4 Repeatable Lessons from Creating the #1 Personal Development Product of 2011

Written by Scott March 13, 2012

I hate my job

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

– Victor Hugo

**Urgent Announcement: Today is the official launch of Version 2.0 of Live Off Your Passion: A award-winning career course to help you find passion and build a career around work you love. Over 700 changes, big and small, and a redesigned 72-page workbook. Can’t wait to see what you think! Check out all the details plus a couple fun v2.0 bonuses here.

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Lessons from Creating the #1 Personal Development Product of 2011

I want to start by saying THANK YOU! To all you massively passionate and loyal readers, supporters and those of you who have purchased Live Off Your Passion in the past few months.

Somehow, thanks to all of you, Live Off Your Passion was voted The #1 Personal Development Product of 2011!! Wow! Seriously, I was blown away to hear this. I didn’t even know it was being considered until I heard the big news.

And the only reason it happened was because of all you. The contest was held by Steve Aitchison of Change Your Thoughts, where over 20,000 people from around the world were asked to nominate and then cast their vote.

Seriously, thank you!

I poured my heart and soul into this course (as you likely saw from the surveys, product checklists and all else). The project technically started about 6 months ago but in reality it began nearly 8 years ago…

And I did it for one reason:

Ever since I woke up to the fact that we all deserved to love the work we do, I had a dream to find some way to massively help as many people as possible realize this right. To provide them with the steps necessary to find work they love doing. Because I deeply believe that is what will make the world better.

The pursuit of that dream started with a simple lunch conversation 8 years ago with a buddy who couldn’t stand his boss. It’s now grown into the full blown movement that is Live Your Legend, Live Off Your Passion, and most importantly, all of you.

You are the ones who built Live Off Your Passion

What many of you don’t realize is that you did most the work. As readers, you help me tremendously. You tell me what I need to create. And often you help me create it.

I notice what articles you share the most on Twitter or like the most on Facebook. I notice the occasional article that get’s over 300 comments (as well as the ones that get only a handful, but in the form of very personal cries for help). I notice the hundreds of emails I get weekly. I read the thousands of survey entries. And I heard the stories hours at a time on Skype with my past coaching clients.

The only reason Live Off Your Passion (or Live Your Legend) have experienced the acceptance, support and success they have is because of you. 

That is by far the biggest lesson one could take, not only from building a product, but from business in general…

Build what your audience (and customers) want.

It’s that simple. Yet so few people do it.

After all, it’s way easier to just write whatever you feel like or whatever comes easy. But it’s an altogether different thing to create based on what those around you so desperately are looking for.

But of course that’s what always yields the true results – both for your customers and for you.

successful product launch

And the launch was just the beginning.

I remember Pam Slim of Escape from Cubicle Nation, who’s one of the 14 Expert Video Interviews in the course, told me after our interview: Launching a product is similar to giving birth. It’s only the first step.

I don’t have a clue what it means to give birth (nor do I pretend to) but I can safely say that November 8th, 2011 at 7am PST marked a very big new beginning for me and for the Live Your Legend movement. Since then, the game has totally changed – both in my eye’s and apparently yours.

That was the day I first launched Live Off Your Passion, so apparently that was the day the product was officially “complete”.

Ha! Not even close.

Sure, the design was done, the shopping cart was created and all my boxes were apparently checked. But since then is when the real product improvement and creation has gone on.

It’s been just over four months and nearly 500 people have purchased the course (which, given our readership, especially back then at 50% of what it is now, certainly blew my expectations away). But you know the best thing about that?

I’ve had nearly 500 people to learn from in the past few months.

Not to mention the thousands of new readers who continue to share their struggles.

And I’ve been improving Live Off Your Passion on a weekly basis since then.

So Today marks the launch of Live Off Your Passion Version 2.0!

The newly updated and massively improved (according to the users) version of the course is available to download as of 7am PST this morning. All the details of V2 are a little further down this page (including how to get access to a free group coaching call and possibly win a live one-on-one Skype session).

**btw, if you already purchased the course (thank you!) you of course get free access to Version 2.0. You’ll get an email with the updated course at the end of this week.

But before we talk product improvements, I want to share the most rewarding part of the whole process…

The people who have made massive and successful transitions to doing work they love.

The real magical part of the experience for me is hearing the countless stories of people who have made dramatic life changes as a result of the course. It’s truly providing people with a path to start building a career around work they love. In fact, I’ve updated the course information page with all kinds of these mini case studies and testimonials (mainly near the bottom of the page). I think you’ll enjoy seeing them.

Some of the transitions have been mind-blowing. I’d like to share one in particular.

The most unsuspecting of success stories…

About a week after launching the course, I got an email from Amit.

It went something like this:

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 6:37 AM

Hi Scott,

I’ve actually been a little disappointed with the purchase … For me, the only part which could have value are the questions … I’m 5 months into my first job out of college (consulting), which builds off of a lot of my other strengths, but I feel terrible going to work because I know it has no meaning … I’m not convinced that it’s about finding your passion.

I’m not asking for a refund, yet, because I want to give your product some more of my time … The only thing I wanted out of your product was a way to help me find/create a passion, either for a small business or a start-up, for when I quit my job in 3 months.

Best,

– Amit

Hmm, Live Off Your Passion had been live for about 12 days – This was not a good sign…

Given that I own and run an investement partnership in addition to this site, the fact that Amit was in financial consulting hit me especially hard, because I had literally created the course with guys like him in mind.

My response was simple. I thanked him for trying it out and said I of course am happy to give him a refund (I have a no questions asked 60-day policy). But first I sincerely asked that he just spend some time, with as open mind as possible, doing every one of the exercises and spending time with the 14 different expert video interviews. Here’s the end of my rather long email to Amit:

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM

…What I ask is that you take to the exercises with an open mind and open heart. Do all of them full out. And just see what happens. Then please come back and share them with me. I genuinely believe you will get powerful results if you take this stuff deeply seriously. Thank you again for your feedback. It goes a very long way.

Here’s to getting you doing work you love!

-Scott

Amit replied with a “thanks” and “we’ll see” and that was more or less the end of our email exchange. I didn’t hear a thing more for nearly two months. I had all but forgotten about our conversation when I got the below email:

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Scott,

My life is moving forward and I’m the happiest I’ve been in years, thanks to your course!

After reading your ebook, the analytic part of my brain just kept on saying over and over ‘This stuff doesn’t make sense – the logic is flimsy at best. Pursue your passion? Why? I don’t even have any passions, etc…’. I then spent two months exploring why I disagreed with a lot of what you said, reading material from positive psychology to existential philosophy. After reflecting on that information dump (probably read something like 30 books!), I found my opinions had reversed (both intellectually and emotionally), and that I now agreed with most of your advice.

My two biggest realizations from this process have been: 1) While I had a better sense of how to live a fulfilling life than others, there was still a part of me (part subconscious and part conscious) that believed that I had to become super wealthy to be truly fulfilled. 2) As an extension of #1, I realized I was too goal-driven. Ironically, after better appreciating each day as its own, my ‘productivity’ has skyrocketed.

Cheers to living off of my passion (which is sure as heck not finance!)…

– Amit

Did you hear that?!?

I actually had to go back through my email history to remind myself who had sent this. When I realized it was Amit, I literally fell out of my chair (and then ran over to wife Chelsea, screaming in excitement).

This. Made. My. Year.

In all the emails and notes of thanks I’ve gotten, Amit’s story is one of the more dramatic, but there have been countless others.

I’ve put all the others, along with Amit’s story, on the Live Off Your Passion V2.0 course detail page. I hope you enjoy reading about what’s possible

So what’s the moral of the story?

An open mind + Hard work + A passion to make a change

=

Anything Is Possible

Now it’s your turn…

successful career

But, What’s Different about Live Off Your Passion V2.0?

Thanks to Amit and hundreds upon hundreds of other pieces of sincere feedback, I’ve made some significant improvements to Version 2.0.

Some of the big items include:

  • Over 700 changes (from tiny to massive) in the messaging, workbook design/structure, questions, examples and format to make for better results and flow.
  • A newly designed 72-page workbook that allows for more direct interaction with the material including the ability to add your responses right along-side the course content.
  • More case studies and examples of people loving their work, to further show you what’s possible.
  • Live group kickoff coaching call.
  • A fun new guarantee: if the product does not work for you, I’ll coach you for free. Seriously.

You’ll also notice the new version has a slightly different tag line:

An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion

and Building A Career around Work You LOVE.

The subtle difference is the use of the word “Career”. It might seem small, but to me it’s huge.

This movement is not just about finding a good job or doing work that doesn’t make you want to poke your pupils with a pencil. It’s about adopting a way of life that aligns who you are with the way you can most help the world. When you find this alignment, you can’t call it work and you can’t even call it a job.

It becomes a career. A career of meaning.

That is what we’re doing here.  We’re providing the tools to turn your life into a career you want to pursue until the day you die.

Building a career around work you love. That’s what it’s all about.

If this is for you, I hope you’ll check out the new Live Off Your Passion course details page and take the step you’ve likely had on your list for years.

Here’s a little refresher of what the full eCourse includes:

  • A 200-page, 52,000 word PDF guide containing 25 modules
  • An in-depth step-by-step 72-page interactive accountability and action workbook to ensure results
  • A suite of online resources, tools and top websites for monetizing a passion
  • 14 Expert Video Interviews and Case Studies from some of the top bestselling authors, entrepreneurs and coaches on and off the web, exposing their specific strategies for living off passion. Full participant details here.
  • 3 extra bonus PDF reports on Focus, Time Management and Outsourcing 101
  • An additional eBook specifically for the Life-Long Employee on how to find passion in the corporate world
  • Over $380 in additional real product bonuses from other Living Legends, businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • The now mildly famous “Discover Your Passion (and make money from it) Guarantee,” and a 60-day no questions asked money-back guarantee.
  • And as always, a portion of all course sales go to our partner charity, impossible2Possible, to empower students and young people to push limits and expand their belief of what’s possible. We are capable of so much more than we realize and we appreciate your support. Details here.

And just to add a little something extra to the guarantee, if the course doesn’t help as intended, I will coach you for free. No joke. That’s how much I believe in it. 

I’ve purposely taken all the risk out so you can at least try this stuff out.

You can check out the full course details including bonus products, passion guarantee and expert participants on the official course page.

Even if you don’t think this is for you right now, I bet you’ll enjoy hearing some of the experiences from others on the course page. Have a look!

Now getting back to the topic of this article…

be a passionate person

The 4 Lessons from Creating a Product that Truly Helps People

So in case you didn’t catch my biggest lessons from creating a reader-voted #1 personal delvelopment product, here they are:

  1. Help people – I must sound like a broken record by now…
  2. Create what your customers want and need – Realize they know MUCH more than you do.
  3. Constantly refine and improve based on what you learn – A real product is like wine, it only get’s better with age. Improve it every day.
  4. A launch is only the beginning – Remember, the day a product launches is its birthday, not the other way around.

Oh and here’s a bonus…

5. Massively Over-Deliver – I researched at least 75 digital products before creating Live Off Your Passion. Then I intentionally created something 2-5 times more in-depth than the average product in its price range, and I charged the same amount or even less. Why? Because I wanted it to give people genuine results. And I’d like the same if I were the one buying.

When putting together Live Off Your Passion, I always knew the first launch would be just the beginning.

It was step one of a trek to Everest.

In fact, this launch of Version 2.0 is still just another stepping stone compared to what’s going to happen in the next 10-20 years.

I can’t wait…

Amit’s story is not unique. It can be yours too.

I’ve provided the tools. All you have to do is put in the work.

The question is, are you up for it?

Because, as Victor Hugo so perfecly puts it…

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

-Scott

Be the 20 percent who love their job

—–

Images courtesy of Stuck in Customs

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