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Profits Can Be Deceiving. Here's Why I Killed Off My Money-Making Product. 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.)

By Jonathan Goodman

This story appears in the June 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Personal Trainer Development Center

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.

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