Simplero Blog

The business of transforming lives, and life as a conscious entrepreneur

Sherrie Williams

Meet Howard Jacobson of Plant Yourself

hj-headphones-headshot-2016-cropped-normal.jpgTell me a little about your business…

I guide people to make big changes in their lives, starting with diet and exercise. I've co-written two books with T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, and after meeting and talking with readers and fans of the books, I realized that implementation was the missing piece. As a former digital marketing strategist, executive coach, and teacher, I realized that I had a lot of skills and strategies that could help people struggling to adopt healthier lifestyles. I teamed up with Josh LaJaunie, a former 420-pound ex-football player from Louisiana who was just featured on the cover of Runner's World magazine for his ultra-marathoning feats, to create the Big Change Program, a year-long odyssey that begins with food and running, but really encompasses the human quest to excavate and celebrate our best, most authentic selves. I also host the Plant Yourself Podcast, with over 190 episodes dedicated to supporting a joyful, healthy, engaged plant-based life.

What brought you to Simplero?

My friend and mentor Rob Goyette started using it, and I had been struggling for years with an aging ecommerce platform that was getting harder and harder to use (and more and more expensive). I gave Simplero a try, and was enchanted both by the elegance and functionality of the software, and the heart and soul of the team behind it.

How have you integrated Simplero into your business?

I've replaced MailChimp, Aweber, 1shoppingcart, and Wishlist member, and am running all my emails, courses, and commerce through Simplero. It's so nice to have 1 system that is integrated, with all parts thought out to fit together, rather than the hodgepodge of services I used to use.

How has Simplero benefited your Business?

I can serve more people and spend less time doing the administrative work, and more time creating and thinking and teaching and writing.

What's something you've learned in business you'd wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

Models are great, but breakthroughs come from ignoring conventional wisdom and capitalizing on your unique passions and quirks.

What's a fun fact about you that someone would never guess?

I once played the recorder and Brooke Shields danced as we waited for our laundry to finish.

 

hj-headphones-headshot-2016-cropped-small.jpgHoward Jacobson, PhD is a health educator, author, and broadcaster from Pittsboro, North Carolina. He is host of the Plant Yourself Podcast and contributing author to Proteinaholic, by Garth Davis, MD, and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, by T. Colin Campbell. Howard is also co-founder of the Big Change Program, with Josh LaJaunie. Howard coaches, consults, and speaks on health and fitness for individuals, families, organizations, and communities.

PlantYourself.com

 

 

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Calvin Correli

Friend or Foe?

It's (still) 2017, baby!

Today's Calvin Show Episode is ... "Friend or Foe?"

We talk about:

  • Do you have enemies in business?
  • Getting legal threats from Zendesk
  • When to fire someone
  • Is the Universe really your friend? Really? 

calvin-show-007-email.png

Do I look like an 80s teen heartthrob or what??

Go watch it now, and remember to leave a question or a comment.

Like Giving Interviews?

I do. I love it. I've mentioned a couple times here that if you'd like to interview me for your audience, I'd love to participate.

Last month, fellow Simplerista Nicole Holland, interviewed me for her podcast, the Business Building Rockstars Show (here's her interview of me). After the interview I told her how much I'd enjoyed it, and that I'd love to do a lot more interviews, and I asked her if she'd be interested in helping me getting booked on other podcasts.

To say that she ran with that idea would be an understatement. The next day, she came back with a proposal, which I immediately jumped at. She's been super systematic and structured about it, coming up with a process that makes it super easy for me to show up and knock it out of the park. And she's been so great at continually improving the process, something I'm a big fan of. It's just such a joy to work with someone who's so committed and so excited about the work they do.

These days I'm doing about 4 interviews a week, and I basically just have to show up and be present. It's so much fun! All thanks to Nicole.

So if you're looking for increasing your visibility through giving interviews to podcasters, check out Nicole and her offering. You won't regret it. She's absolutely amazing, and it's been so much fun to watch her taking this idea and running with it.

Check out Nicole and what she does here.

 

Simplero Mentioned in Wired UK

Amanda Spann, we're eternally grateful for the shout-out in Wired UK. Than you SO much. If you're reading this, get in touch. Would love to talk to you.

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New Features in Simplero

With the new year in full swing, we're back at it working on the next big step in letting you customize Simplero to its fullest. For the non-coders, this will mostly happen in our new customizer interface, where you will be able to make changes and browse around your content live to see what it looks like as you're customizing it. We're really excited to have a much more powerful and intuitive tool for getting the look you desire along with some fresh templates, but for now, I'll leave you with a sneak peek:

customizer-sneak-peek.png

For the internationally minded of you, there is however some very exciting news to share this week. One of our great customers, Dr. Vítor Oliveira, who runs his business, Opinião Médica, on Simplero, has put in a massive effort over the last weeks to fully translate Simplero into Portuguese. We can't thank Dr. Oliveira enough for his efforts on this!

Random Links from around the Interwebs

President Bartlet jacket flips. I did this for my most recent photo shoot this weekend. So much fun!

The dazzling and depressing architecture of density in megacities.

Official State of Vermont Maple Syrup logo. Oops!

Lots of love,
–Calvin

Calvin Correli

New Year, No Resolutions

krug-medium.jpgHappy New Year!

Hope you got into it super well.

I had the most amazing New Year's Eve, and the most amazing New Year's Day. So heart opening, romantic, lovely. Possibly the best day of my life so far. I'm super grateful.

I have another episode of The Calvin Show for you. We had some issues with the editing. It was supposed to go out before NYE, but now you get it today instead.

It's titled "New Year, No Resolutions".

In this episode:

  • Avoid New Year pitfalls
  • Stop beating yourself up, you survived another year!
  • Does your brand have a Soul?

Go watch it now, and make sure to leave a comment.

calvin-show-episode-005-email.png 

 

Random Links from around the Interwebs

The No Pants Subway Ride.

Carrie Fischer roasting George Lucas.

Long-term stress erodes memory.

Sherrie Williams

Meet Megan Meyers of Princess Ballerinas

Tell me a little about your business…

For the past 15 years I've been a dance teacher and studio owner. I'm especially passionate about creating really imaginative, immersive and co-creative experiences for little ballerinas. On the surface, it's imaginative dance lessons for little girls but REALLY  what I'm hoping to do is empower thousands of little ballerinas to explore the power of their minds and imagination.

 

What brought you to Simplero?

I always thought that to inspire others through dance, it meant I had to run (and continually grow) my physical dance studio. I'm also a long-time business and marketing student and so over the years, I've gotten pretty good at growing my business. That MIGHT sound like a good thing but truth be told, running a brick and mortar business was slowly sucking my will to live. I HATED being a "boss" and managing employees (and I had GREAT employees!!) , I hated the stress of having a huge overhead, 5 year leases and MEGA payroll obligations. The better I got at marketing, the more my studio grew and the more the "hassle" around running a bigger business grew.

A year ago, thanks to Simplero, that all changed...

I'm not even sure how I even got the idea to get started, but about a year ago I got the idea to start selling my theme-based preschool dance lesson plans to other dance teachers and studio owners (it's called the Princess Ballerinas Dance Program). I started driving Facebook traffic to a terrible landing page in my brand new Simplero account (Correction: my design and sales funnel was terrible, NOT Simplero!!).

Within the first month, I had 1500 email subscribers and about 100 studio owners PAYING ME EVERY MONTH (that's insane!!) for simple teaching materials I was already creating for my own instructors.



How have you integrated Simplero into your business?

Oh where do I begin. I does SO MUCH for me. It’s basically the only platform I use to run my entire business. I use it for opt-in forms, landing pages, shopping cart, one-click upsells/downsells. I’ve automated a lot of my lead generation and follow up using the timed link expiration (great for creating actual scarcity in evergreen funnels). I’ve automated all of my onboarding and welcome sequences to make sure every new customer gets the same warm welcome upon joining my membership program  I process all of my monthly membership fees through Simplero and use all of the automated follow-up for reprocessing fees and credit card updates. I track my sales and customer metrics through Simplero (oh how I love seeing my average customer value and average lead value increase overtime).

Simplero is my sales department, my admin staff, my operations department and customer service... ALL IN ONE!! It's my dream employee in other words. :)

 

How has Simplero benefited your Business?

Now (just one year later) I've had over 500 studios join my Princess Ballerinas Dance Program subscription service!! My income has DOUBLED from what I was earning running my brick and mortar studio so a few months ago I sold my studio to another local studio who was expanding (literally it was a Twilight Zone experience. I've NEVER experienced witnessing conscious manifestation like I did with that experience. Perfect timing, perfect win-win-win for everyone involved. It was crazy perfect.)

Ummm...and the work/life balance difference is insane. Before, making half as much money, living a super-stressed live, I was working 24/7- seriously. Now... I probably work about 2-4 hours a week on average and make double the income have ZERO stress and I'm having a LOT more fun. Plus, no overhead, almost no expenses, no employees. Not to mention that I’m enjoying my work more and making a WAY bigger impact in the lives of others... it's a DREAM.

Thanks to you and Simplero. I pretty much focus 95% of my time on enjoying my life, my family (my husband and 2 year old son) and generally enjoying day to day life.  4% of my time is spent in inspired action creating magical teaching materials for other inspired dance teachers (I have the world’s BEST customers- seriously DRAMA FREE!!!) and 1% of my time is spent uploading it all to Simplero where it's SO FREAKING EASY for all of my members to access their materials and for me to grow my online business AUTOMATICALLY. It's crazy!!!



What's something you've learned in business you'd wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

I used to think working 24/7 and killing myself to start and grow my business was like a badge of honor for the nobel entrepreneur. I’ve since learned that that’s a load a baloney! Your business will be what you expect it to be. If you decide it’s going to be hard and a struggle then it will be. As soon as I decided that I was going to create a business that was enjoyable and fun and EASY… it WAS! Seems too simple to be true but it’s been true nonetheless. I wish someone had told me that sooner.

 

What's a fun fact about you that someone would never guess?

This day and age, people are always surprised to know I’m married to my high school sweetheart. I moved to a new town the day before starting high school and it was love at first sight at freshman orientation. We’ve been best friends and soulmates ever since!

 

Megansmall-normal.jpgMegan Meyers is the creator of the Princess Ballerinas Dance Program and the Princess Ballerinas book series which was created to inspire and empower the imaginations of budding ballerinas around the world. Megan resides in the beautiful Napa Valley with her husband, 2 year old son and yellow Labrador. Megan was a dance teacher and studio owner for over 15 years before creating the book series and licensed dance program which is now used by over 700 studios in the US, Canada and Australia. Outside of dance, Megan is passionate about the outdoors (hiking, biking, boating), eating delicious food and wine in the Napa Valley and she's also borderline obsessed with both learning more about business (marketing, sales, systems) and the world of metaphysics (meditation, energy, psychic abilities) and loves combining the two to create the personal life of her dreams.

 PrincessBallerinas.com

 

 

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Calvin Correli

No News is Good News

That was a crazy year, wasn't it? And it's almost over.

A lot of people hated 2016. Lots of big names died, and it feels like they've just kept on dropping these last few days. The election here in the US, of course, was awful to watch (and also entertaining, evidently, if you don't take it too seriously).

For me, though, 2016 has been my best year ever. I expect the same of 2017, and I wish the same for you.

On the note of awful news, here's episode 004 of The Calvin Show: No News is Good News!

the-calvin-show-episode-004-email.png

Go watch it now, and leave a comment with your thoughts or a question, or both.

Random Links from Around the Interwebs

How to draw an owl.

Why pepperoni curls (and why it should).

Lessons from TSA PreCheck: Screen everyone that way.

Have a fantastic new year!

Lots of love,
–Calvin & the rest of the team here at Simplero HQ

Calvin Correli

Gratitude

Christmas is almost here! I'll keep this short and sweet.

The second episode of The Calvin Show is here!

On this episode, we meet Victor who after meeting with tragedy has found a new perspective on life. I spoke with him at length this summer, and he graciously agreed to come on the show and share his experiences with you. This is his story…

We talk about:

  • the importance of being grateful for all the little things
  • following through on your word (or not saying said word in the first place if you ain’t gonna follow thru)
  • gaining perspective through life changes

episode-2-large.png

 

Random Links from around the Interwebs

The terrifying cost of "free" websites.

The truth about the McDonald's coffee lawsuit.

Find my iPhone short film.

Lots of love and merry holiday feelings to you.
–Calvin

Calvin Correli

It's a Vulnerable Journey

First, a huge congratulations to all of our customers: You have officially sold for more than $40 million dollars by now. That's incredible. A lot of people are making a lot of money, doing a lot of good in the process. We're so proud of you!

Also: Brand new design landed on Simplero today. Read more HERE!

So ... Vulnerability ...

sous-vide.jpgI'm doing so many new things these days. Restarting the video show in a whole new way. Losing
weight faster and easier than I've ever lost weight before, like I wrote about two weeks ago. A newly deepened commitment to my music, the video show, and my overall message in the world. And other goings-onses in my life.

And I'm telling you... breaking new ground like that can feel pretty vulnerable.

You're sticking your neck out. You believe in something. You have a vision that others may not see quite yet.


And at the same time you have to grow. What you're producing right now is not up to your taste, your standards. You know you have so much more in you, and you kinda know that some day you're going to figure out how to get it out of you and put it into the world. But in the meantime, there's just that painfully large distance between what you can see and hear in your mind, and what you're actually creating.

That's what it's like to be new at something, to break new ground. That's what it takes to make change in life.

Most people hate feeling incompetent so much that, once they've become competent in anything, they vow never to subject themselves to feeling incompetent ever again.

The result, of course, is inevitable stagnation.

steak.jpgOnly by being willing to be incompetent again, to go through that painful growth period, is there any chance of progress, of moving forward.

But it's such a vulnerable process. In the beginning, you're going to fail more than you're going to get it right. Just remember: That's all part of the progress. Each failure is teaching you something invaluable.

They say you have to write a hundred bad songs before you can start writing good songs. So better get those 100 bad songs out of the way as soon as possible, amiright?

So that's why I was so happy to see this quote from Icile, a Dutch DnB music producer, in Computer Music magazine:

Some people ask me "how do you do this? How do you do that? What's the secret?" But I do it exactly the same way as you do it! Exactly! I've just been doing it longer! Every time I set something up, it's just the tiny touch that makes it slightly better. There are almost no tricks... There are some, obviously, but as soon as you're there and you've mastered the basic plugins and processing, there are almost no shortcuts left, just fucking grafting until you've got it! Don't let it intimidate you—just keep working at it, and you'll get anywhere you want to go.

 I couldn't agree more. It's been exactly my experience in other areas in life. And I couldn't be more grateful for the reminder when it comes to all the new areas I'm attacking these days.

And so for you, I hope that if you're in place where you feel like it's sometimes hard, or vulnerable, or it feels like it's a long road, take comfort in this. You're not alone. You'll get there. Yes, it's vulnerable, and that's perfectly okay.

Send Me Your Questions

I'm doing a new video show, and it's going to be very much aligned around your questions, so send me any and all questions you have.

We love questions by video, but if that's too complicated for you to set up, you can submit via email here as well. Just hit Reply, and send a link to your YouTube video question, or write the question right here in the email.

Random Links from around the interwebs

Donald Trump sings Closer. Fucking hilarious!

Life Scorecard from xkcd. Amazing!

All stories are the same.

Have an amatastical week!
 –Calvin

PS. Send me your questions for the show. Right now!

Nick Bruun

New Checkout Flow and Account Center

Last week we announced that some pretty major design updates to Simplero were coming your way. We've been hard at work making it all come together, and today we're super excited to release the first in a series of those steps:

Simplero has gotten a new checkout flow and account center:

account-center.png

Actually, there are a lot of other little pages that have gotten an update, like the login screen, payment handling for purchases and so on. You'll notice that the design is quite a departure from what you're used to. The reason for this is, that we're working to make it possible for you to fully customize as much of Simplero as is practically possible.

However, some pages, like the checkout flow and the account center, are simply too complex to make fully customizable while also simultaneously allowing us to add new features to them without worrying about breaking something.

Instead our focus was on making these pages a lot less heavy and a lot less branded, with the primary focus being on the content, and not the chrome around it, so it doesn't distract from your own branding as we move forward on making Simplero more your own.

So, without further ado, why not head over and check out what your account center and your checkout flows look like now? We're super excited to finally release this update, so please do share your feedback with us!

P.S. If you want to make sure your products look great in the new design, do check out the announcement from last week for more details. We're also still working out a few little details here and there, so do expect to see things change somewhat over the next bit of time, although nothing as dramatic as this.

Calvin Correli

Leadership

I want to talk about leadership today, and I want to do it in a way you might not have thought about it before.

Taking leadership is something I'm (slowly, some would say) learning these days, and it's challenging, and exhilarating, and powerful.

The way I define leadership is to tune in to your inner voice, and getting really clear on what you truly want, and then acting on that. Acting can be in the form or making a request or writing something or playing or sketching or drawing or whatever.

And what I'm realizing is that when I follow what I truly and deeply want, rather than being a burden on other people or imposing on others, I'm actually giving them a gift. Turns out my deepest desires are actually of service to others. Me connecting with those desires and expressing them and standing up for them is valuable to others. Who knew?


lap-arrest.jpgIt's certainly not the messaging I got when growing up. I suspect it might not be for you, either. What I picked up was that my needs are a burden, an inconvenience, that I should learn to pack it in, suck it up, and just survive, hold my breath, and try to make it by without expressing my needs.

We learn that going after what we want is selfish. And it turns out, when you're most honestly, genuinely selfish, not in an egotistical way, but focusing on what's really true for you at a deeper level, your wants and desires will have value for others.

It's really incredible.

It can be big and small.

I have a deep desire to communicate what I've learned and am still learning while living life. Turns out a lot of people find value in that.

I have a desire to communicate through music. Not too many people have heard my music yet, but those that do tend to really be touched by it.


I want to organize my company a certain way, I want the people on my team to do certain things and play together in a certain way, and it's working out really well for everyone.

I created Simplero the way I wanted it to be, and a lot of people seem to find a lot of value in that.

One of the tricky things can be when you have a vision for how things could be that's far ahead of where they are. Think Martin Luther King. It's going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Some people are going to have a reaction. The trick is to stay true to your vision, stick with it, stand up for it, protect it, and just let all the brouhaha roll off of you. Not wall off your heart, keep it soft and pliable, but don't let it affect your belief in yourself and your vision. Keep plugging ahead.

The beauty is how when you connect to your deepest desires, your truest vision, that's where you can contribute the most, the thing that's uniquely you, and the thing nobody thought to ask for, but a lot of people are going to really love and appreciate. Think Steve Jobs.

So don't think of your needs and wants and desires as a burden. They're a gift. They're the key to your true gift and contribution. Go get what you want, and be proud of it!

I'm Doing a Show Again

studio.jpgGearing up to talk about all of the things I normally talk about here in the newsletter, but on video. 80% of it is going to be answering your questions, so ASK ME YOUR QUESTION NOW!

I prefer if you do it on Twitter, hashtagging with #askcalvinc. You can also reply to this email.

Also, I prefer a video, then we can include you in the show. But written will do, too.

It'll be super fun.

The show is all about being of service to YOU, using all of my talents and skills and experience and friends and wisdom and everything I have to offer. Simply deliver as much badass inspiration and insight as value as I possibly can.

Random Links from around the Interwebs

I love this. I definitely tend to over-apologize. Thanking feels so much better. (Via the inimitable Nick Gray.)

I did not know about the ROFLcopter. Makes me feel very not 1337.

Two articles on hacking US voting machines. It's been known for years just how vulnerable US election machines are to hacking, and it's crazy that nothing's being done about it. These machines absolutely need to (a) be open source, so everyone can help find and eliminate bugs, and verify the validity of the code base, and (b) have a paper trail, so you can go back and double-check that any messing with computerized election results can be easily caught and definitively proven. It's madness that it's not the case from the start.

Lots of love,
–Calvin

Nick Bruun

The First Step towards a Fully Customizable Simplero

Those of you who have been following along in the newsletter and on Facebook will have noticed that we've been dripping little design teasers here and there without a whole lot of context for it. The suspense is now over, and we're super excited to tell you about what we've been cooking up for the last little while.

The long and short of it is, that Simplero is going to be fully themeable in the near future.

Yep, you got that right. The design of how your Simplero shop and your spaces look and feel is going to be fully customizable. We're going to be introducing themes and make it super easy to make your site and content look exactly how you want it, giving you the full power of even being able to edit the HTML and CSS for everything.

But, some parts of Simplero are rather complex. A few good examples are the subscription management page and the checkout form. To avoid the nightmare of everyone having to update their themes every time something changes or gets added to Simplero, we've therefore decided to make these more complicated pages an exception to the new themeable Simplero. Instead, we're giving all of these pages a complete refresh in design and making them super clean and modern in their looks without a tonne of branding, so it doesn't clash with the rest of your identity and branding.

Now, this is going to be quite a change from the look and feel of Simplero that you're used to, but we trust that you're gonna love it. Especially, because it comes with the added bonus, that all these pages will now work flawlessly on smaller screens and mobile devices as well, which will have a significant impact on mobile conversions.

So, the first step to the look and feel of Simplero being all in your hands, is a complete redesign of these sections. I've shot a brief-ish video to tell you a little more about it all and show you what it's going to look like, and what you should be aware of:

MVI_1939_1.mov

Expect to see the new checkout and related design changes within the next few weeks – we're really excited to get it into the hands of you all!

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