Struggling with Video Thumbnail

What I’m Struggling with Right Now

In one of my recent updates, I talked about how pleased I was with how 2015 was going so far.

Sales for my courses have been great and I’m very proud of the positive results people have been getting from my training.

This video is a little different.

I go through three things that I’m struggling with at the moment.

I hope you find this useful for your own online teaching journey.

Watch in HD!

What I’m Struggling With at the Moment


I have outsourced a few tasks this year, but I want to do more.

The problem I’m facing is that I am apprehensive about having others do things that can be interpreted in different ways.

Hiring someone to do transcribing was an easy decision – the transcript is either right or wrong

But customer service, video summary writing, and social media commenting are examples of tasks that can have many different outcomes.

The way we communicate with our learners through email, social media, sales pages, videos etc. is vital.

But I am reaching a stage where I’ll need to pass certain tasks on.

What I’m struggling with is having someone do this without my voice being lost.

New Courses

I made the decision to focus on my current courses this year instead of creating new ones.

I know that as my audience grows, more people will buy my courses.

But I also want to create new products because I know that they will be valuable and it will help me bring in more income.

What I’m struggling with is knowing how these courses are going to fit in with the ones I already have.

Looking at Stats

I’ve found myself checking stats too often during the day.

I go and check Google Analytics to see who is on my site, Facebook to see new notifications, and YouTube to check my stats.

I got out of this habit a few months ago by using StayFocusd and RescueTime.

I thought I had broken this habit. But I guess it’s time to use these tools again.

Over to You

No matter where we’re at with our online teaching, we’re always going to face obstacles.

I try to see these problems as challenges that I have to solve. And when I solve them, my business will benefit.

That’s why I’m committed to getting over the struggles that I’ve laid out in the video above.

What are you struggling with right now?

Leave comments below. Thanks for reading.

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  • Brett Phillips

    I hear you Jack!

    I haven’t made the transition over to online teaching yet (one day!). Right now I need to teach at a local private language school here in Siberia in order to have a work visa for my family and I. If I manage to get residency here, I’ll have the freedom to choose my working arrangements, which will probably finally include putting all the stuff into practice that I’ve learnt from you, and move into online teaching.

    Meanwhile, I also struggle with keeping focus when I should be working on lesson plans. Another major distraction for me is noise. Living in a two bedroom apartment in freezing Siberia with a wife and five kids makes it rather tricky to find quiet thinking time.

    Noise cancelling headphones?

    • Yep. Get those! You can also get acoustic panels to put on your walls. I hear that these are quite effective. Get in touch if you ever have questions.

    • Claudio

      Hi Jack! Hi Brett!
      This webapp works for me. Give it a try using your headphones.

  • Valentinos Filippou

    What I am struggling with is to find time to work on my materials and improve them. I am also struggling to find time to build courses etc. The reason why I have this problem is because I cannot say no to new students (I feel it as a waste of money). So, I am full with lessons (which of course, is very good) but on the other hand, I cannot make the transition from face to face lessons to self-paced courses which are my long term goal.

    • I understand your situation. I went through it last year. What I did was I had a month where I was building my courses on the side while keeping my full-time schedule. Take a look at your calendar and see where you can find more hours to work on this. Otherwise, start saying ‘no’ to new learners and go for it.

      • Valentinos Filippou

        Thanks Jack! I will do that!

  • Nolitha

    Hello Jack,

    I moved to a new city of employment in Arar -Saudi Arabia & my internet connection is not reliable. We use Wi-fi at the moment , far from the ” internet pole” and connecting is frustrating at times. The employer might install wired internet connection in the next month for us.

    I have enrolled for Masters in TESOL and I’ll start in October with my studies. I’m unsure if I’ll be able to teach in the day at the university,then return home to study and have time for ESL Online teaching.
    I’ll see how things go with my studies, maybe try it If we get the wired internet.

    I read your posts on FaceBook and emails.

    Thank you.


    • Thanks, Halimah. What I would do is write down your goals for online teaching, know what you need to do in order to get there, and then plan out your tasks according to your schedule. If you only have a few hours spare per week, you can always make the slow transition into online teaching.

  • Roxanne Cowles Rosado

    Hi Jack!
    On September 14 I launched my online business and let’s just say it is not going as well as I had envisioned.
    My plan was to focus on the one-to-one lessons-the typical starting point for such a business-, and then start some group classes.
    It is still early in the game, so I am not giving up. My blog is coming out soon, and I am hoping that drums up some interest.
    I see I am not going to be able to do one thing at a time, make some money, then move on to another, and so on.
    As a result, I am looking into finding other ways to monetize my site, and that seems to be creating courses students can download/view and do on their own time.
    The problem I am struggling with is not creating the course content, but all of that artsy stuff-slides, cartoons, pictures, etc.-that one sees on online courses. That will take me ages to do, and I don’t know if I am up to doing this now, or at all.

    • Don’t worry too much about the artsy stuff. Get something out there that will help people – you can improve upon as you go.

      As you say, it’s still early. The initial stage usually needs some hustle to get some momentum. Additionally, it’s hard to know why you haven’t had initial success. It could be one or a number of things. I would have to look into your case personally to know what this is.

    • Roxanne Cowles Rosado

      Thanks Jack. As always, your advice is great.
      My rate is one of the issues, but I cannot charge $9, which is what a couple of my prospective clients suggested based on the research they did regarding online teachers.
      I am going to have to find a better way to reach my target market in my niche because I don’t think what I am doing and where I am doing it is how they want or need to be approached.
      I also offer coaching, and I do OK there, but executives are not too keen on spreading the word they have a coach, so what could be perfect word-of-mouth referrals cannot happen if they are all too embarrassed to say what I do and how they know me.
      In any case, thank you for the advice about the courses. While I look for a solution to this issue, I will begin to work on a course, and look forward to your videos and blogs.

  • eric

    Hi Jack,
    There has been discussion here about building online courses, but wouldn´t It be easier to use existing platforms and websites with quality on the shelf teaching material which would just be just a few clics away ?

    • It depends on what you want to achieve. Note: a course here means to build your own program – this isn’t talking about one-to-one lessons, but something like video lessons.

      Creating your own course can potentially be very lucrative.

      • eric

        I understood, probably wrongly , that your course was principally to impart knowledge on how to set oneself up as a self-employed teacher, but surely course and syllabus design is a highly skilled area in itself and to do It It successfully would be just too much effort for the novice, without the already difficult task of getting a foothold in a very competitive online teaching market.

        • TEOC shows you how you can build your teaching business selling one-to-one lessons, group lessons, products, services, and courses. I recommend starting with one-to-one and then progressing into other things. Selling courses successfully takes work; it’s a process you have to go through.

  • ElfinW

    Jack, I can’t imagine outsourcing something which has to have your voice like social networks and customer service. Would love to hear how you went about it, when the time comes.
    Great update !

    • I’ll keep you posted. This is something that I’m not looking to do in the imminent future, however. Thanks for posting.