A Killer Hobby Turns Into A Killer Online Course
Blake is a high school junior and part of my first group of students in The Student Startup Course. He has many hobbies including, believe it or not, flying helicopters.
Not remote controlled helicopters, actual real helicopters. The ones that go up in the air several hundred feet.
Pretty scary if you ask me — but you know kids now a days like to live on the edge.
It’s Not That Scary
Besides his scary helicopter flying hobby, Blake enjoys a kind of creepy hobby that you would not expect: Growing Venus Fly Traps.
These are the plants that actually eat living things.
These plants are actually quite fascinating and there are probably a lot of things you don’t knowabout these carnivorous creatures.
Passion Is More Powerful Then You Think
Blake could tell you a whole bunch of these facts — they seem to roll right off his tongue like he studied to be a scientist for several years. For example, did you know that:
“The Venus flytrap may be the most famous plant carnivore, but Utricularia, or bladderworts, are the most widespread, found on every continent except Antarctica.”
There are 600 or so carnivorous species on the planet today that thrive in places where other plants struggle, including bogs and heaths.
But these plants are a bit tricky to take care of and require constant care.
So for those just starting out, you could easily get frustrated, kill your plant, and lose interest in it completely.
Selecting An Idea That You Would Have Never Thought Of
So as I started to work with Blake through The Student Startup Course, the first phase is to take a look at specific things that he loves and try to come up with an idea.
The key word is “specific”
Most people when trying to start an online business, pick a very broad subject because they feel that there will be a bigger audience to sell to — and thus lead to more money in their pockets.
But this is a huge first step, that will cause you to waste a ton of time and money. Believe me, I made the same mistake years ago when I was working on the next ‘big app’.
So, he went through a brainstorming session and asked me to look at his list of ideas that he had come up with over the weekend.
So I looked at his long list of ideas and noticed that he wrote down something about a venus fly trap. What stood out to me was that he actually gave it a name — like it was a pet.
He called it Victor. It was a human name no less. Not a ‘pet name’ like ‘Goliath’ or ‘Jaws’.
I figured he must love this thing, and have a lot of passion for it to even give it a human name.
If you have listened to my story or listened to my Passion Perspective Principle, you know that I am a huge believer that you should follow your passion and not follow what the rest of the herd is doing.
So I knew that this was going to be the one he should run with and told him to go for it.
This was his response:
“Sir, don’t take this the wrong way, but really??? Are you serious about this?”
Death & Taxes
I told him that there is nothing certain in life, but death and taxes.
Man — that made me feel I was some wise old man spewing proverbs that I heard from my father all of the time.
But it is actually true.
Many things in life are not certain — so you just have to go for it and see how it turns out.
And when it comes to starting a new online business and being an edu-prenuer, entrenprenuer, mom-prenuer, dad-prenuer or anyone other ‘prenuer’, you discover that:
“Your best ‘great idea’ is never your first one. You just have to start, so that you can finally get there.”
Don’t Sabotage Yourself
Now that Blake had an idea to run with, he needed to find out who would actually pay himfor his knowledge that he only acquired a little less then a year ago.
This is the second biggest mistake people make when trying to be invent something.
They sabotage themselves by thinking:
“Somebody else is doing it. The information is already available by just searching Google. Nobody will buy this from me.”
I have some shocking news for you — everything is online now a days.
You can practically teach yourself how to perform brain surgery.
Ironically, people don’t understand that this is the very thing that is creating an opportunity for you.
Free Information = Business Opportunity
There is too much information online today and it is growing at an alarming pace.
So when you are trying to figure out how to do something like take care of your venus fly trap, you will find information all over the place. Lots of this free information may be contradictory to one another and you don’t know which one to believe.
Most people get frustrated and don’t even get past page one of Google’s search results. Think about it.
What people really want is something that is served to them on a silver platter.
They don’t want to have to spin their wheels wasting hours on end searching, reading, watching again and again.
They want a system to follow. They want it easy.
This is the power of online learning.
Specific topics like this are all on a silver platter for you to work through at your own pace. They all have all been put into a system with step by step instructions for you to follow.
Online learning courses actually have a real person behind them that care so much about the subject you are learning that they actually put some time and effort into.
These are not just same crappy 2 minute videos thrown up on YouTube with all of the other gazillion videos.
Personal Connections = Business Opportunity
When you sign up for an online learning course, like The Student Startup Course, you have this never ending personal connection not only to an instructor that has the same exact passion as you, but everyone else that was once a student of the course.
For Blake, it’s kind of like a family of Venus Fly-Trap Lovers.
So in a few months from now after you start to grow your venus fly trap, you know you have a real person or group of people that shares the same interest and wants to help you.
And more importantly you don’t have to spin your wheels in information overload hell — otherwise known as Google Search Results. Or be reliant on some random dude that won’t answer your questions and comments on the YouTube video you just watched.
All of this creates value — serious value that people will pay for.
This is why online learning is so powerful and may one day replace the traditional ‘higher education’ methods we have today.
Now To Finding The First Customers
Although the Internet causes some headaches like we just spoke about, it also makes our lives easier too.
You just need to know how to use it the right way.
In the “Creating A Sellable Idea Even When You Don’t Think You Have One” section of The Student Startup Course, I show you how to quickly identify your first customers that are most likely to pay for your online course.
It will surprise you how quickly this can be achieved.
In fact, sometimes I do this live on a webinar after asking the attendees to give me a topic.
There are a ton of sites like Facebook where you can search for “groups” of people that all have a passion for a specific topic.
Blake found this out quickly to by finding tons of groups that love venus flytraps on Facebook with just a few clicks.
Poof — an instant customer base.
Then you can branch off and find other potential customers like “mothers who love to garden”, or “biology clubs”.
And Facebook is just one site that you can leverage, there are many others that I cover in the course.
The Best Part About Creating An Online Course
The best part for me is when you get just past this first stage of the course.
In no time, you, the student realizes that you actually have something that other people will pay you for.
And to your surprise, it’s your knowledge.
It’s so counter intuitive for a young person to think this way — aren’t you supposed to just be learning from us elders?
Why on earth, as a student ,would you even think that someone would want to learn from you?
Why on earth would someone want to pay you to tell them something you love?
The best part, for me as the instructor, is seeing that excitement in the students voice about them coming to the realization that they are more then just a student.
And that this is more then just a course.
The Story Does Not End There
I will update this blog post as soon as Blake releases his Killer Online Learning Course About A Killer Plant Species, so you can see how this story ends, but;
To me it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning of Blake’s journey in the real world of the newinternet economy.
He will learn more then he thought he would when he first started.
He will learn about how to follow his passion and not follow the herd.
He will learn about how to look from a different perspectives to see opportunities that are all around him.
He will learn that nothing is certain in life and that you just need to take the first step so that you can make certain your life is successful.
“This Is What It Is All About For Me — It Is More Then Just Career Preparation — It is Life Changing “
- Rob Galvin creator of The Student Startup Course
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