Discover What Motivates You

I’ve always been fascinated by how people learn. In school, I struggled with traditional modes of learning and found that non-traditional methods, particularly visual styles, worked best for me. And I realized that many others were challenged in the same way—so I made it my mission to help.

Since that decision nearly a decade ago, I’ve never been happier in my work—and my business is thriving. From today and the next few weeks, I’m going to share a series of five steps that I took to grow my business. Of course, mine is not the only way to grow a business, but it’s what has worked for me and perhaps it’ll be useful for you too.

Step 1: Find Your Drive and Stay Focused

They say that when you’re trying to decide what to do, you should follow your heart. But then the rent is due…bills come in…financial and lifestyle worries frequently make you trade the things you want to do for the things you know will bring income.

As a teacher, I looked for different ways of teaching students who might need different learning methods, and started to experiment with creating basic e-learning. And guess what? I had a tremendously positive response from my students. Being able to manipulate and interact with the learning material engaged my students and helped them grasp the information better. It was an epiphany for me: their success drove my interest in and passion for creating e-learning that helped people learn more easily.

As I considered what to do next professionally, I came across a TED Talk by Simon Sinek that changed my life!His advice? Rather than looking for what to do, find out WHY you do it. Wow. That hit so close to home for me. It took me right back to my own learning struggles and my quest to find better ways to teach people. This was my why. And now, I needed to focus on how to bring it to life with e-learning.

It also put me personally at a crossroads: do I continue to create basic e-learning for my own teaching curriculum, or do I dive in and learn everything I can about creating the best e-learning possible that reaches the most people possible? Clearly I chose the latter…but then needed to figure out just how to do that.

Brainstorm Ways To Take Action

Choosing an e-learning tool seemed like a natural place to start. I played around with many e-learning tools like Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Lectora and A New Spring. For me, Articulate’s exclusive focus on e-learning resonated with me—and with their free 30-day trial, I had nothing to lose by giving it a go.

Luckily, as a teacher, I had a whole curriculum of materials on-hand that I could use to familiarize myself with Articulate software. And the learning curve was so easy! My month-long trial launched into a purchase that grew into an exploration. For nearly the next two years, I immersed myself in transforming my existing lessons into e-learning projects to try with my students. To my delight…they loved it—and seemed to learn the material better.

Make The Leap

At this point, I had seen positive results from using e-learning with my own students, and had a powerful tool at my fingertips to create it. I yearned to become an e-learning professional, where I could reach many more people than just my own students. However, with my teaching job I didn’t have time to do both well. Then circumstances with my job changed and I had the chance to choose my path: I resigned from my job and committed myself entirely to learning how to create e-learning that helped people learn better.

From there, my next task was to significantly improve my e-learning skills. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post called Step 2: How To Improve Your Skills.

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