So you’ve purchased that course. Good job! Taking initiative and always learning is the sign of a progressive entrepreneur. High five!
Now let’s talk about how you can make the most of your investment. No. The answer is not to just open up and dive in.
Here are the 6 Steps you should follow that will allow the course to provide the most value it can. Not just for today but in the future too.
Upon registration you probably got a couple of emails. Look for an invoice and your personal log in credentials including the website, your username and your password.
Set up a system to capture this information so you can find it easily. It may be a file on your computer. It may be a folder within your email.
I use gmail so that I can always access my courses regardless of which computer I’m using (or phone or iPad). I have a master folder called Training Courses and underneath I have sub-folders labeled with each course. When I’m done or no longer accessing the course on a regular basis, I just hide the labels. The folder is still there and accessible but hiding it keeps my email sidebar cleaner. So only my active courses are visible.
What is your objective?
Once you’re all set up, review in your mind or write down on paper exactly what end result you are expecting from taking the course. This will keep you focused and attentive so you can capture information specific to your goal.
If you’re keeping a notebook write the word “Objective” as the very first note. Then jot down your intentions – what you want to be able to do as a result of the course.
Set aside a specific time to properly go through the program uninterrupted.
You want to be fully present when you take your course. That means no distractions. No email, no phone calls, no Facebook. Be fully present so you don’t miss any of the nuances or specific comments that could be the golden nugget you were needing.
You’ll see by doing this you’ll actually go through the course faster and you’ll capture all of the valuable information. You’ll be in a learning zone and this will allow you to uncover ideas and applications that might be missed if you’re distracted.
Start at the beginning
Avoid confusion and frustration. Resist the urge to jump ahead and start in the middle of a program. You may feel you’re well beyond some of the introductory topics in a course. But if you start in the middle, you don’t know what one sentence or one point from the beginning, is a treasure that will stay buried forever.
If you stay present and aren’t distracted, you can quickly get through the initial portions and move on to new concepts knowing all your bases are covered.
Then continue through the course in order. Most programs are built to be sequential. One module builds upon another. You may lose time having to go back to find or learn something you didn’t know you needed.
Participate in all add-ons
If your course includes a private Facebook Group or another opportunity to connect with others taking the course, by all means join in. Some of the best learnings are in these groups. Discussions come up on topics you may never have thought about. The responses and subsequent conversations can be extremely educational.
Plus there is an added opportunity to meet people. These relationships could possibly become the most valuable part of taking the course.
You’ve completed the course. You’ve learned a lot. NOW, how are you going to apply what you’ve learned to advance your business? What are you going to implement or do differently?
This is where many people fail. Yes, a big “F” in the course! You need to act upon what you’ve just learned!
Create an action plan to use what you now know. If it is going to be a change in the way you do things, remember it takes time for it to become a routine. That means you consciously have to integrate it into your daily activities.
In your plan write down exactly what you’ll do differently. Make it specific and obtainable. You may want to create a list of things you’d like to change. Then select just one. Get that going and move on to another.
So many of us (myself included) have gone through courses or attended conventions, and then get back to our routines and move through the days as we always have. Status quo. Doing this is a waste of your investment – both in time and money.
A final point
To help make this process smoother, I’ve created a checklist for you that walks you through each of the steps we’ve just discussed. If you’d like this added tool, download it here.
This is Part 2 of a two part series covering online courses. If you missed Part 1 you can jump to it here. It covers how to determine whether a specific online course if a good match for you.