Are you taking your learners car camping or backpacking?

Are you taking your learners car camping or backpacking?

Car camping

When I was little, we couldn’t  afford to fly a family of five anywhere, so we drove all over the country in an old wood-paneled station wagon with a pop-up trailer attached.

We had a badminton net, frisbees, those lethal over-sized lawn darts that are surely outlawed by now, kites, coats, boots, fold-up tables, cold-weather gear, warm-weather gear, buckets, board games, books, bedding, blankets, and pillows.

Basically, if we could stuff it in, we would take it.

Because you just never know. We never knew what sort of weather we would find. It could rain, it could snow, it could be windy, it could be sunny. A monsoon, tornado, earthquake, typhoon, or the end of the world could happen and we would be ready for it.

And yet, most of the time, we only used a tiny fraction of what we brought.


But it was a different story when we went backpacking. We had to carry everything we needed. And boy did we pare down. The frisbee did triple duty as a toy, the dish for the no-bake cheesecake, and the game table. Yesterday’s clothes were used as a pillow and your coat doubled as a towel, blanket, and mattress

We were forced to focus only on the bare-essentials because there was such a high cost in bringing anything – our backpacks could only hold so much, and we could only carry so much, because it took so much effort to haul it up the mountain.

Course creation is not car camping

Every time I talk to entrepreneurs, invariably I hear about someone’s course that hasn’t yet seen the light of day “because I’m not finished adding things to it.” The latest was a course with 10 modules with 5 lessons in each module.

“Do you think that’s too much?”

Umm..yeah. Just *hearing* about it is overwhelming, much less trying to wade through 50 lessons to learn something I didn’t know.

“But I want to make sure that I cover everything.”

Screw thorough. Be effective instead.

backpacker on ridge

Volume doesn’t equal value

Volume doesn’t equal value. More doesn’t make it better. (Unless we are talking about money, chocolate, or french fries. Then more is definitely better.)

But in learning, adding more is the worst thing we can do.

More is overwhelming, disheartening, confusing, takes a ton of work and effort on our part, and, most importantly, it’s NOT EFFECTIVE for our learners. More stuff doesn’t lead to more results. It’s actually the opposite.

It is hard to learn something new and every piece that you add adds more weight to what your learners need to carry. You want to focus on the bare minimum they need to accomplish their goal and ruthlessly cut out everything else.

Pack light

Creating a course is like backpacking, not car camping. Pack light!

Your job is to get your learners get to the top of the mountain. Fill their backpack with the absolute minimum of what they need in order to successfully get to the top of the mountain.

Think small, targeted, and laser-focused. Don’t burden the learner with anything they don’t need to accomplish their one goal.

So before you shoot 30 videos and create a ginormous workbook nobody wants, step back and think about what your learner wants to accomplish. What’s the minimum they need to do in order to accomplish that goal? Then do that.





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