you and everyone you know and care about. 

If you’d like to enjoy some of that community, learning, and fun as part of our amazing community of creative experts and entrepreneurs in the  Course Design Formula® Master Course, that would be fantastic.

If that’s you, I look forward to talking with you soon!

Write to me at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com or join us on Saturdays on Zoom for the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting...where we talk about how to survive and thrive with online learning and online courses in these challenging times.

Come to the Learn and Get Smarter

community meeting

Where we talk about how to survive and thrive with online courses and online learning 

in these challenging times

Saturday, June 19th,   2021

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Teaching changes the world

Someone cutting the

Education removes the obstacles that prevent people from achieving their dreams.

The difference between failure and success often comes down to learning... whether learning to change one's mindset from "I feel like I can't" to "I know that I can" or learning how to perform a new skill.

Times of accelerated societal change, like the present, call for accelerated learning. This is a time of unprecedented growth in online learning  as we are called on to meet the needs of those we are here to serve.

How will you rise to the occasion to meet this time of need? 

What's the difference you are  here to make in the world?

And.. would you like help doing it?

The Course Design Formula® Master Course starts TODAY

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

4 PM Pacific/ 7 PM Eastern

Course Design Formula® Master Course landing page screenshot

Would you like to be part of it?


If you'd like to join the course,

write to

Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com

to set up a private admissions interview.

You might also enjoy watching my on-demand webinar

which teaches three secrets of online course design

 (secrets we go into in much more depth, in the Master Course).

Screenshot of webinar registration page

Sign up to the Webinar

Secure your place in our free webinar on course design and learn to make your course stand out from the crowd!

Whether the course is right for you at this time or not, I'm here to support you in your online teaching journey. 

How do YOU want to change the world in 2021 and beyond?


Come to the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting... Saturdays at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern on Zoom

We're focusing on how to  use our online teaching practices and online businesses to help ourselves and others survive and thrive during these challenging times. 

Click here to register for the meeting

many people online in a conference call

Make 2021 YOUR year for teaching online!

Goals for 2021 Using Goalscape software

The past  year has provided everyone around the world with the opportunity to see things in a new (though often, harsh and painful) light.

Learning is the process of adapting to one’s environment in ways that promote survival, and 2020 forced us all onto a very steep learning curve.

The ability to learn from each other and connect online has been a lifeline to hold onto while navigating the twists and turns of this steep learning curve.

What lessons have we learned that can guide us for the year ahead?

I’d love to hear your lessons learned, so please send them to me at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com.

 Here are mine:

  • Online learning is a powerful resource for effecting positive change.
  • Many things can be taught online, that one would have thought required a physical in-person presence.
  • Learning works best when it includes community, accountability, connection, and continuity.
  • We are all more skilled in some areas than others.
  • We can optimize our lives by teaching the things we are skilled at, and learning the things we need help with.

I spent most of my time last year either teaching the things I am good at, or being coached in the areas where I need help.

I worked out with my trainer 3x a week (on Google Duo, using weights and medicine balls and a mat in my own living room).

As a result, my flexibility and strength have improved despite not being able to go to the gym.

What made this work: consistency (3 times a week every week, even on holidays) and continuity over a long period of time.

I worked with my professional organizer twice a week on Facetime.

She supervised me while I cleaned my own house, organized my own paperwork, and restructured my life.  

Again: accountability, consistency, and commitment to getting the help I needed, were what made the difference.

How about you?

What are your goals for 2021?

What type of accountability and consistency do you need to build into your life NOW, to ensure you achieve them?

How do you want to feel a year from today, as you look back on the year we are about to live, together?

If creating an online course, or a whole academy, is something you’ve been thinking about doing, 

NOW is the time to get professional help--from me.


And by now, I mean, right now, today, this week.

The Course Design Formula® Master Course January cohort starts January 12th, 2021

 at 4 PM Pacific,

7 PM Eastern.

If you want to become a transformational teacher in the online teaching space,

NOW is the time to commit to making that happen.

You can learn more about the course from my new, on-demand webinar:

Screenshot of webinar registration page

Sign up to the Webinar

Secure your place in our free webinar on course design and learn to make your course stand out from the crowd!

Now is the time to decide.

Only you can know your schedule and time commitments,

 but I can't be sure when I'll be teaching the Master Course again

… that will depend on many things. 

I also can’t promise that the price will stay as affordable as it is now.

Are you ready,willing, and able to commit to YOUR online teaching practice?

Is becoming the best, most transformational, global educator you can be, a priority for you in the year ahead?

If your answer is YES, you NEED to be in the January Cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course.

Write to Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com and let me know you want a spot, 

and I’ll send you what you need to start the enrollment process.


Because this is an ongoing, high level mastermind, enrollment is by private interview (with me, personally).

There are some things you can do to speed the process along, right now.

Once all that has happened, and we’ve had a chance to talk, I’ll send you the link to enroll.

 If you’re not sure whether the course is right for you, here are some ways to learn more:

  • Watch this video starting at the 6:07 mark.
  • Join this webinar.
  • Email me with questions (Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com).

Don't wait. Do it now. Class starts January 12th, and  I’d love to see you there.

On another note, the Learn and Get Smarter community meetings are BACK

on Saturdays at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 noon Eastern,

 and I’d love to see you there as well.

Let’s continue to support each other in finding ways to survive and thrive

under the conditions of uncertainty, challenge, and risk

that everyone on the planet is facing at this time.

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, January 9th,  2021

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call