Online business goats it wrong. (Stop me if you’ve herd this one.) - Trial and Eureka

Online business goats it wrong. (Stop me if you’ve herd this one.)

By Alp | List-building

If you can top this story, I’m going to feature you to my email list.

You think weird stuff happens in your country? I bet it won’t hold a candle to what I saw in a local newspaper:

Apparently, one of Turkey’s largest lakes, Lake Burdur, went... missing.

Well, kinda.

It has lost one third of its water in the last 35 years. At this rate, it’s going to completely dry out by 2037.

The culprit?


Or rather, the lack thereof.

I kid you not. It’s now been scientifically proven. (I’ll explain in a moment.)

But it gets weirder:

As water levels have been falling, the people in the area started getting sick. Lung cancer runs rampant in the region.

For decades, scientists have been baffled by this. There is no heavy industry in the area. The local diet is disgustingly healthy. And the air is clean. So why does this idyllic region have the highest lung cancer rate in the country?

Finally, they figured it out.

This is a region known for its husbandry.

For hundreds of years people have been raising goats here. Then in the 1990s, the government claimed the goats were harming endangered species of flora and encouraged the farmers to raise cattle instead.

That was, after all, what all the big developed nations were doing.

But cattle eat a lot more than goats...

So farmers started to plant fields of corn and clover to feed the cattle.

But corn and clover require a lot of water to grow...

So when rainfall wasn’t enough, they started diverting streams.

But eventually streams weren’t enough,...

So they started extracting the underground water.

They did this so efficiently that now not a single drop of water reaches the lake. Not above ground. Not below ground.

So the lake is drying out.

As the water levels fall, layers of mineral dust are exposed.

Problem is… those minerals are great for the skin when they are dissolved in water, but cancerogenous when inhaled.

And the wind is sweeping that dust across the lake and into the city centre. And THAT is what’s behind the mysterious cases of lung cancer in the area.

The solution?

Get rid of the cattle, and bring back the goats.

Then they won’t need all those fields of corn and clover, and water will be freed up to feed the lake again.

But switching to goat husbandry is going to cause significant economic loss to these farmers. So they need something else to cover that lost income.

One entrepreneur came up with an ingeniously simple solution:


It requires very little water and it is highly lucrative because of its use in perfumery.

So this guy has been planting fields of lavender all over for 12 years. Now that he has scientific proof to back up his claim, he can get funding for and do it at scale.

Suddenly, his dream to save people from lung cancer by making Burdur the Provence of Turkey doesn’t seem so delusional.

But what does this story have to do with online business?

The point is this:

Implementing tactics without understanding the whole ecosystem can have unforeseen consequences.

Most people just copy what the “Big Boys” do and chase the latest shiny object without giving it deep thought. But what works for them might not work for you. In fact, it might have disastrous results in the long term.

Back in the 1990s, cattle farming was the rising trend. All the big developed nations were doing it and reaping tremendous financial rewards.

Turkey wouldn’t be left with stinky old goats. That was so passé.

We didn’t want to miss out on the cattle action, so we sold the goats and copied the best practices from the shiny new industry.

But doing something right (we implemented the best practices) isn’t going to save you if you’re doing the wrong thing.

“Upgrade” goats to cattle → Dry out humongous lake → Make millions of people sick

The problem is that the causal link isn’t always readily apparent.

And it’s a lot harder to spot those connections in an online business because everything is intangible.

You don’t actually see the lake drying out unless you have the right analytics.

You think the lake (= your business) is doing just fine. Your email list is growing steadily. Heck, you think to yourself, maybe the water levels are actually rising.

Then you do a product launch and the results baffle you: “Hey my list is twice as big now, so why did this launch make less money than my last?”

Maybe what happened was this:

Those were low quality subscribers. Yes, the number of people on your email list was rising, but your Earnings Per Lead actually kept falling.

So the lake was in fact drying out, but you didn’t see it because you weren’t tracking the right metrics.

Of course, knowing the cause of the problem isn’t enough to solve it.

“So the cows are the problem. Now what?”

You need an expert to come in and tell you:

“Plant lavender.”

They understand how the ecosystem of online business works as a whole. Therefore, they can find an elegantly simple solution that fixes the problem in the long term without bankrupting you in the short run:

“Lavender requires less water, so it won’t starve the lake. It also makes you more money than corn and clover. You can use that extra revenue to balance the loss as you switch back cattle to goats.”

What about you? Want a game plan like that?

Worried that your profit lake might be drying out even though your list is growing - and you don’t want to wait until your next launch to find out?

Then I suggest the Complete Edition of FAST50. Use your strategy session with me to troubleshoot your problem and come up with a game plan. Here’s where to go next: