A very warm welcome to the Brilliantio podcast. I’m your host, Paul Jenkins, founder of Brilliantio and Brilliantio Academy, whose aim is to be the very best Story and Storytelling Academy in the world! So there’s no shortage of ambition now, right?! And I’ll be sharing the story, the good and the bad of that journey along the way in this podcast, so that you can actually take the good away and leave the bad where it belongs – on the sidewalk. And in this show, we’ll be following storytellers, getting their stories, doing interviews, story crafters, entrepreneurs, business folk, and an array of reviews, comment, and hopefully some insights into the art and craft of great story and storytelling.
So I’ve decided to do something, which I’ve been thinking about for a while, which is to actually to do a segment of the podcast, from the car as I drive between the swimming pool back home. It usually takes me about 10 minutes, but I thought, why not share the freshest thoughts of the day in this podcast? Seems to make a lot of sense, right. And I reckon if I keep the windows wound up, you should be able to hear me clearly, I certainly hope so. But the point is that things just have to be tried, things have to be experimented with. And otherwise, you never move forward, you never grow. And you know, the the publishing side of this, I think is particularly the case, yeah.
In future days, I’m actually going to bring a little lavelier microphone along. So I can promise you that this particular segment would like to sound better in days to come. But today, it’s literally the phone in a cup holder, on the phone, in the car. And this is the place I found best to stick the phone for navigation. And so if it works for navigation, it should work for paga. Right?
So one of the reasons why I’ve decided to do this is that time is really becoming a critical issue for me and the business. And I think this is true for all solo printers and entrepreneurs. They reach a point where, you know, the dream starts out and then suddenly you hit you start hitting the walls, you start hitting the real crunch, which is what do I prioritize today? How do I, how do I do something in the business today that actually really does move everything forward. And over the last week or two, it’s been an incredibly busy period. For me personally, and for the business.
My dad has been very unwell unfortunately. And so I’ve had to spend time down in Somerset, helping him and booking keras and talking to doctors and all of this kind of stuff. And the very difficult decision with my siblings about what to do in the future in terms of account home or, or, you know, full time care. So anyone who’s gone through that particular situation will will know really what that involves, which is a huge amount of time, a huge amount of efforts, quite a lot of difficult psychological work, because you you kind of go back in the past, and you have memories of the past. And you try to reconcile the good memories with the situation now and you’re trying to find a path forward, that, you know, is really good for everyone.
And, you know, obviously gives him dignity and as much quality of life as possible. So I’ve had that running for actually for about a month. But it’s been exacerbating over the last over the last few days. So yeah, that’s that’s been really tough.
But nonetheless, I, you know, I’ve launched Brilliantio, and I’m determined that it moves forward, and succeeds. And I’m very serious about it becoming the best Storytelling Academy in the world. And I know that I will only get there, if despite all the adversity use of circumstance and time, if I find systems that I can put into place every day, but actually grow the business, regardless of what else is going on around regardless of what emergency or what crisis or what have you, you know, my goal is for is for Brilliantio, the business and the Academy to grow day by day. And so what I do every single day is I pull out the whiteboard. And, and and I copy a trick I learned somewhere, which is simply to put the whiteboard on a desk, rather than as an angle or against a wall. Because I find that when it’s on a desk, it’s like having a nice big, you know, piece of paper that you can play with. And basically I map out the day, you know, I write it out. So the priorities there, what what I think will actually make a difference today. And then I assign it either green squiggles or red squiggles, of different sizes, to indicate, you know, whether whether something is really worth doing, or whether it’s something I can put to one side, and the big green screen goals get done first. That’s that’s really, that’s really the way I’m operating now.
And I find that I find that kind of works. I don’t like planning out weeks and weeks or months and months in advance. Because I find that you end up getting going down some kind of tram lines. And my experience is that the way days operators that you make new discoveries or an opportunity opens up or, you know, a conversation happens or, or new line of thinking occurs. And, you know, it’s important to take advantage of those of those when they when they arise and when they come. And if you’re tramroaded into a particular plan that you decided three weeks ago, then what can happen is that you actually are filtering out the discoveries and the opportunities from your mind, which is actually a little bit of the road which way goes a little bit faster. So the ambient noise is probably crept up a bit. So I apologize for that.
But yeah, no time is time is really becoming a huge issue a huge crunch. And I know that at some point fairly soon, I need to start hiring people and getting around me some kind of team or partners to help me grow. But before I do that, I want to make sure that the the core components of the Academy, nice and solid, and they work and I understand exactly how, for example, the onboarding process works with with workshops, I understand what people really like about them or don’t like, I start to understand the format of the workshops. And that might sound obvious, but when you’re actually using a webinar solution, which I use zoom webinar, you’re using webinar solution, but trying to hybridize it into a workshop style environment, there are definitely some things that need to need to be ironed out. So yeah, that’s, that’s really, that’s really where it is, at the moment.
I think what I’m very happy about is that the enthusiasm in the group continues, people are sharing their own content, and their own stories and examples of good storytelling, that’s very heartwarming. I like the fact that some people are even sharing their own Facebook groups and in my group, because I honestly believe that the way forward for all of us is to have intelligence and, you know, sharing partnerships as a way to grow. So I know that in some in some groups, you know, the admins reject that idea, and they want to keep kind of you, if you like, what they would regard as interlopers out of the way that I see is another way, which is that this is an opportunity to form partnerships and grow with people, not simply to try and only do your own thing, and keep everyone else out, I suppose it’s a kind of philosophy that I’ve understood over time. And, you know, I personally was not always that way,
I can remember a few years ago being different, and I’m thinking, you know, this is my property, I need to keep you I need to keep it so I can have this little gem that, you know, no one else can touch it, actually, that philosophy doesn’t actually help you. I find it in terms of in terms of learning and growing and, and, and spotting opportunities, frankly, for future growth. So yeah, the partnership thing I think, is really is really, really important.
The priority today, though, is that today, I’m going to be running the very first Bestseller Courses workshop. And this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, I’ve now got three bestseller courses on Udemy and it’s it’s a fantastic thing to have. Because, in fact, it gives me as near as damage and passive income, where every month I get a, I get a payment from Udemy, and that covers basically an income, it covers my bills, you know, free me up to actually develop things that I really care about. Not that I don’t care about the courses! Freeing me up to care about Brilliantio. And, and personal life as well. And to have the great, great luxury, so I’m just reversing here. So it may have been softer,
to have the great great luxury luxury of actually have, you know, taught being in control of my own time and my own space. And so that means that up for example, I start every day in the pool you know, I have a swim and swim in a steam normally, cold shower, cold shower, I can get home, I can make a make a coffee, I can kind of relax and think a little bit for 10 minutes. And you know I can I can organize my day, day by day. And, you know, that is a massive, massive luxury to be in that situation. Deeply privileged.
And it’s only really come about, because of the because of Udemy. But the whole Udemy journey has been quite a thing I can tell you. So in fact, today’s workshop is entitled, ‘Growing as an online instructor’. And I’m going to tell the story of you know, how I came into it and what happened with me, the ups and the downs, the the absolutely farcical initial stages of that, I’m going to tell the story of how there was an initial flurry of success. And then you then you start to realize that in fact, you’ve got to keep developing stuff. And how how you know that how that went, of how some people promoted and some people didn’t, and some people died away and some people didn’t. And how I began to learn about what actually works and what doesn’t on in online education, online instructing.
And then we hit the Udemy price experiment in 2016. And that, that experiment basically destroys quite a few UTM instructors. It didn’t destroy him, but it certainly put a pretty big hole in my Udemy earnings that have gradually risen up back over over time. Yeah, so I’m going to tell that story and explain that, but and much more in today’s workshop. But the point of all that is not really to beat my own drum, but really to, to illustrate and try to teach the people coming along to today’s workshop, what they can expect and anticipate when they come into online instruction into online education.
But you know, really the the the bottom line on this is that it’s an absolutely unbelievably fantastic thing to do, if you can get into it. Because not only are you creating residual value and assets that can sell and make you money over sometimes many years to come. But in terms of positioning and showing who you are demonstrating who you are, and what you’ve got an online course is a wonderful way to do it. And it’s a wonderful points of contact for people with you and with your business and whatever your doing.
Okay, well look, I’ve arrived home, I’m happy to say the sun is dappling through the little trees here. And so I’m going to hop inside and make the first coffee of the day and, and get that whiteboard out onto the table.
So I’m now at home and the first coffee of the day is made, having just done all the chores in the kitchen, tidying up the kitchen, clean the floor, putting the dishes in the dishwasher, starting the dishwasher, and all that great stuff. And I’m just starting to turn my minds to the business of the day.
But actually just a side note, which is the how I make the coffee. Because a few years ago a friend put me on to the arrow press. Now coffee addicts among you will probably know about this thing. But it was designed by the people who made the Frisbee, I believe and it’s a bit like a kind of big hypodermic syringe, and you can get a metal filter you put in the bottom, which saves having to use too much paper, which is always a good thing. And basically you you let the coffee percolate inside this syringe, this era press and then basically you after is brewed you you kind of squeeze it through. Well, a few months ago, my Arab press started to collapse on me. It basically started to to leak past the seal. Because if you think about it, when you have a hypodermic syringe, you push it through, you have a seal of the you know the plunger, that’s supposed to keep the coffee driving through the filter. Or in my case, it kind of squirts on past the seal. So I repurpose my era press into a poor device. And so what I do now is just stick four or five little tea spoonfuls of of actually Guatemalan coffee in my case, and kind of pour the water over for about three while I let it bloom i think is the technical word with a little bit of hot water, just for two or three seconds just to get the greens kind of active, I pour the water then I pulled the rest of the water into the upside down arrow press. And I let it slowly push through. Basically, it’s a kind of pour style, Paul style coffee brewing.
And in fact, I find that the end result is every bit as good as if I’d actually use the syringe function of the arrow press. So what I realized is that the syringe function is for the impatient, and those who have a little bit of patience, can can kind of segue over to the method I just described!
Anyway, here I am with the first coffee of the day. And I’ve started to look at the whiteboard. And I’ve started to realize that I have a welter of tasks ahead of me. And with your forbearance, I’m going to quickly read them out, and
I need to install the influence plugin on my website,
I need to plan out a course that I’m going to make for a video app company called InVideo, which involves launching a business video workshop, but also starting to plan out their course and recruit people in from their Facebook group to feed into me what will be useful.
I need to deal with some stuff with my dad to do with legal power of attorney and stuff like this and deal with my siblings
need to film a workshop registration video, which is going to help guide people through the process of signing in and registering into the workshops I’m running.
Obviously, I need to do another episode of the podcast because I had committed to doing it daily. And I feel really bad about the fact that I’ve missed a few days.
I need to get onto one of my email autoresponder companies called Moossend about the fact the links don’t work properly,
I need to set up live chat as a help desk solution inside my business draft deal memos to the one to one partners
schedule, schedule. The structure workshop, I’m going to start running next week
schedule a Narration workshop, I’m going to start running next week,
make sure the directory page for the businesses set
notify my Udemy students about what’s going on with the workshops.
plan out the the the next part of my affiliate system, I had a lot of problems last night trying to set up the affiliate system inside ThriveCart. But normally their help is really good. So we’ll get that done.
Then finally, I’m teaching a workshop this afternoon called Bestseller courses as the very first one, I need to plan that workshop or maybe make a few slides figure out if I use the whiteboard properly.
And finally, plan tomorrow’s writing workshop.
Okay. And so this obviously went and this is just one day, right? And when you get when you can’t when you’re faced with a list like this at the beginning of the day, what one solution is to just go into the bedroom and hide under the duvet. And and hope there’s another cup of coffee materializes.
And obviously, you know, the question is Which one do you do first, right. So I have actually put some big green squiggles next to the really priority ones. And in fact, the biggest squiggle, and here’s a little revelation, the biggest squiggle went next, today’s podcast, because I realized that basically all of the energy and the the the intent and the motivation for the day comes when in fact, I’m just sharing like this when I’m actually developing the ideas and sharing with you sharing the journey, sharing what works, sharing what doesn’t, and this really fires me up, I’ve realized I love it, in fact, this this podcasting thing.
And so in fact, the podcasting really should be the first priority of the day.
But my little kind of revelation or discovery to myself this morning was, you know, the problem is that time is of such a premium, that making 40 minutes or an hour to actually record a podcast in one go, actually becomes slightly overwhelming for me. I find it you know, should I be doing that first thing, but then it’s going to get in the way of all the other welter of stuff that I need to do, or should I do it later in the day?
Could I could I do it in the evening when I know I start to lose energy and you know, it’s it’s going to be low energy. And I figured out that there was this wonderful Russian book about the Gulag written by Solzhenitsyn and called ‘One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovitch’. Some of you may know the book.
But I figured Hang on a second, why am I trying to think about the podcast in one in one burst? When in fact, what I could do is just do it in little segments. In other words, as I go through my day of building out the business and discovering stuff about Story or meeting someone, why didn’t I effectively diarize it, and this diary becomes the podcast, it becomes the thing that, you know, engages you, my dear listeners in the journey with me and you know, you can basically share with me the insights and thoughts as they’re freshest in my mind, as I’m going to try that.
So you know, one segment might be in the car, as I’m driving back from the pool. You know, one might be with this first coffee of the day on the whiteboard. Later in the day, I’ve got a coaching call. So I may share some of what I discovered in that coaching call, you know, and then maybe there’ll be challenges through the day, I can share those as well. And what can happen is that the podcast becomes, if you like, the kind of lens on what it is to really be an entrepreneur, and what it what it really means to try and launch and build a business like Brilliantio.
And you know, when you have this dream, you have this really solid intention to build something wonderful, and something active and something really useful for people. You know, the thing is, then the implementation, it’s about getting it done. It’s about it’s about working with that, you know, day after day after day, keeping your motivation going, keeping your energy state in the right place, anticipating challenges and problems, and starting to see quicker ways through them. By building systems. Yeah, it’s so important, you know, to find systems of work and systems of leverage that enable you to free time so that you can actually do what’s important, which is to figure out the strategy of what you’re doing and keep the strategy moving forward, and not get tied up in loads of twists and twists and alleyways and byways and, and swamps.
So anyhow, that’s, that’s really that’s really it. And so yeah, this, this, this podcast can be the place where I involved viewing that if you like, where you can dip into this and and hopefully learn for yourselves, and learn from my insights on what works and what doesn’t. And, and, and learn some Storytelling insights along the way.
But I’ll share one, I’ll share one right now, which is that yesterday, I had a coaching call the very first coaching call with one of my one to one partners. And I was basically laying out a system for how to use Story and Storytelling to accompany a series of launches of courses. Because this this partner is working with me on the on the development of her and publication of her online courses.
And what I laid out was basically a system of Storytelling where at each course launch, there’s an evolving story that accompanies the course launch, which reflects the backstory of her the instructor, as she herself discovered, and, and, and went through the various walls that were involved in teaching that particular subject.
So for example, if it’s something about overcoming a particular fear, then you know, the backstory would be about what it was like before and what worked to get her through that fear and what the feeling was looking at this, this imposing horrible war, what the feeling was when she got through it, and what, you know, what actually got her through that, you know, what was the, what was the breakthrough? What was the revelation, and of course, the breakthrough and the revelation is precisely what she’s going to teach inside her online course.
And so in this way, the Storytelling becomes not only an intrinsic part of the course, and an intrinsic part of the product development, if you like, and in the words of people who operate online, but but it actually also becomes the accompanying vehicle through which the news and and enthusiasm and awareness of the course starts to build amongst her audience.
And so when those two things align really well, it’s actually a fantastic, fantastic thing to to to do, because it means that you can be utterly transparent and share everything, both publicly and inside the course, to the detriment of neither. So that was kind of one idea. And then the second idea was to actually look at her strategy at the end of the journey at the current journey. So we we put up we put a point, so three or five years forward, you know, what would be the ideal place for her to be as a business and, and as you know, someone who is sharing stuff online.
And the thing is that when you take the end point, the ideal endpoint for the business, and you take it back through time, in other words, you’ve got you’ve gone from the future back to today, you actually map what she’s aiming to release, and, and to publish along that journey just in very rough form. So that the so that the releases and the publications, and the Storytelling all becomes aligned along this journey, okay. And the more aligned to that journey is, the more cohesive it will be, the easier it will be to share fully, transparently, without any barriers.
And this was a really, really valuable thing, I think, because, you know, for her and for me, because it helps clarify what one is doing with the business. It isn’t simply about releasing something today, or, you know, trying to dream up a way to market or sell a thing today, it’s actually about having a strategy running over a number of years, that fully aligns with who you are, with what you really want to do, how you really want to be spending your time in save three or five years time.
And you know, the value that has and what you’ll be selling that for and so forth. And thinking not only about the customer journey, if you like through that arc going through three to five years, and the Storytelling of the companies that arc, but also thinking about your own evolution, and the way that you yourself wish to evolve and grow over this period of time. Does that make sense? And so that’s, I think, was something really valid an interesting that we, that we spoke about and developed yesterday with this particular this particular one to one client.
So I’m catching up with you about two hours after this previous segment was recorded. And I’m happy to report that I finally managed to do the two videos for the shopping cart, which is opening up Academy membership, there’s I’m opening up an early bird lifetime membership. And this basically gives people lifetime access to the academy for $197. Or perhaps less if there’s a coupon around.
But what I wanted to do was to make two videos, one to go on the actual cart page to simply to talk people through the process of the card, and explain why they have to give permission for me to email and bank with links and stuff like that. And the second one simply on the success page for the card that welcomes people in and explains precisely what benefits they get, and expand how they can get access to the to the workshops and Academy winners opens next month.
So those two videos took a while actually because it’s it’s kind of a combination of, you know, obviously you want to encourage people to come in and and take part, you know, to join and to pay a bit of money to invest a bit of money. But on the other hand, really you’re also speaking from a position of you know, this is absolutely an invitation, this is a choice, you know, you don’t want to force people to pay or try and cajole them into paying. This is simply about, you know, well, this is what we’ve got. And this is how it works. And this is how you join and this is what you get. And just to make it really quite smooth for people to make it to make it easy for people to understand what’s going on and and exactly wants to do, what what they have to do.
There’s one of the things you learn when you start to do online stuff on your own, is that how necessary it is to actually help steer and navigate, navigate people through things that may seem obvious to you, as the creator as the person designing the page or whatever. And not at all obvious to people who just hit the page for the first time, or people who are, you know, scanning things really quite quickly. And it never ceases to amaze me. People missing what I think are absolutely absolutely obvious things, but which actually are far from obvious.
And so the clearer you can make things with with guide videos and Quick Start videos and you know headlines, and you can repeat things and make buttons nice and big, and all of that kind of stuff, it really does make a difference, it really does help. And so the kind of navigation and construction of these things. But the clarity of navigation and keeping things as clear and simple as possible is really, really important.
So you know, with that in mind, I’ve also been working on the two directory pages for Brilliantio. So those are at brilliantio.net/directory, and then the workshops listing is at brilliantio.net/workshops.
So if you have a look at those two pages, you’ll see that as far as possible, I’ve tried to put some real clarity in the in the navigation, what’s going on how people can find the individual workshops, how they can join them, and to have some encouragement there with a coupon for people to actually join, you know, to join one of the workshops. And to you know, just to make that process as simple as possible.
And, you know, basically with that, I’m using Shorby, which is a really simple, easy system to build simple landing pages, but particularly useful way you want to keep updating links. And, and you know, and providing that kind of directory service, either for yourself, your own personal page. So for example, if you’re doing a lot of Instagram, and it can be very useful for that, or indeed for a business but where you know, you don’t want to have to go into WordPress all the time, and create an individual page or have to update links on a website as on a WordPress page, which actually can take, you know, several minutes to get that done on shore, but you get it done in in 20 seconds. It’s really, really quick.
So I’m a huge fan of that.
So yeah, the mornings gone, okay, I mean, I still got this list of green dots staring at me. And I’ve got a private client meeting coming up at three o’clock this afternoon, followed by the workshop at four till five thirty. And then pretty much my my kind of working day comes to an end then. And I then go into study mode, because I’m actually trying to learn all about funnels and sales systems and all this kind of stuff. So I have to devote time in the in the evening to that.
So I’m going to sign off this podcast today. It’s been a kind of half podcast, but it’s also been the first time I’m trying to sort of diarize my my entrepreneurial journey and my entre entrepreneurial day. And I hope that’s been of interest for you. And I hope there’s a few pointers there and a few tips you’ve picked up. I will try to put links into the some of the stuff I’ve mentioned in this podcast and the description to the podcast. So that if you want to check things out and look at things or perhaps get access to what I’ve mentioned, you can do so easily there.
Alright, so take care. It’s been great to get back into podcasting. I was feeling really uncomfortable about not holding to my commitments to published daily at least through the week in terms of podcasting, so it’s actually been really great to have to have done this today. By the way, coming up at the end of the week, I have an interview with Rowen Bridler. Rowen is an amazing writer, poet, musician, international traveler, and she writes a very acerbic and captivating newsletter. So really looking forward to having Rowen on the show at the end of the week. So look out for that.
But meanwhile, I’m signing off. Okay, take care. Have a great day.