UPDATE: Click here to read my results & lessons from 1-year of the Zero to Launch course.
UPDATE #2 (July 19, 2015): Click here to read my results & lessons from 1.5 years of the Zero to Launch course.
In August of 2011, I was working as a code monkey in a 300-people tech company in Slovenia, making $7/h. As I just recently got a raise, I was making more than a thousand dollars a month. Whoa!
Why “Whoa!”? Well, I was a university student, living at my parents with practically no living expenses… So all of a sudden, I had all this money coming my way and I had NO IDEA what to do with it. I didn’t want to waste it on something stupid like buying a new car or a phone.
I decided to reach out to a self-development blogger that I was following at the time, Scott H Young, and here’s what he advised me to do:
I followed his advice and found the website of this weird Indian guy with a very scammy name (I will teach you to be rich? SERIOUSLY?!). But since I trusted Scott, I decided to give it a shot and order his book from Amazon.
When I received his book, I still wasn’t sure whether I could trust this guy or not. It was in fluorescent orange and yellow colors, and Ramit wasn’t even wearing shoes in the picture.
A few days later, I was sitting in my bed and I just finished reading the last page of the book. I was shocked and angry at the world. I was thinking to myself “Why are there such awesome books out there and nobody ever told me about them?!”. Before reading IWTYTBR, all I read was fiction and textbooks… and none of those were particularly life-changing. But this book was. It showed me that life is much more than what we believe it to be, and I began to trust this Ramit guy.
Over the last few years, I took numerous online courses which gave me some amazing results:
In fall of 2011, I took Earn1k, which helped me start my own consulting business and move from earning $7/h in a cubicle to earning $125/h by helping people become more productive and changing their lives in the process.
Ramit’s 6-Figure Consultanting System helped me take the things to the next level – in just one month, I managed to double my monthly revenue and by now I’m working at $250/h – this means that I can cover my minimum monthly expenses by working just 1 hour a week! Yes, that’s a 4-hour work MONTH for me.
If you want to know more about how I went from earning $7/h to $250/h, check out my podcast with Navid Moazzez. We also talk about Zero to Launch and how to get from 0 to 500 e-mail subscribers in a month.
In July 2013, I even got to meet Ramit in person. Yes, he’s a legit human being and a hillarious guy to hang out with.
Because I managed to set up my own consulting business and I only really need to work on it for 4 hours a month, I am now able to devote a lot of my time to implementing Ramit’s new course, Zero to Launch, which I was lucky enough to beta-test.
Note that as I am writing this review, I don’t get a cent from it – you will find no affiliate links in it or anything of that sort. It’s really just my honest review of the course.
What is Zero to Launch?
Unlike Earn1k and Ramit’s 6-figure Consultants, this course isn’t about consulting.
Zero to launch is about taking the knowledge that you have, creating an online product out of it and then sharing it with hundreds or even thousands of people.
I was super excited when I got offered to beta-test this course because even though I was making more than enough money with my consulting business, there were only so many clients that I could work with 1on1.
I also felt like I was saying the same things over and over again – so why wouldn’t I just record them and make a video course out of them?
Well, I’ll tell you why… Because I tried doing that in the past. But I thought that in order to do that, I needed to have a fancy website, professionally hosted videos, a complicated billing process… and of course I never actually managed to put anything together because I didn’t know where to even start.
With Zero to Launch, we went through a step-by-step process that helped me set up my website from scratch, build my e-mail list and sell my first products.
Let’s dive into a few specific examples of what I learned during Zero To Launch:
1. Do I need to invest thousands of dollars into a customized website?
Before Zero To Launch, I thought that I needed a fancy, personalized website and I actually spent more than $500 getting one. I also spent more than 100 hours tweaking font colors, setting up archive pages and fixing small details like having 5 posts on one page instead of 10.
Here’s an image of my old website (you can even click this link to see what it looked like).
During Zero to Launch, I paid $50 for a Genesis template and got the website set up in a matter of days so I could focus on actually producing content for my readers.
2. How many blog posts should I write a week?
At my old website, I wrote a ton of blog posts. At one point, I even wrote daily tips for my readers… like “take a walk”, “drink water” and “clean your work environment”. Meh. It wasn’t high quality content, and it wasn’t driving much traffic to my website. I blogged for about 6 months, and I got to about 50 e-mail subscribers total.
Now, I have more than 1600 subscribers on my e-mail list and I have just a few blog posts up there. In fact, I managed to get 500 subscribers with just TWO blog posts that were one month apart!
And now, I also know how to write epic content that people read, share and talk about. No more “daily tips” that everyone forgets the next day. For example, I’ve written a 17.000 word Guide on Surrounding Yourself with Successful People that is packed with specific stories, scripts, systems and real-life examples. This guide alone had gotten thousands of views within days, as well as feedback like this:
I give the majority of my content out for free via my blog and e-mail list, even content that I could potentially sell, because I know that there’s a lot more where that came from.
Now I don’t want to just create content. Now I want to create the best content out there, and thanks to the content creation frameworks from Ramit’s Zero to Launch I know exactly how to do that.
3. Should I use SEO, Facebook, Twitter or something else to drive traffic to my website?
Before Zero to Launch, I thought that I needed to do EVERYTHING to drive traffic to my website. I didn’t want to miss out on people who would see my blog on Twitter or Facebook.
Now I know that I just have to focus on what works for me. I actually deleted my Twitter account and I don’t really use Facebook all that much because I know that those techniques were under-performing against other ones.
This allows me to focus on what actually works for me (mostly guest posts and podcasts). I’m not sure what will work for you, but by investing more time into what worked for you in the past, you will be able to get much better results.
4. If I’m stuck on something, what do I do?
I told you before that I wanted to create this big online course that had a complicated billing system, professional videos, etc… but I just didn’t know who to talk to about my next steps. There is so much information out there in the internet, but how do you know what really works?
With Zero to Launch private community, I was able to get first-hand advice from people like James who have already sold online courses before. By having a short chat, I was able to move on to taking action instead of being paralyzed by not knowing which information is right and which isn’t.
And if I wasn’t really sure about something, I could always ask a question in the Facebook group and even get first-hand feedback from Ramit!
5. How do I know if anyone will actually buy my product?
I have a friend who actually spent a year or so (and thousands of dollars) on developing a product. A few months ago, he launched it. Guess how many people bought it? ZERO. Now he’s trying all kinds of different things to “fix” the product, but he still isn’t making any money.
Because he didn’t validate his idea before-hand. He didn’t ask anyone if they would actually be interesting in something like that (or be willing to pay for it). When I advised him to do that a while ago, he said that “he wants to keep it a secret”.
With Ramit’s idea validation framework, I was able to know very soon whether my idea was a good one and if someone would actually buy it. And since then, I have actually managed to develop a few products and successfully sell them!
6. Ok, this looks cool… But will I actually be able to make any money with Zero to Launch?
With my old blog, I was able to make about $20 with Amazon affiliate links. That’s it. No consulting clients, no product sales. I had no idea how to even monetize my blog.
Since Zero to Launch, I have already launched a few products and I got sales like this:
On top of that, I even got a few consulting clients that helped me earn thousands of dollars in extra revenue.
How is your life different since Zero to Launch?
The biggest difference for me is probably earning money in my sleep. It’s such a great feeling to wake up to e-mails like this:
With my latest product, I managed to get enough sales to cover my monthly rent in just 4 days!
I’m also able to work from anywhere I want to, at any time – whether it’s from a coffee shop or from business class on a plane.
Last but not least, I can now do a lot of writing and podcasting, which is something that I REALLY enjoy – and I get to share it with hundreds of people, instead of just one person!
Results from 1 year of Zero to Launch
Since writing this review, a lot has changed. I’m going to show you the results and the lessons that I’ve learned in one year since I joined Zero to Launch.
Revenue: $40,000 in a year.
Over the last year, I have successfully launched 2 online products, as well as a few 1on1 coaching programs for entrepreneurs. In 2014, I’ve made over $40,000 in profit just through this blog.
Of course this didn’t happen over night. For example, here’s what the process looked like for creating my first product:
- In February, I launched a small, live 2-hour workshop that was sold for $49.
- In April, I took the feedback from the workshop and extended it into a 4-week online course, which was also sold for $49.
- In June, I reached out to some of my mentors and advisers and recorded eight 60-minute interviews that I added to the course and created a master level of the course, which was priced at $97.
- In July, I decided to raise the price of the course to $97 (pro level) / $197 (master level).
- In 2015, I will redesign the core 4-week course with the feedback I got from my students over the last year, to make it even more valuable.
Still, once the hard work is done up front, you can reap the benefits of your hard work for months, if not years to come.
The beauty of it was that once you put in the work and create a great product, you can automate the majority of the sales process, “make money in your sleep” and reap the benefits for months or even years to come.
Over 2,200 new e-mail subscribers
Over the last year or so, over 2,200 new readers joined my e-mail list. To be honest, I would have liked this to be a bit higher, and I know that if I focused primarily on growing my e-mail list, I could easily get to 5,000-10,000 subscribers.
But here’s the thing: I chose not to. Instead of creating a $50 product that would be “ok” and massively promoting my website. I decided to take the time and get feedback from my readers. I got on a call with over 50 students who joined one of my e-mail courses, I asked them what they liked and what they didn’t like about the course, and what they would like to see in it in the future.
This helped me improve my sales copy to improve sales conversions, 4x the price of my course, as well as improve my product so my students can get better results.
Now take a look at the graph below:
I get 100-200 new e-mail subscribers each month.
What do you notice?
You can see that even though I focused primarily focused on creating a really good product this year, I still consistently got 100-200 new e-mail subscribers a month.
How did that happen?
Did I do some kick ass SEO? Did I buy Facebook ads? No, I have no idea about any of those things.
I got a consistent stream of new website visitors (and subscribers) because I created great content like My Quick Guide to Surrounding Yourself With Successful People that my readers loved, returned to, and shared with their friends.
That’s one of the things that separates Zero to Launch students from other bloggers. They write incredibly valuable content that their readers love, share, and take action on.
I finally have a lifestyle that I always wanted to have
Making decent money is great, but money isn’t really that helpful if you don’t have a lifestyle that you would really enjoy.
I’ve written briefly about this before, but now my life is completely different than it was a year ago.
A year ago, I was doing ok. I was making a few times more money than an average salary in Slovenia, I could go eat at fancy restaurants, and I was my own boss.
Still, there were a few things I didn’t really enjoy. For example:
- I had to work around the schedules of my clients, so sometimes I would need to wake up at 6am to have a call, or stay up until 3am even though I wanted to sleep at that time.
- I needed a really good internet connection for my calls, so I couldn’t do as much travelling as I would have liked to.
- When I had 15 clients and I spoke to them once or twice a week, I came close to a 40-hour work week, and I didn’t make any money unless I did coaching calls.
Now, things are different. Now, I can literally work whenever I want, however I want, and whenever I want. I can wake up at 7am or 1pm. I can work from Slovenia, San Francisco or Thailand. In fact, last August I went to Thailand for 1 month with a friend of mine on a week’s notice.
I recorded a new video course in Thailand last August.
Another thing that changed is that as I started growing my business, I got to meet many other online business owners, like Selena Soo, one of the best publicity strategists in the world.
Grabbing lunch with Selena Soo in NYC
And with that, new opportunities opened up as well. I got many new podcast and guest post opportunities, recently I was even profiled by Business Insider:
Click here to read my profile on Business Insider.
Lessons from 1 year of Zero to Launch
I’ve showed you some of the results from Zero to Launch program, and now I’m going to share with you two of my biggest lessons that I learned within the last year.
1. You don’t need 100,000 e-mail subscribers to make a good living.
For a long time, I thought that I needed to have hundreds of thousands of e-mail subscribers if I wanted to work on my business full time. It felt so out of reach and unrealistic that I would ever get there.
But now that I’ve created my own business, and made over $40,000 in a year with only 2,000 e-mail subscribers, I can see that there’s another way.
it’s possible to make a good living, even if you have a relatively small e-mail list. What matters much more than the quantity of the people that you get on your e-mail list is the quality of the subscribers.
For example, there are many “internet marketers” out there that use Facebook ads to drive Facebook readers to fishy websites where they somehow trick them into collecting their e-mail address. As you can imagine, even if you trick 10,000 people into giving you their e-mail address, they probably won’t open many of your e-mails and buy many of your products if you start selling to them right away.
On the other hand, if you have 1,000 e-mail subscribers that…
- Have seen a guest post from you on a blog of a blogger that they have been following for years.
- Loved the posts on your blog, so they decided to join your e-mail list.
- Were blow away by the FREE e-book you have given them as a gift for signing up to your e-mail newsletter.
What will THEY think to themselves?
I bet it’s something along the lines of, “oh wow, if this guy’s free material is this good, then I can’t imagine how good his products are. let me check them out!”.
And that’s how you can make much more money with a high quality e-mail list of 1,000 subscribers than with a low quality e-mail list of 10,000 e-mail subscribers.
2. Build relationships with other bloggers.
Last year, I was introduced to Navid Moazzez from the Lifestyle Architects Podcast. Navid and I did a podcast episode together, and at that point we could have just parted our ways and never spoken again.
But we didn’t.
Instead, we decided to help each other out in any way we could to help grow each other’s businesses. So I introduced Navid to a few friends of mine who I thought would be great candidates for his podcast. When I asked Navid to introduce me to some podcasters, he happily connected me with 10 amazing podcasters.
I later did a great interview with him for his Branding Summit , which turned out to be one of the biggest online summits on personal branding out there. And when I talked to a Business Insider journalist that asked me who else has an amazing story that she can share with her readers, he was the first person to come to my mind, so I gladly sent over an introduction.
An interview I did with Navid for his Branding Summit
It’s a win-win relationship for both of us. We do whatever we can to help each other, and because of this, we constantly open up new opportunities that help us grow our businesses.
If you’d like to learn more about how to connect with other successful bloggers, read my 10,000+ word guide that I wrote on this topic.
Results from 1.5 years of Zero to Launch
Whoa! Another 6 months have gone by since my last update, and A LOT has changed in my business that I want to share with you in this update. Let’s dig right into it!
Revenue since starting ZTL: Over $80,000
In my one year update, I mentioned that I earned over $40,000 in the first year since starting Zero to Launch. Well, in the following 6 months, I also earned over $40,000, bringing the total revenues since starting Zero to Launch to over $80,000.
The revenue graph for the last 6 months of running my ZTL business
Here are a few interesting facts:
- It took half the time to go from $40,000 to $80,000 as it did to go from $0 to $40,000.
- Whereas a big chunk of revenue from the first $40,000 was from coaching, the second $40,000 came exclusively from selling online products.
- While I was focusing on Zero to Launch full time last year, I ran it as a side business over the last 6 months. On average, I spent less than 5 hours/week on this business, and now 90% of my business is automated.
Year one is learning, year two is earning, year three is growing.
This is one of the things that Ramit mentions in Zero to Launch:
- During the first year of Zero to Launch, you will mostly spend time on understanding your target audience, finding your profitable business idea and creating and selling a $50 or a $200 product.
- During the second year of Zero to Launch, you will already have a validated business idea, a few thousand e-mail subscribers on your e-mail list and start creating higher tier ($500 products). This will allow you to start earning some serious money (enough to leave a full-time job if you wish to).
- During the third year of Zero to Launch, you will likely have thousands of e-mail subscribers on your e-mail list, connections in major publications that constantly bring new traffic to your website, a few online products, and perhaps even a flagship product that costs $1,000-$3,000. This will allow you to rapidly grow your business to multiple 6 figures and beyond.
- Can I really launch a $500 product?
- What if nobody buys it?
- What if I can’t do a 2-week product launch?
- What if my copy sucks?
- My last product idea came out worse than expected… How do I know that this one will work better?
- In worst case, I would get something like 3 sales and make $1,500 with the product.
- In an OK scenario, I would hit a 0,5% conversion rate and make around $10k. This would give me my first 5-figure product launch, and I would be happy with it.
- In a GREAT scenario, I would hit a 1% conversion rate (which I felt like was possible, but didn’t want to get my hopes up too much to avoid being too disappointed), and make $20k or more.
- People pitched: 3,500
- Sales: 35
- Conversion rate: 1%
- Total revenue (including extra revenues from a 3 month payment plan): $20,200
- Traveling the world AND meeting awesome people: Traveling is great, and I love doing it. But it’s 10x more fun if I can hang out with other business owners that I can help (or learn from) while doing it.
- Constant challenges: In the second part of last year, running a business became a bit boring and maybe even “too easy”. I realized that if I really want to get the most out of myself, I need to constantly have new challenges ahead – whether that means taking on a new project, planning an event or running a community of hundreds ambitious Zero to Launch students.
- Giving back and making a big impact: If I’m completely honest, I could probably make much more money if I focused 100% on my business right now. However, at this point if I earn 2x or 3x my current income, I’m not going to be 2-3x happier. That’s why I focus on doing things that can help a lot of people on a big scale, even if that means that I can’t stay at Four Seasons all the time. It just makes me a ton happier to hear success stories from my students than to eat lobster & steaks every day.
This was definitely true for me. During the first year of ZTL, I was still learning and trying to figure out my exact niche that I can fill. I created a few $50-$200 products and a few coaching programs. One product performed well, another one was a flop.
During the first half of the second year of ZTL, I started to understand my exact niche that I want to help and how I wanted to serve them. This made it easier to start creating higher tier products (I launched a $500 product this year) while still hitting good conversion rates. All of a sudden, making good money with my business became much more effortless. I knew I could create something that people really want, and they actually WANTED to learn from me.
Now, I’m confident that I will earn more than 6 figures this year exclusively from selling online products. And next year, I’ll hit multiple six figures with my side business. It’s not a matter of “will my business be successful or not?”.
I have a SYSTEM that works. I know my target audience and what they want. I have a great product for them. If I just focus on growing my list and possibly adding in an additional higher tiered product in the future, the math will work for me, and the revenue will come in.
Why I stopped doing 1on1 coaching and transitioned to focusing 100% of online products
If you want to grow your business fast (and pay your bills or invest into your business), 1on1 coaching is one of the easiest ways to do it. As you’re selling personalized access to you and not just a video course and the perceived value of your time is higher than a video, it can actually be much easier to sell a $1,000 coaching program than a $200 online product.
Many Zero to Launch students like Selena and Nagina earned multiple 5 figures with running coaching programs, and for me coaching definitely represented a big chunk of revenue in my first year of Zero to Launch.
However, since my time became more limited in 2015 (more on that later), and I wanted to really make a bigger IMPACT and help tens of thousands of people around the world, I decided to discontinue doing any 1on1 coaching. It means turning down new clients and saying no to extra revenue which was certainly hard, but in the end I knew that if I focus my efforts into growing my list, creating new products and helping more students, I could easily surpass the revenues that I would be able to earn with coaching.
And I did.
Behind the scenes of a $20,000 product launch
While I did create a few $50-$200 online products in 2014, I always wanted to do something more. I wanted to create a “flagship course”, a $500 product that would be really detailed and bring in 5 figures or more with just one product launch. Deep down inside, I knew I COULD do it, but in all honesty, I was afraid to do it so I delayed creating and launching it for quite a few months.
Just like everyone else, I had a TON of invisible scripts that were holding me back:
Luckily, with the help of Selena Soo and a few other mentors and advisers, I managed to overcome my own invisible scripts and successfully launched the product.
So in the end of April, I launched my new online product: Skyrocket Your Side Business. This was a 8-week, $500 online products that had two options: A $500 one-time payment or 3*$200 payments.
The math behind a $20,000 product launch
At the time, I had around 3,500 e-mail subscribers on my e-mail list. I really had NO idea how the product would perform. I ran the maths and had 3 possible scenarios:
When I launched the product, it was nerve-wracking. Over the first few days of the launch, I got 1 or 2 sales a day. OK, at least I got some sales. Maybe this won’t be a complete disaster :).
I knew that the majority of the sales usually come in on the last 1-2 days of the launch, but I still wasn’t sure if that would actually happen.
On Thursday (second to last day of the launch), sales started coming in more consistently. On Friday, they poured in.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, I analyzed the stats:
The result surpassed my wildest expectations. I actually managed to have a $20k product launch. I was so excited I started uncontrollably dancing in my room. Then, I invited all of my friends out to lunch to my favorite restaurant, and we celebrated with lots of wine and champagne.
And just in case you were wondering, here are the actual sales from the launch (notice how most sales come in on the last two days… it’s nerve-wracking to wait for that final spike that tells you whether your launch will be successful or not.
The sales from my product launch (a few thousand dollars came in the following months through payment plans)
Why I chose to stop being a full-time business owner and turned my business into a side-business
In December of 2014, something happened that drastically changed my trajectory of my career.
Before that, if you asked me to work in a full time job, I would laugh at you. And I still would right now. I always wanted to be my own boss and to have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, at any time I wanted (I love sleeping in and traveling, so this is very important to me).
But then, one day I found out that Ramit was looking to add a special coaching program to Zero to Launch where a coach would help students progress with the course faster. It was called Zero to Launch Accelerator.
While I really didn’t want to have another “job” ever again in my life, I knew that working together with Ramit and his team was something I always wanted to do, and something that would help me rapidly improve my online business skills.
At the time, I was also doing some business coaching on my own, and while had a round 13 1on1 coaching clients, I knew that I wanted to help more than just 10 people. As an Accelerator coach, I could make a much bigger impact and coach thousands of Ramit’s students, who I knew were all very ambitious and would happily take my advice and get awesome results with their businesses.
In the end, it was a no-brainer for me, and I applied for the position and got it. And so, I became the Zero to Launch Accelerator coach.
My interview with Ramit for Zero to Launch Accelerator students
The downside of this position was that I didn’t have as much time to work on my business any more, so I turned it into a side business. I wanted to help Ramit make the best online business coaching program in the world, so my focus since the December has been 100% on making it an awesome program.
I still spent around 5 hours per week on my side business, mostly on Sunday mornings. Still, because of all the systems I have set up in the past and because I know how to spend my time as efficiently as possible, I managed to earn over $40,000 on the side over the last 6 months with my ZTL business (and I write about 8 key strategies that I used to keep growing my business even with very limited time investment in my FREE Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Star Student in Online Business Courses).
Zero to Launch Accelerator: The most fun and exciting project I ever took on
In 2015, I helped Ramit launch the new Zero to Launch Accelerator program. In a few words, Accelerator gives Zero to Launch students everything they need to rapidly accelerate the growth of their online business – from software that makes it easy for you to set up a website within hours, to tens of hours of real-life case studies and advanced strategies that you can use to grow your business faster, to a private community of the most ambitious Zero to Launch students – and of course, personalized business coaching.
Over the last 6 months or so, I worked closely with some of the most ambitious Zero to Launch students. I helped them with their business ideas, blog posts, and even sales copy. And it’s been so great to be able to share my experiences and advice with them, to see them implement it and get awesome results.
One student recently went from Zero to a $1,000 product launch in just 10 weeks. Another one just got featured on a high traffic website and got over 300 new e-mail subscribers within a few days to grow his list by 67%. It’s incredible to be able to give back to these students and see them grow.
Zero to Launch Accelerator is perhaps the only thing I really missed when I went through Zero to Launch. I know it’s an awesome program in it’s own, but I feel like having a coach that can directly give you feedback on your business can really help you grow your business so much faster (just as I mentioned earlier that my mentors and advisers helped me create a $20,000 product launch).
Now, all of those things are great. It’s awesome to work with ambitious students and share my knowledge and experiences with them. But guess what’s even better?
Meeting them in person.
Over the last few months, I went out of my way to meet as many of Accelerator students in person as possible. When I did some traveling around the US, I hosted meet ups with my students in Washington DC, Miami and Philadelphia. Then, since a lot of my students requested me to come to UK, I booked a flight to London UK and stayed there just for one day so I could connect with my students (even if it meant spending $500 out of my pocket on the flight and hotel).
Since the students loved these meet ups, we decided to host an even bigger meet up in June in NYC, where Ramit would join us for a few hours as well.
Meeting my students at the Accelerator meet up in NYC
The event was AWESOME. We had 45+ Accelerator students at the event, and many of them flew in from places like New Orleans, Houston and even Canada. It was a lot of fun to finally meet many of the students that I’ve talked with online in person and hear about their successes with ZTL.
Because I really wanted to make this event as awesome for the students as possible, I reached out to some of the fellow Zero to Launch Case Studies (Naveen, Selena and Nagina), as well as my good friends Marc Aarons and Navid Moazzez to have a 1-hour Q & A for the Accelerator students.
Star Student Q & A at Zero To Launch Accelerator Meet Up NYC
And on top of that, Ramit agreed to talk to 10 Accelerator students 1on1 in “hot seats” and gave them laser focused advice on their businesses (on everything from polishing their business ideas, improving their writing skills to promotional strategies after the first successful product launch).
Hot seats with Ramit at Zero To Launch Accelerator Meet Up NYC
And finally, after years of weird photos, I finally have a photo with Ramit where both of us look happy and normal (if you ignore my awkwardly buttoned up blazer):
NORMAL PHOTO WITH RAMIT!!!
So all in all, while earning a lot of money, living in a nice apartment, having the freedom to do whatever I want and traveling the world is great, here’s what I realized is truly important to me right now:
Lessons from 1.5 years of Zero to Launch
Just like I learned a lot of new things over the first year of running my online business, I definitely learned a ton during the last 6 months as well.
Here are some of the most important lessons I learned:
Lesson #1: Automate!
When I originally launched my first products, I kept them extremely low tech. I used Google Drive to give students access to the course, which was free and low-tech, but the downside was that I had to manually add students to the course. This was OK in the beginning, but it became very frustrating over time.
The membership area for my new course is much nicer now!
Right now, 95% of my business is automated:
- New readers find me through epic guides like this one, media mentions and other blogs.
- Most interested readers subscribe to my e-mail list and get new e-mails and free e-books automatically delivered to their e-mail lists.
- Some readers decide to purchase some of my products, and they automatically get access to them through the automation rules I have set up.
Note that I would still recommend starting low tech – you can use cheap, simple solutions that don’t require a huge financial or time investment so you can keep the momentum going (just don’t be cheap when it comes to hosting, as it sucks when your website crashes when you get a lot of traffic and you miss out on new e-mail subscribers ;)).
However, once you start earning multiple 5-figures with your business, you should definitely try to automate as much of the process as possible, so you can really just focus on growing your business.
Lesson #2: Don’t do things that aren’t the best use of your time
When I first started out, I did EVERYTHING in my business – from designing worksheets and e-books, to sending out e-mails and blog posts.
Now that my time is much more limited and I can only invest a few hours a week into my side business, it makes sense for me to delegate as much work as possible to others, so I hired an intern to help me out with parts of my business.
Now I don’t have to do things like:
- Designing my worksheets and e-books
- Converting my course videos to audio files and uploading them to membership sites
- Sending out e-mails and blog posts
My intern designed my Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Star Student in Online Business Courses, and he did a better job than I ever could.
Now, I can really just focus on polishing my current products, creating new content for my readers and growing my e-mail list.
Lesson #3: Ask for help
Asking for help has been HARD for me.
As I got more and more successful, it became harder and harder for me to ask for help because of these scripts:
- “I should know these things. I will look stupid if I ask this question.”
- “I can just figure this out on my own”
- “I don’t want to waste other peoples’ time”
And because of this, I forgot how much I love helping other people who constantly take action (and that others love helping me for that reason as well).
I feel like over the last half of a year, I became much more vulnerable and open, and because I actively reach out to my mentors and advisers and hire coaches that help me with things I’m not great at, it makes it much easier for me to keep growing and improving myself.
That would be my last lesson for you: If you want to grow your business fast, ASK FOR HELP. Reach out to ZTL Case Studies. Connect with students who are one or two steps ahead of you (ZTL Accelerator is great for this). Post your questions that you have in the ZTL Private community.
Being vulnerable will suck, but once you get over the uncomfortable feeling, you will really be able to improve on your weaknesses that are holding you back from building a successful business faster.
How will YOUR life change if you go through Zero to Launch?
And what can Zero to Launch do for you? Well, it can give you the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without financial restrictions.
Do you want to be able to take a month off to be with your family like James? Maybe have the option of quitting your job if you want to? Or maybe you just want to be earning money while you take a trip around the world?
All of this is possible. I’ve done it, James has done it, and more of Ramit’s students have done it:
There are so many opportunities out there, and you can definitely get them as well.
So right now you’re probably wondering if Zero to Launch will work as well for you as it did for us.
I’ll be honest, Zero to Launch is NOT for everyone.
Zero to Launch is NOT right for you if…
- You want to get rich quick. It’s very likely that you won’t be making $10k/month right off the bat. It took me a few months to release my first product and get my first sales.
- You think that this program won’t work for you because of (insert X excuse). If you disqualify yourself before even putting in the effort, you will never get the results that you want.
- You aren’t willing to commit at least a few hours each week into working on your online business. If your excuse is that you “don’t have time”, then creating your online business just isn’t important enough to you yet.
Zero to Launch IS right for you if…
- You understand that it takes some time to get the ball rolling in the beginning, and that you will be able to benefit from the hard work that you put in now for years to come. You will actually be surprised how many new opportunities will open up for you once you get everything up and running.
- You like to take massive action. The beta-students that got the best results were the ones that didn’t focus on the barriers that were holding them back from success (“I’m not white, tall and extremely good looking like he is”, “I don’t have rich parents”, “I’m from a third world country…”). Instead, they focused on putting in the work and getting the results that they wanted.
- You have the attitude that you will “make the system work for you no matter what”. I do a lot of testing to find out what really works best for me (Facebook advertising? Guest posts? E-book opt-in offer? “free updates” newsletter?), and it’s likely that you will have to do some testing yourself to get the best results. If you love testing and are willing to trust the system, then this course is perfect for you.
If you decide to try out Zero to Launch, keep this in mind:
If you are going to try the course out, I wanted to give you a few tips based on my experiences:
- Set up a good, visible opt-in offer before doing massive promotion. You want to be able to capture the e-mail addresses of your subscribers before you go ahead and promote the website. As an opt-in offer, an e-book and a 7-day boot camp worked well for me. To make sure they’re visible, I use the Plugmatter Feature Box plug-in
- Don’t waste too much time stuck in tactical hell. You don’t need a fancy website to get started. Get a studiopress template and move on! You don’t need fancy webinar software and a complex billing system to create and sell your first product. I used Google Hangouts for the webinar, Paypal to sell the products and Google Drive to give my students access to my content. It’s “good enough” to get started, and these things can always get professionalized later.
- If you ARE stuck, reach out for help. There will be a great private community at Zero to Launch, and many members (including me) will be happy to help you out if you’re stuck with something. We love helping people who are willing to take action and then get results!
Let me help you go from Zero to Launch in MONTHS, not YEARS
I’ll be honest with you. With Ramit’s Zero to Launch system, you will get all the knowledge that you need to create a successful online business.
But in the end, YOU are still the person who will need to put in the work.
There’re some students in the program who take YEARS to earn the first dollar with their online products, while others manage to earn 5 figures in revenue within MONTHS (and I was one of them).
So what separates the successful students from less successful ones?
I figured it out FOR you.
Over the last year or so, I have worked with hundreds of Zero to Launch students, and I’ve talked to many other Zero to Launch case studies like Selena, Nagina, Matt and Naveen. I realized that there are 8 key strategies that successful Zero to Launch students use that others don’t. And then, I combined all of these strategies into a step-by-step system that YOU can use to become a star student in Zero to Launch.
I have put this 8-step system into a 21-page Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Star Student in Online Business Courses, and I want to give this guide to you for FREE, so you can progress with Zero to Launch faster.
Just click the button below, and you will get the guide delivered to your inbox!