David Siteman Garland on Lifestyle, Discipline, and the Future of Online Courses [NE 047]

David Siteman Garland the creator of The Rise To The Top & Create Awesome Online Courses. David helps experts create and sell online courses with thousands of students in over 100 countries (myself included) who have created successful courses on everything from kindergarten teaching to snowboarding.

(He’s also the dad of two little ones — the first dad on our #naptimeempires guest list!)


I first heard about DSG during *his* course launch back in July / August 2013. I learned so much in the free training, immediately signed up for the course, then binge-listened to the CAOC modules on planes, trains, and automobiles while traveling to and from the Czech Republic for a dear friend’s wedding.

And then – as many of us do – I sat with that info and did (almost) nothing with it for months. Once I DID finally launch the first round of ACAC – eventually welcoming over 300 students in its first year, we had a lot to talk about. We recorded a video convo on HIS blog – I’ll link to it here in the show notes – got a great response, then decided to partner up to help more folks create valuable courses.

(Sidenote: People often ask how I’ve curated my esteemed “cabinet of friendtors” over the years – this is a perfect example. If you sign up to learn with / from somebody, do the work and become a great case study!)

We’ve partnered up almost annually to spread the word for those who want to help their customers get tangible results – and we’re doing it again soon (details at nikkielledgebrown.com/courses). For now though – I’m super excited to welcome David as our first DAD on the #naptimeempires podcast.

I think you’ll find this ep inspiring, entertaining, and perhaps painfully honest at times. (I know I did. ha)


  • the role that discipline plays in creating a “freedom-based” lifestyle
  • how to use those chaotic experimental years to your advantage
  • the misleading message behind big launches / “hypey ridiculousness”
  • the benefits of lifetime access and the power of viewing courses with a long-term customer strategy in mind (in a time when so many people seem to be jumping ship)
  • why competition in the online course space is a GOOD thing (if you’ve got genuine value to offer your community)
  • how to handle a pivot / change in the course of your business – whether that involves creating another course or not.



1. Ask yourself / journal on: What ahas did this convo spark for me? Is my current business model really supporting my ideal lifestyle, or am I headed to burnout? What can / will I do about that?

2. If you enjoy this convo and want to learn more from David, register for the free training we’re co-hosting via nikkielledgebrown.com/courses. We’ll load you up with super-actionable info in the time we’ve got, then show you where to go to get more help from both of us if you want + need it.

Either way – I have a feeling you’ll appreciate his no-fluff free content. (I did / still do!)


“When I was getting my business off the ground, it was very much a 24/7 thing just because I thought I had to do it that way.”

“I wanted to create a business that would match the lifestyle that I wanted, not the other way around.”

“You have to be rigid to allow that kind of freedom.”

“Bottom line is you’ve got to love what you’re going to do, or develop a love for it, because otherwise it’s just not going to work.”

“At the end of the day, if your goal is to get someone a result, a course makes the most sense – period.”





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