What a week it has been! I literally recorded this episode standing in the middle of Yellowstone National Park while my kids were napping. My family is on week three of a summer roadtrip, and while that’s leading me to do some unconventional podcast episodes, it’s also reminding me just how much I enjoy being my own boss. 😉

“This is not a magic pill… but every day that passes I get better and better at this stuff.”

– Jacques Hopkins

I hope you enjoy catching a glimpse of the freedom that having a successful online course can provide!

In This Episode, We Talked About:

  • (0:58) Recording on the road and introducing the show to new listeners
  • (2:39) A road trip update (bison and elk and nerve-wracking Arizona roads, oh my!)
  • (6:09) How my business is going while I’m away
  • (6:41) An exciting guest appearance I got to make recently
  • (7:36) Why and how I started my podcast
  • (10:24) Recommending key episodes for new listeners, plus a disclaimer
  • (12:16) Why you belong here and what’s coming up on my agenda for next week
  • (13:26) An invitation if you found your way here via Smart Passive Income

That’s all for now, folks! See you on the next episode of The Online Course Guy.

140: Week 3 of 5 - Running an Online Course Business from the Road

Jacques Hopkins: Regular people are taking their knowledge and content, packaging it up in an online course and they're making a living doing it, but not everyone is successful with online courses. There's a right way. And there's a wrong way. And I'm here to help course creators actually succeed with online courses. Hi, I'm John Hopkins and this is the online course show.
And off we go. Welcome aboard. Glad you're with us. This is the online course show. And I'm your host John Hopkins. And I'm excited to dive into some things about online courses with you today. Wow. What a week at it has been. This is week three of running an online course business from the road. And if you're new to this podcast, while you've caught this podcast at a very interesting time, because this is not what normal podcasts sound like around here.
I am literally recording this episode from my phone in the middle of Yellowstone national park. And so this is going to be not a very highly produced episode. My normal cohost is not here with me. This is just me turning on my phone, honestly, why my kids are napping right now. And recording a podcast episode with you and just telling you what's been going on the past week and how I'm running my online course business from the road.
Because things like this, taking a five week road trip with my family are the reasons. That I wanted to have an online business, passive income stream business. And as it turns out, the business that I really, really like is an online course business. So got a lot of new listeners to the podcast. In the past week, there is a specific podcast that has to do with that.
I was on smart, passive income with Pat Flynn. So welcome all of you that are. Tuning in and finding me through past podcast. That was such an honor to be on. I'll talk a little bit more about that in a minute, but I just want new listeners to be aware that this is a little bit different. And so if you're tuning in, you're like, Oh, what is this audio quality?
What is this unprofessionalism? Well, some people may like it, but others may not and I do mix things up here and there on this podcast. And most episodes you'll find, if you look back in the archives or me interviewing other successful course creators, just to provide inspiration and motivation tips, advice, and so on to you guys listening, whether you have a course already.
And you're looking to take it to the next level, or you're just a beginner looking to maybe get into online courses. Those interviews really. I just really hope they inspire you to take action, get ideas, and improve you that you could do this too. But this episode is just to show you guys how, because I had an idea for an online piano course, seven years ago, seven years later, I'm able to take a five week road trip with my family.
Work very, very, very little during this road trip and still made just as much money as I would otherwise. So since we last talked in the last episode, we have been to Zion national park, which is just on, on unbelievable. Zion is so, so cool. We did a bike ride through Zion. You've got these cliffs on your left and your right as you're biking through, we saw all kinds of wildlife and it was just a man.
It was just such a cool, just cool scenery. The weather was amazing. My kids loved it. Um, we put them in the bike trailer behind me. So the bike ride was pretty difficult with the extra, you know, a hundred pounds behind me. If you're not aware of date almost five year old, almost three year old, both of them are just about to have birthdays.
And uh, and then of course my wife is with us as well. So that was absolutely amazing. And by the way, guys, there is a drive. Between Los Vegas and Zion. And really, I think the, the cities that more accurately described this driver are probably somewhere between Mesquite, Nevada and st. George. There's this small section of Arizona on the interstate on that drive that caught me completely off guard.
And some of you listening may know what I'm talking about. I think it's called the Gorge or the Virgin river gourd or something like this. It's about a 12 to 15 mile. Stretch on the interstate in Arizona, between those two cities. And as I was driving on the interstate, I'm looking at this huge mountain in front of me and I'm like, babe, are we like going, gonna go through this mountain?
Like what's about to happen. I didn't see where the road was going. And eventually you're just going through the mountains, and big turns and lots of ups and downs and cliffs and this and that. And it was just unbelievable. I have a good friend, Steve Lungrin , who has been on the podcast. He's a fellow online piano teacher.
He's actually collaborated with me on some piano courses inside of my course. And he lives in Mesquite Nevada. And after I went through that drive, I called him up and I was like, Steve, that drive between Mesquite and st. George in Arizona, like, Oh my gosh. That is unbelievable. And he was like, yeah, I know, you know, I grew up kind of numb to it at this point just because I'm so used to it, but yeah, it's pretty Epic and it absolutely was Epic.
But anyway, that drive was noteworthy. Zion was amazing. And we're now in Yellowstone, which is just a place I've always wanted to come to. And parts of Yellowstone are in Wyoming. Parts are in Montana and those are two States that I have never, ever been to before. So it's really, really cool. We did about a three and a half mile hike this morning.
Let me just call her five-year-old she's pretty much there already. She did amazing. She walked the whole time. She did such a good job. And then my three year old actually rode in like camping backpack on my back the whole time. And it was just so, so, so much fun. We're just having such a great time as a family, we saw some, uh, we saw some really cool bison that walked right, right by us.
It was, it was just amazing. We got out to the side and we were quiet. As they pass by. And my girls did an awesome job of just being quiet and watching them go by and not interrogating them. We don't want to get them upset or anything. We haven't seen any bears or anything out. We said, you've seen lots of bison, lots of elk, lots of deer.
We saw some wild turkeys and Zion, and it's been so, so much fun. All the while I've been making online piano course sales, my team has been doing a great job of keeping the ship, afloat, customer support, any issues people are having. And with very, very limited service in here in Yellowstone. I haven't really been able to check in much the past two or three days.
In fact, I'm recording this podcast while the other three of my family are taking a nap and there's no service where I am right now. So I'm going to probably drive a little bit up the road to get a little wifi so that I can upload this episode for you guys. So it can come out on time. So, like I said earlier, another thing that happened this past week, while we've been traveling is a podcast episode came out that I've been super excited about.
We recorded it probably a couple of months ago, but it was on the smart, passive income podcast with Pat Flynn. And if you heard that episode, you know, I'm a big fan of that podcast and a PatFlynn and I've been following his stuff for a long, long, long time. Even before I got the idea for my online. Piano course, but he was definitely a huge inspiration and, and big part of my story and the success that I've had.
So if you haven't listened to that, and then I encourage you to check out that episode of the smart, passive income podcast. And I encourage you to check out that podcast in general, if you haven't already, because it's been so pivotal to my story, but. I've been looking at the numbers here and there. And there's definitely a lot of people that are jumping on board, the online core show and listening because they heard about me on that podcast.
So if that's you, I sincerely appreciate you being here. And if that is you, let me quickly tell you what you can expect from this podcast. You know, we're well over a hundred episodes, and this is episode 140. This is not a new podcast it's been around for over three years now. And the way that it got started is I was actually kind of scared to reach out to other course creators because I just felt like, you know, who am I to have this podcast?
It was a pretty bad mindset to have, but I had this person that I was coaching at the time. I just started coaching him on his online course. And I had always wanted to start a podcast like this. So I reached out to him and I was like, Hey, what if I just coach you on a podcast? And I broadcast it and instead of you paying me money, you know, you just do that for me.
And it would be kind of a win, win, and he was totally on board. And so you'll notice the first, like 19 or 20 episodes of this podcast. If you do choose to go back all the way to episode one, Are just me kind of coaching this guy's name's Nate Dotson and he has a course on growing and selling micro greens, which are just baby versions of, of plants that are just incredibly nutritious.
A lot of chefs put them as garnishes, or you can put them in smoothies and so on. And it's really interesting to hear that progression because when we started the podcast, Nate was making maybe a thousand dollars a month from his course. And by the time we got to episode 19-20 or so he was making, tens of thousands of dollars from his online course and still does to this very day to this very day, he is my accountability partner.
We meet every Friday and we talk about our past week. We plan our next week together. And Nate is one of my favorite people in this whole world. But after that, you know, eventually they kind of got to my level and in some ways exceeded my level. And so it was no longer me coaching him. And that's when I felt comfortable to start reaching out to other course creators and make it a podcast where the main episodes, I just talk and have conversations with other course creators, because I want to share stories with you guys have more than just my online piano course.
I want to share stories from all kinds of different niches, because some things may work with some niches and some things may work with other niches and so on. And so it's good to hear all these different perspectives, all of these different ideas, all these different stories. And so on. And, and to be honest with you guys, it's good for me to hear all these things too.
I've benefit greatly from hearing these stories from these other people as well. But as you look through the archives of this podcast, you'll see some solo shows as well. And then eventually I decided it might be a good thing to have a cohost for this podcast. And so I reached out to somebody who had taken my course.
Would have been following my podcast from day one, who I respected, who ended up having a course of his own and is doing pretty well with his course as well. And so you'll notice starting with episode 107, there is a cohost of the podcast. His name is Dr. David Crosy. And it's a lot of fun having him around as the cohost.
And so if I were to recommend a few episodes to new listeners here would be a few, I would recommend you listen to episode 89. That's an episode where I had Nate comeback on and we did kind of an online courses, one on one episode. It was, it was kind of answering the question. Okay. If we started over today, what are the steps we would take to create and grow an online course business. And then I would recommend you listen to episode 107 as well. That's the first episode that I had with Dr. David Crosy as the cohost, I kind of mentioned that one already. You could listen to episode 100. That's where I had my wife on, who is a wonderful mother, a wonderful wife. We've been married for nine years just to kind of get her perspective.
As the spouse of someone running an online course business, then I would also recommend episode 96 with Jack Born, who is the creator and founder of deadline funnel, which is one of the software tools that I use and love. And he came on and just blew me away with his perspective on evergreen funnels and deadlines.
And the ethics behind it and all that. So I love episode 96 and another one of my all time favorites is episode 121, which is called about to give up. And this one thing changed everything for me. There's just a lot, a lot of cool stuff in that episode. And it's not just about me. It's about. Uh, this guy, Matt Santry, who was about to give up as well, but implemented one thing.
And it really changed a lot for him as well. So those are some of my favorites, but you can obviously feel free to dig through the archives. You can listen to this first 20 episodes with Nate, but keep in mind as you're listening to those have really upped my game since then the production value has gone up.
Uh, and, and my best practices for online courses have changed in the past few years, too. So there may be some things that are recommended back then three years ago that I have slightly changed. What I recommend you do to succeed with online courses today here in 2020. So once again, if you're new to the podcast, I sincerely appreciate you being here for finding my stuff.
And I hope that you'll stick around. Whether you're brand new to online courses and just dipping your toe in the water to see if this might be a good fit for you. Or if you have an online course already and are looking to up your game, outsource, automate scale up, all kinds of things you can do to make your course better and better and better good testimonials.
And so on either way, I'm glad you're here and this is going to be. A good place for you to be, if you're interested at all in online courses going forward from here, next time we talk in week four, I will have been to Jackson Hole. I'm really excited about that. I've heard a lot of great things about that.
I've never been there. I will have gone to Moab. Uh, Sedona and the Grand Canyon. I believe those are all on our agenda for the next week or so. So thanks for tuning in. There'll be a lot more value in future episodes when I'm not just randomly recording this outside in Yellowstone while my kids and wife are napping, but that is what is going on in my online course business. And what's going on in my head right now. The last thing I want to leave you with is for those of you that are new, that did find me through the smart, passive income podcast. And I would invite you to check out a brand new webinar that I did right before leaving on this trip.
And it is my very best and latest training on online courses. So whether you're a complete beginner or you have a course already, this presentation is called the simple path to online core success. I'm all about simplicity and focus. I mean, just looking at my piano course, for example, piano in 21 days, I've tried to make learning piano as simple, as painless, as easy to stick to as possible.
And I think, I think my calling and online course world is to do something similar. As well. And so I want to simplify for you the way you look at an online course business. I want to make it as simple as possible. Now, simpler and easier, not necessarily the same thing. This is not a magic pill. I mean, if you listen to my episode with pamphlet and, you know, I had plenty of plenty of struggles on my own, but every day that passes, I get better and better at this stuff in my own online piano course business.
And also sharing the information that I learned with you guys through this podcast. And some of the programs that I offer over at theonlinecourseguy.com. But. Like I was saying, I've got this brand new training, the simple path to online core success. I break down running an online course business to really these four components.
You've got to get these four components dialed in working. If you do, there is no way that you will not be successful. So I want you to check out that free training by going to theonlinecourseguy.com/spi, once again, that's theonlinecourseguy.com/spi was first smart, passive income.
And that's where you'll find that free trading that I was just talking about. That's going to do it for this episode guys. I will catch you next week for week four of running an online course business from the road.