When it comes to leveraging your time, automation is the sharpest tool in your toolbox. It allows you to get more done in less time, and to smoothly move people through your funnel.

For many small business owners, though, the one area that’s often overlooked is your website.

Use Your Blog to Build Your Mailing List

Like any smart business owner, you likely have opt-in forms on your website. They’re in the sidebar or maybe the footer, and you might have a pop-up to capture attention as visitors are about to leave.

But do you have a solid call to action at the end of your blog posts? When a new reader is finished consuming your posts, she’s primed to learn more. Give her the opportunity by offering an opt-in at the end of each post.

Even better, make it a logical next step by creating a related offer for each post. Called a content upgrade, these offers typically consist of a simple checklist or worksheet, and capture attention by providing even more information about a topic they’re already interested in.

Keep Them Reading With Related Links

How often do you revisit old blog posts to link to newer content? This is an important maintenance job that will help provide visitors with the information they’re looking for by linking related posts together.

Not only is this strategy good for keeping visitors on your site, but Google approves as well. Posts that link to each other encourage search engine bots to crawl your site more thoroughly, and help boost the rankings of your most relevant posts.

[Hint: This is a perfect job for your VA.]

Make the Best of Your Download Pages

Whether you’re giving away a free report or paid product, your download pages can pull double-duty by offering visitors a “what’s next” option. For free download pages, a related, low-cost product is best. It gives readers the chance to learn more about you with a small investment.

For paid products, consider offering a complementary product instead. If you’re protecting your download pages with a membership script such as Customer Hub, you can even offer upsells based on what they already own, making the choice even easier for them.

And if you’re using a double-opt-in mailing list, make use of that confirmation page, too! That’s the perfect place for a quick upsell or an invitation to join you in your Facebook group or weekly Periscope.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow on your website: Whenever a reader lands on a page, she should be offered the next logical step. When you write your blog posts or create your download pages, keep that in mind, and your funnel will practically fill itself.


If you’ve ever looked at another entrepreneur and wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you.

She’s got good systems.

It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.

No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:

  • Work faster and produce more
  • Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
  • Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do

The Magic of Templates

How many times do you answer email from potential customers? What about responding to complaints? Or sending a welcome email to new clients?

All of these tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.

While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email and even sales. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.

Checklists Prevent Mistakes

It might seem counterintuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over and over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step. You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.

But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.

You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.

Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.

#Truthbomb: Money won’t be enough. Here’s the only way to happiness.

If you won a billion dollars would you be happy? Imagine what you could buy will all that money. The things you could do.

But would you really be happy?

The stats say you may not actually be happy with all that money. In fact, an incredibly higher income only predicts fewer moments of sadness, but not exactly more moments of happiness.

If more money isn’t the source of happiness, then what is?

Today we’re going to unravel this mystery. Here’s the most assured way to happiness.

What is Happiness?

Happiness is difficult to define. Over the last several thousand years of human culture and evolution, we’ve defined happiness differently depending on global circumstances.

Today, scientists struggle to define happiness. Recently, a group of researchers distilled happiness down into three types.

  • Happiness on a global scale assessing life and everything involved
  • Happiness related to past emotional experiences
  • Happiness as all the positive emotional reactions over time

And while these three categories seem to paint broad strokes, the researchers agreed on how happiness should feel. It should always be a positive emotion. This means satisfaction with life, elevated mood, and enjoyment (usually related to activity).

Don’t confuse happiness with pleasure. They’re not the same thing.

Pleasure is a visceral reaction. Often we associate pleasure with momentary activities that create a chemical response in our brain and body. This includes sex, good food, compliments, etc.

Pleasure does not equate happiness. Although it can add to happiness.

Happiness, on the other hand, is a more stable state of being. You might not always be happy, but you can maintain or experience happiness for longer than you can usually experience pleasure. Also, ask yourself, which can you have too much of, happiness or pleasure?

Pleasure is like chocolate. You eat one or two squares and it tastes great. Eat ten chocolate bars at once and the pleasure wanes.

Happiness is more like pleasant weather. You may not always have it, but the more you have it, the better.

Money Can Be a Predictor But Likely Not the Cause

Ask yourself this: what does money do? It gives you a little bit of power.

You can access goods. You can keep a roof over yourself and feed yourself. You can help others.

You only need so much. If you can meet your needs, have enough saved for the future, and then have money to do pleasurable things, you’ll likely be happier than not.

But researchers found that money only predicts happiness to a certain extent. Any income increase up to $75,000 correlates with more happiness. Anything after that makes zero impact on happiness.

Yes, it frees you up to do more. But again, that very well could be increasing pleasure and not happiness.

They’ve also found that how you make your money predicts happiness. Does your job give fulfillment?

Suppose you’re making $75,000 doing something that stresses you horribly and makes no difference in the world. Are you any happier than the person who makes $30,000 but gets to make people smile every day?

So, what’s really making you happier when you make more money? Freedom from worry. Meeting your needs and feeling secure.

Happiness as Accumulation

Courtney Dauwalter runs 200+ mile races. She must be the most miserable person on the planet.

The funny thing is, she’s not.

Every time Courtney finishes a race, she’s beaming. Even if she just pushed through hours of stomach aches, sleep deprivation, running on legs that quit 100 miles ago, she’s still grinning at the finish.

What’s the secret? She’s gotta have some demon in her soul, right?

It’s really no secret at all. It’s the incredible feeling of accomplishment each time she crosses that finish line. It’s also the accumulation of highs during the race.

Her family follows her and meets her when allowed. She brings a crew of friends who dote on her when she needs it at particular aid stations. She surrounded by love and support during the darkest hours.

It’s the accumulation of these things, including the pleasures inherent in nature and food, that make Courtney smile.

Happiness isn’t material wealth. It’s the accumulation of all the positive things in life contrasted with some of the darkest lows.

This is why you can experience happiness even during a tragedy. If you surround yourself with good people who can comfort you or make you laugh, you’ll likely experience happiness.

Accomplishment, Fulfillment, Family, and Friends

Commonly, the things that make us happy aren’t the things we always spend our money on. We tend to spend our money on things and pleasures thinking these things will make us happy.

Things and pleasure can’t make us happy.

One example of this is a recent study.

Researchers took a certain amount of money and gave it to participants. One group was told to buy whatever thing they wanted for themselves. The other group was told to spend it on whatever time-saving service they wanted.

Which group do you think were happier? The second group of course.

When you spend money on more time, you’re giving yourself the ability to do things that are more meaningful to you. If you hate cleaning the house, you could hire someone to do it so you can spend more time with your family after work.

You attain two things that make you happy this way. You attain time with family and the satisfaction of a clean house. Also, a clean house could also mean less clutter which also correlates with less negative stress.

The Most Assured Way to Happiness

The most assured way to happiness is through fulfillment. How do we experience fulfillment? Through accomplishment, meaning, and connection.

Do something that you care about and will make an impact in this world and on others. Surround yourself with positive friends who will support you even in the worst of times. And set longterm goals for your life you can accomplish.

What is your definition of happiness? Are you happy? Tell us about it in the comments below.