On the power of expiration dates, reasons you shouldn’t be a course creator, and why what is free has no value

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

Insight 1: We all have an expiration date

I almost died in January. Since then, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of memento mori and making the most of the time we have left.

The current life expectancy is around 80 years old.

So if I died on my 80th birthday, how much time do I have left?

How much time do you have left?

One way to make the most of the time we have left is to set micro-expiration dates.

Think about it like this:

If you have two milk cartons and one expires in two weeks, and the other expires in two days—which do you drink first?

The one getting ready to expire.

Expiration dates help us prioritize what matters and get the most of what we have left.

If you want to go deeper into this idea, check out my latest article:

The Milk Carton Mindset: How Setting Micro-Expiration Dates Can Unlock Your Potential

And let me know what you think.

Insight 2: Don’t be the jockey or horse—be the owner

Ryan Deiss is the Founder and CEO of The Scalable Company, DigitalMarketer.com, Recess.io, and a Founding Partner at Scalable Equity, LLC.

In this AMA, he breaks down his strategy behind launching and scaling course and other online businesses.

Deiss opens the AMA opens strong with this quote:

“I never create a course on something I don’t know very well. Part of my problem with the ‘course business’ is the name. If we call it what it is (Publishing), then the model becomes much easier to understand.

In publishing, there are authors and there are publishers. With self-publishing the publisher and the author are the same, but that’s a relatively new idea.

All that said, for the vast, vast, vast majority of the courses I have published, someone else was the expert and they were either paid a royalty (usually 10% on net sales), a flat fee (usually $500 – $10,000 depending on the scope of the project), or they did it for free to have access to our audience.

Names matter.

You aren’t ‘course creators,’ you are publishers. If you start thinking like a publisher, you’ll find that a new world of opportunities opens for you.”

Here’s another powerful quote:

“I’m not the expert, I’m the publisher. My goal is to build value at the brand level (I.e. DigitalMarketer) because that is a sellable asset, not at the individual level. In other words, I don’t want to be the jockey and I certainly don’t want to be the horse. I want to be the owner.”

Read it if you want insights into the thought processes behind the online empire Deiss is building.

Insight 3: What is free has no value

A while ago, one of my friends hosted a content creation and marketing seminar.

Between over 250k YouTube subscribers, owning a gym, creating courses, and multiple other revenue sources—he knew what he was talking about and could’ve charged thousands for his knowlege.

But he made it free, so everyone could benefit.

Of the hundreds who heard about it, a few dozen RSVPed, about a dozen showed up, and only a handful stayed until the end.

One guy left because he had a haircut appointment…

The content was incredible, so why the poor turnout?

I asked my friend.

“What is free has no value,” he said.

This week, Rob Hardy posted about terminating the “Gift Economy” model experiment. For the past few months, Rob made all his courses “pay what you can” to make them more accessible.

It backfired.


Here’s a link to Rob’s post and article.

Question for the Week

Research shows we spend more with a credit card vs. cash.


When we see cash leaving, we’re more intentional with how we spend it.

If you could see the time you have left tick away, would you be more intentional with how you live?

Insights in Action

One of the best ways to clarify your thinking is to write it out.

So if you want to develop your thinking on this question or start applying insights from today’s newsletter, send a tweet to @CoreyWilksPsyD with your thoughts and put #BuildingBlocks at the end so I can find it.

Not ready to “think in public” yet? No problem. You can also reply to this email if you want to share your thoughts with me.

Until next time,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Certified Professional Coach

Building https://coreywilkspsyd.com/