I began this post by staring at a blank page with the flashing cursor mocking me as I argued with myself about the topic of Chalk & Tablet's first blog post. Some information that conveys our thought process as eLearning designers? Maybe a brief literature review of current best practices in online education? How about some commentary on the use of online courses for marketing and outreach purposes? Normally I would jump at the chance to chat about these topics, but none of them seemed right. How do you reach out and shake the hand of readers and potential customers with a blog post? How do you paint a picture of who you are as a company with words?
After grappling with this dilemma for a while, I left my computer for some family time. I painted a horse with my 4-year-old daughter. I enjoyed dinner and a glass of wine with my husband. And that's when it hit me - our first blog post needed to be about motivation. The source of our decisions to persevere and give our best despite obstacles. The spark that reveals our true reflection. Sharing my motivations won't reveal Chalk & Tablet's complete reflection, but consider this the kickoff to an ongoing conversation.
A few months ago, I resigned from a leadership position at Clemson University so I could put 100% into Chalk & Tablet. My husband and I also decided to abandon plans to build a home and, instead, bought a home that would allow us to take this leap. As you might expect, my friends and family had mixed reactions about this decision. While some applauded me with full confidence in my ability to succeed, the majority of those closest to me were greatly concerned and believed I was making a mistake. If I'm honest, I would probably react with concern if it were my daughter (I may need to reread this post in about 20 years).
Despite the skepticism, my motivations pushed away doubt when it began to creep in (and, of course, it often did/does).
Personally, my motivation stems from my husband, who upon hearing my crazy suggestion to abandon our house plans so I could start a company, silently meandered to the kitchen and promptly returned with a bottle of champagne. That was that. And my daughter - I explode with motivation when I think about the possibility that she may see through this journey that it's possible to have it all if you work hard and believe in yourself.
Professionally, my motivation stems from the support of my Clemson colleagues and from the knowledge that I had grown all I could in my role at Clemson. What is a job if not an opportunity for continuous growth and learning? The experience and expertise I gained during my time at Clemson is priceless. I left with confidence in my craft, a desire to learn and improve, and a passion to discover the true potential of online learning in today's high-tech world.
I say all of this in hopes of giving you a quick glance at the foundation of Chalk & Tablet: a motivated team. Our motivation directly impacts the products we create for you. You may be passionate about the course you hire us to create, or apathetic and only moving forward to meet a requirement. You may decide to work closely with us throughout the development process or step back and let us do all the heavy lifting. Whatever the case may be, you can count on our motivation and expertise to drive the development of a top-notch product that will:
Offer your audience a personalized, engaging learning experience,
Help you achieve (or surpass) your goals and objectives, and
Make you and your organization look good!
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