Category Archives for Online business

Getting the Support You Need

staircase of wooden blocks upheld by various types of supports

Looking at your life as a whole, as an educator and entrepreneur…. where is your zone of genius? 

And what areas of your life and work need strengthening to support that? 

What areas of life feel unbalanced for you now, especially in light of the restrictions and changes imposed by the pandemic?

And, most interestingly, how has the pandemic actually helped you to bring more structure, balance, and order into your life… if it has?


How, in other words, have the challenges posed by the pandemic helped you grow?

We’re all acutely aware of the negative pressures exerted on everyone globally (though not on everyone equally), this past year. From ecologic upheaval to political uncertainty, this year has really been a doozy.

None of us, personally, has control over the pandemic, the economy, or the environment.

But what about the areas of life you DO have control over?

How are you using this time…which may be a very extended period of time indeed… how are you using this time of forced seclusion, inward-turning, and retreat from the types of interactions we have all taken for granted our entire lives?

Woman organizes clothes in living room of her home


What are you focusing on now that you didn’t have time, energy, or interest in focusing on before?


I hope that committing to your course design and development process will be one of those things. 

There has never been a more appropriate time to develop online learning.

People all over the world need to learn how to do things, right now… on all levels of life ranging from physical survival to spiritual enlightenment.

Maslow's pyramid of needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom.



What do you teach online… or plan to? 

Where does your teaching fit on the continuum of Maslow’s hierarchy?

How will your course(s), once finished and up and running, help make life better for the people you serve, in these challenging times?

What is the IMPACT that your course will make in the world?

Here's mine:

 If everyone designing online courses applied the principles I teach in the Course Design Formula® Master Course,

illuminated mind

we could light up the planet, one mind at a time.

 That’s my mission. That’s what I’m here to do.

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, October 3rd (yes, the meeting is BACK…), we talked about the shockwaves that can form when you put yourself out there on the public stage.

A man watching a 3-D television with waves startling him by surging forward out of the TV screen

When you do something that makes a difference, things start to shift. Things start to change.

While creating transformation is our goal, it’s not all sweetness and light when that happens. 

Some of the shifts and changes we make reverberate, making waves that can blow back on US.


Part of becoming a changemaker involves learning to strengthen and hold our center

 so we can withstand the impact of the changes that we, ourselves, create.

We also need to build capacity into our businesses (and our lives) to enable us to DELIVER on what we’re offering.

Some ways of increasing capacity that we discussed last Saturday include:

  • Working on ourselves (to correct any areas of imbalance, and strengthen any areas that need it)
  • Valuing what we do (appreciating the value of our mission and life’s work)
  • Creating relationships (with prospects, clients, customers, and peers)

What’s your unique process, method, insight, procedure, attitude shift, or way of understanding the world?

 How will the world be different when your course is up and running at capacity?

And how can you increase the capacity of your course and business, so you can serve more people?


One way to increase capacity is to optimize the SYSTEMS that make your business work.

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, October 10th ,2020, we'll be treated to a presentation by Mary Williams,  Chief Technology Therapist at Sensible Woo.

Mary  teaches people how to be their own best tech guru.

(And isn't that just what we need, especially after our collective discovery the other week  that technology itself is often the main thing that gets in the way of  technology-based businesses?!)

Mary is an accredited librarian with her Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information, and started her career as the digital archivist for Disney Animation Studios.

She has developed a system she calls Digital Feng Shui, to help her clients master milestones in their business so they have more time, energy, and revenue. 


Next Saturday, Mary will  help us understand and identify business bottlenecks

 as we explore how to gain clarity and ease in understanding

 business workflows and optimizing tech-based backend systems.

If you crave greater flow and organization in your business -- and more supportive tech-based systems to help you get your message out there into the world -- you won't want to miss this meeting! I hope you can join us!

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, October 10th,  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Applying systems thinking to your course and business

The concept of rational and irrational thinking of two people. Heads of two people with colourful shapes of abstract brain for concept of idea and teamwork. Two people with different thinking.

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, July 4th, 2020 we learned from community member Rob Ruder about information systems as they relate to systems thinking in general, and online course creation in particular. Rob is the owner of IDIC Designs and an Adjunct Faculty Member in Gonzaga University’s School of Business Administration. His generous sharing of his systems thinking expertise is helping us all learn and get smarter...thank you, Rob!


What is

 systems thinking ?

How does it relate to your course and business?


As a nation, we've been getting a crash course on systems thinking in the form of a wake-up call about systemic racism. Systems thinking allows us to understand how things that might seem like random, unrelated events, may actually be part of an organized SYSTEM.


The movie 13thfor example, provides an eye-opening analysis of how the US prison system perpetuates the use of unpaid labor of African Americans... systematically perpetuating the economics of slavery.

Systems, clearly, can be good or bad... effective and empowering, or oppressive and disempowering. In order to understand the systems that affect all of our lives, we first have to be able to SEE them.

The Covid19 pandemic has disrupted systems at all levels across the entire planet. The healthcare system, the financial system, the education system,  travel and other industries, and many others have been profoundly impacted on a macro level.

And closer to our daily lived experience, our family systems and our daily and weekly ways of managing our lives (which are also systems), have all been thrown into upheaval. 

order and chaos. Chaotic unorganized colored dominoes and ordered. Concept of business model, organization. Left and right hemisphere of the brain.


How can you use systems thinking to optimize your way of working and teaching online?


At our weekly community meetings, we've been exploring how we can survive and thrive in the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic. The disruption caused by the pandemic in the way people work, meet, and learn provides  opportunities for online course creators to step up and fill the gaps created by the need to maintain physical distance while conducting business and helping people learn. 

Community member Janice Finglerwhose expertise includes exploration under conditions of uncertainty and risk, has educated us on aspects of the Cynefin framework, according to which there are different types of systems:

  • - ordered (Complicated, Clear)
  • unordered (Complex)
  • unordered (Chaos)

Janice explains that systems tend to release energy and move towards chaos.

Except under certain conditions (such as when we're falling in love, or discovering new things) humans  don't generally find chaotic conditions comfortable. So we put effort into trying to shift the systems we live in towards  efficiency and control.  

For a long time pre-Covid, we might have thought that our world was ordered and efficient - with most things being predictable.

We might have been unaware, too busy to notice, or feeling too small to influence what was actually changing around us, as global systems became hyper-entangled. This allowed the flow of almost anything - faster than before. That might have seemed like a good thing - until the virus hit.  

The pandemic has now disrupted our existing systems, that we had thought were "ordered" and efficient. But while efficiency remains important, adaptability and effectiveness actually serve us better during unpredictable times of change like those we're currently living in.

The conditions created by the pandemic have revealed systemic disparities in health care and wages and justice that impact some groups more than others. The good news amid all of this disruption is that our  human power of conscious choice matters more than ever. We can now see places where the ordered systems we took for granted were not always working to serve people, or the planet itself, in optimal ways. We can work to build better systems to replace them.

At our community meetings, we will continue to explore the implications of these disruptions for our courses and our businesses, and consider ways we can contribute to positive change.

How can systems thinking help you optimize your life, business, and online course, right now?


If you understand everything in your life as part of a SYSTEM, and start thinking about how those systems are (or are not) working, new levels of insight open up. In your personal and family life, you may have had systems that worked well before the pandemic, that have now been disrupted. For many families, their childcare system, or visits to older relatives, are no longer workable.

Are you still living in the chaos caused by the original disruption? Have you moved into a stage of disorganized complexity, or are you starting to cobble together a new system that may be complicated, but shows signs of an emerging new order?

Or do you actually have things dialed in now to where they are simple and clear? 


Was your business impacted, in either good or bad ways, by the disruptions the pandemic caused? Do you have (or can you pivot to create) products and services that solve pain points your clients and customers are experiencing during these uncertain times?

The Course Design Formula® is a system that helps you create online courses in a quick and efficient way. The Course Design Formula® system makes it fast and easy for you to  build effective knowledge transfer and motivational learner engagement into the design of your course.

Alison Heller-Ono, Physical Therapist and Board Certified Professional Ergonomist,  helps businesses and individuals optimize their working environments to promote physical comfort and prevent injuries. When her office-based business was disrupted by office closures due to the pandemic, Alison used the Course Design Formula® to  create an entirely new course offering that helps people work in comfort at home. (Check out Alison's Remote Work@Home Ergonomics Training for Individuals.) Having already mastered the Course Design Formula® system, Alison was able to quickly create a new course to address the needs of the moment for her clients and customers who suddenly found themselves working from home.

What can we learn from the insightful wisdom shared by Rob Ruder and Janice Fingler, and the inspiring example set by Alison Heller-Ono?

Here's my takeaway:

Having a system in place to accomplish a task, makes that task easier. 

What systems do you have in place to make your business run smoothly? What systems have you had to adapt, update, or change completely in the wake of the pandemic?  

eMyth is an organization that has done ground-breaking work in helping entrepreneurs apply systems thinking to their  businesses in practical ways. Check out their guidance for documenting your business systems.  Michael Gerber's book, The eMyth Revisited, is an excellent guide to setting up reliable systems for your business.

Horizontal composition of tooth wheel mechanism with Action Plan, Team, Goal, Strategy and Change concept related words imprinted on metal surface

If you'd like to set up a reliable system for creating an online course, the Course Design Formula® can help you cut through the chaos, complexity and complication to make it clear and obvious what steps you need to take,  in which order. To learn more about the Course Design Formula® you can:

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, July 11th, 2020, we will focus on how you can apply systems thinking at all levels of your life and business. We will leverage the power of community to compare notes about systems we've created or discovered that are working well, to make our lives, businesses, and courses run smoothly.

I hope you can join us!

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, July 11th, 2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Click on the green button to register for the meeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.