I Left My Old Career & Started A Meditation Online Courses Business

Griff Williams
Founder, MindEasy
$3K
revenue/mo
1
Founders
1
Employees
MindEasy
from London, UK
started March 2019
$3,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
1
Employees
827K
alexa rank
414
followers
29
followers
market size
$1.2B
avg revenue (monthly)
$3K
starting costs
$18K
gross margin
90%
time to build
270 days
growth channels
Organic social media
best tools
Pinterest, Ahrefs, Elementor
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
40 Pros & Cons
tips
2 Tips
Discover what tools Griff reccommends to grow your business!
social media
advertising
seo
Discover what books Griff reccommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you, and what business did you start?

Hey, I'm Griff, and I'm the founder of MindEasy. We create meditation courses and content designed to help people find their way into mindfulness and meditation in a personal way.

When I first started practicing meditation, I found one of the hardest hurdles to overcome was the language used to describe these ideas and traditions.

Not that I thought it was ever wrong, but that it didn't fit with what I was trying to achieve at that moment.

If you want meditation to help you maintain focus and achieve your career and personal goals, finding yourself in a wormhole of information about spiritual enlightenment or chakra activation might make you stop before you begin.

This is the problem I wanted to solve with MindEasy. Help people discover what they want to achieve with meditation and then help them approach it in a relevant and meaningful way.

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What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I began my working life by joining the London Fire Brigade when I was 18. After about 10 years of service, I took a career break and traveled around India with my girlfriend. It was during that trip that I;

A) Discovered meditation after attending a 10-day silent meditation course.

B) Decided that I wanted a job that was more flexible and didn't require me to stay located in London or the UK until it was time to retire.

When I returned to London and continued my work as a FireFighter, I realized how valuable meditation was in helping me deal with the stress and pressure of my job. I then attended another 10-day silent meditation course, but this time in England. I realized that some lessons and ideas that I had struggled with were really down to the language that was being used, and if I reframed it in a way that was relevant for me, it became way more valuable and applicable to my life.

It was this realization that put me on my journey in creating MindEasy. I wanted to find a way to help people find their approach to meditation and present it to them in a language that would be the most productive and beneficial.

You have to be confident and knowledgeable about all your skills before you try to act on them in real life. If you do not, people will get hurt.

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Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

The first iteration of MindEasy was a website with a signup funnel that would help the user find out which course and approach they should try.

I then delivered a new lesson of the course via email every day.

View failure as a learning process; expect your circumstances to change and be ready to adapt and learn from your mistakes when things don't go to plan.

Before starting MindEasy, I had zero experience with web building and digital product design, so the whole process has very much been a trial and error, learn as you go method.

I think that web design and then web building are things that look way easier than they are. My first few attempts yielded very '90s looking, unprofessional web pages. To get better, I would shamelessly copy a few ideas from other sites I liked the look of and then work back from there. Once you have that structure and knowledge in place, you can go about adjusting what you've made to fit your needs and vision.

There have been times when I've had to hire professional help with custom coding and other technical tasks. I always try to examine how they do their work so I can learn from the work I've paid for as well as use it.

In the beginning, I wasn't confident enough in my meditation practice to begin teaching, so my first step was to find meditation teachers who were suitable for the three approaches I wanted to present—mental optimization, health and wellbeing, and spiritual.

We started by designing a Vipassana and a Mantra meditation course.

This was challenging because I had a specific idea of what I wanted the courses to be like, but I also wanted them to present them in a way unique to them.

This was a great lesson in communication and management. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable being assertive and asking people to change their work, and at the same time, you have to be open to other people's ideas and accept that if they're flat out better than yours, they'll probably help improve them.

The first platform I tried for page building was Ontraport due to what I thought was an intuitive and easy-to-use page builder with a good built-in CRM.

There were a lot of mistakes and learning in the beginning. Almost everything I did at the start of making the business I've scrapped and started again.

The initial idea of the courses and delivering them via email was not right for us. I also learned that the software I was using, Ontraport, lacked a lot of what I needed in terms of SEO and being able to build a membership platform. The site is now made with WordPress, which provides way more flexibility in function.

Describe the process of launching your first course.

Before fully launching my first two courses, I experimented with just offering people a couple of the lessons for free and posting some videos on youtube. I wasn't sure how long to make the videos, what kind of graphics I wanted to use, and how to present them, so this was great to get some feedback quickly.

It's always a good idea to ask friends and family for feedback on your ideas, but you'll often get a sugar-coated answer. This won't be the case on social media. People will let you know how they feel.

I also tested the course a lot on myself, practicing with the guided audio and trying to put myself in the mindset of someone new to meditation. The more you make your product something that's valuable and relevant to you, the more you'll come up with ideas to improve it.

When I felt ready, I launched a Google PPC campaign (but I've also experimented with Facebook and Outbrain) to see what worked and didn't work, and then I go back to the drawing board.

As a solo entrepreneur, the process is slow, and I still don't think I'm finished testing new ideas and approaching new ways to achieve my goals.

There's still so much for me to learn. However, I've learned how to accept failure as just a learning process to be enjoyed.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Within the health and wellness industry, gaining trust and recognition is the best way to succeed. If people have no idea who you are, it's very hard to get them to convert just from having them visit a single landing page.

I've found offering free products gives you a little more space to communicate with your audience through the onboarding process, in which you can upsell your more premium products.

I also think it’s important that your audience sees you through more than one medium. If you can start spreading your message and communicating with your audience via social media so that they know who you are before they enter your funnel, there's a far higher likelihood they'll sign up.

The Youtube comment section is a great way to connect with your audience and get honest feedback. Often I’ve asked people directly what they would like me to change and then post an updated version of that and see if the feedback improves.

This also helps gain trust because people know that you are engaged and willing to put their needs first. Plus if you are active in replying on your social media you’ll likely be available via your customer service also.

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i-left-my-old-career-started-a-meditation-online-courses-business

1st version

2nd version

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Since launching the business, I've pivoted so many times I've lost count. It was no longer feasible to run PPC campaigns, so my main focus has been on SEO since the beginning of the year. After all, the best traffic is free traffic.

My main focus now is on creating free meditation content in the form of blogs and youtube videos and trying to promote myself via social media channels; I'm focusing mainly on Pinterest and Youtube. I've tried all the other platforms and have decided to fully focus on just a couple rather than splitting my time across all of them. Eventually, I would love to hire a social media expert as it's not something that comes naturally to me.

As my meditation practice has developed, I have also decided to take a more active role in creating and presenting the content. I'm currently training to become a qualified meditation teacher with the plan of moving MindEasy into the real world, teaching in school, evening courses, etc.

At one point, I found myself so immersed in the world of digital marketing and web building that my meditation practice had fallen by the wayside.

I firmly believe that you should always stay fully immersed in the niche you are working in. Without that initial passion for meditation, I would have never started down this path. The times I've neglected it have also been the times when my motivation for the project has waned.

I also think people have an innate sense of when you're presenting something authentically and when it's just there to make a buck. You should always put time aside to keep that passion alive. If you don't care about what you're doing, what's the point?

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The main thing I've learned is that it is very easy to have a good idea, however, making that idea manifest in the real world is extremely challenging. You have to become accustomed to failure because it's going to happen a lot.

Being flexible with your ideas and understanding your limitations is key. However, on the flip side of that, you also need to stay determined.

There'll be a lot of people who look at you like you're mad for quitting your career and following your dream, especially when that dream seemingly isn't going anywhere. You have to be kind to yourself, accept that not everything will work the way you thought it would on the first, second, and third time you try it, learn from your mistakes and start again.

You will have to learn a lot. Often you'll be learning skills and disciplines that other people work on full time and have been doing so for decades. You're going to be competing with companies who have budgets that dwarf yours and have teams of people working full time on things you can only dedicate an afternoon to.

To quote Elon Musk "Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss."

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I love building websites on WordPress with the Elementor page builder. It's so flexible, and there are tons of online resources to help you when you get stuck.

I use member mouse for my membership functionalities and Active Campaign for email campaigns.

For SEO I use Ahrefs for my KW research and examine what my competitors are doing. I have also recently started using AI tools like Frase for helping fast-track the content creation process. AI learning is still early doors, but it's fascinating to be able to test and use these tools as they develop.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

A book I read early on that had a big impact on how I've operated is The LeanStart Up by Eric Reis. It helped shape my attitude in how not to be precious with your ideas and knowing when's the right time to change direction.

I think YouTube is amazing for any technical issue you might come across. There is pretty much always a video tutorial for any problem you might be running into.

I recommend joining a Facebook group whenever you start learning a new skill. Even if you're not going to be posting questions, just reading the issues that other people are running into and how other people approach solving them is a great learning tool.

Another thing I look for when I'm going to sign up for a new SAAS is how good their customer service is. Having available help from a company can make a world of difference. If their customer service is lacking it may end up halting your progress for days.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

Don't be afraid to start something you have no knowledge or experience in. As a firefighter, I found this idea hard to incorporate at first. You have to be confident and knowledgeable about all your skills before you try to act on them in real life. If you do not, people will get hurt.

As an entrepreneur, the complete opposite is true. Sometimes you need to fail at something drastically before you even know the right question to solve a problem.

View failure as a learning process; expect your circumstances to change and be ready to adapt and learn from your mistakes when things don't go to plan.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

No, but I'm always looking to collaborate or share ideas with anyone else in my niche. Please get in contact.

Where can we go to learn more?

-  
Griff Williams, Founder of MindEasy
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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