Waiheke, Aotearoa New Zealand

November 22, 2020

A Glimpse Behind the Curtains.

As you may have caught in a couple emails, I've been hard at work on a brand-new course over the last few months. I thought this week I'd take you behind the scenes, share why I'm making it, the things I'm struggling with, and ask for your thoughts. Oh, and introduce a monster. :)

The course is called 7-Day Sprint, and the idea for it showed up almost five years ago now, when I was living in Medellín, Colombia.

I wanted a way to get unstuck on some projects that had been languishing for a while, and having just finished a bunch of research on motivational psychology, I set out to make a tool that was good at kick-starting. Something that could really quickly get me unstuck, finish something I'd been putting off, or get momentum on a big project.

By the end of 2016, the content was ready, and I was a month or two away from getting it out. And then I travelled to New Zealand, met my now partner, and life went a little off the rails. :) Finally, finally, over the last few months, I've been getting back to it, and gotten it done.

The time away has actually been good for the course. It's had time to settle, wear some of the sharp edges off. And this year, with traveling on hiatus, I figured it was as good a time as any to make it properly. No shortcuts, no quick-fixes. The whole thing, working just how it should.

It might seem funny, but I think about my courses the same way I do poems or videos or the novel or any other piece of art - the piece has its own life.

As the person responsible for bringing it into the world, my job is just to uncover what it's trying to be, make it well, honor its spirit and keep my own baggage out of the way.

The course went into beta a couple weeks ago with some of the lovely folks over in our Patreon, and honestly, it feels great. It's alive and has personality and is a bunch of fun to use. It's getting close to getting out into the world - I'll probably make it available to all of you folks around the start of December and everyone else at the start of 2021.

But the course being done brings me, inevitably, to my achilles heel in running a business.

How do I talk about my stuff?

Over the years, I've tried lots of things. Read articles and gotten coaching from people who talk about funnels and content marketing and lord knows what else. Tried a dozen revisions on my website and ads on social media and at the end of all of it, honestly, I don't think I'm a lot closer to knowing what to do than I was at the start.

This has been a lifelong struggle, and a lifelong failure point. I'm good at making quality things, and people are generally really happy with them. But I'm bad at getting them in front of folks, or making a compelling explanation for why they're worth buying.

A few weeks ago, as I was finishing up the last day of the sprint, I decided that this time, I was figuring it out. I wasn't letting myself start another project until I'd figured out how to properly pitch this one.

And if I was sure of one thing after the years of failure, it's that the answers I needed weren't in my head. They were in yours. Or friends of yours. Or people I've never met.

So if you have a couple minutes, I'd love to hear what you think. :)

I made a quick little tool I've dubbed "the bestimator" where you can see a few ideas I'm thinking about, and give me feedback. It's fun and there are emoji all over. And a new monster named Shaka. :)

If you're game, come play here: https://courses.inkandfeet.com/bestimator/sprint/

It's totally anonymous, so I'd love to hear what you honestly think!

I really do believe there's a way somehow for me to stay authentic and grounded and also figure out how to make a sustainable living making things. Any advice and help you've got for me is very, very appreciated. :)

(And if you'd rather not or don't have time, all good - no pressure!)

Anyhow, I thought it might be fun to see a little behind the scenes of what happens around here, both the triumphs and the struggles. :)

Have an authentic week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was not the disappointing results from NZ's Bird of the Year, which I don't want to talk about. Kākāpō again. Sheesh. It was in fact this really thought-provoking video about a thing I didn't know had a name, let alone that people were studying it. That voice in your head? Or how you sometimes talk to yourself? It's inner speech, and it's unexpectedly fascinating. :)

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