Warning … this post is not for you.
I’m writing this for me. I need to write this out and I need to get my thoughts in order. Even if no one reads this, I still need to write it and publish it because I can’t move forward until I do.
We have so much to talk about. I have so much on my mind.
Okay … let’s do this.
Here’s what’s happening.
The Last Three Years Have Transformed Me
Buying Copyblogger was one of the scariest, dumbest, most exhilarating, challenging and smartest things I’ve ever done with my life. The amount of cash I put up to buy my equity in that site was very significant.
What was most terrifying is that when I bought the website, it had absolutely no revenue. I bought a media asset with no cash flow, so it was completely up to me to monetize it.
I had no idea what I was going to do, but I knew I would figure it out and make it a success.
I’ve spent the last three years obsessively building The Copyblogger Academy, Digital Commerce Partners and Stodzy Internet Marketing. It has been grueling work. I’ve worked harder and more intensely over the last three years than in any other period in my life.
More so, my thoughts have been consumed with work. All I’ve done for three years is work on Stodzy and Copyblogger. I worked on vacations. I wake up at 3 am to work. I stay up late. I make sales calls while rowing 10,000 meters on Sundays.
No matter what I’m doing, I’m thinking about my company.
How can I do better? How can I close this deal? How can I improve an email funnel? How can I make my product better?
I genuinely don’t think there are a lot of people alive who could have kept up with the schedule and the demand I put on myself the last three years. I’m exhausted.
Was it worth it? Fuck yeah.
I’ve learned so much from this experience.
From building Copyblogger, I’ve learned how to …
- take a company from scratch, gut it, and rebuild it
- build amazing sales funnels through ConvertKit
- create deadlines to increase conversions
- build a membership site
- execute on the specific benefits that make a remarkable membership site
Most of all, I’ve learned that I am very capable of accomplishing hard tasks.
From the growth at Stodzy, I’ve learned how to …
- painstakingly create documents, procedures and handbooks to help manage a fully digital company (Shout out to Khe Hy)
- build an elite management team
- deal with conflicts that arise when the company gets big enough
- scale an agency model
I’m really proud of myself.
As of today, May 11, Copyblogger Academy does about $40k a month in revenue and Digital Commerce does about $80k a month in revenue.
Stodzy does a lot more than that.
Through Copyblogger alone, I added about $15k a month to my personal income. I’ll be break even on my investment in another 10 months or so and it’s all uphill from there.
Like I said, it was worth it.
The biggest lesson of all
Most of all, the last three years have taught me about myself. They taught me where I want to spend my time, what I want to work on, and what I am good at.
For instance, I LOVE selling. I love creating the content, writing articles, generating traffic and making the sales. I feel like it’s my gift and the value I wish to share with the world.
However, I have also learned that I HATE managing membership communities. Copyblogger Academy in particular has been an entire new adventure. I’ve never built a membership community before, and obviously I’ve never managed one. It was much more demanding than I expected it to be.
Don’t get it twisted. I love attending the events, I love talking to the customers in the community, I love the interacting, and I love the experience of being part of the community.
What I hate is being on the hook 24/7. If someone has an issue, I MUST fix the issue right then and there. I can’t “take a day off” from it, because my customers have paid me their hard earned money and it is my job to show up for them no matter what.
I have built one of the top membership communities in the space and I am very proud of the people I have helped, but I can truthfully say that it is not my calling like I thought it would be.
It’s been a harsh realization …
In 2016, I was living in Boca with Sacks. I remember sitting on the couch and listening to a podcast that Brian Clark had recorded on Rainmaker.FM. In the podcast he said “a monthly membership product with recurring sales and scalability is the gold standard of any internet business.”
I never forgot that. I took him on his word for it.
For years, I’ve had this dream of building a community and a membership product. I wanted to be like Brian. I wanted to be like Chris Ducker. I wanted to own and operate a popular membership community and be respected and have thousands of people give me praise.
Well I got what I wanted. I accomplished my mission and the feeling wasn’t at all what I thought it would be.
I’m not sad about it, or upset in any way. I’m so grateful for the experience. But it was harsh discovery to realize that my dream wasn’t actually what I wanted.
I’m making an adjustment: Enter Digital Copywriter
She gets a thrill from helping customers and being involved in the action.
Her and I have been talking, and we decided to partner up on a deal that combines Copybloger Academy into our new membership site.
Introducing – Digital Copywriter.
AWAI is the countries most respected authority in online writing and copywriting. They have been teaching people how to make money writing for 20 years. They are the perfect partner in this venture and I am so thrilled to be joining forces with them.
Now, I get to teach my webinars, help other people, and participate in the community while having the freedom to focus my attention on what I do best. I won’t be waking up every morning with a full inbox and I can give myself the time and space to write.
All members of Copyblogger Academy get to keep their access to the current network while also being grandfathered into the Digital Copywriting platform. I’m still there in the same capacity as before, but now I don’t have to manage the technical aspects of the membership, respond to emails, respond to billing inquires or manage refunds.
It’s a perfect solution. Everyone wins, especially my customers.
I’m elated for the partnership. I’ve been working on this deal for a long time.
So now what do I do?
What’s so strange is that for the first time in my life, I don’t feel this overwhelming need to move onto the next project. I want to think long and hard about where I want to focus my time.
I’ve always known exactly what my next move is because I’ve always had a list of ideas stacked up waiting for me to get some free time.
But now I have free time, and I want to spend it wisely.
I know a few things …
- I know that Stodzy is always my first business priority. That will never change.
- Sober Nation is in very good hands and I am looking forward to continue building that team.
- I want to finally do the work I have been telling myself “I will do one day.”
- Personal writing (like this)
- Write stories
- Write a book
- Building my personal newsletter
- I am LOVING Muay Thai training. I feel so in tune with my body right now and it feels great.
- Most importantly, I know that I love watching my little dude laugh. We’re having another baby soon, and I want to hang out with my wife and my kids as much as possible.
Whatever I do next, it needs to be important and it needs to be exciting.
I have so much more to give. I have more stories to tell, more ideas to bring to life, and more people to help.
Here are some of my ideas
1. The Alumni Assistant – I had this idea in Miami, and I’ve already launched a beta. This will be my first SaaS product and I feel more confident about this idea than any other.
I am creating an app that helps drug rehab centers keep track of their alumni. This is a huge problem in the industry and no one has solved it yet. I know this is a winner and once this is built, it will be so helpful to the facilities and help people stay sober.
I could do $40k a month in revenue over night once I launch this. The more I think about “what’s next?”, the more I find myself getting excited about the alumni assistant.
2. The Tim Stodz Incubator – I meet so many talented people every day. My DMs on Twitter are filled with people reaching out to me, asking for help in growing their business.
I think it would be cool to create an incubator program. I would invest in these young entrepreneurs and I would also guide them through workshops and 1 on 1 coaching. I would be creating a portfolio of companies that I invest in, and then coaching the founders who I have invested in.
That could be cool.
3. Creating a Tim Stodz Media Company – I think it would be fun to actually rent out a space and build a studio. I could build a more professional and cool place to host my podcasts, I could make videos, I could sit in an office and write instead of going to Starbucks when the baby sitter is here.
There’s no reason to think that digital content is going to be any less powerful ten years from now than it is today, so why not double down on myself and build a Gary Vaynerchuk style personal brand?
I’ve already started the process, but haven’t built a real creative space or content studio.
I made a promise to myself … No decisions in May
The list above are simply ideas I’ve been toying with. Some things are already in motion and some things are more fantasies.
But I have decided that no matter what brilliant ideas come into my head, I’m not making any big choices until the month is over.
For this month, I’m going to write, drink coffee, train Muay Thai, go for walks with my family and keep working on my newsletter.
Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Thanks for reading my rant. I’m at the end, and I don’t know if anything I’ve shared with you today is helpful to you, but it has been helpful to me.
For that, I thank you.