Q&A Monday: Member Questions Answered Live (Feb. 24, 2014)

Happy Monday, dear friends! And welcome to a new Q&A Day on our private blog! 

There are no small or unimportant questions. Ask about your business. Ask a question that will help you take another step forward. Since we are a big group now, let’s ask only 1 question per member. (Until 4:00 PM EST.)

  • Ask about something that will invite more clarity.
  • Ask about something that’s been annoying you in your business.
  • Ask about something you’ve been wondering about.
  • Ask about something you don’t know how to solve.

As usual, I’ll do my best to answer your questions and make suggestions. And I invite you all to also share your ideas and suggestions!

Use the comments section below to ask your question. Also, please share your ideas and suggestions about other members’ questions by replying to their comments below. We grow our knowledge and experience combining our wisdom.

When you want to tag someone, do the same thing you do on Facebook: write an “@” sign and then the name of the person you want to tag (no space between the sign and the name.) The system will find the related member from the list and tag her inside your post.

IMPORTANT: If your question requires one to take a look at your website or blog, make sure you provide the link. Having a link to the subject in question will make participation easier for everyone who wants to contribute to the discussion.

I wish you a fabulous week! Now fire away your questions! :)

Comments

  1. Bo Mackison says

    I am not quite in a funk, but I have had a month of distractions – out of town family celebrations (oh so hard for an introvert!), another cross country trip to deal with family medical issues, plus a lingering bout of some sort of stomach bug. ACH! Listen to me, I feel like I’m a whirlwind of crankiness with loads of excuses for why I am getting next to nothing accomplished. Yet I feel so burdened when I read my to do list and add to it. And most of the things on the list are baby steps and things I usually can get done. But for now, distraction is a problem for me, as are transitions. But…

    I am finally in the clear. All the traveling and out of town responsibilities are behind my for a few months, my health is back to normal.

    And. I. am. so. overwhelmed. And when I reach this point, I make lists, try to organize what I need to get done priority wise, but sometimes the paralysis remains. I gave myself a bit of space – a few days where I laid off the shoulds and lists. Time enough to get grounded. And yet…now I feel like I am just purely procrastinating, flailing, not getting a sense for a clear direction.

    First, does this happen to others? Do you just stop dead in your tracks, not knowing where that next step should lead?

    In the last month, I have agreed to do 4 workshops – June, Aug, Sept, Oct. Workshops about topics I know and love. And so it seems I should be hunkering down and getting all organized for these. And yet…and yet… I find myself instead writing and reading and spending much time in nature.

    I feel like I’ve given myself the introvert plenty of time to get acclimated, and still I am at a standstill. If this happens to others, do certain things help you move forward.

    • Tara Leaver says

      I get this for sure Bo. I don’t know how helpful it is to tell you what I do, partly because I’m still testing it out for effectiveness, and partly because it does seem kind of the opposite of what one ‘ought’ to be doing. But I’m going to anyway as it’s one perspective and may if nothing else show you that there are many {infinite, really!} ways to find solutions that work for you, that have nothing at all to do with shoulds!

      For example, several weeks ago I had this very exciting new idea for a course, made a bunch of notes, was all hyped up, and then… nothing. I knew I still loved the idea but something had been lost. I thought about it every day and yet did nothing towards it. At first I lectured myself a bit about momentum and following through, then I decided that it clearly wasn’t the right moment to be doing it or I WOULD be. So I left it. I was still thinking about it, playing with ways of approaching it that reignited the excitement for me, but mostly I focused on not worrying about it or beating myself up for not being ready to move forward when I felt I ‘should’ be. I am in large part a mystery to myself, but it’s only by trying things out that I discover what works for me. I began again officially today, and am back to excited and inspired, and that is bringing the energy to it that I want it to emanate, plus it’s going a lot faster than if I forced myself to slog away at it. But it’s taken a few weeks to get here, and probably longer than it might have had I not made it harder on myself by berating myself initially. It was only when I really ‘let go’ and just decided to believe it would emerge when it was the right time, that it suddenly became energised, and me with it.

      My point is, I have discovered that with this, as well as the never-ending to do list, I tend to need more time than I think I will, especially if I’ve just been doing something that took from me emotionally or physically. Just because I think I should be ready to tackle the list at a certain point and within a certain timeframe, doesn’t mean that’s actually the case. It’s hard because you have to trust that it will all get done in good time for deadlines etc, but it’s worth experimenting with I think because the quality of what you do and the speed at which you’re able to do it rises exponentially the more you allow yourself to do it when it feels right.

      The workshops you’ve agreed to do are a little way off yet, and just you saying ‘so it seems I should be hunkering down’ suggests that it’s not what you are inspired to do right now and therefore it likely wouldn’t have that ‘zing’ that it would – both for you and participants – if you really allowed yourself to wait til you were ready. I hope this doesn’t sound like a lecture! It’s proving very helpful to me in various areas, and perhaps will help you let yourself off the hook a bit. It does sound like you need a bit more time to acclimatise and recentre. {I know I’d need quite a while after all you’ve been doing!} <3

      • Donna Druchunas says

        This is so right on, Tara! When I was younger I worked with two guys who pissed me off all the time. Every time we had a big deadline and I would start working like a crazy possessed whirlwind, one of them would slow down to a crawl and the other would call in sick! The day after the deadline, everyone was back to work as normal whether or not we had gotten the work done “on time” or not.

      • Bo Mackison says

        Thank you, Tara, yes this all sounds right. Yet I have an inner gremlin who is constantly saying, “Well, when???” “You aren;t getting anything done” (though that isn;t exactly true but I start believing it) And there ARE tasks I do need to get done now — like send in the workshop summaries for the art center’s websites, etc.

        So this is what I am going to do. I will do the 3 workshop summaries, because that is only fair to provide that info on a timely basis. And then I am going to let it go for a while.

        And keep a notebook and a pen in my pocket at all times for when those tiny ideas need to be captured.

    • Donna Druchunas says

      OMG, I am going through the exact same thing today! So many things I want/need to get done by March 1, and then a lot to do all spring. I have felt serene and have been practicing “Stress Free Productivity” so far this year, but now starting to feel anxiety over how long my list is.

      • Bo Mackison says

        I try to do this too, give myself plenty of space. But once in a while I panic when I start wondering if I am ever going to get moving… Glad to hear I am not alone with this…

        • Tara Leaver says

          Oh yes Bo Mackison, I panic too! That’s where the trust comes in handy. ;) And getting reassurance that I’m doing what my soul needs me to do, instead of just calling it laziness or procrastination or ‘not enough’. Listening consciously enough to know when you need more time takes practice. And like Cigdem Kobu said {much more succinctly than I did!}, when you let yourself do that, you become ‘full’, and usually more quickly than you feared while you were too busy bashing yourself over the head to be filling up. And then you’re ready to go again! I do find this to be true, even if it isn’t always easy to stick with it.

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Fabulous input from Tara Leaver!

      Bo Mackison, I sometimes experience a similar thing when I overload myself by planning for or committing to too much or by setting not-so-spacious deadlines.

      Some days I just don’t want to do anything except for reading and daydreaming or maybe a little cooking. But my inner Fräulein Rottenmeier keeps criticizing me and make me feel guilty: “This is not how you run a business, is it?” “You’re wasting your time!” “You could be more productive and get to work when everybody else is working hard.”

      You know what I mean.

      And the remedy I’ve found is to surrender to the desire to give myself full permission to do nothing or to do whatever I feel like doing for the time being. Then, like a sponge, I soak in as much spaciousness, ease and rest as I can take in and after a while, feel satiated. Afterwards, I function better and do much more in a shorter time (and the quality of my work is higher).

      Maybe you need to soak in more easeful time. Apparently you still need more. Don’t see it as a way to procrastinate. You’ll filling up your batteries.

      If anything really needs to be dealt with urgently, then you can decide on the bare minimum and do just that for the time being until you get back to work at full speed. So doing summaries is a good idea.

      • says

        Oh, I also have a Fraulein Rottenmeier now that I have a business. Thank you for naming that nasty woman!

        Bo Mackison, I’m right there with you in overwhelm. Can you plan a few days of ‘just for fun’ to rebuild your reserve of energy? Because even though you’ve been taking time ‘off’ from work, you haven’t been doing nothing, or even doing very fun stuff. You need some recuperation, it sounds like. And maybe some baby steps to get back in the work groove after that.

    • Romy Maillard says

      Bo Mackison I totally hear you, find myself there a lot as well. Like today for instance, I did everything but work in the traditional sense of the word. And yet I feel replenished and have a smile in my heart.

      I love Tara’s answer, so well said, I couldn’t agree more. And I love Kathleens reminder that this is a cyclical thing. Especially we as women function in cycles and I think we really need to give ourselves permission to do what we naturally do, our she-creature knows this and we can save ourselves a lot of pain and pressure if we accept that. Talking to myself right here:)

      Cigdem, I love that you give yourself the time “to soak in more easeful time” as well. Sometimes I was a little worried about you working non stop you know. So you have a “Fräulein Rottenmeier” as well, I wonder if they are twins:)

    • Sandra Pawula says

      Yes, this happens for me to, Bo Mackison. There are times when I feel like doing “nothing.” I understand how it feels to have this internal voice and stress pulling on you. My heart is with you. I’ve just read Tara Leaver‘s response so far and can say this really resonated for me.

    • Col Mitchell says

      Totally relate Bo Mackison! I’m going through it. A big project last year had me on high stress levels for months, and then more stress as I had to deal with items I had to put of due to project. After Christmas I didn’t get back into the studio until FEB and even now, its more sporadic than I would like. They only thing that did help, after a good week stressing because I apparently wasn’t ready to move forward, was to let it ALL go. I suspect i could have used longer, so more ease time as Cigdem suggests is probably more necessary for me at this point.

      So very happy to hear I’m not alone.

      Fabulous response Tara

      Col

    • Robin Chellis says

      I think we all go through this, Bo Mackison. I hear this all the time from everyone in all my groups. We are just so hard on ourselves, aren’t’ we? – when will we stop being so hard on ourselves and give ourselves much more grace? :)

      I go through it and some days I get up and I think today will be different, I’ll get lots done and stay in the creative zone and I won’t worry or stress, but just stay on task. And some days I’m able to do it , but other days the next thing I know it’s hours later and I’ve not accomplished much and I’m having a hard time staying focused, feeling overwhelmed and having a difficult time getting into the rhythm of creating. I know I have so many great ideas floating around my head and they all become a big jumble. I have found a few things that help me are to have a channel break, meaning completely switch gears to something else and usually something high vibration like movement (dancing around), singing motivational songs, doing art, getting out in nature (this is a huge one), walking, etc and then when I come back I can focus again. Also, doing things in chunks, so chunking out time to work and then take a break. I usually find if I don’t set a timer then I still stay trapped in my mind, but when I set a timer for that task, I stay on task much more efficiently, and then I make myself take a mini-break to change it up and then come back to it. And, sometimes, I just need a break and I give myself permission to take that break, even if its for a day or two in order to renew, nourish and refresh myself and trust that I’m giving my body & soul what it needs and is asking for. Just know that you are not alone in the things you go through! I’m finding more and more that everyone goes through the same things even when they make it seem easy, they still struggle with “stuff” and they find the tools that work for them and they make sure to follow that. It all goes in cycles and some days we create, some days we work and some days we nourish. Hang in there! You got this! You are capable and you have all that you need within:). Remember to listen to your inner voice telling you what it needs, which sounds like reading, writing and getting out in nature. Lots of nourishment your way!

      • Eliza Deacon says

        I love this particular stream of ‘thoughts’ as it is obviously so applicable to us all. I too feel guilty when I don’t appear to be achieving much. I beat myself up over it and very quickly find myself in a very negative head space.

        All your words are so wise. We are all complex beings, some of us just more so. One thing I have learned is that, when creativity (in whatever I’m working on) is not flowing, I do tend to walk away from it and not panic. I know well that another time I come back and look at it, the situation is most likely to be very different.

        When I was writing, a lot more than I am now, I did get quite frustrated when I couldn’t find the good words to put on to a page, and – I’m rather ashamed to admit – that did lead me to stopping writing for a while. I think I want it all too quickly, my grasshopper brain wants instant results and not to be bogged down by lack of inspiration. I need to remind myself that my mindset changes daily and whatever block I face today, is unlikely to be there tomorrow…rather than just give up altogether!

    • says

      One day late – and I’m reading thru all this with a sense of great relief knowing that I’m not the only one.
      Because I’m such a believer in the ‘discipline’ of simply showing up and getting work done – I can be extraordinarily hard on myself when that ‘discipline’ is lacking.

      I’m always wishing I had a better understanding (and grasp…and ultimately control) of why some days are so productive and others are not. My intention for this year is to ‘be kind’. Sounds like we could all use a little more of that Bo Mackison!

      Congratulations on those workshops – :-)!

  2. Bo Mackison says

    I am not quite in a funk, but I have had a month of distractions – out of town family celebrations (oh so hard for an introvert!), another cross country trip to deal with family medical issues, plus a lingering bout of some sort of stomach bug. ACH! Listen to me, I feel like I’m a whirlwind of crankiness with loads of excuses for why I am getting next to nothing accomplished. Yet I feel so burdened when I read my to do list and add to it. And most of the things on the list are baby steps and things I usually can get done. But for now, distraction is a problem for me, as are transitions. But…

    I am finally in the clear. All the traveling and out of town responsibilities are behind my for a few months, my health is back to normal.

    And. I. am. so. overwhelmed. And when I reach this point, I make lists, try to organize what I need to get done priority wise, but sometimes the paralysis remains. I gave myself a bit of space – a few days where I laid off the shoulds and lists. Time enough to get grounded. And yet…now I feel like I am just purely procrastinating, flailing, not getting a sense for a clear direction.

    First, does this happen to others? Do you just stop dead in your tracks, not knowing where that next step should lead?

    In the last month, I have agreed to do 4 workshops – June, Aug, Sept, Oct. Workshops about topics I know and love. And so it seems I should be hunkering down and getting all organized for these. And yet…and yet… I find myself instead writing and reading and spending much time in nature.

    I feel like I’ve given myself the introvert plenty of time to get acclimated, and still I am at a standstill. If this happens to others, do certain things help you move forward.

    • Tara Leaver says

      I get this for sure Bo. I don’t know how helpful it is to tell you what I do, partly because I’m still testing it out for effectiveness, and partly because it does seem kind of the opposite of what one ‘ought’ to be doing. But I’m going to anyway as it’s one perspective and may if nothing else show you that there are many {infinite, really!} ways to find solutions that work for you, that have nothing at all to do with shoulds!

      For example, several weeks ago I had this very exciting new idea for a course, made a bunch of notes, was all hyped up, and then… nothing. I knew I still loved the idea but something had been lost. I thought about it every day and yet did nothing towards it. At first I lectured myself a bit about momentum and following through, then I decided that it clearly wasn’t the right moment to be doing it or I WOULD be. So I left it. I was still thinking about it, playing with ways of approaching it that reignited the excitement for me, but mostly I focused on not worrying about it or beating myself up for not being ready to move forward when I felt I ‘should’ be. I am in large part a mystery to myself, but it’s only by trying things out that I discover what works for me. I began again officially today, and am back to excited and inspired, and that is bringing the energy to it that I want it to emanate, plus it’s going a lot faster than if I forced myself to slog away at it. But it’s taken a few weeks to get here, and probably longer than it might have had I not made it harder on myself by berating myself initially. It was only when I really ‘let go’ and just decided to believe it would emerge when it was the right time, that it suddenly became energised, and me with it.

      My point is, I have discovered that with this, as well as the never-ending to do list, I tend to need more time than I think I will, especially if I’ve just been doing something that took from me emotionally or physically. Just because I think I should be ready to tackle the list at a certain point and within a certain timeframe, doesn’t mean that’s actually the case. It’s hard because you have to trust that it will all get done in good time for deadlines etc, but it’s worth experimenting with I think because the quality of what you do and the speed at which you’re able to do it rises exponentially the more you allow yourself to do it when it feels right.

      The workshops you’ve agreed to do are a little way off yet, and just you saying ‘so it seems I should be hunkering down’ suggests that it’s not what you are inspired to do right now and therefore it likely wouldn’t have that ‘zing’ that it would – both for you and participants – if you really allowed yourself to wait til you were ready. I hope this doesn’t sound like a lecture! It’s proving very helpful to me in various areas, and perhaps will help you let yourself off the hook a bit. It does sound like you need a bit more time to acclimatise and recentre. {I know I’d need quite a while after all you’ve been doing!} <3

      • Donna Druchunas says

        This is so right on, Tara! When I was younger I worked with two guys who pissed me off all the time. Every time we had a big deadline and I would start working like a crazy possessed whirlwind, one of them would slow down to a crawl and the other would call in sick! The day after the deadline, everyone was back to work as normal whether or not we had gotten the work done “on time” or not.

      • Bo Mackison says

        Thank you, Tara, yes this all sounds right. Yet I have an inner gremlin who is constantly saying, “Well, when???” “You aren;t getting anything done” (though that isn;t exactly true but I start believing it) And there ARE tasks I do need to get done now — like send in the workshop summaries for the art center’s websites, etc.

        So this is what I am going to do. I will do the 3 workshop summaries, because that is only fair to provide that info on a timely basis. And then I am going to let it go for a while.

        And keep a notebook and a pen in my pocket at all times for when those tiny ideas need to be captured.

    • Donna Druchunas says

      OMG, I am going through the exact same thing today! So many things I want/need to get done by March 1, and then a lot to do all spring. I have felt serene and have been practicing “Stress Free Productivity” so far this year, but now starting to feel anxiety over how long my list is.

      • Bo Mackison says

        I try to do this too, give myself plenty of space. But once in a while I panic when I start wondering if I am ever going to get moving… Glad to hear I am not alone with this…

        • Tara Leaver says

          Oh yes Bo Mackison, I panic too! That’s where the trust comes in handy. ;) And getting reassurance that I’m doing what my soul needs me to do, instead of just calling it laziness or procrastination or ‘not enough’. Listening consciously enough to know when you need more time takes practice. And like Cigdem Kobu said {much more succinctly than I did!}, when you let yourself do that, you become ‘full’, and usually more quickly than you feared while you were too busy bashing yourself over the head to be filling up. And then you’re ready to go again! I do find this to be true, even if it isn’t always easy to stick with it.

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Fabulous input from Tara Leaver!

      Bo Mackison, I sometimes experience a similar thing when I overload myself by planning for or committing to too much or by setting not-so-spacious deadlines.

      Some days I just don’t want to do anything except for reading and daydreaming or maybe a little cooking. But my inner Fräulein Rottenmeier keeps criticizing me and make me feel guilty: “This is not how you run a business, is it?” “You’re wasting your time!” “You could be more productive and get to work when everybody else is working hard.”

      You know what I mean.

      And the remedy I’ve found is to surrender to the desire to give myself full permission to do nothing or to do whatever I feel like doing for the time being. Then, like a sponge, I soak in as much spaciousness, ease and rest as I can take in and after a while, feel satiated. Afterwards, I function better and do much more in a shorter time (and the quality of my work is higher).

      Maybe you need to soak in more easeful time. Apparently you still need more. Don’t see it as a way to procrastinate. You’ll filling up your batteries.

      If anything really needs to be dealt with urgently, then you can decide on the bare minimum and do just that for the time being until you get back to work at full speed. So doing summaries is a good idea.

      • says

        Oh, I also have a Fraulein Rottenmeier now that I have a business. Thank you for naming that nasty woman!

        Bo Mackison, I’m right there with you in overwhelm. Can you plan a few days of ‘just for fun’ to rebuild your reserve of energy? Because even though you’ve been taking time ‘off’ from work, you haven’t been doing nothing, or even doing very fun stuff. You need some recuperation, it sounds like. And maybe some baby steps to get back in the work groove after that.

    • Romy Maillard says

      Bo Mackison I totally hear you, find myself there a lot as well. Like today for instance, I did everything but work in the traditional sense of the word. And yet I feel replenished and have a smile in my heart.

      I love Tara’s answer, so well said, I couldn’t agree more. And I love Kathleens reminder that this is a cyclical thing. Especially we as women function in cycles and I think we really need to give ourselves permission to do what we naturally do, our she-creature knows this and we can save ourselves a lot of pain and pressure if we accept that. Talking to myself right here:)

      Cigdem, I love that you give yourself the time “to soak in more easeful time” as well. Sometimes I was a little worried about you working non stop you know. So you have a “Fräulein Rottenmeier” as well, I wonder if they are twins:)

    • Sandra Pawula says

      Yes, this happens for me to, Bo Mackison. There are times when I feel like doing “nothing.” I understand how it feels to have this internal voice and stress pulling on you. My heart is with you. I’ve just read Tara Leaver‘s response so far and can say this really resonated for me.

    • Col Mitchell says

      Totally relate Bo Mackison! I’m going through it. A big project last year had me on high stress levels for months, and then more stress as I had to deal with items I had to put of due to project. After Christmas I didn’t get back into the studio until FEB and even now, its more sporadic than I would like. They only thing that did help, after a good week stressing because I apparently wasn’t ready to move forward, was to let it ALL go. I suspect i could have used longer, so more ease time as Cigdem suggests is probably more necessary for me at this point.

      So very happy to hear I’m not alone.

      Fabulous response Tara

      Col

    • Robin Chellis says

      I think we all go through this, Bo Mackison. I hear this all the time from everyone in all my groups. We are just so hard on ourselves, aren’t’ we? – when will we stop being so hard on ourselves and give ourselves much more grace? :)

      I go through it and some days I get up and I think today will be different, I’ll get lots done and stay in the creative zone and I won’t worry or stress, but just stay on task. And some days I’m able to do it , but other days the next thing I know it’s hours later and I’ve not accomplished much and I’m having a hard time staying focused, feeling overwhelmed and having a difficult time getting into the rhythm of creating. I know I have so many great ideas floating around my head and they all become a big jumble. I have found a few things that help me are to have a channel break, meaning completely switch gears to something else and usually something high vibration like movement (dancing around), singing motivational songs, doing art, getting out in nature (this is a huge one), walking, etc and then when I come back I can focus again. Also, doing things in chunks, so chunking out time to work and then take a break. I usually find if I don’t set a timer then I still stay trapped in my mind, but when I set a timer for that task, I stay on task much more efficiently, and then I make myself take a mini-break to change it up and then come back to it. And, sometimes, I just need a break and I give myself permission to take that break, even if its for a day or two in order to renew, nourish and refresh myself and trust that I’m giving my body & soul what it needs and is asking for. Just know that you are not alone in the things you go through! I’m finding more and more that everyone goes through the same things even when they make it seem easy, they still struggle with “stuff” and they find the tools that work for them and they make sure to follow that. It all goes in cycles and some days we create, some days we work and some days we nourish. Hang in there! You got this! You are capable and you have all that you need within:). Remember to listen to your inner voice telling you what it needs, which sounds like reading, writing and getting out in nature. Lots of nourishment your way!

      • Eliza Deacon says

        I love this particular stream of ‘thoughts’ as it is obviously so applicable to us all. I too feel guilty when I don’t appear to be achieving much. I beat myself up over it and very quickly find myself in a very negative head space.

        All your words are so wise. We are all complex beings, some of us just more so. One thing I have learned is that, when creativity (in whatever I’m working on) is not flowing, I do tend to walk away from it and not panic. I know well that another time I come back and look at it, the situation is most likely to be very different.

        When I was writing, a lot more than I am now, I did get quite frustrated when I couldn’t find the good words to put on to a page, and – I’m rather ashamed to admit – that did lead me to stopping writing for a while. I think I want it all too quickly, my grasshopper brain wants instant results and not to be bogged down by lack of inspiration. I need to remind myself that my mindset changes daily and whatever block I face today, is unlikely to be there tomorrow…rather than just give up altogether!

    • says

      One day late – and I’m reading thru all this with a sense of great relief knowing that I’m not the only one.
      Because I’m such a believer in the ‘discipline’ of simply showing up and getting work done – I can be extraordinarily hard on myself when that ‘discipline’ is lacking.

      I’m always wishing I had a better understanding (and grasp…and ultimately control) of why some days are so productive and others are not. My intention for this year is to ‘be kind’. Sounds like we could all use a little more of that Bo Mackison!

      Congratulations on those workshops – :-)!

  3. Donna Druchunas says

    I’m wondering about the length of time for e-courses. I’m setting up a 5 week writing course for knitting authors:

    https://ruzuku.com/courses/4326/about

    What I’ve been wondering, is if an in-depth course like this would be better stretched out over months, so the participants who have day jobs, kids, etc., would not feel like they can’t possibly have time to keep up with the course.

    I am not sure I would want to do a course that lasted months because a) I would have to keep thinking about it for months and b) I think students would lose momentum or interest over such a long period.

    I’m definitely running this over the 5-weeks the first time I run this course but I am not sure what to do if I run it again in the future, or create something else that’s equally in-depth for professionals, who have lots of other things to get done every week.

    Thanks!

    Donna

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Donna Druchunas I checked out the sales copy. Before I go on to answering your question, I’d love to share a few ideas, if it’s OK.

      What you’ve created sounds more like a group coaching program than an e-course. I’m not sure about the detail and depth of each week’s work, but it seems you’ll be covering a whole lot on strategic topics.

      For this type of a program, I thought the fee was too low. Is this how you specifically want to it to be because it’ll be a beta program?

      I think 5 weeks is a good period for this program given that you’ll have a lot of time to spend for and with each participant. Besides they can always go back. 5 weeks is currently the optimum time for an online course.

      For future sessions, I suggest pricing the group-workshop version at a much higher level if it will be such a small, intimate group with personal attention and coaching and also create an inexpensive self-study version. Some people will be totally happy working on their own and paying less and you can still chime in once a week and reply to the questions through the comments function.

      And the time and energy you spend for the group-coaching version will be worth it.

      Another idea is to separate your course into smaller sections and create a few different self-study versions. In a way you’ll have a course series and each course will tackle a specific topic. One for creating an editorial calendar as a knitting artist who blogs, one for writing a knitting book proposal, one for how to create a digital pattern etc.

      And if you want, once a year or so you can open a live group coaching workshop that lasts like 3 months, during which you work on each of those topics one by one and go deeper with the teaching and help them in person like “Stories In Stitches Virtual Writing Retreat” or “The Knitting Author Annual Writing Retreat” or something like that.

      • Donna Druchunas says

        Thanks! I love all of these ideas. Yes, this is sort of a beta program plus it’s people I have already been working with on editing and I would be so tempted to help most of them for free, because I love their projects so much. But I definitely appreciate the input on pricing because there aren’t really any courses like this in my industry, so I have no idea “what the market will bear.”

        I am saving this information and will be using it to plan out my future sessions. I get questions about these kinds of topics in email all the time, so I know I will be able to run some version of this course at least once or twice a year. And I do want to have a low-cost version for those who can’t afford the higher cost.

        Also, yes, I am sure the material will develop as I go through this group coaching version, as you call it. And that will help me decide what to do in the future as well. This is a part of my business, as Cynthia Morris knows, that I’ve wanted to develop for several years so I am thrilled that being part of the Progress Lounge has caused me to take the leap and get started.

        • Romy Maillard says

          I am excited for you Donna Druchunas, I love that you will get to own the knitting market:) This is such a beautiful example of really working with a specific niche and then diving even deeper.

          • Donna Druchunas says

            Cindy Lusk, a beta program is a new class that’s running for the first time so the participants/students are sort of helping you test and further develop the course materials.

            Romy Maillard, thanks for sharing your excitement. I’ve been making my niche narrower and narrower over the past few years and I’m loving my work more and more. And making a living!

          • Cigdem Kobu says

            Cindy Lusk, in addition to what Donna Druchunas already said:

            The beta launch of a new program allows you to test its various elements with a few trusted loyal customers in a smaller, secure inner circle and improve it with early feedback from them.

            After that, you work on perfecting your offering with the data and feedback you gather and do a bigger kind of launch where you promote the product to bigger circles and audiences.

            This prevents you from investing time, money and energy on developing the wrong features or the wrong format that won’t actually resonate with your Perfect People.

            You often charge the beta members/students/clients (aka beta testers) much less than you would when the product is perfected and also give them access to the improved version later on.

            Many teachers/coaches that do business online offer a beta version of their new programs first to their list or even a smaller group consisting of their current clients/customers without announcing the program on their blog or social media extensively.

            What you’re doing with your first program was a bit like a beta launch. You did a quick announcement and promoted the idea to those who were already following you or who have already worked with you. And you set the price at a much lower level than you can/will do after you test the first run of the program, improve it in many ways, make it more valuable and useful, and then do a more sophisticated launch.

            I also did a beta launch for the Progress Lounge. At the beginning, there weren’t too many bells and whistles and only a few resources were available for instant use. People who already knew me and the kind of stuff I create jumped in and made use of a very reasonable base fee in return for helping me test and develop the Lounge.

            I developed many features of this program by experimenting together with them and finding the best ways of fulfilling their needs. And there’s still much to improve until the fee hits the top level.

            Was this helpful? Let me know if you have questions!

          • Donna Druchunas says

            That’s good clarification, Cigdem Kobu. On this first session on this ecourse, I have hand-picked people I have worked with before and invited them personally. I am not going to do a big marketing splash until a future session.

      • Donna Druchunas says

        Cigdem Kobu, this may be a follow up question for next week, but I’m having a live writing retreat weekend this month, and I’m wondering about offering those attendees a follow up with a similar online retreat where they would have more time to go in depth into the topics we will go over in the weekend, and offer them a chance to revise the materials we will go over in one-on-one sessions and have me re-read them.

        I’m always chicken about upselling people who have just paid me for something. I know that’s stupid because they are my perfect people! So what’s the best way to present this invitation and what would you think of as a realistic price point for offering a variation of this as a follow up as I’ve described above?

        https://ruzuku.com/courses/4326/about

  4. Donna Druchunas says

    I’m wondering about the length of time for e-courses. I’m setting up a 5 week writing course for knitting authors:

    https://ruzuku.com/courses/4326/about

    What I’ve been wondering, is if an in-depth course like this would be better stretched out over months, so the participants who have day jobs, kids, etc., would not feel like they can’t possibly have time to keep up with the course.

    I am not sure I would want to do a course that lasted months because a) I would have to keep thinking about it for months and b) I think students would lose momentum or interest over such a long period.

    I’m definitely running this over the 5-weeks the first time I run this course but I am not sure what to do if I run it again in the future, or create something else that’s equally in-depth for professionals, who have lots of other things to get done every week.

    Thanks!

    Donna

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Donna Druchunas I checked out the sales copy. Before I go on to answering your question, I’d love to share a few ideas, if it’s OK.

      What you’ve created sounds more like a group coaching program than an e-course. I’m not sure about the detail and depth of each week’s work, but it seems you’ll be covering a whole lot on strategic topics.

      For this type of a program, I thought the fee was too low. Is this how you specifically want to it to be because it’ll be a beta program?

      I think 5 weeks is a good period for this program given that you’ll have a lot of time to spend for and with each participant. Besides they can always go back. 5 weeks is currently the optimum time for an online course.

      For future sessions, I suggest pricing the group-workshop version at a much higher level if it will be such a small, intimate group with personal attention and coaching and also create an inexpensive self-study version. Some people will be totally happy working on their own and paying less and you can still chime in once a week and reply to the questions through the comments function.

      And the time and energy you spend for the group-coaching version will be worth it.

      Another idea is to separate your course into smaller sections and create a few different self-study versions. In a way you’ll have a course series and each course will tackle a specific topic. One for creating an editorial calendar as a knitting artist who blogs, one for writing a knitting book proposal, one for how to create a digital pattern etc.

      And if you want, once a year or so you can open a live group coaching workshop that lasts like 3 months, during which you work on each of those topics one by one and go deeper with the teaching and help them in person like “Stories In Stitches Virtual Writing Retreat” or “The Knitting Author Annual Writing Retreat” or something like that.

      • Donna Druchunas says

        Thanks! I love all of these ideas. Yes, this is sort of a beta program plus it’s people I have already been working with on editing and I would be so tempted to help most of them for free, because I love their projects so much. But I definitely appreciate the input on pricing because there aren’t really any courses like this in my industry, so I have no idea “what the market will bear.”

        I am saving this information and will be using it to plan out my future sessions. I get questions about these kinds of topics in email all the time, so I know I will be able to run some version of this course at least once or twice a year. And I do want to have a low-cost version for those who can’t afford the higher cost.

        Also, yes, I am sure the material will develop as I go through this group coaching version, as you call it. And that will help me decide what to do in the future as well. This is a part of my business, as Cynthia Morris knows, that I’ve wanted to develop for several years so I am thrilled that being part of the Progress Lounge has caused me to take the leap and get started.

        • Romy Maillard says

          I am excited for you Donna Druchunas, I love that you will get to own the knitting market:) This is such a beautiful example of really working with a specific niche and then diving even deeper.

          • Donna Druchunas says

            Cindy Lusk, a beta program is a new class that’s running for the first time so the participants/students are sort of helping you test and further develop the course materials.

            Romy Maillard, thanks for sharing your excitement. I’ve been making my niche narrower and narrower over the past few years and I’m loving my work more and more. And making a living!

          • Cigdem Kobu says

            Cindy Lusk, in addition to what Donna Druchunas already said:

            The beta launch of a new program allows you to test its various elements with a few trusted loyal customers in a smaller, secure inner circle and improve it with early feedback from them.

            After that, you work on perfecting your offering with the data and feedback you gather and do a bigger kind of launch where you promote the product to bigger circles and audiences.

            This prevents you from investing time, money and energy on developing the wrong features or the wrong format that won’t actually resonate with your Perfect People.

            You often charge the beta members/students/clients (aka beta testers) much less than you would when the product is perfected and also give them access to the improved version later on.

            Many teachers/coaches that do business online offer a beta version of their new programs first to their list or even a smaller group consisting of their current clients/customers without announcing the program on their blog or social media extensively.

            What you’re doing with your first program was a bit like a beta launch. You did a quick announcement and promoted the idea to those who were already following you or who have already worked with you. And you set the price at a much lower level than you can/will do after you test the first run of the program, improve it in many ways, make it more valuable and useful, and then do a more sophisticated launch.

            I also did a beta launch for the Progress Lounge. At the beginning, there weren’t too many bells and whistles and only a few resources were available for instant use. People who already knew me and the kind of stuff I create jumped in and made use of a very reasonable base fee in return for helping me test and develop the Lounge.

            I developed many features of this program by experimenting together with them and finding the best ways of fulfilling their needs. And there’s still much to improve until the fee hits the top level.

            Was this helpful? Let me know if you have questions!

          • Donna Druchunas says

            That’s good clarification, Cigdem Kobu. On this first session on this ecourse, I have hand-picked people I have worked with before and invited them personally. I am not going to do a big marketing splash until a future session.

      • Donna Druchunas says

        Cigdem Kobu, this may be a follow up question for next week, but I’m having a live writing retreat weekend this month, and I’m wondering about offering those attendees a follow up with a similar online retreat where they would have more time to go in depth into the topics we will go over in the weekend, and offer them a chance to revise the materials we will go over in one-on-one sessions and have me re-read them.

        I’m always chicken about upselling people who have just paid me for something. I know that’s stupid because they are my perfect people! So what’s the best way to present this invitation and what would you think of as a realistic price point for offering a variation of this as a follow up as I’ve described above?

        https://ruzuku.com/courses/4326/about

  5. Kathleen O'Brien says

    Bo, what you describe is a cyclical state for me. I have been feeling the same way. ( And it is a particularly difficult time astrologically, and everyone I talk to feels this way) I have found that when I push something I am not satisfied in the end with it. It might sound silly but, what I do is clean! Laundry, dishes, vacuum with a ritual intention of creating a fresh new period of production. when I produce I tend to overlook housework, and in the back of my mind disorder bothers me. Time away from production is just as valuable as the active time. it Always cycles back, I am telling myself this some thing now.

    • Bo Mackison says

      Cylical. Yes. Why do I keep forgetting that this happens over and over? Ha! My ritual is often to go to the desert. I have a particular table (in an out of the way picnic area) I love to work at, sturdy and stone and with a ramada to protect from the sun. I do some of my best pre-work there. Yes, thank you for reminding me there are many ways to begin again.

    • Romy Maillard says

      I do the housework thing as well:) It has something meditative about it and really frees my mind and releases the tension. Plus I get to have a great result, instant gratification.

      • says

        I agree with Kathleen O, when I push things I’m never happy with the result.

        I’ve been surprised at how little time it often takes to get back to feeling inspired – that’s my test. It depends how out of balance I’ve become, but sometimes one day away from home, doing something fun or mindless, does it.

        At home I declutter – when I give myself permission to stop pushing things open up. And it seems I need to keep being reminded to do this when that Fraulein Rottenmeier woman comes calling, telling me I’ll never feel inspired again!

      • Kathleen O'Brien says

        Sandra , Mercury is a rather minor influence, it happens about 3 times a year, and it is just a time to be careful with communications and contracts. And I usually feel blank.

        The bigger thing is Saturn, Jupiter & Mars slowing toward retrograde and relating to Pluto and Uranus in a grand square in April. How I have been witnessing this energy is that old karmic patterns are revealing themselves in a way that, if consciously owned and felt through the body, they are able to transmute, pretty quickly.

        It’s not a scary time unless one resists these changes and insights. So I am paying attention to getting enough rest, and when emotions or realizations come up, I give them priority, in terms of integrating that healing into my whole body. And you are right, finishing things up.

        The last time it was this intense was the late 80’s.

        Maturing for me has in one way been a matter of recognizing, accepting and taking responsibility for myself. On this upward slope of the spiral, I waste less time on fretting over “lost time” and resonate with the bigger picture of just how long the path to peace is. It is a challenge, none the less.

        • Romy Maillard says

          I agree with what you are saying Kathleen O about Saturn, Jupiter and Mars going retrograde and the effects it has on our lives and the opportunities this offers. I feel so urged to just complete things, work on projects I have been procrastinating on and generally getting organized and decluttered.

          Having an internet biz however, I do experience mercury retrograde in a very distinct way. I kind of went against my knowing with the launch of the Homeing issue because I liked the idea of Valentine’s day so much and I had huge tech battles with the guy, to say the least. So next time it’s retrograde time I will be more prepared, give things more time than usual.

          • Kathleen O'Brien says

            Romy, I hear what you say about considering certain things like launches during Mercury retro. I’m also careful about traveling, and communicating well.

        • Jacki Hayes says

          WOW! Okay, Kathleen O the words “How I have been witnessing this energy is that old karmic patterns are revealing themselves in a way that, if consciously owned and felt through the body, they are able to transmute, pretty quickly” are so dead on when it comes to my life right now. I have been functioning, just barely, in a state of pure exhaustion and have come to realize that I haven’t worked on my baggage quite as well as I had thought.

          Enlightenments are popping up almost every day, seeing patterns that I never knew existed. But man, now the hard work starts.

          • Kathleen O'Brien says

            I know, Jacki H, it amazes me. Years ago we were all straining to get certain things clear and conscious, then working trough them was almost a full time job.

            I have to think what we are witnessing is evolutionary consciousness; once one commits to soul growth, the soul provides us with the awareness of we are able to digest.

            I completely trust my feelings, as information. When I Have a strong feeling, or something arises in awareness, I just stop and go inside and find out what is needed. Then I follow through with the solution right away. It’s like the conscious suffering Gandhi taught. It transmutes.

            Best of luck to you, and rest; this stuff is our important task in life.

        • says

          Kathleen O, I love that you have astrological insight. I see a homeopath, who is also an astrologer, every month. I love the insight into our lives that astrology gives us. I know I for sure have been feeling effects of this stuff for a while! It’s a good time to be very gracious with ourselves.

          • Kathleen O'Brien says

            @Lisa it is one viewpoint I have counted on for over 40 years. Having an explanation for certain states of being really helps. I feel less out of control, and able to make sense of issues. Your person must be a big help to you.

  6. Kathleen O'Brien says

    Bo, what you describe is a cyclical state for me. I have been feeling the same way. ( And it is a particularly difficult time astrologically, and everyone I talk to feels this way) I have found that when I push something I am not satisfied in the end with it. It might sound silly but, what I do is clean! Laundry, dishes, vacuum with a ritual intention of creating a fresh new period of production. when I produce I tend to overlook housework, and in the back of my mind disorder bothers me. Time away from production is just as valuable as the active time. it Always cycles back, I am telling myself this some thing now.

    • Bo Mackison says

      Cylical. Yes. Why do I keep forgetting that this happens over and over? Ha! My ritual is often to go to the desert. I have a particular table (in an out of the way picnic area) I love to work at, sturdy and stone and with a ramada to protect from the sun. I do some of my best pre-work there. Yes, thank you for reminding me there are many ways to begin again.

    • Romy Maillard says

      I do the housework thing as well:) It has something meditative about it and really frees my mind and releases the tension. Plus I get to have a great result, instant gratification.

      • says

        I agree with Kathleen O, when I push things I’m never happy with the result.

        I’ve been surprised at how little time it often takes to get back to feeling inspired – that’s my test. It depends how out of balance I’ve become, but sometimes one day away from home, doing something fun or mindless, does it.

        At home I declutter – when I give myself permission to stop pushing things open up. And it seems I need to keep being reminded to do this when that Fraulein Rottenmeier woman comes calling, telling me I’ll never feel inspired again!

      • Kathleen O'Brien says

        Sandra , Mercury is a rather minor influence, it happens about 3 times a year, and it is just a time to be careful with communications and contracts. And I usually feel blank.

        The bigger thing is Saturn, Jupiter & Mars slowing toward retrograde and relating to Pluto and Uranus in a grand square in April. How I have been witnessing this energy is that old karmic patterns are revealing themselves in a way that, if consciously owned and felt through the body, they are able to transmute, pretty quickly.

        It’s not a scary time unless one resists these changes and insights. So I am paying attention to getting enough rest, and when emotions or realizations come up, I give them priority, in terms of integrating that healing into my whole body. And you are right, finishing things up.

        The last time it was this intense was the late 80’s.

        Maturing for me has in one way been a matter of recognizing, accepting and taking responsibility for myself. On this upward slope of the spiral, I waste less time on fretting over “lost time” and resonate with the bigger picture of just how long the path to peace is. It is a challenge, none the less.

        • Romy Maillard says

          I agree with what you are saying Kathleen O about Saturn, Jupiter and Mars going retrograde and the effects it has on our lives and the opportunities this offers. I feel so urged to just complete things, work on projects I have been procrastinating on and generally getting organized and decluttered.

          Having an internet biz however, I do experience mercury retrograde in a very distinct way. I kind of went against my knowing with the launch of the Homeing issue because I liked the idea of Valentine’s day so much and I had huge tech battles with the guy, to say the least. So next time it’s retrograde time I will be more prepared, give things more time than usual.

          • Kathleen O'Brien says

            Romy, I hear what you say about considering certain things like launches during Mercury retro. I’m also careful about traveling, and communicating well.

        • Jacki Hayes says

          WOW! Okay, Kathleen O the words “How I have been witnessing this energy is that old karmic patterns are revealing themselves in a way that, if consciously owned and felt through the body, they are able to transmute, pretty quickly” are so dead on when it comes to my life right now. I have been functioning, just barely, in a state of pure exhaustion and have come to realize that I haven’t worked on my baggage quite as well as I had thought.

          Enlightenments are popping up almost every day, seeing patterns that I never knew existed. But man, now the hard work starts.

          • Kathleen O'Brien says

            I know, Jacki H, it amazes me. Years ago we were all straining to get certain things clear and conscious, then working trough them was almost a full time job.

            I have to think what we are witnessing is evolutionary consciousness; once one commits to soul growth, the soul provides us with the awareness of we are able to digest.

            I completely trust my feelings, as information. When I Have a strong feeling, or something arises in awareness, I just stop and go inside and find out what is needed. Then I follow through with the solution right away. It’s like the conscious suffering Gandhi taught. It transmutes.

            Best of luck to you, and rest; this stuff is our important task in life.

        • says

          Kathleen O, I love that you have astrological insight. I see a homeopath, who is also an astrologer, every month. I love the insight into our lives that astrology gives us. I know I for sure have been feeling effects of this stuff for a while! It’s a good time to be very gracious with ourselves.

          • Kathleen O'Brien says

            @Lisa it is one viewpoint I have counted on for over 40 years. Having an explanation for certain states of being really helps. I feel less out of control, and able to make sense of issues. Your person must be a big help to you.

  7. Cigdem Kobu says

    I’m posting on behalf of Sandra Pawula, who won’t be able to post during the day today. Her question is below and her website is at http://alwayswellwithin.com.

    ===

    I realized I already have an ebook that I gave away on my site for a short time. Then someone told me, “Don’t give that away! You could expand it and sell it.” (They don’t believe in opt-in freebies.)

    My ebook is on Digital Overwhelm and it’s about 22 pages. I would need to spend a short time revising it, but it could quickly be ready as opposed to starting from scratch. Do you think this topic is close enough to the essence of my work that it would be a good freebie?

    I’m also wondering how far we have to go with the layout. Cathy’s ebook on recovery is beautiful, but I bet she had to hire a designer to do that. My layout is simple and very readable (with sections and headings) but not nearly as fancy as Cathy’s.

    Thanks in advance for your response. I’ll check into the forum tomorrow.

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Sandra Pawula, I think “digital overwhelm” is a topic relevant to the essence of your work. I took a quick look at your blog archives and see that it would be a great fit. I’m sure you cover the topic in your unique and masterful way in the book.

      You can give it away as a single-download book, or if the content is suitable, divide it into 5 sections and offer it as a mini course in bite-sizes pieces. That would also be a aligned with the topic you’re covering in the book.

      I’m also sure Cathy had her freebie professionally designed. But a fancy professional design is not a must for a great freebie. An extremely useful content covered from a fully original perspective and offered through a simple, spacious and readable layout/design is always more preferable in my eyes. Besides, a more minimalistic touch is a better fit for your overall concept.

      • Romy Maillard says

        Now that’s a great idea, Sandra, to use what you already have once produced and just tweak it to fit your intention.

        I really like your idea Cigdem, to break it up into 5 sections and then at the end maybe offer the whole ebook in one piece.

        Regarding the layout I think you can really do something pretty in pages with some lovely images and a spacious layout in order not to create visual overwhelm. Looking forward to reading it:)

      • Sandra Pawula says

        Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. And, I like having the two options for delivery. Generally, I’ve decided I want to go with the simplest options for myself (probably single ebook) to keep my involvement to a minimum. Cigdem Kobu I would love for you to write about whether there are any advantageous or disadvantageous to the single download ebook vs. the mini course by autoresponder freebies in our latest mini-course on the topic.

        I also agree fully that a simple, spacious design is very in line with the essence of my work. When I look at it, it feels peaceful.

        This will be a high priority on my to do list! thanks very much.

        • Amanda Wilder says

          Hi Sandra Pawula This is random, but I just wanted to say that I love the banner on your website. It is really inviting and makes me want to stick around the site. I’d love to talk more about how you created the design sometime. Cheers.

          • Sandra Pawula says

            Hi Amanda,

            Thanks so much for the positive feedback. I’m happy to tell you now how I made it. I used a public domain photo and cut it to size using Pixlr.com (free online photo editor). And then put the words on top of the image using the same photo editor. There was just one piece I couldn’t do alone, which was to make more space on the right side of the photo. A friend who is a web developer did that for me and it just took him a few moments.

        • Cigdem Kobu says

          Sandra Pawula, I’ll add your question (whether there are any advantageous or disadvantageous to the single download ebook vs. the mini course by auto responder freebies) to the last installment where we can discuss some of the frequently asked questions about creating an opt-in incentive.

  8. Cigdem Kobu says

    I’m posting on behalf of Sandra Pawula, who won’t be able to post during the day today. Her question is below and her website is at http://alwayswellwithin.com.

    ===

    I realized I already have an ebook that I gave away on my site for a short time. Then someone told me, “Don’t give that away! You could expand it and sell it.” (They don’t believe in opt-in freebies.)

    My ebook is on Digital Overwhelm and it’s about 22 pages. I would need to spend a short time revising it, but it could quickly be ready as opposed to starting from scratch. Do you think this topic is close enough to the essence of my work that it would be a good freebie?

    I’m also wondering how far we have to go with the layout. Cathy’s ebook on recovery is beautiful, but I bet she had to hire a designer to do that. My layout is simple and very readable (with sections and headings) but not nearly as fancy as Cathy’s.

    Thanks in advance for your response. I’ll check into the forum tomorrow.

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Sandra Pawula, I think “digital overwhelm” is a topic relevant to the essence of your work. I took a quick look at your blog archives and see that it would be a great fit. I’m sure you cover the topic in your unique and masterful way in the book.

      You can give it away as a single-download book, or if the content is suitable, divide it into 5 sections and offer it as a mini course in bite-sizes pieces. That would also be a aligned with the topic you’re covering in the book.

      I’m also sure Cathy had her freebie professionally designed. But a fancy professional design is not a must for a great freebie. An extremely useful content covered from a fully original perspective and offered through a simple, spacious and readable layout/design is always more preferable in my eyes. Besides, a more minimalistic touch is a better fit for your overall concept.

      • Romy Maillard says

        Now that’s a great idea, Sandra, to use what you already have once produced and just tweak it to fit your intention.

        I really like your idea Cigdem, to break it up into 5 sections and then at the end maybe offer the whole ebook in one piece.

        Regarding the layout I think you can really do something pretty in pages with some lovely images and a spacious layout in order not to create visual overwhelm. Looking forward to reading it:)

      • Sandra Pawula says

        Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. And, I like having the two options for delivery. Generally, I’ve decided I want to go with the simplest options for myself (probably single ebook) to keep my involvement to a minimum. Cigdem Kobu I would love for you to write about whether there are any advantageous or disadvantageous to the single download ebook vs. the mini course by autoresponder freebies in our latest mini-course on the topic.

        I also agree fully that a simple, spacious design is very in line with the essence of my work. When I look at it, it feels peaceful.

        This will be a high priority on my to do list! thanks very much.

        • Amanda Wilder says

          Hi Sandra Pawula This is random, but I just wanted to say that I love the banner on your website. It is really inviting and makes me want to stick around the site. I’d love to talk more about how you created the design sometime. Cheers.

          • Sandra Pawula says

            Hi Amanda,

            Thanks so much for the positive feedback. I’m happy to tell you now how I made it. I used a public domain photo and cut it to size using Pixlr.com (free online photo editor). And then put the words on top of the image using the same photo editor. There was just one piece I couldn’t do alone, which was to make more space on the right side of the photo. A friend who is a web developer did that for me and it just took him a few moments.

        • Cigdem Kobu says

          Sandra Pawula, I’ll add your question (whether there are any advantageous or disadvantageous to the single download ebook vs. the mini course by auto responder freebies) to the last installment where we can discuss some of the frequently asked questions about creating an opt-in incentive.

  9. Romy Maillard says

    Hi Cigdem,
    My question for this week: I have been thinking a LOT about my blog and what it should be and become in conjunction to the Magazine as I am not happy at all with the blog right now. And I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to use the blog as a vehicle to deeply support the magazine instead of building it into it‘s own entity, so to speak. This would mean, from my current understanding, that I would create content that complements the current magazine topic until the next issue comes out (every 2 months). So for the next 2 months it would be all about „homeing“. I could still create1 category that would give me room to expand on topics that I think would provide value for a sensitive that don‘t necessarily have to do with the current issue so that when certain reader questions come up or I keep hearing the same issues from people I could address that there.

    I am a bit uncertain in what direction to go right now and not sure whether the above would sabotage the magazine or not, meaning that people get so much info on the blog they don‘t have a need to buy the mag.

    Plus not everyone is probably always interested in the topics planned for the mag but do want information and inspiration on living life the sensitive‘s way. So that could lead to a lot of fluctuation on the blog. My vision was/is to build a content richt site with lots of valuable information for sensitives, just not sure if and how to manage that all, as the magazine is already a full time job, at least now in the beginnning stages and without any team members (yet). So I feel torn and often guilty for neglecting the blog. Hmmm…. Looking forward to your perspective on this, thank you Cigdem and Loungettes.

    • Tara Leaver says

      Romy Maillard I have overwhelm on your behalf reading this! Which is not at all helpful. My one and only potentially useful thought here is that maybe you could start getting some people to help contribute to the blog content? It might take some of the onus off you to provide EVERYthing. You must have so much to do just preparing the magazine and all that entails, I can’t imagine how you’d have the time OR the energy to put as much into the blog, at least, as you say, while you’re establishing it and learning everything. Although I completely understand why you want to have it, and love the way you’ve described it all.

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Romy Maillard, I think it’s a good idea to use the blog as a tool to support the magazine right now. Creating two different entities would be too much at this time. When everything develops and you can invest in hiring an assistant or even other writers, you can expand the blog to cover much more than the magazine.

      I think sticking to a specific subject throughout a quarter to cultivate interest either for the latest issue or the issue to come (you can choose which is better for you) is a great idea.

      As an alternative idea, here is a quality paid online subscription that uses a blog to capture interest:

      The Information
      https://www.theinformation.com

      You could also use their method and publish a few paragraphs and require membership to read the rest. This will also sustain a blog flow.

      Or you can implement The New Yorker’s method and share a few of the pieces on the blog for free and keep the rest for the paid magazine.

      In addition to a few free articles from the magazine, you can also use the blog to post interesting videos, TED talks, book reviews etc on the same quarterly topic. And you can also do short interviews with some of your writers.

      • Romy Maillard says

        Did you hear my exhale Cigdem Kobu?:) I am so glad I asked for your opinion on this. At first I was hesitant because I did not want to be perceived as someone who changes her mind every week, like going from I’m going to post daily to I’m not happy with my blog which I am neglecting badly right now. But truth be told, I am finding I have way more on my plate right now than I thought. It’s like renovating an old house, it takes at least double the money and time you originally thought:)

        I love your suggestions and I am intrigued with the idea of a quality paid online subscription. Did not know there was such a thing. I could make the magazine a part of the subscription while at the same time keeping the magazine available also for separate purchase. I would not want to confine it solely to a membership site. But something in this model does speak to me, so I’ll give this some deep thought.

        Maybe I could create a basic content site that is public and free for everyone and that compliments the magazine and then offer an upgrade for in-depth information which would include the magazine.

        Right now I do offer free content from the mag via the issue preview. But I love the idea of expanding with TED talks, haven’t thought of those, book reviews and interesting videos. I have been playing with the idea of interviews for a while now, so I guess it’s time to get active and do them:)

        Tara Leaver thank you for your kind words and thoughts. And I absolutely like your suggestion to start including others in the content providing. I have been hesitant to doing that, thinking I would need a certain amount of readers first to make this an attractive opportunity for others. But that is where Cigdems suggestion of doing short interviews would correspond nicely for starters.

        You know, the issue isn’t even so much the doing it all, it’s just plain a case of I feel so emptied out at times that I can’t think straight even if my life depended on it. So I sit down and want to write a blogpost or article for the mag or even just some posts for Facebook or wanting to pin something pretty and I just draw a complete blank and I can’t do the simplest of things. So I clearly need to find a way to streamline things and of course sticking with one main subject is a lot easier than being scattered all over the place, so I guess that is what I will do for now.

        Thank you both, you have taken a huge load of my shoulders.

        • Cigdem Kobu says

          Romy Maillard, you have to experiment to find the best rhythm and model for yourself. Some things will be learned only by practicing. And to be able to do that, you have to constantly test and then make changes so everything is a better fit for you and what you want to do. So, it’s OK to change decisions when you’re establishing your website (and online business)!

          • Romy Maillard says

            Well, that makes me feel a lot better, thanks Cigdem Kobu. I guess I want to much at once, never have been a very patient person:) And quite frankly, I do wonder how some of those bloggers who post every day do it. Some of them even have part time jobs and kids. I mean, of course you pick up speed and lessen production time with practice but I do find that creating valuable content takes time. Just the amount of time I spend researching or verifying something is immense but I don’t want to just slap something up. So I guess for now, I do have to make some major changes to guarantee good quality and my style without killing myself in the process. And I do not want to compromise on the Mag, that would be fatal.

  10. Romy Maillard says

    Hi Cigdem,
    My question for this week: I have been thinking a LOT about my blog and what it should be and become in conjunction to the Magazine as I am not happy at all with the blog right now. And I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to use the blog as a vehicle to deeply support the magazine instead of building it into it‘s own entity, so to speak. This would mean, from my current understanding, that I would create content that complements the current magazine topic until the next issue comes out (every 2 months). So for the next 2 months it would be all about „homeing“. I could still create1 category that would give me room to expand on topics that I think would provide value for a sensitive that don‘t necessarily have to do with the current issue so that when certain reader questions come up or I keep hearing the same issues from people I could address that there.

    I am a bit uncertain in what direction to go right now and not sure whether the above would sabotage the magazine or not, meaning that people get so much info on the blog they don‘t have a need to buy the mag.

    Plus not everyone is probably always interested in the topics planned for the mag but do want information and inspiration on living life the sensitive‘s way. So that could lead to a lot of fluctuation on the blog. My vision was/is to build a content richt site with lots of valuable information for sensitives, just not sure if and how to manage that all, as the magazine is already a full time job, at least now in the beginnning stages and without any team members (yet). So I feel torn and often guilty for neglecting the blog. Hmmm…. Looking forward to your perspective on this, thank you Cigdem and Loungettes.

    • Tara Leaver says

      Romy Maillard I have overwhelm on your behalf reading this! Which is not at all helpful. My one and only potentially useful thought here is that maybe you could start getting some people to help contribute to the blog content? It might take some of the onus off you to provide EVERYthing. You must have so much to do just preparing the magazine and all that entails, I can’t imagine how you’d have the time OR the energy to put as much into the blog, at least, as you say, while you’re establishing it and learning everything. Although I completely understand why you want to have it, and love the way you’ve described it all.

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Romy Maillard, I think it’s a good idea to use the blog as a tool to support the magazine right now. Creating two different entities would be too much at this time. When everything develops and you can invest in hiring an assistant or even other writers, you can expand the blog to cover much more than the magazine.

      I think sticking to a specific subject throughout a quarter to cultivate interest either for the latest issue or the issue to come (you can choose which is better for you) is a great idea.

      As an alternative idea, here is a quality paid online subscription that uses a blog to capture interest:

      The Information
      https://www.theinformation.com

      You could also use their method and publish a few paragraphs and require membership to read the rest. This will also sustain a blog flow.

      Or you can implement The New Yorker’s method and share a few of the pieces on the blog for free and keep the rest for the paid magazine.

      In addition to a few free articles from the magazine, you can also use the blog to post interesting videos, TED talks, book reviews etc on the same quarterly topic. And you can also do short interviews with some of your writers.

      • Romy Maillard says

        Did you hear my exhale Cigdem Kobu?:) I am so glad I asked for your opinion on this. At first I was hesitant because I did not want to be perceived as someone who changes her mind every week, like going from I’m going to post daily to I’m not happy with my blog which I am neglecting badly right now. But truth be told, I am finding I have way more on my plate right now than I thought. It’s like renovating an old house, it takes at least double the money and time you originally thought:)

        I love your suggestions and I am intrigued with the idea of a quality paid online subscription. Did not know there was such a thing. I could make the magazine a part of the subscription while at the same time keeping the magazine available also for separate purchase. I would not want to confine it solely to a membership site. But something in this model does speak to me, so I’ll give this some deep thought.

        Maybe I could create a basic content site that is public and free for everyone and that compliments the magazine and then offer an upgrade for in-depth information which would include the magazine.

        Right now I do offer free content from the mag via the issue preview. But I love the idea of expanding with TED talks, haven’t thought of those, book reviews and interesting videos. I have been playing with the idea of interviews for a while now, so I guess it’s time to get active and do them:)

        Tara Leaver thank you for your kind words and thoughts. And I absolutely like your suggestion to start including others in the content providing. I have been hesitant to doing that, thinking I would need a certain amount of readers first to make this an attractive opportunity for others. But that is where Cigdems suggestion of doing short interviews would correspond nicely for starters.

        You know, the issue isn’t even so much the doing it all, it’s just plain a case of I feel so emptied out at times that I can’t think straight even if my life depended on it. So I sit down and want to write a blogpost or article for the mag or even just some posts for Facebook or wanting to pin something pretty and I just draw a complete blank and I can’t do the simplest of things. So I clearly need to find a way to streamline things and of course sticking with one main subject is a lot easier than being scattered all over the place, so I guess that is what I will do for now.

        Thank you both, you have taken a huge load of my shoulders.

        • Cigdem Kobu says

          Romy Maillard, you have to experiment to find the best rhythm and model for yourself. Some things will be learned only by practicing. And to be able to do that, you have to constantly test and then make changes so everything is a better fit for you and what you want to do. So, it’s OK to change decisions when you’re establishing your website (and online business)!

          • Romy Maillard says

            Well, that makes me feel a lot better, thanks Cigdem Kobu. I guess I want to much at once, never have been a very patient person:) And quite frankly, I do wonder how some of those bloggers who post every day do it. Some of them even have part time jobs and kids. I mean, of course you pick up speed and lessen production time with practice but I do find that creating valuable content takes time. Just the amount of time I spend researching or verifying something is immense but I don’t want to just slap something up. So I guess for now, I do have to make some major changes to guarantee good quality and my style without killing myself in the process. And I do not want to compromise on the Mag, that would be fatal.

  11. Amanda Wilder says

    Hi there!

    I am coming off two brutal weeks of the flu and flu recovery, and I am now playing catch up at “Big Work” and that is leading to less time for “meaningful side work”, but hopefully I will be back to my two full days to work on the business soon. I hope everyone got their flu shot! I wish I had…

    I would like to know more about target market surveying. I have a pretty specific idea of who I want to target (or one group to focus on for now out of many). I have been working through Cigdem’s books as well as others I started pre-Cigdem. I now want to do some mini-market research. I also want to just simply start doing more coaching, to get as much practice as possible. What do you think about asking contacts to complete a survey in exchange for an hour of coaching. I see several problems with this, but I’d like to have something of value to offer in exchange for information about my target group. If not that what is the best way for me to research the true needs of this group, so I can offer a useful service to this group, and develop my craft accordingly?

    Also in the mean time…I have a few regular coaching clients, but since I was focused on creating a new coaching position at the university (until the beginning of this semester when it finally paid off and the position was created for me out of thin air). Now I want to focus more on my own coaching business, in hopes of growing that into something slightly bigger by summer. I have started with the above, but I see value in just COACHING at any price, and simply gaining more and more experience. I am constantly taking new training and self-education programs, and I need to apply what I am learning in the real (coaching) world. I have offered free coaching before – about a year ago when I just started. I actually “quit” most of those initial coaching clients last semester because I could either build the student coaching or the regular coaching, but not both. Now that the student coaching is set, and I am working on salary at the University, I can get back to focusing on my regular coaching (for lack of a better descriptor) the other days of the week .

    I’m not sure at this point if I want to offer free coaching, but honestly I just want to be able to help people, and become a more skilled coach. I’m hoping that if I offer excellent coaching, that I can continue to grow it into a business.

    So far ALL my clients have come from referrals, as my coaching website remains unfinished, and I turned down five (paying) clients last semester because I couldn’t teach full time, and coach reliably.

    Now that I am teaching/coaching students part time and have the time open for more regular coaching I want to go back in. But what do I charge? Where do I start? I am more comfortable doing it the way I did last year- offering initially free or low cost coaching and then getting referrals from there (or clients stayed with me after the free period and became paying clients). But I know that now that I am not a “brand new” coach any more, this might not be the best idea…. Should I charge full price off the bat as I get back into it, even if that means fewer clients, and therefor less chance to cultivate my skills? Do I do a combination? There are obviously so many options, or ways to package it.

    I don’t know if that made any sense, but basically I am asking how I should charge starting out again. I want to build the business, and at the same time develop my skills as much as possible. I feel pretty confident that I can build into more paying clients given time, but if I charge right now, I will probably have fewer clients, than if I can offer coaching to everyone and their brother in my TM for free or low cost. However, I don’t want to cheapen what I have to offer or do this for too long now that I am more experienced.

    I hope that makes sense, and thanks for any thoughts.

    Happy Monday:)

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Amanda Wilder, I don’t see offering an hour of free coaching in return for survey answers. It’s simply not sustainable. Can you create a short but very useful report or guide (5-6 pages) in which you share your most favorite method that you know has helped a client before? You could offer that report or guide as a thank-you.

      In addition, you can also say that you’ll also be giving a special …% discount for your coaching sessions to those who take the survey as a token of your appreciation. This might both generate new clients and also prevent free calls.

      Like you said, you’re not a brand new coach, so I think you shouldn’t offer free sessions anymore. You don’t have to ask for a too high fee, but adjust to a comfortable level. Since you have a job with a salary, you have more elbow space now for experimenting with different pricing levels.

      Have you gathered testimonials from previous clients (free or paying) who were happy about the results they got from working with you? Even is you’re still in the process of improving your site, you can still add as many meaningful testimonials as possible!

      Lisa Zahn, do you have any tips for Amanda?

  12. Amanda Wilder says

    Hi there!

    I am coming off two brutal weeks of the flu and flu recovery, and I am now playing catch up at “Big Work” and that is leading to less time for “meaningful side work”, but hopefully I will be back to my two full days to work on the business soon. I hope everyone got their flu shot! I wish I had…

    I would like to know more about target market surveying. I have a pretty specific idea of who I want to target (or one group to focus on for now out of many). I have been working through Cigdem’s books as well as others I started pre-Cigdem. I now want to do some mini-market research. I also want to just simply start doing more coaching, to get as much practice as possible. What do you think about asking contacts to complete a survey in exchange for an hour of coaching. I see several problems with this, but I’d like to have something of value to offer in exchange for information about my target group. If not that what is the best way for me to research the true needs of this group, so I can offer a useful service to this group, and develop my craft accordingly?

    Also in the mean time…I have a few regular coaching clients, but since I was focused on creating a new coaching position at the university (until the beginning of this semester when it finally paid off and the position was created for me out of thin air). Now I want to focus more on my own coaching business, in hopes of growing that into something slightly bigger by summer. I have started with the above, but I see value in just COACHING at any price, and simply gaining more and more experience. I am constantly taking new training and self-education programs, and I need to apply what I am learning in the real (coaching) world. I have offered free coaching before – about a year ago when I just started. I actually “quit” most of those initial coaching clients last semester because I could either build the student coaching or the regular coaching, but not both. Now that the student coaching is set, and I am working on salary at the University, I can get back to focusing on my regular coaching (for lack of a better descriptor) the other days of the week .

    I’m not sure at this point if I want to offer free coaching, but honestly I just want to be able to help people, and become a more skilled coach. I’m hoping that if I offer excellent coaching, that I can continue to grow it into a business.

    So far ALL my clients have come from referrals, as my coaching website remains unfinished, and I turned down five (paying) clients last semester because I couldn’t teach full time, and coach reliably.

    Now that I am teaching/coaching students part time and have the time open for more regular coaching I want to go back in. But what do I charge? Where do I start? I am more comfortable doing it the way I did last year- offering initially free or low cost coaching and then getting referrals from there (or clients stayed with me after the free period and became paying clients). But I know that now that I am not a “brand new” coach any more, this might not be the best idea…. Should I charge full price off the bat as I get back into it, even if that means fewer clients, and therefor less chance to cultivate my skills? Do I do a combination? There are obviously so many options, or ways to package it.

    I don’t know if that made any sense, but basically I am asking how I should charge starting out again. I want to build the business, and at the same time develop my skills as much as possible. I feel pretty confident that I can build into more paying clients given time, but if I charge right now, I will probably have fewer clients, than if I can offer coaching to everyone and their brother in my TM for free or low cost. However, I don’t want to cheapen what I have to offer or do this for too long now that I am more experienced.

    I hope that makes sense, and thanks for any thoughts.

    Happy Monday:)

    • Cigdem Kobu says

      Amanda Wilder, I don’t see offering an hour of free coaching in return for survey answers. It’s simply not sustainable. Can you create a short but very useful report or guide (5-6 pages) in which you share your most favorite method that you know has helped a client before? You could offer that report or guide as a thank-you.

      In addition, you can also say that you’ll also be giving a special …% discount for your coaching sessions to those who take the survey as a token of your appreciation. This might both generate new clients and also prevent free calls.

      Like you said, you’re not a brand new coach, so I think you shouldn’t offer free sessions anymore. You don’t have to ask for a too high fee, but adjust to a comfortable level. Since you have a job with a salary, you have more elbow space now for experimenting with different pricing levels.

      Have you gathered testimonials from previous clients (free or paying) who were happy about the results they got from working with you? Even is you’re still in the process of improving your site, you can still add as many meaningful testimonials as possible!

      Lisa Zahn, do you have any tips for Amanda?

      • Robin Chellis says

        Yes Cigdem Kobu, please send me your affiliate links. Also, who did you say you buy your new domain names from? Actually I think that is what I need, my domain is expiring and I need to transfer it. I like who I’m hosting with now, but I’m looking at leaving GoDaddy for my domain. Thanks!!

      • Robin Chellis says

        Yes Cigdem Kobu, please send me your affiliate links. Also, who did you say you buy your new domain names from? Actually I think that is what I need, my domain is expiring and I need to transfer it. I like who I’m hosting with now, but I’m looking at leaving GoDaddy for my domain. Thanks!!

  13. says

    Cigdem Kobu, this blog is gorgeous! On my computer (macbook air laptop), the text on this page is showing up as a very light grey which is extremely hard to read. If it’s not just my issue, I’m wondering if you’d consider a darker color? I LOVE Q&A day and can’t wait to read the thread. (PS. I find black easiest, but any dark color would do.)

  14. says

    Cigdem Kobu, this blog is gorgeous! On my computer (macbook air laptop), the text on this page is showing up as a very light grey which is extremely hard to read. If it’s not just my issue, I’m wondering if you’d consider a darker color? I LOVE Q&A day and can’t wait to read the thread. (PS. I find black easiest, but any dark color would do.)

  15. says

    Cigdem Kobu, you’re amazing! Thanks for your incredible responsiveness. Yes, I can read it better. Maybe before I would have give the ease-of-reading level a “2” out of 10. And, now, with the darker grey it’s maybe a “5” or “6” for my 50 year old eyes. :)

  16. says

    Cigdem Kobu, you’re amazing! Thanks for your incredible responsiveness. Yes, I can read it better. Maybe before I would have give the ease-of-reading level a “2” out of 10. And, now, with the darker grey it’s maybe a “5” or “6” for my 50 year old eyes. :)

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