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That's Become ID!

The Chief of Awesomeness Alexander Salas joins me to talk about his new program, Become ID, a budget friendly program which aims to provide guidance and assistance to folks who are trying to transition into instructional design. Alex shares a little bit about the conception of the program, what it entails, and how it differs from other courses that are offered through

He also takes some time to talk about his own journey in the field of instructional design and why sharing his knowledge is such a passion.

You can learn more about the Become ID program at


The following transcript was auto-generated and may contain typos or spelling errors.

Leslie Early 0:08

Okay, today I am super excited because I love these episodes because in this episode I get to actually be the fan and talk to somebody about something that I think it's awesome. So I have the chief of awesomeness here from Is it the chief of awesomeness or the chief of awesome?

Alexander Salas 0:26

Is the chief of awesomeness.

Leslie Early 0:28

Okay? The chief of awesomeness from elearning. Launch, the one and only Alexander Salas. Thank you for joining me, Alex.

Alexander Salas 0:36

Wow, this is fantastic. Lastly, I can't tell you how much how awesome this is for me because I first met you when you came through it during launch. And then I got to know your creativity. And then you surprise everybody with this podcast. So kudos to you.

Leslie Early 0:52

Thank you. Well, I'm taking you know, taking a note out of your book out of Cara North's book and I you know, I'm just trying to follow in the footsteps, you guys are doing great work. And if I can be as helpful to people as you have been, then my work is done here.

Alexander Salas 1:07

Hey, you lucky enough, you're following the right people. Cara is amazing. So definitely. And there are so many others out there. But it's also an interesting world today. So yeah, I definitely appreciate you doing this. Because you're now helping so many other folks as well that were in your position a few months ago.

Leslie Early 1:30

Exactly. And that's kind of leads us into why I asked or why. What I would like to talk about today, which is you have you have a lot of programs to help people who are trying to break into instructional design or learning experience to design but you have a new one out now called become ID. And I was wondering if you could kind of give a little intro into that or what that program is?

Alexander Salas 1:54

Yes, yes. Yes. So become ID is was inspired by the current environment because as you know, at the beginning of the year, I left corporate, I left a very comfortable corporate position and said, You know what, I've been wanting to do this whole dual mount business thing. So let me go ahead and do it. So I went and did that. And then only three weeks later, I figure out okay, now that I landed a big project, I always wanted to do an academy to help people out that needed to come in and give them the right steps. That was a larger launch. Now nine months later, we're looking at, okay, there's a lot of people that come through the Academy, but don't really join anything or going to things. And I started wondering, okay, is it price? Is it you know, is is money a limitation, and certainly is for a lot of people. So become ID is really more like, like anything else a labor of love. But it's it's really an effort to try to help is is $9 a month. And what we're doing is we created a Facebook group in combination with a course placeholder in elearning launch. So we do Saturday sessions, which are live is about two hours. And we have discussions and I share of course industry tips and how to get started to become an instructional designer, we find out is a coaching program. So we find out what people want to do, and then give them the best steps that will be effective and spending the less money as possible.

Leslie Early 3:40

Yeah, so that's a little different. So I've gone through a couple of your other courses. And I really, I've done a self paced one, the the intro to 361. And I've also done a couple of the cohorts now. And I really love I have to say I love the cohort format. I need that social interaction that social accountability. I mean, in your self paced, you still have have assignments. So there's that level of accountability. But I would like sometimes take weeks in between these assignments when I could have been pushing through it a little faster, but because there was no no social component to it. I was like, well, I'll just take as long as I want on this. And I really appreciate the the social aspect of it. So it sounds like you're kind of trying to get a little bit more of that like the community and group accountability involved and the coaching aspect more with becoming ID.

Alexander Salas 4:42

Yes, yes. And so it's an It was a very, as anything else, a beautiful thing, one of those things that you know, you find things because you weren't really looking for them. So I got to unveil this whole powerful mechanics of Facebook groups. In the Facebook group has a modalities colon social learning group, right? And I didn't know anything about that. And so I like what are you kidding me. So you can actually set up a social learning group and I can, in there pull resources, let's say like videos, PDFs and stuff like that. It makes them micro learning units. And so that has an accomplishment factor and a batch type of gamified approach where you can, if you complete it, you're getting credit, I can set up quizzes in there. So that will be part of the self development of people, right? Like I don't, you know, it's not making anybody do that, but it's there. And it's, it's a resource that is vetted by myself. And obviously, we have everybody that completed the enterprise ID program is there as a support person. And also, we have the we have you know, it's better by me, we have Betty in there buddy Diana wits, who she's doing courses of augmented reality. And we have Myra rolled on as well, who you can have access to like chat with, you know, as a mentor. So, yeah, it's a very, it's been revealing, it's been really inspiring in a way we have in the first week, which is now is where this is the first week we're talking here. For a second week, we have 29. Members,

Leslie Early 6:26

I want to back up a minute and go back to at the top of the episode, you were talking about how this is sort of a labor of love, this is all been a labor of love. So I don't know, if I really had a chance to talk to you about you know, I know you wanted to start an academy, it's something you've been thinking about. But this really, you seem to really have a passion for helping people develop these skills. So I don't know, if you want to talk a little bit more about that, or where that comes from? Or why you feel so strongly about that.

Alexander Salas 6:56

Yes, it's because so there are many motivators, I mean, when I was working full time, and I was not consulting, I was doing part time consulting, but we have to remember that we have an industry that is full of consultants, marketing, that does not necessarily have the best interests on for people. Right, it's settling, it's a selling tactic is a marketing tactic. We have a lot of diffusion in the industry, there are many concepts of throwing left and right, you know, so when it comes down to getting a job, if your dream is to get a job, with an employer in an enterprise environment, you have to know the basics. You have to know instructional design, basics, adult learning theories, all that stuff. And you can go get a degree, of course, but that's the long route. And that's going to cost you 40 to $50,000 today, and you can, you know, attend conferences, and that's fine. But again, we have a lot of people that also because of the pandemic, also. And you know, I can blame them, they're trying to make their money, they're trying to survive in a way. But we have folks that, you know, they have two years of experience doing this type, this type of work, and now they are going to be coaches for somebody else. And so, I get a lot of flack on this when I post on LinkedIn, but it's just the thing is like saying, okay, you're going to follow someone that's never worked in an enterprise environment. But that person is somehow going to coach you into working in enterprise environment. So that the fire that feels a little weird to me. So that's, so the labor of love pieces, I've always been helping people as much as I can. In the Academy, it was sort of a way to do it in mass quantity. Because I'm a systemic guy. I like I like systems approaches, right? So if I'm sitting here and I'm responding to your message on LinkedIn, I'm only helping you that information or that help is not going to anybody else. Nobody else can benefit from that. As opposed to if you come to one of my courses, or if you come to become ID program. Now, whatever feedback I'm giving you is feedback that anybody else can benefit from.

Leslie Early 9:31

Right? Yeah.

Alexander Salas 9:32

So there's a difference there. And you know, we're helping, you're helping, we're helping each other right. Somebody else may see the problem you're going through and identify with that and say, Oh, yeah, I got this resource or, or Alex told me about this. And then from there work, so yeah, that's that's the main.

Leslie Early 9:51

So how did you discover the Facebook? social learning because I had never heard of that. Like what how did you even come across that?

Alexander Salas 10:00

Well, pretty much like anything else that I'm taught was first known in the sphere of things. Because I love technology, right? So I was always I have the YouTube channel style learn. That's been already, what, six, seven years. And, you know, I was working on starlin stuff I was showing storyline, then I started venturing to many other tools. And for me, it was a double edged strategy. Like, yes, I'm creating this tutorials. There may be nobody watches, or some people watch. And then, but at the same instance, I'm developing my, my skills, because I'm learning about I have to learn about this app in order to be able to talk a little bit about it, right? So I have in my repertoire of things if you can, believe it or not, I probably have like 30 over over 30 skin 30 learning apps, that I can author it right. Yeah, I don't work with him every day. But, and jumping in there. If I need to, then it's something that is not going to be that hard. I think the main The story is, you know, the main driver in life. I think life is your life is your best teacher. Right? So we spend all this time trying to learn from life or trying to decipher, okay, what is life? What does life have for me, you know, what am I supposed to? What am I doing? You know, what, why am I here? What's my purpose, that type of stuff. And life will give you hints will give you opportunities. And you have to be ready for those opportunities. You have to pivot you have to respond. In my case, I, you know, I, I came from a poor family. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela 40 some years ago. And in an environment where you know, it, you, you think about being nine years old and worrying about somebody stealing your shoes, because you got to keep looking over your shoulder, you know, where you go type of thing. And so grown up in environments like that you're pretty active, you're, you're watching everything, your situational awareness there. And I think that helped, because I'm a US Navy veteran, and I'm a combat veteran. And obviously, I got training, but nothing trains you to be in a combat situation. And going through those emotions and going through that. So in the Navy, I learned many things. And in the Navy is where I started helping others, right, I started a I was really good at taking tests. So I started helping other troops or their partners, team members to study for their tests, because as part of their progression, it's part of the professional world. So out of that, you know, I, I went into, I found out about learning and development and wanting to that night, and that went to the route everybody, there are a lot of people well, not many people, let's say, back in those days went to which is I'm going to go get a master's degree. I did, I got a master's degree, I got another master's degree in leadership. So I know what the academic world is like. As a student, I apply for doctoral programs, and get a taste of what that is like. And so that's why I speak about the changes we need to make in academia. And there's nothing that gives you that ramp up. Right? There's nothing that gives you the ramp up from knowing nothing or doing nothing to be able to do exactly what employers are looking for. And so, at least in instructional design, there's not much and so that's why learning lunch came around. That's why I say okay, well, we need something like this, something that's that, yeah, self pay core self paced courses, but it's not based on a quiz. It's based on work samples, and I have to look at those work samples. And so when you create something and storyline, you're not creating just what you think you can create, but the functionality that I know, I'm betting for because people know me for working in storm.

And so, my life changed when I got laid off, like seven years ago. And so it was an interesting situation. I was a director of the first time being a director of learning systems or something. Making over six six figures you know, in my eyes, you know, the the route Mistakes of life, right? Like I made it. Right, right. I felt so great work. Getting up to work was amazing. is all in attitude right? You get up and you're like, life is awesome. I'm the best. Yeah, looking at the mirror like, yeah, I look awesome. My life is great. Yeah. Six months later, hey, we gotta let you go, oh, financial issues. Huh? Here's a two months severance. Good luck. Right? So what do you do? Well, life have prepared me on to that point. I've been in the military, I survived combat. I, you know, a bit, I grew up in impoverished areas. I lived in that insecurity state. There was actually I needed to do something. And I love technology. And I've been working, I've been tinkering with technology. So nothing, you got to remember this, none of the things that I learned that I teach through the Academy, except instructional design, per se, were achieved through a college program. And none of them were given to me by any course or anything like that. I learned all of that on my own. So I grabbed the free trial of the storyline, went to the community started building stuff. And you can track that in the learning challenges. You know, the first learning challenge of developers 58 number 50. Go look at that. And then go look at some others that as well. After that, you'll see a progression of my skills. And so it was work, it was hard work. I'd get too confident and comfortable with with the tool. And the reason why I started using starlin is because I was laid off. As because I went from making six figures to wondering what is going to be my next job. And I was I was living in St. Louis. We actually moved from Pittsburgh to St. Louis, with my family with three kids. You know, because of the job six months late anyone

Leslie Early 17:26

Stranded there?

Alexander Salas 17:27

Exactly. Right. So that's like, okay, I can't go back to I came before moving back to anywhere else. I only been two years here. I don't have anyone here, no friends, you know, anything like that? What am I gonna do? I'm gonna go get a job, but what job Am I gonna get? I can't get a job as a director again. So I, you know, for that I, I accepted that I needed to go back to an individual contributor role. And that individual contributor role was the first role I had as an instructional designer. And it required that I use store learn, no clue what Sterling was. Until that point, I only use captivate. But when I used to the first time, I was like, Oh, my God, this is so easy. So there we are.

Leslie Early 18:13

Yeah, and I think I mean, your your story happened several years ago, but I think it echoes a lot of what's happening right now for unfortunately, a lot of people are going through similar situations and looking for a way to get that practice. I mean, essentially, what I'm picking up from what you said is you had a lot of practice and you had the diligence and perseverance to do it on your own. I don't know if I would have been able to do that. But but that I'm that's why I'm thankful for your Academy. And I'm sure a lot of people feel the same ways because it does provide that sort of safe place to sort of focus and get that practice and, and make that pivot right now that a lot of people are trying to make so I think you're doing really, really awesome things. That's why you're on awesome ID

Alexander Salas 19:06

Yes, I had to. It was funny that I had to quit every job I had and create my own thing. So I can have the best title ever had.

Leslie Early 19:17

Yes, the cheese, the chief of awesomeness. Yeah. All right, Alex. Well, thank you again so much for joining me. It was very nice to hear a little bit more of your story and and sort of what motivates you and I hope everyone goes and checks out what you're offering because it's, it's very cool.

Alexander Salas 19:37

Yeah, thank you for this opportunity. Lastly, and, you know, a nothing but grateful to what you've done. And I think the biggest things that I'm getting from you is actually the growth that you're having yourself, the things that you're doing in how, how to think for myself that to even just think or imagine that I had something to do with it.

Leslie Early 20:02

Definitely did. You definitely do and will continue to do so. All right, well have a good rest of your day, Alex.

Alexander Salas 20:10

All right. Thank you so much. Bye bye

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