A couple weeks back I mentioned that I was inspired to work on a new course that was to be delivered by email. The platform (Highbrow) that had contacted me to do the course seemed interesting – I liked their model. Before I contacted them back I took a couple of their courses and looked around at their site to see if I could understand their revenue model.
Once I was comfortable with them, I made contact and exchanged a few emails with their founder, to get a feel for how it worked. She was excited to talk to me, responded very quickly and gave me some interesting insights. It all looked pretty good.
I sent her an email with my course idea, my target audience and the benefits to a person taking the course. The topic was pretty esoteric to be honest, it had a pretty narrow band of people who’d be interested. My feeling was that it would be unique on their platform (or anyone’s honestly) and it might pique curiosity.
Highbrow’s model is to place ads in the course content and the apparently slip in some Amazon affiliate links into the emails which are technically against Amazon’s rules, but that’s neither here nor there. I figured that the course was unique enough that existing students might see it and be curious to try it – these are free after all.
Anyway, I sat down and wrote the 7000-word course over a ten hour period on a weekend and sent it to them. Then I didn’t hear anything for a week. That was pretty weird because they were pretty responsive at the beginning. I flicked the founder an email to see where things sat and she came back a couple days later apologizing saying she was snowed under with stuff.
If I’m being honest, I had a hunch at that point something wasn’t right. They went from very responsive to not at all. Then again, I’m pretty busy so I didn’t give it much thought, I just knew it was taking a bit longer than I’d expected for them to just come back and say, “Awesome, we’re reviewing it now.”
Tonight I received an email from their founder telling me that my course wasn’t going to be approved for their platform. It was well written and very professional, but that their editorial staff said there was absolutely no demand on Google for it. Their founder apologized for approving it – she looked past the research when she did so because she was so excited about my Udemy profile – let’s be honest, she saw 60,000+ students and didn’t do her diligence on my topic choice properly.
Needless to say, I’m pretty disappointed and angry. While I enjoyed creating the course and the content is really good, it wasted my time doing it at that point. I have other things in my business that I need to get done, but I rearranged stuff to work with them.
But you know what? That’s life.
Sometimes things don’t go your way and people let you down. You can sit around and mope about it or you can just get on with the next thing on your to-do list.
The upside for me though is that I have this content now sitting there waiting to be used in some way, shape or form. Interestingly, when I first came up with the topic about six or so months ago I wanted to do it as an hour-long presentation in front of an audience. Then when Highbrow came along I saw how it could be delivered as lessons in an email course which got me to actually put it all down in writing. Then while I was doing it I took furious notes and realized I could morph it into a video training course.
There are tons of options available to me to take the next steps with this content.
When I was talking to my wife about it this evening, she used the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s such a good way to think about your business as well because things are going to go wrong all the time. Ideas and plans you make will go askew and some of it will be out of your control.
You just need to get on with it. I spent probably half an hour being frustrated and then that was it, I started working out what next.
Moving forward is the only thing you can do sometimes.