Jump-Start: Lesson 2

Lesson 2: How to know the exact product to build for your list

This is the second lesson of the Jump-Start Your Email List training series.

Today, I’m going to show you how to know the exact product to build for your list. You’ll also learn several mistakes most people make when they start building their list.

Let’s jump in!


When I was 20 years old I made a huge mistake and it destroyed my business.

Cliff Notes version…

I was engaged at 20 years old (wayyyy too young).

Then I called off the wedding six days before it was supposed to happen.

And I proceeded to flee the country to Africa for 2 months to avoid dealing with the fallout.

My business tanked because it relied on me doing everything.

Me making sales calls.
Me knocking on doors.
Me fulfilling the service.
Me staying motivated.

This was my business model:


I hated my business.

The reason?

I had lost sight of WHY I had started my business in the first place.

As a result, I made dumb decisions, got wayyyyy off course and suffered the embarrassment of being forced to close the doors.

Let me ask you a question…

Would you ever start building a house without a clear picture of what you wanted it to look like?

No. That would be dumb.

Yet the #1 mistake you are making is not clearly articulating WHAT you want to achieve and WHY you want to achieve it BEFORE you start.

But don’t worry. We’re going to fix that. 🙂

Two days ago, I gave you two action items:

Action Item #1: Write down your #1 goal.

Action Item #2: Clearly articulate your why.

The responses that some people sent in were really interesting.

Here is one of my favorites. (Click to zoom in.)

Pay attention to his WHY and look at his response when I followed up with him.


If you didn’t write down your WHAT and WHY yesterday, take 5 minutes and do that now.

Once you have them, fill out your worksheet.

We’ll wait on you.


How to reach your goal


Now you’re super-clear on what you want…


  • “More time to spend with my family and see the world while working on interesting projects”
  • “More freedom to do work that I enjoy”
  • “More money so my wife can quit her job and we can start our family”
  • “More control over my future (instead of my boss dictating it)”
  • “More income so my family can be debt-free”
  • “More freedom to travel the world, speaking and singing and inspiring women to understand their worth”

The big question now is how can you get there?

How can you achieve the goal that you’ve set?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received on reaching massive life-changing goals occurred on our journey to get out of debt.

When we got married, we collectively owed $82,000.

Car loans.
Student loans.
Ski boat.
Credit cards.

It was ridiculous.

I distinctly remember 2 years into our journey, one of our mentors telling us, “Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. Just don’t make a fatal mistake.”

The EXACT same thing is true in your business.

The reason you haven’t achieved your #1 goal yet is because it’s freaking hard to get there.

It’s going to take time. Sweat. Tears. And a lot of mistakes.

Your job is to avoid making a FATAL mistake.

So I’m going to show you 3 fatal mistakes that I’ve made and how to avoid them.

Note: 47 months after getting married, we paid off ALL of our debt and went on Dave Ramsey’s show to share our story.

Here is a recording if you want to listen.


Mistake #1: Making incredibly detailed plans

Most “experts” will teach you to build your business by mapping out a gigantic 75-page business plan, then executing each step of the plan.

This sounds nice and warm and cuddly. But’s it’s completely ignorant of the way business actually works.

I’ve fallen into this trap more times than I can count. Spending weeks (or even months) mapping out exactly what my business will look like, imagining my business 3 years from now and pontificating all of the products I will spin off.


As soon as I go out into the real world and try to execute my master plan, it falls apart immediately.

Instead of creating master plans, you need to focus on one thing:

Speed of execution.

How fast you go from idea to implementation is one of the top indicators that you’ll succeed.


Ideas are fragile. Two weeks from now you’re going to be much less excited about your idea than you are right now.

Capitalize on that excitement and build momentum by executing QUICKLY.

When you see the first seeds of your idea taking root, that will generate more momentum and give you the jump-start you need to stay focused and grow that idea into a business.

Mistake #2: Asking people what they THINK about your business idea

This is how it typically goes…

You have a brilliant business idea, like Uber for groceries (or whatever).

You go and tell your BFF about your new idea.

You ask them “Well, what do you THINK?”

They respond half-heartedly and you become dejected.


Then you lose motivation, your idea dies and it takes you months to recover.


What they THINK doesn’t matter.

The only question that matters is “Will they buy it?”

Instead of asking your friends what they think, do this…

Ask them to PayPal you money to pre-order the first version of your product (or service) at a discounted rate.

Once you get three people to do that…

Start making it!

Mistake #3: Trying to do everything by yourself


I would be happy moving off into a cabin in the woods, not talking to people and only emerging every three months for supplies.

I’m an introvert.

The problem with being an introvert AND trying to start a business is that you think you can do everything by yourself.

Reading blog posts…
Listening to podcasts…
Reverse-engineering what other people are doing…

That stuff will only take you so far.

You need more.

You need accountability and direction from someone who has been where you are trying to go.


When we were trying to get out of debt, that person was Dave Ramsey (for advice) and our friends Mike and Angie (for accountability).

Who is helping you?

Who is holding you accountable?

If your answer is “no one,” then stop and go get someone right now.

Get a mastermind group. Start one if you need to.

Hire a coach. Get a mentor.

It’s VITAL to you reaching your goal.

Avoid fatal mistakes and do this instead

Most people believe they have to get lucky or spend years trying a bunch of different ideas in order to start a business that allows them to have more time, freedom and money.

Instead, I’ve discovered that building a list full of people who trust you and are eager to buy from you is far more important if you want to reach your #1 goal.

A list gives you the ability to bring clients to you instead of you constantly having to reach out them (which completely changes the dynamic of your relationship).

A list gives you the freedom to create products and launch them to a group of people who will instantly buy.

A list gives you the ability generate income by sending an email. (I’ve made $10,000 with a single email.)

A list gives you time by releasing you from the grind of HAVING to work 60 hours a week to make ends meet.

Your action items for today are…

Action Item #1: Write your goal down on a piece of paper (from the last lesson).

Action Item #2: Now rip that piece of paper out of your notebook and tape it to the wall in front of your computer monitor.

Action Item #3: Then complete the interactive worksheet here.

Your goal should be your guidepost.

Every time you spend 10 minutes on Twitter…

Every time you waste 2 hours on Facebook…

Every time you listen to another podcast or read another blog post…

Your goal will be staring you in the face and asking you, “Why aren’t you spending time working on me instead of doing whatever else you’re doing?”

The final product should look like this…


In the next lesson I’m going to show you how to start building your list by using the Testimonial Hack. This strategy can get you featured to thousands of potential subscribers and single-handedly jump start your list.

Chat soon.

Here’s a recap of our training so far:

Lesson 1 – The very first step to building your list
Lesson 2 – How to know the exact product to build for your list
Lesson 3 – Behind the scenes of a $32,000 per month email list
Lesson 4 – How to get featured to 750,000 readers
Lesson 5 – Two examples of how to use the Testimonial Hack strategy
Lesson 6 – The exact technology stack you need to use to jumpstart your list growth