Boring lectures, icky sales advice, corporate webinar vibes—none of it is that helpful or FUN. We set out to change that with our WAIM Unlimited Un-Boring Business program.🙋♀️🙋🙋♂️ I want to check it out!!
We believe there are six keys to crafting an irresistible offer. When it comes to building a thriving business, a few puzzle pieces are as vital as creating an offer that’s positioned perfectly to sell.
First, let’s clarify what an “offer” is: Simply put, an offer is an exchange of value for money.
Someone has something valuable (that’s you!), and someone else has the money to obtain that valuable thing (these are strangers on the Internet). Your offer comprises three essential components: the solution, the price, and the audience. To have what we call a Chef’s Kiss Offer 👨🍳😘, these three elements must be in perfect alignment.
As we just mentioned, you need three aspects of your offer to be in direct alignment. When those digital (offer) stars align, you end up with a Chef’s Kiss Offer 👨🍳😘. It’s that moment when everything comes together and your business is cookin’!
We’re going to help you achieve the Chef’s Kiss Offer, but first, we need to identify why you may not have alignment right now.
We’ve helped 1,000s of entrepreneurs fix their offer alignment and it all starts with getting on the same page about a few things:
When you read those three things, do you have any ah-ha moments where you think your current offer might not be in perfect alignment? Is the thing you sell not delivering enough value for the price? Is the price wrong for the audience you’ve built? Or, are you trying to sell something people don’t even know they want/need?
Solution ❌ Price: Selling a hobby course on making clay earrings for $2,000. Customers who invest in their hobbies, especially ones around low-cost materials, are not going to pay premium offer prices.
Price ❌ Audience: Offering a $20,000 website package to early-stage non-profits. You have to sell to customers who are in the right phase of their business to afford your offer.
Audience ❌ Solution: Attempting to do advanced site speed audits for brick-and-mortar hardware stores. It’s likely hardware store owners wouldn’t even know why site speed matters IF they even have a functioning website 😅.
It’s always helpful to learn what NOT to do, but let’s shift our focus to what you should do next! We have a 6-step process to ensure the thing you sell becomes a Chef’s Kiss Offer and is repeatable, scalable, and simple.
Now, let’s break down the six elements of a “chef’s kiss” offer using the acronym KISSES:
The key question is whether your customers believe the value of your solution exceeds the price they’re paying for it. You can achieve this by either increasing the perceived value OR adjusting the price.
Ways to increase perceived value include:
Pricing IS incredibly subjective, but it’s also objective when you understand the value you’re offering AND the audience you’re selling to!
Your customers will be more likely to buy from you if they see others have purchased (social proof) and they believe your specific solution (singular) stands out from everyone else.
Social proof is fairly obvious and can be reinforced with testimonials, case studies, or any evidence that your solution works.
Being Singular involves highlighting what makes your offer unique compared to others in the market. What is different about what you sell? What outcomes do you deliver that other people cannot?
It’s one thing to brainstorm offer ideas, it’s another to know WHICH offer idea is the best one to move forward with.
We’ve created an Offer Scorecard (shown below) to score your offers based on the six K.I.S.S.E.S. elements. The idea with the highest total score is the Chef’s Kiss Offer you should pursue.
Crafting the perfect Chef’s Kiss Offer 👨🍳😘 begins by understanding your audience and their journey. Start by identifying where your audience is currently (point A) and where they want to be (point B). What transformation are they seeking, and what pain points do they experience at point A? Your offer should bridge the gap between these two points.
As we say with all aspects of business, finding an irresistible digital product offer also requires experimentation. You will have trial and error when it comes to identifying the right solution, price, and audience for what you sell.
The K.I.S.S.E.S. framework can guide you to design a winning offer, but remember that your sales message also plays a pivotal role in connecting these elements for your audience.
Simply put, non-negotiables revolve around this crucial question: What will you safeguard above everything else to preserve your well-being? And how will you protect these treasures?
We love the way Elizabeth Gilbert talks about boundaries:
“A boundary is a golden circle that you draw around the things that matter to you, and you say everything inside this circle is sacred.”
We’re about to explore the power of setting life and business non-negotiables, the things in your life that are sacred and must-haves. Non-negotiables go in two directions too, they are things you ALWAYS do and things you NEVER do. We’ll share examples in a moment!
You may already have existing non-negotiables…
Your morning coffee ritual, your sleep routine, daily time for creativity…. or… maybe you don’t have any of those things right now and you’re desperate to prioritize them?
We’ve done the hard work of thinking through three main buckets of non-negotiables. They are your energy, your time, and your business.
To establish your energy non-negotiables, we want you to reflect on what is sacred to your vitality.
For instance, you might be a person who needs 8 hours of sleep every night 😴. We want you to consider what you’ll always do to protect that sleep schedule (having a consistent bedtime) and what you’ll never do (work past 7 p.m. or watch Netflix too late into the night). That’s just one example of how you craft your energy non-negotiables.
As an exercise, write out your own version of the table below with some energy non-negotiables and the associated ALWAYS do and NEVER do items for each one:
Time non-negotiables shield your schedule and help you focus on what truly matters.
Start by identifying what’s sacred for you—as an example maybe that’s date nights with your partner. Create rules like always planning date nights every other week and never inviting others to intrude on your sacred time.
Just like the energy non-negotiables, we have a pre-filled-out table below with time non-negotiable examples for you to use as inspiration for your life!
For business non-negotiables, first, pinpoint what’s truly sacred in your business. Is it communication, team happiness, or customer connection? Next, establish rules to protect those things.
For example when it comes to having great communication, always have weekly team meetings but never kick off a meeting without involving the entire team.
These rules are the guardians of your business values and culture. Here’s another example table to help you write out your own business non-negotiables…
Whenever we’re reading an article like this one, we LOVE seeing real examples from other people to help get our brain juices 🧠 💦 flowing (was that gross… weird? Maybe).
Family Recharge Time: To protect our energy, we prioritize recharge days during family gatherings, allowing us to bring our best selves to events.
Social Connections: We now engage in social activities based on wants, not shoulds, cultivating deeper and lasting friendships.
8 Hours of Sleep: The data is there, we need quality sleep to live healthy and happy lives. We prioritize good bedtime routines and sleep environments.
Saturday Movie Nights: A cherished non-negotiable for our relationship and overall happiness. Every Saturday night we sit on the couch and watch two movies together (Speed and Anna and the Apocolypse are two favorites 🍿).
Daily Movement: We’ve set a low-bar non-negotiable of 10 minutes of daily exercise, ensuring the habit remains alive even on off days.
Teachery Fridays: This year, we finally carved off a set time every Friday to work on our second business Teachery. While it’s not a ton of time, we’ve been able to make great strides in this business due to a non-negotiable block of time on our calendar.
Teach From Experience: We’re never going to be business coaches who teach something we haven’t done. We will always teach from a place of our own experiments and business adventures.
Fun as a Priority: Embracing fun as a core business value and ensuring that our projects are enjoyable helps us keep our work life as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Committing to the Season: Whether we’re in a “season” of heads-down work and saying no to all external obligations, or we’re in a “season” of putting ourselves out there with more content and in-person events, we love committing to chunks of time with specific focus.
We want you to remember that non-negotiables aren’t about imposing rigid rules but creating clear boundaries to protect what’s sacred.
The more you can set aside a small chunk of time to define what truly matters to you, the better you’ll be at managing your own energy, time, and focus.
Don’t forget, your non-negotiables are your personal treasures, guard them well and reap the benefits they provide!
We’re going to delve into the world of mindset and share with you the four pivotal pillars that have played a crucial role in helping us build a calm, profitable, and peaceful business.
After all, your business can only be as relaxed as the mindset behind it, especially if you’re a solopreneur or running a small business where it all begins with you.
Let’s start by unpacking what contributes to reaching your business goals. There are several factors at play, including your:
*While circumstances often feel beyond our control and somewhat fixed, it’s the elements you can control that we call the “four pillars of you” that make all the difference.
Let’s not dwell on what we can’t control, let’s focus on the things that we can actively impact, change, and evolve!
Imagine approaching your business endeavors with the spirit of a curious experimenter. You’re like a chemist, working away in your business lab, concocting potions and elixirs, always open to testing your whacky hypotheses. Okay, you kind of sound more like a wizard 🧙♀️ than a scientist 🧑🔬, but we think you get the metaphor we’re going for here!
One of the MOST important parts of using experimentation to test all of your assumptions without attaching your self-worth to the outcomes.
Did you try running your own podcast for 6 months and it never took off? That’s okay! You learned a lot of new skills in that process and you can tick podcasting off your marketing plan.
Maybe you hopped on the TikTok train and posted every day for a month. Didn’t see any movement in your business at all? Alrighty, you now know that TikTok isn’t right for you and your biz goals.
The key to experimentation is being open and willing to try new things while understanding NOT all of them will succeed. That is what running a business is in a nutshell!
Recognize the transformative power of experimentation, embrace trying and failing, and watch as you continue to accrue new skills and experiences that will help you for years to come.
We read Greg McKweon’s book Essentialism (aff link) and it was truly transformative for us. The book is loaded with value, so we’d definitely recommend reading it, but the concept of essentialism can be boiled down into this:
Essentialism is the disciplined pursuit of less. It’s about focusing on the vital few rather than the trivial many.
It’s imperative that you zero in on the most impactful parts of your business and filter out all the other noise and chaos. As the person who runs your business, it’s your main job to acknowledge you only have so much time, effort, and willpower, and all of that needs to be pointed in the right direction.
Since reading McKweon’s book, we’ve found that we come back to a simple question, “Is this really essential to our goals?” time and time again. Highly recommend grabbing the book to fully learn the concept and embrace it!
Impatience often clouds our judgment when it comes to business growth. Embracing patience means recognizing that slow growth is still growth, ensuring sustainable progress.
One of the best things we’ve ever done with any of our businesses was to ignore what other people were doing and embrace our own long game. It’s easy to get caught up in the “quick tips” and “immediate growth hacks” but almost all of those things only work for the person who is pitching them to you.
Instead, we like to zoom the lens out and prioritize a longer game plan, which almost always is less stressful, less anxiety-inducing, and is actually ENJOYABLE. Imagine that, running your business being something that’s fun??
Your business is YOUR business. Your goals are YOUR goals. Your timeline is YOUR timeline. We can lose sight of these things as we spend time on social media or subscribed to other people in our industry. Take a moment today to take a deep breath and review the plans for your business for the next 1-2 years as opposed to the next 1-2 months.
As your business evolves, so should your strategies and mindset. This means:
Letting go of what no longer works and embracing the natural evolution of your business.
Avoiding the dreaded “business dungeon,” where you’re stuck doing things you no longer enjoy.
Prioritizing your happiness by aligning your business with your evolving needs.
Recognizing that both you and your business will evolve and change over time, and that’s perfectly normal.
Before we close things article out, we wanted to leave you with some individual tips for the other “pillars of you” besides just your mindset:
Skills – If you worry about money, invest in your skills. The value of your skills will compound over time.
Beliefs – Challenge limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from reaching your full potential. Your beliefs can and should change with new information (and skills!)
Habits – Design daily systems that align with your long-term goals for sustainable success. Your outcomes are directly related to your daily actions.
We strongly believe you can unlock the full potential of your business by adopting the four key mindsets we shared. Remember, we only get one life to live, take control of what you can and embrace that life and business will always be evolving!
You already understand the significance of lead magnets in your marketing strategy, but how do you ensure they truly resonate with your audience?
Before diving into the criteria, let’s do a super-quick recap on what lead magnets are and why they matter: A lead magnet is a valuable resource you offer on your website, such as a downloadable guide, a quiz, a free trial, or templates. A lead magnet’s primary purpose is to filter your website traffic, build brand trust, and, most importantly, capture email addresses—a vital step in your marketing funnel.
Email addresses were once handed out like candy on Halloween, but times have changed! People are now more discerning about sharing their email addresses.
To convince (in a non-sleazy way) someone to give you their email address, you MUST ensure that you A) have a lead magnet 🧲 and B) your lead magnet delivers significant value in return.
Lead magnets come in various forms and shapes, from checklists to quizzes, free trials to templates, and more. The possibilities are virtually endless, which can be overwhelming. So, what makes a lead magnet effective? The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, but the key is experimentation.
Experimentation is your ally when it comes to finding a high-converting lead magnet.
Start with a lead magnet concept, create it, measure its conversion rate from website traffic to email subscribers, and then test another lead magnet. We like to run 30-day tests on lead magnets to gather enough data to keep the ones that perform best.
The lead magnets that have worked the best for our Wandering Aimfully website:
There are TONS of lead magnets to try and if you’re trying to figure out how to find the RIGHT lead magnet we have just the info to help…
While the perfect lead magnet varies for every audience and business, some fundamental principles can improve your conversion rates. We’ve distilled these principles into the acronym U.S.E.R.
Your lead magnet should offer a solution that addresses a problem comprehensively. Avoid vague, unhelpful content that leaves your audience questioning its value.
Over-deliver on value, and consider giving away around 90 percent of what you usually offer behind a paywall in your lead magnet.
When it comes to making your lead magnet more useful, think more about the problem your lead magnet will solve instead of just a random concept or idea.
You must ensure that your lead magnet tackles a narrow, specific problem that aligns with a particular point in your customer’s journey.
Specificity makes your offer more appealing and relevant. Experiment with both broad and specific lead magnets based on your audience and goals.
Your lead magnet should provide a solution without requiring a significant time investment from your website visitors.
Offer consolidated information that allows people to gain value quickly and conveniently. The more your lead magnet can immediately deliver on the value and promise it offers, the more excited someone will be to sign up for it.
We DO recommend over-delivering with your lead magnet, but it’s also wise to keep things concise and offer quick wins for optimal conversion!
This one should be obvious, but it’s shocking to us how often we see lead magnets that have nothing to do with the paid offer a business is selling.
Consider the “Income Iceberg” concept we talk about often: Your paid offer solves a significant (big) problem, while your lead magnet addresses a related (smaller) problem that directly precedes the larger problem.
Crafting effective lead magnets is a user-centered endeavor. A great lead magnet involves delivering solutions that are Useful, Specific, Efficient, and Related to your paid offer.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all silver bullet to lead magnets, experimentation will help you find the perfect fit for your audience.
Remember, your lead magnet is your first impression—make it a remarkable one!
But first, what the heck are KPIs again??
KPIs are the metrics we use to gauge the health of our business and assess whether we’re meeting our goals. They encompass tangible, quantifiable data points such as revenue, profit, website traffic, email conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs. These metrics are vital for tracking business growth and performance.
While KPIs are crucial for monitoring business success, relying solely on these metrics can lead to a skewed perspective.
Imagine witnessing a surge in sales, subscribers, and followers—all signs of business growth. However, what if this success comes at the cost of your personal life? You feel super-stressed out, you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t exercising, etc. If your life has to suffer at the expense of your business, something has to change.
KCIs, or Key Calm Indicators, represent the aspects of life that are not easily quantifiable but are essential for a well-rounded, fulfilling life.
These calm indicators help you evaluate whether you’re compromising your personal well-being for the sake of your business.
The KCIs that we like to keep track of on a weekly basis are as follows:
On Sundays, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation that includes both KPIs and KCIs. We rate our satisfaction in various life areas on a scale of one to ten. This assessment highlights areas that require improvement!
Each week, we select three focus life areas to enhance, maintain several others, and intentionally deprioritize a few. This intentional deprioritization empowers us to make conscious choices about what to neglect while maintaining balance.
To measure these KCIs (focus life areas), we set specific goals that align with our well-being.
These indicators might not be straightforward to measure, but assigning satisfaction scores keeps us honest and attentive to neglected aspects of our lives.
When it comes to the importance of measurement, Peter Drucker is quoted with saying:
“What gets measured gets managed.”
This quote not only applies to business metrics (KPIs) but also to keeping track of and making improvements in our personal lives (KCIs)!
The concept of work-life balance implies an ongoing equilibrium between the two things. However, the reality is that work AND life are dynamic and ever-changing.
Instead of chasing an elusive equilibrium, we focus on aligning our work with our work-related needs and our life with our life-related needs.
The goal is to create a fluid, adaptable balance that serves the current demands of our lives. When things feel out of alignment all we have to do is take a hard look at what we’re prioritizing now and what we need to change moving forward to have better alignment!
To run a calm business and have a calm life, we believe that both KPIs and KCIs are important to track. Work-life balance is not a destination you one day arrive at, it’s a constant pursuit you’re always fighting to feel.
In our experience, work-life balance can exist when our life metrics are as closely tracked and monitored as our business metrics are.
By regularly assessing our key performance AND key calm indicators, we can ensure that our time aligns with our priorities and that we lead fulfilling, well-rounded lives.
“Marketing” is often perceived as a nebulous and intricate concept. It can be challenging to navigate, and it often feels like a mysterious forest. We aimed to simplify marketing by envisioning it as a journey.
We’re about to introduce you to a straightforward framework for crafting a marketing plan – welcome to the Customer Journey Marketing Plan.
In this scenario, the journey is a transformation from a stranger to a customer who chooses to buy from you. Along this journey, there are distinct touchpoints, and that’s essentially what marketing is all about.
Imagine your business as an island in the middle of an ocean. On this island stands your castle, representing your signature offer – what people pay you for.
However, on the distant mainland reside your potential customers, oblivious to the existence of your island (aka your business).
The Marketing Bridge Framework encompasses four key stages:
1️⃣ Find: Locate your ideal customers on the mainland.
2️⃣ Nurture: Build connections, foster trust, and provide value.
3️⃣ Propose: Present your offer.
4️⃣ Sell: Welcome customers as they enter your castle, making purchases and engaging with your offerings.
Let’s look at an example Marketing Plan based on the 4-stage framework
Suppose we aim to sell an online course teaching European Portuguese 🇵🇹. We’ll conduct live cohorts of this course and want to plan our marketing strategy accordingly. Here’s how we’d use the Marketing Bridge Framework:
This example demonstrates how you can use the framework to devise a simple marketing plan. If you’re seeking more ideas, especially for the “find” and “nurture” stages, check out our Content Salad Strategy article.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamental four Customer Journey Marketing Plan stages, you can enhance your marketing by adding guideposts between them.
Here are the four strategies and how they fit within the Marketing Bridge Framework:
🧲 Attract: Draw potential customers to your nurture channels.
✨ Excite: Generate anticipation and excitement for your offer.
🤗 Assure: Convince customers that your solution solves their problems.
💪 Reassure: After purchase, ensure customers are delighted, turning them into advocates.
With those four guideposts in mind, answer these questions for each guidepost to supercharge your marketing efforts:
Attract: Where and how will you attract strangers to your nurture channels?
Excite: Where and how will you generate excitement about your offer promotion?
Assure: Where and how will you convince your audience that your offer is their solution?
Reassure: Where and how will you reassure customers that they made the right choice?
And finally, here are examples of each guidepost:
Attract: Create a compelling lead magnet that will get potential customers on your email list.
Excite: Send a 2-4 week pre-launch marketing series via email, your podcast, etc to build excitement.
Assure: During your sales launch, provide FAQs, testimonials, and case studies.
Reassure: Have a post-purchase onboarding email sequence ready to highlight the value of the purchase!
The Marketing Bridge Framework provides a simplified, step-by-step approach to constructing a marketing plan.
If, like us, you once viewed marketing as nebulous and complex, this framework can transform your perspective. It’s designed around the customer’s journey, making it an invaluable tool.
If you’re not achieving the desired number of customers, consider where your bridge may be breaking down. Evaluate your marketing plan using this framework – it’s an excellent way to identify areas for improvement!
Remember, marketing is merely the art of connecting your offer with the right person at the right time during their journey. It doesn’t need to be overly complex or mysterious – it’s all about crafting a bridge to guide customers to your castle.
Recently, we stumbled across THIS blog post from a popular online business content creator and it reminded us of THIS blog post and also another email newsletter we received from a successful coach canceling her latest launch and offering refunds.
It got us thinking… 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
And what can YOU learn from these stories about the importance of authenticity, pivoting, and allowing your own inner compass to steer you towards a business that is flexible enough to evolve as you do?
Have YOU ever felt like totally walking away from everything you’ve built?
Shutting down your programs/services or drastically pivoting or maybe even walking away entirely?
We’ve been there! Thankfully, we’ve learned four things that can help you not only recognize when you’re starting to veer off-course and run a business you no longer love but also what to DO when you start to feel that way so you can use your inner compass to find your way back to something that feels aligned and right for you.
The four things we’ll cover in the rest of this article:
Just to get it out of the way, we’re going to assume you aren’t trying to build a $100,000,000 business. You’re more focused on building a calm business, one that generates enough revenue, and a business that allows you to work with a schedule that creates a great life and doesn’t burn you out.
It’s likely you’re reading this article and not at the calm business finish line. Instead, you’re at one of those pivotal moments, trying to figure out what to do next?
If you’re in this spot right now and you KNOW you need to course-correct, wegotchu!
You know those sensors in cars that yell at you when you’re even a little bit drifting into another lane?
All the sudden you hear beep beep beep, and you’re thinking, “hey man, I was just trying to steer around that big semi truck because my wife has driving anxiety and she yells at me when we get too close to trucks around the turn!”
Well, we need to develop that annoying alarm system for our own brains and bodies.
For Caroline 👩🏻🦰 (the person writing this article to you): It’s usually a particular brand of anxiety, this feeling in the pit of my stomach like, ohhh that’s actually NOT what I want to be doing. That doesn’t feel true to who I am.
For Jason 👨🏻🦲 (Caroline’s husband and biz partner): For me it’s not anxiety but it’s this sense of boredom or dullness with what I’m doing. If I can tell I’m not embracing my weird and doing things differently, those beep beep beeps come screaming at me.
This is the important part of developing your own lane-assist warning. You need to take note of when things feel out of alignment and pay closer attention to that in the future.
As time goes on and you get more in-tuned with your business triggers, you can start to hear the metaphorical beep beep beep and know you need to change something.
Running a business rarely feels “fun” to most people. It’s mostly to-do items, customer support, getting frustrated with technology, wrestling with changing algorithms, etc, etc. BUT, it doesn’t all have to be dark clouds and feelings of wanting to flip the table over and give up!
Business requires a lot of brainstorming and it can often be seen as a chore or something laborious. We’ve flipped the script on this by always starting a brainstorming session with NO bad ideas.
For nearly 10 years, we’ve been doing No Bad Ideas Brainstorming and it’s made verbal whiteboarding a fun activity for us.
Bonus silly tip: If you’re ever stuck and in need of an idea, use our go-to silly filler idea — Selling pickles in New York City. Why that idea? No clue, but it’s been around for a long time as a way to move meetings forward.
Please raise your hand if you’re a child of the 90s and you remember playing this Nintendo 64 gem of a game, Donkey Kong Country??
Even if you never played the game, the gist is very simple: When you’re ABOUT TO BE in the heat of a business discussion, decision, task, or diving into an intense task, think about Donkey Kong Country.
It’s a video game where two gorillas collect bananas and balloons, dodge wooden barrels, and fight an enemy called a Croctopus. There’s nothing serious about that and that’s why it works!
By uttering the phrase “Donkey Kong Country” before getting into a task or to-do that is going to raise your blood pressure, you add a bit of fun and levity. You think about those cute characters and you reduce the stress of the moment. And of course, feel free to replace DKC with whatever game makes you happy, just be sure to pick a silly one!
This one seems simple, but it’s wonderfully helpful, especially if the location you move to evokes a feeling of fun or enjoyment.
For us, this typically means going to a favorite coffee shop. Or, a walk down to the beach where we can breathe in the salt air.
We’d wager you can immediately think of a happy place near you that brings you joy. This is the place you should go whenever you need a break, a reset, or just have to change your mood. Identify this location and use it whenever you need to change things up!
Break the frame means looking at whatever assumptions you have or constraints you’ve put on your business and questioning all of them.
So often we start hating our business because we start doing things that we think we SHOULD be doing instead of what we want to be doing. In our businesses, we question every single “frame” and as an exercise, we try to BREAK it in a way that better aligns with who we are.
This guiding question has been a game-changer for our inner compasses.
A perfect example of this question in action was back in 2021 when was asked, “what would it look like if we didn’t have to use social media at all to promote our WAIM Unlimited coaching program?”
The frame or the modern business convention dictates that you HAVE to be on social media these days to market your business. But we wanted to challenge this assumption and see if it was actually true. What would being off social media look like? How would we think about marketing and promotion? Would our revenue and audience growth plummet??
Now, we’re not saying you can quit using social media today (although maybe you can??), we’re just saying to take a hard look at every single frame of your business and challenge the shoulds.
Finally, sometimes you’re going to find yourself in a place where you’ve changed and you have to make some hard decisions to ensure your business evolves with you as a person.
You might be like one of the authors we mentioned at the beginning of this article who wrote about taking a long sabbatical from work or stepping back completely and quitting a big project. This might be the only way to course correct back to a business you love and that feels calm. But… HOW do you do that?
When you make the hard choice now, you are doing something really important: you’re choosing your own happiness.
It can absolutely be scary, but the pain of a big pivot is temporary. What’s MORE painful is years of running a business that feels misaligned where you’re compromising who you are at your core. When you ignore your inner compass for years, that’s when drastic decisions happen.
When we read blog posts or stories about people quitting, stopping, or taking breaks from their business, we cheer for those people!
Most often, people around you won’t understand why you need to take a break. But, just because people don’t understand why you’re making a decision doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
The next time you find yourself feeling stuck and like something isn’t quite right, we hope this article and the four strategies in it can help you move forward in whatever direction feels right to you.
And, we hope these tips help you BEFORE you have to completely blow up your business.
We’ve spent years building websites for our service-based businesses (offering branding and website design) as well as for our digital product businesses (selling online courses, e-books, memberships, and more).
Optimizing your website to be more effective in support of your strategy is vital to making your business successful. Your website should be working on your behalf to reach your revenue goals. If you aren’t hitting your goals and you desire growth, you need to consider the possibility that your website isn’t doing its job.
In this article, we’re going to share with you the processes we use over and over again to design an effective homepage.
Before you go making changes to your site, you need to gauge how effectively your homepage is communicating with your customer at the moment. Start by climbing into the shoes of someone visiting your site for the first time who knows nothing about your business.
As a visitor, would you know immediately what kind of business your site promotes and what mental category to put it in? What’s the two-word category that your customer/client should put you in? You don’t want someone to be confused about what kind of business you run.
As a visitor, would you be able to identify if this business was geared toward you? Would you recognize yourself in the copy or resonate with the design elements?
Your website homepage should explicitly state your audience somewhere. Your target audience should be able to say to themselves, “I’m in the right place!” It’s about showing them that your business, brand values and personality are a match for them.
It also helps you sort through who you want to be working with. What kind of customers or clients do you want to be spending your time with? You want your site design to speak to those people, even if it means people who don’t fit that bill will be turned off.
As a visitor, would you know how your life would be improved by hiring this business or buying a product from this business? There should be a clear outcome stated for your client/customer. As Donald Miller from StoryBrand says, “make the customer the hero” and show them the journey they can go on with your business.
We love this quote from April Dunford on positioning yourself and your product:
“Customers don’t care about your unique features, they care what those features can do for them. Your positioning needs to be centered on the value that you alone can deliver for customers.”
As a visitor, would you know what action you should take next if you were interested in this business? It should be super obvious, compelling and visually distinctive.
Please, for the love of Pete (whoever Pete is) stop burying your email signup form in the footer of your website, especially if that is one of your main objectives for your website. Also, don’t just say “sign up for my emails,” add a compelling statement as to WHY someone should give you their email address.
What do you do if your website DOESN’T pass the 4 Question Clarity test?
Don’t panic! We’ve come up with a magic spell (because, fun 🧙♂️) that will get your website and homepage working toward your business goals in no time. We call this spell “APSOSA” and feel free to shout Websitium APSOSA! as you continue reading.
Use the APSOSA spell if you want to redesign your home page to CLEARLY speak to your customer and support your primary objective.
These are the following six elements that should be communicated clearly through your design and copy.
You want to be able to identify who you’re talking to and they need to immediately recognize themselves in your copy.
Speak to the problem that your audience currently has. Remind them what they’re struggling with.
Tell them the solution to their problem and position your offering as the thing to provide that solution.
This is where you describe how their life will be better on the other side of buying from you/working with you. Paint a picture of the future they could have.
What makes you stand out from the sea of other websites they’ll check out that day. Be memorable and add your own authentic spin throughout.
Make it clear what the MOST important action you want them to take is. Be clear
about what’s waiting for them on the other side and make it compelling.
The video below is a clip from one of our Wandering Aimfully coaching sessions where we taught the APSOSA framework to our members using one of our awesome folks and their site as an example!
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning our two processes for creating an effective homepage design that helps your business meet its objectives.
Before you make any changes, be sure to grab some analytics on how your website was performing before you made these tweaks. We recommend tracking:
Then, if you haven’t done so already, put your homepage through the 4 Questions Clarity Test and the APSOSA framework. What do you need to change? What design dont’s do you need to fix?
Be willing to experiment with your homepage and lean toward having LESS content than you think you need. Keep your objectives for your website in mind and compare your changes to your baseline metrics!
Our business changed dramatically when we started implementing processes to set goals, make plans, and actually check in on them, rather than just flying by the seat of our business pants. Which, in case you were wondering, are definitely NOT corduroy pants. Ew.
We’ve created a set of goal-setting pies (mmm, 🥧) that help us set long-term goals AND short-term goals that feed into those long-term goals. There are four different goal-setting pies, each with a different time frame, and a different purpose that starts out very broad and gets more and more specific as we go:
Let’s dig into each one of these and share with you HOW it will contribute to a greater feeling of calm in your business!
Yearly planning IS the first goal-setting pie and it’s arguably the most important piece to start with.
This is the 20,000-foot view of your business from above. When we do our yearly planning, we carve out about 3 days at the beginning of the year (or before the year even kicks off) to imagine broadly where we want to steer our businesses. You don’t have to wait for a new year to start to do planning for the next year, feel free to start TODAY.
🖼️ Theme of the Year – Is it a growth year? A more calm year? A year to invest in your skills and learn new things?
🍂 Seasonality of the Year – What are the rough dates for your big projects? When are your launches?
🧳 Personal Time of the Year – When do you want to travel? Are there days/weeks/months you are planning to take off?
🤑 Financial Goals of the Year – What’s the total revenue you want to make in the next 12 months? How does it break down by project? How does it break down by month? How much profit are you expecting? What’s the high-level budget breakdown?
For the financial goals, we’re also taking a closer look at our projects and imagining what initiatives need to be created to actually make our revenue goals come true.
This is the overall view of what you want your next year to look like. Don’t skip this step, it’s what sets the tone for the rest of your goal-setting pies!
We like to meet for a half day once a quarter to chat about project planning and big-picture content creation for the next three months. There are two broad categories that help at this stage:
🧮 Prioritization: What projects do you want to prioritize for the upcoming quarter? What milestones and deadlines will help you stay on track to hit your quarterly goals?
We’ve found that if we don’t prioritize projects and plans at the beginning of a quarter, all our tasks and todos tend to pile up in a bit of a business car accident. We want you to AVOID a pileup of tasks and todos, which is why you prioritize ahead of time!
👩💻 Review: Look at your previous three months and adjust your bigger vision accordingly.
Maybe a marketing initiative didn’t go as planned or you decided to shift your strategy with new information. A quarterly meeting is a great place to reflect on how your previous plans came to fruition. It’s 100% okay if you didn’t hit your quarterly goals, this is the time to review and adjust so you can get back on track!
It’s important to think about what content channels you WANT to be spending time creating for. Just because everyone is jumping on TikTok doesn’t mean your business needs to be on TikTok. If anything, quarterly planning is the perfect time to start a new content experiment and then reflect on the previous one to see if it’s actually working!
Questions to answer in your quarterly content planning time:
Think of your quarterly meeting as a great way to check the pulse on the yearly goals you set. This way, you can actually see progress and gain motivation.
Every single month we sit down and have a 2-3 hour meeting where we check in on the progress of our projects, deadlines, personal goals, financial goals, and take the overall temperature of our business.
The top of a new month is this kind of natural restart, so it’s always a good time to recommit to your priorities.
If you want to exercise more, or spend more time with friends, or go to bed earlier, or have more date nights, etc. these monthly meetings are the perfect time to check in on life, business, and ensuring that everything you’re doing month-to-month is helping you reach your goals.
Pick a day of the week that works best for your schedule and block off 1-2 hours to get SUPER granular on your tasks and todos.
We like Sundays, as it gives us a nice springboard into the week. We’ve tried weekly planning on Mondays, but for us, it never felt quite right (almost like we started the week off a day late).
Feel free to add any other items to your weekly planning that fit your life and business. When we’re in a busier season of life, we often have 2-3 meetings per week to stay on the same page and avoid being overwhelmed.
We did the math and we spend roughly 100 hours working through the various stages of our planning pies every year.
Out of the 1,500 (ish) working hours available each year (261 weekdays * 5.5 hours per day), we’ll gladly spend 6% of that time to improve our chance of hitting all our goals.
You may work less days and less hours per year. You may work more hours and more days per year. Whatever amount helps you live a calm life and run a calm business is the RIGHT amount!
One of the core values of our business is evolution. We believe in designing businesses that can support who you are now but also who you’re becoming. As your needs and your life change, be willing to adjust your goals accordingly.
This concept comes from James Clear and his best-selling book Atomic Habits (aff link). In the book, he talks about how goals are the destinations we fixate on, but the true magic lies in the journey itself—or the repeatable systems we craft in pursuit of those goals.
It’s the small, consistent actions—the systems—that actually pave the way to the outcomes we want. By focusing on the input rather than the output, we can enjoy the process AND put our time towards things that will get us to our ultimate desired destination.
If you don’t consider yourself a planner or a goal-setter, we hope these goal-setting pies will help you bake (HEYO! 🥧) planning into your business so that you can make better progress toward your goals!
We’re not those people who believe money is EVERYTHING and we’re just aiming to squeeze every last dollar of profit out of our businesses.
However, we do believe in using your business to fuel a spacious, calm lifestyle, and more money certainly helps alleviate stress and gives you more choices of how to spend your time.
There are two important money decisions we want to share with you in this article. Neither of them are groundbreaking in theory, but both of them drastically changed our financial situation by putting us more in control and shifting our mindset around money.
There was a time not too long ago when we were afraid to log in to our bank and credit card accounts. We thought if we ignored the financial truth of those accounts, mysteriously all our money problems would just sort themselves out. However, that is a tactic that simply does not work.
You HAVE to know your numbers in order to grow your numbers. Meaning, you can’t just ignore your finances and HOPE that your financial position will change.
When we were $100,000+ in debt a few years ago, it felt like we were climbing a money mountain that was insurmountable. But the single game-changing decision that turned the tide for us in getting out of debt was to finally commit to having weekly budget meetings where we had to actually look at our numbers.
We’re not going to lie to you, that first weekly budget meeting can be like a punch to the gut. But, once we were through it, it allowed us to take back control and actually make a plan for how to pay down our debt and work toward some of our financial goals.
As we moved forward, our weekly budget meetings got less painful. Sure, more money didn’t just magically show up because we started reviewing our finances each week, but it became less uncomfortable to confront our financial reality.
Every expense tracked was a new item we discovered.
Every bill we forgot about was an unexpected mini-boss we had to battle.
Every dollar of income was a shiny gold coin that could get added to our ledger.
When our debt mindset shifted from shame to game, that’s when things got less stressful and when our plan became less daunting!
Further reading: We wrote an in-depth article about our full debt payoff plan and how we paid off $124,000+ in debt in under 3 years.
You might be wondering: Do we still have weekly budget meetings? And the answer is YES! Even many years later, completely debt-free, and with businesses that generate 5x the revenue, we continue to have weekly budget meetings because it keeps us in control of our money!
“A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s. “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.” Thanks for the fun movie quote, Sean Parker, but this type of thinking is what keeps people striving for goals that are unreachable OR reachable with loads of stress.
We want to make it very clear: Whatever amount of money you want to make is totally fine with us! But… We just ask that you take a hard look at your day-to-day life, your specific circumstances, and uncover a financial goal that’s suited to YOU.
We all see it everywhere, people talking about making six figs ($100,000+) and seven figs ($1m+). Again, if those numbers can be broken down and aren’t arbitrary, by all means have them as goals.
However, what we’ve found is more helpful is to set “enough-based” financial goals.
Very quick story from Jason 👨🏻🦲:
When we started Wandering Aimfully (WAIM), we decided to take a different approach. It would’ve been easy to say, “let’s have WAIM make $1m per year!” Instead, we learned from Jason’s mistake and asked an important question: “How much money would be ENOUGH?”
This brought us to questions like:
We went through every question we could think of to created an “enough-based” financial goal. In the end, we landed on $33,000/month* (~$400k/year) as our first enough goal.
*Note: Setting an enough-based financial goal does not have be a forever goal! Your goals can always change if your life changes. Our enough number has grown since setting this initial one due to new goals of wanting to buy a home, raising kids, and putting money aside to take care of our parents.
Further reading: If you want to read the entire story of how we hit our enough goal for WAIM in the first 3 years (with all the ups and downs along the way!) you can read that full story here.
Depending on your financial situation, $400k per year might sound like a lot or it might sound like not enough. For us, it felt like that amount would be a dream come true because that number was directly related to a lifestyle that would be a dream come true!
By actually asking ourselves these enough-based financial questions and applying REAL numbers to each category, we were able to see that our business doesn’t need to make a million dollars for us to feel wealthy.
Setting our enough number helped us feel more at ease in growing our business. We had a true north to head toward and it was a way of defining a boundary line of satisfaction. There are plenty of more impressive businesses that make way more money than ours, but we look around and we have gratitude every single day for what we have because we know our goals have contributed to us living our dream lives.
If you want to read more about the idea of ENOUGH and get our specific formulas on how to calculate your Monthly Minimum Magic (MMM) number and Enough number you can read this article.
We hope you’ll apply these two simple shifts to your own personal finance approach, and we hope they bring you less stress, and yes, even more (but also ENOUGH) money!