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An Open Letter to Those Who Struggle With Finding Direction with a Website Business

Dear Friend,

I want to thank you for sending me your ideas, but also for sharing your frustrations with me. It takes a lot of courage to be that open and honest.

But just as importantly, I appreciate your enthusiasm and ambition. You have the right attitude and as long as you keep going, you’ll go far.

Now I have a couple of questions to ask you, and then some advice on what to do next.

First, is your current idea something you are dedicated to doing for 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years?

Or do you think you’ll change your mind again, jump ship, and be on to the “next new shiny object idea”?

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to change your mind.

In fact, a lot of my friends who I call successful struggled for a couple of years to “find their voice” and identity within their website business.

But when they finally “let go”, and began to write with honesty and feeling, and when they allowed their website business to become an extension of themselves, THAT is when success kicked in.

Second, I know you see a lot of people succeeding with gimmicky-style marketing. And to be honest, a lot of this is done simply to get attention in a crowded space.

HOWEVER, you must understand that it’s not the gimmicky marketing that is the secret ingredient to success.

What really matters is that a BIG IDEA lay beneath the marketing. And that is what really matters.

A big idea that sets you apart from everyone else.

And while you might not have struck upon your big idea yet, I’m pretty sure you’ve got it in you.

But right now, you need stability, focus, and the correct course.

Your current situation is like you’ve driven a tiny speedboat into the middle of an ocean during a hurricane. Your ambition is getting you tossed about in many directions.

What you need is a big, strong, steady ship that can move swiftly and safely through the choppy ocean.

So here’s what I want you to do next.

These 3 steps come from a book called “The Rockefeller Habits”.

Set a 10 year Mission.

Tell me, what big goal do you want to achieve in 10 years? It must be specific.

Mine, that I first set in 2009, is:

Help 1 Million Men and Women Transform Their Bodies and Their Lives

Once you’ve set this Mission, it will guide every decision you make.

It’s as if you’re walking in the desert, and you see a giant oasis 20 miles ahead. That’s your destination.

But as you walk along, there will be many distractions that tempt you to go off course.

And while you might zig and zag a bit, when you have your mission, your final destination, your oasis in the distance, you’ll forever remain on the correct course.

Keep your eye on that and you’ll never find yourself wandering aimlessly, or worse, changing course and going off in the complete opposite direction – often towards danger.

Having a mission will mean you’ll always come back to the path that keeps you going to that oasis.

Now I’ll admit, that might not be the best analogy, but I’m sure you’ll get what I mean.

The Mission guides your decisions.

And it should be something so powerful that you’ll stick to it on both great days (when you foolishly think you can do no wrong) and on the toughest days.

In fact, your mission will be the inspiration that sees you through the days when your traffic drops because of a google change, or a competitor criticizes you on their website, or you have a fight with your partner, etc.

1) The Mission will always be there to guide you.

Take your time and think deeply about this…it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life.

2) Create core values for your business.

Your core values are the rules on which you operate your business.

You could almost imagine them as being your entire employee manual in just 5-10 bullet points.

Any time you or your future employees are faced with a decision, a simple review of your core values should be enough to help them make the right decision.

You don’t need a 150 page employee handbook when you have powerful core values to guide you.

I really enjoyed creating the core values for Turbulence Training back in 2010, and here they are for you:

1. Power people to peak potential

2. Help others: Customer service, customer service, customer service is our priority.

3. We are always learning & improving

4. We create products on science-based innovation

5. We are No BS and politically incorrect, and make no apologies for it

6. Never, ever, ever give up

Come up with at least 5 strategic moves that you are best at and will set yourself apart from the rest.

For me, these include:

–    Mastering direct mail
–     Improving online conversion
–     Boosting customer service/customer appreciation efforts
–     Creating the TT Certification
–     Filming more workout DVD’s
–     Increasing my membership retention

What can set you apart?

Identify your unique ability and remember the Circle of Competence we discussed last week.

Use these to strategically plan the course of your website business.

So that’s it my friend.

I hope these words help you shore up against the struggle that you face right now.

You’re strong enough, I know, to weather the storm.

And I look forward to hearing from you again when your fortunes have changed.

Your friend,

Craig Ballantyne

“Make no little plans.” – Dan Kennedy

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COMMENTS

  • http://www.fitnessdoctrine.com/blog Jason – Fitness Workouts

    Thanks for this post. This is just what I need. I often find myself doing too many things at once and never really finishing any one thing. All the loose ends leave me scrambling around and frustrated. There is some good piratical advice in here that I can put to use right away and see a difference in my affilate business.

  • http://www.workingmomworkouts.com Dave McGarry

    Craig,
    First of all I want to thank you for pushing me to go and get a business coach. Between your emails and his coaching I know I am headed for success. Okay, one of my assignments is to do a Break Even Analysis and to find out my conversion ratio. Since I have little traffic to my site and few sales I don’t feel I have a realistic number and I noticed you said in your last post that one of your core values was to increase online conversion. So, my question for you is what is a realistic online conversion number to shoot for. I thought I read somewhere for product launches you can expect around 1%. My site is a membership site and not a product launch.
    Thanks,
    Dave

    • intind

      There’s no such thing as a realistic online conversion %. It wouldn’t matter anyways if there was. That’s like two guys comparing batting averages. It doesn’t matter what the other guy’s is, what matters is improving your own.

  • Mike

    I like the quote at the bottom. I often think about a similar quote attributed to Daniel Burnham, architect of the Chicago World Fair, Chicago lake front, etc., “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”