We’ll make your favorite teacher proud

Does this sound familiar to you?

“Alright, I’m finally gonna learn Spanish! This is going to be great. Gotta put together a plan. So, let’s see, I’ll:

  1. learn the numbers (< 100)
  2. learn food words
  3. learn basic verbs
  4. learn basic full sentences
— Me, Not So Long Ago

That was me, just last year, when I got amped to learn to speak Spanish. Guess what step I got up to?

Yup, sadly, I didn’t even start.

But why? I was so excited. How could I make that whole plan and not even do anything?

The Fantasy Progression

Making a plan for something is both easy and fun.

But there’s a good reason it’s easy: because it’s designed around what I call your Fantasy Progression: the perfectly ideal path you’ll take to learn X without any outside influences, setbacks, or other barriers.

And if you’ve ever made a plan like my good ol’ “Learn Spanish in a Flash” doozie above and then actually began to follow it, you know that things Never Go As Planned.

Because, frankly, it’s impossible to predict how things will actually progress.

But that doesn’t stop us from making plans. And it doesn’t mean that having a plan is necessarily counter-productive. Quite the contrary. I believe you should have a plan, especially to tackle something as complex as learning a new skill.

Why we love prescribed courses

Learning a new skill is big. It’s big in scope and in complexity. If you approach it with the “just jump right in and get started,” that jump is bound to end with you flat on your face.

A thoughtful, well-designed course is designed to take the guesswork out of the process for you. Because you don’t have to constantly determine the next step to take, every step along the way.

With a course, that’s done for you. And that’s a huge barrier you don’t have to worry about. It’s like you saying:

“I want to learn to waterski!”

And having an instructor appear out of thin air and say:

“You got it! Over the next 3 hours, I’ll teach you everything you need to know, and you’ll up on those skis behind that boat in no time. All you have to do is follow what I say!”

A good teacher removes the barriers. You don’t have to worry about:

  • “What if I didn’t start out with the right thing?”
  • “Is this the best next step to take?”
  • “Should I already know how to do that by now?”
  • “Am I making consistent progress? Have I stalled?”

But, as you can imagine, it’s hard to create a course that truly makes your journey as smooth as possible.

Why plenty of courses still fail

There are a ton of courses that don’t work for most people. Why?

Because they don’t take into account the fact that things don’t typically follow The Fantasy Progression.

And it’s tricky. Because everyone who approaches a course is different. Different people have:

  • different learning styles
  • different initial knowledge
  • different schedules and availability

So how do you account for all of those differences? I didn’t want my new course to be among all of those found in the failed Course Graveyard.

So I set out and did extensive research on learning styles and teaching techniques. I thought a lot about how to design a course to best help someone learn a brand new skill — how to help different people learn the same skills.

Here’s what I’ve come up with.

My approach

I want to be like your best teacher.

The one you remember so fondly from grade school:

“Man… Ms. B.’s class was the best.”

And not because you got to goof off in it; because you actually learned something.

You felt understood.


But Ms. B. still gave you all the steps to follow along the way. Because that’s super valuable. Again, when you don’t have to come up with your own plan, you just get to focus on the fun parts: learning an doing.

That’s what a good teacher does for you:

The Fantasy Progress vs. the (realistic) Good Teacher Path of learning a new skill

The Fantasy Progress vs. the (realistic) Good Teacher Path of learning a new skill

I’ve designed my new course with this all in mind

The course, From Idea To Launch, will help you build and launch a real web application based on your own idea, guiding you through the entire process.

And I’ll be actively building and releasing the course lessons along the way.

Yes, I already have outlines and plans for all of the lessons. But I’m leaving the finer details up in the air. Because it’s impossible for me to predict how you, and others, will use, and adapt along with, the materials and lessons.

Do you love the diagrams? Want more of them? Then I’ll prepare more diagrams for each lesson.

Want more exercises? Want more exercises of a certain type? I’ll prepare more exercises like that, then!

That’s what a good teacher does: adapts.

In doing it like this, I’m giving myself the ability to adapt. And as a result, we’ll end up with the best possible course, because it’ll be based on:

  1. a solid plan; while, all along the way, allowing me to
  2. factor in your feedback, and adapt the content, flow, and structure to fit how you’re actually using, and relating to, it.

And this, my friends, will prevent again Fantasy Progression Syndrome. Instead of basing our plans on some made up fantasy world, they’ll be cemented in reality — in what’s actually happening, how things are really going.

And we won’t just Plan, we’ll Do. And we’ll actively participate in the Doing. In this way, we’ll take big strides forward, together.

And we’ll make Ms. B. proud.

My new course, From Idea To Launch, is now open!

From Idea To Launch, my new video-based online course & community is now open. It teaches you how you build a complete Laravel web application, step by step, based on your own idea.

Read more about the course now.

Alex Coleman helps others learn to build web applications with Laravel. His articles and courses have helped over 10,000 developers level-up their PHP web development skills and learn to build and launch their own web applications to the world. If you enjoyed this article, then join his free newsletter.