Raking it in without
breaking your soul

How I Almost Killed My Summer

I’m gonna be honest, I crushed the start of 2022. I launched a new program. People swarmed my Data Viz Academy course. I was holding private webinars weekly. So by the end of the Spring, I was toast.

That’s when my therapist said these words, the ones that unlocked joy in my heart: Why don’t you take the summer off of writing newsletters? Rest, sister.

Look, I love writing newsletters and sharing my hard-won lessons and hearing all about yours. But too much of any good thing is gonna hurt.

Y’all wished me a wonderful summer and I spent it in the sunshine, going to concerts (New Kids on the Block / Salt n Pepa / En Vogue, Billy Joel, Lake Street Dive), singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at minor league baseball, prepping the barn for my upcoming wedding reception, and traveling Europe while dodging COVID and monkeypox. Sure, I rested too, just like my therapist prescribed.

But here’s how I paid people to ruin my summer:

I’ve been struggling with one of my online courses. Enrollment numbers weren’t where I wanted them to be. The program is really labor-intensive, so even though successful students stunned me with their talent, I’d have to raise the price significantly to keep it in operation. I wasn’t totally sure how to fix it – or whether to just ditch it.

So I hired consultants.

Who took a day to audit my program and sent me ELEVEN FREAKIN PAGES of feedback.

Whew. Ok. I wanted this, I reminded myself. I asked for this. I paid for this.

Cause I know some of you are also interested in building online courses, here’s a quick, paraphrased, rundown of some of the feedback:

Change the name of the program

Rewrite the webpage

Develop freebies

Create an ad campaign to trade the freebie for emails

Create landing pages for the ad campaign

Create emails for people who got the freebie

Develop a free class to deliver when enrollment opens

Create ads for the free class

Develop incentives for waitlisters to enroll early

Write more emails to the waitlist

Create an application process for interested students

Change the onboarding process for new students

Open up enrollment for the waitlist weeks early

Start emailing the waitlist July 11

Those are the highlights, my friend. I’m not even getting into the details. Or the accompanying Loom video breakdown. They were, shall we say, thorough.

I have unwavering faith that I can do all of these things.

It woulda just killed my summer.

Email the waitlist July 11? That means I’m spending June on my computer instead of cold plunging into the Copenhagen canal.

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you have to. Right now. Or ever.

Matter of fact, I decided to skip the revamped launch of the course this Fall. I’m postponing the next enrollment period for that course until next Spring. I’m gonna need all the time between now and then to implement the consultant recommendations without burning myself out.

And that Spring enrollment period will be do or die. If the changes don’t result in a profitable program with higher enrollment and happy students, I’m shutting it down. I promise to report back.

The Achiever in me was thisclose to figuring out a way to make it happen.

Writing emails from the beach or something. There are people to help. But there’s one more lesson in here I wanted to pass on to you.

I was discussing whether to rally around this Consultant To Do List with my family. We’re stuffing our faces with miso soup and boogie veggie rolls.

My partner shoves an entire piece of sushi into his mouth (as you’re supposed to do) and says:

“You busted your tail at the start of the year so that you’d have free time right now. You kept saying, to yourself and the rest of us, ‘I know I’m working all weekend, but this means I’ll have a lighter load this summer.’ And now you’re talking about filling up that space you created with more work.”

I woulda kissed him right on the lips, except his mouth was full of sushi.

He’s right. I had totally forgotten about the promises I made to myself when I was up to my elbows in January. It’s very much like me to fill my free time with more work – a habit I’m trying to unlearn, cause I’m tired of burning out.

Every one of us needs somebody in our corner, reminding us of what’s in our best self’s best interest.

So who’s in your corner, rooting for your success and your rest? Me, for one.

And how’d you spend your summer? Hit me up with your favorite non-work-related summer activity.

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