The Ease of Hustle Podcast

35. Epic ROIs & Curriculum Design Wisdom with Dr. Karin Nordin

3 tips for curriculum design directed at anyone who has or is considering launching an online course.I love all my clients equally, but I am so in awe of my guest this week and I can’t wait to share her with all of you. Karin Nordin is a curriculum design ninja who takes her skill of creating courses designed with adult learning techniques and uses them to add value to your programs.

Karin has come such a long way since we first started working together, and what she has created over the past year or so is truly a testament to the power of coaching, mindset work, and allowing yourself to be a little bit woo when you feel guided to it. And I hope you see a little bit of yourself in Karin too because while what she has done is incredible, the same is possible for you too!

Tune in this week to discover Karin’s story, how her business and her life trajectory have changed since she found this work, and how she created an epic ROI from her very first investment in one-to-one coaching. Karin is also sharing three tips for curriculum design that every single one of us can learn from. I loved this conversation, and I just know you will too.

What You'll Learn From This Episode:

  • Where Karin was experiencing mind drama before she chose herself into private coaching
  • The areas in which Karin found my programs like Cultivate Margin and Monday Hour One so helpful in seeing what she wanted for her life
  • Why pausing and taking a moment to celebrate ourselves is something I promote so heavily in my communities
  • How being in communities of people going through similar experiences allowed Karin to see how worthy she was of celebrating herself
  • What shifted for Karin so that she was able to start signing her own clients in a short period of time
  • How Karin was able to get over her skepticism about getting out of her mind and more into her intuition and internal knowing
  • The epic ROI Karin was able to make on her private coaching in just one month
  • 3 tips for curriculum design directed at anyone who has or is considering launching an online course

Listen to the Full Episode:

35. Epic ROIs & Curriculum Design Wisdom with Dr. Karin Nordin

The Ease of Hustle with Lauren Cash

Featured On The Show:

*Disclaimer: As an Affiliate I earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Body Brain Alliance.

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Ease of Hustle with Lauren Cash, episode 35, Epic ROIs & Curriculum Design Wisdom with Karin.

Welcome to The Ease of Hustle. I’m Lauren Cash. I’m a Master Certified coach, calendar queen, and multiple 6-figure digital business owner. I adore helping you create goals your mind never thought were an option by blending together spirituality, mindset coaching, minimalism, and psychology. If you’re looking to go from procrastinating perfectionist to easeful entrepreneur this is the podcast that is meant for you. Thanks for being here. Now, let’s get to the show.

Alright, how are you today? I am so excited to have you listen to my conversation with Karin. I love all my clients but she has had such amazing wins in my group programs and working with me personally. I can’t wait for you to hear what she created for herself in this episode. And also, she shares with you three tips for curriculum design, which she is an expert in. So, without further ado, let’s dive right on in.

Lauren: Alright, I’m so excited to have Karin on the podcast today. Karin has been one of my clients for, I don’t know, three fourths of a year in the last year, and her story is really incredible and she’s a super-smart person. So, I’m so excited for her to share her story with all of you and how she found me, what her work has been like with me, all the results she’s created for herself, and then also what she’s up to in the world right now. Because I think it’s super-amazing and a lot of you listening can benefit from her work as well. So, Karin, do you want to introduce yourself to the people?

Karin: Yes, thank you so much. It’s so exciting to be here. I woke up this morning and I listened to this podcast, so it was fun to think about being on it later that day.

So, I’m Karin; Karin Nordin. I currently am a Ph.D. candidate. Although, by the time this podcast airs, I may fully have my Ph.D. I’m guessing I will. So, that’s kind of fun.

Lauren: Yay…

Karin: Yeah. My Ph.D. is in, essentially health behavior change. So, I tell people I’m a change expert. I’m really good at knowing how people change and I’m really good at teaching people to help people change. That’s kind of my thing that I’m doing now. I’m a nutrition coach. I am a curriculum consultant. I’m a superfan of all things Lauren Cash. And yeah, that’s me.

Lauren: Which is such a compliment. And I’m actually really glad I didn’t know what you were getting your Ph.D. in, like earlier in our coaching relationship. Because I think it would have been a lot for my mind to manage, around that you’re an expert in a lot of the things that I’m helping you also do. So, do you want to tell them a little bit about – we were just talking before we started recording about how you found me through Monday Hour One, which is how most of the people find me these days. Do you want to tell them your process of stumbling- across that and then how we ended up working together?

Karin: Yeah, so I am a self-help superfan. I’ve been obsessed with improvement and growth since I came out of the womb, pretty much. And I had used a nutrition coach who recommended The Life Coach School Podcast to me. I started listening to that. And then, around this time last year, I found Self-Coaching Scholars.

And at first, even Scholars seemed like this massive investment that I was very hesitant to do. But I was at a point in my life where I was really unhappy with myself. I wanted to get my life together. That’s what I kept saying to myself. So, I signed up for Self-Coaching Scholars. I did the Monday Hour One program and I immediately was obsessed with it; just totally obsessed.

And I saw Lauren and I – somewhere in me, there was, like, I know how I would call it my inner voice, but my inner voice was essentially like, “That woman is your mentor.” And I followed her on Instagram immediately when Lauren had, like – you had like 300 followers at this point. Your account was really small. And I watched the first Cultivate Margin program happen and I didn’t do it and I was like, “Urgh…” because it seemed like it was a lot of money. I had a lot of drama around money.

And then, finally, the second round came up and I was like, “Okay, there’s a payment plan. I can make this work. I’m going to do it.” So, I started doing Cultivate Margin. That helped me exponentially so quickly that I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do private coaching.” And we’ll, I’m sure, get into all of that.

Lauren: Yeah, and then we coached together privately. And just for them to get the whole span of things, you did Cultivate Margin again after that and then now you’re in my current ongoing group support that I have for my people who have been my clients previously.

So, we’ve had the ongoing relationship ever since you took that leap to do Cultivate Margin that one time. What do you think was so helpful for you in the beginning of Cultivate Margin?

Karin: I think it really was the connection between thought work and the calendar. Because I had done time blocking before. I was in a situation where I was coaching during my Master’s degree. I was coaching public speaking. So, I had like half-an-hour appointments. And so, my entire schedule, sort of, was time-blocked out of necessity.

But I had never been able to stick with it. And so, finally learning the thought management stuff, the feeling management stuff, how to say to myself, “No, this is really what we want to do right now,” that was a game-changer for me.

Lauren: Yeah, and it’s been really cool to see you – I feel like you’re one of the most active people in – we have a Slack workspace in all of these programs that Karin has been in and we have a channel. It didn’t actually exist at the very beginning of when you joined. But I’m so glad we have it now – of all the wins. And I feel like you’re constantly posting so many wins in there. What do you attribute that to?

Karin: So, it’s interesting you bring that up because when I first did Cultivate Margin, my biggest reservation was that I associated myself with being an introvert. And I didn’t like to talk to people, which is absolutely, like, bonkers for me to think about. Because I’m a nutrition coach, I’m a consultant, I’m talking to people all the time. I have absolutely no anxiety. Like, I could walk up to a stranger on the street and say hello and it would be no problem for me.

So, I guess that evolution happened within private coaching. But it also happened within the bubble of Cultivate Margin because I, all of a sudden, saw all these people who were having the same thoughts as me and going through the same experiences as me. And I was like, “Oh, I can really be myself and I can really bond with these people.”

And so, I absolutely fell in love with the Slack channels and communicating on there. And now, it’s just like it’s a ritual for me to just pause a moment and be like, “You know what? I’m going to post in all the wins. I’m going to celebrate this.” Because I didn’t ever do that before. I was pretty much done with a Ph.D. and I had never stopped to actually celebrate myself.

Lauren: Yeah, and I think that’s a huge problem around a lot of high-achieving, especially women. I will dare to say that we don’t stop long enough to recognize and celebrate ourselves and see what wins we’re really creating for ourselves. Which is why it’s become such a thing in my communities, where I want us all to not only celebrate ourselves but also start to celebrate everyone else so that you are opening up more and more abundance for yourself and practicing receiving and seeing what’s possible for you through what other people are creating.

Like, what you’ve been doing is yes, because of what you’ve been thinking and the dedication you’ve put into your own work. But it also shows others in the group that, like, what’s on the menu for them as well.

Karin: Yeah, and I think it’s interesting because the first round I did of Cultivate Margin, my goal was to accomplish a certain number of billable hours for a company that I was doing consulting for. But so many other people in that first group were trying to get clients. And I remember seeing certain people just post, “I got another client, I got another client.” And I was like, “But I want to be posting about…”

So, that kind of – it wasn’t even jealousy. It was just that I was so genuinely happy for them and it was so cool to watch them on this journey to getting clients and succeeding in entrepreneurship. And that sparked my desire to actually go on nutrition coaching.

Lauren: Yeah, which you did the next round. Do you want to tell them about what happened there?

Karin: Yeah, so I sort of think of it as the whole first round of Cultivate Margin, I was charging my belief battery of, like, “I can be a nutrition coach.” Because I wasn’t allowing myself to act on it because I had really been doing a lot of work around, “I’m going to focus on one goal. That’s what I’m going to accomplish. I’m not going to let myself get distracted by this shiny new object coming in.”

And then, when the second round came around, I was ready to go. And so, I set a goal that by January 15th of this year, I was going to acquire 10 clients, 10 nutrition coaching clients for myself. I wanted to have 10 total. At that point, I had one. And that was, I think, October 2nd. And I just want back and looked the other day. And by November 10th I had signed all 10 clients.

Lauren: I remember it was so fast. I didn’t remember it was basically a month and some change. That’s so amazing.

Karin: And it was interesting too because I had these very specific beliefs when I started about how I was going to get clients. Because I had watched other people kind of succeed in certain ways and not succeed in certain ways. And so, I was doing all these actions. I was posting every day on Instagram and talking about things in my stories.

And some of that absolutely, one or two of the clients came in from Instagram. But most of them just sort of fell into my lap through other connections. And so, that was a big belief-shift for me there too. Like, now my belief that I hang onto is, “Clients come to me all the time out of nowhere.” And that’s still so true.

Lauren: That’s so good. Will you say that one more time for people who want to start believing that?

Karin: Yes, so it’s, “Clients come to me all the time out of nowhere.”

Lauren: A great belief.

Karin: Yeah, and it gets rid of the how too. It’s like, “I don’t have to know how they’re going to show up. They’re just going to show up.”

Lauren: Yeah, they’re coming. They’re on their way. What do you think really shifted for you so that you were able to create, in such a short period of time, that many clients?

Karin: I think what really shifted for me was being present. So, I like things to happen quickly. When I set a goal of something, especially something where I don’t exactly know how it’s going to happen, I get really – my tendency is to get really impatient and to focus on the outcome.

And so, right now for example, I have the goal of making 100K in my business in the first year, so by April 11th. And up until about a couple of weeks ago, I was obsessed with my expense’s spreadsheet. And I was in there like every day calculating, you know, how much money would come in from this and X, Y, Z option.

The skill I’ve been able to develop through working with you and Cultivate Margin was just to recenter myself in the one action in the moment that’s going to help achieve the goal. And so, I think that’s how I did that is I just stayed centered. And I woke up in the morning and I did whatever was on my calendar. And when the consult popped up, I did the consult, and that’s all I was thinking about. I wasn’t worried about the other consult or whether that would work or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I wasn’t caught up in the future. I wasn’t caught up in the past. I was just thinking about, “Okay, I’m being myself in this moment.”

Lauren: Yeah, I think that’s so important. I feel like I’m talking about that all the time, even to myself. Like, we’re just going to do today, this time block right now. All we have to do is be here and be present in what we’re doing right now.

Because this morning, even I, like my mind waking up today to this week was not a happy camper. It was like, “There’s too much to do. There’s not enough time. My calendar is too full.” I messed up my calendaring because I’ve been working around my cycle. This was supposed to be on my ovulation week, but then my cycle got messed up. My ovulation week was last week and now we’re heading into PMS and I don’t feel like doing anything this week. And my mind is just going and going and going and going.

And then on my walk this morning I was like, “Okay, hold on. I’m just going to do today and we’re just going to do what is on the calendar right now and we don’t have to hate the week just because it’s not perfect according to the mind. We can still enjoy this week moment by moment, staying present in the moment.

Karin: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, for me, so I’ve started to get into human design, which we may get into that at some point. And in human design, I’m a human design manifester and I have an emotional authority. So, what that means is I’m very guided by my emotions, especially when making decisions.

And what I’ve realized is that moment by moment, I have to check in with that and really think about, is this not what my mind wants to do, but is there somewhere deeper inside of me that wants to do this thing right now? And so, I’m making that distinction of, like, let’s be in this moment. Let’s check in with myself. That has also really helped.

Lauren: Yeah, how do you think you’ve been able to start to make that shift from the mind and, like, we kind of talked about inner voice, or your inner knowing of where your emotional wave is in human design?

Karin: So, I think it started with the inner voice work that we did. So, my last session with Lauren was an inner voice session. And it was really interesting because for the first 30 minutes of this inner voice session, I literally just cried for no reason. There was a lot I had to process.

And then I remember my inner vice being pretty quiet. There wasn’t a lot that my inner voice was telling me and that was coming out. There was some stuff. But then I’ve recently been doing more inner voice work and inner voice sessions. And let me tell you, my inner voice has a lot – she has a lot to say.

And my emotions along with that – my intuition, for me, has always been very clear if I stop and breathe and check in with it. Like, I intuitively know what is right for me because I can feel it. That’s really where I think the emotional part comes in is sometimes, I think what popular culture talks about intuition, it’s always like, “You’re going to get a sign or you’re going to get a voice in your head or you’re going to see something.” And for me, it’s not like that. It’s very much like a feeling. Like something will feel right or feel wrong. And I have been learning to trust that.

Lauren: Yeah, that’s why I really like human design. Because I was starting to do the inner voice work and did the facilitator training for that, I like the human design authority, which is what your – your inner emotional authority is what we’re talking about, for those who are starting to follow along with the human design conversation. I find that the authority helps the mind almost make sense of then where you’re sensing into for your inner voice or your inner knowing. Do you think that it was helpful for you to sort of have both of those pieces?

Karin: Yeah. I think it was really helpful to just stop and think about how I’m actually feeling, even if there’s not words associated with that. And it’s interesting too because I think all of these different methods, whether it’s Monday Hour One where it’s very logical, or whether it’s inner voice or human design where it’s more on the woo-woo side – I’m a Ph.D. candidate. I love evidence. I love science. There’s no peer reviewed studies on human design, right?

So, my brain gets skeptical. My brain gets so skeptical about anything related to that more woo-woo side of things. But what my brain has kind of settled on is that it’s all a big experiment anyway, so we don’t actually need to know if it’s “true” or “real” or not. We can just do a big experiment of letting the emotions lead me one week and see how that goes. And so far, it’s been going well.

Lauren: Yeah, and that’s what I really love about human design. It’s supposed to be an experiment, and so that helps my mind with that as well, of like we’re just always going to be continually experimenting, which is also how I always talked about Monday Hour One too, was like, take your field notes of what’s working, what’s not working. It’s always going to be changing depending on the season, all of the things.

Will you tell them more about what it was like deciding to work with me privately and that whole thing? Because I think that will be really amazing. Because your story actually was very similar to mine, deciding to do private coaching. And I think those that are unsure if they want to make the leap will benefit from hearing your story.

Karin: Yeah, so I heard about private coaching through Cultivate Margin because you had just dropped it in there that you were open. And immediately my brain was like, “No, too expensive. Too expensive.” And at this point, I am a graduate student. So, I’m lucky enough to have an assistantship, so I’m not paying for grad school, but I’m on graduate student wages, which is like nothing. I have student debt at this point and I have a small amount of credit card debt.

So, my brain is, of course, like, “No, no, no, no, debt, debt, debt, debt.” And so, I don’t know what convinced me to get on the consult call other than sheer curiosity and part of me wanting to be convinced, I think, to do private coaching.

And I remember getting on the consult call with you and talking about how debt was the thing that I wanted to work through. I think that’s what we talked about. I can’t even remember because I had this preconceived notion of exactly, like, we were going to go session by session and then I was going to achieve a specific objective. And my mind wanted to create a billion systems.

And we got on the consult call and I think the question you asked me was something along the lines of, like, “What if it works? What if private coaching does everything that you ever wanted it to? What would be the impact of that?

And all of a sudden, I started seeing all of the areas of my life where my income could grow. So, I could do more hours of this contracting thing. I could start a nutrition coaching business. I could finally get my dissertation done and graduate from my Ph.D., I could do this and that and the other thing.

And so, it really hit me at that moment too that the investment I had made in Cultivate Margin, I had already made back just by the work that I had done. Because I was able to structure my time better, so I was able to put in more hours, and that immediate return on investment there.

And so, I had that kind of as background evidence that my brain liked, because we love the evidence we don’t need. And so, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” So, my plan was to put it on a credit card, to put the investment on a credit card and just figure it out from there. And that kind of got me thinking about all the different ways that money could possibly come in and my dad had planned on giving me his car because he was moving back to Sweden. My family is from Sweden.

And so, I asked him, I was like, “Hey, is there any way that you would be willing to give me the money instead of the car? Like, could you just sell the car and give me the money and I’ll stick with my current car for now?” And he said yes.

And so there, all of a sudden, it was fine. And so, within two weeks of starting private coaching I was like, “Oh yeah. This is the best investment that I’ve made.”

And then, November of that year – so I started private coaching in October. November of that year was actually – I didn’t realize this until two weeks ago, but November of that year was actually my first 10K month in my business.

Lauren: Oh, that’s so fun. Oh my gosh. Which 10K was more than what you had paid me for the investment for private coaching too, just so folks get the differential there. I think that’s really important to realize, that it was way more than what she had even paid me at that time.

Karin: Yeah, that was like return on investment plus some plus the second round of Cultivate Margin. Like, that was a big one.

Lauren: Wow, what would you tell someone who is not sure they really can invest in themselves? Like, they don’t feel like they have the money right now. Well, not feel like, but they think they don’t have the money right now and they don’t really know if they can trust themselves to be as amazing as Karin to get the ROI. They’re like, “That’s cool for Karin, but I don’t know.”

Karin: I don’t think it’s about having trust in your present self. I think it’s about having trust in your future self. And we’re always – I have a future self right now and I know that she’s doing amazing things, and so, I trust in her. And so, I don’t think it’s about the present. I think it’s about what you want for your future and making an investment that will sort of catapult that future self’s existence, if that makes sense.

And then, I guess, like on a more practical level, my favorite thing to think about is if this was possible, what might it look like? And then I brainstorm a bunch of different possibilities and I understand that it may not be any of those possibilities. Like, had I brainstormed in that moment all the different possibilities for getting money, my dad giving me the payment instead of the car would not be on the radar. But that’s a more, I think, practical exercise that you can do to kind of start thinking about making that leap.

And then, I guess for me, the last thing I would say is I don’t think the idea will go away. The idea will nag at you and that’s how ideas are for me. Like, if something is right for me, it will nag at me until I do it. And sometimes, there’s a difference between asking and doing the consult call and actually doing the thing. Or sometimes there’s a difference between visiting the website and checking it out and actually signing up for the program. But if you have this nagging kind of sense that this would transform your life, then I think you should believe that.

Lauren: Yeah, I really love that exercise of, like, what are five options of ways you haven’t even considered that could happen, either before or after the investment, that will make the investment not even a problem? Because that will just help start to open your mind up to the options that are available to you that you haven’t even considered.

And I bet you anything there are infinite options that aren’t even just those five. But like you said, your dad was one of them that you hadn’t even considered. But it at least got you to a place where you were willing to know that there were multiple ways that you would be taken care of and that it would all work out. And not only did it work out for you, like, it’s been such an amazing thing beyond that. It’s not just a wash for you. It’s been so much more than that.

Karin: Yeah, and I think what I learned from that too is that you will change just purely by making that investment. That investment itself changes you. And so, that’s part of the reason that, at one point, I raised the price of my private coaching and I saw my clients transforming a lot faster because of that higher price. Because when you’re forced – I say forced, but like when you make the decision to invest that kind of money into yourself, it fundamentally changes who you are and how you think about yourself.

Lauren: Yeah, it really does alter your self-concept right away. You have to start thinking about yourself differently, as somebody who makes those types of investments to yourself or your business or whatever. Which then the impact of that is so infinite, how that changes who you’re in relationships with, who you’re working with in business, and the ripple effect of even from your clients to who they are – it’s just so huge. And it’s so exciting.

So, yeah, okay, that’s awesome. So, we did start to talk a little bit more about the woo of things, but I think it would be fun for folks to hear your experience. Because you started coaching with me when I was much more in the solid, almost logical side of things, really like the calendar, the calendar math, Monday Hour One, Cultivate Margin, giving other tools and concepts and stuff like that.

But then I’ve really been changing and transitioning myself as you’ve been working with me. So, I think it would be cool for people for people to hear how you’ve received that. Because I think sometimes coaches are afraid to grow and change themselves because of how it will be perceived by their clients. So, you can be an example of a client, of how that’s been for you. And then also just sharing, like, what has inner voice been like for you, what do you like about human design, and how have you opened yourself up more to some of that woo, you know, being a Ph.D. candidate and all of that?

Karin: Yeah, absolutely. So, I will say it’s interesting because I for really into human design the same time last year that I did Monday Hour One. So, I was actually into those two things simultaneously. And then I was like, “No, human design, this is not what we’re doing.” And so, I put that down, logical brain took hold. I also couldn’t find any information on it. Like, I just couldn’t figure it out.

Lauren: They do such a good job of that.

Karin: Yeah, as a Ph.D. student, if I can’t find information, that’s a problem. So, I put it down. And then I really do love the practical, logical sort of more tangible side of Hour One and Cultivate Margin, and even all the stuff we talk about within that of, like, how to stretch time by allocating other things and using systems and all of that is such valuable knowledge. But I think with a lot of people who are invested in improving themselves, there is, somewhere within you, there is a slight, like a little drop of woo-woo somewhere. Whether that’s traditional religion or general spirituality or yoga or whatever.

Most of the people I have come across who are invested in their own improvement have some sense of, like, “I want to better myself for a greater purpose or a greater good.” And so, at the beginning of Cultivate Margin, I was so obsessed with the logical side of things that I kind of forgot about the woo-woo. But it was always there in the background. And I think it- is there even in the Life Coach School’s philosophy on new beliefs…

Lauren: For sure.

Karin: And your thoughts creating your results. And it’s really just a matter of whether you’re convinced that your thoughts create feelings which create actions which create your results, or whether you think that there is the ability to leap from thoughts to results.

And I have had some really woo things happen in my life. So, in January of last year, I wrote in my notebook, “I want to work at X company.” I had no idea how I was going to do that. I had no connections to the company whatsoever. Four months later, I had a contract with them. I did not apply to a job. I did not go through any traditional routes.

I happened to connect with someone on LinkedIn who brought me into the company. So, I have evidence, quote unquote, to support the idea that thoughts do directly create those results. So, I think there was always that woo there.

And so, then when you started talking in the program as – it started as belief work and it started as the magic and possibilities of the universe and belief that there’s things that you don’t know about, which is a little easier. And then it grew into inner voice and now human design.

I personally was thrilled. Thrilled. Because I was like, this is everything that I want out of self-improvement tied in a little bow and I really do think that’s what’s unique about you specifically as a coach. So many coaches are in the woo side and they’re like, “Be in alignment. Your systems don’t matter.” And then there’s the other side where it’s like the getting things done kind of, like, write everything down in a notebook and then meticulously follow your system.

And then you have the Lauren Cash island of sanity in the middle where it’s like, some things you’re not going to understand. But the things we do understand, we can work on our thoughts about those things and make them happen. And so, I love that happy little island where woo-woo comes around once in a while, but she’s not the main attraction.

Lauren: Yeah, and maybe she’ll start to be a little bit more, and yes, we have systems and processes in our business and everything. I think my new website – I don’t know when it will be up in reference to when this is out, but it will be around the time if it’s not already up.

So, I think I have what I call myself as like, COO/coach with a spiritual twist. And so, I’m trying to figure out what to call myself. And so, that’s what people have said so far. Because in a lot of my higher end private coaching packages right now, I’m working with – I have a main client, but I also am helping them in their business, with their teams and stuff. And it’s kind of like I’m the COO, but I’m also coaching them and I’m their coach. And sometimes we do systems and I help them with, like, “I really think you should use ClickUp. And then other times I’m talking to them about, like, “Why are you trying to force this thing? And wait, what’s your human design? Are you open to me pulling your chart?” So, I love that.

Karin: Well, and that makes it more fun too because when we’re on these calls in the current coaching container that I’m in, it’s like you come with the thing you want to talk about and you never know really whether you’re going to say, like, what are your thoughts about that? Or whether you’re going to say, “Talk to your inner voice about that.” Or whether you’re going to say, “What does your authority say?” You don’t know what is going to be the focus, which is fun.

Lauren: Yeah, I really am loving interweaving those three modalities and I feel like that’s where my work is headed and it’s going to be just like an intermixing of all of those things. So, I think it’s fun for people to see, like from you, how you describe sort of a balance-ish of both. And I feel like, depending on the person too, that’s how I decide which was I’m going to go.

If I know somebody is more open to the woo and human design and just studying it – and I know you’ve been looking into it a lot more and studying your design more than some other people, then I might go more human design side of things. And then also, I just started my certification. That’s like a nine-month process. So, I don’t really know as much as I want to know in that too. So then, I might lean more into what I am a masterful coach in, until I feel like I know more of the human design side.

Karin: Yeah, well and I think it is so good to weave all of them together because I think regardless, you need to know what your brain is thinking. And that’s where the thought work and the thought downloads and the models come in, with that very practical like, “This is what is going through my head right now.” I think that, out of all of the things I’ve learned, is probably the most powerful; just the sheer skill of being able to pause in the moment, step back, and observe my own thought processes and what that’s creating in my life. Because that has paused so many things that could have spiraled out of control in the past few months especially.

Lauren: Do you have any examples?

Karin: Oh yeah, well I’ll tell you all. So, the first week of February, I was told that the very, very large retainer contract that I had with a particular company was being essentially cut. We’ll just go with cut. And that was a massive – like that was a huge portion of my income. And I had really not even entertained the idea of that going away.

And so, that was immediate crisis. I remember there being a moment of calm. Like, there was a moment of pure calm as soon as I found out. And I very clearly was like, “Everything’s going to be fine.” And then my brain took over and was like, “Are you kidding me? Nothing is going to be fine. We’re going to be so poor,” just out of control, worst case scenario…

Lauren: Catastrophizing, all of it.

Karin: Total catastrophe. And I think, in that moment, if I had my one year ago Karin brain, I would have immediately dropped my business, applied to a bunch of jobs, probably have got a nannying job to make things work while that was happening.

There would have been no pause to breathe and think. And instead, what I did was I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to process.” So, I literally spent the whole weekend, I ordered my favorite food, I laid on the couch, I cried my eyes out. It was awesome. It really was awesome because I just let the wave ride out, let it all happen. And then that Monday or Tuesday. I sat down and I was like, “Okay, what do I want to do?” And I wanted to go all in on my business. That’s what I wanted. Going back to the emotions thing, that’s what my emotion were telling me, “Now is the time. This is the chance.” It was like my safety blanket was yanked away, but I was ready for that. And so, that’s what I did. I went all in on my business and it’s working out really well for me.

Lauren: I’m so glad.

Karin: That’s that story.

Lauren: I know, when you told me, I knew you were just going to stay in your business and that you would just have to ride your wave a little bit. So, it’s like, “Let’s just wait this out, just a little bit and it’s going to be awesome.”

Okay, so we haven’t talked a ton about how you are a curriculum ninja. And I think it would be fun for those listening, because I bet we have a lot of folks listening who either already have an online course of some sort or have considered having an online course of some sort. And I would love, maybe let’s share a handful, three or so gems of what you want to offer them that folks don’t think about. And I know you’ll dive deeper if you work with them one on one on this. But for those just listening and wanting to consider, what would you offer them to think about?

Karin: Yeah, so this is super-fun. So, for just one brief moment of background, I throughout my entire life and the beginning of my Ph.D. was set up to be a basic course director. So, I was set up to create curriculum that would be given to hundreds of college students at a time. So, that’s kind of where this knowledge is coming from.

And so, I took a lot of ed psyche classes. I did a lot of work with mindset theory. I’m a published researcher on mindset theory. And so, that’s kind of what I’m doing now, bringing that in with the behavior change stuff.

So, when we get into the self-help industry, it’s interesting because I feel like there are so many brilliant people who are coaches, who are coming up with new concepts, new ideas that are awesome and that people desperately need and that they need more than the random stuff that you’re going to learn your freshman year.

But what we need to understand, I think as a collective industry, is that learning is not just taking in information. So, what is going on right now is coaches are like, “I have all this information in my brain. I’m going to present it to people. And then, they’re going to learn it.” But it’s not reciprocal like that. It’s not direct like that.

Lauren: And by learn it, they’re thinking, like, “And then my clients will be embodying this concept,” yeah?

Karin: Yes, exactly. So, number one, I think that I would like anyone who’s creating a course to think about is the question of what can your client actually do at the end of this course? So, instead of starting with all the things that you want to teach them, instead of starting with your list of module ideas and your list of concepts, which is usually where coaches come to me if they’re going to do my curriculum intensive.

I would say, back up a second. What is the thing that they can actually do at the end of the course, at the end of the program, or even at the end of your freebie? That’s a piece of educational material that is so neglected.

So, that’s number one. Number two, I would encourage everybody to separate the different types of knowledge that you’re teaching. So, we teach concepts which are, like, gravity is a concept. Like we know what gravity is. Or if you’re going with the Life Coach School, the model, each piece is a concept. Like, what is a feeling? Let’s define it. Let’s understand it. Okay, so there are concepts.

Then there are skills. So, observing your own thoughts is a skill. It’s not a concept, so you can’t teach it the same way as a concept. It’s a skill, and that means that it’s something that is going to have to grow and is going to need effort. And if you don’t explain to your clients that it’s a skill that is going to be grown with time and effort, they’re going to have what’s called a fixed mindset, which is going to make it really hard for them to learn.

Then we have procedures. We have procedural knowledge. So that is like the how-to. So, if you want to build a business, you need to be able to do X and then Y and then Z or you need to be able to manage your mind, and manage your mind is first you do this and second you do this and third you do this.

So, having a step-by-step process is important there and is different than – a skill might not necessarily be developed step by step. You might have to do one step over and over and over and over again. A concept is more information that you’re learning. So, distinguishing between those three is another big one.

And then the third thing I would say is recognize that children are not the same as adults. So, our tendency is to tach the way we were taught. But most people went through a traditional education system. Maybe you went to college. If you did, that’s awesome. In college, guess what? They still treat you like children.

Adult learners are different. They learn in different ways. They interact with material in different ways. And so, in school, we listen to a lecture. We were given a worksheet and we did our homework. That’s what I see course creators do. They come up with lectures, they offer a worksheet, they assign homework. And that’s not necessarily the best way for adults to learn. So, there are ways in that area that we can optimize your course or process.

Lauren: Yeah, and that’s definitely, as you know, like pretty much how Cultivate Margin was developed. And we’re working together to make that even better going forward. And of course, it was still super-valuable that way. But I want to always be up-leveling my offers and adding even what I talk about on the one, The Layering Effect, if you remember that podcast episode of mine.

I want to think about my up-leveling my curriculum design in that way too, of like, what’s the first phase of improvement, and then the second phase, and then the third phase? It doesn’t have to be perfect tomorrow. And I think working with you will be an amazing way for folks to be able to start layering that in. Because as you know, we have a lot of perfectionists, or recovering perfectionists listening to this. So, knowing that, get your course out there. It’s fine, if it’s just like the way that Karin was describing. And then consider working with Karin or someone like Karin to be able to continue to increase the value in your program by having curriculum design based around adult learning theories.

Karin: Yeah, and I would say too, remember that an adult is going to learn what they want to learn, kind of regardless of what you’re going to do. There are going to be people who come into your program and they do the first module and they don’t do anything after that.

And to some extent, there are things that you can do to make that less likely. But at the end of the day, these are individual people with their individual thoughts and their individual agency. So, like, that’s what I tell people, is that no amount of curriculum design is going to make your course perfect. It’s just another tool, just like anything else. I just think personally it’s a tool that isn’t as discussed because the people who I’ve seen, at least, who do course design, a lot of them are really focused on marketing and how to market a course.

And I’m not going to tell you how to market your course. You can market your course however you want. I’m going to tell you how to actually design it so people can learn from it. So, there’s a difference there.

Lauren: Yeah, and I love that so much. And that’s a lot of my work too with folks, I’m realizing, is I don’t want to help anyone with the marketing side of things. I want to do more of the behind-the-scenes, how you run the business, how you make it more effective for you and for the life you want to live and designing the life you want to live and getting over all the mind drama and listening to your inner voice and following your strategy and your authority and human design.

Like, I want to help you do all that, but the actual marketing part of it, I can coach you on your mindset around it, but I don’t want to help you with the marketing. So yes, we have that in common. We know lots of other people who will help you with the marketing out there, so go to those lovely people. They will help you.

Karin, it has been so fun to have you on the podcast. Thanks for giving the wisdom to the people about curriculum design too. Is there anything else you want to share with them, leave them with?

Karin: I would just say that my biggest piece of advice is, if you’re listening to this podcast, trust yourself more than you maybe feel comfortable with. That is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. And that will, I think, make you go a long way.

Lauren: Yeah. I love that. Thank you.

Wasn’t Karin amazing? I hope you’ll consider working with her either as a health coach or in helping you with your curriculum design. You can head to the links in the show notes for this episode to work with her further and see what is available for you.

Until next week, may you have an amazing week. Bye.

Hey there, thanks so much for listening. I wanted to invite you, if you are ready to integrate what you’re learning on this podcast and want to dive deeper, you must come check out Cultivate Margin. It’s my coaching program that’s a hybrid between a self-study course and a coaching program designed just for you. Join me and the community of others like you at And you can get that link in the show notes as well. I can’t wait to see you in there. Have an amazing day.

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