My friends, we are clearly living in weird times. And I don't need to reiterate why. You know why. You see what's going on.
The question is...
What do we do about it?
Let me tell you something...
I think things are shifting. Big time. And while things will eventually return to normal after this pandemic slows, it will not be the same normal.
The way people live their lives will change. Their relationship with work will change. The way we learn will change.
I think this is a humongous opportunity for those who choose to see it and act upon it. And I think it is a massive opportunity for content creators, coaches, and online educators.
I have expected big economic changes for a few years now. It was just a matter of time. In fact, we were overdue for it. As it turns out, COVID-19 was the trigger.
Table Of Contents
What We Have Seen So Far
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have watched an economy that was purring along very nicely suddenly grind to a massive slowdown. We're now seeing unemployment numbers you would associate with an economic depression.
We're watching the government rain "helicopter money" down on the population. Suddenly, the word "trillion" is thrown around with a casualness that makes your jaw drop. And while these money drops might feel good in the short term, there is no doubt that this will result in massive devaluation of our money, inflation, and more pain to come.
Around the world, around 3 BILLION people have been told to stay home in order to flatten the curve. Restaurants, in-person services, travel, hospitality and so many other industries have been forced to close down. Even when they reopen, I imagine the long-term effects on those industries will be quite real.
Life feels like it is on pause.
But, it shouldn't be.
Throughout history, times of massive change are often sparked out of times of crisis.
I firmly believe that this crisis will trigger a series of changes. It might seem bad for a little bit, but ultimately I think these changes will be positive. Things have a way of rebalancing.
People have been throwing the word "depression" around lately. They've been comparing things to the Great Depression of the 1930's. But, the thing to keep in mind is that, even then... there were numerous businesses that grew or were born out of the Great Depression.
Wealth doesn't really disappear. It just... shifts.
Wealth doesn't really disappear. It just... shifts. It MOVES.
During these economic times, wealth is going to transfer. In fact, given what is likely to happen to our currency and to banks, I think we could be heading into one of the biggest periods of wealth transfer in mankind's history.
Those who cling to the old ways will lose out. Those who get out ahead of it will do very well.
The Massive Shift In How We Work And Learn
This pandemic has suddenly forced a lot of companies to experiment with a work-at-home model that they long resisted. Many are going to realize that it wasn't nearly as bad as they thought. In fact, it likely reduced cost. It was likely more efficient.
Sure, some jobs simply cannot be done from home. However, I think we are going to have a massive growth in work-at-home arrangements that is going to settle into a whole new high.
Remote work will no longer be something only the techie people do.
And the economy is shifting to this very quickly as a result of our collective quarantine. Grocery stories have made huge pivots toward home delivery. Restaurants are moving toward home delivery. People are not driving as much.
When it comes to education, most schools and universities are physically shut down. Any education that is happening is pretty much exclusively online. Suddenly, all kids are homeschooling.
People are commuting less. People will get used to home study and being able to self-pace. They are going to get used to a more customized, individual-focused learning environment - all online. Collaboration has moved almost totally to platforms like Zoom and Skype.
This is all forcing major paradigm shifts. And these shifts will drift back to "normal" when this pandemic is over, but they are not going to fully return.
This was a massive, societal work-at-home experiment. Most companies were forced to participate. And it is not going to fully return to the way it was.
This virus has forced a fundamental change of mindset.
No longer will the focus be mainly on WHERE and WHEN the work is done, but simply that the work is done. The work itself is what matters.
How The Newly Unemployed Will Seek Solutions
Even before COVID-19, I think our economy was heading toward some major shifts in labor and employment due to automation. Many jobs were working on borrowed time anyway.
This world lockdown just sped things up. Employees of many in-person businesses that were unable to transition to a work-at-home model have lost their jobs.
Unemployment numbers have already shot up. And it is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Now, what are these people going to do?
In the short-term, there is going to be help from the government, from banks, or by selling assets. But, that can't last forever. Before too long, the mindset is going to shift to how to find a new normal.
They want to take control back over their lives. They want to re-develop their sense of certainty and security.
Where does one turn when they feel they need to generate an income when you cannot return to your old situation?
Suddenly, there will be a whole lot of people who are thinking about building online businesses. They are thinking about freelancing and side hustles. They are looking to learn new skills so that they can get other kinds of jobs. They are trying to figure out how to work from home. They are trying to figure out how to create new income streams, how to take control of their finances, how to lower their debt, how to put some fuel into their savings accounts.
The work-at-home experiment becomes very real, very quickly. People will turn to the INTERNET to find the information they want.
Suddenly, they have time they didn't have before.
They can use that time to try to solve those issues at the top of their mind.
They will be more than willing to invest in education if it is solving a real need they are feeling. They will be reading and viewing a LOT of online content that is aimed to solve those very concrete issues.
I have already seen big increases in web traffic here at the Blog Marketing Academy and my opt-in rates have almost doubled. Judging from some of the entrepreneurs and groups I am connected to online, my story is not alone. Traffic is up. People are responding. People are buying.
People are not clamming up into a ball. They are looking for solutions - online.
They desire to regain a sense of stability and control. They want to learn new skills in order to diversify their opportunities.
Online education is not only not going anywhere, but I expect it to grow substantially.
Why Now Is A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity
Many are still in a state of mental limbo over current events. Many have a lot more spare time. And yes, right now, some are looking for an escape and Netflix and Youtube are doing really well right now. I can't help but wonder if a weird show like Tiger King would do as well if they didn't have a captive audience! 😉
But, many are not sitting around wasting time. Many are already looking for answers. We see it in the traffic numbers across the Internet.
As time goes on, I think the novelty of all this spare time will wear off. People will get tired of binge watching Netflix. And more will join the ranks of looking to learn new things to improve their situation.
This is a HUGE opportunity for online course creators, for content creators, for coaches. It can also be a huge opportunity for people who want to deliver an online service.
And those who buckle down and really get out ahead of this will have an advantage over those who get in on it late.
This new "work at home" demographic is going to rapidly increase in size. They are self-motivated. They are actively LOOKING for answers.
And don't think this is only about how to make money. Some just want to further other goals. They might want to learn some new skills that's been on their bucket list. They might want to explore a new hobby or get better at an existing one. They might look to learn an instrument, to learn a language, to create art. It could be to learn career-oriented skills so that they can be more employable.
Yes, obviously there is going to be a lot of interest in how to create side incomes. There will be a lot of people forced to transition to more independent work without relying on a paycheck. Many will look to create new businesses of various kinds.
Online education was already a growing industry before COVID-19.
It is just going to boom now.
And if you have ever thought of building up some kind of business or side hustle that might fit into this kind of economy, NOW is the time to take massive action.
If you already have such a business, NOW is the time to step up your game.
This Is Your Time. Right Now.
This is a unique window in time where you can gain a competitive advantage over all the newcomers sure to come into this space in the years to come.
This is your time to be on the leading edge of the wave.
It is times of rapid change where those who take action make the most growth. While others are freaking out, you can step to the plate. And trust me, if you don't do it, someone else will. You can count on it.
I am a follower (and investor) in the cryptocurrency space. It is easy to look back at the days Bitcoin was less than $100 and think "If only I had bought a whole big pile of Bitcoin back then!". Those were the days when there was massive opportunity, but few knew about it yet. Some did. Some lucked into it. But, now there is no second chance to be on the leading edge of that kind of growth.
I think what we may experience in online education may be similar to that. And I don't want anybody - including myself - to feel a case of "if only I had done it when the time was right".
Look, competition is going to increase. This is going to get harder. So, NOW is the time to cement a position.
If you don't, it will only get harder to make an impact later.
With all big economic downturns and changes, you're going to have a group of winners. You're going to have those who did VERY well. And the rest dwindle and fade away. Like I said, wealth doesn't disappear it only moves.
So, What Do You Do?
Now is the time to learn. To plan. And to prepare.
Now is the time to build.
Build your platform. Start communicating to your audience. Start creating things that will help and lead them. Take a leadership position and help your readers and subscribers solve the very real issues and concerns they are experiencing.
If you have an existing business, then look for opportunities to pivot to better meet the demands of this era. Step up your game. Improve your delivery. Communicate to your audience more. And prepare to deliver. Get your offers ready and prep those campaigns.
If you don't yet have a platform, your job now is to build it. Get started. Stop hiding. Stop researching. Stop waiting until the time is right. Start helping - now.
Everything I am doing right now is about helping you do exactly that.
Here Is How I Am Responding (Changes I Am Making)
This time is a wake-up call. And I am doing everything I can to practice what I am preaching.
Frankly, any moment I have ever felt of entrepreneurial boredom with regard to the Blog Marketing Academy and the fact that I've been at this for over 10 years now... is over.
... because I firmly believe that what I do is going to be more in demand and more needed now than ever. And it will remain so.
My job as a business owner is to be very effective and make sure more people know about it.
So, here's what I am doing...
First, I am massively stepping up my game when it comes to DELIVERY of my primary solution - and this translates to a massive ramp-up of new training and support for LAB members.
THE LAB is my primary learning platform for my company. And, everything I do orients around guiding a person from ground zero, through the confusions of startup, and upwards to a growing online business. I help people build businesses out of nothing. And I'm there to support people as they do it.
So, here's what I'm doing right now:
Now, there is one more thing that I decided to do here...
While some of what I just said is going to affect content on this blog and it will be available to everybody, it is my LAB Member Community that is going to get the full monty.
The LAB Member Community are my peeps. 🙂 They, too, are of course my customers. And I'm here to serve them in any way I can.
I want to make it easier to join that movement - and more accessible for people to take advantage of this time.
So, I have decided to lower the membership rates for THE LAB.
You can now get started for as low as $29.
Now, to be clear, this is not a sale. This is not some kind of sales strategy. In fact, I don't think simply lowering rates is a viable business strategy long-term. That's lazy marketing.
I am getting rid of the old lifetime membership plan that most current members have (don't worry, existing members are totally unaffected). And I am lowering the rate for new signups. And now, as I hope I have made clear, I am putting the onus on ME to deliver like there's no tomorrow so that you want to remain a member for a long time.
I am going to massively ramp up my delivery, while making membership more accessible.
You'll be able to follow along with everything that's happening because I post updates to the What's New section as a notification. It is like a big change log of everything across the entire Blog Marketing Academy and THE LAB.
Go ahead. Click on "What's New" in the top menu. You can watch the updates, and you can feel free to bug me if you don't see frequent updates. 🙂
I want to help anybody with the motivation to take advantage of this moment in time that we're living right now. And I also want to light a fire under my own butt to continue to earn your membership.
Now is not the time for laziness.
Now Is The Time To Deliver Your Best Work
My friends, we live in a time of change right now. This is a time we will look back at in history.
Big changes to our economy and how we work and how we learn.
I believe that NOW is the time to deliver your best work.
I believe NOW is the time to step up. To skate to where the puck is going.
It is time to get busy. It is time to create. It is time to lead.
And if you have been thinking about starting a site and an online business, now is the time to act. It is time to plan, to prepare, and to reach out to others to help. The world needs your voice.
This is the time to build your platform.
I'm going to do my part, to the best of my ability. My mission here, as it as been for years now, is to help people just like you do exactly this. Only now... the mission is even more needed.
Join the LAB Community.
This moment in time will not last forever. But, the changes that come from it will last for a long, long time.
Take action. Make things happen.