Kickstart Your Social Media for $497. Money-Back Guaranteed.

Nobody looks at the Yellow Pages anymore.

If you want your business to thrive, you’ve got to maintain a strong presence on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.

For $497 I’ll build you a personal content management system that gets your business into all the major social media, where everyone can see it. If you don’t like the work I create for you, I’ll promptly refund every penny you paid, no questions asked.

So what exactly do you get?

  • A 30-minute brainstorming session to uncover the hidden potential in your business. We’ll find the qualities that will make you stand out and attract the best clients and customers
  • Fresh, original content posted on WordPress, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. This content is based on our brainstorming session. It’s all tailored to sell your services and products, but it is also new content that your market will want to watch, read, and see. I can easily tailor your content to fit the online marketing you’ve already done, or I can set everything up for you if you’re starting from scratch.
  • A flagship YouTube video. Google owns YouTube, and those search engines love YouTube videos. We’ll make a video that promotes your core message, embed it on your website, post it on your FaceBook page and promote it through Twitter and instagram. You could potentially reach thousands of viewers.
  • A FaceBook Page that really works. There are two big, common mistakes that prevent your FaceBook page from turning heads and attracting real clients who want to do business with you. If you don’t already have a facebook page for your business, we’ll set it up right the first time. If you’ve already got a FaceBook page, we’ll level up your FaceBook mojo with new posts and videos that increase “likes,” and leave visitors eager to come back and learn more from you
  • A personalized, easy to follow marketing plan with templates and ideas so you can continue to produce new content in the future.

If you’re unhappy with this service for any reason, I’ll refund your money, all 49,700 pennies of it, no questions asked.

How do we start? How does this work?

If you’re interested, call or shoot me an email. We’ll set up a 30-minute session, usually by phone or Skype, where I’ll ask you 14 questions. Usually that’s enough to know whether we can work together. There may be a few follow-up questions but usually after the first conversation I’ll have 2-5 key points that will be the basis for most of your social media.

Over the next few days I’ll write up your core content, which tells your story and puts your business in the best possible light. Once you’ve approved this basic content, I’ll have everything I need. I’ll call my editor, get to work on your video, and soon your story will light up all the major social media platforms.

All you need to do to get started is call 213-453-1327 or fill out the contact form below:

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14 questions to unleash your spark of greatness

There is a spark of exceptional greatness in you.

You already knew that, of course. The hard part is finding that spark and using it to light a fire. You may not know what your spark is, but it’s already sitting there in plain sight. Or else it’s just underneath the hood.

I’m about to show you how to find it.

Some 50 years ago, a guy named Bud Robbins discovered the power of looking under the hood. He got a job trying to promote the Aeolian Piano Company. Ever heard of them? Neither has anybody else.

Robbins had to persuade the average starving musician to buy an Aeolian piano when they could get a well-known Steinway for the same price.

He took a tour of the Aeolian factory and found out that their piano weighed more than a Steinway because of a metal part known as the capo d’astro bar.

The capo d’astro bar is useless until the piano has been in use for 50 years. After 50 years, the capo d’astro bar prevents the aging instrument from warping.

The manufacturer saw this as a simple engineering fact, but Bud Robbins saw the potential story. A little bit of further research led him to the discovery that the New York Metropolitan Opera was using an Aeolian piano, and the extra longevity was starting to pay off.

When the Met relocated to the Lincoln Center, an opera singer told Robbins, “About the only thing they’re taking with them is the piano.”

Saying the piano was “built to last” wouldn’t be such an extraordinary tagline for an instrument which lasts generations. But the quote about the Metro taking the long-lasting piano with them–well, that became the headline for a full-page ad in the New York Times.

The outcome: Thanks to the story behind a hidden metal bar, the Aeolian Piano Company had a 6-year waiting list for their product.

Bud Robins later wrote about this experience and what it means for every business, every product: “No matter what the account, I promise you, the capo d’astro bar is there.”

Finding your bar

If I opened this post by you about the lifespan of a piano, you would have moved on within a few seconds. But you’ll listen to a story. A story about the underdog piano company, and the hero Bud Robbins who has to save the day.

Everyone loves a story. The most popular video games involve a story. We’ve been telling stories around the campfire for thousands of years.

Find your story, and you’ll find your greatness.

When I meet with a new client, one of the first things I do is try to figure out their story. Here are a few of the questions that will help you uncover yours.

  1. What were your dreams as a kid? What did you enjoy doing most in your spare time? What did you worry about?
  2.  What was your first job? What was your first entrepreneurial effort?
  3. What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
  4. Who was your business’ first client? What was memorable about the experience?
  5. Who was your worst client? Why? If you could teach them one thing, what would it be?
  6. Describe your first year in business.
  7. When did you know you were going to make it? What was the decisive event?
  8. What is the first thing you do when a new client is interested in doing business with you?
  9. What is the last thing you do for your customer or client?
  10. What, if anything, do you do to follow up/keep in touch with past and existing clients?
  11. Why should I do business with you, instead of all the other alternatives, including doing nothing?
  12. Who is your most valuable partner or employee? What makes them so valuable?
  13. If you could put up a billboard anywhere, where would you put it and what would it say?
  14. What habits or outlook do you attribute to your success?

You should try to write out the answers to all of these questions. Better still is to actually talk to someone about these answers. More spontaneous ideas will come up, and you can test their power by the other person’s reactions.

I don’t want to give away my clients’ secrets, but here are some interesting quotes I’ve dragged out by using these questions

“Almost all real estate agents are lazy parasites who only do the minimum amount of work for easy money.” (A member of the California Association of Realtors)

“It’s heartbreaking when I talk to someone who might be five or ten years younger than me, and I’m teaching them about some new useful app or software that they’ve never heard of. You have to keep learning or you’re toast.” (A 47-year-old man who edits videos for companies run by millennials)

“I’ve been trying to find out why I’m still alive, what I’m meant to do on this earth. Helping you might be the answer.” (A business owner who had a brush with death in his twenties)

Any of these quotes could easily lead in to a compelling story that would make eligible clients want to do business with this person.

Now it’s your turn. What is your story?

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What happens when I’m selfish and antisocial?

There is a powerful way to start your morning. I learned about this technique, called priming, from Tony Robbins. But he didn’t mention one of the biggest benefits of priming.

In psychology, priming refers to the effect that a current thought or image will have on future thoughts and images.

For example, if I start talking about the color yellow, and a long narrow fruit, and potassium, I’ve just increased the odds that if I ask you to name a healthy snack you’ll say “banana.”

Tony Robbins takes this phenomenon and shows a way to use it to your advantage. You give your mind images that are related to the outcomes you want to have for the day, and images that will slowly change your mind and body in desirable ways over time.

When I tried priming, I was surprised by a result I hadn’t expected. Here’s the process, so you can understand.

Priming your mind for an awesome day

In a nutshell, you spend the first three minutes feeling gratitude. It’s good to be outside, where you can feel the wind on your face and maybe the grass, sand, or mud between your toes. If you’ve never done this before, these first three minutes alone will change your day and eventually change your life.

But that’s not the biggest part.

The next three minutes are spent sending love and blessings to all the people in your life, and especially the people you’re going to interact with today. You think about them and what they want or need. You think about how you’re going to help them, how much love you’re going to send their way, how blessed they are and how blessed you are to know them.

Finally, for the last three minutes you think about three big goals for the day. Picture them done, and imagine how you’ll feel once you’ve accomplished these goals. If you can really feel this success, you’ll get excited to go out and hit your goals.

Connecting with Other People

When I first read about this practice, I was willing to try it out. I didn’t expect the power of the second step. You see, we are social animals and when you send out blessings to other people you’re really blessing yourself. Here’s what happens.

You’ll start thinking about someone you know, and immediately you’ll think about everyone you know through that one person. Pretty soon you’re sending love and blessings to an extended family, not to mention everyone in your network of clients, colleagues, teachers, vendors, mentors, employees and the list goes on.

This has a profound effect. You’ll start to feel like you’re a river or a fountain, gushing magic blessings on everyone. It’s a huge boost that makes step three, your goals, seem both way more important and far easier to achieve.

Tapping into a New Power

Even if you spend just a second sending blessings to one person, you’ll start to feel like they’re on your team. They have your back. Or at least, they’re cheering for you. When you do that for three minutes, you’ll have a large audience of backers, cheering you on. You start the day stepping up with the whole stadium chanting your name and wishing you well.

Not only that, but you change your focus from what you want to accomplish for yourself to how you can help others.

I’ve always taken time to set goals and visualize success. I don’t usually reach them all, maybe because I’m selfish and antisocial.

I never dedicated a lot of time to gratitude, except when things really were going unexpectedly well. And I never put other people first. What a big mistake!

When you deliberately put other people’s needs above your own, your mindset brings you more happiness than you can ever get from your own empty victories. In fact, you actually become more likely to succeed and accomplish your personal goals and achievements.

How I’ll put you first

I want to put your business, your goals, ahead of my own. This is why I’ve lowered my rates, and why I now offer a money-back guarantee. I’ll visualize you in the morning, your success, and helping you will be one of the big goals I’ll imagine achieving.

When I help you, it will ripple out and boost our economy. Ultimately we’ll multiply the number of people you can help and touch with your blessings.

I am a fountainhead of prosperity, and I’m here to serve you and enrich your life.

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Let YouTube Promote Your Business

Seven ways that you can dominate the web with fast and simple videos

This might be the most important post I’ve ever written.

Google owns YouTube. If you google almost any subject, you’re going to find videos on the first page, probably within the top 3 results. Many of your prospective clients are already searching YouTube for solutions to their problems. Should your company show up in the results?

Most people will only spend a few seconds reading your copy. But they’ll spend 2-3 minutes (or more) watching a video. Your videos have visual and audio information. You can engage more of the brain by making videos about your business.

In 2014 I made over 100 videos. In 2015 I did nothing. Now, in 2016 I’m still reaping the benefits of the work I did two years ago.
Hollywood Sign (Zuschnitt)
I’m preparing a quick, hard-hitting guide that will teach you how to make and use videos. In a few weeks you’ll learn how to make engaging, high quality videos at a low cost.

But today you’re going to get the prequel: How to make the most of your videos. Here are seven ways you can goose your marketing with YouTube videos:

  1. Choose a specific product or service that you want to promote. Make a 30-second video showing all the wonderful things it will do for your clients. Many people will find the video when doing their own search. But just to make sure, email the link to prospects who you think will need it
  2. Videotape testimonials from your clients. You can embed them on your website, and they will also show up when someone does a search for your company or your services.
  3. Announce big changes in your business, awards you’ve won, and upcoming events. It’s a video press release!
  4. Create an online class that educates prospects about a specific product or service you offer. “How to protect your data.” “Seven ways to get the maximum value when you sell your home.” “An employer’s guide to the new health care tax laws” Viewers who are searching for this information will be grateful. You’ll be their go-to expert on the problem. You’re the one they’ll contact when they need the service.
  5. Share casual footage from around the office, parties, and maybe even your personal life. This will put a human face on your company
  6. Showcase a physical product you offer. Demonstrate the product, show someone using it, and highlight the most important features (if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?)
  7. Do something crazy! Outrageous advertising is an easy way to separate yourself out from your competition. Make a video that maybe has nothing to do with your business but shows a quirky side of you that people don’t usually get to see. One of my most successful videos (of really poor quality) doesn’t even mention my business or marketing, but it has opened doors for me which ultimately put more money in my pocket.

You could probably think of at least seven more ways to use videos. I’ll have a nuts-and-bolts guide for you in a few weeks, but first, here are a few last-minute tips:

      • Invest in good sound quality. Most people won’t mind a jumpy video that you made with your phone, but they’ll be turned off by static, wind, the sound of your breathing or an unclear voiceover. I own a few different microphones but my go-to microphone which won’t force you into bankruptcy is the Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
      •  Embed your videos on your website. Google owns YouTube, and web pages that contain videos will get higher rankings. Spread them around on relevant pages. Don’t limit yourself to a single page with a dozen videos on it
      • Always include a link to your website
      • Don’t be a bore. Your videos should be genuinely educational, entertaining, or both
      • Pay attention to keywords. Choose your title and description based on the same keywords that drive the content on your website
      • Multiply the effects of your video. Post it on your FaceBook page, and tweet it. Include the link in your emails and newsletters
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The 3 most dangerous words

“It couldn’t hurt.”

That’s what you say right before you commit to something that might help move you along towards your goals, something that might solve a small but nagging problem, something that might help you avert a future catastrophe that may or may not ever happen.

Should you do this extra little thing? Will it actually help you in any way?

“It couldn’t hurt.”

Actually, it could. Every unnecessary or low-priority chore you take on will steal time away from the important, high-priority work you’ve set for yourself.

Add enough of these, and you’ll be overwhelmed by endless busy-ness and disappointed clients.

“It couldn’t hurt” to have lunch with that pushy consultant you met at the mixer. Except you were going to use that hour to work on marketing so you’ll have business next quarter.

“It couldn’t hurt” to try marketing to that other demographic. But you’ve already found a lucrative niche and you have plans to make your products even better and sell more at a higher price.

“It couldn’t hurt” to spend time and resources on developing that new feature. But have you done any testing to find out whether any of your clients want or need that extra feature? Will some of them be turned off by it?

The Never-Ending Room

There is a room in my rental property that we’ll call The Office. It doesn’t fit in with the rest of the building. It’s like the original builder had some leftover space, and didn’t know what to do with it.

A realtor friend of mine referred me to one of his best contractors, who installed a closet and some shelves in this room. “Tenants love to have storage space,” he said.

When the work was almost finished, the contractor made a suggestion. “It couldn’t hurt to put a window in here. Let in a bit of light.”

I agreed, and the lit-up room looked so good that my friend thought we could make it into an office. “Just put in a nice floor and someone could have their desk set up by the window.”

There happened to be several boxes of hardwood laminate flooring that the previous owner left behind, so all I had to pay for was the labor. The Office was born.

The contractor mentioned that he had another client who was trying to sell her washer and dryer. “It couldn’t hurt to offer your tenants laundry.”

The appliances were going for a good price, so I offered to buy them and tried to figure out where to put them.

The only place that made any sense was in The Office.

I know an electrician who does amazing work when he’s not busy in the film industry, so I had him add GFCI outlets to The Office. Ive got decent soldering skills, so I put in the copper plumbing myself. Now we were ready to convert The Office into a laundry room.

Except the dryer runs on gas. So we had to put install a gas line.

Then the owner of the washer and dryer decided not to sell.

Now we have a beautiful office with a dark rosewood floor.  But there are gas, water, and sewer lines coming out of the walls. I gave up several business opportunities to work on this quirky place because “It couldn’t hurt.”

Our goal was to have the place finished and rented out by April 1st. If I had stayed with the original plan, offered a storage room instead of The Office/Laundry Room, we would have been right on schedule.

You should really only have two choices

I should have stayed the course, and just had a storage room. Or, I should have been ambitious and decided at the start that we would give our tenants all kinds of great amenities, such as laundry.

“It couldn’t hurt” is a sign that you’re compromising, taking the middle route. You should do something because it is awesome and inspiring, or because it is absolutely necessary. Not because “it couldn’t hurt.” That’s not a good reason to do anything.

The “Battle” of the Caudian Forks

Everyone in business should know the story of the Caudian Forks. I’ll talk about this a lot in my book, but here’s the story in a nutshell:

The bulk of the Roman army was trapped in a narrow gorge. Their enemies, the Samnites, were advised to either kill every single Roman, or to let them all go free with their arms and unharmed.

The first choice would have depleted Rome of her military strength for many years. The second choice would have ensured friendship with the Romans, and possibly ended the war.

But the general did neither of these. He let the Romans go free, but first he had them stripped and humiliated. As a result, the Roman army was angry and eager for revenge, and there were plenty of troops to carry out this vengeance.

The moral of the story is that taking the middle way eliminates all the benefits of the two logical choices, and brings on all the negative consequences of both.

Whenever you find yourself saying, “It couldn’t hurt,” be forewarned that it probably will.

 

 

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Our Future: What I learned from four years as a public school teacher

If you want to know the future, just look at what fifteen-year-olds are doing today.

–Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad

 

I was going to harness and encourage the natural curiosity and energy of our youth. I was going to show them by example how they could make a life and a living for themselves and others by pursuing their passions.

It didn’t work out that way.

This year I formally resigned from one of the largest school districts in the country. I could share my story in this post, but I’d rather offer you something more valuable: A glimpse at the future. It’s not nearly as bleak as some people say, but you’ll have to be ready for it.

“Dangerous Thinking”

During my first year teaching biology, I tried to help a tenth grader get his GED. This would allow him to leave school a few years early and pursue his idea for a business startup. A few people expressed their shock that I, a teacher, would try to help a student get out of school.

But shouldn’t that be the goal?

A person in a high position told me my thinking was “dangerous.” He reminded me that school was really designed to train people to be punctual and obedient.

Some students would find their way and become successful business owners. Many more would go to college and possibly become professionals. “But,” he told me, “Walmart will always need people to drive the trucks. And we’ll always need people to build the roads.”

The Digital Future

I appreciated this person’s outlook, but we’re in a different world now. Anything I taught my students in an hour-long biology lesson, they could look up on their own in minutes. Even most of the poorest inner-city kids have a smart phone.

This means virtually anyone with ambition and drive has the chance to teach themselves anything they need to know to pursue their dreams.

We’ll always need people to pave the roads, and we’ll always have people to fill that need. But the web has increased everyone’s potential for upward mobility. We have a wealth of young people bubbling over with creativity, and I don’t want to work for an institution that merely slows them down and gets in their way.

Some people say that today’s teens are all video game addicts, that they spend their waking hours mind-melded to an electronic device with a screen. That’s not too far from the truth, but there’s another truth as well.

Many of these kids are amazingly smart and innovative.

The Gamer’s Education

There is a reason digital games are so addictive, and it’s actually good news. When you fail to reach a goal, you almost always get another chance in a game. You can try a different tactic, or finesse your approach until you figure out a way to succeed. Then you get to “level up.”

This is how the human brain naturally learns. It’s how most new things get invented and built. Video games reinforce that pattern, teaching kids to be resilient and persistent.

As a teacher, I got to see kids apply this persistence to the real world. I watched students approach everything like a video game. They would learn which answers would please a particular teacher. They would figure out just how to get the requisite amount of points on a project with the minimum amount of effort.

They would apply this technique to find the best ways to text in class without getting caught, to minimize their homework, to sell snacks to their classmates for extra money, and even to find a date.

None of these skills seem obviously useful in the traditional school classroom. But there are alternative ways of obtaining an education. I got involved in one of them early on, and I’m working on another one myself.

Education is going to become highly personalized and self-directed in the near future. Here are some of the results I think you can look forward to.

Our Future

As a marketer, I’m a little bit scared. Even the best copywriting will only work if it’s added to videos, games, and apps. Even then, you’ better have a great product because the buyers of the future are going to be ruthless in their pursuit of whatever they want.

That said, if you can appeal to the emotions of this next generation, you’ll succeed as a marketer and an employer.

This is an exciting time to be in any kind of business. For myself, it’s an exciting time to be back in business. I’ve already collaborated with some young geniuses, and I look forward to hiring more of them to help you become more successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A new type of content that breaks all the rules

If you don’t know Bill Bonner, he’s an extremely successful business owner and investor. Probably a quarter of a million subscribers read his financial advice, including me.

Funny thing, he likes to brag about his worst investment ever, something that is costing him every year and possibly adding grey hairs to his already wizened head.

There's a story behind this, if you can find it
There’s a story behind this, if you can find it

Several years ago, he “invested” in a large tract of land in rural Argentina. He mentions it in practically every blog post, email, and newsletter. It takes hours to reach the land from anywhere, on roads that are barely passable in fair weather and reduced to mud when it rains. He talks about ungrateful tenants who not only don’t pay their rent but expect him, as a rich gringo, to pay for their healthcare, their children’s education, and sometimes their groceries.

The thing is, he loves his losing proposition and it’s fun to read about it. It probably intrigues curious readers and ultimately wins him more paying subscribers.

This brings me to a big bold marketing tool. I call it the “Tangential Post.”

Sometimes it’s useful to go off on a tangent. You don’t always have to talk about your business.

Most of the time, your clients only care about the value you can deliver for them. The trouble is, you have competitors who are probably capable of delivering value, too. That’s why it’s so helpful if your clients feel like they know you.

So if you have a blog, Twitter, a YouTube channel, a newsletter, or any other media for staying in touch with your market, go off on a tangent every now and then. Post something that’s not directly related to your business or what you can do for your clients.

If nothing else, you’ll have a little bit of fun. Share something interesting about yourself and your life. A picture of your dog. The story of how your son scored the winning goal.

Almost everyone loves dogs, kids, and a good story.

If you do something really unusual, like chariot racing or buying farmland in a foreign country, you could put this in, too.

This will be a breath of fresh air, and you might create something popular that gets shared around a lot.

Pretty soon I’m going to go off on a tangent, and tell you why I haven’t posted anything new on this blog for more than a year. It’s a long story that will probably piss a few people off. It made me angry as it happened.

But this isn’t about me. Go Tweet or blog or post something personal and interesting. Go off on a tangent, before I do.

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How to Become a Better Thinker

In 2010 I took on the most challenging sales job of my life. I started teaching biology to inner-city kids at a pilot school near downtown Los Angeles. I wanted to sell them on learning.

The trouble I quickly discovered is that our school system isn’t really helping students to learn anything. We’re really making them memorize things, and not doing a very good job at this, either.

Dr. Derek Cabrera does a great job of outlining the problem in this TED Talk:

If you ask almost any teacher, they’ll say kids aren’t motivated. Ahah! So education is a marketing problem! Or is it?

If kids don’t like school, what kinds of things do they enjoy doing, and what makes those things enjoyable? What’s going on in someone’s head when they’re playing golf, climbing Half Dome, or listening to a symphony? It turns out there’s a lot of scientific research on this stuff.

Marketing by Neuroscience

Let me give you one last marketing secret before this becomes a rant about brain science. When people are actively engaged in facing a challenge, solving a problem, improving their game or learning something truly new, the body produces dopamine and other rewarding chemicals.

This brain candy is natural. It’s not only good for you, it makes you want to do more of the activity that produced it. This is the reason video games, music, good movies and similar kinds of stimulation have such a hold on us. More to the point, it holds a powerful potential both for selling/marketing and for teaching and learning.

I’m officially employed as a teacher (for now), so I use this same info in a different way:

Magic happens when a student is actively thinking about a lesson, solving problems and not merely memorizing facts and procedures. They start to think more actively and clearly, and this active thinking triggers the same biochemical alchemy that makes things like skiing or Minecraft so much fun.

Control your mind and nobody else will control it for you

This summer I spent over 50 hours in trainings about how to teach students in a way that engages more of their brain, helping them learn to think clearly and building motivation to do more of this. I stumbled upon a fantastic, under-appreciated phenomenon:

You can actively monitor and control the way you think about something. There’s an emerging branch of science around this ability, known as metacognition. Metacognition literally means “thinking about thinking.”

When you practice metacognition, you put yourself in the driver’s seat. You can actively take control of the processes that take place in your brain. This might be the greatest discovery since yogis mastered meditation and breathing six thousand years ago. Your skills, intelligence, and even the physical health of your brain can improve by leaps and bounds.

I’m starting a new project. I’m building a team of tutors who will teach students how to practice metacognition. You can see the preliminary stages of this work here. We’re going to start a revolution in the way kids learn and think. We’ll soon overcome the entrenched, fossilized old ways of our public school system.

In the meantime, I have something for you that might be even better.

On my other website, you can begin getting tips on metacognitive practices. I’ve presented these as “study tips” for students, teachers, and (hopefully) the parents of students. But really they’re all about getting your brain in better shape, learning faster, and becoming aware of how to learn better.

If you’re interested, you can sign up for it all right here:

http://www.ScienceTutorOnline.com

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Persistence or relentlessness?

“To tell you the truth,” said the company president, “the only reason I agreed to take your call is because you’ve been relentless.”

This was a gruff, hard-to-reach guy who I was calling to help out an old client. He was known to deal with programming code better than with people. Within fifteen minutes he had done everything I needed from him.

He also reminded me of something I had started to forget about persistence.

Before the big-shot company president took my call, I left a total of three–count them, three–messages with his receptionist. This was hardly a Herculean effort, but to his mind, I had been “relentless.” He isn’t used to someone making three attempts to reach him. This was such unusual behavior that he considered it relentlessness.

What this tells me is that most people give up after the first call.

I’m lazy, but it seems that most people are lazier than me. And this means you’ve got yet another reason to do what you already know you should.

If you’re in marketing, sales, or really any profession in which you have to get other people to do things, you can easily place yourself above your rivals. Just keep going. Be persistent. It seems that most people won’t do this.

You’ve probably heard the statistic that it takes seven contacts to make a sale. I don’t know of any actual research to back this up, but it’s a good principal. Back in my freelancing days, it was normal to do business with a client after sometimes a year or two of calls, postcards, and email. Most of my competitors gave up before they were even tired, and soon I would be the only one left.

You know that persistence pays off, even if you don’t yet know it in the core of your being, even if it’s not yet tattooed on the inside of your medulla oblongata. You’ve heard people say it enough. Get the tattoo.

The lesson I’m trying to give you here is that it doesn’t always take as much persistence as you’d think. Just be persistent once or twice, and you’ll soon be labelled “relentless.”

Relentlessness gets things done. Relentlessness is persistence that talks.

Be relentless.

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The Bright Side of Entitlement

It’s easy to bash them. People who feel like they’re entitled to something get a bad rap.

But I think they’ve got a bright career ahead of them.

When you feel down in the core of your being that people owe you something, you’ll be able to ask for it with conviction every time. And you won’t take “no” for an answer.

Napoleon Hill wrote a story about this in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich.  A young black girl had to ask a white man for fifty cents. This was in the South, in the days of Jim Crow laws and other injustices. The man repeatedly told the girl to leave, but she persisted. Finally he threatened her with violence, but just before he struck the blow she looked in his eyes and shouted, “MY MAMMY’S GOTTA HAVE THAT FIFTY CENTS!” (Hill uses all capital letters in this story)

The man was defeated by the little girl’s conviction and will power. He handed over the money and left her alone.

Chutzpah always wins. And it can be cultivated.

Think of the guy sitting on the sidewalk with a paper cup and a cardboard box, asking you for spare change. You’re getting something for your money. A smile, good karma, the feeling you helped someone, or at least the peace of this guy leaving you alone once you pay up.

He talks to hundreds of people a day. He faces rejection more than a dozen times every hour. Yet he persists. I’ve had people follow me down the street just to get a quarter. The clever ones have an answer to every objection I raise.

This is excellent sales training.

But the real secret, I think, is that some people truly believe you owe them. They have a right to your money. They are entitled to it. This belief can make you rich.

If you just can’t psych yourself up to feel entitled to something, Zig Ziglar offers another way. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically he said, “I’ve got your product here in my car, you’ve got my money in your pocket, and I ain’t leaving until you get your product and I get my money!”

This is actually an essential attitude if you’re in sales, or really if you own any kind of business at all. If you believe the person is entitled to your product, and you demand reasonable compensation for it, then you’re unstoppable.

If I ever need to hire and train a salesman, I might start looking in skid row.

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