I created my first online course back in 1991 I was teaching inmates at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, England.
The year before had been the worst prison riots in UK history and the authorities were keen to encourage prisoner education, but few teachers were willing to go in to teach in the traditional classroom.
So we flipped the classroom. Well, we did the best we could with the very limited technology that we had available.
Inmates would access a Bulletin Board hosted on my computer which was connected by modem to their terminals.
We could effectively "chat" back and forth whilst they worked on assignments and read the tutorials. I, nor the other teachers, needed to be in the same room as the inmates.
Our audio feed was a telephone and the BBS was simple but effective.
I discovered that I was pretty good at creating these electronic courses and I enjoyed the challenges of stretching existing technology to new possibilities. It was also what the audience wanted and needed and someone was very willing to foot the bill.
I had stumbled into "My Reason for Being".
I'll talk about the possibilities of the technology today later. For now, I want you to focus on your reason for being.
Not everyone gets to enjoy living and working in this sweet spot. Many struggle either doing something that they get paid for that they hate, or they struggle to find someone to pay for something they truly want to do. And people aren't willing to pay even when they desperately need it!
Well, I struggled too. Yes I had stumbled upon it many years ago but then I somehow drifted off. I got caught up in the technology and played with ideas. I created fantastic, delightful and technically sophisticated masterpieces that nobody wanted. Then I would create another course of technical brilliance and people would want it but only for free.
I have never enjoyed being "salesy". All I want to do is deliver something people need. And that's my downfall.
Note, I didn't say I wanted to deliver something people want.
And of course, for me, it needed to be technically brilliant and I would get frustrated that nobody seemed to appreciate the incredible amount of ground breaking work that went into its creation.
So I've continued to iterate and tweak and over the past several years, I've been creating blended learning solutions and eLearning that uses a much simpler set of technology that my users can easily use and deliver what they need whilst offering them what they want and happily pay me for it.
And that's where I want you to be. Only without the unnecessary back and forth that I went through for nearly 15 years. You don;t need to waste your time with things that won't work, won't sell or won't be wanted. I've wasted more than enough time for both of us.
So, discover where you are now, most naturally, in the way you approach your business and life.
That will help you understand the strengths and passion you'll leverage and help us avoid the pitfalls and your kryptonite.
Share your thoughts and experiences by replying to this.