Entrepreneur
My Instant Hit Was A Total Failure Image Credit: Entrepreneur
My Instant Hit Was A Total Failure Image Credit: Entrepreneur

My Instant Hit Was A Total Failure

I had a great product. An immediate financial winner. But you know that gut feeling? Here’s what I found out. (Trust me, it was painful.)

Jonathan Goodman

Sleepless, worry-filled nights are normal for any founder. But they shouldn’t continue for weeks. My subconscious mind was telling me something. But what?

I run a company called Personal Trainer Development Center, which, like the name suggests, produces resources to help personal trainers grow their businesses. We do this in many ways—articles, books, an online certification program, and more. And around the time the insomnia hit, we had just created a new resource: It was a print newsletter called Fitness Marketing Monthly. But that can’t be the problem, I thought. The newsletter was a hit!

Consider our numbers. We launched in July 2018 with 1,615 subscribers, who paid a special introductory rate of $39.97 a month. By September, we had subscribers in 62 countries paying as much as $59.97 per issue. This was without much marketing. All told, the newsletter generated $89,685 a month in revenue, with profits of $32,025.

But something was gnawing at me. Despite the profit, something just wasn’t right. So I dove into the details, and by our tenth issue, I decided to kill the newsletter…even though by that point it had added more than $300,000 to my bottom line. Why? Here’s what I learned.

Lesson #1/ Listen to what customers aren’t saying.

After I launched our certification program in 2016, it earned more than 1,000 unsolicited testimonials. That’s what happens whe


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