The 1-Page Exercise to Help You with Any Business Decision: Mission > Method > Mechanism

The 1-page exercise to help you with any and all business decisions: The Mission, Method, Mechanism Model

If you can rock with me for just a few moments, I will explain a simple framework to help you make business decisions . . . of any kind . . . at all . . . ever.

It’s so tempting as a business owner to go back and forth on deciding between two software tools (“Do I need MailChimp or ConvertKit?”) or between two different methods of accomplishing a goal (“Do I want to connect more deeply with my audience through an email list or a Facebook Group?” // “Should I blog or do Facebook Lives?”) . . . when really, the question as is will waste your time because it’s likely that your overall mission or problem wasn’t well defined.

Meaning: The more defined and clear a business question, problem, or goal is, the more the clear answer is and the faster the best choice will make itself seen.

I want to introduce you to the Mission > Method > Mechanism framework.

This model (a.k.a.: short adult homework activity) will help you with all of your business decisions . . . and honestly, your life decisions as well. It helps you define your mission (goal), decide on the method (way) you will go about your mission, then (and only then) select the mechanism (tool) to carry out the chosen mission in the chosen way.

Your mission is more important than the means or method you go about doing it in, and your chosen method is more important than the tool you decide to execute with, so Mission > Method > Mechanism. Let’s begin. Or, grab the PDF framework (it comes with a few pages of instructions as well:

Now, let’s begin.

1. Define your mission.

The first thing to do is choose a key business mission (goal) you want to focus on. You’ll go through this process multiple times for different goals, so just start with one.

Create a statement that has a clear, measurable outcome.

Examples of business missions (goals) that are NOT clear and will lead to foggy decision making:

  • “To become an expert in my field.” Hard to measure. Hard to know when your audience or the world at large feels this way about you. Terrible goal that can leave you feeling unaccomplished.
  • “Empower women to be their own boss.” Get back to me when you can measure this.
  • “Create an engaged, trustworthy email list.” Not the ‘trustworthy’ word though.
  • “Stop trading time for dollars with my services.” But like, how?
  • And so on . . .

Examples of great missions (goals) that are CLEAR and will lead to epic decision making:

  • “Build an interest list of 100 people for my new online yoga course before it launches.” Simple to measure. You either end up with 100 people, or 0 people, or 2,730 people, etc. on your interest list. Good job, friend.
  • “Help one woman transition out of her full-time job into running her own freelance business that makes as much or more income for her within six months.” Go on with your bad self. Super measurable, super clear.
  • “Create an email list of 500+ people in the next 6 months.” Those numbers are clear.
  • “Release an online workshop (for around $100) teaching people how to DIY the home organization service I currently do in a DFY (done for you) capacity. Test the workshop out by pitching it to my current email list (140 people) to see if they buy and speak well of the product.” Yeah, I know, these “clear” goals can take up more space sometimes than vague ones, but it will be much easier to develop a strategy and select the tools to help make them happen.

Now that you have your mission statement . . .
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16 Things You Can Do This Weekend to Streamline and Scale Your Business

16 Things You Can Do to Help Scale Your Business This Weekend

Just in case at any point this year you’re sitting around wondering if there’s a unique weekend adventure you can embark on to help scale your business, I recommend bookmarking and saving this article. There’s lots to come back to. And if you experience a slow point with your business, you can use one of these activities to make sure you’re still growing and building.

P.S. This post was originally published in January 14, 2014, but has since been revamped and republished.

P.P.S. If you want a book version of this that has some expanded (and some different) weekend activities (10 in total are in the book), you can grab it right here.


16 Ideas You Can Choose from (This Weekend) to Help Streamline and Scale Your Business


1. Launch the MVP (minimum viable product) version of your course.

If you want to test out a course/training idea before building the full thing, then creating a landing page and minimum viable product version of your course is your new best friend.

Check out the checklist below for an idea of what goes on your MVP course landing page, but also check out the video directly below (ignore my voice that sounds like I’m fighting allergies—I was) that reviews some of my favorite MVP landing pages people made (some, in just one weekend) during a challenge I hosted.

The MVP Course Landing Page Checklist
Here’s what you’ll want to have on hand or do:

  • working title for your course
  • URL for your landing page
  • rough outline of course content
  • optional: hashtag for your course
  • trademark check and Google check 
(this is a good idea because you will be using this course name and brand in commerce)
  • bonus freebie related to your course topic 
(think: checklist, tutorial, workshop, challenge, mini-course, or other resource you can send via email to interested audience members in exchange for their email address)
  • mockup of your bonus freebie
  • professional email address 
(this can be at your main business domain or your new course domain)
  • marketing email delivery platform (such as: ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, or MailChimp)
  • high-quality photo of a scene related to your course topic or of you
to use on your MVP course landing page and/or in your marketing emails
  • content idea list related to your course topic 
(you can use this to send out engaging resources and keep your audience members engaged before your course launches)
  • optional: info packet about your course
  • optional: link and payment method to reserve a spot

2. Make a plan to crowdfund something.

Crowdfunding is kinda what it sounds like—a crowd (whether 10 people or 10,000) funding your idea. You can use sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter to run your own crowdfunding campaign (which usually includes “prizes” for people who fund you, since the money is not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back).

Crowdfunding campaigns are not just good for the $$, but also the exposure. Several products have become somewhat to all the way “Internet famous” after a crowdfunding campaign.

Why? Friends, and even people who don’t know you, are motivated to share your brand and your campaign if they connect with something about it. You can use one of these sites to launch/re-launch a business, a book, a product, a product line, a creative project, really almost anything. 90% of the projects that I’ve supported are by people I don’t know at all.

Crowdfunding even allows you to get out there and start providing consulting services if you want to. Two examples for you: (1) A woman I know in real life “sold” $1000 consulting packages as some of the prizes for supporting her book release. No seriously, look at this thing. She raised almost $12,000. (2) A couple who wrote a children’s book also listed $1000 consultations, among other prizes, for the release of their book and raised over $10,000.

Raise money through crowdfunding and get clients


3. Create an online quiz with helpful results or a “prescription” of sorts.

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Create a Feel-Good Facebook Ads Funnel for Your Course or eBook

Long before I could even begin to define a Facebook ads funnel, from the moment my first $3 sale showed up in my eCommerce dashboard for an eBook I’d written out of pure necessity (to help potential clients plan their brand fully before I started working on their website), I was amazed at the magic/science of someone who doesn’t know you one day, purchasing from you and passionately sharing your stuff all over the web the next day.

I made up my mind to get a Ph.D. where I could research the factors that go into the purchasing decisions of consumers buying from infopreneurs, influencers, and “authorities” online. Still working on that whole Ph.D. thing, but until that time, I have some 80% nerdy, 20% hip, but 100% mind-blowing examples and trainings for you if you want to start selling your programs, services, or digital products online . . . on autopilot . . . while remaining very human and in touch with the people you are serving.

We’re gonna get into actual funnel examples, and so much more . . . you’re ready, right? Oh, and I told you about the free case studies and masterclasses to help you learn Facebook ads from scratch, right? More on that later. And more on these mysterious sheets in a second.

Facebook ads funnel examples for an online business owner

First, it’s time to briefly review what a funnel is and why I go through an intense period every 2 years or so where I desperately try to think of a different name for “funnels” because of the way people abuse, misuse, overuse, etc. the term.

What is a funnel, really?

A funnel is simply one or more of your ideal audience members being drawn in by an amazing resource or gift you offer, then being taken through a series of content pieces you’ve created, in which each piece is meant to: (1) educate and motivate your audience to act on something helpful to them, and (2) accomplish a specific brand goal for you.

The Parts of an Effective Facebook Ads Funnel

My belief is that even though your funnel may have one general goal, the most feel-good, customer-centric, and sensitive funnels are ones that are highly valuable even if someone doesn’t purchase anything and/or ones that have a few stop-off points for people just in case your end goal is not what they need.

Which is why I’m always trying to rename “funnel” . . . people in the online marketing space seem to love to abuse the word . . . by offering little value, lots of pressure, and only high price point resources. Funnels don’t have to be ridiculous. They can be some of the most amazing experiences for your audience . . . something that you get thank you emails and fire emoji tweets about.

Back to the point of this article . . .

Let’s get to an example funnel, eh?

We can take the example of my totally real friend (I didn’t make him up or anything) named Theo to illustrate extremely helpful funnels. In this content series, Theo is not only selling his $35 guide to being a digital nomad in Playa del Carmen, but he is also dishing out essential, valuable information for people who might only need a few additional details or for people who can’t yet afford his book.

Example Funnel from Theo

That funnel looks super sexy and helpful, right?

But you may have noticed a very key thing is missing. “Traffic” as the marketers say. Humans as I like to call them. How are human-actual-people going to become aware of Theo’s amazing free video on “A day in the life of a digital nomad in Playa del Carmen” to begin with?

Getting people to the start of your funnel . . .

There are countless ways someone can become aware of Theo’s video (or his free checklist, or his workshop, or whatever he chooses to share):

  • Theo might share a link to his video in a Facebook Group for digital nomads that he’s a part of
  • Theo might share his link on Instagram
  • Someone might tweet out about Theo’s video/resource
  • People could find his video from a pin on Pinterest or a Facebook Live video
  • . . . and so on

BUT. How can Theo create a consistent stream of the right kind of people landing on his resources? People who are interested in travel, digital nomading, living abroad, doing freelance work on the Internet, etc.?

One seriously epic way is to invest a little time learning how to target, and scale with, Facebook ads.

And I have some seriously cool examples for you in this article. But first, know this: I used to be so epically scared of Facebook ads. I was 100% sure (in my state of ignorance) that they were going to waste my time and money.
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Why self-serving refund policies make me cringe.

Think Twice About Your Online Course’s Refund Policy

P.S. For you fellow Drake fans, I was considering titling this post, “If you’re reading this, it’s not too late” but then I realized you would have no idea what the article was about.

P.P.S. I am seriously open to debate on this topic. I will present my views but I am deeply interested in learning from the way other people see the world.

There is one reason (you—if you’re someone who is busy building a meaningful business) I was inspired to write this, and I have a few quick illustrations below to show my reasoning. Hopefully you won’t hate me when it’s over.


Why I’m strongly against online course and digital product refund policies that make people do X amount of work or jump through fiery hoops to get a refund.

You.

I write this blog for you. I create tools for you. I stay up at night dreaming, scheming, and creating for you. Not just in the “I say this because this is how online marketers are supposed to talk” way, but in the “No, literally, I relate to where you are and who you are, and where I had to come from to create various businesses and products I love” kinda way.

Refund policies that make clients submit worksheets, and modules, and proof of this and that and the other rub me the wrong way.

If your entire audience consists of people who don’t care about money at all, then cool.

If you have people in your audience that care about spending their money on things they get value out of, or who are on a specific budget, or who may, despite your wishes and requests, spend their last dollar on your program, then hmm.
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How to start an online business for $50, in 3 months or less. Want to start freelancing, coaching, or selling infoproducts online? This is your guide.

How to Start a Profitable Online Business for $50 in 3 Months or Less

This post is for your eyes only if you are currently trying to start an online business (a profitable one) from scratch . . . and you want to do it in three months or less . . . oh, and you only want to spend about $50.

Whereas this post (originally published in April of 2015) used to link to a podcast episode on this topic, I decided to completely revamp the post. Why? I think the first chapter of my newest book (which you can find out more about at the bottom of this post) might inspire you and help you to create an amazing online business this year. Ready?

Let’s only assume 3 things as you start your business:

  1. You have access to a computer and the Internet a few times per week.
  2. You have access to a smart phone (yours or a friend’s) that can take pictures and connect with social media.
  3. You either have your closest friends’ and family’s email addresses, or you’re connected with them on Facebook, or through some other electronic means. As in: You can get in contact with your people—whether that be 10 people or 1000, for me, it was more like 10 when I first started. Or, if you’re not connected with friends and family, you’re okay with building a presence online and engaging with strangers (who will totally become your friends, don’t worry).

Now, let’s get into the first chapter.

Chapter 1 of Build Your Freedom Business for $50 in 3 Months or Less: How to Start Coaching, Freelancing, or Selling Information Products Online

“What have I gotten myself into?” you may be asking. A lot of things. But the main one is discovering a new system for starting a business you love. Really, a way of thinking and moving through the very involved, and intricate, and amazing world of creating a profitable online brand or empire.

After years of creating various businesses, years of creating websites for clients and personal projects, and most recently, years of creating and running online businesses full time, I can without doubt tell you I’ve failed a lot.

Wait, what?

Yes. I’ve failed miserably, I’ve failed publicly, and I’ve failed my way to success. Let me explain. Because I believe the lessons learned can help you create your own business online with less stress, fewer headaches, fewer sleepless nights, fewer mistakes, and less time. It will still be a lot of work, but man will it be worth it.

Let’s explore.

The Internet created a whole new world of possibility and completely changed the way we (1) get information, (2) make purchasing decisions, and (3) operate businesses . . . among other things.

The online space as it is today makes it possible for people like my friend Erika, a mother of three adorable kids, to make a living online training people how to provide better customer service. The Internet allows my friend Mike to provide coaching for mind, body, and emotional health. It allowed my friend Kelsey to create and sell planning templates to busy women for a full-time income until she decided to also show people how to design their own (which gave her another full-time income). My friend Ivan sells design and brand strategy work online. My friend Aislinn markets and sells her freelance writing skills online for a living. And I could go on . . .

I have friends doing everything from teaching yoga, and selling interior design or architecture services, to creating fabric patterns and selling cookbooks online. I myself write and publish books on business and marketing, plus create courses on starting and running a business, getting better at conversations as an introvert, and using yoga and movement to increase your flexibility, durability, and range of motion as an athlete or gym rat.

How is it possible to make and sell the types of products and services all of these people are creating? How can you really create significant extra income each month or perhaps even work for yourself full time online?

There is more than just one way to accomplish this goal, and in this book, you and I are going to explore the “system” I’ve used to create a full-time income online in the following ways: through freelancing, through online coaching, through self-published books, and through online courses.

Please be mentally prepared that this process is not easy and will require consistency from you, and that the “system” I’m showing you is a solid framework that you can modify and mold to fit you.


Here’s an overview of the system that we will dive into deeply within this book:

Step 1: Start with PASSION.

As cliché as it sounds, I think that the passion you feel for a hobby, a cause, a people group, a certain subject, or a specific skill will be a key driver of creating something meaningful and awesome.

In this book, we will get into a questionnaire to help you discover some of your true passions plus a list of 1001+ niche topics to help you pinpoint what interests you, what you want to talk about and create content on, and what you love.

As an example, for the purposes of this overview, let’s take a woman named Frankie who is a yoga + fitness instructor, a woman named Ingrid who is passionate about the uniqueness and strength of introverts, and a man named Paul who has transformed his health and body by becoming vegan and eating an amazing plant-based diet.

Meet Frankie, Ingrid, and Paul. Your friendly avatars will help us process all this epic information on starting an online business coming at you.

Frankie identifies her passion as helping people get fit.

Ingrid identifies her passion as helping introverts embrace + use their personality traits and succeed in life.

Paul identifies his passion as the power of veganism to transform your internal health and your body.


Step 2: After identifying your passion, identify your PEOPLE.

Part one. When you have a specific topic/niche in mind, it’s time to start imagining the basic details and habits of the type of person who will be interested in your topic or who needs help with what you provide content on.

Paul might assume that women (and a few men), between the ages of 24 and 50, who have had digestion issues or who are having a hard time losing weight or staying energetic throughout their day might be in need of his information.

Frankie might start to realize she really wants to work with martial artists and other athletes in need of strength and agility. She might then assume most of her clients or audience will be between the ages of 20 – 40, and she might also assume that many of her clients will be men.

Ingrid might realize that most of the people she’s ever talked to about extreme introversion are women, between the ages of 25 – 50 who are tired of being made to feel like their personalities are weird or bad.

Part two. Once you have the basic details of your people in mind, you can head to the Internet (and to in-person events, hangouts, or organizations) to actually find these people and engage with them. In fact, you may already be involved in groups either online or in real life that hold your ideal audience members.

Part of creating a successful online business is narrowing down and/or deeply understanding your audience--the people you want to help.

Ingrid might find a Facebook group or another type of online community for introverts and join it. She might also start reading the comments on top blogs about being an introvert.

Paul might find a Facebook group for people trying to lose weight or struggling with digestion issues (there are groups online for all types of needs, people, and interests).

Frankie might connect with people in her gym or people who regularly comment on a popular MMA Instagram account or a men’s health magazine’s Instagram account.

Part three. After you’ve engaged with your people a bit, it’s time to learn more specifically how to help them. This may include working with them pro bono, providing free content to them, or even creating some low-priced services or products to test the waters.

Paul might offer to coach one of the women in an “Overcome IBS” group online through a plant-based diet for 30 days. He might also create some free meal plans and share them with his friends on Facebook.

Frankie may decide to offer a few free sessions to a martial artist at her gym who she has seen lifting in such a way that will slow his progress towards becoming more quick and agile. She might also decide to do a “10 Days of Basics” series, where she covers some foundational lifts, exercises, and principles for people who want more speed and agility—then she might share her videos or pictures with an online group she is a part of and invite people to ask any questions they may have.

Ingrid may start asking questions in the “Introvert Power” Facebook group she found about what people’s biggest struggles are or where they feel most misunderstood. She might then create and share several new blog posts that address the topics the other women have brought up.
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