August 27, 2019

Huh, it is becoming difficult guys!

I mean this idea of not sharing it for 21 days, I am missing the interaction. Am I missing the attention? Maybe. I had set up a goal for myself to show up more and I am feeling it in my bones. At the same time, I understand my initial goal of doing this for 21 days. I want to find my way of writing and find it just with my internal awareness, not with the external influence.

Yesterday I doubted myself. I doubted myself in a few things (3 I guess) but what I want to say here is that I doubted the way I write. Is it too personal? Do people need really to know all these? Am I putting myself in a disadvantaged place? Am I risking my reputation? Oh hello ego. Hello separation! 

One of my favourite people, one of the people I look up to is Seth Godin and I see his writing. He writes about concepts, about you. When he talks he gives examples about himself but rarely I would say. He uses examples from history and other people. Does he do it consciously because one has to be private? Well he may be doing it because it is not about him, it is about us. And as a famous person it is more loving to put other people in the center of your talk because it is not about you.

But I? Why am I writing me? Exactly because of others. I want to nurture the idea of being open and sharing and there is nothing to hide and everything is acceptable, every thought is acceptable, everyone is lovable as they are and everyone is the same (unique but the same at the same time with the same needs, to be loved, to be connected, to be seen). I by sharing who I am hope you can see who you are and love yourself and love me and love yourself through loving me because we are the same.

a normal picture of myself, doubtful, courageous, crazy, disciplined, I am all of it

I told you I doubted myself yesterday 3 times. The second time was the worst. But before I tell about it let me tell you how my day started. 

I went out with Fabio in the morning and we had breakfast outside. I had my morning meditation, then meditated on my goals as I had planned and I had an amazing feeling, excitement that started flowing through my blood. I had to rush home and start working.

I finally set the goal of creating my online courses and I could not wait to create them. Well the first one. The first thing was the inform myself. Shall I do it on Udemy or on my own website/ my own course platform? Udemy made sense because there are millions of people there already whereas I have a small following (And I did not communicate with them much – I did not serve them as I should – that I admit and will change). But I knew that a lot of people adviced against Udemy and I wanted to learn why.

When I came home I first read through Udemy’s website to understand the requirements of course creation. That was quite straightforward. Plan your course outline, record your course, if possible make a test and send it to Udemy to get feedback and then do the whole filming, publish your course, Udemy gets back to you in 2 days either with approval or with feedback. You can choose your course price yourself based on the guidelines. You can market your course yourself, then you keep 97% of your earnings or you let Udemy market your course than you share the revenue 50% – 50%. That did not sound like a bad plan to me.

Then it was time to search what naysayers were saying. The main concern is not having control over the pricing of the course. Udemy can decrease the price at their own discretion and your course can be priced at peas. That makes it very difficult they say to upsell something on your own website because there will be a huge difference of price and it will impact your reputation. They also add the leads – the people coming from Udemy will not be good prospective customers because they did not think before they invest. They bought the course because it was cheap and maybe they did not even complete the course they bought.

I then read about some platforms that make it very easy for you to start your online course and market yourself. I knew about Teachable and Thinkific and Elopage and yesterday I learned about Kajabi which seems to do everything. You do not even need to have a website, you can create it there but the prices start from around 120 Euros per month. I spent I guess half an hour or more learning this platform which was not my intention in the first place. I know felt insecure about Udemy. Should I just work and develop my own platform and get my own students?

I had enrolled to a course called Course Builders Laboratory to learn how to launch online courses. I wanted to go through the material I haven’t worked through yet. It was about running your pilot. Their approach to online courses is this: You should not develop a course with your assumptions. You can develop the course with your assumptions and try to sell and find out that there was no one interested in it. Instead you test your assumptions. You start with your assumption, then conduct interviews to create a prototype. Once you have the prototype – your pilot course idea you run the idea with the people you interview and invite them to the course (with a fee – a discounted fee compared to what you would be pricing your final course). With the invitation you are testing if people are willing to pay for this. With the pilot you are getting feedback and rewriting the outline. Actually the way you run the pilot is organic. You develop your lessons just before you give the lesson and you give them live on a platform like Zoom. You spend a lot of time answering questions of your participants and make sure they get the best support. You ask them feedback at least 3 times during the pilot. By the way the pilot should be max 5 weeks. At the end of the pilot you decide if you can work with this idea and develop the course, you have to edit the idea and run a new pilot or you need to come up with a new idea and create a new hypothesis. If the pilot was positive, you start to develop your final course and you also have already material that support you for the sales: feedback and testimonial of your students. That all sounds fantastic but it is very time consuming. And all this time you are investing because you don’t want to create a course that will not sell, you don’t want to fail. It is a fear based approach.

Why do we avoid failure? What makes us see that if we develop something and it did not sell we lost? We had created something. We had put our hearts and souls into something that we think is good, that is a way of giving to people. I love Seth Godin’s way of putting it: “I made this”. How beautiful it is when a child brings you the drawing he made and says “I made this” but we fear from bringing our art to the world. 

I want to see my work as art. I will put what I believe is important that you should know, you should hear. And then you tell me what you thought about it. It is okay whatever you thought. If you thought it sucked, that’s great! I do something else and bring it to you. But doing it gives me the energy, my energy gives power to people around me, I speak about my work with you, it makes me do other things. You seeing me do other things might also feel you get to do other things and bring it to the world too. Just by doing it we are happier. That speaks more to me.

Coming back to Udemy. Yes I will launch my course in Udemy. I want to connect with people and they are there already. I will show up. It doesn’t matter if Udemy decides to change the price. Price does not define my message or my gift. 

I will launch other courses on my website later. This is my journey. I am learning. First thing I want to say is “I made this”.

I made this! : a drawing from the beach

I told you I doubted myself three times. And the third time was about the text I wrote. I could not do the exercises in The Podcasting Fellowship in the last 3 days. Yesterday around 11 pm I started working on them. One was writing an invitation e-mail for the guests I want to have in my podcast.  I started writing it but the words were not wanting to come out of my head, they were crammed inside. I thought about how I feel about this person and put down my feelings. I doubted if what I wrote was any good. Here again Seth’s words helped me. Do the work. Write badly. You will do bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad and then good. Ship it. So I shipped it. We have the platform where we post our answers to the exercises and the other students give feedback. I put what I wrote in the platform and closed the computer. This morning the first comment came: “I think this looks really good. A lot of individuals have struggles with careers, meaning and questions of fulfillment at work. I think the authenticity of the request comes through” Yayyyy!! It made me feel so good. The biggest compliment is that the authenticity comes through. You see we judge ourselves so much and think we did worse than we actually did. I could have stopped myself from posting it and rewrite and rewrite till I could satisfy my inner critique and that would only nurture my inner critique more and take me away from delivering more art to the world. Thank you Seth for the wisdom, thank you Rusha (my fellow student in the Podcasting Fellowship) for your feedback. I am grateful

It is afternoon and I feel the gratitude. Maybe it is because of the meditation I just had, doesn’t matter. I want to thank life. I wanted to thank life for the beautiful people I got to meet and spend time with. This morning I had a mastermind session with wonderful ladies. Last time we had decided to have something funny of us for the call and I guess I took it very seriously. It was so fun to dress up, I felt it influenced my thoughts and words. I will use it when I need more creativity in my life. Coming to my gratitude, these people give me so much boost. They listen to how I feel and how I want to feel. what I envision for myself and others and they believe in this vision. I believe in them, what they want to achieve and who they want to become. My reality changes, my standards change thanks to their energy. A recent example: they inspired me to pick up my online course dream. And now they inspire me to be courageously, truly myself. I am grateful for that.

I am grateful to live with a man who has a child heart. He dreams of having new toys, he gets crazy about them, he talks about them, searches online for them and gets energized by them. It was a bike a couple of months ago and this time it was a coffee machine. My baby got the coffee machine he dreamt of, you can come and be our guest and he will make you one.

I got a beautiful e-mail today from Tim Urban. (The procrastinator, you should watch his TED talk: I was subscribed to  his list and have not received a an email from him for a long time but that changed today. He wrote a new article ( And in this new article he said he is giving up on his perfection and will be sharing his never ending, always work – in – progress drafts! Yeah! As I want to do! We all should share our work in progress drafts! I read that he managed to have enough people supporting him on Patreon that he can keep his blog without ads. Beautiful! I love Patreon, I love the idea of supporting people we love so they can continue creating. I joined the list of his Patrons. And I saw his beautiful video thanking his “patrons” and not thanking his non-patrons. It is hilarious.

Look at this pop up too:


How can you show your personality also with a pop up, how original is this? He also drew one of his stickfigures there as e-mail. Cute!

Before the day ended I got two more main learnings:

  1. Second draft will be better: Today I recorded my podcast introduction. I could speak out what I had written before but after reading it I saw that it doesn’t call me in. It doesn’t energise me (thinking from a  listener’s point of view). As Seth suggested: it should start with tension. When you hear someone say knock knock, you want to say who is it and you are curious for what’s to come. So it should be. And so I rewrote it. I did a few edits here and there. I did not judge myself much this time and recorded. I did not like my first recording, I recorded again. And this time I did  not like the “non-emotional” voice I had. I figured it was because I was reading it, I did not feel it. In the third take I just spoke without looking at the text but as I forgot what I wanted to say in the middle, I made a huge pause. So I recorded again and this time I was happy. I felt excited saying what I said and I felt I was genuinely welcoming new people. It was really me. I quickly downloaded the audio and uploaded it on the platform. Very quickly I got feedback, they found me authentic – as I wanted to be! Great! (Here is my recording by the way:

2. Being bored is a big fear of mine: Hello my old friend. we met again. Boredom had accompanied me through my childhood, it was with me when the school was over, it was with me when my mother took me to her “altin gunu” (gatherings of ladies where everyone brings a little gold to the host), it was with me when I had to sit still when we were in Yatagan visiting our relatives in the public holidays. I dreaded these moments and I think this was the reason why I quit many hobbies and activities some time after I started – when it was about to be  a bit known – when it required a bit more effort to get better – it might have gotten bored so I got to get out. It is probably the reason (one of the reasons) why I wanted to move abroad, why I binge watch series, why I fail to stay in contact with friends and so on and so on. And yesterday I felt the boredom deep in my bones. I was with Fabio and his Italian colleagues at dinner and I could understand 60% of what they were saying and I had no idea about what they were talking about as it was Italian politics, their office talks and all… The thing is I had nothing to change the situation. I could not just leave, I could not change the topic – they all were very engaged in the conversation so I had to stay there and watch them. I felt pain covering up my upper arm, raising to my chest and my throat. It was interesting to observe. At the end of the evening I was even coughing. Here is a side of me which needs some attention and love. And I know can relate to what Fabio told he was feeling when we went out with my Turkish friends and ended up speaking Turkish. 

I was happy that came back home. I am happy for tomorrow.

About the author 

Isil Uysal Calvelli

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}