#092: What Worked (and What Didn’t) In 2013 [Podcast]

In this weeks podcast I will reveal to you what worked for me in 2013…  as well as what didn't work.

Team of climbers on the summit.

You get to profit not only from my success stories, but even from my failures. Also on today's episode…

  • Are you a Madman? Or a Madwoman? Copywriters wanted.
  • An exciting new guide on how to form your own mastermind group… reduxe.
  • What is the truth about so-called “greasy grace”?
  • And the always award-winning, much much more.


  • I am updating my copywriting course… win free access with your comments between now and Christmas.
  • Next week's show will be about what could be the most important topic I have ever covered.  Don't miss it.
  • The return of listener questions! How to promote yourself on my show!

Conferences where I will be attending and/or speaking:

Tip Of The Week – Again!

One of the most powerful things you can do to accelerate your success in 2014 is to form an intentional mastermind group.

Click here and take a look at Dan Miller's new course on how to do just that. It's worth 10 times the investment he's asking.

Spiritual Foundations

Is the so-called “new grace movement” cheapening the concept of grace? Is it promoting something we know as “greasy grace”?

In the podcast, I give my answers to these questions.

Feature Segment:  What Worked (and What Didn't) In 2013

I share my most successful… and also my LEAST successful business moves in 2013. Here's where they'll mean to you and your success in 2014…

What worked:

  1. This podcast.  High leverage, high engagement, premium content delivery vehicle.
  2. Facebook.  Believe it or not, this was my number one source of traffic in 2013.
  3. Premium pricing.  Over 80% of the revenue we generated came from the most expensive 5% of services and products we offer.

What didn't work:

  1. Busyness.  Over committing led to me making a few poor tactical decisions, and was a severe drain on my mental focus, emotional well-being, and physical health.
  2. Complexity. Complexity is the mother frustration, and the father of fatigue.
  3.  Rugged individualism.  It's an American ideal.  It's romantic. It feels heroic. The only problem is, it doesn't work.

What To Do Now

If you enjoy the podcast, I would consider it a great favor if you subscribe (and leave a review) in iTunes. This helps new people discover the podcast. You can also find the podcast on Stitcher.

Question:   What worked, and what didn't work, for you this year? Click here to leave your comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • KenMcArthur

    Always insightful Ray Edwards …

    My top three mistakes in 2013

    – Trying to do more instead of better
    – Going after dollars instead of creating value
    – Not spending the time required to make sure that key elements are in place.

    When the economics changed, my response was to do more of what I was doing. I went from 4-5 events a year to over 30 and the results were mixed. The increased volume gave me more connections, more buzz, more activity, more potential customers, but didn’t help the economics.

    As dollars grew tighter, I started doing more activities that weren’t my key strengths, chasing the available dollars instead of building something of lasting value that aligned with what I do best.

    As activities increased, the amount of time I could spend getting the details right decreased and at times key elements were left out. If it’s a 3 step process and you haven’t completed a crucial step, you won’t get the results you want.

    What I did right …

    – Built deeper relationships with key people
    – Threw out what wasn’t working and started with a clean slate
    – Developed a team of high-level partners

    My first step was to look at the people (my dearest friends) who I know stand for quality, value and purpose. What were they doing that worked? How could I elevate what I was doing to a higher standard? What did they know about me that I wasn’t seeing? What did they think I should STOP doing? How could I get back on the road to value and quality while generating the revenue required to support the mission and purpose I have and the people who I love?

    Obviously, something had to go, so with the help of friends I decided what to cut out of my life and where I could most contribute solid value.

    It’s my belief that purpose, quality and value are essential to success. There are key elements which can’t be left out, but success doesn’t have to be complex.

    Fix something or make it better. Fill a hole. Encourage the discouraged. Create something beautiful. Make something useful. Be of service.

    But do it with purpose in mind.

    The WHY you do what you do is the crucial motivator that will move you to excellence.

    The what and how are much simpler.

    Sometimes doing less, means succeeding more.

    You don’t have to do this alone.

    If you have a grand piano to get to the top of a 4 story building with no elevator, you better have some friends.

    Right now I’m building deep-level partnerships and integrated marketing with key top-level people who will increase my value and the quality of what I do and at the same time expand the leverage created by a team that allows me to focus on what I do best.

    Keep doing the good stuff Ray.

    All the best,


  • Paolo_Sini

    Ray, this is some of the thing that did work for me:
    1) I have add some new customers to my business and I have strengthened the relationship with the ones I was already working with.
    2) Learning. I have learned a lot by reading new books, blog posts and listening to podcasts. I have acquired new skills and implemented new tactics both for my business and those of my clients.
    What didn’t work:
    1) Blogging. I failed to be consistent in blogging, mainly because I have found all the excuses for procrastinate.
    2) Busyness. Like you I have been working on too many projects focusing on things that could be delegated instead of finding the way to work less and produce more. If I only had applied the Pareto Rule to my business I would have had better results.

  • Ray, a common theme in your “what didn’t work” is unbalance.

    For me…what worked and what didn’t.

    Well, what worked was keying in on and making decisions about a priority list.
    1. My personal relationship with God.
    2. My relationship with my wife.
    3. My relationship with my kids.
    4. My family and friends.
    5. My work.

    I used this list to set up my ideal daily schedule. I also set some boundaries. For example, I simply do not spend more then three nights away from my family in any given calendar year right now. Which means turning down speaking engagements…but saying yes to my wife and kids. (My kids are three and one)

    What didn’t work.

    Not following my daily schedule. Letting calendar creep get the best of me. And, the other thing that didn’t work for me was starting to many new projects. I need a better plan for planning, planting and cultivating an idea before starting a new one.

  • Dan Tredo

    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for the content – very insightful.

    What worked for me in 2013:

    1. Learning to focus by taking smaller incremental steps toward my goal.
    2. Redefining what success means to me.
    3. Joining a coaching course for building an online business.

    The 1st item helped me to finally take action (in smaller steps). And the smaller steps have helped to build confidence and create momentum. A book that helped in this regard has been The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

    The 2nd item helped me to ‘feel’ successful most of the time instead of when I just reached a big goal. I changed the way I define success for myself to: ‘did I take my bit-by-bit incremental steps today that moved me forward toward my longer range goal?’ Looking at success this way took the pressure off and helped me to think more long term.

    The 3rd item has given me great direction and focus. I can’t say enough about getting a coach for whatever you want to do. I’ve spun my wheels way to long and the coaching is fast tracking me. That feels wonderful.

    Ok, what didn’t work?

    1. procrastinating
    2. watching too much Star Trek
    3. eating too many cookies

    Gotta cut those back in 2014…

    In His Love,

    PS – I’ll never forget sitting next to you on the plane to JVAlert Live some two or three years ago. We hooked up in Denver if I recall. That was a real treat!

  • Ray,

    Here are the things that worked this year:
    1. My podcast worked. http://www.servextra.com/archi-tech-podcast/
    2. My new website design (Get Noticed Theme)

    3. InfusionSoft is working, but not all the way there yet. I have a lot more to figure out in terms of campaign building.

    What did not work.
    1. Also being a lone ranger.
    2. Letting other people be in charge of marketing. (They don’t have my voice.)
    3. Not using value based fees for my consulting. That will change in 2014

  • Charles

    I would like to subscribe with iPP Podcast, an Android podcast catcher app, but it appears that your podcast audio is only iPhone compatible. could you let me know if this is the case and if so, will you change the compatibility?

    • Kathleen Thompson

      Hi Charles,
      I too have an Android phone, and use the Stitcher Radio app to catch Ray’s podcast.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    Busyness did not work for me either in 2013. In fact, in working through Michael Hyatt’s “5 Days to The Best Year Ever”, I wrote that one of my life lessons for 2013 is “Do less to do more.” That also ties to the rugged individualism idea. As I look for things to drop, an important thing to do is to let someone else do them. You have hit the nail on the head, Ray.

  • Rich Grimshaw

    I’ve got one of each, Ray. Neither has anything to do with making a living or developing an Internet-based business. But rather they are about my doing the things that seem important to me.

    What worked? Staying focused on a singular goal and finding a way to overcome each set back and roadblock was a winner for me again this year. I had three goals for the year, and I met two of them by using this approach. The first: finish my course work for a Bachelor of Arts degree in music so I could graduate.

    Well, I made it. I had to get creative with my work schedule, and had to pass up more than a few things that I really wanted to do, but on May 10, 2013 I walked across the stage and got the diploma.

    There’s a back story to this. When I graduated from high school in 1971, I chose to study engineering instead of music. That was a good decision, and I have never regretted it. In 2006, 35 years after high school, I still wanted a degree in music, so I enrolled and studied part time for seven years to make it happen. I learned what I set out to learn, had a lot of fun, and made many new friends – some much younger than me. I smile just thinking about it.

    The second goal? I wanted to start a podcast. The worm started turning on this a few years ago, but I had to wait until I got that music degree to move ahead with it. The podcast that I had in mind involved getting the buy-in of the board of directors of my favorite charitable institution and the participation of several friends. Being persistent and staying focused, we made it happen. And now we are providing an entertaining and informative program each week to tens of listeners and we are creating an audio history of the institution. There’s great potential here, and I’m just so darn happy to be a part of it.

    So let me tell you what didn’t work: blogging. My third goal was to write regularly and share it with the world. As in years gone by, this was not easy.

    For the last ten years or so I have thought about blogging. I have read about blogging. I have opened accounts on Blogger and WordPress.com. I have made lists of potential content. I have done just about everything there is to do except write something and publish it. Another year gone by, and still the world waits for me to get my blogging on.

    I understand completely that the key ingredient to making a good pot of Blogging Soup is to sit your butt in a chair and write, then hit “publish.” Up to this point, I’ve just been scared of doing it.

    So this year, 2014, I will blog. Somehow, in a manner as yet undetermined, I will silence the voice in my head that says I am not good enough; I will not imagine an assembly of unknown people that laugh and dismiss my ideas and thoughts; I will just do it. One day. This year.

    I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it.

    So, the plan is to eat the elephant one bite at a time. First step is writing on your blog, not mine. Riding down the road today listening to your voice in my ears I decided to leave feedback, just as you asked. If I leave a dozen or so comments and am still alive, well, maybe I’ll be bold enough to write on my own blog.

    Gee, the first bite tastes pretty good. . .

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  • 2013 was RIDICULOUS! Fantastic year. The best.

    What worked:
    1) My book launch in January. I have my book sales numbers from January through November of 2013:
    Total book sales: $49,666.85
    My share (60%): $29,800.11
    Net Income, after printing: $25,412.37
    #1 International Best Selling Author Status: Priceless

    2) Telesummits. I made hundreds of thousands of dollars from my little $99 offers. I don’t “need” any private clients any more, so I only take 4 a year at $48,000.

    3) My “Money Goddess” Bali Retreat. I didn’t even promote it, and I organically filled this high end event. And the results were my best: 50% of the participants had new businesses, new websites, and new clients within a month. They ALL have lucrative businesses now. Most are in great romantic relationships, too.

    4) Evergreen rolling launches. Every telesummit puts people a funnel for evergreen group coaching programs. I get a great, steady income stream, without the cost and stress of launches.

    5) Lifestyle. I designed my business to allow me to travel the world making out with my guy. We went to Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan this year. Morocco is already on the calendar for 2014. My business gives me the time and the resources to do anything I want to do, and mostly what I want to do is spend time with my love.

    6) Promoting JV Partners with Social Media. I came in as a Top Ten Affiliate for Christian Micklesen’s latest launch, and I didn’t send out any solo emails.

    What didn’t work:
    1) Hiring mentors. I’ve finally figured out that I AM one of the big kids now.

    2) Saying “yes” to newbie summit leaders. I can do 2 calls in one week, and make $500 on one call, and $30,000 on the other. And I’ll be the best selling guest on both summits. Same work, very different result.

    3) Long copy on emails and opt in pages. I get the best conversion with the least info, and they’ll still buy from me once they hear me talk.

  • What worked for me was starting my podcast, it has connected me with some great people, what did not work well was attempting a business venture that is not my authentic self, I look forward to making some wise tweaks in 2014.

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