How to “Evolve” Your Income and Build Your Business the Charles Darwin Way

One of the principle ideas of Smart Passive Income is that small changes can add up to big wins. For example adding an opt-in form to your About Page or simply finding the optimal price for your product

These smart changes take just a few minutes but can lead to big time results. 

Identifying the small tweaks that yield huge rewards is an extremely powerful idea, which is why I’m happy to host a guest post by Tyler Tervooren of Advanced Riskology and creator of The Bootstrapper Guild, who explores this idea and applies it to earning more money.

I’ve known of Tyler for a long time, but over the past couple of years we’ve become much better acquainted with each other through a fantasy football league and although we’re competitors during the NFL season, he’s definitely a top-notch player and friend in my book. 

Please enjoy this incredibly powerful post from Tyler…

Everyone knows Charles Darwin’s theory: “survival of the fittest.” But most people understand it incorrectly. When we think of the fittest, we think of someone or something that’s superior right now. Whoever’s the biggest, strongest, and fastest wins.

But that’s not really what Darwin meant. Well, at least it’s not all he meant.

What Darwin was really talking about is the ability to adapt to change. If you’re able to take anything thrown at you and come out stronger, then you’ll survive in the long run.

I’m kind of a scrawny guy. If you stood a bodybuilder next to me, you’d estimate correctly that he could kick my ass in a heartbeat. But if you threw the two of us in a pool with cinder-blocks tied to our feet, that doesn’t matter anymore. Whoever grows a pair of gills first is now the real winner. Whoever adapts.

And so it is with life and money. It’s hard work to succeed over the long run; you have to adapt quickly when things aren’t working. If you’re a freelancer, this can literally be the difference between eating filet mignon next month or working like a dog to afford the “good” ramen.

Evolution

Earning more money and enjoying your work is all about adaptation—the faster you do it and the more you commit to it, the better you become.

How to Evolve Your Income the Charles Darwin Way

In the natural world, we don’t have much control over evolution—it just sort of happens. But if you want to increase your income, you’re going to have to work at it. This means experimenting with different ideas that may or may not turn out the way you want them to and constantly testing and improving.

The ultimate goal is to find the smallest change with the greatest effect. In scientific terms, the “minimum effective dose.” Easier said than done. Often, the evolution you need to make to increase your income is one or two steps removed from the problem itself.

Let me give you an example. Think about someone trying to lose weight. The obvious solution is to eat less and exercise more, but how often does that actually work? That plan goes fine for about a week until you’re crazy hungry and your friend offers you some pie. The real solution is not to try to eat less pie, but to surround yourself with people who won’t offer it to you in the first place.

When it comes to evolving your income, you have to get creative and look beyond the surface. Let’s look at a business that made a minor change that drastically increased their speed of growth.

How “Putting it on an iPad” Created a $10 Million Business

Shopkeep is a little Internet startup that caters to local businesses looking for a simpler way to handle payments than a cash register and complicated sales systems.

For two years, the development team worked to build a solution that would make handling money easy for people who ran bakeries, coffee shops, corner stores, and other retail shops. And they created a great solution! Anyone who wanted to use their service could run their program from a Mac or PC to handle any kind of sale, and it was all managed and stored in the cloud.

But when Amy, one of the founders, described the early days to me, her words were, “We were doing ok, signing up a modest amount of customers…”

“Ok” and “modest” aren’t exactly words you’d use to describe a home run, right? But they had a great service, so what was wrong?

Talking to one their customers—a coffee shop owner—they learned that what was really needed was something even smaller and even simpler. The answer, to them, was obvious—an iPad app. Simple, completely portable. And creating it would be easy because the hard work was already done.

Evolution Logic

A month later they released it and the numbers started rapidly improving. Just a few months ago, they were given $2 million in financing to expand. When you put the numbers together, that makes Shopkeep about a $10 million company.

The pivot worked. And because small shop owners talk to each other, their customers do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to selling their new service.

I can personally vouch that the change worked, too; I’d never seen an iPad cash register before, but now I’ve seen three cafes in my neighborhood switch to their system in just the last few months.

Shopkeep found a way to take all the hard work they’d already done and move it to a new platform.

What small change can you make to capitalize on all the hard work you’ve already done? How can you adapt?

How a Yoga Enthusiast Added Six Figures to Her Business by Adapting to Change

Rachel Cook started her career in yoga like most others do—as an enthusiast. But the way she built her yoga empire was through a series of adaptations much different than most yoga professionals.

When she’d had enough of her corporate job (helping small businesses grow) she knew she wanted to do something with yoga. She could take a lot of training courses, become an instructor, and eventually open her own studio. But that would take forever and she didn’t even want to run a studio.

So instead, she adapted in a way that made more sense for her. She took the years of business advising she’d already done and focused in on other yoga instructors (who are great at what they do, but notoriously bad at running businesses).

This shift wasn’t just a shortcut, it also played on the unique experience she already had—no additional skills required. Taking the valuable skills and experience you already have and re-positioning them is a key factor to increasing your income quickly. There is absolutely no need to start over.

Pretty soon, Rachel was flying all over the country to meet with clients. Rachel had a serious business as the “yogipreneur” built around helping yoga instructors grow their studios.

Then she had twins and was faced with a difficult choice. Should she:

  • Keep going at this pace and miss out on seeing her kids grow up? Or,
  • Scale back and sacrifice her career to be “Mom?”

But Rachel saw this as a false dichotomy. Rather than choose to give something up, why not just evolve? She picked option three: move her business online where she could scale up, work from home, and spend time with her kids.

And this evolution hasn’t just benefited her with more time and a potential six-figure jump in income this year, it’s helped her clients who now have easier access to her and pay less for the service. Win/win.

Yoga Enthusiast Adaptation

One reason so many people think they have to start over is because the skills they’re using at work aren’t making them happy or they don’t feel “passionate” about what they’re doing. Nonsense. What this really means is that the skills you have aren’t being applied in the right places. You’ll feel plenty passionate when you adapt them into work that actually excites you.

Rachel used the momentum behind her to evolve into bigger and better things. Adapting doesn’t always mean completely changing direction. Just a small change can make a huge difference.

Chargify makes a great example of this point, too.

A 600% Increase in Income…Overnight

When Chargify opened in 2009, they had a grand idea that would change the way businesses made money; rather than rely on selling something new every month, now they could easily sell subscriptions and make money every month. It’s a full-scale business, but the lesson they learned applies to increasing your income no matter who you are or what you do for a living.

Chargify opened strong and had thousands of people sign up for their service. But there was a problem; everyone was signing up for free accounts and never upgrading. They were losing money!

Chargify Example

Well, you can’t get away with losing money for long, so Chargify made the difficult choice to change one small thing in their business and stop doing work for free. The backlash from customers and even the press was fierce.

But what happened next is far more interesting: They started making money. All of a sudden, paying customers started to show up. From Michael Klett, co-founder:

“Ending our freemium model increased our revenue by nearly 600%, almost overnight.  We lost some customers, but there was a large segment of our customer-base that wanted to pay us because of the value we brought to their business.”

And there was another added benefit: The number of customer complaints fell dramatically. Apparently, when you’re running a real business you’re more concerned about growing it than complaining about details.

Chargify Example - WIN!

Today, Chargify is profitable and growing. But if they hadn’t adapted when they did, there might not be a Chargify at all.

How to Evolve Your Own Income – 3 Incredibly Important Questions

So how do you put this concept of adaptation to work in your own life? How do you increase your income by making a small change to how you work?

The answer is that, to get good results, you have to ask good questions. And you have to ask them before you make changes. Specifically, you need to be able to answer these three questions:

1.     What problem needs to be fixed?
2.     What’s the right adaptation to make?
3.     How do I know the change is working?

Let’s say you’re a freelancer who makes cupcake deliveries to your neighborhood (a real business in my home town). Things are okay, but business could be a lot better.

Let’s answer those three questions for your confection venture.

1. How do I know it’s time to make a change?

This is going to start out vague, but then get a lot more specific. Obviously you want to change something because you’re not making enough money, but you need to zero in on why you might not be making enough money.

You think about it for a minute and come up with a few ideas:

  1. Ingredients are too expensive, but you don’t want to charge more and lose customers.
  2. Customers are too sporadic. You can’t plan out how much money you’re going to make.
  3. Delivery is too expensive and is eating up all your profit.

These are all things that could change (and probably should). Now you need to figure out exactly what to do about these problems.

2. What’s the right adaptation to make?

There’s no way to answer this question without testing. Since you don’t have a crystal ball, the best solution is to make a list of each thing you might change. Then—and this is very important—put them in order from easiest to most difficult, and start testing them one-by-one.

How could your confection service attack the problems you just listed?

1. Ingredients are too expensive.

  • Buy cheaper ingredients and charge the same price.
  • Charge more.
  • Buy cheaper ingredients and charge more.
  • Find a way to attract more customers and start buying in bulk to get lower prices for the same ingredients.

2. Customers are too sporadic.

  • Ask for re-orders at the same time you make a delivery.
  • Create coupons that give an incentive for quick re-orders.
  • Start a subscription service and charge customers monthly.

3. Delivery is too expensive.

  • Charge a delivery fee.
  • Lump all deliveries together and only deliver on specific days.
  • Cancel your auto insurance and use Zipcar for deliveries.
  • Deliver by bicycle.

Now you have a list of action steps you can take to make real changes to how you work. Start with the simplest changes—the ones you can implement right away—and work your way down the list as necessary.

3. How do I know the change is working?

This is where things fall apart if you’re not careful. It’s easy to get excited and make changes, but there are two things you need to do to make sure you know with complete certainty which ones are actually working and which ones are wasting your time.

  1. Test only one thing at a time. If you make multiple changes at once, it’s incredibly difficult to tell what’s affecting what. When you make one change at a time, you know it either worked or it didn’t.
  2. Set a goal and a deadline for each change. Without these two things in place, it’s almost impossible to declare success or failure. When you have a goal, you either reached it or you didn’t. When you have a deadline, you either made it or you missed it. There’s no excuses—”Well, it looks like it’s making things better,” or “Maybe if I just give it a little bit longer…”

When you put these objectives in place, you can quickly test small changes and either keep them or dump them before moving onto the next one. There’s no guesswork.

Declare success or failure, and then begin the next test. Do this consistently and the successful adaptations start to compound. This is how you systematically improve your income.

The Bottom Line

When you try to increase your income, you’re not going to fail because you didn’t try hard enough. You’ll only fail if you’re not willing to adapt your plan when it isn’t working.

If you accept that you can’t run a business on autopilot forever and adjust to changes as needed, you can get through nearly any hardship. If you accept that uncertainty is part of the game and embrace it, then you’ll see problems early and react to them rather than bury your head in the sand.

Most importantly, you won’t lose hope and quit trying because you’ll know that just a few little changes can make an incredible difference.

Evolve early. Evolve often. Repeat. You’ll be glad you did.

What are 3 adaptations you can test this week to start increasing your income? List them in the comments below.

Do-It-Yourself entrepreneur Tyler Tervooren writes at Advanced Riskology, a site dedicated to living a better life through risk-taking. He’s also the creator of The Bootstrapper Guild, a program for DIY entrepreneurs to start their first micro-business.

  • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com/ Allie

    Tyler and Pat,

    This evolving idea for your business in conjunction with the latest SPI podcast about solving people’s pain has really hit a note with me. Now whenever I am in developmental stages of a project I think, “What is their pain? And how can I solve it.” But it doesn’t stop there. It is a mighty idea to never stop evolving, always finding out what is wrong (or even right) and moving forward the whole time.

    My whole business is in its infancy because, frankly, I have had to start from scratch. I mean I know nothing about business. But what I do know now is address people’s needs and pain, try to solve them, and then always evolve how things are done.

    My adaptations? I have so many! I have been analyzing why I am not getting more sales. I do experiment with being more personable with my audience. It seems to be working. I need to grow my audience also. I know how to solve this by going out and getting them and then proving I can help them with their problems. My audience is moms so I try to keep up with the latest trends in the mommyhood. Luckily, I’m a mom so it’s not hard to adapt my thinking and techniques. :-)

    Awesome concepts and learning experience. Thank you!

    ~Allie

  • http://exs24samples.com/ Dave G

    Hey Pat Tyler, I was in the Boostrapper Guild:) Learned a lot a there’s a great community in there too.
    I’ve only recently got into properly testing things, and it’s been very positive so far.

    I have ads for my products down the sides of my site. The first ones I made were white with black and red writing. No one clicked on them! I changed them to black with white and red writing, and people are clicking. Result! Will keep testing new combinations/colours/wordings.

    Yesterday I added a bit to my opt-in blurb that links to a screen shot of what my mailing list emails look like, so you know what you’re signing up for. After one day it’s already increased my sign up rate…we’ll see how that pans out :)

    A week or so ago I also changed my standard “buy now” paypal buttons to images that represent the products with “click here to purchase via paypal” and a note underneath explaining how the digital products are delivered – again it’s early days but it’s made a difference already.

    Testing is really good for your morale too as even when you are not evolving your business on a large scale, making these incremental improvements means you never feel stuck in a rut.

    Great post Tyler btw, as usual, talking a lot of sense!

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      Nice job, Dave! I can see why your tests are working, too. It looks like most of the changes you’re making are *removing* uncertainty from the equation for your subscribers/buyers—they get to see what kind of emails they’re signing up for or what their product is going to look like when they get it.

      These are small things, but also very powerful in helping people to feel comfortable about taking action.

      Keep it up!

  • Tiffanie

    This post by Tyler has given me more to contemplate before I jump into the online business world. I have been weighing the pros and cons of creating my own income in a manner in which I am passionate about and the latest posts from Smart Passive Income are worrying me. All these changes make me reluctant to attempt my own site or blog; however, Tyler presents an interesting rebuttal to Google’s modifications of link building and being liable for your content.

    Even with the adaptation to change that Tyler emphasizes I still wonder if creating my first site from scratch and following your (Pat) rules for niche sites/blogging is a smart action?

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      Hey Tiffanie. Be careful. There’s simply no way to know exactly what the right move is before making it. That’s the whole point of the article—make many small changes over time and you’ll get closer and closer to the right path over time.

      Generally speaking, fortune favors those that take action. It’s good to think carefully about the steps you take, but it’s far more important to *take* them.

      At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, “What do I really have to lose by getting started?”

  • http://exs24samples.com/ Dave G

    Tiffanie

    I’d say just get started with something – anything! You can always change things later. Don’t try to figure out all the details in advance.
    Not starting = zero chance of success
    Starting = Above zero chance of success

    Second option always wins!

    :)

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Awesome guest post – really like the evolution graphic too :) One of the biggest “punches” many internet marketers had to roll with was Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. The people who learned from their mistakes and used the lesson they learned from making micro niche sites and use that to create sites that legitimately help people, are the ones who will succeed in the long run. People who hold on to the past and continue to try and trick Google will be the ones who will experience failure in the long haul.

    Thomas

  • http://internetpassiveincomehq.com PhuongLe

    I like the idea small tweaks that yield huge rewards, i will implicate the changes for specific money page to get higher conversion .

  • http://lifestoked.com Deacon Bradley

    This is great insight and examples Tyler. As a side-effect of this type of thinking I think it takes a lot of the pressure off to “get it right” now. Each of these examples started with something. Was it perfect? No, but without that imperfect beginning they would have never been able to evolve. Great reminder.

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      That’s exactly what I’m trying to get at. Small changes over time have very low risk, but potentially very big rewards. It doesn’t make sense *not* to make them.

  • http://essentialsoftheonlinebusiness.com Chris Trynkiewicz

    Pat taught me to be honest, and so here’s my honest comment.
    I didn’t find this post actionable, inspiring or interesting. In fact, I found it closer to being all over the place and pointless (as in there’s no concrete problem nor solution).
    Let me go through the examples. Please correct me if I’m wrong. No offence intended in any way.

    1. A company made a computer app for local payments. They then made an iPhone app and it succeeded. Duh.
    2. A yoga instructor went online. Okay.
    3. A company in a last-ditch effort closed the free service. It’s quite obvious some people went for paid. A 600% increase at that time only is a terrible metric. Long term is what matters. And even if it’s recurring, the number of new paying customers will decline after this move. Ending a free service doesn’t seem like a smart move too. They should’ve switched to a trial version. Plus, if people don’t want to switch to a paid version, it means that eighter the free version is too good or the paid version isn’t good enough, NOT that a freemium model is bad. This can be easily fixed by shifting features around. Overall, awful example.

    The rest of the article is quite decent, although it only licks the surface of the given problem. It would be great to further expand on those questions.

    Peace and good luck with your businesses!
    Chris

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      Dang, Chris. Tell me how you really feel! :)

      Sorry to hear it’s not hitting the mark for you. Can’t get it right for everyone, I guess.

      You should totally write a rebuttal or add-on at your own site for anyone else who feels the same.

      • http://essentialsoftheonlinebusiness.com Chris Trynkiewicz

        No worries. I just wanted to let you know what I considered good and what bad here. Maybe more people feel like it, maybe not. Feedback is always good anyway. I wish you well!

  • http://lucidability.com Jamie Alexander

    That’s what you call an actionable post. Great job, it will definitely get a few heads thinking, including mine right now.

  • http://handwritten.posterous.com Mustafa

    I like how you look at it, evolution is an essential component for making art. Work evolves. I believe the products we make as bloggers are art and they should grow slowly out of work that we do. I have been working on a product for the last couple of months and along the way i have wanted so many times to jump ship and do something that seemed easier or quicker.

    As a freelancer one is many times plagued by the fleas of poverty and one may decide to “summarize” work and end the misery, but one must resist. Each time, the argument for respecting the time spent on the project and pushing on in honor of it, always prevailed. I couldn’t start a fresh, only iterate the product or the strategy, to fit into the market or use hacks or money to make the market fit into me.

    Great post Tyler, not only did it resonate with me it is a part of my own story.

  • http://purchaseplr.com Jessica Kihara

    I love reading these stories. Very inspirational stuff! It’s interesting how one change can make such a huge difference – not only in business, but in life in general.

  • http://valueofsimple.com/ Joel Zaslofsky

    I love seeing the names Pat Flynn and Tyler Tervooren next to each other. It’s great to see you guys teaming up!
    I gotta say Tyler, this is spot on. As someone who has subscribed to the Advanced Riskology philosophy for a couple of years, there wasn’t much new here for me. But the quality – especially the pictures – is definitely up to your normally sky high standards.
    Unlike most of my comments, I don’t have anything useful to add. But I wanted to give you a virtual pat on the back for bringing awareness to people who might be seeing this kind of thinking for the first time (and benefiting a ton from it). Way to rock it dude!

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      You’re too kind, sir.

  • http://smartlifehacks.com/ charles

    Hi tyler, never heard of you before. when did you start your blog and how is it coming along for you?

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      Hey Charles,

      Welcome to the party! Advanced Riskology has been around for about 2 years now, and it’s been a hell-of-a ride. :)

  • http://www.copy-e-writing.in/blog/ Ron – SEO Copywriting Blog

    Definitely, one of the best articles I have read on this blog. Congrats Tyler for the powerful examples. Keep up your “advanced riskology” articles.

  • http://perfectearningtips.com IGBALAYE OLAYEMI

    Very long but it’s must read and i really enjoying my time reading out the post. it will help a lot of people out there because of the easy write up with good tips and images to direct and show us how. you did a great work there. thanks for sharing

  • http://7Passengervehiclesreviews.com Vijay

    really great steps. Starting to take action is the biggest hurdle and once you start taking actions success is yours!

  • http://www.relicwatchess.com Nino

    Excellent post, and above all great tips. Some things I’ll have to test it gradually but only now I realize that I made ??mistakes in some jobs. This page is definitely going to bookmark.

  • http://www.arabsmakemoney.com Yassin Madwin

    Whilst I don’t believe in Darwin’s Theory in many aspects ( Scientifically ) , You made Good points backed up with case studies .

    This pillar article is just Great ! so here are my 3 tricks that i am going to change .

    1 : I will change Adsense code placement
    2 : I will change some questions in my user-experience survey
    3 : I will try to do backlinking differently

  • http://www.cubiclefree.com Cubicle Free Man

    Thanks guys – terrific post. I particularly like the implementation part of your post – it is very logical. I have a couple of formerly very successful sites. Long story short, I can really see how applying this methodology can be the answer. Baby steps. As with a lot of things in business I find its all about incremental changes in the right direction. I see that with successful businesses time and time again. Look at Pat – overnight success after how many years? Cheers guys, Quinn

  • http://abattleplan.com Roger Pike

    This article really connected with me! Statements followed by real applications is the way to get your points across.

    The concept of a small ‘pivot’ that will change the course of you business; Akin to the 1 to 2 degree change that while not apparent at first, makes your final destination much different.

    I also like the idea of not changing your career totally, but applying your current skill sets into a field you are passionate about.

    Thanks for the article.

  • http://keywordresearcher.org Anthony

    I really liked the iPad story. But more than anything, i’m curious about what sort of device they were actually selling before the iPad came out. Was it a kind of hand-held thing. Also I noticed last week at the Apple store, we bought a computer and the clerk used an iPhone – even smaller…

  • http://www.void-life.com bryan

    Tyler, Pat, Thanks for the Post, I was just going through a list much like this on my websites, but it was not quite as thought out as yours, I will take your Method and re-apply it

  • http://www.goodcopyfast.com Melanie Lundheim

    One way I evolved this week was by changing my job title of “Corporate Freelance Writer” to “Freelance Business Writer / Virtual Assistant Writer.” These terms are better optimized for search engines, and VAs are hot these days. The slight change, I hope, will make my services more accessible to smaller companies (“VA writer”) and solopreneurs, while still resonating with my longstanding corporate communications clients (“Freelance Business Writer”). I got the idea from Pat Flynn (in one of his videos where he recommended conducting keyphrase research before choosing a domain name) and adapted his advice for my job title. Thanks, Pat!

  • http://www.blogging-the-beginners-complete-guide.com Karo Itoje

    Wow Tyler, this is great. You drove home the points in a way very easy to understand.

    I had to jolt some points down. To evaluate my online business later.

    My biggest challenge right now is that I have a great product, one of the best in the niche. A great sales funnel. But yet it’s almost 8 weeks after launch yet no single sale.

    I have to figure out what is wrong and I’m going to try to.

    First step I want to take is to ask for a review of my whole strategy from a great forum I belong to. I’m going to make a post there explaining everything I have done up to this point and ask for my colleagues opinions on what I can do to improve things.

    Then I’ll also try to use the adaptation concept to review my online business strategy as a whole.

    Thanks Tyler and thanks Pat for bringing this post to us.

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore Nwangene

    Very long but awesome post Tyler. Yea, change they say is constant, and when you should adapt to it but fail to, pretending not to see it, it will definitely take you unaware. It all boils down to starting small and then keep improving gradually.

    I remember my favorite saying………DOING NOTHING WILL ONLY GET YOU ONE THING……….NOTHING. Really enjoyed it.

    Thanks for the insights Tyler.

    @ Pat, thanks for sharing.

  • http://Geekoroid.com Daryl Mander

    I like the concept of focusing on small incremental changes. I wonder if this thought process was inspired at all by the Lean Startup methodology? It seems to share some of the same principles, i.e. adapting quickly based on customer feedback.

  • http://www.yourfinancessimplified.com Dominique Brown

    In a business situation, adaptation is the key to survival. Business owners must often adjust to their clients needs all the time or their competitors will catch up and eventually leave them behind. I agree with you that it is better to make small changes in the system rather than changing the whole process. However, In my own business I’m struggling to see when I should adapt or change. The hardest part is knowing when to and how to adapt.

  • http://thetoyboxstudio.com Lij Shaw

    Pat,
    I recently discovered SPI and love it. I am a music producer and own a small recording studio. There are so many great tips here that I want to apply to my business. I went to school for recording many years ago (post architecture degree funny enough). They taught us a lot about making records but not about running an independent business. SPI gives so much great insight into making a business work. Thanks for the great blog!
    Cheers!
    Lij

    • http://advancedriskology.com Tyler Tervooren

      Hey Lij. Funny story—I also went to college for architecture and followed it up with recording school…

  • http://www.thehumm.com Rob Riendeau

    Hey Pat & Tyler,
    We’ve used this process in our 14 year-old business (my wife and I publish a monthly entertainment and ideas magazine for our local market). For the first few years, we had a lot of energy for tweaking and trying new things. Now that we’re more established, we still maintain this habit of examining what’s working, what isn’t working, what changes are coming that might affect our business, etc. For example, it is clear to us that publishing on paper, although still viable, will not continue to be an option. So we’re in the process of re-building our website to prepare for that eventuality.
    Thanks for the great post. I only recently found SPI and I’m devouring the podcasts right now. Loving them!
    Cheers,
    Rob

  • http://www.theyogipreneur.com Racheal Cook

    Hey Pat & Tyler,
    Thanks for including me as a case study! Fantastic topic – too often I see entrepreneurs ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater when a little tweak would make the all the difference.
    Cheers,
    Racheal

  • http://authoritywebsiteincome.com Jon

    Tyler, I like your take on evolution. It reminds me of two great books which if you havent checked out you definitely should because they would be right up your ally Seth Godins Survival is Not Enough and Blue Ocean Strategy.

    Both, like you, state that to be truly great you need to find a unique position and evolve based on feedback.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Jon

  • http://www.leads4insurance.com Jerry

    Business is survival of the fittest so your insurance for success is understanding what it takes to be successful and never giving up. This leads to success.

  • http://southernhomeheating.com/heating-services-birmingham-al/ James

    Hey Pat, you hit the nail in the head with this one. Probably the #1 mistake of any marketer out there, thanks a lot for the inspiration :)

    • http://singelboerse.blogspot.de/ Michael

      did you even read the post?
      the post is by Tyler Tervooren and not Pat.

  • http://alterpreneur.com Jonathan Stuart

    Pat:

    Speaking of evolution and business, don’t forget to add the concept of “altruism”! It is one of the core competencies behind your business approach and why people really gravitate to you and your message.

    Your blog demonstrates (unequivocally) the theory of reciprocal altruism.

    Wikipedia defines reciprocal altruism as “a behaviour whereby an organism acts in a manner that temporarily reduces its fitness while increasing another organism’s fitness, with the expectation that the other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time.”

    Pat, you really take the time to help others and you are now reaping the benefits! Really enjoyed this blog post and thank you for being so altruistic!

  • http://www.forgetmenutz.com Daniel

    Really good article.

    Experimenting with different things I believe is very important.
    There’s really no way to tell in advance what the results will
    be but with a solid idea that solves other peoples problems, smart
    experimenting should have a really good chance to be successful.

    /Daniel

  • http://www.succinctresearch.com/blog/ Bill@ Jobs in Ayurveda

    Great post, man. I enjoyed reading. I know you can’t cover everything in a single post. Use some of these suggestions in your eBook.

  • http://www.payable.com/ Linda

    Great share , an awesome post to read.
    This would help me to build a good business environment and also earn a good income from it

  • http://www.flipwebsiteforprofits.com Ed @ Flip Websites Guide

    Wow! Indeed, it is a long but informative post.
    There is no gainsaying that planning and testing
    business variables are critical to business success.

    Thank you.

    Ed

  • Rob C

    Just a response to the altruism comment. I have my MBA in psychology. About 99% of research on altruistic behavoir, can not prove that there is such a thing as “absolute altruism”. I also do not believe it even exists. Social conditioning is the “disease” that altruism feeds off of. Most altruistic behavoirs are done for acceptance, or other motives, that always IMPROVE an organisms fitness.

    You can never prove that an organism “reduced its fitness” as you can never prove what a persons motives are. Did I give you a gift on your birthday because I wanted you to be happy… or did I do it because I didn’t want to be percieved as a jackass? There is a counter arguement to every altruistic claim. Since humans #1 priority is survival, (#2 reproduction)… I’d be very cautious in believing that altruisim even exists in the first place. Does it sound negative? Sure. Does it sound realistic? Well, to me it does.