How do you convince your wife to let you quit your job?
Let’s examine the options:
- Option A: Show her the late-night infomercial you are CONVINCED will change your life.
- Option B: Don’t tell her you are quitting. Just quit. Deal with the fallout later.
- Option C: What wife?
All of these options suck. That’s why I invented and successfully implemented Option D.
2014 was my first full year in business after quitting my job and starting this blog. It was an incredible year.
No stupid bosses.
No commuting to work everyday.
No long nights in hotels away from home….
…and I made more money than I’ve ever made.
But before I could do any of that I had to convince my wife to let me quit my job.
Option D: How to convince your wife to let you quit your job
Option D is how I convinced my wife.
It’s a long play. But it works incredibly well.
Here are the details:
Step 1: Don’t quit your job.
Step 2: Don’t talk about quitting your job.
Step 3: Start a side business and make $1,000 in the next 14 days.
Step 4: Over the next 6 months, share with her several “Year in Review” articles written by people JUST LIKE YOU crushing it in their online business. (example).
There is a stereotype that only 21-year-old sleazebags who peddle porn and gambling make it online.
So, if you want to quit your job and start an online business, you have to escape that stereotype.
Fortunately, there are people like Brennan Dunn, Nathan Barry, Caleb Wojcik and James Clear who openly share their successes, failures and income for everyone to learn from.
These are normal dudes.
They are relatable and allow you to easily kill the 21-year-old sleazebag stereotype.
In the summer of 2013, I started sharing these stories with my wife to introduce her to the idea that a different type of life was possible. And not just possible, but that other people like us were doing it.
Now, I want to do the same thing for you.
I’m going to share with you all of the highlights and lowlights from Videofruit for 2014.
The whole deal.
Use this for motivation for yourself. Use it to help convince your wife to let you quit your job.
What Went Well
1. Videofruit Platform Growth
Seeing the Videofruit platform grow has been one of the biggest joys of my career.
It’s wild to see something that started off as a passing thought grow and influence thousands of people.
Here are a few interesting numbers from the past year:
Total Unique Website Visitors:
Total Email Subscribers:
Total Number of Blog Posts:
Total Number of Words Written:
Note: Check out this post to learn how to count your total words written last year.
And a few other random things…
- 4 of the top 8 refers (accounting for 12,847 unique sessions) were from guest posts. Guess what I’ll be doing more of in ’15?
- Facebook sent 4,270 and Twitter sent 3,963 people to the blog. But Twitter sent 500 more UNIQUE people.
- Most popular post has 8,509 unique visitors and 1,115 email subscribers, for 13.10% conversion rate.
- 4.8% net conversion rate last year. 84,000 unique visitors and 12,510 new email subscribers.
2. List Building
When you only have one goal, writing your year-end review is pretty straightforward.
My only goal for 2014 was to get 10,000 email subscribers.
And on October 11th…I hit it.
This was an interesting journey.
14 months ago I had no idea that an email list was important, much less that it would be my singular focus for an entire year.
However, after studying countless other successful online businesses, one theme came up over and over again.
They regretted not building an email list sooner.
Jon Acuff told me this: “(Not building an email list is) the biggest social media mistake I’ve ever made. Email matters.”
In total, I experimented with 18 different strategies to build my list.
Four of them accounted for over 80% of my 10,000 subscribers.
Here are four of the best strategies I used:
1. Expanded Guest Post: Guest posting the traditional way is a massive waste of time. The Expanded Guest Post routinely brought in 300+ new subscribers from each article.
2. Content Upgrades: By using content upgrades on 40% of my blog posts, my site-wide conversion rate beat the industry average by 500x. This allowed me to turn 14% of everyone who saw my website in 2014 into an email subscriber.
3. Giveaway: This produced the single biggest leap in my email list, with more than 2,000 subscribers in a 10-day period.
4. Hopkins Formula: One of the more controversial strategies I used this year. But it produced 800 new email subscribers and over $5,000 in sales.
Growing an email list has made being an entrepreneur SOOOO much easier.
It’s like a fast pass for business.
Here are eight additional benefits I’ve experienced since growing my list:
- Quickly validating new product ideas
- Instantly getting thousands of readers for anything I write
- Teaching 10s of thousands of people the marketing formulas that I learn
- Personally coaching 25 people on rapidly growing their businesses
- Selling out my coaching program in 2 hours
- Selling out access to The Vault in 4 days
- Gaining the respect and attention of people I’ve looked up to for years
- Speaking opportunities at multiple conferences
In March I was listening to an episode of Mixergy when Stu McLaren and Andrew Warner started discussing membership sites.
By the end of the interview, I knew I should start a membership site.
Only I didn’t want to go through all of the effort of creating the product before I validated that you guys would actually want that.
So, I decided a quick way to validate that model would be by offering a coaching program. After all, if you were willing to pay multiple $100s of dollars every month for personal coaching, surely you would pay $25 per month for a membership site.
A few days later I launched the program by sending one email to my mailing list.
2 hours later it sold out.
I only accepted 5 clients in the first batch. This was the test round.
Before I went all in on coaching I wanted to know if I would enjoy it.
Would I be good at it?
Would it be helpful to my clients?
Could I actually help them grow their business?
Could I make good money doing it?
Now, 8 months later, I’ve conducted over 150 coaching calls with 35 different Videofruit readers and it’s been a blast.
Was it helpful?
Multiple coaching clients have seen significant growth in their businesses since working with me.
Next week I’ll be featuring one of my best students right here on the blog. He went from making $2,000 a month at a failing start-up to over $10,000 in recurring monthly revenue in 3 months.
It’s an incredible story. I’m honored to have played a small part in it.
The coaching program has been helpful for me as well on two fronts:
- It helped me understand my target readers even more. There is nothing like talking to your readers for 10 hours over the course of a year to get a deep understanding of their fears, concerns and desires.
- It helped my become a better teacher. It was quite interesting to see people from COMPLETELY different industries struggling with the exact same problems. Whether I was talking with a Jewish rabbi or a tarot card reader, I found that they faced the exact same issues. By helping them solve these real life issues, in an industry so completely different than mine, I became a better teacher.
Did I enjoy it?
Honestly, I had no idea If I’d enjoy it or not.
But it’s been a blast.
A few caveats here…
When I first started the program, it cost $100 per month.
This was a bad idea as it attracted a lot of tire kickers. Some of my best clients came at this price point but MANY others came with no intention to stick around or actually execute the action items discussed in our calls.
THAT was no fun.
However, once I raised the price to $500 per month, the type of person I started attracting completely changed.
Instead of attracting people who had no business, no idea of a direction and no execution skills, people with legit businesses starting signing up.
These people were FUN to work with.
Even those in the beginning stages who paid $500 were different types of people.
They showed up on time. Had always completed their homework. And they were quality people.
Could I make good money doing it?
My primary motivation with Videofruit is not to make money.
I do talk about it from time to time, because at the end of the day, it is important.
So let’s talk cash.
Like I said above, when the program first started it had 15 members at $100 each.
Subtracting all of my overhead and time, each client generates $50 per hour in revenue.
Over the course of 6 months I raised my price multiple times…
$100 per month
$150 per month
$175 per month
$350 per month
And finally settled on $500 per month as my entry-level offering.
Currently I have 10 clients @ the $500 price point and 5 other clients spread out between the other price points.
Total recurring revenue from the coaching program is $6,500 per month.
The coaching program allows me to spend one hour a day helping my readers one on one grow their businesses while spending the other 8 hours a day working on new products, improving old products and generating free content.
I love this arrangement and plan to keep this model through 2015 and into 2016.
4. Product Launches
I had one OFFICIAL product launch in 2014. (The coaching program launch and the Hopkins formula could technically be counted as launches as well, if you wanted.)
In September I launched The Vault.
It is a yearly membership site that gave access to the contractors list, workflows, templates and swipe files that I’ve used to grow Videofruit.
Because it was the first product I had sold since building my list, I had no idea what type of response to expect.
Would it flop?
Would people actually want it?
So, I followed a 3-step validation process to do everything I knew to make sure I was creating something people actually wanted.
That resulted in $10,000 in sales in the first 24 hours and a complete sell-out within 4 days.
Stacy and I did more traveling in 2014 than ever before.
I’ve taken multiple long-term international trips over the years, but I’ve never done so much consistent traveling over the course of a year.
It was a lot of fun.
I would have never been able to go to the places we went and spend so much time away from work with my old job.
Here is a rundown of our destinations:
- Los Angeles for the first time
- San Diego for the first time
- BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl (War Eagle!)
- Ski trip to Snowshoe West Virginia with close friends
- Austin, TX for the Monthly1k Members Day (watch my talk)
- Cincinnati, OH with close friends
- Tampa, FL with guy friends for my first MLB game and Berns Steakhouse
- Back to Austin, TX again for some co-working with Noah
- Costa Rica for 10 days. Just me and the wife. Great trip!
- New York City. Surprise 30th Birthday trip for my wife
Early last year, the dad of one of our closest friends died. At the funeral her mom got up and gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard.
One thing she said was, “Take time to build lasting memories with your spouse. Big houses, expensive cars and all that stuff don’t build memories. Take vacations. Go to cool places. AND TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES so you can remember those times. You never know when they might abruptly end.”
That has stuck with me. So we took a lot of pictures.
Here are 6 of my favorites…
What didn’t go well
That’s all the good stuff.
We’re all experts at talking about what went right.
But what went wrong?
At the beginning of the year, I thought SEO was nebulous, ridiculous thing to even try to focus on.
That was dumb.
There are plenty of weirdos and black hat techniques out there that make SEO a moving target.
However, at the end of the day there are a few fundamentals I should have been doing. As a result, I’ve thrown away a ton of traffic.
Currently only 2% of my gross traffic comes through search engines.
That’s ridiculously low.
Think of it this way…
Every blog article I have written is a salesman with a unique sales pitch.
If I spend 10 minutes on each of those articles to make that sales pitch MATCH what potential customers are looking for, the salesman immediately becomes more effective.
I have not done that.
I’ve just blurted out a bunch of stuff, not taking 5 minutes to figure out if that message matches what people are actually looking for.
Everything I’ve learned about SEO has come from my good friend Brian Dean. I HIGHLY recommend you subscribe to his blog and read these 3 posts on SEO. They have completely changed my thinking on the subject.
Also, get on the waiting list for his course SEO That Works. It is by far the best SEO course that exists.
I am disappointed by my website traffic.
The beginning of the year it grew very rapidly but then leveled off. And I’m not exactly sure why.
Traffic isn’t a metric I track closely or make goals around but it is a good barometer of overall platform growth.
3. Letting People Down
I hate letting people down. And I did way too much of that last year.
One thing I discovered about myself is that I’m good at selling services but bad at implementing them. In all of my previous jobs, I was a salesman, not a fulfiller. I would go out, find prospects, meet them, figure out their needs and then sell a product that fit that need.
But the problem is…a bunch of other stuff happens after the sale. And now as a business owner I have to take care of EVERYTHING.
From January to August, one of my main income generators was service-based business.
I have an ongoing monthly contract with KISSmetrics to create videos for them.
However, as the year wore on and my platform grew, I found it increasingly harder to stop doing Videofruit work and start working on someone else’s business. I’m not really sure why.
It’s good money.
It’s interesting work.
Maybe it felt like a job? I dunno.
Whatever the rate, after missing multiple deadlines without any good reason I determined that I didn’t need to be doing service work anymore.
So I quit doing services.
What’s Coming in 2015
I’ve taken a fresh approach to goal setting in the past 6 months and I’m carrying that into this year.
Instead of having a litany of goals for the year, I’ve simplified.
I’ve picked one big thing and three medium things that I want to accomplish this year.
Here is my list:
Here is the secret to accomplishing these goals. I don’t focus on them.
Rather, I break them into quarterly goals and focus on that instead.
For me, it’s incredibly hard to visualize December 2015. That’s a long way away. But March. That’s doable.
So I’ve broken down and prioritized each of these into quarterly goals. That’s all I think about and focus on.
At the end of Quarter 1 I’ll pick my head back up, see where I’m at and adjust accordingly.
What you need to do next
So, what’s the next step?
How can you make 2015 better than 2014?
Step 1: Download 8 of the most motivating “Year in Review” posts I’ve ever read
Step 2: Commit to making $1,000 in the next 14 days.
Step 3: Email this article to your wife on day 15.
PS: What is the #1 thing standing in the way of living the life you want to live?