Claus Lauter is an eCommerce Conversion Optimization Expert who helps Shopify stores convert more visitors into buyers. He is also the host of the eCommerce Coffee Break Podcast – where you get actionable advice, strategies, and hear from special guests talking about various topics on how to run a profitable business on Shopify.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in a small town in Germany. My family owned small hotels and restaurants. Consequently, I started an apprenticeship to become a chef/cook. I learned from a young age that hard work is required to reach your goals.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

That lifelong learning drives me more than fear of failure. I am always on the lookout for new opportunities and challenges.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

”If you build it, they will come”. An idea for a business does not guarantee that it will be successful. The learning curve is likely to be steeper and take longer than expected. In most cases, your business gets developed by your customers, not by you. So get started, pivot, and learn as you build your business.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I started my first own start-up business in 2001. A few years later I did not realize that I was on my way into a very bad burn-out. The situation got so bad that I had to quit my own company and lose my marriage. It took me more than a year to fully recover from the burn-out. I learned to listen to my body and mind when it gives me signals to slow down.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I had a handful of very good mentors and role models who shaped me and contributed to my success.

What is your morning routine?

I get up at around 7 am (no 5 am club for me!). After my morning coffee, I get straight to work for about 2-3 hours. These are the hours when I am most productive with repetitive tasks. Around 10 am, you’ll find me at the gym for about an hour. Creative tasks and client calls follow later in the day.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Focusing on mental and physical well-being.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

My daily schedule is determined by my biorhythm. There are no office hours for me. As a rule, I prefer to work when I feel productive or creative so I can make the most of these hours. I work max. three hours straight and use also a tomato timer to take short breaks.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

From a young age, I have been an avid reader and have read 100s of books. Yet, travel-related books have always intrigued me most, and I am a traveler due to them. One book that helped me pursue a location-independent lifestyle was Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Workweek.

Here are some of my favorite books:

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

  • “There are no problems, only solutions.“ — John Lennon
  • “A key to success is to start before you are ready.“ — Marie Forleo
  • “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” — Richard Branson