The Leverage Podcast

I'm happy to announce I've started a Podcast. I'm calling it the Leverage podcast.

Leverage Podcast

I picked 'Leverage' because it's part of my renewed focus to leverage business systems to grow our existing businesses but also to create new ones. Leverage comes in many forms and can be anything from automated systems to hiring someone else to do the work for you.

The podcast is about our self-funded online businesses. I plan to share the many stories I have from running Happy Herbivore and our meal plan business Meal Mentor. I plan to ...

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Automating Your Business Receipts

I've created about a 10 minute video on how to automate your receipt capture. Why? The IRS requires documentation of any expense; you can read more about the requirements in Publication 463.

For us the two primary ways we capture receipts: the first is using the Shoeboxed phone app to take a phone of physical receipts and the second is taking email receipts and turning them into a pdf which are then emailed to Shoeboxed. The real problem for me was in the second part of that capture process: turning email receipts into pdfs that are email to ...

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Drip vs. InfusionSoft: Marketing Automation

I've created about a 10 minute video that compares the same email campaign in Infusionsoft and Drip.

TL; DW: Drip is way simpler to use than Infusionsoft and a lot cheaper too.

I promise a few friends I'd write about Infusionsoft but I was never really happy with the product made me not want to write about it.

I recorded in HD so you'll probably want to watch in it Full Screen.

Let me know if you have any questions! I'm happy to help.

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How Happy Herbivore Used Google Analytics to Acquire New Customers

It seems every blog post I write is a "draft" and nothing gets published. So I've taken Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman's challenge to heart which challenges you to write to one person.

Several times in the past year, Justin Jackson has tweeted his frustration with using analytics to effectively make business decisions.

After his tweet, I emailed him because I wanted to better understand his ...

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Why Should You Use Retargeting Advertising and Avoid AdWords?

If you were to start a traditional online advertising campaign today, it would require a huge set of additional skills that you probably don’t have. You probably don’t have time to learn how to: perform keyword research, building keyword lists, create highly tailored ads, implementing conversion tracking, or effectively tracking CPM or CPC costs. As a small business owner you have outsource tasks that are not your core competency. You are most likely outsource one or all of this skill sets: accounting, design, programming, marketing, system administration, and legal. If your business gets big enough you hire employees with those ...

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What I've Learned Writing My First Book & Why Your Customers Need Reminders

The biggest thing that surprised me was how completely unprepared I was to actually write a book. It started so disorganized. I initially thought that the subject of retargeting wouldn't be any more than 20 or 30 pages. But without even trying I ended up at over 60 pages of content.

The goal of writing this book was never about making money for me; it was purely about writing a book and providing something that was really useful to people. I'm a huge admirer of Kathy Sierra's work. And my only goal was creating a product that would make ...

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How Excellent Customer Service Can Be Delivered Over Email But Without Gmail

I love helping people but I hated providing Customer Support with Gmail.

I’ve recently talked to dozens of online small businesses and it seems that at least half are still using email for customer support. I imagine most small business start this way. Happy Herbivore used email exclusively for over 5 years before we decided we need a better way to support our customers.

For our business, customer support got a lot more complicated when we began selling monthly subscriptions. Subscriptions are more involved than one off sales. We have a host of new issues that need support: credit ...

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Gumroad Sales Tracking with Google Analytics Goals

I'm going to show you how I used the Gumroad created events to complete Google Analytics Goals. Why? Because this is the only way that I can then associate conversions to a MailChimp Campaign. As of this writing, Gumroad's conversion tracking is currently limited to sending Google Analytics Events. Now you could create a custom report to display clicks and purchased events but that's not helpful if you want to see that information in your last MailChimp campaign.

Google Analytics Goals is feature that helps you keep "success metrics." You will most likely use Goals as a way ...

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Microconf helped us add 33% more revenue

One of things that makes Microconf a great learning environment is the collection of great speakers that share actionable business strategies that will help your business grow.

At the 2013 Microconf, several speakers hammered on two themes that every business should consider implementing. 1. Raise prices. 2. Sell Annual Subscriptions. In the 9 months since Microconf, we used these recommendations to add 33% more revenue and now annual subscribers make up 40.4% to our Meal Plan business ( I doubt we are the only success story.

Once I’d been properly motivated, I had to go home and convince ...

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Struggling to Write

Why am I mad? Well, today I decided to get back on the horse and start writing again. But I started with a really unrealistic article to write. I'm trying to punch above my weight class and just getting my ass kicked. I should just be trying to get the wheels going and do a little research for this post along the way.

So I tried to switch gears and write a different post but I think my patience was just gone at that point.

The real problem is that I haven't been keeping to my goal to write ...

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How to filter Django Forms by the User

Today I'm going to tell you a story about how to add a custom filter to your Django Forms.

In the not too distance future, you'll be jamming to "White Snake" while you setup your own ninja searchable FAQ, you'll want your questions and answers to only show-up on your website. But right now we have a problem, I'm seeing other peoples domains because the Django ModelForm just pulls all websites in the Website table. is one of my wife's businesses but belongs to my Jesus loving friend Jack. ¡No bueno!

"All uri's included"


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10 Tips to Increase Donations and Sales

This time of year many non-profits are emailing for donations. I typically support a few organizations at the end of the year one in particular is the Application Trail Conservancy. Their donation page is really bad. It's bad because it appears that it was slapped into their existing website. I'm going to assume that two primary most important reasons for this website are 1) to take donations and 2) to be an information source.

Mistakes they make on this page:

  • Selecting "Same as above" checkbox failed to copy my address
  • Make it easier for people to donate money. ...

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Learning to Program Django: Getting Started

Django is a set of programming tools that allows you to quickly and easily build a website. If you were building a house you would use power tools such as table saws and nail guns to quickly build your house. Power tools not only save you a lot of time; they also help you do a better job. Think of Django is a large collection of power tools that will enable you to build an entire website. If you want to program for the modern web I highly recommend you build your house with a modern set of power tools. ...

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Learning to Program My Advice as a Mentor

I recently started to mentor a young friend that is interested in transitioning from a skill-less office worker to future web developer. She's re-orienting herself with html and css for now. In the next few weeks, she'll start to learn how to code. My built-in language bias will no doubt steer her training towards subjects I'm already proficient with. I am primarily a python/django web developer so there is a very strong possibility that she will learn python and django first. Being keenly aware of my own bias I've been strongly considering recommend she learn ruby and ruby on rails. ...

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Do you want to make an extra $4000 a year?

If you could make an extra $4000/year and it would only required 40 hours of work a year, would you do it?

I like to ask this question when I meet people because most people say Yes; of course, we want to make more money with little effort. The vast majority of people probably will never even start because they are scared to fail. I'm not perfect. I've failed. I've had false starts. Currently I'm sitting on a project called ContextKick because I don't really have time to work on ...

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