Debullshified #3: Thoughts on the loose – Cost Per Acquisition – We’re smarter than that

Hello and welcome to this week’s debullshifying session!

Before we dive into the fun today, I want you to pause on the next sentence and really [focus: I mean REALLY] take it in. Because it came at me hard, and I’m still sitting here and questioning my life’s choices. Here goes:

If you don’t change direction,
you may end up where you’re headed.

— Maybe Lao Tzu—

Take as much time as you need with that; just don’t let it slide.

MEME of the week

Author’s Note: what was I going to say…

CPA comes for Cost Per Acquisition, a.k.a. how much it costs you to buy a client.

Buying Clients? Yup…

Let’s be blunt here: although marketing is an investment and an inevitable one at that, it takes effort and it costs $$$ to bring each customer on board.

It might be money spent on salaries for people who write blog posts and create social media posts, or it might be money spent on actual advertising. Either way – clients come with a price tag (🎵 ain’t about the, cha-ching, cha-ching🎵).

How do you calculate CPA?

As math goes, there are some things that you have to set and take for granted in order to calculate CPA, particularly:

  • Time frame, and
  • Channel

In summary, your question isn’t How much is my CPA?” but How much is my Google Ads CPA for January 2024?

See, the first (how much is my CPA) is not a question that a knowledgeable person is going to ask.

It’s like asking how many sunny days are there. You need to be clearer – are we talking about London or Rio? Are we asking about a month, a year, a decade? There’s no answer without boundaries.

So, once you have the answers, the calculation is simple:

$ spent within a period of time / number of clients signed up = $CPA

This is a bit controversial, but it’s close to idiotic to use the word “hack” with “life”.

Firstly, the word itself has a negative connotation. It literally means “to cut or to chop”. Most definitely not something you want to do with your life, right?

But secondly – as cool as the idea may be – there’s no such thing as life hacking. It’s impossible. 

What are you going to do – steal years from someone and add them to yours? 

Or live the same year twice? Not unless you’re mentally OK you won’t.

The only “life hack” there is, is that there’s no hacking life. There’s living it. The more time we spend thinking about how to trick something into being better, the less time we get to truly experience it – fabulous or gruesome as it may be. 

Thinking you can hack it is like putting a phone screen between you and life: You still see it, but it’s limited to the 9:16 image ratio on your screen. It’s another way to stay stuck in the past or the present because you can only think of hacking something if your mind is in some imaginary future moment where you reap the fruits of that hack.

Let that go.

All of it. Just let go. Go watch Kung Fu Panda.

Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
— Oogway—

So, even though I’ll stick to my title because it draws people’s attention for some reason, can we please agree that the idea of lifehacking is just pure nonsense, and we’ve got more brains than that?


Thank you.

When a woman tells you that “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it”, this is what she means.

Now you understand, right?

Ellie Alexander
Ellie Alexander
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