Happy woman teaching how to sew a blanket for a new baby with overlay of ikagai happy work and life purpose.
Photo by Artsy Course Experts

Planning a Course Business with Ikigai

What is Ikigai? 

Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines ‘iki,’ which means alive, and ‘gai,’ meaning benefit or worth. Put together, it means something that makes one’s life worthwhile or simply a reason for living. 

This philosophy guides the way Japanese people live. It is widely believed that this is the reason for their longevity and happiness. Hence a lot of people have adopted it as a means of discovering a meaningful career and achieving work-life balance. So, in this lesson, we’ll go over planning a course business with Ikigai.

Here are some potential problems if you don’t consider Ikigai when planning your course business:

  • You could have a hobby that you can teach as a skill, but you won’t be able to use it to solve problems and help people.
  • You may have a skill that you’re good at and can teach, but it’s cover expenses and you’re not growing
  • You may have a profession that keeps you comfortable but leaves you feeling empty
  • Without Ikigai, you may have what people want and get them to even pay for it, but you’ll be left with a feeling of uncertainty
  • You may not be able to find a nexus between your passion and your purpose

Video Lesson – Doing what you love and benefiting from it

The Four Concepts of Ikigai

Ikigai has four main concepts, so we’ll look at each one and how to combine these concepts to find a course business that you’re good at, as well as something that people want and are willing to pay to learn.

So, let’s go over the four key areas of Ikigai:

Teach What You Love Doing

Teach something that genuinely makes you happy, something that is exciting and fun. Something you can do all day long and you find so pleasurable. 

It could be something like crafting, drawing, designing, writing, or playing music. It’s like a hobby you’re emotionally connected to and can’t seem to get enough of. 

Teach What You’re Good At

The things you’re good at are your natural talents, your skills, your experience, and skills you’ve done for years and years. These are things you can do hundreds of times with your eyes closed. 

You’re skilled in the art of doing this thing, and the parts of this skill come to you so easily because you’ve put in so many reps (repetitions). So aim to teach something that you’re really good at doing. Remember that if you’re not good at it, then it will be painful for you to do, and that doesn’t help with your Ikigai.

Teach What the Students Need

Thirdly, teach something that your students need. This is a skill that students are looking for or something in high demand among your students or prospective students.

These students want to become something, learn how to do something, and reach a certain level. So, helping students with what they need is important.  Teaching something that nobody wants will leave you frustrated because of the lack of demand for your services such as courses, templates, coaching, and community.

Teach What Students Will Pay For

The fourth area of Ikigai is getting paid to teach what students will actually pay to learn. It’s not just that they are interested in what you teach, but that they really need it.

As a teacher and expert, you help students with important and painful problems. Students are willing to pay for someone to help them achieve a result and to remove problems in their life.

Since you are getting paid (hopefully well), that amplifies your happiness by making sure you can cover your life and work expenses as well as having money to buy fun things and experiences.

At this point, money shouldn’t be an issue because you’re doing things that you love and are good at, and people want it. Your students need it, and you feel joy in helping them, and consequently, you’re getting paid. And because you are happy, serving others, and getting paid – you can do it all day or life long.

Happy Sewing Teacher And Expert At Home
Photo by Teona Swift on Pexels

The Right Ikigai Goals for your Teaching Life and Work

Now you know the four fundamentals that you should be thinking about when you’re planning your course business.

There are four goals: What you love, what you’re good at, what students need, and what students pay for. 

Next, you should think about how you are currently or in the future going to combine 2, 3, or all 4 of these principles.

  • If you combine what you’re good at with what you love, you end up with a passion.
  • If you combine what you’re good at with what can get you paid, you end up with a profession.
  • If you combine what students need, you end up with a mission.
  • If you combine what students need with what they will pay for, you will end up with a vocation.

See the diagram for more details.

As you can see sometimes solving only 2 or 3 Ikigai areas, can leave you unfulfilled in satisfaction, pay, joy, and purpose. Often, it leaves you with an unpaid hobby or a boring job.

To achieve a happy, profitable, and rewarding life, you must find a nexus that solves three or four Ikigai goals

It may take years of hard work, self-discovery, experiments, and small changes to get there. But over time, using an Ikigai compass can help you achieve happiness in all areas of your life.

Table to help choose the right kinds of business goals for teachers and experts
Artsy Course Experts – Business Planning Help – Choosing the right combination of work and life goals

Frequently Asked Questions on Planning a course business with Ikigai

Planning a course business with Ikigaii will result in doing what you love and helping people who need your guidance, and of course, you’ll get paid. That way, you can ultimately achieve complete satisfaction in work and life.

Ikigai can be used in planning a course business by applying its four factors: what you love, what you’re good at, what the students need, and what they are willing to pay for. Using these concepts will help you figure out your target audience, how you will spend your time, the products and services to offer, and which combinations of pricing models to use.

Yes, it is. Creating a course is not always easy, but having a clear purpose can help foster the perseverance to succeed. Ikigai is what gets you going every morning, and it keeps you going. So, Ikigai for creators will help you choose fun things (blogs, works, videos, etc.) to create that are needed and valuable to your students.

If there are things in your work/life balance that don’t give you joy, consider outsourcing this job or swapping tasks with someone else that enjoys what you don’t love and is even willing to do it cheaper.

Ikigai can be used as a tool to plan a new mission like a course business. But it can also be used as a self-assessment tool that is done annually or at major life-changing moments.

Yes, there is a book called Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. You can find it here: https://a.co/d/dVElyC7

Course Lesson On Ikigai For Online Course Teachers To Be Happier And Profitable
Artsy Course Experts – Business Planning Help – Ikagai To Help You Love Your Purpose

Summary – Planning a Course Business with Ikigai

These are some ways you can think about planning your course business, your courses, your resources, your community, your coaching, and of course how you want to spend your life years.

To analyze your Ikigai goals, go ahead and copy the overlapping four circles diagram or create a table with four boxes. Then start listing out your items in each of the areas. You can even score them with stars – like do you really love a thing or do you simply like it a certain pastime? You will notice that some of the areas are weaker than others, and that you need to make some changes to ultimately achieve Ikigai.

These final tips will help you with planning a course business with Ikigai:

  • Think of what you love and something you’re always excited about doing
  • Find the skill that comes to you easily, and you perform greatly without hassles
  • Research how many people are looking for and interested in a topic
  • Look at how much people are willing to pay to solve a problem or transformation
  • Don’t get overwhelmed, just keep improving with small steps forward
  • If you ever achieve Ikigai, set a reminder to re-evaluate every year or new venture

Hopefully, this course planning lesson has made you smarter in planning for your online courses, community, and teacher website.

For more creative teacher help building, operating, and growing your online courses, check out our ArtsyCourseExperts blog and subscribe to our email for regular tips.

These lessons can also help you with course planning, curriculum, operations, and sales:

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