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Brewing Success: How Resilience Shapes the Digital Product & Course Creation Process

Navigating the Course Creation Journey

In the intricate world of course creation, the journey from ideation to launch is filled with challenges and opportunities. As a Learning Architect, I’ve always believed in the power of stories to illuminate complex ideas.

Today, I’d like to share a fable that beautifully encapsulates the essence of our journey in course development.

Are you a Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean?

Fable: The Carrot, Egg, and Coffee Bean

A young girl went to her grandmother and complained about how hard life had become for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on the stove. Soon the pots came to a boil.

  • In the first, she placed carrots.
  • In the second, she placed eggs. 
  • In the last, she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a mug. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a mug. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a mug. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young girl replied. The grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noticed they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she smelled its rich aroma and tasted its rich flavor. The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, grandmother?”

What Carrots, Eggs and Coffee Reveal About Us

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, it became hardened inside.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” the grandmother asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt, become soft, and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a hardship, a breakup, or some harsh criticism, does my shell look the same, yet on the inside am I bitter, with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the bean’s fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, do you get better and change the situation around you? When the hours are darkest and trials are their hottest, do you elevate to another level?
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Crafting Resilience: Lessons for Course Creators

This allegory resonates deeply with the journey of an entrepreneur, especially in the realm of course creation. Do we wilt under the pressure like the carrot, become rigid and unyielding like the egg, or do we transform challenges into opportunities like the coffee bean?

In my work, I guide entrepreneurs through a three-step process: Ideation, Design, and Launch. Much like the boiling water in the story, each phase presents its own set of challenges:

  • Ideation can be overwhelming, with a myriad of possibilities and directions. It’s easy to feel softened by the sheer weight of choices, much like the carrot.

  • Design requires a delicate balance of flexibility and structure. Without careful attention, one can become too rigid or too loose in their approach, reminiscent of the hard-boiled egg.

  • Launch is the culmination of all efforts, where the course meets its audience. It’s the phase where, if done right, we can transform our environment and create a lasting impact, much like the coffee bean changing the water.

Using our iterative and incremental process, we develop course blueprints that evolve and adapt. It’s not a linear journey but a cyclical one, where feedback and real-world application inform subsequent iterations, ensuring continuous improvement and refinement.

In the words of Chris Harder this past week, we need to “Do the un-scaleable until it’s un-doable.” It’s about diving deep, focusing on quality, and ensuring that every course we develop not only meets but exceeds expectations.

So, as you embark on your course creation journey, I leave you with this question: In the face of challenges, will you be the carrot, the egg, or the coffee bean? Remember, it’s not just about facing adversity but how you transform it into an opportunity.

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