Will Mitchell Blog

Starting a Business On a Bus…

Posted on March 7, 2013

For those of you that don’t know, I’m participating in the StartupBus Alumni competition.

StartupBus is a competition for entrepreneurs. 150 of the best entrepreneurs in the world board a bus as strangers and must have a functional, profitable business in 72 hours.

Our business is SkillMeUp just got off the stage pitching for the semi-semi-finals at the amazing Rackspace facility in San Antonio, which was awesome! We’re feeling confident that we’re going to go big over the next few days.

Some special shout outs –

Elance – We wouldn’t have been able to build the business without your generous sponsorship! Definitely using Elance more in the future.

Tecnologico De Monterrey – Our first partnership! Thanks so much for taking the leap of faith with us!

Also a shout out to my team: Badass developer Jon Hartmann, writer and marketer Kyle Eschenroeder, Kevin Stotz, and Romiro Fidalgo who came all the way from Mexico. We’re going to rock this, and make bank.

And no, none of them paid me to say this… our sponsors and my team mates really are that cool.

3 Steps to Validate Your Business Idea For Free

Posted on July 9, 2012

I see a painfully large amount of people waste their lives on stupid business ideas. We all have…

A friend gets giddy over some new venture he thought up after reading the daily newspaper for the first time in years. He runs around telling EVERYBODY how GREAT their lives will be after their product has hit the market.

My friend Neville calls these people “Wantrepreneurs”. They spend THOUSANDS of dollars and YEARS of their lives trying to fool themselves into believing they’re entrepreneurs. They will get business cards, make Facebook pages, start Tweeting constantly, file for an LLC, open bank accounts…TONS of GARBAGE!

Don’t Be a Wantrepreneur!

Luckily for you, you are reading this blog and won’t be subject to the Wantrepreneur’s agony.

It is extremely easy to prove to yourself your business is a failure or a success with just a couple hours of effort. And it works for almost any idea.

Let me show you exactly what I do to validate business ideas for FREE

Step 1 – Create a Landing Page

The first thing we are going to do is make a landing page for our business idea (as if it is already an established business).

I use Unbounce (FREE) to create all of my idea validation landing pages. Once you have an account and get familiar with it, it is very easy to use.

I will post a recent landing page I put up to validate a business idea. Or I should say, realize my business idea was incredibly stupid, and not at all worth pursuing.

My recent validation test landing page


You can see, I don’t put much time into these landing pages. The goal is to get it up QUICK and make sure it is something that your target market would bite at.

I always take advantage of Unbounce’s A/B testing features when running validation tests, and you should too. Test different headlines, different copy, different features, different prices, different colors…I test everything!

Step 2 – Run an Adwords Campaign

Now head over to Google Adwords with a $100 Coupon. If you don’t have one, you can get one from me here.

Make a new account and load up your Coupon. Go through the process to set up a new campaign and be sure to try to hit your target demographic as much as possible. Set your bidding option to Automatic Bidding to Maximize Clicks, with a max big target of $0.50. Put your budget around $20/day. Setting up a good Adwords campaign is obviously much more in depth than this, but we are going purely for speed here, you don’t even know if your idea is good yet.

After you have your campaign set up, write some ads and throw some good keyword in the campaign. If you don’t know how to pick good keywords, please learn.

Here are my keywords from my verification campaign –

My keywords for the test ad campaign


NOTE – Don’t forget to set up Conversion Tracking, or else this whole thing will be useless! In Adwords, set up Conversions under the Tools and Analysis section of your account. Take that script and put it on the confirmation popup on your Unbounce pages. Also, submit an entry into your landing page to make sure all tracking and lead capturing is working properly! If you have any trouble doing this, comment below and I will post a follow up!

Step 3 – Find Out If You’re a Genius or an Idiot

Now you get to see what happens…

You will either start getting TONS of leads in your email, get a few leads, or get absolutely nothing. Be sure to contact your leads and find out as much as you can about them, they’re needs, etc. SELL THEM!

You will soon find out if you have a smashing hit or a complete dud on your hands. People could start throwing money at you, or they may start cursing you out.

You will also end up with something like this after a couple days –

Stats of my completed validation test campaign


This will give you some additional numbers about customer acquisition costs for you to weigh against your revenue (or potential revenue).

Moving Forward

After running your tests and looking at all your data, you will have INFINITELY more perspective on if you want to move forward with your business idea; and if so, which direction to take it in.

And you did it all in a couple of days, for no cost but your time. Pretty nifty huh?


The Only Way to Live the Life of Your Dreams

Posted on July 8, 2012

95% of people…

How is it that so few people end up living the life they dream of? What is it that separates the top performers in every aspect of life from all of the others?

I’ll tell you one of the top contributing factors – They set GOALS.

Not only do they set goals, but they write them down and study them. They obsess over them. They live their lives for those goals.

By now I am sure most people know about the 80/20 principle – that 20% of your efforts will result in 80% of your gains (basically). There is also the 95/5 principle, which I am sure you can figure out. This can be applied to pretty much anything (at least in my head).

Applied to goal setting, we can assume that 5% of people in any given profession will end up with 95% of the “achievement”, usually money.

So how can you get into the top 5% and reap 95% of the rewards? How can you escape the treacherous reality that 95% of people that just float through life without ever moving towards their goals, wondering why their life is stagnant?


Figure out what you really want and why. If you do not have a specific action plan, strategy, and set of goals written out for the next 30 days, or the next 6 months, or the next 3 years…Dont be surprised when you dont accomplish anything!

If you dont know where youre going, youre going to end up nowhere.

Sit down and really THINK about a plan of action to get where you REALLY want to be. Just turn off all the electronic crap that doesn’t permit us to think clearly and VISUALIZE and IMAGINE where you want to be.

What kind of car would you drive? What would you do on your computer? What would you do in your free time? What would your daily work routine be? What would your mindset be like? Would your stance be different? What would you read? What kind of music would you listen to? What would your language and attitude be like? IMAGINE EVERY DETAIL

Now think, HOW can I BECOME that person that is what I want to be. You must understand, the goal is not to get “things”, it is who you become as a person, the person that it takes to achieve all these goals. What your accomplishments and your journey will make of you as a person. You will be a different person when you achieve these goals.

Acknowledge that where you are right now is NOT where you want to be. Who you are as a person now is INADEQUATE compared to who you WILL be. You must make your brain dissatisfied with its current state of being.

Now WRITE DOWN how you will become the person you will be in the future, along with WHY. Figure out what it would have to take. IMAGINE how you could attain everything you were just dreaming of.

Review your written goals often and keep yourself driven and motivated.

Once you have clarity and your subconscious understands what it is that you want and who it is that you want to become, you will start naturally moving towards your goals. Couple that with drive and focus, and you will be in the top 5% of anything in what seems like no time at all. Which is pretty awesome…

The First Post…

Posted on July 6, 2012

Thanks to the extreme generosity of a fellow Will Mitchell, I finally got my hands on the WillMitchell.com domain, which I have been dreaming about owning for the last couple years…

The only thing to do now is start creating content! I hope my writings will allow fellow entrepreneurs to develop themselves and their businesses to be more productive and make more money.

So for better or for worse, here’s the new blog :)