The journey to creating an online class… or four.

I am a nerd, and a media artist, and a teacher. This means that I want to do a LOT with the dorky facts in my head and help lots of people. But as they say – no good deed goes unpunished. This post is about how a simple online class became a 10-month project — and four courses.

I started developing an online course last year, because I consistently heard this: oh dang, if only that class was given another time! I am not naieve enough to think that timing is the only thing in people’s way of making important transformations, but being that I am in the business of making online things and I’m interested in a world where we all have sustainable money lives, setting up an online course seemed like a natural next step.

What’s neat to me about an online course is it’s a chance to be omnipresent – for your guidance to be everywhere, at the click of a web page, powered by code.

So, I did what any web developer would do — I specced software. Reviewed plugins. Tested platforms, and finally landed on a great wordpress plugin: Lifter LMS. It can create membership courses, free courses, paid courses, and send emails and manage all kinds of things on the back end with some great bells and whistles.

All along, all the platforms I tested would caution “If you need to hire us to install, call us!” and I’d scoff and update the .htaccess file on my server while I spun up encryption on the course webpages (cuz security when you enter your payment info) matters and that part took me like 45 minutes. Whew I thought! This is totally a non-issue.

Then it came time to create the content. And content – oh friends, I have it! I auto-recorded all my online classes from the beginning, in Nov 2015, so the process was a simple video editing of about 50 hours of….oh, shit. FIFTY HOURS. Where each class was a tiny bit different, and improved on, from the last.

That’s where it got real.

I texted my girlfriend: “I want to give up.”

She wrote back: “Do you need some ice cream?” It’s so beautiful to be known so well.

Here’s what’s not neat about making an online course: making the damn thing. But know this: persistence is my other middle name. I created an award-winning anthology that managed to document live performance art, I worked a professional job while I did graduate school part time, I grew my punk hairdo out down to my waist, and I was going to finish this course.

Logging content, I began to realize what a curse being prolific is. A curse to me, to have a smart, funny series of crucial knowledge to share, and a curse to you because no one wants to take the 17-hour Solve Every Money Problem You Might Have or Imagine class. It’s too much! I sat with the harsh truth: I hadn’t created one course. I’d created four.

I started separating the content into the problems I know how to help you solve, and here’s what I came up with, with timelines!

  • [July launch] Smashing Debt in One Hour: Know interest so you can get to no debt
  • [July launch] Calm That Ack, Budget Like you Mean It & Save Money: Stress-relieving spending & saving plans to hit your goals no matter your income
  • [August launch] Couples’ Equitable Money Management: Cost-splitting, saving, and a conversations guide for partners sharing finances.
  • [Fall launch] Small Business, Big Heart: Finances for Freelancers & Small Business-Owners

As the editing began, I realized I wanted a seamless video experience, rather than selections from various classes (for that, check out my YouTube channel lol) and designed a few classes over the winter for video delivery. Some of you attended them (your personal questions have been edited out, don’t worry) and I thank you!

It was great to test these out with live audiences before roll out. I started adding in extra strategies, tips, and tools I’d come across and well – these courses are beta testing right now and the final modules are being added. It’s REALLY exciting! I always wanted to be omnipresent, and my inner psychics dork is stoked.

Being prolific, I’m excited to share more later this year, including:

  • Hacking Capitalism: a Users’ Guide to the System
  • an in-development Progressive’s Guide to Inheritance
  • An in-development Student Debt User’s Toolkit
  • A Fearless Money Management VIP group class, that’ll be a combo video/live online meetings  to really guide people through the work
  • And to make more customized modules for other formulations of people who share money together

At this point, who KNOWS what else will come out of my brain to align your use of your money with your values and goals (and line your pockets). What I do know now is that what I’m great at is helping you understand your money in the context of the society and relationships around us and how to manage it. You don’t need me to tell you it’s in the air, right?

Where do I find these courses?

Friends we are in beta-testing! That means you are welcome to get in on two of these courses which are live for a SUPER-discounted price. I mean more discounted than the early-bird price that’s online, and more affordable than they will ever otherwise be. Plus, as feedback comes back in, and more modules are added, you’ll have LIFETIME access to these courses, for as long as they’re offered online.

Feel free to head over to my course site and check out:

Debt Hacks: Learn to get out of debt in one-hour $9.97 through mid-August only

Calm That ACK: Budget, Destress & Save Master Class – $39.97 through mid-August only.