While there is no shortage of resources online for learning to how to grow a business, most educational material seems to forget a fundamental characteristic of budding business owners – entrepreneurs are doers by nature. They want to learn by practicing, by trying for themselves, by getting their hands dirty. Lectures and tutorials simply don’t make the grade.
Firsthand frustrations with online business education led Jonathan Mead and Dustin Lee to create Playbook, an online learning platform with courses that teach entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses by participating in missions. Each course, or “play,” consists of successful entrepreneurs providing step by step instruction (based on real projects), notes from the author, templates and examples, as well as an action plan to execute – complete with checklists, tasks to accomplish, and reminders that thwart procrastination.
Centered on action-based learning, upcoming courses cover learning how to write newsletters, connect with industry leaders, break bad habits, and create and tell your hero story. Sign up for early access now and claim one of 100 spots to test a free Playbook course on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. Jonathan Mead tells us more:
What inspired Playbook?
We were fed up with seeing so many info products and courses that claim to teach you how to build an online business, but are mostly hype. There’s a lot of people great at marketing courses, but quite frankly, [they] suck at teaching. We take teaching very seriously and put the odds in the favor of students.
Playbook is an action-based course platform that guides you through completing missions to level up your business. All our courses are based on real case studies and have milestones and tasks to guide you to completion.
We don’t just send you to a WordPress blog with a bunch of videos and say “good luck.”
What makes Playbook so killer? How is it different from the competition?
It might sound cliche, but what makes us different is that we really care about our customers getting results.
So many people just want to sell, sell, sell as much as possible and aren’t very concerned with the impact that their stuff has on people’s lives. We lose sleep at night if our product isn’t getting people results and living up to our expectations. Of course we want to be profitable just like anyone else, but we’re not willing to choose making more money over making lasting transformation in the world.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are struggling to get their businesses off the ground?
Show up every day and, as much as possible, try to focus on the long-term, high-leverage stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in the urgent, little things that need to get done. Try to prioritize the first hour of every day on high-leverage tasks that will have an impact a year or more from now.
What has been the biggest startup surprise for you (good or bad)?
Building software is a lot harder than we thought. Neither Dustin and I are developers, and this has been our first time working with one to make something come to life. We’re learning a lot about what’s reasonable to expect and how to get an MVP out without going insane.
What are you most afraid of when it comes to your startup?
Honestly, building this has challenged us in so many ways, and one of my biggest fears is losing the friendship I have with my co-founder and partner, Dustin. We’ve learned a lot about how to communicate, hold each other accountable, and how to handle the pressure without becoming assholes to each other. It’s not always easy, but we’re learning how important it is to talk about how we feel about things on a regular basis and make sure we’re addressing the emotional side of building a world-changing business.
How has being an entrepreneur changed you for the better? How has it enriched your life?
I always like to say that entrepreneurship is the second greatest vehicle for personal growth, the first is relationships.
Being an entrepreneur forces you to think on your feet, get creative and constantly solve new problems. And as we all know, if you’re not taking risks and innovating, you’re on your way out. So the constant pressure to stay fresh, new and alive is a big blessing. Pressure can crush you if you let it, or it can shape diamonds.
What is the tech scene like where you live?
I live in Portland, Oregon, a hot bed for local entrepreneurship and especially lots of craftsmen and women. It’s a great place to live with lots of energy always around.
Dustin is currently living in Palo Alto, California, taking classes at Stanford on entrepreneurship. He’s a new dad, so he’s balancing that while trying to get out and connect with the lively tech scene in Silicon Valley.
Where can our readers find you?
How can the KillerStartups community help YOU?
We honestly just want to help more entrepreneurs create lasting momentum in the businesses. We’re passionate about giving people actionable courses that hold them accountable and keep their feet to the fire.
The platform we’ve built has a lot of great features that help with that, like a progress bar, email reminders when you don’t complete tasks, and unlocking badges as you progress through courses.
We want to make learning fun. So the more people we can help with Playbook, the better.
Courtesy of Jonathan Mead | Playbook