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Want More Traffic to Your Website? Learn The “Secret” To More Traffic

Most people overcomplicate getting traffic to their business.

There is a “secret” to getting a lot more traffic to your site. It follows a similar process to how professional sports teams win championships.

Sitting by a pool in Las Vegas, sportswriter Bill Simmons was NBA Hall of Famer & two-time champion Isiah Thomas….

….and Isiah revealed the “secret of basketball” to Bill.

The craziest part?

The secret is that it has nothing to do with basketball.

It has to do with 5 guys working together unselfishly. It has to do with relentless focus on the fundamentals.

It’s about a system that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The secret of traffic is similar to the secret of basketball.

The secret to getting tons of traffic has nothing to do with traffic.

The Secret to More Traffic (AKA “The World’s Most Consistent Salesman”)

Have you ever read The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes or The E Myth by Michael Gerber?

Both books stress systems, machines, and processes for business. They show you how sales can be a precise process. Your salesman will take prospects through the exact same steps every time.

(Note:If you’re doing personalization in your marketing, then your website will show different messages to visitors based on how they came to the site & the device they’re using to visit you.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll say your salesman (AKA your website) will always show every prospect (AKA site visitor) the same thing.

Want higher conversion rates on your website? One of my best prescriptions is to start adding more personalization to your website.

End Note)

Suppose you had that kind of salesman: the most consistent salesman in the world. He says, does, & performs the exact same presentation every time.

This salesman closes 2 out of 100 leads that he speaks with. After looking at his precise, consistent process – – you believe he could do better.

With a few tweaks and changes, he could close 4 out of 100.

What makes more sense:

1)     Do nothing. Allow your consistent salesman  to keep closing 2 leads out of 100.

Or,

2)   Install the change(s).  And then commit to regularly working to help equip your salesman to be more effective. That means dedicating at least 35% of your paid traffic budget towards conversion optimization. It will pay for itself very quickly & powerfully.

Oh, and your salesman loves company so be sure you continue sending him more prospects to get to meet & serve.

Here’s the thing. You already have the most consistent salesman in the world:  Your website.

Visitors (aka leads) see the exact same things. They follow the same conversion paths/funnels every time they visit.

Look at your data.

What is your salesman’s closing rate (aka conversion rate)?

Has it been pretty consistent over time?

(Not including before/after significant site changes or during seasonal holiday/sales boosts)

So what does this have to do with the secret to traffic? Everything.

You Don’t Have a Traffic Problem, You Have a Conversion & Economics Problem

Let’s say you’ve got a product or service that you sell for $100. And that is all your business produces. Once someone buys it once, that is everything they’re able to buy from you.

Your economics is thus stuck at $100 per buyer.

Let’s say you can buy traffic for $1 per visitor to your site. You would need 1 out of 100 people to buy your $100 product or service to break even.

A 1% conversion rate is the tipping point of profitability (on ad spend at least).

What happens when many people create a new ad campaign, only 1 out of every 200 people buy? With a 0.50% conversion rate, we’d lose money with each click we buy.

Which means there are two levers we can pull to become profitable:

1)     Improve the conversion rate to at least 1%

2)   Create new, valuable products & services to now earn $200 per buyer

Traffic is not your problem here.

Getting more Traffic will never improve the Conversion or the Economics sides of your equation.

Traffic is a Commodity. Conversion and Economics are Assets

Even if you get 10,000 visitors today, you have to start anew from zero tomorrow. Same if you get 20,000,000 visitors today.

When a visitor comes, one of two things will happen: either he will convert or he won’t convert. If he converts, great. If not, then the visitor adds to your analytics count for the day but doesn’t produce any tangible or lasting value after the visit is “consumed”.

And that last sentence sounds a lot like the definition of a commodity.

If you’re #1 in organic Google results for your keywords, then that is an asset. A powerful asset that reliably brings you traffic every day. 

Don’t get complacent though….

As we’ll discuss later in the book, it’s an asset that can easily be taken away from you. Especially if you have a competitor that out-converts you.

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Conversion, on the other hand, is an asset by definition.

If your site converts 1% of visitors today, it’ll likely convert 1% of visitors tomorrow too.  That is assuming you don’t make any changes to your site and allowing for stat variance.

Your site will convert at 1% if you have 1,000 visitors. It will convert at 1% if you have 10,000 visitors. And it will convert at 1% if you have 100,000 visitors.

The same is true with economics.

If you earn $100 per buyer today, you’ll earn $100 per buyer tomorrow. That is ssuming you don’t make any changes to your offers and allowing for stat variance.

An asset works dutifully to earn money day in and day out.

Conversion and Economics are your assets. As you improve them, your “consistent salesman” learns how to better turn visitors into customers.

P.S.

You do need to have some traffic to be able to validate your business & run A/B tests for growth in Conversion + Economics.

For businesses struggling with traffic generation, I often recommend starting with paid traffic. That is because you can turn the traffic on & off like a faucet.

You can highly target your visitors. And you can get useful, powerful data for your business and about the people you serve.
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The Profit Hacking Formula

Remember the movie Back To The Future? It’s one of my favorite movies (I actually love all 3 of them) and I vividly remember one part in particular.

Early in the film, Doc Brown explains to Marty how he was standing on his toilet trying to hang a clock in his bathroom. In his attempt, he slipped and knocked himself out by hitting his head on the sink.

When Doc came to, he had a revelation. A vision. A picture in his head of the flux capacitor, the very thing that makes time travel possible.

Fortunately I didn’t need to bang my head to have a similar experience.

The Profit Hacking Formula suddenly came to me (like Doc’s vision of the flux capacitor) while reading Perry Marshall’s book 80/20 Sales & Marketing.

When this realization hit, it became clear there are three levers you can pull to grow your profits:

  • You can get more Traffic
  • You can Convert a higher percentage of your traffic into buyers
  • You can improve your Economics to earn more money per buyer

That’s pretty much it.

Any tactic or strategy you can think of falls into one of those three categories.

These three leverage points compose the three pillars of the Profit Hacking Formula:

T     x       ( C           x               E )             =         R
Traffic  x  (Conversion  x  Economics)  =  Revenue

This formula is the very thing that makes Profit Hacking possible. I will be forever grateful to Perry Marshall for helping me to see it.

The relationship between the three pillars of the formula can be visualized in the same shape at Doc Brown’s flux capacitor:

profit-hacking-formula-design

Ask any martial arts master – –  they’ll tell you that the path to mastery isn’t doing 1,000 things once or twice each…..

….rather it is through the focusing on a small number of things, the fundamentals, and doing them thousands of times.

Bruce Lee himself said “I do not fear a man who has practiced 10,000 kicks. I fear a man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Profit Hackers don’t practice 10,000 marketing techniques.

Profit Hackers practice the three pillars of the Profit Hacking Formula 10,000 times.

And that’s why they are successful.

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The next few chapters will focus on each of these three points.

We’ll start at with hacking your Traffic, then we’ll go over hacking your Conversions, and lastly hacking your Economics. Your goal will be to strengthen all three of these leverage points regularly. The coming chapters will show you how.

But first, I want to prime you for what’s coming with a quick example. There’s some math involved, but bear with me – – it’s one of the most powerful lessons this book has for you.

Let’s say you have a site that gets 20,000 visitors per month. You convert 2% of them into buyers and you earn $50 per buyer.

With those numbers, you’re earning $20,000 per month from your site.

Not bad.

But let’s say you want to earn $40,000 per month from your site.

What if you could only pull on one of the three levers to reach that desired goal?

Which of the three pillars has the most leverage?

  • Doubling your traffic from 20,000 a month to 40,000 a month
  • Doubling your conversion from 2% to 4%
  • Doubling your profit per buyer from $50 to $100

Due to the sheer magnitude of the numbers, Conversion tends to have the most leverage, then Economics, and then Traffic.

(it’s generally easier to double a small number than a large number)– – right?)

Don’t forget about this example. In later chapters we’re going to come back to it (in greater depth) as we explore the three pillars of the formula.

Now let’s get started!

The Profit Hack Recap:

  • There are only three ways to increase your profits: increasing your Traffic, dialing up your Conversions, and strengthening your Economics
  • Mastery comes from continuously focusing on a small number of key things
  • The fastest way to double your profits is (usually) through improving Conversion and/or Economics

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The #1 Reason Your Shopify Store Isn’t Making More Money….

Imagine if in 1908 after building the Model T, top management at Ford declared:

“We have built the ultimate in automobiles. Further improvement is impossible. Therefore, all experimental engineering and designing activities are hereby permanently terminated.”

I wonder how long a car company would have survived with an attitude like that (or how long one would survive today as we move into alternative energy sources, self-driving cars, and more).

Successful people and successful businesses live with one question in the forefront of their mind:

“How can I improve the quality of what I’m doing? How can I make this better?”

Absolute perfection as a human being, a business, a product, or a website is unattainable. That may seem discouraging at first until you realize that means there is endless room for improvement.

The most successful people and businesses know this. Because of that, they are always searching for a better way.

But unless we have a plan for making those continuous improvements, it is easy to fall victim to ‘the status quo’ or to have your energy & resources pulled exclusively to what is ‘urgent’ rather than what is truly important.

The Monthly Improvement Plan

It is easy to get caught up in all the demands of your business to the point that you lose sight of the key elements of growth that truly drive your revenue & profit higher.

In the book Profit Hacking, I divided growth into three distinct elements:

  • Traffic (the number of visitors who come to your website)
  • Conversion (the percentage of visitors who convert into customers by making a purchase)
  • Economics (the lifetime value of a customer)

Those are the three levers you can move to grow your revenue. You can increase the number of visitors your website gets, you can get more of your visitors to take the action(s) you want them to take, and you can get customers to buy more items (or buy more frequently or create new customers for you via word of mouth).

Because you spend so much time and energy working in, working on, and thinking about your business, you (and members of your team) come up with great ideas all the time about how to improve the performance in those areas….

….but the majority of those ideas end up in the “Good Idea Graveyard” (that sad place where things that would grow your business go when they get lost in the shuffle or never get prioritized & executed)….

….or I’m sure you’ve at some point or another hired an employee, contractor, or consultant to some kind to help execute an idea – – with the results sometimes being great and other times…..not so much….

To ensure you don’t lose any of your team’s ideas, create a simple Google Doc (or any shareable document – – word doc or spreadsheet will do) that your team has access to. You (or anyone else) can drop in any ideas you have during the month so they are there for your review each month.

You can make notes and house ideas for how to improve your business in the doc and then once a month, have two non-negotiable hours blocked off with key members of your team to review the ideas and figure out how to put the most solid ones to use.

You Often Find What You Are Looking For

If I asked you what you find annoying about your family members, I bet it wouldn’t be too difficult to rattle off a couple things pretty quickly. And it would likely affect your mood and how you (temporarily) feel about those family members.

But if I asked you what you love most about your family members, my guess is that you would swell with warmth as you listed off their most endearing qualities.

You can always find evidence or reasons to support what it is you’re focusing on. You can always come up with possible answers for the questions you ask yourself.

Be sure to ask yourself constructive questions – – especially when you’re feeling stuck as far as how to grow your business.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where do my customers spend their time online? How can my business be present there and engage them so that they visit the site?
  • What questions and concerns do my visitors have when visiting our site? How can our design, layout, images, and copy address those questions and concerns more effectively?
  • Is there a complementary product (or service) our customers need regularly we can offer that would lead them to making purchases from us more frequently?

The #1 Reason Your Shopify Store Isn’t Making More Money….

From (frequent) personal experience, I know what it feels like to read an article that makes me want to take an action (even if that action is to follow a planning process that will lead to more focused, productive actions) but for me to not ever take the first necessary step to make reading that article anything more than entertainment (at best….a waste of time at worst).

Because of that, I took a couple minutes to set up a Google Doc in both Word format and Spreadsheet format for you to copy and share with your team.

Pick whichever makes more sense to you (I personally prefer the Word doc).

This all leads us to the climax of this article – – the #1 reason why your Shopify Store isn’t making more money….

It’s because not enough of your time and attention is on the Conversion portion of your Shopify Store.

You’d have to have been living in an underground nuclear fallout shelter with Christopher Walken (Blast From The Past reference….anyone….oh fine….) for the past few years to not have heard about A/B testing and conversion optimization and how it can increase your Shopify sales.

You probably think it’s a good idea to be doing it and you may even be putting in effort within your team or by hiring outside service providers to execute.

The problem is that there is a steep learning curve involved with A/B testing and it is demotivating to start.

I am all too familiar with the feeling of deeply knowing I should be doing something but that the time, energy, effort, and potentially money involved in starting is too great of a hurdle to overcome….there are only 24 hours in a day after all….

However, I wholeheartedly believe that every business that is serious about growth needs to be actively running at least one A/B test on their website at all times.

A/B testing is one of the surest ways to put your business in a position to experience those continuous improvements we talked about at the beginning. Even if a test you run “loses”, you will still learn something valuable about your visitors (about what they like or don’t like, about what resonates with them, etc).

It isn’t so much how your site looks & performs when it is first designed + built that matters. It’s what you learn and how you put that to use in order to improve from there that counts most.

Bigger success calls for business executives who continually set higher standards for how effectively their company runs. For Shopify Store owners, a huge part of that is in finding ways to improve the conversion rate of their website.

Top success is reserved for those with the attitude and understanding there is always room for improvement and the sooner the commitment to continuous growth is made, the better.

Building & designing a website only to rarely (if ever) run tests on it to improve how well it communicates with and serves your visitors is akin to Ford if they never innovated or improved beyond the Model T.

Every time you run an A/B test, you not only will gain valuable insight into your customers but you give yourself the opportunity to have a significant impact on your bottom line.

My team & I have seen single winning tests increase a Shopify Store’s conversion rate by 5%, 10%, and even up to around 20%.

When you increase your conversion rate, you are getting more from the traffic you already have. That means conversion increases lead not only to an increase in revenue but lead to an even larger increase in profit.

If you are not currently seriously engaged in A/B testing your site (by which I mean you are doing no A/B testing or your team is casually invested in the process), I encourage you make that the #1 item under ‘Conversion’ in your Monthly Improvement Plan.

To help you get the most out of A/B testing and help your Shopify Store reach its full potential, I have two invitations for you:

For those of you who don’t actively engage in conversion optimization activities like A/B testing, there are multiple valid reasons why the majority of Shopify Stores aren’t already doing CRO (conversion rate optimization).

That means you are in good company and it’s actually in a way good news if you’re experiencing success even without the benefits of CRO activity now or in the past. It means your profits can really start seeing significant growth faster than you may have previously thought possible with some conversion improvements.

Here are some of the main reasons why only the ‘early adopter’ Shopify Store owners are currently doing CRO (which means the sooner you get started, the larger of an edge you can gain on the early majority, late majority, and the laggards) :

  • It can be difficult to set up and begin these activities.
  • The experience, knowledge, and necessary skillsets may not exist on your team.
  • You may not know what you should test (let alone how to actually properly execute a test).
  • You may worry about messing up one or more of the moving technological pieces and temporarily screw up your site
  • The possibility does exist that you’ll run tests that perform worse than what already exists on your site and those will cause you to actually lose revenue

For two years, Conversion For Good has helped Shopify Stores avoid these issues by handling the entire process for them.

In the past, the only way to work with us was by agreeing to a 6 month, $60,000 contract for our services. We guarantee at least 100% ROI on that service and are proud to say we’ve blown way past that ROI benchmark for every client.

But we have recently created a new way of working with clients that has been generating a lot of excitement. It has been called “an absolute no brainer” (and the client roster is filling up fast as past clients as well as potential clients from the past two years (who at various points seriously considered paying my team $10K+ per month) are taking me up on this offer at an astonishing rate so far).

If you are currently earning at least $100,000 per month through your Shopify Store, you may be a good partner for us. If you and/or your business exists to help make the lives of others & the world a better place, you may be a perfect partner for us.

Fill out the contact form on this page or email Sheila Herrera* with a little bit about you, your business, and your conversion goals to get the conversation started (and get your Shopify store on the path to increased conversions, revenue, and profits).

* in case the mailto:sheila@conversionforgood.com link doesn’t work, you can reach Sheila at sheila@conversionforgood.com

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Profit Hacking gumroad Pay What You Want Offer

If you aren’t yet ready to contact us to potentially partner (and/or you don’t have a Shopify Store and instead use other platforms, business models, payment processors, etc but knew the lessons of this post are insightful for many more business owners outside the world of Shopify), a great place to start is with my book Profit Hacking.

If for no other reason than to see the very interesting (and potentially devious muwahahaha) way of offering a digital product you can craft with a combination of Amazon + gumroad.

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And if you aren’t convinced that reading more of my words will help you make a lot more money than what I’m asking for with the above Profit Hacking offer, then may I interest you in some of my other favorite content on the site:

And if you would like to join my Insiders family, you’ll get in on one of the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary communities* in the universe (well the marketing + personal development ones at least)

* Superlatives taken from the LEGO Movie’s ‘The Special’ (if you haven’t seen that movie….go now and watch it….well join the Insiders and then go watch it…..check Netflix…maybe Redbox?)

Alright, thank you for reading all this – – I really do appreciate that you took the time to read my words. If you want more of them, I’ve offered a few wonderful options (including one where you get to choose how much you pay for a value packed Profit Hacking bundle and one where you get a unique insight into my marketing mind & personal search for my truth that is free-ninety-nine).

Hope to get to know you & hear about your business / mission!

Even if you choose to not take me up on either of these two invitations, I hope this article proves to be much more than “entertainment” and propels your business to greater success.

– Steven Daar

Conversion Optimization for Shopify stores can mean more money for your business

How Conversion Optimization Is The Fastest Path to Increased Shopify Sales

Have you ever had a job in sales?

Even if you haven’t, you can imagine the persistence and discipline required to be successful.

You know the importance of needing to attempt to close the sale by asking for what you want (which is difficult for a lot of people to do actually).

And you can even feel the discomfort of hearing ‘No’ a whole lot more often than you hear ‘Yes’.

Imagine you’re working your job in sales right now and that you are the most persistent and disciplined salesperson on the planet (congratulations!). You are disciplined to the point that you make exactly 100 calls every week without fail.

And you’ve found a precise formula that you follow on every call that works well enough to earn you an income a bit above the amount the average salesperson at your company makes.

Your formula successfully closes 1 out of 100 calls.

 

Realistically, you’ve got two paths to doubling your revenue:

  • You can start making 200 calls per week (testing the limits of your energy and sanity each week)

Or

  • You can learn through your own trial & error or from the more successful salespeople how to improve your formula to begin closing 2 out of 100 calls

Either way, you will now be making 8 sales every 4 week period when before you were making 4 sales each period.

When you consider the additional investment of time and energy, improving your closing rate feels like the obvious choice (unless of course you are simply dying to work twice as hard as you already do…)

Even if you struggle for a week or two while adopting a new formula, the reward is worth the growing pains many times over.

Simply put, there is far more leverage in improving your closing rate. Going from 100 calls per week to 101 calls per week is a 1% increase. Increasing your closing rate from 1 in 100 to 2 is a 100% increase.

Not to mention that the higher your closing rate is, the more motivating, exciting, and lucrative it is to make calls or begin making more calls.

When each call is more likely to make a sale, each call is worth more to you.

And something magical happens when you increase both the number of calls you make and your closing rate. When you doubled one or the other, you ended up with 8 sales per 4 week period either way.

But what if you increase both by 50% by making 150 calls per week and close 1.5 out of 100 calls? In that situation, you are making 600 calls every 4 week period and closing 1.5 out of every hundred so you end up closing 9 sales.

When you improve multiple separate leverage points, it truly is a case where 1 + 1 = 3

If you really were this salesperson, how stubborn would you have to be to decide you were going to ‘brute force’ your way to more sales solely through doubling the number of calls made?

Especially when you know for a fact there are others using a more effective path to sales than the one you are using….

Well…your Shopify Store is a lot like this mythical ‘persistent and disciplined’ salesman.

Your website shows the exact same content (AKA formula) to every single visitor it gets.

And there’s a good chance your store’s conversion rate has held fairly steady as long as it has followed the same formula. Of course along the way there could be changes in conversion rate with any redesigns, updates to site content, sales you’ve held, seasonality, receiving significant publicity or endorsements, etc

If you want your website (AKA your salesperson) to make more money, you can either bring him more ‘leads or calls’ in the form of increasing your traffic or you can help him discover a better formula or system that improves his closing rate (AKA conversion rate).

[There’s actually a third way to increase profits and I expand on that in my bestselling book Profit Hacking but we’re keeping it simple here]

When dealing with traffic to your website, the difference in “leverage power” between traffic and conversion is even more significant than it was in our imaginary sales career.

In the sales job, we were talking about 100 – 200 calls per week. But your Shopify Store may get thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of visitors each week.

Compared to our sales job, your site receives many more opportunities to convert a prospect into a sale. Because the number of opportunities is much higher, any improvements to your website that increases the conversion rate can mean many more sales each week (and month).

A 2% conversion rate on 100,000 visitors a month is 2,000 sales. You very realistically could be only a few conversion boosting improvements away from a 2.25% conversion rate.

That would be 2,250 sales from the same amount of traffic. 250 more sales at a $40 average order value is an extra $10,000 in revenue.

Depending on how many potential improvements could be made on your site, you could be a few months of diligent focus on improving your Shopify Store’s conversion rate from adding a full percentage point or even a percentage point and a half to how it’s currently performing.

And something curious happens when you increase your conversion rate….

….increasing your traffic actually becomes easier and easier the higher your conversion rate grows.

The reason is that as your conversion rate grows, two things happen:

  • You generate more revenue from the same amount of traffic. Because you do not need to invest more time, energy, or other resources into traffic generation to get this revenue growth, a larger than average percentage of these revenue gains sticks as profit
  • Each visitor to your site is worth more to you as conversion rate grows. When visitors are worth more and more, it becomes easier to invest in new traffic sources.That is because the odds of the investment being profitable are much greater. Advertising opportunities that used to be too expensive to be profitable become viable opportunities.The value of traffic generated by adding members or consultants or agencies to your team who specialize in various traffic sources (SEO, social, content, etc) becomes so great that it is much less risky to invest in those human resources.

And of course the most effective path to growth comes through focus on growing both your traffic and your conversion rate at the same time. Ideally, there should be a focus on growing both at all times.

For most Shopify Store owners I talk to, when I ask them “What are you doing right now to increase your traffic?”, they confidently state several strategies and campaigns currently in action to achieve that goal.

Then when I ask them “What are you doing right now to increase your conversion rate?”, they look at the floor and sheepishly admit they’ve been meaning to start A/B testing, improving their understanding of their analytics data, and other activities that will improve their conversion rate….

….but they just haven’t had the time to prioritize it….

This is the online equivalent to us in our fictional sales job deciding that we don’t have time to learn a new formula that will improve our sales closing rate.

It’s the equivalent of ignoring the leverage that comes with focused improvement on the conversion rate and instead choosing to “brute force” our way to growing earnings.

The point of this isn’t to chastise any Shopify Store owner who isn’t currently doing things like A/B testing but rather to invite you to make a decision now to start – – to begin experiencing faster growth, greater profits (you could even say that you can begin hacking those profits of yours), and harnessing that leverage in your business.

You can even calculate the exact amount of money your Shopify Store is missing out on each month by having a lower conversion rate than what you could have with a few optimizations and winning A/B tests.

There are valid reasons why the majority of Shopify Stores don’t actively engage in conversion optimization activities like A/B testing (even if they fully understand that it is valuable & important):

  • It can be difficult to set up and begin these activities.
  • The experience, knowledge, and necessary skillsets may not exist on your team.
  • You may not know what you should test (let alone how to actually properly execute a test).
  • You may worry about messing up one or more of the moving technological pieces and temporarily screw up your site
  • The possibility does exist that you’ll run tests that perform worse than what already exists on your site and those will cause you to actually lose revenue

For two years, Conversion For Good has helped Shopify Stores avoid these issues by handling the entire process for them.

In the past, the only way to work with us was by agreeing to a 6 month, $60,000 contract for our services. We guarantee at least 100% ROI on that service and are proud to say we’ve blown way past that ROI benchmark for every client.

But we have recently created a new way of working with clients that has been generating a lot of excitement. It has been called “an absolute no brainer” (and the client roster is filling up fast as past clients as well as potential clients from the past two years (who at various points seriously considered paying my team $10K+ per month) are taking me up on this offer at an astonishing rate so far).

If you are currently earning at least $100,000 per month through your Shopify Store, you may be a good partner for us. If you and/or your business exists to help make the lives of others & the world a better place, you may be a perfect partner for us.

Fill out the contact form on this page or email Sheila Herrera* with a little bit about you, your business, and your conversion goals to get the conversation started (and get your Shopify store on the path to increased conversions, revenue, and profits).

* in case the mailto:sheila@conversionforgood.com link doesn’t work, you can reach Sheila at sheila@conversionforgood.com

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Profit Hacking gumroad Pay What You Want Offer

If you aren’t yet ready to contact us to potentially partner (and/or you don’t have a Shopify Store and instead use other platforms, business models, payment processors, etc but knew the lessons of this post are insightful for many more business owners outside the world of Shopify), a great place to start is with my book Profit Hacking.

If for no other reason than to see the very interesting (and potentially devious muwahahaha) way of offering a digital product you can craft with a combination of Amazon + gumroad.

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And if you aren’t convinced that reading more of my words will help you make a lot more money than what I’m asking for with the above Profit Hacking offer, then may I interest you in some of my other favorite content on the site:

And if you would like to join my Insiders family, you’ll get in on one of the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary communities* in the universe (well the marketing + personal development ones at least)

* Superlatives taken from the LEGO Movie’s ‘The Special’ (if you haven’t seen that movie….go now and watch it….well join the Insiders and then go watch it…..check Netflix…maybe Redbox?)

Alright, thank you for reading all this – – I really do appreciate that you took the time to read my words. If you want more of them, I’ve offered a few wonderful options (including one where you get to choose how much you pay for a value packed Profit Hacking bundle and one where you get a unique insight into my marketing mind & personal search for my truth that is free-ninety-nine).

Hope to get to know you & hear about your business / mission!

Even if you choose to not take me up on either of these two invitations, I hope this article proves to be much more than “entertainment” and propels your business to greater success.

– Steven Daar

Archangel Speaking 2

How An Entrepreneur Can Get Everything They Want In Life

“Everything you want (but don’t have) lies outside your comfort zone – – else you would already have it”

In early 2015, at an event that over 100 high-level entrepreneurs paid up to $5,000 for a ticket to attend – – I gave my first ever talk from the stage.

Scared and nervous do not even begin to illustrate how I felt in the moments before walking on stage…

….especially because the night before, I had ripped up the talk I’d been preparing for weeks and sketched out something completely different on a piece of scrap paper.

The talk I was going to give was teaching the core principles of my new book “Profit Hacking”. The book focuses around three main concepts:

  1. How to get more traffic to your website
  2. How to convert more of your traffic into leads and/or sales
  3. How to maximize the lifetime customer value of your conversions

Since coming out in December of 2014, Profit Hacking has spent 13 months straight in the top 20 for Amazon’s best selling books in the Web Marketing, Marketing, and Ecommerce categories. Thousands of entrepreneurs have read it and used what is taught in the book to grow their business and “hack” their profits.

Delivering the Profit Hacking content to that room of high-level entrepreneurs likely would have brought me a handful of clients & referrals but I wanted to talk about something different. The talk I gave was 10 minutes long but I’ve cut out the first 4 to get straight to the heart of the speech:

 

The Way

Run The Mile You’re In: What I Learned Over 26.2 Miles About Pain, Acceptance, Love, and Power

Crying in pain with thousands of people surrounding me, I had to stop….I couldn’t go any further.

After running for more than three hours, my body couldn’t go one more step without taking a quick break to stretch out my cramping legs.

Even though my body wanted to stop, I wasn’t done. With less than 7 miles left in the Chicago Marathon, neither the tears streaming down my face nor the pain in my legs were going to keep me from finishing.

Anyone who’s ever trained for and done a marathon knows just how much you learn about yourself doing it. You really discover what you’re made of, how powerful your mind & your will can be over your body.

I learned that and more. In this article, I want to share the most potent lessons I found in this long, long run.

Run The Mile You’re In

In other words, be present. When you’re in mile 12, you aren’t in mile 20. So you have two choices:

  1. You can resist the truth of where you are
  2. You can accept the truth of where you are

It’s very tempting to pick option A. The first 13.1 miles of the marathon were thoroughly enjoyable. I felt no pain and I barely even noticed or thought much about the mile markers.

But once I hit the half-marathon point and saw the sign marker telling me I was halfway home, I began projecting myself into the future. And it is no surprise to me that it was at this point that I began feeling pain in my feet, ankles, and knees.

I kept bargaining with myself, saying things like:

  • “Okay, I only have to do what I just did again and then I’m done”
  • “Okay, I only 10 miles left which is only 2 of my main training loops”
  • “Okay, I only have 6 miles left which should take about an hour which is one episode of Law & Order SVU….so that’s not so bad”

All the while, the pain was becoming greater so I began trying harder to escape reality.

You fast-track yourself to suffering when you resist “what is”. You miss the beauty and the small but wonderful details of the moment when you’re projecting yourself into the past or into the future.

Pain is a reality of life but suffering is optional. Run the mile you’re in and find what is beautiful, interesting, useful, and/or expansive right now.

Love Yourself Now

About 17 miles into the race, I heard a woman from the crowd yell:

“Think of how much you’ll love yourself after you finish!”

I’ve played a “sucker’s game” my entire life. The game looks like this:

I only allow myself to feel good after I reach the goal in front of me.

So if I want to feel self-love, I tell myself that I can love myself after I cross the finish line. Or after I publish my book. Or after I make a certain amount of money. And then I devote all my effort to meeting that goal so that I can finally love myself (or be happy or feel fulfilled or whatever the desired feeling was).

So for weeks (and potentially months or years) I would practice feeling unworthy of the self-love or happiness or fulfillment I wanted because I hadn’t yet “done the thing” that would allow me to feel that desired emotion.

The interesting thing is that in years of playing this game, I never felt the feeling I wanted after reaching, achieving, or accomplishing the thing I set out in front of myself. At least not for long. Maybe for a few days–more likely a few hours or minutes.

See, practicing not feeling the way you want to feel will never get you to feel it. If you spend weeks (or months or years) in practice shooting a basketball so that it will bounce off the front of the rim…..how exactly do you expect to get it in the net during the game?

My marathon training was a little unorthodox. I didn’t use headphones/music for any of my running. I don’t know how many total miles or hours I ran from June – October but….it was a lot.

There was a lot of time where it was just me on the pavement, alone with my thoughts and my experience of the world.

There were a handful of mantras I must have repeated thousands of times cumulatively over those months. Things like:

  • Every day, in every way….
    • I love myself more and more
    • I’m feeling better and better
    • I’m feeling stronger and stronger
    • I’m feeling more and more healthy
    • I’m feeling more and more happy

And I felt all those things about myself now. At least in the now of that moment. There was no delay or condition on feeling those things – – I chose to give them to myself in that moment.

While I appreciated the intention behind the words of that woman in the crowd, when I heard them I thought “Fuck that, I’m going to think of how much I love myself right now – – and how much I’ll love myself even if I never end up crossing that finish line.”

Love & Support Surrounds You Constantly (AKA Allies are Everywhere)

One of the most amazing things about the Chicago Marathon is how many people come out to cheer. For 26.2 miles, there were people along the course cheering and providing encouragement (and for most of it, there were a lot of people).

There were thousands of volunteers providing various types of services & aid to the runners as well as to manage such a massive event.

I was part of Team LUNGevity for the marathon. As part of being on the charity’s team, I was tasked with raising at least $1,000 for lung cancer research & awareness.

At the start, I felt bad about asking for donations even though I wanted to hit (and ideally exceed) my fundraising goal. I didn’t want to ask because I felt like it made me needy or weak or that others would look down on me for it.

Not asking was easier than asking. It was scarier to ask than it was to ask. When I became aware of them, it caused me to scratch my head. Because one of my core desires is to grow, to stretch myself, to push myself outside of my comfort zone….I knew I had to do the thing that was scarier and more uncomfortable.

But what I eventually found was that when I began asking, people wanted to give. When I began asking (and not just for donations to my LUNGevity fundraising page) – – things began pouring into my life. Love, money, connection, perfect clients, perfect team members, and more.

So many people have someone in their life that has been affected by lung cancer and they donate not because they necessarily love me but because it makes them feel good to honor the people close to them through a donation in their name.

There was also a decent number of people who love me and wanted to donate to support me.

The key thing that was reinforced for me was this:

Everything you want in life that you don’t currently have lies outside of your comfort zone….else you would already have it.

Only you can cut yourself off from the endless amount of love & support that others want to give you. Ask for help. Ask for support. Ask for love. Take care of yourself and voice your needs. Other people are not mind readers but they often do want to support you. Even when it’s uncomfortable to ask, ask anyway.

Make Your Plan & Make A True Commitment to Following It

Unless you’re my friend Michael, people don’t just wake up one day and run 26.2 miles. On ‘Day One’ of training, about four months before race day, I struggled to run a couple of miles. Going from running only a few miles to running a marathon was a simple (but not necessarily easy) function of commitment – – following what my training schedule said I needed to do that day. Showing up is the first requirement.

It wasn’t until after running the marathon that I realized there is only one way I’ve ever accomplished anything major in my life. And that is by creating a schedule or plan, reverse engineering the timeline of that plan very precisely, and then making a true commitment to working the plan.

Back in 2011, I ran a half marathon. I didn’t bother to follow a schedule at all. Left to my own devices, I had no “trigger” reminding me to run each day so I only ran when I felt like it (which was sparingly). Without a plan telling me how far to run, I would go out and run random distances (usually until I got bored or my legs started to feel uncomfortable).

When race day came, I was woefully unprepared. I probably ended up walking the same distance during those 13.1 miles back in 2011 as I did during 26.2 miles for the 2015 Chicago Marathon.

The amount of pain I experienced during and in the days after the half marathon was greater than the pain I experienced after the full marathon.

But with the training plan I had for the full marathon, I knew how to prepare for that level of pain and finish in spite of it.

Here’s another example. I wrote the first draft of Profit Hacking in early August 2014 but “sat” on it for a month because I was paralyzed by the enormity of the self-publishing process.

Organizing feedback from beta readers, editing the book, getting the cover designed, getting the interior of the book formatted & designed, building a launch team, and organizing a metric shit ton of marketing for the book’s release.

Without a clear plan that was broken down into clear timelines + deadlines, without clear, bite-sized action steps to take each day, I was unable to make any progress.

But that all changed when a friend of mine, Tyler Wagner, gave me some great advice:

“Pick the release date for the book right now & then you can reverse engineer everything into a timeline – – a concrete, workable plan.”

Because of that, I now knew exactly what had to be done, when it had to be done, what order it had to be done in, and what people / skills / tools / technology I needed to use in order to accomplish it all – – it became easy to move forward & execute.

If I Can Fly Run

Before, during, and after the half marathon – – I believed the story that I’m “just not a runner”. But the truth is that I can do and be anything I want to be….I just didn’t have a plan & a commitment to it nor did I have a solid belief in myself.

Maybe I didn’t 100% believe in myself as a runner during parts of the training leading up to the marathon but after “working the plan”, I now believe it with every fiber of my being.

I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter how fast you go, so long as you never stop moving forward….that progress is made every day.

If you’re feeling stuck or resistant to moving on things you want to be doing but can’t seem to get yourself to execute on (especially for big things), maybe you’re just one planning & reverse engineering session away from being able to work with far greater ease….which builds momentum…which carries you to your vision.

Celebrate Every Win & Take Care of Yourself (You Deserve It)

If you’re a high achiever, you may be familiar with “the disease of more”.

When you accomplish something, big or small, you take the accomplishment for granted. That’s because that was ‘what was supposed to happen’. You immediately set your sights on the next thing, on “more” without any celebration or appreciation or happiness over what just happened.

In truth, you are taking yourself (and anyone else who helped you to that accomplishment, achievement, or milestone) for granted.

Your focus is continually on the areas of lack in your life – – what you haven’t yet done, where you still need improvement, where you “aren’t enough”.

How does that feel compared to having more focus on where you’re great, successful, amazing, accomplished?

Which one is more energizing? Which one allows you to act from a place of fullness?

Beyond that, when you’re more focused on the “lack”, you are far less likely to take care of yourself or treat yourself.

There’s no time for things like massages or acupuncture or getting enough sleep when all you can think about is how much harder you have to push yourself in order to no longer feel like you are “lacking”, “undeserving”, or “not enough”.

When you are training for a marathon, you can choose to make the completion of each run on the calendar a celebration or a daunting reminder of what you haven’t yet done.

Even more basically, you can make each mile of every run a choice between those two perspectives.

You can celebrate yourself for what you’ve done & how far you’ve come or you can haunt yourself with all that hasn’t yet been done.

But in the end, we start at the beginning – – all you can do is run the mile you’re in. And the choice is yours whether you enjoy it or you suffer through it.

2015 Chicago Marathon Medal Engraved

Unique Authentic Change Growth Metamorphasis

Guiltless Desire, Friction Free Receiving, and Teleporting to Bigger Thinking

Training for a marathon has a couple of great side benefits. One is that long distance running is an excellent form of meditation.

So far, I’ve been blessed to receive some clarity through dozens of miles run. Hopefully, this article will serve you by giving a glimpse into those insights.

Guiltless Desire

After an expansive weekend last month, I was lucky enough to bear witness to my friend David discuss an idea around guiltless desire.

The concept resonated deeply.

How often had I “made myself wrong” for desiring what I desired? Times I told myself that I wasn’t worthy of having it nor capable of creating it in my life. When I judged myself as strange or weak or broken for desiring some things while I judged myself as conformist or egotistical or unreasonable for desiring other things.

Add on top of that what I had learned through Buddhism and the “spiritual community”. The teachings that desire is at the root of all suffering.

But what if all if it is part of the human experience? What if the “desire” Buddha spoke of was the desire for anything to be different than it is exactly right now?

If you didn’t resist anything, you wouldn’t be feeling the want for anything to be different right now. Then you can access the perfection of the moment.

But by all means – – have goals. And dreams. And desires. Let them motivate you and inspire you and push you. Align your thoughts, words, intentions, state, and actions to match the level of passion you feel for the things you want to be, do, and have.

Own your desires. Never judge them as “good” or “bad”. Never apologize for them. In fact, the more you speak about them – – the more you will get them. That’s because others want to help you get your needs met and your desires filled.

But they can’t do it if they don’t know that is what you need or desire….unless your friends are mind readers or are immensely intuitive.

While you can drop your judgment of your desires (or any of your thoughts for that matter) as “good” or “bad”, there is another way to “judge” them that I recommend trying.

Label desires (or thoughts) as “useful” or “not useful”. Things pop into your mind all the time and they don’t necessarily have to mean anything bigger than the fact that they were a fleeting, passing thought.

If you think of something that doesn’t ring completely true to you and/or isn’t something you would like to expend any more energy (of any kind) on, then mentally label it as “not useful”.

The mind is an incredible tool with an insatiable capability to learn. Give it the inputs now that will create the future that you want. Telling your mental computer that something is “useful” will tell it you want more attention & focus on that thing moving forward. And vice versa.

Own your desires, align yourself with them fully, and watch your world change.

Need-Free Connection

This is something that is pretty new to me. Without even realizing it, I’ve been putting psychological and emotional hooks into people for as long as I can remember.

Even if I’ve just met that person, I want them to like me and think I’m funny and interesting and more. On some level, I latched onto them seeking signs of their approval.

This creates the dynamic where I “need” something from them. This creates an energetic demand on them and usually gives them a slightly uneasy feeling within themselves.

You probably know what I’m talking about on both sides of the equation.

While I wanted (and needed) compliments, to feel accepted, and to feel like there was a real connection…I wasn’t getting that very often.

Desire with need can often actually repel the thing you want.

Desire combined with an expectation of that desire becoming a reality while at the same time not needing it to happen can often be a huge attraction for the thing you want.

While I still have a lot of room for growth in this area, I’ve been feeling a lot more need-free connection in my life lately.

Strangers have complemented far more often and I’ve felt much faster and much deeper connections with others. I’ve even found that more people than usual approach me to start conversations than they used to.

I believe there are two things helping drive this shift:

One is that you can “cut the cords” that are trying to attach you (and/or your self-esteem, your worth, your approval, etc) to someone or something other than yourself.

Physically make cutting motions with your hands all around your body and visualize all the cords that have come from you trying to hook in to others being cut. Then visualize all the cords that have come from others trying to hook into you being cut.

Through “cutting the cords”, giving yourself the things you previously “needed” from others, giving everyone else the freedom to be themselves without wanting them to be any different, and by lovingly (but also assertively) setting boundaries + agreements for all your relationships are huge steps towards need-free connection.

The other is something you’ve probably heard hundreds of times but it’s worth hearing thousands of times because of how important it is.

That is that you have to love yourself more, accept yourself more, and be more connected with yourself if you want to increase the amount of those things you receive any of those things from others.

You can lead the charge by loving and accepting yourself first, thereby giving others a shining example of how to interact with you & treat you.

You must give to yourself in order to receive from others.

Speaking of….

You Must Receive In Order to Receive

Early in my entrepreneurial career, I heard a few people I trusted tell me that I had to give in order to receive in business and in life.

Successful entrepreneurs often cited that their giving spurred a significant amount of their success (and ergo their receiving).

Whether it was giving of their time, their money, their expertise / skills / abilities, or something else – – they were passionate about giving.

So that’s what I did. I started giving.

I gave a percentage of revenue to charities. I volunteered my time to tutor grade school students of the Chicago Public School system. I gave ideas and hours of consulting and other bits of my expertise away for free. I gave paperback copies of my book out for free (which means that not only was I giving something away for free, I was actually losing a couple bucks per book).

And I was pretty much always struggling. I was giving and giving but my bank account wasn’t seeing the supposed positive side effect of the giving.

This whole time, I had massive issues with receiving. In all forms.

If you wanted to give me a compliment, I wouldn’t accept it by saying “thank you” and deeply appreciating that someone else not only saw me but was compelled to speak to it.

Instead, I’d play it off or play it down or deflect it in various ways.

And despite me thinking and saying that I wanted more money, I turned money down at so many different opportunities. People wanting to pay me for my time or my expertise or my book and I said that I was happy to help for free.

Which people think they like but it really ends up creating a pretty messy dichotomy. People (myself 100% included) often do not respect what they get for free.

Even if what they got for free was amazing, implementing it more often than not falls to the bottom of the priority list because there was no investment behind it. There was no energy or thrust behind it.

But if people pay for something, then they are far more likely to take it seriously and see it through.

And people usually don’t like to feel like they took advantage of someone or were unable to reciprocate by providing you a roughly equal amount of value in return.

Money is a great way to give a roughly equal amount of value in exchange for what you’re getting. When you give something away for free, the other person may feel some form of guilt over not being a part of a “fair” transaction.

You can let money simply be a “test” to see how committed people are to getting the results that you can bring them. If they don’t want to pay you what you charge, then they weren’t ready to commit at the level that you’re going to commit to them.

There is likely an endless (and constantly replenishing) number of people who are ready to commit at a level equal to (or even greater than) what you bring. Those are when you’ll have the most enjoyable customer/client relationships and where the best results for all parties involved come from.

In order to receive, you must practice receiving.

Once you have no blocks to receiving, then giving is a great way to increase the amount getting back in return.

Imagine if you kept ordering stuff from Amazon every few days but you had a mile of barbed wire, 15 foot concrete walls, alligator infested moats, and a small army that stopped anyone and everyone from getting to your home.

No matter how many packages you order, you’re never going to receive any of them. Maybe the occasional rogue UPS driver who has a passion for living dangerously can get you a couple of the things you ordered but you’re definitely getting a lot less of the things that you could be getting.

Take down the walls, send home the militia, chase away the gators and all of the sudden all these wonderful things that were supposed to get to you start showing up “magically”.

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that the whole world had a meeting and decided to start being a lot nicer to you.

As you remove your barriers to receiving, you are taking “friction” out of the process that must be gone through in order to give you something.

In conversion optimization, we consider friction anything on a website that makes it harder for the person to take action.

Maybe the price is too high or maybe the site doesn’t function very well or maybe you force visitors to register on your site before they can make a purchase – – but whatever it is, there are unnecessary barriers between a visitor doing what you want them to do on your site (buy, subscribe, sign up, contact you, etc).

By removing the barriers, you make it easier for others to do what you want them to do on your site and grow the revenue your business earns via your website(s).

Check in with yourself to see how well you receive and if you have constructed any obstacles that makes it harder for others to give to you. See if you have any judgments around receiving being in some ways “worse” than giving.

“Receiving” is as natural and pleasurable and honorable and as whatever other good attributes you pin on “giving”. You must receive in order to receive.

Think Bigger, Then “Teleport” to Get to That ‘Bigger’

Your life is constrained first by the size of your imagination and second by your level of courage in going after the dreams & goals created by your imagination.

You will never grow unless you try to do something beyond the current barriers of your comfort zone.

Something interesting happened to me when I started diving into personal development stuff:

I thought I had to dive inside and “fix” everything. Everything bad or dark or wrong had to be ripped out. Everything that kept me small or afraid or weak had to eradicated and eliminated forever.

And I certainly was successful in releasing and processing a lot of emotions and issues that been stuck inside of me.

But I am now convinced that the “success” wasn’t necessarily a result of going “back in time” and trying to uproot old beliefs and ways of being that no longer served me.

Instead, the success came the moment I decided what I would like to replace those things with and then commit to being and doing those things.

I just learned that the original definition of the word “habit” actually referred to a garment – – an article of clothing. That made all the sense in the world to me.

Just like you can choose your clothes, you can choose your habits. Your habits are quite literally clothing that is “worn” by your personality. You have them because they fit you. They fit your current self-image and personality pattern.

Your habits and your self-image go hand-in-hand. When we consciously develop new & better habits, our self-image will outgrow the old ways of being that came with those old habits.

Successful change, growth, and development happens when we make a conscious decision about how we want to be – – and then reinforce that decision through consistently acting in a way that is aligned with what we decided we wanted.

If, starting now, you paid all of your attention, awareness, focus, thoughts, words, and actions in the direction of what you want, there is no need to “remove” or “kill” the old things you no longer want in your life.

Old habits and old ways of being don’t have to die hard. They can simply “starve” themselves away naturally as you focus more and more of your energy & resources in the direction of what you do want.

You can take a jagged, squiggly line from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’ or you can take a straight line. The straight line is the fastest path, right?

What if you could get rid of the “line” completely but simply teleporting from A to B?

A recent TED talk I watched called “The Anatomy of Results” made the argument for “Intention” and “State” being more important than “Action” for getting results.

At first I was skeptical but then it began making sense. Two different people can take the same action (they can say and do the exact same things) but get completely different results.

One person may come in with the intention of trying to get something from the other person and a defeated state where they lack confidence in their ability to get what they want.

The other person may come in with the intention of trying to give something to the other person & help them and with a powerful state of confidence that they can create & serve.

You can begin teleporting to the life that you want by transforming your habits to “fit” the type of person you need to be in order to have what you want.

You can begin teleporting to the life that you want by deciding who you want to be and then acting in a manner consistent with that new self-image.

You gotta be before you can do and you gotta do before you can have.

The doing reinforces the being. The doing gives your more experience, more feedback, more results, and more confidence in your ability to be the person you decided to be.

Then you likely are able to expand your imagination even further for what is possible for you to achieve, to accomplish, and who you can be. Then you likely are able to exercise courage more consistently in going after the things you want to be, do, and have.

There very well may be nothing except for some false, limiting beliefs in the way of where you are and where you want to be.

You could teleport in an instant (even this instant) to completely being the person that you want to be. And you could completely transform your habits so that you would consistently be doing things in alignment with who you want to be. And from there, it’s only a matter of time before you have what you desire.

Of course, most people opt for linear growth (whether that line is squiggly or straight) over radical, transformative growth. I know that up until this point of my life – – that is the path I’ve taken.

And if that path is working for you right now, perfect. Improving 1% per day is a wonderful way to grow (especially because compound interest will eventually take hold and make things really exciting).

But I hope reading this expanded your imagination for what kind & speed of growth is possible if you cultivate the courage to go after it.

I invite you to, like an article of clothing, try on this method of growth.

I invite you commit to responding positively & aggressively towards every challenge as well as every opportunity to reinforce to yourself (and to the universe) that you’re serious about the new you that you’ve decided to be.

That you’re serious about getting everything in life that you desire.

Guiltlessly, of course.

The Way

What’s Your Purpose for Doing Anything In Life?

Feel into the ultimate desire you have for your life.

Right now.

Close your eyes and see it. Touch it. Taste it.

Feel why you are doing anything at all in life.

While re-reading one of David Dieda’s books, I was prompted to do this and it caused pause and reflection.

 

Deep in thought, inspiration struck and I began writing and asking some weighty questions.

Why am I doing anything at all in life?

Why did I leave a great job with a good company where I worked with Fortune 500 – level clients to start my own conversion optimization agency?

Why did I struggle and hustle through long days to get my first clients?

Why did I devote hundreds to hours to write & publish a book?

Why have I spent tens of thousands of dollars on coaching, consulting, conferences, courses, books, and training over the past couple of years?

Why have I hired people and begun to create systems & structures in my business so that it could scale?

Why do I continue to dedicate several hours every day to reading, testing, writing, thinking about, & meditating on how to grow businesses as well as develop myself on a personal level?

The answers:

Freedom

Love

Growth & Expansion

What do your answers mean to you?

Only when you are in touch with the deepest, truest parts of yourself will your answers begin to surface and you can be in touch with why they happen to be your answers.

Here is what my answers mean to me:

Freedom

To be able to say “yes” to life in every way I desire. Freedom means being able to say “yes” without a “but” immediately after. True freedom means time, money, or logistics would not get in the way….ever.

Love

To be able to bring more love into the lives of others and into my life. Serving businesses and individuals who are out there making the world a better place so they can do what they do on a larger scale.

There are people and companies who are bringing comfort to the uncomfortable, health to the sick, hope to the downhearted, and opportunity to the disenfranchised.

After putting in significant time, money, and energy into understanding how to help companies increase their profits – my wish is to help those who spread love as a core component of business operations (or “modus operandi” for individuals).

Growth & Expansion

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of…knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden

As mentioned in the article about Kobe Bryant, you must develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end.

Anything is possible. Expand your imagination for what you are capable of achieving and then exercise your courage for going after those “impossible” goals. Make it your business to achieve them.

In the meantime, master what is in front of you right now. Whatever that is (a relationship, a project, a conversation), make it the best you possibly can.

When you lead with your best and when you push yourself just a bit beyond your comfort zone, wonderful things begin to happen.

Are you living your answers without compromise?

After receiving those answers as well as the reasons why behind the answers, I felt really good….

…as if reconnecting with my purpose and core motivators was some incredible achievement.

And it is great to do that (of course!) but within two paragraphs, Dieda hit me over the head with the frying pan of truth.

(Metaphorically speaking)

I was forced to ask myself:

“Am I fully giving my gifts to the best of my ability? Am I being, acting, and living in a way that is completely aligned with my answers above?”

And the answer was “Fuck no…”

In that moment it fully dawned on me how many more businesses I could be serving to help them get better results from their websites, to help them do more good, and to help them grow their bottom line faster.

I realized how much more good I could do by providing more jobs, donating more of my time & money, and educating/inspiring/empowering more people in both professional + personal areas of their life.

And then Dieda must have taken another swing because I realized that because I was a “Fuck no…” to “Am I giving my gifts & living my answers fully?”, I am also a “Fuck no…” to this very important question:

“Am I enjoying as much freedom, love, and growth/expansion as I possibly can in this lifetime?”

Because there are still plenty of times where I feel called to something but have to say no due to money or time or logistics, because sometimes I don’t love every part of my life, and because a decent chunk of my days end with me feeling like I didn’t do my best to become the best I’m capable of becoming – – there is plenty of room for improvement.

I can feel it in my core…in my soul.

(If you’re in the same boat as me, please take a moment to honor & thank yourself for all the work you’ve done to get yourself to this point and be set up to continue to get better as time goes on.

I know I’m far more equipped to live in a way that fully honors my answers today than I was a year ago & I see the path forward to continue to move towards that ideal.)

What’s between you and every day being a “perfect day”?

Without getting too deep into minatue, let’s simply say that if you lived/acted in a way that was completely aligned with your answers above & if you moved yourself closer to your goals, then you lived a perfect day.

Maybe a better definition for a perfect day is that when you go to bed at night, you don’t feel any twinges of regret or incompleteness or dissonance due to not using your waking hours to the best of your ability.

You see, I once heard from Jesse Elder that the universe is your dance partner, but you must lead.

To get everything that you want, you must lead by giving everything that you’ve got. It’s fun to get into a state of curiosity over what will happen and how your life will change as you begin fully giving all of your gifts.

Analyze & decode what is standing in your way – – what is holding you back from offering all of your genius & talents, from completely harnessing all of your power, and truly fulfilling your potential.

What will happen when you are aware of those things and then begin overcoming and eliminating them?

Chances are your perfect day will begin to be delivered to you in lockstep with your lead in the dance.

For me there is a lot of discipline, daily consistency, elimination of distractions, and cultivation of courage between where I am and where I will be when I am regularly living my perfect day.

And I believe with every fiber of my being that I will get there. In fact, it’s probably not that far away.

The same can be true for you.

The Way

(Image Credit: Andrew Daar)

If you spend some time thinking about these things (or have in the past) and feel called to share the answers & the why behind them, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below as I read & respond to every one of them.

Kobe Bryant V1

The Tao of Kobe: Musings On Life, Ambition, and Becoming Great

For most of my teenage years and 20-something years, I’ve “sports hated” Kobe Bryant.

You know how it is. You choose to see the negatives of a person and become blind to the positives. And then something happens and you are able to see the full picture of that person.

When this happens, you usually find that there is a lot you can learn from them. Initial resistance is often a sign that there is something important for you if you lean into it a bit.

I just watched the most recent documentary on Kobe Bryant called “Muse” and it completely changed my opinion on the man. There’s a lot in the 90 minute film. My goal is to pass the key things I learned on to you here.

It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.

 

That’s the name of a (great) book I bought in college. I read it back when I bought it. I liked it. It felt like the truth. But I wasn’t ready for the full impact of its lessons back then.

The other weekend in Las Vegas, my hotel room had a small collection of books on the coffee table. One of them was that book. And this past week the lessons from that book have been popping up all over my life.

Kobe had some of the most poignant things to say about the topics of Life, Ambition, and Becoming Great.

Here’s what I learned from Mr. Bryant….

AMBITION

If you don’t have a goal, it’s difficult to score. You must have a goal and you must develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end.

In fact, choose a goal far beyond what you thought you were capable of accomplishing yesterday and make it your business to achieve it.

Kobe’s goal was “to be able to sit at the same lunch table as my muses. Michael [Jordan]. Magic [Johnson]. I wanted to be able to sit at the same table as them and belong there.”

No matter how talented or well-regarded a young athlete is, it certainly is ambitious to make your goal to be considered right there with a small handful of the best to ever play the game.

But Kobe’s view is that “when we say ‘this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done’ – – we are shortchanging ourselves”.

If you want to be great, there’s a choice you have to make. We can all be masters at our craft but you have to make a choice. There are some sacrifices that come with making that decision and many people wind up opting to not make those sacrifices.

If you have truly made the commitment to being the best at the expense of other things, you have an instant advantage on your competition who have not made that same commitment (or at least not at the same level).

I don’t expect to have my jersey hanging from the rafters of the United Center in this lifetime, but I can make my goal to be able to sit at the table with some of the best marketers and conversion optimizers of all time. To be able to sit (and belong) with my muses.

And you can do the same.

If you want to be the best at your particular field, get serious about your commitment. Expand your imagination for what you are capable of and expand your courage in going after it.

Seek out those who already are or at some time were at the mountaintop. For Kobe, he wanted to learn how to be the best basketball player in the world. “And if I want to learn that, I have to learn from the best. My place to study is from the best.”

When your goal is bigger and more important to you than your fear of rejection or your need for approval from others, you won’t think about those things. They’ll receive less and less attention, energy, and awareness to the point where they’ve almost disappeared completely. Your fears can’t get in the way when your goal is that much more important.

LEADERSHIP & PERCEPTION

Make no mistake about it, perception is often reality. How others perceive you has a massive impact on your ability to influence them.

Whether you are trying to create a partnership, make a sale, get a date, change their behavior, or something else – – you will be ineffective unless the other person perceives you as able to make their life better through being influenced by you.

For a long time, there was no distinction between my “personal self” and my “professional self”. I operated and carried myself the same way amongst friends & family as I did potential clients, clients, & employees.

And I got feedback (direct and indirect) that told me I wasn’t taking enough control, I wasn’t leading effectively, and more.

The solution was to separate my “personal self” from my “professional self”. What would the most effective leader, the most effective CEO of Conversion For Good look like? How could I become that in professional situations (while still “being me”)?

Kobe faced something similar. Here’s his quote:

“I had to separate myself. I created “The Black Mamba”. Kobe has to deal with personal challenges and The Black Mamba steps on the court and does what he does. And the Mamba just says ‘Fuck everyone. I’m destroying everybody that steps on the court.’”

Early in Kobe’s career, the Lakers were Shaq’s team. They won 3 championships but a rift between Kobe and Shaq led to the Lakers trading Shaquille.

The Lakers then had 3 difficult seasons where they either missed the playoffs or barely make the playoffs & got eliminated in the first round. Kobe was the center of trade rumors for chunks of those seasons. Kobe was called a “bad teammate”, an “ineffective leader”, and a player who wasn’t able to make the people around him better.

But once Kobe fully “embraced the Mamba”, he was able to properly influence those around him. Kobe (or The Mamba) decided:

“This team is going to have my personality, have my grit, have my fight, they’re going to have my will, my competitive spirit. When we step on that basketball court, you’re not facing me and just my spirit – – you’re facing 12 of those.”

The next three seasons for the Lakers saw 3 trips to the finals and 2 more championship trophies.

(My note: The addition of Pau Gasol, the return of Phil Jackson as coach, and key injuries to the Boston Celtics helped the Lakers’ return to glory)

It started with Kobe becoming the leader he needed to be in order to “be the guy” on teams capable of winning the championship. It started with Kobe deciding within himself to be that & committing to it. When you do that, subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) things shifted that alter others’ perception of you.

As Kobe said:

“The most important thing is that you’ve gotta put everyone on notice that you’re here and you’re for real. You’re not a player who’s just going to come and go. I’m not a player who’s just going to make an All Star team one or two times. I’m going to become an all-time great.

Once I made that commitment and said, ‘I’m going to be one of the greatest ever’, then the game became everything for me….when you make a choice and say ‘come hell or high water, I’m going to be this’, then you should not be surprised when you are that.

It should not be something that feels intoxicating or out of character because you’ve seen this moment for so long. It’s been playing in your mind for so long that when the moment comes, it’s like ‘of course it’s here because it’s been in here [points to heart] the whole time, it’s been in here [points to head] the whole time.”

THE FUEL FOR GREATNESS

Make no mistake about it – – extraordinary outcomes usually require extraordinary drive, focus, commitment, effort, and grit.

If it was easy to be great, there would be no such thing as greatness. Greatness would be average if that was the case.

Along your journey, you may feel discouraged at times. You may even feel broken, defeated, or hopeless. I know I’ve battled several bouts of depression where I felt that I was “destined to fail”….days where I could barely pry myself out of bed because I didn’t believe in myself or when I was so drained from previous days efforts I felt like I had no energy.

You must be able to fuel the consistency that greatness requires. Your fuel can come from many different sources & the most effective fuel for you often will have unique, personal components to it.

But knowing what fueled others to their greatness can be informative.

The “Muse” documentary started with this quote:

“There is power in understanding the journey of others to help create your own.”

There were a couple things about what fueled Kobe that really struck me.

One was his willingness to tap into “the dark side”. We all have one. Even the sweetest, kindest person you’ve ever met. Even your grandmother has one.

But many of us (myself included) are afraid to let it show.

Maybe it was something they did as a child where rage overtook them and they did something they felt terrible about after – – and decided from then on they wouldn’t let “dark” emotions ever take control over them again.

Maybe they witnessed the dark side of another inflict great harm (physical or psychological) onto another – – and decided they would never put themselves in a position to do that to another person.

But you have the ability to harness and channel the “dark energy” in a conscious way that fuels creation rather than destruction.

In “Muse”, Kobe said:

“For me it is that ferocity or that anger or that rage and I carry that with me.

Using the darker emotions – the anger, the resentment, the frustration….sadness….using that as a weapon. Using that as a form of offense.

It’s a scar, it’s a pain, it’s a bad memory. Most people are afraid to tap into that side of them but it’s such a powerful thing.

Once they own it themselves, then the sky is the limit because they are going to drive themselves and pull from who they are – – all of their life experiences and the things that have motivated them. Embrace the villain nature that’s in all of us and unleash.”

Kobe described how he used the external chaos of his rape trial to fuel him internally to train harder and play with greater intensity:

“Playing with rage was new to me, but I fucking loved it…..I had all this pent up frustration I needed to let out. It was an avalanche man. There was nothing that was going to get in the way, nothing that was going to stop me.

It’s the battle that’s going on within me that I’m carrying with me to the competition. So it’s not about you, it’s not about anybody else because you’re not me making me go. I’m driving this thing and man you just happen to be a person in the way who may get demolished in the process.”

One thing that I’ve seen help fuel many mission driven entrepreneurs is that they’re working to build something that benefits people outside of the organization.

Maybe they’re building schools, donating clothes & food to those in need, providing medical aid, planting trees, or using their business as the engine to help solve an issue that is important to them.

When you’re working towards something that is bigger than yourself, you can be propelled forward by knowing there are others out there whose lives could be improved (or even saved) by your efforts. As Kobe put it:

“You fall. You hit a bump in the road. You get back up. You get back after it. That’s what you do….You have to be brave. If not for yourself, then for those who need you.”

We touched on the “dark side” earlier and how it can motivate you. There is also the “light side” which has immense power behind it as well.

It’s cliché to say “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” but there’s often truth behind things that get said so often. Love for what you do, what you’re building towards, and what you’re striving for can mean (for yourself, for your family, for your community, and for the world) can be an endless fuel source so long as you stay connected to it.

Kobe: “I love what I do it. It’s as simple as that. I get so much enjoyment from it.”

Even if right now you don’t love what you do. Maybe your business is struggling or your job isn’t fulfilling or you don’t care for your boss. What can you love about it? What skills or experiences or rewards does it provide you that you can feel appreciation and enjoyment from?

Realize that the job or the business or the client that is in front of you right is the one. Meaning that it is a waste to yearn for something you had in the past or to half-ass the one in front of you now.

It’s easy to say that your current job or project or client isn’t “perfect” for whatever reason and that you’re going to “just deal with, get it over with, and make the next one good”.

But “perfect” opportunities come more often to those who have earned them through doing great work. The thing in front of you now is the one. If you make it the best you possibly can, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you gave it your all.

And you’ll earn a reputation for doing good work (which will attract “bigger and better” things).

Another thing that can fuel you is your past. Things that happened in the past are solid but the meaning you assign to those things are fluid. While you can’t change the past, you can turn past experiences from limiting to empowering.

You can turn failures and rejections into learning experiences and opportunities to improve. You can use painful moments as motivators to do whatever it takes to not feel that pain again. You can use successes as “appetizers” for the bigger wins you have lined up through your goals.

For athletes, injuries happen. Injuries can end a season or even a career. They can ruin a team’s championship aspirations. They can prevent players from reaching their peak potential.

For that last one, sometimes the injury is too much for the player to overcome physically (a leg injury that permanently makes unable to run as fast, jump as high, etc) and sometimes the injury is too much for the player to overcome mentally (in the back of their mind they are afraid of re-injuring themselves, the recovery & rehabilitation process to get back to their previous condition is too daunting, etc).

Some players look at the scars from their surgery and see the thing that stole their prime. Other players look at their scars and see something closer to what Kobe sees:

“As I sit here now and I take off my shoes and look down at my scar, I see beauty in that. Because I see all the hard work, the sacrifices. I see that journey that it took to get back to this point of being healthy. I see the beauty in that struggle. That’s what makes it beautiful.”

The injury happened to the athlete. That can’t change. But the meaning they attach to it after the fact can. Which one is more empowering?

If you can regularly tap into the pleasure of reaching your goals and attaining greatness (however that looks for you), you will be pulled towards them. Similarly, if you can tap into the pain of not reaching your goals, you will be motivated to do whatever you can to not have to actually live that pain.

I’ll leave you with one last quote from Kobe:

“My brain cannot…it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and tell myself ‘You’re a failure’…I think that’s worse…that’s almost worse than death.”

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2015 Is The Year Of ________ or: How To Have Your Most Profitable Year Ever

Have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that your site is leaking money?

That there’s a version of your website that would turn more visitors into leads, subscribers, customers, and clients?

Well, there is some good news and some bad news for you:

You’re right.

That’s bad because your revenue (and impact) has been lower than what it could have been in the past.

That’s good because there is room for growth.

Let’s get down to the essence of what we’re talking about here:

Turning web visitors into leads, subscribers, customers, clients, etc is to convert them. To show them that you can help them & make their life better. That your product or service is the right solution to what they’re looking for.

Seeing as you are on ConversionForGood.com, it probably isn’t a huge shock that 2015 is:

The Year of Conversion

How can increasing your focus on Conversion this year lead to your most profitable year ever?

The answer is found in leverage and in mathematics.

Without getting too deep into conversion nerdery (which I am wont to do), let’s look at a simple example:

Your website gets 50,000 visitors per month and you convert 2% of them into customers.

Which seems like the smaller bridge to gap in order to double your revenue:

Doubling traffic from 50,000 visitors to 100,000 visitors per month

Or

Doubling conversion from 2% to 4%

Just by sheer magnitude of the numbers, it’s generally easier to double 2% to 4%.

A side benefit of working on your conversion rate is that the higher your conversions are, the more valuable every visitor who comes to your site is.

All that work you do & investment you make to bring traffic to your site becomes more profitable and rewarding as your conversion rate rises.

Of course, the best thing would be to work on both sides of the equation and wind of with 100,000 visitors and have 4% of them convert into customers (which would lead to 4,000 buyers per month rather than 1,000).

The Critical Mistake

What many businesses do is they create their website and then more or less leave it as is. That is until they decide they aren’t satisfied with their conversion rate and decide to completely redesign the whole thing.

A complete redesign is a lengthy and expensive (in terms of money, time, & energy) process and there is no guarantee the new design will convert better than the old design.

When your website was created, it essentially was thousands of tiny assumptions that together make up the whole.

Assumptions of what colors, layouts, images, and words will most effectively show visitors why they should take the next step in a relationship with your business rather than bounce (and likely never return).

And you know what happens when you make assumptions….

….you’re bound to get some right and get some wrong. Each “wrong” assumption hurts your ability to authentically connect with your visitors. They hurt your ability to effectively communicate your story, your unique value, and why you are the best option for them. They hurt your ability to make your fullest impact on the world and to best fulfill your mission & purpose.

There’s got to be a better way, right?

The Evolution of Your Website, Revenue, and Impact

There definitely is a better way. It’s an “evolutionary” approach to increasing conversions (as opposed to the “radical” approach of complete website redesigns).

Just like anything worthwhile (i.e. getting in excellent physical shape or building a business), the evolutionary approach takes time & commitment.

But it is essentially a guarantee that you will increase the conversion rate of your website (and therefore the profits earned + impact made by your business) with this approach.

There is so much I have to say about this approach and how to get the results you want as quickly & effectively as possible that I could write wrote a book about it (and am in the process of writing a second book).

You can get the book, Profit Hacking, from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle.

The book has over 34 reviews with a 4.94 (out of 5) star rating & has received positive reviews from best selling authors & successful entrepreneurs including James Altucher, Lewis Howes, and more.

If reading my book isn’t the right fit for you now (FYI: it takes 90 minutes tops even for slow readers to get through), you can join the Profit Hacking Insiders and I’ll send you some PDFs, audios, and videos that will help you increase your profits (but I highly recommend the book as a key starting point).