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To BETA or Not To BETA? How to Get Started with Your MVP
Episode 27827th October 2022 • Course Building Secrets® Podcast • Tara Bryan
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In this episode, Tara gives actionable tips for running your BETA program, including how to remember to stay in MVP mode and the 4 phases of the Beta process. Come behind the scenes in a customer example to learn how to successfully navigate through this phase.

About Me:

My name is Tara Bryan. I help business owners break into the next level of success by packaging their expertise into an online course experience. It's my passion to help to find the fastest path to results to create a greater impact and income for you and your tribe.

Check out my free Step-by-Step guide to building your online course. In it are the top steps and questions you need to ask before you get started. Check it out here: https://goto.taralbryan.com/step-by-step-guide

This group is 100% focused on support, knowledge and example sharing, and building a community of online course builders who are passionate about building awesome learning experiences.

In this community, we are passionate about building learning experiences that produce results for our learners. We do that by building engaging, motivating, gamified, and learner-centered courses. We come up with ideas and strategies to ensure that our learners can thrive and succeed in our product.

To learn more:

Find us at https://www.Taralbryan.com

Here are two ways we can help you grow and scale your online course business:

1. NEED TO CREATE YOUR ONLINE COURSE?

Join LEARN ACADEMY - Learn Academy is the best Done-with-you Step-by-step Implementation program that will help you create, sell, and launch your online course. 

2. ALREADY HAVE A COURSE?

Join THE COURSE EDIT - The Course Edit is a program that will assess your current online course to take it to the next level. Maybe you have a course that isn't selling or one that people aren't completing (therefore not remaining customers) then it is time for THE COURSE EDIT



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Transcripts

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Hey, everybody, it's Tara, Brian, and you are listening to

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the course building secrets podcast. Whether you're a coach

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or a CEO, the success of your team and clients is based on

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your ability to deliver a consistent experience and guide

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them on the fastest path to results. This podcast will give

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you practical real life tips that you can use today to build

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your online experiences that get results and create raving fans.

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Why? So you can monetize your expertise and serve more people

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without adding more time for team to your business. If you're

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looking to uncover your million dollar framework, package it and

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use it to scale you're in the right place. Let's dive in. Hey,

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everybody, welcome to today's episode. In this episode, I want

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to talk about your MVP or your beta program. So often, when I'm

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working with people, this is the part that gets people tripped

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up. Because in order to take the step forward to say that you're

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going to package your expertise into an online program, or a

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business or service, or whatever it is that you're doing, you

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have to have the confidence that you're able to solve a problem

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for your ideal avatar. So because of that, we tend to sort

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of over engineer or, or over commit, if you will, to our

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idea, to our framework to, you know, really what we're

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providing as a solution. And the more we do that, the more we're

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at risk, to not have a product or a service that are really

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going to help our customers get the results that we're

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promising. So let me just break it down just a little bit.

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Because, as usual, so I'm working with some folks right

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now. And as usual, I'm sharing some of the stories that we're

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kind of uncovering and dealing with as we're helping them

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through their process of creating and launching their

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online experiences. So, so in this particular situation, and

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working with a customer and they're very married to the

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solution that they are providing, which again, is very

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common, and happens to all of us in different ways and in

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different places within our business is that it's really

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hard to sort of on, on bundle yourself from the solution from

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what you're providing, because it is your expertise, it is

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something that you know very intimately. And in a lot of

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times, you can sort of see the path. But what's happening in

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this particular situation is this client is very focused on

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what they want to teach not so much what the their learners or

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their customers need in order to get success. And and so the the

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piece of this, it's really important, in the reason I'm

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sharing this on today's podcast, is to really just give you a

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sort of that reminder that at the end of the day, what you're

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doing is you're helping somebody achieve an outcome that you are

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qualified to help them with, right? And so you always have to

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go back to that outcome. Everything that you produce,

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every every asset, every document, every framework, every

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everything goes back to how are you helping them get to that

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result in the fastest way possible. I'm gonna say that,

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again, everything that you do is to help them get to that outcome

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in the fastest way possible. It's not about what you want to

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teach. It's not about this, you know, cool technique that you

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learned that helped you do this other random thing. It's not

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adding an extra material to give them more value to give them

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more quantity. It's about how do you give them the fastest path

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to that result that they're looking for? Now in online

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education in in any education, really, there's a couple of

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fundamental core things that we need to think about. When you

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are helping someone you're typically helping them increase

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their skill set, right? So adopt or practice a skill that they

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don't have yet, right? You're helping them change behavior or

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change the way that they think in order to make a

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transformation.

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And you're helping them actually move from where they are to

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where they want to go. So those are sort of the three key

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components of what you need to be thinking of. So when you're

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creating your your online program, and this becomes super

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important as you're creating a clear path for people to go from

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where they are today to the result, or the transformation

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that you're helping them get to Who is most of the time, it's

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hooked into very like a path, right? Various skills they need

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to adopt on a path or a journey to go from, you know, step one

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to step six or step seven, or whatever number of steps that

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they have, right? Usually within those steps is a core skill that

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they need to learn in order to get to the next step. Not

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always, but most of the time, it's, it's a step by step, sort

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of progression to go from one place to the other. Now, what

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happens is, is that the, the steps have all sorts of

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different things attached to them, right? There's different

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skills, there's different behaviors, there's different

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mindsets, there's different levels of detail within each of

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the steps. But as a core, you should be able to bring it up to

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kind of a big picture of the path to go from point A to point

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B. Right where they are today to where they want to go, either

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the the result, or the transformation. And so what,

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what tends to happen is, the more we get into the details,

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the more we get familiar, the more we get into creating our

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thing, the less we remember what that path is. And so that's why

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it's so critical, before you get started even doing anything is

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that you've got that path nailed down, because everything else is

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going to anchor back up to that path to make sure that you're

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taking them on the right journey from where they are today to

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where they want to go. Because what happens is, if you don't do

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that, the journey becomes muddled, the journey becomes

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confusing. And then your learners bounce, your customers

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bounced, they don't stay with you, they don't ascend, you

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know, become your raving fans, all the things right. And so

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that's why so often when I'm working with customers, that is

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the key foundational thing that we will spend as much time as

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needed on until somebody can articulate the steps that they

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that their person needs to take. So going back to my client, so

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so she's sort of, you know, in the weeds now of putting all the

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things together and making all the assets and figuring out what

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the details are of each module, or each week, she's teaching.

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And she's, she's lost sight of the overall pathway. And in some

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cases, she's changing the pathway, as she's creating her

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materials, which which happens, but you want to stay at the

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pathway. So here's what, here's how the MVP or the beta comes

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into play with the pathway. Because typically, what you want

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to do when you're first getting started with anything doesn't

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matter, what it is that you're doing is you want to do a

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minimum viable product, right, you want to do the smallest

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amount of work, to figure out whether or not it's a viable

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solution that's going to work, you figure out how to tweak it,

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how to make it better how to, you know, you know, change it,

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evolve it, whatever it is, right, you want to do that as

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fast and as and as easily as possible. When you have the

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pathway, you literally could just start teaching or you know,

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providing value to your people because you have the pathway,

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you don't have to over engineer, you don't have to build all your

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assets, you don't have to have your graphic designer do

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PowerPoint decks, you don't have to have a full of fully baked,

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produced and printed workbook. At this stage of the game, when

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you're doing your MVP, or your beta, your beta, because the

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whole goal is to get in the game and start to serve your people

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and then get the data that you need to take it to the next

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phase and take it to the next phase and the next phase. And

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then pretty soon you go from beta to having a finished

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product, then you can focus on just growing and scaling it

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terms of selling and serving your people instead of

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recreating it each time. But you have to foundationally start

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with that pathway or that framework that step by step. And

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then you can show up and teach it.

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So again, going back to kind of behind the scenes, is the

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customer I'm working with right now is really struggling with

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focusing on you know, perfection with how the how her assets

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look. And, and, you know, making sure that there are you know,

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specific things for each week and, and you know, gift boxes

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and all these things that are important to the experience.

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Once you've you've kind of tested and dialed in the

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experience that you're creating. And so again, hopefully this

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serves you kind of sharing this example because it is very, very

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common is that when people get more into the details, tend to

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lose sight of some of the things that are more important because

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what's happening is it's delaying the start of her

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program is delaying her ability to get out and find customers

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who want to get the results that she's promising. And so she's

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losing sight of that and starting to, to get into sort of

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perfection land around activities that aren't as

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important at this point. So with an MVP with a beta, it helps you

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stay focused on, on looking at what you're doing as a draft,

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looking at it as a minimum viable product that you're just

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using right now to test, you're using it to come up with what

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will happen in the future, but it's not over designing things

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yet, at this place. Now, I'm not saying just go wing it and show

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up and just, you know, give your people a bunch of crap. It's not

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what I'm saying. But I'm saying there's a, there's a point in

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time where you flip from a minimum viable product, to

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focusing on perfection, and then you're gonna lose sight, because

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things are gonna have to change, it's gonna be a costly mistake

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when you get to that place. Okay? So let me give you a

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little bit of a framework for an MVP. And, and this will help you

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as you are thinking through, like, how much do I create? When

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do I stop? Where do I focus my time and attention to make sure

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that I'm serving my customers in the best way possible, but not

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wasting too much time making things perfect? Knowing that

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they're going to change? Okay, so the very first thing is, when

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you're looking at that MVP approach is looking at what is

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the smallest amount that you need to create in order to be

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effective at getting some new to the results? So again, we start

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with that pathway, and then we look at, okay, so what do they

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need to get to that result, and then that's what you're focused

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on, not all the bells and whistles and all the extras, but

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what do they need, most of the time, when you're teaching

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somebody in, in your framework, it's, it's about like the

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concept, putting them in action, having them do it, and then

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showing up to give them feedback or to help them along the path.

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If you do that, you're you know, 80% of the way there. And so

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it's really focusing on those pieces. And then you can turn

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that into a calculator, you can turn that into a tool, you can

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turn that into a workbook, you can turn you know all the

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things. After you've shown up, you've given them the concept,

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you've you've taught your framework, and then they've been

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able to take action. Okay, so it's built, right? Build the

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minimum, minimum viable product, what is that? What is the thing

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that you need to build? Again, I'm telling you build a pathway,

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and build what you need for each week to get you through that

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pathway, whatever that looks like for you. Okay, and then

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we're going to measure we're going to get real time feedback.

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How was that? Did that resonate with you? Is there anything else

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that you need to be successful in this week in this module,

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measure and test often in terms of what's you know, what

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feedback are you getting? what's working, what's not working,

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don't be so married to what you have that you're not able to

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take feedback, and make the changes that you need in order

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to to enhance it either from a coach that you've hired, and

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you're paying, or from your customers. So, so think about

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that, then you're gonna learn, obviously, from that feedback,

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and from what you've what you've done, what I recommend people do

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is they do their beta. And, you know, typically they're doing it

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live, so it's week by week, or you can think about it module by

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module, whichever way you want to do it. And each week, you're

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sitting down, and you're saying, Okay, what worked? Well, what

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didn't work? Well,

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what do I want to change? What do I want to adjust what's on my

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wish list of something that would make it easier for people

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to be able to consume this or to be successful? Write all that

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down and keep those notes because if you're doing 10 weeks

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of a beta, you may not remember what happened in week one,

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because you've evolved it so significantly, since? Since the

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time that you had that week one, right? You're answering a lot of

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questions, you're, you're pivoting, you're adding in more

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information as you need to. And so it tends to change quite a

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bit. So each week, write down your thoughts, and just document

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all of it. So you have it each week, you can go back at the

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end, and really look at evaluating what worked, what did

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it what do you need to change? What are the kind of core pieces

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that you need in order to enhance the experience? And and

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then continuously number four is to loop through that

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continuously loop through that maybe in the next time you do

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it, you're doing an enhanced beta where it's not your MVP,

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but you've added in some additional pieces. So now you're

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in like version 1.0. Right? Do the same thing. loop back and

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keep keep going? evolving in and, and moving to the next

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iteration of your program. And but don't over again, don't over

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engineered, you may not get to hire a graphic designer to build

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out your PowerPoint decks or make a whole branded experience

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until like version three, right. So don't stress over all of that

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your goal is to get people and give them a result. However, you

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can do that. So often, the other thing that I find that people

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are doing a lot of, in my experience is trying to move

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straight to automated, right, just gonna create the thing and

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put it out there. And, and that's just gonna be it. And

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here's the problem with that right is you do not have any

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proven case studies, you don't have any proven results saying

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that your framework, your course, your experience,

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whatever it is you're creating, has gotten people results. And

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so you have to back up, and you have to think about it as an

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iterative process, right. So very rarely do people knock out

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of the park and get their million dollar. I said that in

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air quotes million dollar payout on their online program. If

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they're not starting with an MVP, right? Very, very, I don't

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even know if I can think of one person who has literally like,

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created a program, launched it to the world, without doing any

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beta without doing any testing without actually working with

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live people put it out into the world and sold it and sold, you

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know, a million dollars worth of revenue from it. Because, well,

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there's lots of different reasons. But the big one is

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because you haven't done an MVP, you haven't tested it, you

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haven't seen where there's pitfalls, where people are

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struggling, where they're not able to, you know, get what the

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concept that you're teaching, or they don't have the right tools

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to move forward, or whatever it is, right. And so it is super

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important to do that, even if this is your expertise, even if

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you have been doing online courses for 30 years, right,

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it's still important to do that beta test. So when I'm working

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with customers, that's one of the things that we talk about

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the most is do a beta, and don't be married to the results, be

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prepared to make shifts and changes based on actually

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working with real humans. And, and so once you do that you have

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a much better product, you have a much better outcome, and it

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becomes so much easier to automate it. When you know that

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you have the right things in place, and people can still

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become successful. And it's an evolving process. It is not a

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one and done. sort of scenario. So when I'm working with my

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clients we talk a lot about that is that, you know, this is this

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is an investment that you're making either to package your

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expertise or to change your service based business into a

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digital business, or grow and scale your digital business and

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take it to the next level is it an investment that you are you

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are using and doing to enhance the experience that you have

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with your customers, enhance your business, grow your

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business, whatever it is you're trying to do, right. And, and so

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just like everything else you do, it's the same concept,

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right? You, you practice it first, and then you polish it.

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Alright, so hopefully this serves you I really I know I've

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talked about the MVP and the beta before.

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But as I start unpacking it more and more with customers, this is

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one of the biggest kind of pitfalls that I see them make is

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is just trying to over perfect it try and make it into a

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finished product before it's tested. And and so if I have one

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piece of advice for you, it is to build that pathway and then

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stay connected to that pathway more than you're connected to

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the polished finished outcome. And again, a lot of times that

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shows up in perfect PowerPoint decks or beautiful graphics. And

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the more the more you polish it the more you finish it the

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harder it is to change. So use stick figures don't use real

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graphics yet right there lots of tips and tricks and and

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techniques to help you sort of stay in MVP mindset which is you

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know, kind of get to that 80% And then don't stop there.

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Right? But test first and test often and then iterate and

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create your additional versions until you get to the place where

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you've got it dialed in. People are consistently getting

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results. And you know without a doubt that what you have We'll

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help people succeed if they go through it alright there you go

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that is my course building tip for today

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