In recent months I’ve been reimagining everything I do when it comes to helping parents and students.
Like a determined mom cleaning out a closet, a purse, or an office desk, I dumped everything I had been doing professionally out onto the floor. “If I had a chance to start completely over from scratch,” I said to myself, “what would be the best, most strategic helps I could give to parents and students?”
8 THINGS THAT GUIDED ME TO MAKE MY BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL CHANGE EVER:
1. I got crystal clarity on my own goal for the parents and students that I help.
My one overarching goal is this: I want to help parents set their kids up to succeed brilliantly in college, graduate completely debt free, and move into careers they excel at and love.
Everything I do, say, and write professionally points to that one goal.
2. I listened to my audience.
I went back over all the different kinds of questions I’d gotten from parents and students during my 20 years of helping students get into medical school at www.getintomedschool.com.
I wrote down the themes of the repeat questions I’d heard during 6 years of teaching seminars at BRILLIANT IN COLLEGE SEMINARS AND CONFERENCES.
And then I asked my audience for more help.
“What are your biggest questions and concerns about the path to and through college?” I asked parents and students on my Facebook page.
“What questions do you have about helping your kids to be ready to step into great careers when they graduate from college? I’m designing something brand new and I want to be sure I’m answering every single question you have.”
3. I recognized the greatest need of today’s parents of teenagers: saving time.
Parents of teens want help with getting their kids though college debt free, I found, but they need help that is bite-sized, that comes at just the right point in time, that saves them time and rescues them from overwhelm.
4. I made the decision to focus my time and attention on the five things I do that give parents the biggest payoff.
- A. Providing a “home base” website where parents can come back again and again to find exactly the right free information they need, precisely when they need it.
- B. Providing two books (one for parents and one for students) that put all the needed information right in the palms of their hands. (Both these books are due out in 2016. You can find out more information about them here.)
- C. Providing a weekly email newsletter that helps parents keep these topics “top of mind” as their kids are growing up. (You can subscribe to this newsletter using the subscription form on this website.)
- D. Providing one-on-one consulting for when parents are stuck on something difficult and really need it.
- E. Providing live seminars and conference speaking. When parents and students see me live they get help far beyond what could ever be presented in printed form. They get fired up and inspired. And they get a great chance to ask me their individual questions afterward. (I love this part of what I do.)
5. I became a curator (think: a person who collects and catalogs articles of interest for a museum) of every good idea out there for getting kids through college debt free.
I quickly discard every idea that is ill-advised or doesn’t work, and then I organize all the best, must-do ideas in a clear, step-by-step “here’s what to do when” format that parents can easily understand and follow.
6. I put all this information into a series of easy-to-follow checklists — and then posted it on my website for free.
Yep; for free.
As soon as you finish reading this blog post, go to the section of this website entitled “WHAT TO DO WHEN.” Click on your child’s age. What you’ll get will be a small, bite-sized piece of information telling you exactly what you need to do this month to get your kids through college debt free and into jobs they love afterward. Before you leave my site, note in your calendar the next date you’ll need to return to get more information from me.
7. I let people have sneak peeks at my website as it was nearing completion.
Some of you are thinking: “She’s just launching this website and blog now? Haven’t I been seeing her blog posts on Facebook and Twitter since February?”
I’ve been letting you see blog posts for a while, but now all the other pieces of this website are in place as well. The most important addition is the brand new front-and-center access I’m giving EVERYONE to my free QUICK START Guide “12 Ways to Save $10,000 on College.” If you haven’t read that yet, you can get it now by typing in your email address in the bold orange stripe near the top of this website.
This is the very first resource I want everyone to get from me. It gives all my new followers 12 ways to save $10,000 on college. I love it because if you’re new to the journey of getting your kids through college debt free, it’ll bring you right up to where you should be in about five minutes.
It’s great when parents read this QUICK START Guide when their children are babies, elementary schoolers, or middle schoolers, so please tell your friends where they can get it too.
8. I made a way for parents to form a community — to share the ups and downs of their journey with other parents who are in the same boat.
Please comment freely on my blog posts and on my official Facebook page which you can find here. Follow me on Twitter @JBurlowski. And most importantly, share my posts with other parents who will support you in this journey.
We are all in this together. Let’s help each other!
Question: What questions do you have about getting kids through college debt free and into jobs they love afterward? What ideas do you have for this that might help others? What has your own experience been? Leave a comment below.