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

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Welcome! So, about me and The Rise To The Top in a nutshell: I actually started The Rise To The Top wayyyyyy back in 2008 with a podcast and web show where I would interview successful entrepreneurs.

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 10.46.40 AMYes, this is me in 2008. LOL. Enjoy that Justin Bieber hair and oversized silver tie. Sigh….

Anyway, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing (starting from complete scratch with no fans, no biz connections…and an email list with 3 subscribers…me, my mom and my dad) and spent years trying to “figure it all out.”

And I struggled for years.

Until, by total accident, I discovered the wonderful world of online courses.

I interviewed a few successful online course creators (Melanie Duncan, Marie Forleo, Ryan Lee & James Wedmore to name a few…who have all become good friends over the years) and was immediately HOOKED.


  1. They had incredibly successful businesses generating tons of revenue (yay for revenue).
  2. They were helping people get results. At the end of the day that’s what all successful online course creators have in common: They want to help their customers get results.
  3. They had incredible freedom-based lifestyles. I interviewed many other successful entrepreneurs in other industries who were “successful” in terms of revenue…but their entire lives were about business and they had no time for anything else (one even told me he didn’t ever have time to go to the bathroom). What’s the fun in that? A business centered around online courses allows for the ultimate freedom and flexibility. YOU get the make the rules. And successful course creators come in all shapes and sizes but one thing in common: they get to live their lives and run their businesses on their terms.

Immediately I was hooked.

I wanted to be a successful course creator too.

So, like a crazy person…I obsessed.

I conducted 100’s of interviews with successful course creators, thousands of hours of research and countless conversions.

I tapped into their secrets and methods.

Took the best of what I learned and implemented, tweaked , tested and put my own spin on it.

Sort of like a mad scientist (of online courses).

Finally it was time to launch my very first online course: Create Awesome Interviews ($495).

CAI, as the cool kids call it, is all about teaching folks how to do online interviews and was based on my 500+ interviews I did on my podcast (I built up quite the knowledge base on how to conduct and successfully market online interviews as you can imagine!)

My first course did $19,800 in revenue during the first launch and I was OVER the moon. I couldn’t believe it. I was so freaking excited as people were paying to learn from me and getting great results (creating their own interview shows).

Now that course has generated over $250,000 in revenue.

Recent courses $250,000-$1,000,000+

Going into 2014 hit over $1,000,000 in sales in a 24 month period.

Going into 2015, hit over $1,300,000 in sales in 12 month period.

Now it is well over 2.5 million a year (and over 6 million total).

Why am I sharing this with you? Is it to tell you how amazing I am so I can give a little bow? Yes.

Just kidding.

I’m sharing this with you for inspiration as to what is possible (I’m not saying you are going to make 6 million dollars but it all starts with that first sale).

Did I make plenty of mistakes along the way? You bet! It wasn’t all rainbows, fuzzy kittens and huge. BUT…

It’s all about BABY STEPS and having a STEP-BY-STEP system to teach you exactly how to be successful with online courses.

My entire business (heck life) changed as a result of creating my own online course. And trust me as much as I wish I did, I don’t have any superpower (I’m not even good with technology…I forget my WIFI password about once a week).

It’s just about knowing what to do.

Fast forward (and this is where things get even crazier):

I went from 0-7 figures in course sales BEFORE I started teaching about online courses (very important to point that out).

And instead of being tied to a computer or doing 1-on-1 work all day, online courses allowed me to create freedom to do whatever the heck I want (errr as long as my wife lets me) whether it is CrossFit in the middle of the day for two hours or taking over-the-top trips (ask me about our anniversary trip to Vegas it was crazy).

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And several years ago was able to hire my dad full time. If you talk to him make sure to tell him hi and call him Dad. He loves that.

But the thing I’m most proud of (besides hiring my dad) is my thousands of successful students and happy customers all over the world who have created courses on every topic imaginable from sleep training for babies to clarinet lessons for adults. Not to mention fitness, business, cooking, baseball, snowboarding, teachers….and even Equestrian Tai Chi (yes, seriously!) and hundreds more.

I’m far more proud of this than my own results…this is really why I do what I do!



“David’s Programs, videos , emails & SUPPORT made it possible to LEARN as I went! I went from having almost no business to making $2000 a month the first 6 months to now easily making $6,000 to 8,000 month.”
Debbie Saviano, DebbieSaviano.com

“573% increase in sales from implementing David’s advice. Enough said.”
Rob Murgatroyd, Jet Set Life

“David’s advice and tips helped me DOUBLE my sales and build up my email list!”
Michael Kory, Michael Kory Fitness

And that’s the story in a quick nutshell. Pumped to have you here.

– david siteman garland