2 Heads…

March 30, 2007

I had a very special experience yesterday evening. I had called in for a Q&A session with Valerie Young, the “Dreamer in Residence” at ChangingCourse.com and designer of the “Fast Track Your Dream” program. I joined the program to help me define the new direction for my practice and get started.

Valerie had this Q&A session to get feedback from us and to hear our questions about applying the program to our specific situations. The creative career consultants who monitor the member forum have answered many questions already and the group members provide each other buckets of ideas and loads of support, so there weren’t many questions about “now.” We asked some about the future, thinking down the road to when we are established but adding new income streams.

Since the questions were answered before the allotted hour was up, Valerie very graciously indulged my questions on a different topic. I wanted to hear a little about her experience in putting together “Fast Track Your Dream” and what she learned that could benefit other people planning information products and considering membership sites.

Valerie’s program is amazing. It includes workbooks to help members understand their unique gifts and passions, compiled articles on ways people discovered joyful work and transitioned from an unfulfilling j-o-b, online resources with creative work examples and the steps to take for discovery and life change, audio CDs of workshops, idea planners….it’s a lot of stuff! I have a plan to be through everything by the end of the summer.

Basically, she put together many of her top information products and bundled them for this program, in addition to the members’ forum and teleclasses (2 per month, if I remember right). I had questions about a much less ambitious idea. I was thinking about a “package” that includes a series of teleclasses, like the 6 sessions of “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen” for parents, plus my feedback on workbook assignments, e-mail support, and maybe a members’ forum for sharing ideas.

You see, I’ve been wanting to have a different business model from the current coaching model of fixed length sessions at set intervals, which is based on the medical model of therapy. Valerie reminded me that it’s really up to clients to decide what model they like. She suggested I do some market research and ask people how they would be likely to use services.

I’ve helped conduct market research so I should have been thinking this all along. But I wasn’t, and Valerie helped me get focused on the best way to define my service model.

I would probably have suggested the same thing to another person starting a new business or considering a new direction. I’m working for FREE helping an organization determine their clients’ needs and preferences. I mean, I KNOW THIS STUFF! But it took the perspective of someone else to remind me to apply it to my business.

Valerie gave me some other useful insight and pointers, too, and I am very grateful. My lesson? When you’re pretty sure you know what you’re doing—prove it! Prove it by talking to someone else and explaining what you’re thinking and planning. I bet it will help you remember what you already knew but forgot along the way.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey

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