To celebrate the rebrand to Small School, we have a special for you (only June 11-14, 2024) →

Monetization

February 16, 2023

What If It Doesn't Work Out?

Kevon Cheung

Founder & Head Teacher

I recently started doing more 1:1 coaching, so I got to go deeper into what early-stage creators have on their minds.

Interestingly, we only talk about business tactics around 30% of the time. Can you guess what the other 70% is for?

Talking about the emotions of the journey!

Looking at my students/clients + myself, it is true! We're mostly blocked by fear & uncertainty.

We're trapping ourselves with What Ifs

"What if I spend the time building an online course—and it doesn’t sell?"

Maybe you have this question too. It really, really got me thinking about the mental state that triggers this question. I think the keyword here is "What if..."

Whenever you have to make a decision, you start to come up with a lot of "What ifs". "Should I do it?" "I want it so badly!" "Ahh, but it’s so hard" "Errrh, it could be a waste of time"

I definitely face a ton of "What ifs" in my life, especially THIS ONE.

Do you know that before becoming a full-time creator, I was offered to be an entrepreneur + CEO?

Yeah, someone was basically saying "I'd pay you a salary to start a new business for me".

I was shocked ... because ...

  1. For where I was, it was too good of an offer to pass
  2. There's no free lunch in our world. I knew there would be tons of challenges that came with this offer

I started coming up with a lot of "What ifs" and there were 2 questions that helped me navigate my decision.

So ... did I take the offer?

I was thinking:

"What if I take this offer and it becomes a shit show?"

I asked: Is this really what I want?

I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started making websites to serve people online at 13yo. And I was the left-hand person to a startup founder for 4 years. I was ready for the next step.

If this turned into a shit show. I thought a shit show would at least get me a step closer to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

So if you want to build a digital product and worry if it doesn't sell, the bigger question is — how badly do you want to become a digital entrepreneur?

Are you willing to fail or even make sacrifices to get there? Do you actually enjoy sharing knowledge with others?

Once you have a bit more clarity on this, you understand that even if the 1st product doesn't sell, it gets you closer to the goal you really want. That's a path every entrepreneur goes through.

I also questioned myself:

"What if I'm not good enough to do this?"

I asked: Do I stand a chance of success?

I already knew the failure rate is super duper high. Come on, it was a startup. Was I at least prepared for a challenge like this?

I thought so! When I joined the founder at the kids coding school startup, I started as a Biz Dev person. Then I acted like the owner from day 1, giving everything I had. Quickly, I was promoted to Chief of Staff and then COO. I saw the in & out of the entire business.

I believed I was good enough because I took baby steps to get to a point where I was offered this opportunity.

Your first course won't be successful, for sure

In your case, selling an online course is like being the CEO here. You can't get there in one step. If you see an Instagram ad telling you they can teach you to create a course and make $10k, don't fall for that ...

Like how I worked my way up to that CEO opportunity, you can do things to prepare yourself to sell an online course:

  1. I joined a startup first → you can pick a topic you love and be an active member in one community learning what people need + how people sell or take courses
  2. I worked my way up to COO → you can test the water by creating a freebie and see what other community members think

These baby steps will give you small wins and confidence. You'll not even think about "what if it doesn't sell?" because you can feel that the people around are craving for it.

Now, you stand a chance of having a successful course.

So ... did I take the offer?

Well yeah, you guessed it, I took the offer.

I worked day and night trying to make it work. While it didn't get to the goal we initial set for ourselves, it was a good run.

Frankly, I have to give credits to this opportunity for my growth in this creator journey. It helped a lot because I suffered and learned through many, many obstacles!

"What if I take the offer and it doesn't work out?"

It doesn't matter. I'm a step closer to my dream.

Newsletter Signature Divider
Newsletter Signature Divider
Newsletter Signature Divider
Table of Contents

What does it take to teach & EARN online?

Here's a case study of how I built a $100K education business.

Read for free

What does it take to teach & EARN online?

Here's a case study of how I built a $100K education business.

Read for free