Transcript: The 4-Step Checklist I Use Before Adding Something New To Your Business

January 3, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “How can I take this, that it's so profitable, can I make it more profitable but actually work less on it? That's when you've hit the jackpot. And that's usually something that you've done for a while that's matured, that you really dove into it to optimize it at a great level, that you're thinking, ‘Wait, maybe I could tweak a few things. Maybe it could go on evergreen. Maybe you can make way more money, but less of my time.’ That's, like, my favorite thing.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. I hope you're having a wonderful day.  

So here's the deal. If you're anything like me, there's probably been a few times, or maybe even more, when you've had a really great idea for a new product or offering. It’s something that really excites you. And no matter how hard you try, you cannot stop thinking about it. You're convinced that your audience will love it, that you're going to love creating it, and it will be a revenue-generating machine.  

Have you been there? I am sure you have. I definitely have. In fact, I was just there. So stay with me, and I'll tell you about something brand new that I launched as a beta, meaning, like, it was a really small mini launch—you likely didn't even hear about it—but I have been convinced this is it. So I was just there. 

And it's a great feeling, right? You feel alive, you feel excited, and if you're anything like me, you continue to do the same thing over and over again, just better. Like, that's my motto. That's how I have an eight-figure business. I do the same thing over and over again. Digital Course Academy, List Builders Society, Momentum, every single year for many years, I just make it better, I get better, my team gets better. But we are like a dog with a bone: we stay focused on a few core things. 

But, of course, I get excited when I have a new idea. And I'm kind of funny in the sense that I don't have tons of new ideas, like, you may have a new idea every day. I don't have a lot of new ideas, but when I do have a new idea, I can't stop thinking about it. So I think we're on the same page, right? 

But what I will say to you is that even though it's tempting to rally the troops and take action, it's super important to take a step back, evaluate what you're currently working on, weigh in on all the options before moving forward with anything, and just making sure that this is the right decision.  

Listen, I know, you were getting excited, right? I was giving you permission to go for it, create all those new things. Well, I want you to get excited, and I do want you to create new things, but I want you to be really strategic about it. And I know, I know, it's not easy to slow down and evaluate, but every bad decision I've ever made is rooted in, “I don't want to look at the facts. I don't want to analyze the data. I don't want to research. I just want to go do it.” And I kind of ignore everything and just move forward, and then I regret it.  

Can I get an amen? Have you ever been there, when you want to ignore the details or the shortcomings or the cons, when you're doing a pro-and-con list, it's a red flag? Like, you got to look at all of it, right? And I promise, if you slow down just a bit, and you evaluate these things that I'm talking about, making sure that this is a right fit, you will move forward strategically and confidently, and it will feel so good. 

So I'm here to say, yes, I love the idea of you creating something new, but let's talk about some strategies here just to make sure you make a really smart decision.  

So I have four things I do before I add anything to my business. It's like a checklist of sorts, just to make sure I'm not jumping into anything prematurely. And then at the end, I'll tell you about the new thing that I actually did just launch that most people don't know about. So stay with me till the end. And P.S., this is something that you can use again and again in your business to evaluate the best way to move forward with any kind of inspiration that strikes you. 

Okay, so the first thing I do before adding anything new to my business is I take inventory of all the current offers and revenue streams I have going on. I list all the ways I've made money in the past year in my business, everything from live launches to evergreen to any seasonal offers, any promotional affiliate deals that I'm doing. I look at it all. And really what I'm looking at is, what am I doing right now? What has my attention? What are we focused on? 

Now, once I have a list of all the different ways I'm making money, because whether I work on it a lot or a little, it still needs my attention. And by me, I mean, like, my team. We're still in it. So I look at all the ways we're making money, and then I get really clear on how I can optimize what I'm already doing. This is a grown-up thing here. This is the thing that we don't necessarily want to do all the time, but we're entrepreneurs. We need to act like grownups here and say, “Wait a second. Before I add anything new to the business…”— 

And I just want to pause for a second. Even if you don't love all of these steps I want to take you through, remember that I don't teach anything that I don't do; and I also don't teach anything that I don't know if it works or not, meaning I have a multi-million-dollar business because this is what I've done all along from the beginning. So even if you don't love some of these steps, just hear me out, knowing that this is a battle-tested, proven way to kind of slow down before you jump into something that you might regret later.  

Okay. So getting back. Again, I look at all the ways I’m making money, and then I ask myself, “Can I optimize what I'm already doing?” I take a look at that list, and I say, “Out of all these different ways I've made money this year, what did I love working on, and why did I love it? And I think this question is really important because what if you identified, “Well, I really love this.” Then, the next question is, “Okay, well, can I do more of this, just better?” So the first thing you're going to look at is all the stuff that you're doing, all the ways you're making money, and ask yourself, “What do I love doing most?” 

Okay. The next question you're going to ask is, “What generated the most revenue and had the highest profit margin?” I don't think revenue is the only thing we can look at, right? So I include profit margin because I think that really understanding, okay, this is where I made a lot of money, but also I made a lot of profit on the end of this. And that is going to go a long way for you personally, but for the business. So we got to look at both.  

And from there, I asked myself, “Okay, if this is generating good revenue and has a high profit margin, can I scale it?” 

Next, I ask, “Have I taken this to the level where it can either operate on its own? Like, can I turn this into an evergreen offer? Or have it so dialed in that I'm only working on it, let's say, once a year or just a few hours a month. Like, how can I take this, that it's so profitable, can I make it more profitable but actually work less on it? That's when you've hit the jackpot. And that's usually something that you've done for a while that's matured, that you really dove into it to optimize it at a great level, that you're thinking, “Wait, maybe I could tweak a few things. Maybe it could go on evergreen. Maybe you can make way more money, but less of my time.” That's, like, my favorite thing. 

And then another question, “Is anything here not working? Does anything here need to be tweaked, changed, or improved, or deleted?” You might be making money with something this year, but hardly any money, or it's really hard to make the money, or it's really expensive to make the money. Maybe that's something that you're going to take off the list. Hint, hint: that's where you're going to make room for something new. So also look for something that you might want to delete because it's just not profitable or bringing you joy or it's really hard to generate.  

Bottom line, you want to max out on what you're already doing, what's already on the table, and get the most out of it that you possibly can before you add anything on. Where most people mess up in building online businesses is when they continue to add offers, change offers, tweak things, but they're not consistent with anything.  

And again, this has been my secret sauce from the beginning. I just find out what works, and I continue to do it over and over again, but never the same way. I'm always experimenting. I'm always making it better.  

I just did a podcast with Josh, who's on my team, and we talked about little things or big things that we did different for my last DCA launch, that I've done for years and years. So this is important. If you're multitasking, come back to me. I want you to hear this part. Where I get variety and joy and excitement in my business is not from always starting from scratch something new—you know, squirrel! Not going after something that's, like, exciting me—but instead figuring out how to make something better. And in turn, that makes me better as a marketer. So something to think about. 

And also, for the record, even though I tease I'm like a dog with a bone, my business has absolutely evolved over the last fourteen years. I had specific courses that I've retired. I took Courses That Convert and Webinars That Convert and turned it into Digital Course Academy. I went evergreen with List Builders Society. I added Systems That Scale, another program I have, a couple of years ago. I have a membership called Momentum.  

So I've grown the business, I've scaled the business, I've added to the business, but very, very slowly. And I think that, also, is important. If you're in a rush, ask yourself why. 

The third and one of the most important things I do before adding any new offer is I do my research. You want to know if your new offer is something your audience even wants before you dive in headfirst. For example, I knew Momentum was something my audience wanted and needed. In fact, after I launched Digital Course Academy twice, it was so apparent to me that my audience wanted more after they went through DCA. They didn't want me or my team or the momentum to go away, and so that is why we created Momentum. That's how the name came about. We realized, “Wait, people want to continue this momentum. They don't want it to go away,” and so that's when I created Momentum, my membership.  

I followed Stu McLaren's model. He taught me everything I needed to know about creating a membership. And I'm a big believer in learning from the very best. So if I am going to create something new, first, I'm going to do my research, making sure my audience wants it. Second, I’m going to fast track my success, and I'm going to invest in learning how to do it from someone who's gone before me. Like, I'm not going to try to create a membership from scratch on my own. I don't care how long I've been in business. I, at that point, had never done a membership. So I put my money where my mouth is. I invested in working with Stu to learn how to create a membership. Best decision I ever made. 

And the fourth and final step, once you've decided to add onto your business, you need to take baby steps. It's okay to try something out to see if it works. It's okay to do a beta.  

So I promised you that I would share with you something I've recently added. So I just rolled out thirty spots. They filled up in forty-eight hours, so they're already filled. But we created a done-with-you, one-on-one coaching program, and we offered it to our Momentum members, because they get offered everything first, and then our current Digital Course Academy members.  

This done-with-you coaching program is for those who started to create their digital course but realized they just didn't want to do it alone. They wanted coaching. They wanted someone in the trenches with them. They wanted to pitch and catch. They wanted someone to hold them accountable, but they wanted to work with someone one on one.  

So what I decided to do, instead of launching this big program and filling it up and hiring tons of coaches and salespeople to sell it—and there's lots of things I could do with a done-with-you, one-on-one coaching program because it’s my first high ticket—I decided I'm just going to open up these thirty spots. Actually, it was first twenty spots, but I had one extra coach in my back pocket if I felt like we could fill up thirty. And it happened so fast, I'm like, “Yep, we're filling up thirty.”  

But I wanted to make sure that my audience was going to jump at the opportunity. I wanted to get clear on how I would talk about it, and I wanted to first work with these thirty people only and learn what do they love about it? What do they not love about it? What can I make better? because we gave them a very big discount, thousands-of-dollars discount, for this program because we knew we will likely want to make it better, so they got in at, like, the cheapest price I would ever offer it for. And it's been incredible. Like, it's so fun to see it come together.  

So I knew that there was this need because I got asked about it all the time. Do you do coaching? Do you do coaching? Like, all the time. People wanted to hire my team members to coach them. And so we thought, you know, we've been asked this a lot, and we're looking for a way to scale the business that doesn't necessarily include me. So I've been a huge part of designing the coaching program. It follows the DCA model. It's a really amazing program. I'm so excited. I help put the curriculum together for it. But I'm not doing the coaching. I've been training people—well, my team has helped train people to do the coaching.  

And so this is exciting for me. It's a way to scale, because I'm only one person, so I could only coach so many, right? And so we're just taking baby steps. This done-with-you coaching program, just baby steps.  

If you're interested, I do believe it's going so well that we will absolutely roll it out next year. So You can get on the waitlist. So  

And actually, you don't have to be in DCA next year to get one-on-one coaching with my team to create a digital course from scratch. So that’s what it’s about. It's getting your course up and running in ninety days, with the help of a one-on-one coach. So it's the course creation. Right now, it's not necessarily all the marketing that goes with it. We're just going to focus on getting your course created so you have an asset that can make you money over and over again.  

But anyway, you can go check it out if you want.  

So we've reached the end of this episode, and you know what that means, right? I've got a little homework for you to do. I want you to pull out your journal, and I want you to write down four things. Just stay with me here. I think this is important.  

Number one, take an inventory of everything you do to make money. I'm talking about all of your revenue streams. Number two, reevaluate your current offerings and your revenue streams to make sure everything is optimized and fully dialed in. Number three, do your audience research. Survey them, poll them, get into the comments, find out what they really want and need. And ask yourself, “What have people been asking me for for a long time?” And then, number four, if you decide to give it a go, take baby steps. You want to test it out just to make sure that you enjoy delivering it, your audience is excited about it. It could be profitable for you. Baby steps, I'm all about it. 

So, I hope you love this Shorty episode, and I hope you found it valuable. Thank you so much for hanging out with me.  

And listen, I'm all about you creating new, exciting, new offers. But I also want you to win. I also want you to be insanely profitable. I want you to make a lot of money. And the way you do that is by optimizing, not constantly starting new things. So stay with what's already working.  

And if it's working a little, it could work a lot. Remember, my first launch was thirty thousand, and my launches now are way, way, way beyond that. I would have never, ever known that was possible for me if I didn't stay with what I was good at, stay with what was already working in the business, and just make it better. You have it in you to do this, my friend. So optimize what's already working, and then give yourself that space to be excited about new things as well.  

Thanks for tuning in, and I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. Bye for now. 

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