I have a tendency to edit things to death.
This part could be better, I tell myself. This section could be clearer. That little detail could be improved upon. Over and over until there’s nothing left but a sterile, vanilla, whatever.
I’ve been like this for years. And still I don’t learn. That’s why I set deadlines for myself.
Today is the launch of the new design and landing page for The Focus Course.
For the past year I’ve been actively working on this book and course. And the past couple of months it has been literally all I’m working on. I’m in cave mode. Monk mode. Whatever it is when you’re focusing on just one thing only and don’t come out until it’s done.
I’ve been writing 1,500+ words every day, spending all 8 hours of my work time (and sometimes more) putting together all the research and ideas into the modules for the course.
Though I’ve publishing less frequently here on shawnblanc.net than the average since 2007, the work I’m doing for The Focus Course is, I believe, some of the best work I’ve ever done. I have been loving it.
And yet, despite how excited I am about this, just yesterday, on the eve of launching the new landing page, I was filled with self-doubt.
Am I communicating clearly? Am I over-communicating? Is this interesting? Is it boring? This might not work!
I was up until midnight tweaking the words, rearranging the testimonials, staring at the landing page wondering if each section was in the right order and what I should edit or change.
Because honestly, shipping is scary.
You guys, I don’t know if you knew this, but there are SO MANY books, blogs, articles, magazines, and newsletters out there related to “productivity”. I know, because I read them. But, and just to be honest, after a while everything starts to sound the same.
But I know that I know that The Focus Course can and will be life-changing. It is definitely different. But I also know that everyone says that about their stuff.
Which is why my biggest challenge with telling the story of The Focus Course has been to define what sets it apart. If I’m going to add my voice to the “productivity community”, then I have to do something different.
The course itself is different than anything out there that I know of. But how do I communicate that? How do I communicate that this is different — better — than the alternatives?
A big part of communicating why the course is different is just to say so.
What sets The Focus Course apart is its guided, action-centric nature.
Have you ever read a book, thought it was full of great ideas, tweeted about it, and then put it back on the shelf and went on about your life? Me too.
After reading over 50 of the most influential and popular books that have been written about productivity and creativity during the past century, I often found myself highlighting stuff and feeling motivated but not actually applying change to my life.
I knew that if I wanted to help people (and help myself) I needed to do more than just write another book. I needed a way to apply the wisdom from those books into my daily action and behavior.
So yeah, that’s the story behind the Focus Course.
But there’s another way I wanted to communicate that the course is different — better — than the alternatives.
And that’s through design.
I’m using design as a competitive advantage for The Focus Course. Instead of something expected and typical I wanted something powerful, professional, bold, and awesome. Something with personality.
I’ve been working with one of the most talented designers I know: my good friend, Pat Dryburgh. Pat’s the man responsible for the design of the Focus Course website and, wow. Just wow. (Thank you, Pat!)
This is the first real detailed and official announcement of what the Focus Course is all about. I’m extremely excited to get it out the door later this summer. It’s been a a lot of hard work and good times over the past year. Thanks to all of you who read this site and support the work I do. And thanks to Chris, Stephen, Bradley, Jeff, and Josh for your excellence in what you do on the other sites. Because of you all, I’m able to put the time into building something like this.
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Watch this space, or sign up for The Fight Spot newsletter. Over the next couple months I’ll be sharing more details about the behind the scenes of the what, why, and how of creating and building the course.
And, of course, if you’ve got a moment, go check out the new site. The design and typography are so great. And if you haven’t seen the video yet, I think you’ll enjoy it.