Gone are the days of spending thousands on overpriced seminars and classroom-based learning programs. Here are four potent online courses from proven domain experts that will help you focus, get in the zone, eliminate distractions, improve your mindset, and more.
- Top Performer from Cal Newport and Scott Young
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll have seen us write about Cal Newport’s seminal books, Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. For anyone wanting to go further in the application of these clutter-eliminating, productivity-enhancing, efficiency-increasing practices, Newport’s online course with Scott Young, longtime collaborator and author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller Ultralearning, is just the ticket.
This eight-week Top Performer program has helped more than 5,000 professionals better define the path to get to the career they really want. Along the way, Newport and Young identify pitfalls such as burnout and trying to be great at too many things that can prevent you from doubling down on your main strengths and utilizing these to stand out from the crowd. It’s rare to find a fluff-free course that isn’t just the same core idea repeated umpteen different ways, but just as in their books, this dynamic duo has created something that is all substance.
- Finding Your Best by Michael Gervais and Pete Carroll
If you want to really up your game, you’ve got to start by developing mental skills. How you think dictates what you feel, which in turn determines your actions. When repeated over time, these form habit loops that you then default to as baseline daily behaviors. Michael Gervais, a leading psychologist and host of the excellent Finding Mastery podcast, takes you upstream in his course with legendary football coach Pete Carroll, whose mentorship was invaluable to the development of Steve Kerr as a championship winner.
They offer a more succinct Audible version of Compete to Create, but if you really want to make a positive impact on your mindset, you’d do well to follow Gervais and Carroll fully down the peak performance rabbit hole by investing in their full course. Finding Your Best doesn’t just help you develop your own skills, but also makes you a better teammate and leader by helping illuminate your blind spots and then apply the necessary course corrections. This way, you can serve and empower those around you to become the ultimate versions of themselves. As you progress through the modules, you’ll discover how to turn trust, calm, and optimism into superpowers that help you blast through whatever obstacles have been holding you back from reaching your full potential. This course offers a nice balance of Carroll’s folksy wisdom and Gervais’s clinical experience that was honed by guiding the world’s top athletes and coaches.
- Modern Marketing by Seth Godin
There are few daily arrivals in our inbox that are as highly impactful as Seth Godin’s pearls of wisdom from remarkably consistent newsletter. From Purple Cow (now used to great effect by John Cena in a certain nationwide ad campaign) to Tribes to The Practice, Godin’s books have flipped conventional business wisdom on its head. Now he has put all this counterintuitive knowledge into a course that’s available through the Udemy online learning platform.
Modern Marketing gives Godin’s insights into building authentic community, selling to a small minimum viable audience, and tracing the root of most business problems back to people issues. It also helps you develop empathy for your potential customers, zero in on what’s truly important to them, and then tailor your products, services, or art to meet their desires, without compromising your own principles or selling out to make a quick buck. Part of the joy in Godin’s work is that he cuts right to the chase, but does so in a way that is atypically poetic. This makes Modern Marketing as compelling as it is effective and will enable you to sail through the entire program without breaking stride.
- The Blogging and Writing Course by Mark Manson
Imagine you’re a writer. One day, you are typing away in your home office when your cell phone lights up. You don’t recognize the number, but you pick up the phone anyway. To your surprise, it’s a Hollywood agent, and she tells you that Will Smith – yes, that Will Smith – wants you to help him finish his autobiography.
So it was for Mark Manson, and the result is one of the year’s most engaging and bestselling books. You might also know Manson from his books The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything is F*cked. The point here is that there are thousands of people peddling writing courses, but you’d be best off picking one created by a real author who really knows his sh*t. Why would you want to? Heed the wise words of Jordan Peterson, who recently wrote that “If you can think and speak and write, you are absolutely deadly. Nothing can get in your way.”
Manson’s writing course has an interesting multimedia format. It includes an ebook – How to Stand Out in a Crowded Niche – some videos, and audio content. This makes the content all the more interesting and several hours sail by like they are mere minutes as Manson sherpas you to becoming a more proficient and confident wordsmith. An added bonus? Becoming a premium subscriber to his website gets you lifetime access to the full course and access to other courses on topics like overcoming anxiety, improving your conversation skills, and building a better life, all for only $48 a year.