“It All Started with a Blind Date and Ended Up Being All About Automated Funnels to Fund Our Lifestyle...”
This is why automated funnels are so important to me...
Money can be the biggest stressor in your life, but done right, it can also be the tool that allows you to live the life you've always wanted - no matter who you are...
As I’m writing this, Charlsa, my wife, and I have been home from a 5-day trip to New York for less than 12 hours. We’re dog tired, energized by the trip, and really happy to be home.
We had an awesome trip and loved every minute of it.
And it reminded me why I do what I do, and why automated sales funnels are so important to our lifestyle.
You see, we did more than five figures in sales while my wife and I were doing the older-than-60-version of painting the Big Apple for 5 days.
I left my computer at home to truly be present on this trip.
Still, we reaped the rewards of truly passive, automated income. And I’m going to explain the key to this entire way of life in just a minute, but first…
Travel with the right person is a dream come true!
This trip was really Charlsa’s Christmas present. As an opera singer for nearly 35 years, getting a chance to see a performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera is a real treat.
So, in December, I discovered her favorite opera, Turandot, was playing in March.
I booked it.
We had special seats and a special reservation in the Belmont Room exclusive to Guild Members and Metropolitan Donors. We were living the life of the rich and famous opera fanatics where the caviar was $155 for a small tin.
We didn’t take advantage of that 🙂 We’re pretty frugal folks...
The difficult part was working the trip in around all our other travel…
I’m not complaining. That’s a great problem to have. And it's one that I designed for our lives several years ago with our automated, online business. More about that in a minute...
But let me explain why this is so important first...
One of the big reasons for our big trip to New York last week other than the opera was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our blind date.
Yep, 20 years ago, I was a wannabe biker with long hair and a Harley - no car. I roared into the outdoor cafe R Thomas's on Peachtree in Atlanta for a 1-hour meeting to have coffee with this woman named Charlsa.
My friend Beverly (and Charlsa's really good friend) had been pestering us both to meet for 3 months. We finally agreed - mostly to get Beverly off our backs.
It was my first blind date. And Charlsa's last. I never thought I'd get married again. And I really wasn't looking. In fact, I was quite comfortable (although misguided) with the bachelor life.
But within minutes of sitting across from Charlsa in that restaurant, I knew this was different.
Twenty years later, it's turned out to be the best thing that's ever happened to me.
We share a life, love and a home. And no matter where we go, it's always great to be home again - together...
Don’t miss this point!
Sharing your life with someone that you actually want to spend nearly every moment with is a rarity among relationships. And certainly a blessing I never thought I'd experience.
But that’s what we’ve got. We live in the woods on a lot of land and spend a lot of time together.
And we travel. Quite a bit. On purpose.
In the past 20 years, we’ve traveled the world and the US.
Each fall, we plan every home game weekend with the Alabama Crimson Tide football team and a bowl location. We make a weekend out of it going to lunch with Coach Nick Saban on Friday, tailgate with our friends on Saturday before the game, and drive home on Sunday.
We go to our favorite beach in Florida for a couple of weeks twice a year. And we visit my elderly parents at The Villages in Florida several times a year.
Traveling is an opportunity to recharge and reconnect as much as possible.
The time in the car is our time to be really alone when no one else can get to us...
Not long after that blind date, I realized I wanted as much time with this fantastic woman as I could get. And luckily - and inexplicably, she feels the same about me.
It’s ironic then that during the first 7 years that we lived in Alabama, I was a traveling consultant leaving town on Sunday night and returning home on Thursday night - sometimes Friday night.
Essentially, for 7 years, I left her alone in the woods.
But I was making nearly $250k a year as a consultant. And missing my life.
We had to do something about that...
That’s when I decided to become a full-time, work-from-home business person.
I loved my consultant work, and even though I was self-employed with great clients, I was beholding to them. I wanted more freedom and flexibility.
In 2010, I quit, and soon realized that full-time, online business people can choose one of two paths:
- Scramble daily to make sales by hawking as many products as possible, or…
- Focus on building a passive, automated business that pays you whether you work or not, AND delivers exactly what your prospects are looking for.
Of course, either path has consequences…
You can’t do one without the other. If you focus on building an automated business, you still have to promote other products to create cash for your business or you’ll die quickly while building the automation.
But you can promote excellent products selectively and with moderation.
Building is the keyword…
And with building, there is work that must be done. Without a clear vision and a clear plan, that work can easily become overwhelming.
That’s why we had to get very clear about the basic building block of our business.
And I’m revealing it here today with a challenge.
“Implement this one thing in your business, and you’ll always build on what you did yesterday.”
It starts with a decision diamond…
This is so simple, most people overlook it completely.
They are so focused on getting the prospect or lead to buy something, they forget that at least 90 percent of your visitors didn't. What about those folks?
The key to every automated funnel is this simple programming concept.
And it starts with a “Decision Diamond.”
A decision diamond is a basic software process function.
It simply recognizes that every option presented to your prospect is a choice.
It requires a decision and there’s a consequence to that decision, whether you control it or not.
Most marketers today send an email expecting a prospect to click to an offer, and hoping she takes the action the marketer wants - making a purchase.
If the prospect doesn’t make the purchase, they fall into a black hole of nothingness with no action because the marketer didn’t account for that choice. But it was a choice, remember?
But by default, there’s a consequence.
”No Action” is a choice...
And in automated funnels, you never want “no action” to be the choice.
Every decision diamond requires two (or more) choices.
And when everything you do comes from this perspective, the following equation becomes your driving force.
“If this (selection is made), then do this action, ELSE do this action…”
You see, this is where most marketers fail…
Instead of letting prospects and leads fall into the nothingness black hole, I’m proposing you do something else.
If the prospect didn’t take the action you hoped he would take, then make sure he takes another action - one you control.
It's up to you to present another action.
Or record the choice the prospect made so you can help him take a different action later.
It may look like this:
Notice, the prospect has multiple positive choices until we discover the information (problem and solution) they really want.
Once that’s known, offer the right solution and chances are much greater the prospect will buy and become a loyal customer because you’re offering what they want.
Why should you use this in your business?
This is how you fund the lifestyle you want.
If you’re tied to your computer all the time, you can’t possibly enjoy your life to the max.
Listen, Charlsa and I had a great time in New York. We have a great time everywhere we go.
But I also love knowing that our business supports our lifestyle and it only gets better and better. Having this freedom in our lives allows us to focus on one another.
To quote a wise old man (my dad!),
“When poverty comes through the door, love goes out the window…”
You might argue with that and say it’s pretty cynical, but me?
I’ve experienced poverty, and life is much better with automated income.
If this is your problem, let us help you solve it…