You’re a little bit frazzled. A mega-bit stressed out. Pressed for time. Battling a migraine. Inching closer to insomnia.
You slap yourself awake. You have to keep ahead of the game, on top of your analytics, up to date with industry news. You have to find new course customers before your competitors snatch them up.
Take a breath. Don’t let stress destroy your business before it’s had time to grow. Follow these 10 tips to cut the chaos from your online course startup:
1. Set a clear goal and plan how to reach it
Be specific. If you want your online tutorial business to succeed, you can’t afford to make a vague plan. Determine where your startup stands now and make an ambitious but realistic plan for growth.
By what percentage do you aim to grow your customer base and profit? And by which date? In 90 percent of studies on goal setting, specific goals were proven more likely to be met (PsycNET).
2. Track your success
Analytics are the key to your success. They should guide everything you do in your startup: how you market your course, what to include in your classes, how to communicate with your customers and where to look for new ones.
“As you see progress, remind yourself how far you’ve come. Make adjustments as necessary if you feel as though more needs to be done, but never stray too far from your original goal.”
Taking time every day to look at your website and video analytics will help you work out an action plan how to improve them. It’ll give you clarification on your priorities and which tasks to tackle first. vzaar’s easy-to-use interface allows you to track your video analytics at a glance and even gives you a ranking of your video’s popularity. For more information on how to track the success of your online course, check out this post.
3. Remember your inspiration
Whenever you feel beaten, remember the inspiration that drove you to start teaching online.
“What are you living to achieve that will motivate you when you wake up in the morning, that ignites your heart and makes you feel alive? Find that desire, first and foremost.”
Perhaps, like Mariah Coz, Founder of Femtrepreneur, you launched your business for flexibility and financial stability. Or maybe, like David Attard, Founder of CollectiveRay, you find motivation from your love of helping others.
Let that inspiration spur you through fear and failure and keep your goal in mind. It’ll stop you from getting lost in the trivial.
4. Meditate, stretch and exercise
I’ll let you in on a trick: spending 20 minutes every day to stretch and exercise will save you time.
Exercise improves blood flow to the brain, which helps you focus. It gives you endorphins and serotonin to lighten your mood. It keeps you healthy so less sick days. And studies have found that exercise enhances creativity. You’ll find it easier to come up with innovative ideas for your online classes and business strategy.
In short, exercise improves your efficiency.
As does meditation. Take a minute or two every day to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. It’ll help you calm down, tackle stress and keep focused.
Don’t take it from me: take it from Steve Jobs, who practices Zen Mindfulness, or Natalie MacNeil, expert online course creator and founder of She Takes On The World. She finds meditation so valuable that she has set up a site called Soul Seconds, to provide members with quick meditation tips, classes and exercises so they can fit into a busy schedule.
“I want to make it easy for you to connect to yourself and your purpose on the planet and find clarity and calm in the chaos.”
If it works for them, it can work for you.
5. Make Decisions
“The most successful people are deft decision makers. They don’t waffle or second-guess themselves.”
(Lolly Daskal, Inc)
Your chaos (and stress) will only grow if you delay making decisions. Whether it’s the colour of your website, the topic of your next video class or the tools you use to create and measure your online course, don’t waste time dithering.
Do your research and then take decisive actions to take control of your life and business.
6. Be proactive
Wait, you’re thinking, how will this reduce the chaos? You just have another thing to worry about.
If you keep proactive, you’ll get a head start on your competition. You catch your audience’s problems as they arise, so you can give them a solution before your competitors get in there first. If you fall behind, you’d spend time and stress catching up and trying to win your audience back.
“Never get so busy that you stop investing in yourself and your knowledge of business, your industry and new technology. Staying up to date is essential if you want to succeed.”
8. You can say “No”
Don’t get me wrong. Saying “Yes” is a crucial part of success. Any entrepreneur will tell you the importance of adapting to change and embracing new opportunities. But turn down the tasks that will give you little ROI, joy or success in the long-run.
Ryan Robinson, expert entrepreneur and online course creator, recommends to ask yourself whether this new opportunity will get you closer to your goal or stall your progress.
“It’s tempting to try and find a justification for saying yes to an exciting new opportunity that comes your way, especially if it boosts your ego or sense of self-worth, but you need to train yourself to pull out and look at the bigger picture of your career trajectory.”
9. Don’t let failure hold you back
Every entrepreneur deals with failure. But instead of letting it break you, let it empower you. Take a breath, work out why this setback happened and how you can improve your online classes and business strategy to ensure it won’t happen again. You’ll bounce back with more strength, energy and passion than ever before.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
10. Background task, don’t switch task
Dave Crenshaw, Founder of Invaluable Inc, calls multitasking a myth. Whenever you’re “multi-tasking” you’re actually either switch tasking or background tasking.
Switch tasking is when you’re trying to tackle multiple things at once by switching between them. This reduces your focus and steals about 23 minutes of your time as you have to re-adjust every time you come back to your original task. Complete one task at a time and you’ll get things done quicker.
Background tasking, on the other hand, can improve efficiency. This is when you have one thing running or loading in the background, while you get on with your work. For example, you can upload your videos to your site while you work on more course content. Tasks like this don’t require much of your attention and so won’t hinder your productivity.
Keep those ten tips in mind and you’ll feel less stressed in no time!
For more pointers on how to kickstart your confidence and motivation and reduce stress, grab your free guide: How To Fight Fear Of Failure And Create A Killer Online Course!