Know why I don’t play the lottery?
Because I thoroughly and firmly believe there’s a better way to make 10 million dollars, and the odds of winning the lottery are, when rounding errors are accounted for, effectively ZERO. (Daniel Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness” notes that, if instead of putting lottery winners on TV for 30 seconds, we put all the lottery losers on, you’d need 9 years of 24 hour per day television to get through just one drawing)
Below you’ll find a guest post from one of my more successful coaching students (Ryan), who’s used my process from scratch to build a $250K business. He’s also about to launch his SECOND business after coaching directly with me since the beginning of this year , which I anticipate will be much, much larger. (Disclaimer: please see the Full Testimonial and Results Disclosure on GlennCoach.com for typical results)
So Ryan’s a true success story.
And Ryan’s also got a very unique, realistic, and contagious perspective on business which I think you should all pay very, very, VERY careful attention to, because in all the years I’ve been teaching, I have to say that THIS is what separates the successful from those who merely try for a while and fail.
Now, the post’s admittedly a little long, but I must point out there are several gems within it which could, in and of themselves, very well bump your business to the next level, even, and perhaps especially if you’re feeling stuck, or having trouble breaking through to profitability, or moving to the next level.
Ask yourself, before you read it, if Glenn’s EVER let anyone post as a guest previously on his blog. Your answer should be a resounding NO. (That’s 201 posts, and not one guest)
Which means this guy truly’s got something special, worth paying attention to, worth taking notes about, and worth implementing in your business.
Your first impression may be that you “already know” what he’s talking about…
Please read it anyway…
Because the key point is deceptive unless you do.
And remember, the thing which keeps most of us from breaking through to the next level is just a case of the “already knows”.
Zen mind is a beginner’s mind.
Here we go…
———– Guest Post from Ryan Follows ———-
I’ve been a student and customer of Glenn’s for the past 3 years, and after we had the opportunity to get together for dinner recently, Glenn asked if I might share a few marketing insights with his audience from the perspective of a “real person” who has actually implemented his systems successfully.
After he twisted my arm, I (gladly) agreed to write a few guest posts for his blog 🙂
First, a quick background on who I am:
My name is Ryan, and in 2008, I launched my first internet business, in an obscure niche market (that has NOTHING to do with how to make money) using the original “How to Double Your Business” system — the pre-cursor to the current Hyper-Responsive Club.
I had no previous experience in internet marketing – or even as an entrepreneur.
Within 18 months, I was making $25,000 a month from that business. And today, my wife and I run that business out of our home along with 2 other internet businesses we’ve started building since then.
And here’s the thing:
I’m just a regular guy.
Just a regular guy who kept the dream alive, executed the process from start to finish, and who now has a passive-income business that provides a comfortable lifestyle for my family — AND allows me to give a little something back at the end of the day.
Don’t get me wrong – We’re not wearing diamond encrusted Rolexes or driving $95,000 Maseratis…
But I DO get to work from home and set my own hours. There’s no boss or rush hour traffic to deal with. I have the freedom to go for a run or take a nap in the middle of the day if I need a break. And we regularly take days off (on our own terms) to travel or spend time with friends and family who visit from out of town.
And like many people, I used to be a wage slave doing the Fortune 500 Dilbert Cube thing — tethered to the Blackberry 24/7, grinding out 2-3 hour daily commutes, and hopping on a plane every other week.
So I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
What I’m hoping to do in this series of posts is provide a few insights that have had a strong impact on my own thinking as an entrepreneur, and which I think YOU might be able benefit from yourself as you implement the hyper-responsive process in your own business.
So without further delay, let’s dive right in 🙂
LESSON #1 (Part 1): The (True) Power of Kaizen
I’ve got a quote by Mark Twain scribbled on the white board in my office that says the following:
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started. And the secret to getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”
Or to put it another way, the secret to getting ahead — is Kaizen.
Since it’s widely talked about in internet marketing circles these days, you probably know that Kaizen is a a concept adopted from the Japanese auto manufacturing industry that translated means continuous improvement through tiny, incremental steps.
John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach (and one of the most successful college basketball coaches of all time) who recently passed away at age 99 put it like this:
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.”
The advice is simple enough, and fairly intuitive, right?
Seek out opportunities to make small improvements, and work toward achieving those small improvements every single day.
So how exactly does one go from earning $0 online to earning $25,000 every month within 18 months?
I know this isn’t going to sound sexy, but the answer is this: $500 at a time.
Let me explain:
I first started making major progress in my business when I stopped thinking big, and started thinking small.
Initially, when I was first getting started as an entrepreneur I had a tendency to set ambitious goals like making $100,000 within the next 6 months — I’d look myself in the mirror every morning, do the whole visualization thing, carry around the piece of paper with my goal etc.
But instead of making progress, I found myself just spinning my wheels.
So I switched gears.
And eventually I discovered a strategy that changed everything for me.
Instead of setting large (and somewhat arbitrary) goals, every month I focused on asking myself the smallest of questions.
What’s one thing I can I do in my business will make me an extra $500 this month?
Or, what’s one thing I can I do that will generate 1 additional sale per day?
These small numbers were the sort of thing I could get my head around.
This was the shift in thinking that freed up my mind to “seek the small improvements, one day at a time..” And it also happens to be what enabled me to start making real, significant progress in my business.
Let me illustrate with a few concrete examples:
When I first launched the business, after I conducted and analyzed my survey and finished up the market research process, I created and started selling our information product in the form of an e-book.
Within a month, I was selling about 60 units per month — or 2 sales a day. And after some modest growth, sales plateaued at that level for the next few months.
So I asked myself a small question: What can I do that will generate just 1 extra sale per day per month?
At the time I knew based on emails we were getting from interested buyers — particularly among the 50+ demographic — that the market wanted a physical book.
I really wanted to sell digital products only — which avoided the whole fulfillment issue, but there was clearly strong demand. So I decided to suck it up, and start offering a physical book, in addition to the e-book, with the target of generating 1 extra sale per day.
Instead of generating 1 extra sale per day, we TRIPLED our sales — almost overnight.
It was something I did NOT anticipate.
But the problem was that we knew nothing about shipping a physical product, and we were shipping all our books USPS priority mail at a cost of $4.80 per unit at the time (Not to mention writing out every address by hand!…)
To ship our books, we’d go to the post office after business hours (when there were no lines and the counters were closed) to use their postage printing machine, which was accessible in the lobby 24 hours a day.
(Going to our post office DURING business hours with a crate full of books to ship was a miserable experience — and usually meant at least 45 minutes of waiting in line, plus a lecture from the cranky counter clerk who did NOT appreciate our business…)
The after hours approach worked well enough when we were just getting started, but by the time we’d grown to fulfill an average of 250 orders per month, this really wasn’t feasible anymore.
So we started looking into “print from home” label & postage printing solutions — And since we could afford to invest in a printer and shipping labels at this point, we now had the option of shipping using Media Mail rates at the cost of $2.54 per unit.
When we made the switch from Priority Mail to Media Mail we picked up an additional $2.26 in profit per unit sold – which at the time (when we were selling 250 units/month), put an additional $565 per month directly in our pockets.
Nice, but not really something to write home about, right?
Well fast forward to today, and now that we’re selling in excess of 900 orders per month – that one little $500 per month improvement is putting an additional $24,408 in our pockets this year.
As John Wooden might say: “When you improve a little every day, eventually a big gain is made. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made…”
I’ll give you another example.
After the initial front-end product started selling well, we started developing a few back-end products. First, we had the physical book made into an audio book on 4 CDs. Then, we created a complimentary e-book on a related topic – and we started upselling those using a sequential “1-click upsell” process.
After about 2 months worth of testing and tweaking the sales copy, pricing, and determining which sequence performed best, I was able to increase the upsell rate from 6% to 21% — which translated into an additional $1.75 in profit per order.
Again, nice but nothing to get really excited about, right?
Well, now that we’re doing 900 orders per month – that $1.75 increase in profit per order puts an extra $18,900 directly in our pockets per year.
Those are just 2 examples. But there are another two dozen examples just like that — some small, and some big…
And THAT’S the secret to going from earning $0 online to earning $25,000 every month in 18 months. There’s no one improvement that will get you there. It’s the sum total of all the small things. It’s the relentless, methodical attention to incremental improvement across everything in your business.
In a word – Kaizen.
But that’s not the whole story. There’s a WHOLE other side to why Kaizen is so powerful — and it’s something you can use to propel yourself and your business EVEN further.
And this is where things get REALLY exciting, because here’s the thing:
NOBODY is talking about this. And it’s also something that few (if any) marketers truly understand.
It’s something that I’ll be covering in the NEXT post in this mini-series.
Until next time — to your continued success 🙂
GLENN SAYS: Ryan will post again with the continuation of this series shortly. In the meantime, I’d love to have your questions and comments below, which I’ll pass along to him to consider addressing going forward.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m working on a deal with Ryan to provide a number of people with Hyper-Responsive Process Coaching at a little more than HALF my personal rates, and I should be able to open this up next week. It’s likely to include some PHONE time too, so you can really get the hand holding you need. If you’re interested, please get on the priority notification list at the bottom of my coaching letter… even though he’s not listed there yet, you’ll still get the first shot at the discount coaching slots when they open)