Welcome to my Business & Lifestyle Review for Quarter 3 & 4, 2015.
Each quarter I'm going to write a very detailed review how I did when it came to achieving the previous quarterly goals both in business and my persona life.
I do this not only to help me track my own progress, but I want to be as transparent as possible about what's going on in my business and life. I want to lead by example by showing you what's working for me, and what's not – both in business and when it comes to my lifestyle/traveling. And I do all this by telling stories in writing, photos and video.
Since I didn't have time to post a review for quarter 3, I'm combining it with quarter 4 in this one, the final quarterly review of 2015. A lot of things kept me busy to say the least, and I need to be planning a bit better moving forward!
In each quarterly report I'll cover the following topics:
- Did I hit my quarterly goals?
- Lessons learned during this quarter
- Revenue/expenses (full breakdown of revenue/expenses may come in future reviews)
- Lifestyle design & travel check
- Plans for next quarter
- Other things worth mentioning
Without further ado, let's get into my first ever Business and Lifestyle Review for quarter 3 & 4, 2015. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Warning! This is a 4,868 word in-depth blog post covering everything I've done for the past 6 months, the lessons I learned and goals for next quarter, mixed with text, a lot of photos and some videos. Enjoy, and do let me know what you think in the comments please!
Did I Hit My Goals For Q3 & Q4?
My 4 goals for Q3 & Q4:
- Launch Virtual Summit Mastery
- Get 1-2 high-end consulting clients
- Get featured on bigger podcasts and online publications
- Re-design/update my website
1. Launch Virtual Summit Mastery
As I wrote in my last epic business and lifestyle review, my big goal for 2015 was to launch Virtual Summit Mastery, but it took me way longer than I initially had planned.
I finally decided to just do it and set a goal to launch VSM with a big baam in September. That also meant that I had a lot of work to do to prepare for the launch.
I will write an epic post covering everything that went down during the launch soon, but for now here's the basic structure of it:
- Free Report: My 6-Figure Virtual Summit Success (pre-launch content)
- 4-part video series (pre-launch content)
- Live Virtual Summit Master Class (last week of the launch)
- Live Q&A Hangout day before cart closed
- Post-launch sequence (6-pay option and Summit Funnel)
- Ryan Levesque's “Do you you hate me?” survey sent to people who didn't purchase VSM.
For this launch I decided to bring in my friend and automation expert, Roger Graves Jr. to help me set up the Infusionsoft campaign. I couldn't have done it without him, and his one of the main reasons this launch went so well. I highly recommend Roger for all your automation and Infusionsoft needs, he knows his stuff!
As you can see below, I sent quite a lot of emails during the launch (which took me even more time to write), and this is only part of everything we did. For most of you, it probably just look confusing, so don't worry about it for now 😉
My awesome designer Gion-Per of Beecoding was also a big part of this launch of course, making sure that my landing pages, sales page and everything design related looked amazing. We've been working together since late 2013, and it's one of the best decisions in my business so far to bring him on board because we understand each other very well.
The students in the program are already getting some pretty impressive results (and more to come next year as many VSM students launch their own successful virtual summits)…
So what were the results from the first VSM launch?
Before I go into the results, I just want to point out that VSM is a premium online course, with two tiers right now. The price for VSM Pro is $997 and VSM Elite is $1997, and the price might even increase for the next launch in spring 2016 to reflect the value of everything in the program.
I got over $60,000 in sales from a small, but very targeted launch list of around 1,500 people, which I'm very pleased with. It was a 100% organic launch, and I didn't do any ads, or have many affiliates on board that brought in a ton of sales (most of the sales came from my own audience). I could have probably generated around 6-figures if I did FB-ads/retargeting, and I'm excited to get into this more next year and for future launches.
This launch was actually my first product launch ever (other than virtual summits), and it's also a great example of that you don't need a big launch list to generate a lot of sales, as long as it's very targeted leads, and you have a great relationship with them. I had been building up buzz VSM for almost a year, first with the pilot program, and then mentioning it here and there in blog posts and in my emails, so my audience already knew it was coming.
I'll promise to go into a lot more details in a big recap post of my first VSM launch beginning of 2016. If you have any questions, or something specific you'd like me to cover, please post in the comments section below.
Special Thank You
I would also like to thank my amazing partners and supporters, Jesse Krieger, Selena Soo, Bushra Azhar, Primoz Bozic, Natalie Sisson, Ben Krueger, Yaro Starak, Amber Vilhauer, Jon Schumacher, Jan Koch, Roger Deveau, Aj Amyx and Stephen Esketzis. I couldn't have done it without you, thanks so much for spreading the word about VSM to your audience.
I would also like to thank Hattie Brazeley for helping me with the free report and the affiliate email swipe copy. It saved me a lot of time, and I'm forever grateful for all the work you did during the launch.
2. Get 1-2 high-end consulting clients
Since my “one thing” was to launch VSM and create all the content for the program, I did't focus on taking on any high-end consulting clients.
To work one-on-one with someone on a high level is a lot of work, and I felt I wanted to focus 100% on VSM after I wrapped up working with Chandler Bolt, and made The Self-Publishing Success Summit the “summit of the year”…. $370k and almost 30,000 opt-ins from one summit speak for itself!
3. Get featured on bigger podcasts and online publications
Getting featured on bigger podcasts and online publications were one of my big goals for Q3 and Q4 to build my brand, but also to spread the word about virtual summits.
Bigger Publications & Websites
One of my big goals throughout 2015 was to get featured on bigger publications, websites and podcasts. Once you get featured on one big place, it kind of has a snowball effect, and you start getting featured on more places as well.
With that being said, you still have to do the work. You need to build authentic, powerful relationships with influencers and other people in your industry, and reach out to editors/writers from time to time as well.
Here's what The Huffington Post said about my work:
“Having successfully launched multiple virtual summits, Navid Moazzez is now considered by many the world’s leading authority when it comes to creating, promoting and profiting from virtual summits.”
And because I was featured on Entrepreneur Magazine, the article shows up first on Google for the keyword “Virtual Summit”, which obviously is pretty good for my business and brand.
I was also featured on Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You To Be Rich, because of the relationship I've built with his awesome team over time, and being one of Ramit's top affiliates.
I was a guest on a few major podcasts during Q3 and Q4. While I could have done much more outreach to get on several other podcasts as well, I'm pretty happy with my results.
- Internet Business Mastery (by Jeremy Frandsen & Jason Van Orden
- Entrepreneurs-Journey (by Yaro Starak)
- The Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast (by Natalie Sisson)
- The Side Hustle Nation (by Nick Loper)
- The Art Of Adventure (by Derek Loudermilk)
- Growth Everywhere Podcast (by Eric Siu)
- Content Warfare Podcast (by Ryan Hanley)
- The Authority Insider Podcast (by Matt Wolfe)
I was also fortunate enough to be interviewed by my friend John Lee Dumas for EoFire in December 2015. I can't wait to share the episode with you March 14, 2016!
- Business Building Rockstar Summit (by Nicole Holland)
- Overcome entrepreneur mindset barriers: 16 Successful business owners share how they did it (by Sonia Thompson)
4. Re-design/update my website
Unfortunately I didn't have time to re-design and update my website (navidmoazzez.com) during quarter 3 or 4 this year, but it's definitely on my list for quarter 1 2016 (see below).
I think the reason why I didn't focus on this, was because it was not my “one thing”, and it wouldn't matter as much if I waited with this until next year.
5 Lessons Learned During Quarter 3 & 4
1. Don't do everything last minute.
I had a lot of time throughout the year to plan my product launch of Virtual Summit Mastery and create all the content, but for some reason I still waited until the very last minute.
From August to mid September, I created all the content for the launch, including writing a 50-page free report, recording a 4-part video series, and writing all the emails. I don't recommend getting things ready so close to the launch, because it's very stressful.
2. Product launches take way more time than you think.
Writing a 50-page free report, recording a 4-part video series and writing 20+ high quality emails take a lot of time.
For my next product launch, I will try to have everything ready before it begins, and then I can tweak some emails etc. as I go, which will be less stressful, and I can focus more on the actual promotion and getting the word out there rather than creating all the launch content last minute like I did for my first VSM launch.
3. It's not about how many hours you “work”, but how much of your most important work you actually get done during that time.
I reached a point this year when I realized that I really need to start working on my VSM launch, and finally get things done.
I probably worked more hours than I needed to, because it wasn't always that focussed work. I was checking Facebook, chatting with friends, reading a blog post etc… in other words, I was wasting a lot of time as well during the time I was supposed to work.
If I did more focused, deep work, it would not only allow me to get my most important things done much faster, but I would also find a better balance between business and lifestyle, and have more time to do fun activities.
4. Writing 500-1000 words per day consistently over time is extremely powerful.
Someone once told me that the most successful people in the world produce something every single day often in the form of writing daily.
I even had Charles Bordet write about it in an epic guide on my blog, and since then I've written 500-1,000 words pretty much every day. The hard part is making it a habit that sticks, so that's why it's often better to start small with 250 words per day, and then write more as you get more comfortable with your writing.
For me, it works extremely well to get my writing done in the morning after my workout. Block off some time and just get it done whenever you are the most creative during the day, that's how you improve and get better.
For example, I wouldn't have been able to create all the content for the VSM launch and the program if I didn't write consistently every day, so for me it has been a total game changer for my business since I started doing this.
5. I should have launched my flagship program sooner than I did.
Looking back, I probably should have launched my flagship program, Virtual Summit Mastery sooner than I did.
I actually rolled out the pilot program of VSM already during The Branding Summit end of 2014, and then more and more people start reaching out to me about joining.
The reason why I didn't launch VSM to the public sooner than I did was because I wanted it to be more refined and tested with several clients and students first, which makes sense, but at the same time, I left a lot of money on the table by procrastinating and not getting it out there a few months earlier instead.
Before launching VSM, affiliate commissions were the biggest revenue stream for my business, which is great by all means (especially when you're starting out), but I don't have full control over how much I can generate. You usually also get paid every 30-90 days, so it's not instant cashflow in my business either, which is worth keeping in mind.
Now after getting my flagship program out there, I built much more authority in the online space, feel more comfortable about the growth of my business, and I have more consistent revenue stream.
Revenue & Expenses (full breakdown is coming at some point)
Overall 2015 has been a very good year, in fact it's my best year ever, with quarter 3 and 4 bringing in the most sales in my business.
In 2016, I will also try to do a full breakdown of revenue and expenses from when I started out online mid June 2013 (I only earned a few $100 in 2013, and close to $30,000 in 2014). With that being said, this has to wait a little bit, because I need to sit down and go through all of that in detail… 😉
Now back to quarter 3 and 4… so why did I generate more revenue than previous quarters?
1. I finally launched my flagship program Virtual Summit Mastery. The first VSM launch in September/October brought in over $60,000 in sales from a small, but very targeted launch list of around 1,500 people.
2. I did a successful co-hosted webinar with Chandler Bolt to his audience in December, that brought in 5-figures in sales. Some were actually on my list before, but overall it was a very successful promotion. I managed to grow my email list by over 700 people from this as well, and I know that some of them will purchase next time I launch VSM.
3. I got a 5-figure payout from helping Chandler Bolt with The Self-Publishing Success Summit. The ROI Chandler got is pretty amazing…. Almost 30,000 opt-ins and $370k in sales from one virtual summit, and much more afterwards.
3. I promoted Bryan Harris' Get 10,000 Subscribers, and my audience loved it, probably because list building and virtual summits are very related topics. Even though I didn't get the final numbers from the launch just yet, it should bring in around $15,000-$20,000 over a year.
4. I promoted Todd Herman's incredible 90 Day Year Program, which will bring in $15,000+ over a year. Here's a great video interview I did with Todd before the launch to create awareness for The 90 Day Year.
5. I generate recurring revenue every single month from Ramit Sethi's Zero to Launch and other IWT courses. I also did a small promo for ZTL in August October, and I got a few sales there, but nothing close to the success I got earlier in the year. The more my audience grows, the more I should be able to generate by promoting ZTL as well, because it's the #1 online business course out there, and I'm a paying member of the program myself.
My business expenses are still fairly low compared to how much I’m making. Of course I invested a few $1,000's into the VSM launch with the design and I even hired a copywriter for the first time to help me out with the free report, and some affiliate email swipe copy. It proved to be well invested money since the launch was very successful.
Next year I will start investing more into Facebook Ads to grow my business faster. So far everything I've done online is 100% organic growth. I will also start building my team with a virtual assistant, so I can free up my time and work on the most important tasks all the time, rather than handling support issues that someone else can take care of etc.
Note: Not all of this is actual cashflow in my business, but money I will get throughout the year since some are on monthly payment plans.
Lifestyle Design & Travel Check
I can't believe I've been living abroad for over 1 year now, and I have some very exciting things happening in 2016… stay tuned for that!
In my previews epic business and lifestyle reviews, you've been getting used to seeing a lot of pictures of me doing cool things in Cancun, NYC and other places around the world…
You'll still get some of that in this review… but it came to a point this summer when I realized I haven't really been “working” that much for the first 6 months of the year. So from end of July to December, I was focusing 100% on the VSM launch, creating content, and supporting my students, and it took way more time than I expected.
Of course I could have planned things better, but it was pretty stressful to get everything done, and I simply didn't prioritize any “lifestyle” stuff despite living in a tropical paradise like Cancun. Now that most of the VSM stuff more or less is finished, I can relax a bit more, and find a better balance moving forward. It was a big lessoned learned for me to not get important things like this done last minute.
It wasn't actually until around Christmas time I took a few (well needed) days off to really start enjoying more of the beautiful beaches, and other surroundings in the Cancun area.
I can't believe it's been a few months since I went to Isla Mujeres last time considering I went there a few times per week before I started working on my VSM launch like crazy (and I live only 15 minutes away by the ferry… about to go there more often in January).
Here's some pictures from the last Isla Mujeres adventure:
If you ever come to the Cancun/Rivera Maya area, I highly recommend that you visit Xcaret.
Just the fact that they were able to preserve the nature when they built the park is just amazing. The activities and the night show were also really fun.
Here's some pictures from my Xcaret adventure on Christmas Day (probably my best Christmas ever):
Chichen Itza, Valladolid & X-cajum
Chichen Itza is one of the seven wonders of the world, and is just like Xcaret a must-visit if you're in the Cancun/Rivera Maya area.
Here's some pictures from my Chichen Itza trip, including the old town, Valladolid and the Cenotes, X-cajum:
Tulum & Cenotes
The famous Mayan ruins in Tulum was great to finally experience, and the view from the top is breathtaking to say the least. If it's not on your bucket list already, consider adding it!
After spending some time at the Mayan Ruins by the Caribbean Sea, I went to the Cenote called Aktunchen. Apparently it's the 3rd best underground walk (and swim) in the world according to National Geographic.
Bestseller Summit Live & VSM Mastermind in Los Angeles
One of the awesome bonuses I offered part of the first VSM launch, was two tickets to Bestseller Summit Live in LA by my friend Jesse Krieger and a VSM mastermind during the event.
All I can say is that I had a really good time, and Jesse did an outstanding job with his first big live event (many more to come). I also met up with my long-time friend Myke Macapinlac for the first time, which was awesome.
Marisa Murgatroyd Meet-up in LA
Quarter 1 2016 Goals
1. Do Free Virtual Summit Workshops / Partner With Other Influencers
I did a few virtual summit workshops/master classes in 2015, but I want to do even more of this in 2016.
Because it's probably the fastest way to grow my email list rapidly and provide a valuable training to a new audience to build trust with them right away (other than creating a virtual summit of course). You don't necessarily even have to sell on the free workshop.
The one I did for Regina Anaejionu's audience earlier in December was just to provide massive value to her audience, that's it. Next year, once I open Virtual Summit Mastery for enrollment again, I will give them an opportunity to join of course, but I didn't pitch on the workshop itself, which I think many people in her audience appreciated because it's different from what they are used to.
I created the landing page with LeadPages in a few minutes for the free workshop, and it converted incredibly well.
From just one free Virtual Summit Workshop I got over 1,100 new highly engaged subscribers on my email list.
The workshop I did for Regina's audience was very well received and everyone loved it. Here's what a few people had to say (including Regina herself):
2. Get featured on bigger podcasts and online publications
This is an ongoing process, and I’ve always looking to get featured on places around the web which is high leverage, and most importantly a great fit for what I’m doing.
Bigger publications I hope to get featured on soon:
- And more…
If you got an intro or know an editor/writer at any of the publications, please let me know. Since my story did so well in Business Insider, I have no doubt that what I have to share would do extremely well in those places too, and resonate with a lot of people.
A few of the top podcasts I hope to get featured on soon:
- Smart Passive Income (with Pat Flynn)
- Mixergy (with Andrew Warner)
- Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast (with Amy Porterfield)
- The Youpreneur Podcast (with Chris Ducker)
- The Art of Charm Podcast (with Jordan Harbinger)
3. Re-design / update my website
This is something I wanted to do during quarter 3 or 4 this year, but unfortunately I didn't have time to get to it, so it has to wait until the first quarter of 2016.
I need to write quite a bit of copy for all the pages on navidmoazzez.com, and then provide my designer with instructions. He already knows my brand inside and out, so it shouldn't take too much time from my side. It should take a few days, and then he can get started on this January or February 2016.
4. Create and complete my daily routine (and sticking to it)
Creating and completing my daily routine (and sticking to it) is something I've been pretty good at most of the time, but it's not where I want it to be, especially during periods when I do a lot of work, like for product launches for example.
If you ask most successful entrepreneurs, they will tell you that their morning ritual is one of the biggest keys to success in business and life.
I'm always much more productive and get even more done in my business in less time when I do this.
As I've mentioned before in my epic business & lifestyle reviews, it’s all about finding the right balance, and working smarter, not harder!
Here’s what my current daily routine tend to look like:
- Have a big glass of water the first thing I do when I wake up.
- Meditation for 5-10 minutes on my terrace, overlooking the Caribbean Sea and watching the sunrise.
- Go for CrossFit/gym workout, a nice run on the beach or swim for 30-60 min in the pool
- Have a healthy breakfast, with fresh fruit, eggs and smoothie.
- Work on my most important business related tasks of the day.
- Read or listen to something that will help me in my business right now (for example study product launches and webinars).
- Find time to do something that’s not business related, for example go on adventures and spend time with friends.
- Reflect over the day, what I’m grateful for, and then plan tomorrow today (just write down my most important tasks to get done the next day) before I go to bed every night.
Something I “failed” at this year is learning Spanish, despite dating a Mexican girl and living in Cancun most of the year. The reason I didn't focus on it, is because I was so busy with my VSM launch, and creating content for the program (which is a pretty lame excuse).
I personally like to wake up early, between 6-7am in the morning, and get my morning routine done, and then complete my most important tasks in my business before lunch time if possible, so I can have the afternoons free for other things.
With that being said… it’s ok if it’s not always perfect, but I'd like to stick to my daily routine at least 90% of the time, because I know if I do that, everything else will get much easier and better as well.
Do you have a daily routine? What does your morning ritual and daily routine you stick to every day?
Feel free to share in the comments section!
Other Things Worth Mentioning
Switching From Infusionsoft To ConvertKit
I recently switched from Infusionsoft to ConvertKit, and for those of you who are interested in learning more, I will write an epic blog post about this in 2016 (update: I now use Infusionsoft again because it worked better for my needs).
Infusionsoft is great, and thanks to automation expert, Roger Graves Jr., it worked very well for my first VSM launch as I mentioned above.
Even though Infusionsoft has many advanced features (more than I would probably ever need), I found that it wasn't always that intuitive and easy to use. I personally like to be able to handle my email marketing and set up my launches on my own, without the need of a consultant. I guess I just like to have full control over my most valuable asset which is my email list after all.
After reading many good things about ConvertKit and speaking to the founder Nathan Barry about their vision for the company, I decided to try it out. While it isn't as advanced as Infusionsoft by any means, it has most of the features I actually need to run my online business (and more great features on the way as they constantly update and improve it).
So far, I'm very impressed by ConvertKit, and it's so easy to set up automation rules, tagging and much more. My open rates actually increased since I started using ConvertKit as well…. more on that later on.
I'm using SamCart for my shopping cart and affiliate management, which integrates perfectly with ConvertKit, so I don't need to use Infusionsoft anymore for that either.
Note from Navid (late 2018 update): I'm currently using ActiveCampaign for email automation and ThriveCart for shopping cart. You can view my most recommended resources and tools here.
Get Known, Get Clients Live
I'm really looking forward to be speaking on a panel at my friend Selena Soo's event, Get Known, Get Clients Live, in NYC end of February 2016.
My good friends Primoz Bozic and Joana Galvao will also be joining me, and it'll be a lot of fun connecting with some like-minded people at Selena's event.
Now It's Your Turn!
If you made it through the entire post, I really appreciate you. Did you enjoy the combination of text, photos and some videos? Would you like to see more of this stuff in the future? Let me know!
What did you accomplish in 2015 that you are proud of and what's your goals for Q1 2016? How can i better serve you to help you achieve greatness in your business and life?
Leave your goals in the comments section and check back at the end of the month (and quarter 1 2016) and share your results.
Until next time… stay inspired!
P.S. Check back in a few days for my annual review post for 2015. For now, if you want another very inspiring read, check out 2014 In Review – The Year I Finally Quit My Job & Moved Abroad.