Like many of us, the 3 years in the Recession Economy were scary. But it’s was a good news/bad news situation. My training and coaching business was greatly diminished, and as a result I had more time to do my favorite things: write and create.
I used those years to write a new book and finally get the full import of all of my systems and decision making ideas on paper (Dirty Little Secrets). I developed the sorts of products that folks had been asking me to develop for years. I designed some decision making technology (a game called Who’s the Decider? that moves buying team members around a screen while the player moves the pieces and helps influence the buying decision), and developed playbooks and questionnaires for a new business partner (Qvidian). What fun I had being creative!
LIVING WITH GREATLY REDUCED INCOME
I was frightened: I had learned to live according to a certain lifestyle that I had to change. During the course of my life, I’ve spent several portions living with very little money, so I knew how to do that. No more shopping. No more eating out. Fewer concerts, books, movies (some things I must have just to be me!).
But I was also confused. I had thought that with the amount of product I had on offer I would have enough income to keep me going. But nothing was selling. It seemed no matter what I created or how I priced something, no one was buying. In fact, I was selling more Guided Study programs at $2500 than I was selling Learning Accelerators at $99…. but precious few of anything.
It made no sense. Great responses to my blog posts. Lots of email responses to my webinars and podcasts that were highly populated. But very few purchases.
I asked my web guy to do some back end work to see if there was a problem. Nothing to be found. I hired a guy to help and paid him money I didn’t have – and he got me no results either. Maybe the economy was just making a mess of everything. Or maybe I was just horribly wrong, and the world really didn’t want my thinking. Maybe I was going down the wrong path in this life. For long stretches of time, I went through horrid hours of self-doubt and fear that I had to fight daily.
THE HIDDEN ANSWER
And then, a colleague of mine who owed me a favor went behind-the-scenes, into my purchasing set ups, and discovered that people had, in fact, been attempting to purchase my products. Lots of people. In fact, there were shopping carts that held mid-six figures worth of products, but because ot the way the shopping cart was set up and the extreme number of clicks necessary for a purchase, they abandoned the carts.
Excuse me? Lots of product sales – lots – abandoned because of back-end technical issues? Because the way the shopping cart had been set up?
I could have lived like a normal person: donated to my favorite charities, taken a vacation, hired the extra person I needed, helped my son out, paid more into my pension – I could have had well over $100,000 extra each year for 3 years if the shopping cart didn’t have 5 clicks!!
How was I supposed to know? What could I have done differently? I did fire my tech guy for many reasons, but how was I supposed to know he also didn’t know how to set up Americommerce, or even call them for support? He said he knew how, there were occassional purchases, so I had no reason to not trust him.
I’m not a tech person. I wonder how many of us entrepreneurs trust their webmasters and are led astray, as I was, and have lost untold amounts of income as a result.
I’m far more than cranky. I’m livid.