This post is the second part of a series of blog posts, reviewing my time in the Praxis program. Want to start at the beginning? Check out My Praxis Experience: Pre-Program and Month 1.
Project Selection and Goal Setting

This past month, I focused on one portfolio project. That is the primary objective of module two: select or define a project you want to create and dive into it. It could be almost any kind of project, it just has to be your project, and it has to help you achieve specific goals that you set at the beginning of the month.

That sounds pretty cool from the outset until you realize you don’t have a project. Some participants do have an idea of what they would like to do, but I was one of those participants that begin thinking about project ideas and only drew a blank at first. I was utterly freaked out about trying to think up a project.
 

Thankfully Praxis provides lots of content to read through for ideas. Before reviewing the Praxis project suggestions page, I was admittedly afraid I might set myself back while trying to work out a plan for this month. Based on the suggestions from Praxis, things I enjoy and my goals, I was able to think up a small list of ideas. Once I had my list of potential options, I set up a call with my Praxis advisor.




Side note: Praxis has Kick-butt Advisors


One of my favorite things about the advisors: they will not hand-hold! Ask them all the questions you want, talk through everything with them, work through problems and bounce ideas off each other. They will do more than enough to help with the entire project process, but the participants have to do the work.

That is so freeing to me because advisors are there to help you really buckle down but I know at the end of the day that I am the one that owns the failures and successes of my project.

For anyone already in the program or applying, you have to take advantage of your advisor calls and group meetings! I still feel like I should be utilizing my advisors more and am working on that.


If I didn’t have some of the calls I already had, I think I would have struggled more to get onto the right path. The advisors have really helped me with clarifying goals, project/blog ideas and more.


Plus, I am always fired up after my calls!




Praxis Advisor: Project Call

With the newly written list of my potential projects, I had my call notes ready to go!  My Praxis advisor, Hannah, was extremely helpful working with me to set-up the upcoming month. I ended the chat with clear next steps and an “end goal” quickly forming in my mind. With her help, I was able to close the call with us combining two different project ideas.

You can learn more about my other ideas in my blog post about my project ideas diving into module two.




STOP! Project Time.

 

I suppose I should finally tell you what project I decided on! Now presenting: Excellennial – The Story Based Excel Tutorials!

Okay, so Excel tutorial videos are a dime a dozen, right? Yes, it’s true that there are already lots of Excel video tutorials online. I wanted to show my story-telling abilities in this project too though, so how did I do that?  That is where the “story-based” part comes in.

I’ll give you an example: Let’s say your friend Jessica has an online business where she makes miniature figurings for World of Warcraft. Alright, that’s pretty cool – but what does this have to do with Excel?

Well, she needs to find out what supplies cost her the most money. (paint, plastic stands, brushes, clay, acrylic) Then she can find a cheaper supplier, so she makes more money on the bottom line. Using her supplier spreadsheet and a pivot table, she can figure this out in seconds.

Tell me that isn’t way more fun than me just telling you how to use a pivot table! 

 


Module 2 Takeaways

Here are a few of my takeaways from module two:

    • Talk through your ideas! When you have a project idea, it can sit, and it can squirm, and it may not go anywhere. What you need is feedback. You need someone to tell you, first off, if your idea is even interesting or has potential. Next, talk through it all, delve deep into the reasons for your project, check with yourself to see if you genuinely love the idea in mind. That is where the advisors can help you blow your project out of the water
  • Track, Track, Track, Track everything you do! There were some days that I felt like I didn’t do anything at all. Then I look at my notes and realize that I took down two or three Excellennial video ideas! That is one of the hardest parts, even though all it is is just writing down an idea.
  • Lastly, my biggest lesson in module 2: You can do more than you think you can! Now, this isn’t about pushing yourself to burnout. Instead, this is about throwing “reasonable” out the window.

 

 

Reasonable-Shmeasonable

Don’t worry; I will be making a whole post about why we should throw out what is “reasonable” later. For now, the point is that it is easy to set limitations on ourselves when we think we are setting goals.

My starting goal with Excellennial was to outline about 12 to 15 Excel issues with related characters and matching spreadsheets. Then, record the 12 videos, with a “stretch” goal of 15 videos. My stretch goal was 15. Now looking at this, it sounds ridiculous and I’ll tell you why.

I jumped on one of the weekly Praxis Wednesday calls, and the speaker, Austin, challenged me. After telling him my goals, he replied something along the lines of “If you think you can do 15, then I think you could do 30.”  – I was taken aback at first, but you know what? I did it. I doubled my original stretch goal by June 30th.

Yet another reason why Praxis is so fantastic, Praxis Wednesday calls are like a weekly reminder to keep learning and that you are as impressive as you push to be.


Learning How to Handle a Self-Directed Project

Self-Directed is a great way to describe the module two experience. The entire program is very self-directed, but I felt it more-so here than it did in pre-program and module one.

I believe that is because I was creating something from the bare bones. Excellennial, the story-based Excel tutorial youtube channel did not exist beforehand, but I built it up in thirty days and now have posted thirty video tutorials in June alone.

I’m happy with my results, my plan going forward and my overall module two experience. I learned about myself and more about pushing my limits this month. If it wasn’t for the extra push that Praxis gave me, I just might have only produced fifteen videos and wouldn’t have learned how much more I was capable of.

If you are interested in learning more about Praxis, check out DiscoverPraxis.com.

If you are already thinking about applying, then just jump in and apply! It helps you understand the program even more and there is nothing to lose. If you use my Personal Application Link, get accepted and confirm you will begin the program then you will get $100!

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