≡ Menu

My DNA Experiment

 

It has been awhile since I have written anything on this site.

Long story short, I have been busy getting a new service business off the ground. Most of my past few months have revolved around building this up.

I have been online for about a year and I will be the first to admit that things have not been as easy ass I thought they were going to be.

The biggest struggle I have had to work through has revolved around having the proper mindset needed to be successful.

Without the proper mindset, you will not have the mental toughness needed to take action and to persevere when you have set backs.

With that in mind, I offer you 24 lessons learned on having the proper mindset needed to succeed in online business.

This list is not all inclusive. It is just a list of some of the biggest issues I had to face with my own shortcomings. In an effort to keep the post as short as possible (I tend to go on for awhile), I have not gone into great detail as to how I learned the lessons—just know that I earned these lessons through exercising my own stupidity and learning what not to do.

Go through them. Think about how they may also affect you. Most of all, if something resonates with you, take the necessary action to make sure you do not make the same mistakes I made.

1.      If you want to accomplish anything meaningful in life, then you had better get used to getting outside of your comfort zone. It is hard putting thoughts out for the world to see. It is hard to prospect for clients online and offline. People will judge you. Your family will judge you. Keep the end in mind as you jump into the deep end. If you are going to fail, fail as quickly as possible. learn your lesson and jump back in. You will never be bored when you are stretching who you are.

2.      If you are not setting goals, then you are selling yourself short. Real goal setting involves writing things down, having plans to achieve them, and deadlines for taking action. Beating procrastination and finally getting things done involves the use of setting deadlines. I used to think deadlines were some arbitrary function—and I wondered why I never accomplished anything. Once I started getting serious about deadlines, pressure built up and I started taking action.

3.      If you waste your time on foolish activities that are not part of a structured day, then you are wasting your life. Time is the one resource you will not get back. The use of your time will be the most important decision you will make. If you structure your day properly, there is plenty of time to spend with friends and family. There is even time for watching a movie on TV. Try structuring your days for a week. Focus on your priorities and not on putting out fires. If you can keep out the stuff that seems urgent but is not important then you will be amazed about how much time you really have.

4.      Part of how you use your time will involve decisions on who you choose to spend time with. If you try to spend time with people who want to do something with their life, then chances are you will try to do something too. If you hang out with negative, whiny people, then you will probably end up a sniveling rat just like them. I have had to cut off many of my friends and most of my family because they were dragging my efforts down. It was really painful. Still love them, but you have to make the choice of what is right for you (and your family if you have one). Rarely do we finish with the same people we started out with.

5.      The real reason people do not honor their commitments—to themselves and to others—stems from a lack of integrity. This is one realization that hit me hard. I pride myself as being a man of integrity. Once you understand and accept this (after mild depression followed by being pissed off at yourself) your life and how you decide to structure it will take on new meaning.

6.      The only thing that matters is results. There are no points for being the smartest, most ‘learned’ kid on the block if you are not making progress toward your goals. I am guilty of this too often. I value being prepared. Sometimes being prepared keeps you from taking action. Keep in mind a quote from General Patton, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”. Make sure you have a plan though!

7.      If you are trying to do everything using only the free content out there, you are wasting your time. Real progress comes when you have invested in your own education. Anything you get for free is seldom valued. I am ashamed of my past behavior in not taking advantage of all the past opportunities offered to me. Don’t fall into the same trap.

8.      Don’t walk into a business situation unless you have a well thought out plan of attack. Many of the mistakes I made in the past year have been because I was trying to take action without thinking about what I wanted the final outcome to be. If an action does not fall in line with what you are trying to accomplish, do not do it.

9.      Success in anything ultimately comes down to the way you behave. Although I am a big fan of “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, thinking without action gets very little results. You have to behave like the person you want to become. Thought without action is fantasy. If you do not want to act on your dreams then you might want to just quit now, because it probably will never happen for you.

10.   Worry is a useless emotion. You cannot do much about what happened in the past. You cannot control what happens in the future. All that you can truly handle is what is here and now. If you plan your actions toward attaining what you want, then the future becomes more predictable and you become aware of what obstacles may come up. From there you can be prepared with contingency planning. Just accept the fact that it is going to be hard.

11.   “You are not in the ‘thing’ business. You are in the marketing of the ‘thing’ business”- D. Kennedy.  If you are a web designer or techy type of person, the most important thing for you to realize is that if you do not take the actions needed to set yourself apart from everyone else, then you are just a commodity. You need to position yourself to be different from everyone else.

12.   If you do not have the “tech” skills needed to do a job, someone else has the skills. I neglected to take action for far too long because I did not have the “skills” I thought were needed. I spent most of the last year learning a lot of stuff I could have had someone else doing. I have some great skills now, but all the learning set me back months. Outsource as fast as possible.

13.   On that subject, there are only so many minutes in the day. If you are in the service business and you are doing all the work, you need to move into a quality control position. Hire other people to do the work, spot check them, and then send out the completed work to your clients with a healthy profit margin attached.

14.   Your ego will get in the way. It will prevent you from listening to sound advice. Getting results that truly matter to you is way more important than being right. Suck it up and drive on towards your objective. Don’t be afraid of advice if it does not come from you. Stop thinking that you have all the answers.

15.   Adopt a philosophy of ruthless self-discipline when it comes to achieving your goals. Self-Discipline is not a hard thing. Look at it as a matter of honor. Honor your commitments to others, to yourself and to your self-imposed deadlines.

16.   Confidence in any undertaking is only gained when you get off your butt and earn it. Confidence comes from competence. Competence comes from experience. Experience comes when you get burned and figure out that you don’t want that to happen again.

17.   Competence comes from guaranteeing your work. Most people are scared of offering guarantees. I know I am. What I offer is a done for you service that requires an up-front payment to some outsourcers. If someone asks for a refund, then I am out some money. A common question is, “what if people take advantage of me?’. It sucks. But, understand three dynamics: One, people will more than likely take advantage of you—you want to identify them early on because you really do not want to do business with them anyways. Two, it is easier to give a refund to a complainer than to suffer the negative hit to your reputation. Three, once you do offer the guarantee, you will be more motivated to give your clients the “WOW” factor.

18.   Always review the fundamentals. Often you will gain new insights on old topics. Try to learn something new every day. One of the biggest sins in life is to go to bed as stupid as you were when you woke up.

19.   Don’t think that internet business is a magic pill that anyone can do, no matter what the ‘experts’ say. You will need a strong desire to put up with all the monotony and late nights of laying the foundation necessary to do big things. Most of the success you will gain will come from long nights of repetitive crap that needs to be done.

20.   Figuring out a market to sell to is easy. Just look around for a bunch of scared or pissed off people and then match them to solutions. Opportunity is everywhere. In fact, I would argue that there is too much opportunity. Pick something and go for it.

21.   Have a list of reasons why making yourself a success in business is important. Include all the crap you no longer want to put up with. Look at the list often when you don’t feel like working. I recommend a list of about 100 things.

22.   Don’t ever compromise your integrity. Don’t rip off other people. Don’t make promises you cannot keep. Don’t market ‘get rich’ stuff if you are not rich. If you do not get a good “vibe” when you start working with a client, then you probably do not need to be working with that person.

23.   You have to study sales if you want to make a real impact. I really recommend “SPIN Selling” by Neil Rackham. This book came out in the late 1980’s, but the advice is sound. It involves finding out about what the present situation is, finding out what the problems are, finding out the possible implications of the problems and then matching what solutions you offer to the problem. Order it today.

24.   Don’t be afraid to sell. Sometimes you need to engage in offline activities in order to get the online activities kick started. Selling can involve selling yourself when you are making connections. Sometimes it involves walking up to a local business owner and convincing them that they have a problem and you have the solution.

 

A final thought: I would not change the last year for anything. I love the fact that I had to grow. I love the direction my life is taking. Although I do cringe at some of the dumb things I have done in the past, making the mistakes have brought me to new levels of understanding.

I am finally walking through the Door…

 

 

What are your thoughts?

 picture by Bob:http://www.flickr.com/photos/katsrcool/

0 comments

Who doesn’t love a good quote?

 

I have always found that if you are stuck in a rut, when you feel beaten down (mentally or physically), a great sentence from a great achiever just might be the catalyst you need to get up and keep moving toward your goals.

 

The subject of being mentally tough is one that has always fascinated me. There is a definite art and science to being able to follow through and take massive action in the face of defeat.

 

Sometimes we get so beaten down when we do not experience success as fast as we want that we start to become apathetic.

 

When we feel like times are getting hard and it seems easier to quit, we all need that encouraging word to remind us that the freedom we are all striving for might just be on the other side of the wall that we see before us.

 

In the spirit of Friday, here are 80 great quotes (or poems) about toughness to keep you going:

 

 

1.     “You have to stick out the toughness of the business and form relationships with the people in it.” -Rocco DiSpirito

2.     “Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.”-Bobby Knight

3.     “In the end I didn’t get a top car any more. I had no toughness left. That was the reality.”
-Jacky Ickx

4.     “Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.”-Bill Russell

5.     “In terms of instilling the values of mental toughness and work ethic, discipline is the gift that keeps on giving.” -William Baldwin

6.     “Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. “
-Robert E. Lee

7.     “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” –Unknown

8.     “You know that little voice in the back of your mind, telling you to stop? Well you can train that little voice. I taught mine to shut up.” - Unknown

 9.    “Me personally, I believe that it’s only pain if you acknowledge it. If someone sees it as pain, I like to describe it as something that is unusual, out of place, or uncomfortable. You have to be all about being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. In the end, there’s work that has to be done. You don’t really have the time for self pity”.-Unknown

 10.  “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”-Franklin D. Roosevelt

 11. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”                             – Ralph Waldo Emerson

12.  “A man can be beaten in two ways, if he gives up or he dies.”- Richard Machowic

13.  “The only easy day was yesterday.”- U.S. Navy SEALS

14.  “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”-William Feather

15.  “Adversity causes some men to break, and others to break records.”- Unknown

16.  “Every morning in Africa a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest Lion or it will be killed…. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Lion or a Gazelle when the sun comes up… you’d better be running.” – Charlotte Wrestling

17.  “Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret!” -Unknown

18.  “Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”- Unknown

19.  “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”- Alfred A. Montapert

20. “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” -General George S. Patton

21.  “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” -Victor Kiam

22. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”- Mark Twain

23. “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”- Alexander Graham Bell

24. “Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.”- T.E. Lawrence

25. “Who dares, wins” –British SAS

26. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

27.  “Strength is the product of struggle” – Unknown

28. “Today I will do the things that other people won’t, so tomorrow I can do the things that other people can’t” – Unknown

29.  “We’ll operate with no excuses. There are no excuses. You succeed or you don’t.”                     -Unknown

30. “To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price”- Vince Lombardi

31. “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” -Lance Armstrong

32. “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure…life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” - Helen Keller

33. “Sure I am this day we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.”
-Winston Churchill

34. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at times of comfort and convenience, but at times of challenge and adversity.”-Unknown

35. ”Why tip toe through life, to arrive safely at death? If you’re gonna be afraid to live, what’s the point?”-Unknown

36. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt

37.  “I want to be the best. So whatever comes with that, I have to accept it.” - Sidney Crosby

38. “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” -John F. Kennedy

39. “Remember, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Champions are built brick by painful brick and that can take a lifetime. Sometimes it can happen without anyone even bothering to notice. Take heart. The mountains you climb can’t always be seen by an audience… Still, you must not stop climbing. For, in all their sophomoric hubris, whatever actions men take, or do not take, the mountain remains.”- Unknown

40. “You got to get through the bullshit to get to the cool shit.”-Unknown

41.  “We will either find a way, or make one!”- Hannibal

42. “The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

43. “The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

44. “Nothing on earth can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”- Thomas Jefferson

45. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

46. “If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” -Vincent Van Gogh

47.  “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” –Confucius

48. “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” -John F. Kennedy

49. “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you ready or not, to put this plan into action.”-Napoleon Hill

50. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
-Dale Carnegie

51.  “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”-Michael Jordan

52. My mind is my biggest asset. I expect to win every tournament I play.”
-Tiger Woods

53. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” -Muhammad Ali

54. “I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”              -Jim Carrey

55. “Falling down is how we grow, Staying down is how we die.”Brian Vaszily

56. “When someone tells me something is impossible, all i hear is that he or she in particular cannot do it. If it can be thought, it can be done.”Brian Vaszily

57.  “Opportunity is always knocking, the problem is that most people have the self-doubt station in their head turned up way to loud to hear it.”- Brian Vaszily

58. “What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists…and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want…and are fully determined not to quit until you get it.” - Alexander Graham Bell

59. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
- Henry David Thoreau

60. “If your going through hell, keep going.” - Winston Churchill

61.  “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right.”
- Confucius

62. “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on when others let go.”
- William Feather

63. “Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.”
- T.E. Lawrence

64. “Adversity causes some men to break, and others to break records.”
- Unknown

65. “When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.”

“Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.”

“Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

-Edgar A. Guest

66. “If you wanna be the best, find the thing that sucks the most, then do it until it doesn’t suck, then repeat.”-Unknown

67.  “I can’t quit, I ain’t dead yet”-Unknown

68. “The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.” -Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire

69. “If a man does not have an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base and sordid creature, no matter how successful.”-Theodore Roosevelt

70. “Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers.”
-Aristotle

71.  Being realistic is the quickest path to mediocrity”-Will Smith

72.  “The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.” – Horace Bushnell

73.  “Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps, till the legend, over steep ways to the stars, fulfills itself.” – W. C. Doane

74.  “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.” Leon J. Suenes

75.  “It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.”” Ralph Waldo Emerson

76.  “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” – George S. Patton

77.  “We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

78. “Fortune favors the brave.” – Publius Terence

79. ”Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

 And finally, here is a poem that I absolutely love. Every time I read it, it serves as an inspiration to keep going.

The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Who judgement upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people may think your a straight-shootin’ chum
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life
And get pats on your back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

-Peter “Dale” Wimbrow Sr.

 

There you go. If you found some value in this, please share it with someone who might need it now or someone else who might need it for a rainy day.

Most of all, I would love to hear what you favorite quote on toughness and perseverance is, even if I have not included it on this list.

Have an awesome day!

 

 

Photo by Casey

 

 

0 comments

In Part One of this two part series on the importance of having an imaginary friend, I discussed a few points on why it is important to develop a customer avatar to help guide you in your online (or even offline) efforts.

The information was a fairly decent review, but the post itself did not cover one fundamental aspect:

How do you start?

Once again I feel compelled to make a disclaimer. I am by no means an expert. I am merely giving you my notes as a way to reinforce my learning and maybe in the process, make your life a little bit easier.

Without wasting any time, let’s dive right into something that may or may not be remotely useful.

 

Discovering the Baseline Demographics

Well first we need to start out with what is already known about your target audience. That means finding out what the baseline demographics are of your intended marketing niche.

Demographics are probably what you think they are—factors such as average age, where a person lives on this big ball floating through space, how much they may earn, gender, etc.

There are websites out there such as compete.com and Quantcast.com that can give you a start on locating some good demographic information.

Quantcast is very popular and highly recommended by everyone, as with Alexa and Compete, but all three can give you different bits of information at times.  One of the frustrating things is that at different times the sites will give you different numbers for the same subject, but if you draw the numbers from all three you should be able to discover enough to help develop a baseline for measurement.

On a related note, one of the coolest things you can use these sites for is to look at your competitors to see what they are doing.

From there you can keep track of what they are doing and implement the ideas that appear to have staying power.

This sounds a lot weirder than it really is.

At first, it sounded a little bit unethical to me, so I was hesitant to do it.

Finally I decided that if I could just learn from my competitor’s successes and failures than I would be better off for it.

It will help leverage your efforts and stop wasting your time.

 

Six Great Websites to Determine Demographic Information

To get you started, here are a Six Great Websites for determining customer demographic information:

1.  Compete.com: Compete will show you your target sites unique visitor totals, site rank, and it will give a description of the site. The last time I looked at the site most of the free information it used to give out is now only included in the paid portion. If you can afford the $499/ month, I have read that it is a great deal. I’m not really to that level yet, but I have included it for your awareness.

2.  Alexa.com: Alexa is a great tool for finding some great free  information. If you were to go to the homepage and search for a known competitor one of the first lists that you will see will be similar websites to the competitor you are looking at. You can inspect these in turn to compile a fairly thorough list of potential competition. Other useful tidbits include how well the website ranks, how many ads pointing to the website are running at any given time, the top search terms pointing to the site, and some very useful demographic information.

3.  Quantcast.com: One of the better sites to find out the demographic information on your target audience. The unpaid portion of the site will give you more than enough information to get a great baseline or to further validate what you already have.

4.  Google Insights: Great tool for figuring out what additional sites/ topics people are searching for, what is trending hot and what areas in the world your product/ services may be in higher demand.

5.  Google Media Planner: If your competitors use Pay-Per-Click Advertising then the Google Media Planner will be one of the best sites you can use to help match your target demographics with related websites. Once you plug in the information you can see which websites are the most popular with your crowd (I plan on writing on this very soon. It is very cool if you have not played around with it before.)

6.  Claritas.com: If you are doing some highly targeted marketing in the United States, Claritas is great for finding demographic information by zip code. Once you determine the area you want to target, Claritas has a Segment Explorer that will help you further breakdown the demographics of the target area using the PRIZM system. Once you pair it with Google Insights it can turn into a very useful tool.

 

Starting to Flesh It All Out

Based off of some of the main demographic websites, you now have enough to start fleshing out the foundation of your avatar.

I would start by just listing out the known factors that you want to start out with. For example, you might find out from your research that your target audience is looking like they are Caucasian males in the 45-54 year old age bracket, have a college education, are married and have some kids. They make between 100-150K per year and have additional interests in conservative politics and sports.

What does this mean?

It means that if you are currently tailoring your marketing messages to appeal to 20 year old Caucasian females that are still in college and have little discretionary income, you might not make very much progress.

Remember though, determining your ideal customer is much more than just demographics.

As Yaro Starak said:

“It’s important whenever you are considering any aspect of your customers that you look to them as people. This is not about raw demographics like age, weight, height or income bracket. This is about understanding that a new mother feels unattractive because she is overweight for the first time in her life, or the dad that is lacking self worth because he can’t afford to feed his family organic food. It’s about understanding the situation and the raw emotional response to the situation.”

It is not enough to know the basic demographics, wants and needs of your ideal customer—you have to dig down a couple of layers to find out how they choose to live their life, who they choose to hang out with, what their world view is and what are the one or two things that truly motivate them to take action.

Are they motivated by achievement and gaining pleasure of some sort?

Or are they motivated to not experience pain?

You must take into account the emotional makeup of the target avatar and tailor your messages around its deepest, darkest emotional needs.

To aid you in the search, I have gathered nine very useful questions from around the web or my book shelf. Most of these questions should not be a surprise if you have looked into this topic before. (A few of the questions are from Dan Kennedy’s awesome book, The Ultimate Marketing Plan. If you do not already own it, I highly suggest it. Most of the questions are pulled from around the internet. I am writing these from notes, so I apologize for not giving full attribution.)

 

Nine Useful Questions for Determining Emotional Needs

  1. What are the biggest frustrations experienced by your ideal customer?
  2. What is the biggest problem your ideal customer that you can solve?
  3. What makes him/ her most angry about the subject?
  4. What do they secretly fantasize about?
  5. What are the common language patterns, stories and rationalizations (excuses) that the customer uses to explain his/ her problem?
  6. What fears keep them up at night?
  7. Are the fears real or imagined fantasies?
  8. Why would they seek out a solution to their problem?
  9. What ideal result(s) would they want should their problem be solved?

 

Where to Find the Answers

There are some great free resources out there for you to look for the answers to these questions.

First, look into the niche specific forums for the normal problems that people are experiencing. You are guaranteed to find more answers than you can handle.

If you have a mailing list, send out a survey to your present customers asking them what issues they are facing. Make sure you include some sort of ethical bribe to get them to take action.

A great place to look is the Amazon best seller list. Find all the best sellers in your chosen niche and take note of all the issues people may or may not have had in the product reviews.

Sometimes you will hit the jack pot and notice multiple objections to buying a product, quickly followed by an answer to those specific objections.

The answers are out there if you just take the time to look.

As you start collecting your research, start trying to put a storyline to your imaginary friend using the information you have discovered.

As an example, let’s take another look at our 45-54 year old Caucasian male. Let’s say from our research into the forums, the Amazon.com best seller reviews and from talking to our customer base that the average prospect is a former athlete that is currently between 25-35 pounds overweight. He does not have the energy of his younger days and has constant lower back pain.

 He is frustrated because every time he plays a sport, from golf to basketball with his teenage children, he gets tired too quickly. Although he publicly states that he does not care what people might think, he privately is ashamed to take off his shirt in public. To make matters worse, his last medical checkup stated that unless he changes his eating habits he will have a high chance of heart disease. He secretly fantasizes about getting back into awesome shape so he can kick his friends butts in golf.

 His ideal solution would be to find an easy to understand workout program and eating plan that he can work into his busy schedule without sacrificing too much of his lifestyle. He absolutely hates the word “diet”.

Keep in mind when you are building your avatar is that they will have specific problems. Your job is to clearly define the problem and then eventually try to offer the ideal prospect a great, hard to ignore solution.

For every problem you discover, you should try to offer a great benefit that addresses the problem.

It might be a good time to note though that it probably is not a good idea to offer solutions to problems that you can’t immediately validate with some sort of proof. If you back it up with some proof, then you should be good.

That is something we will have to discuss in a future post.

One idea that you might want to pursue is having multiple customer avatars. Even in a tight niche you can further segment your target audience by dividing them up into their own individual sections.

Each one can be developed with its own set of questions, issues and language that you can be on the look-out for.

For example:

You can create an avatar to describe in detail the type of person you do not want to sell to. Knowing this might help you set needed boundaries that you should not cross when developing your marketing messages.

You can create a customer avatar to describe what step the customer is in a particular buying cycle. For instance, one description might have a person who is just “Kicking tires” while another one might describe a person ready to sign up today.

Once you finish with your first draft of the customer avatar, even if you are not really happy with it, don’t worry too much.

You can look to other sources to continue to refine your avatar.

Remember, if your imaginary friend sucks you can kill it and build a new and improved friend. You now have the technology.

Once you get started, you will soon see just how valuable the process is.

You will begin to leverage your time and become more effective in your approach.

Tell me what you think…

 

0 comments

I ran into a little trouble about a month ago.

As I was going through my experimental checklist, taking notes and validating what was working and not working for me I realized I was creating a ton of data.

This was surely a good thing.

Or was it?

I was digging up so much information that the checklist became very overwhelming.

This was a problem.

If someone was to go through the entire checklist they would experience the same thing.

The experiment crashed down when I was doing some basic keyword research. I was writing down everything my potential competitors were doing, noting the prominent key words.

In short, I ended up with thousands of keywords and no way to filter them out.

I almost scrapped the whole project until I “discovered” two subjects that made my life a whole lot easier: the Customer Avatar and the USP.

 In the next few posts I plan on tackling both of the subjects, as I understand them.

These are not really new subjects.

They are tools that direct advertising experts have been using for decades. If you were to look at some of the A-list marketing blogs you would find that numerous people have done exceptional jobs in explaining the concepts in great detail.

Cody even explained them to me briefly over coffee earlier this year.

Some have even “dummy proofed” the process.

I am one dummy that did not get the memo.

It took me a long time to finally get “it”

Sometimes I am an incredible blockhead and it takes me a while to figure out why simple concepts such as these were the reasons why I was having so much trouble.

Without a fundamental understanding of these two concepts I was having trouble with content creation and crafting effective marketing messages.

I was experiencing frustration and writers block.

When the breakthrough happened, I had one of those Eureka moments.

Imagine one of those proverbial light bulbs going off above my head and I finally saw the light.

Here are my lessons learned:

I must warn you as always. These are some of my thoughts on the subject as I understand it.

I am no “guru” and I do not claim to be an expert.

I can tell you that once I figured this out about 80% of my frustration went away. I became more focused and it became a lot easier to stick to deadlines.

More importantly, people started to actually pay attention to what I was doing.

Let me first just give you a brief “big picture” view of the process and then I will tackle the Avatar. 

The Roadblocks to Finding the Niche within the Niche

The hardest thing to do is to admit that you are one of your biggest roadblocks to succeeding.

Ego can be a merciless bitch.

I cannot tell you how many times I managed to get into my own way.

One of the most common traps that I fell into was finding something that I thought was cool, that I really liked, and assuming that everyone else might like it as well.

I dove right into the marketing process without thought about if it was really worth going after.

After all, it was an awesome idea.

I was wrong and I could not figure out why.

I became distraught, overwhelmed and thought about hanging it up.

My wife was openly asking questions about if this “Internet Marketing” stuff really worked.

If you have been there, you know how much of an emotional roller coaster it can be.

If it were not for the proven models Cody McKibben had taught me in the Digital Nomad Academy, I would have probably caved to the pressure.

I realized I was spending too much time on non-essential stuff and not enough time on actually building a strong foundation.

A strong foundation begins with proper research.

If you follow the 80/20 rule, research has to be the 80%. Without it, you are not going to have a chance.

I won’t go into that just yet.

I will handle research and picking a niche based off of my cheat sheet checklist in a very-near-future-post.

As backwards as it may seem, I am going to tell you about:

How to Get In Touch With Your Imaginary Friend

The importance of determining your ideal customer cannot be overstated.

I am sure you have seen many posts written about the subject, about how important it is, but few people really do an adequate job of really explaining what it will do for you.

The first thing you have to realize is:

The quickest path to losing money is to try to sell something online without first knowing who it is exactly you want to sell the product to.

It is not enough to want to sell something to everyone.

We are not all fortunate enough to be selling something as universally appealing as Coca-Cola or Disney. As great as it may be, we are all in the struggle just to get someone’s attention with our efforts.

We live in a world of sound bites and quick fixes. Getting someone’s attention, especially online where people rarely read anymore, is a very hard thing to do.

Before we start, we have to know just who’s attention it is that we want to get.

 We must know and understand our target market.

This is a rule I broke.

Frequently.

Even though I knew better I still had dreams of selling something to everyone.

From what I can tell the problem is common.

Of the rookie mistakes, trying to sell a niche specific item to the mass public is the deadliest to your bottom line.

It makes sense, after all, products that are specific in nature tend to appeal to a specific type of person.

I figured, “This (insert cool product or service here) is awesome! Why wouldn’t everyone want it?”

I was letting my ego and what I wanted get in the way of what was reality.

I recently came across a great line from an article on the content marketing institute website:

“Repeat after me, “I am not my target audience””

When I first read the line, I stopped to reflect on its profound simplicity.

I then understood that I had been trying to market to a niche by talking about what I found interesting about the product.

If you are writing to yourself when selling a niche product that you may not really use yourself, then you are really rolling the dice.

You take the risk of disconnecting with the people who may need the product the most.

Again—when getting ready to sell a product, the more specialized the item is, the more specialized the market will be.

You should not try to market a specific item to everyone within a niche

Bottom line—you have to understand who your target is, with as much precision as possible.

Only then can you truly be comfortable crafting a sales message.

 

How do you know what your target looks like?

The best way to get to know your target market is you need to identify who your imaginary friend is, otherwise known as the customer avatar.

A customer avatar is nothing more than a virtual representation of your target customer.

If it sounds strange just know that this is not a new concept. Direct marketers have been using avatars (also known as personas) for years.

An easier way to think of the avatar is as an imaginary friend that you will try to persuade to do something that is obviously in their best interest.

Most people who sell stuff online—including me until recently—have no clue who their customers really are.

Once fully developed the avatar would tell a story, being specific down to the targets name, hobbies, job, likes/ dislikes, attitudes and worries.

Once in place the customer avatar has been proven to boost conversions and save you time and money. It will make it easier to gain rapport with your target customer. 

It will help you connect with a target audience that you might have very little in common with.

The process will help you learn the language of the target market—which is important later on when you want to craft an effective sales offer.

In my next post I will delve into some useful ideas on just how to develop a customer avatar, or “imaginary friend” of your very own.

Until then, stay cool and tell me what you think…

0 comments

My biggest frustration this year was realizing that I really did not have the skills needed to start a successful online business.

I was so overwhelmed by the whole process that I ended up not taking the valuable actions needed to get stuff done, despite the fact that I have been exposed to some of the smartest and most innovative thinkers online.

I was at an impasse.

I agreed to document my progress and my failures, but ended up trying to talk about the same stuff everyone else talks about.

I was totally unoriginal—and I did not realize it for at least three months.

To tell the truth, it is kind of embarrassing.

The fact that this blog was essentially a “How I am making money in online business” blog while I was not consistently making money in online business was not lost on me.

It was a source of deep frustration.

The absolute strength of the DNA comes into play when you are up and running in an online enterprise. Should you have an issue or problem that needs to be solved, then you have the mentorship you need to get the answers.

If you do not have a business in place (like me for the first few months), then you will learn a ton of great stuff but will be unable to ask anything useful.

After all, nobody can help you if you are not helping yourself.

Since I did not have a business, I had no problems to solve (other than not getting started).

I had no problems to solve because I was too busy reading blogs or paying attention to my own needs to see what was actually going on in the world.

Hello, my name is Tim and I am an Information Junkie.

It is not like starting a business is not covered in the DNA. It is one of the first modules covered.

It is just that I was trying too hard to be a perfectionist.

The right thing to do would have been to take massive action, have a flexible mindset and correct myself as I went along.

I was searching too hard for that magic bullet—that mythical secret formula that will make everything easy and risk free.

When you are working with a family to look after, decisions about risk are a little different than when you are responsible for just you. In my need for precision I searched for answers everywhere.

I found answer after answer.

Soon, I became addicted to information.

Truthfully, even if I did come across a great problem to solve, I was not aware enough to recognize it.

I had no methodology for taking action.

Procrastination had reared it’s ugly head.

 

Enter…

 

THE CHECKLIST I WISH I HAD

I compiled this checklist as a guide that I wish I could have found a long time ago. I had seen all of this stuff in bits and pieces (I am sure you have too).

I believe it to be fairly comprehensive; enough to help someone find a problem that needs to be solved and then take action to solve it.

The power of a checklist is that it gives you permission to take action.

If you are like I was—waiting for secret formula—maybe this will help you get off your ass and finally take some action—something I needed help on.

Just follow it step by step and it might take you somewhere.

Hopefully you will find something useful here.

MY PLAN OF ATTACK

I apologize in advance if some of it is rather vague or redundant.

I know I can fire up some awesome technology to do much of this, but I plan on getting down into great detail and finding out what the big problems are out there in whatever niche I discover.

From there I plan to figure out how to solve those problems in the most efficient and profitable way possible.

I will not be charging money for this checklist. The price of admission is your name and email address.

Note: I do not respect those who make millions of dollars selling books and courses on how to make millions without having the prior status of being rich. As such, I have no intention of entering that world.

WHY DO THIS?

I will admit right now that I have selfish motivations for doing this. In fact, I have seven of them:

1. It will give me something to write about on my blog. Honestly—all of them guys out there make this crap look easy. It is not.

2. It gives people something that I wish I had when I was starting out; no reinventing the wheel. Everything on this checklist was found online—for free.

3. By teaching others what I learn then I will be held to a higher standard—in the process I will get stronger.

4. I hope it will stimulate discussion. Maybe someone will have another great idea to add to the discussion. Maybe someone will have an opposing point of view. I think any idea that is brought to the table will increase all of our chances of success.

5. Freedom is very important. It is painfully apparent that the governments of the world are not really thinking about our welfare. It is time to take responsibility for our own lives. Maybe this will help you along the path to freedom.

6. I hope people will use it to start a crusade for good and make a difference in the world; I believe social entrepreneurship is the wave of the future and the more people we can get on board, the better.

7. I wanted to introduce people to the Digital Nomad Academy. I think what Cody McKibben is doing is phenomenal. The DNA thrives on smart people who are trying to make a difference helping each other. If what I do with this experiment becomes worthwhile to someone and they join the DNA community, then our community becomes stronger. Who knows, maybe you are a future business partner?

 

 

From here on my focus will be to talk about what I am learning from the Digital Nomad Academy along with the amusing or interesting parts of me fumbling around trying to implement the checklist into building a website.

 

As I go through the checklist and constantly update it, updates in part or in whole will be available through email updates.

 

As of right now, I have no plans on selling anyone anything on the email list.

I do reserve the right to recommend any useful services that might have helped me out in this process—especially if I think it will help someone out.

 

If something does not work, I will try to find out what went wrong.

 

Everything will be a test.

 

I hope you enjoy it.

 

2 comments

The book is amazing.

The underlying principles are timeless.

The first time someone told me to read this book I was 19 years old. I was living in Tempe, Arizona and I somehow got involved with a Multi-level marketing company.

The experience with MLM did not work out well.

I do remember the guy in charge ended up either going to jail or having to pay back tens of millions that his company took from unsuspecting people (I think his name was Bill Gouldd??)

It was a classic case of of a group of individuals trying to extract more value from people than they added.

Unethical business practices never work out in the end.

One good thing was that I was told to read Napoleon Hill’s classic book. “Think and Grow Rich”.

I wish I could say that the book had a massive impact on my life.

I remember liking it, being inspired by it, and then forgetting about it.

When I Cody recommended it to me in the Digital Nomad Academy, I read it again and it knocked my socks off.

It is a monumental book. The chapter on the Mastermind and Sex Transmutation were eye openers.

I just finished a Five Part series of some of the best lessons that I got out of reading the book.

Perhaps the greatest lesson for me was, “You will become what you think about most of the time”.

Here are all of the posts consolidated in case you missed them:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

I hope you get something out of them.

I wish I would have paid more attention to the principles when I was 19.

It might have saved a lot of pain.

 

3 comments

In this final post from what I am learning from Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”, we will explore fear.

If reading this does not get you thinking about getting into action then very few things will.

 

1.  Indecision is the seed of fear. It allows for doubt which transforms itself into fear.

2.  There are six major fears which must be mastered before someone is to rise to unprecedented levels of success.

3.  It is important to master fear before you experience it because in the heat of battle—when confronted with one of the fears—your thoughts will immediately translate into their physical counterparts and you will have no control over your physical body. It does not matter if the thoughts are voluntary or involuntary. All thoughts have a physical manifestation.

4.  The Fear of Poverty tells the world that resources and opportunities are scarce. It is the fear that compels others to prey upon his fellow man economically. If a person has money- they are considered to be better than the person who does not have it—no matter how they acquired it. Think about how the Kennedy family was considered American royalty—yet they made their fortune on bootlegging during the American Alcohol Prohibition.

5.  The Fear of Poverty is demonstrated by people as indifference, lack of ambition, willingness to accept poverty, laziness, lack of imagination and self-control. They permit others to do their thinking for them. They make excuses for their failures and criticize others successes. They abuse alcohol or narcotics. They are overcautious. They are habitual procrastinators.

6.  The Fear of Criticism is an action killer. Social scientists believe that it may have its roots when a people were organized in tribes and to not fit in meant not being part of the tribe. Not being part of the tribe most likely led to death.

7.  People tend to over compensate their actions based off of their Fear of Criticism. This fear has kept the fashion industry going strong—no one likes to be thought of as being “out of synch”. It is what makes people buy a new car every year. It has shown itself when people over-consume in order to keep up with the Joneses. The Fear of Criticism is the main reason people are chained by dogmatic beliefs that they no longer believe. It is the reason they toe the line. It is the reason YOU conform.

8.  The Fear of Criticism destroys creativity, takes away self-reliance and robs the initiative. It is the main source of inferiority complexes in people today. It creates indecision, lack of poise, and a sense of being overly self-conscious.

9.  The Fear of Ill Health takes root because people fear the unknown factors that come with getting sick. This creates a state of hypochondria in people. People will do most things to prevent from experiencing the pain and frustration of being ill.

10.  It is the Fear of Ill Health that allows others to not exert themselves to take massive action. It gets in the way of proper exercise because people fear the pain or discomfort that comes with exercise.  It usually results in taking medications in order to dull the mind so they do not have to feel the pain.

11. The Fear of Loss of Love came out of man’s former state of polygamy when men used to steal each other’s mates and take liberties whenever they could. Jealousy takes its root in this fear. Men still steal women but do not resort to brute force—instead relying on cars, clothes and jewelry. Women are also susceptible—knowing that by nature men are polygamous and therefore they are not to be trusted in the hands of rivals.

12.  The Fear of Old Age brings with it thoughts of poverty and lack. It reminds us that we are not going to be as physically capable. Part of the fear stems from the fear that someone will come and take your stuff. Part of the fear comes from the fact that we lose our ability to use our minds and bodies as well as we used to. The ability to get sick and not recover worries people. The loss of freedom to do what you want is scary for me. To a lesser extent, the ability to not have as much sex scares the hell out of people. Luckily, there is Viagra.

13.  The fear manifests itself as thinking you are “too old” to do anything new, developing an inferiority complex because you think you are too old, trying too hard to look younger because you fear the criticism.

14.  The Fear of Death has its roots in religious fanaticism. Those who are “heathens” tend not to have this fear. Those who are firm in belief tend not to fear death, but many people who follow “religion” without thought are scared to the core of the prospects of death.

15.  Mankind has always asked questions of what is on the other side of death. Religious leaders have told us that if we accept their truths then we will go to a glorious place. If we do not, then we burn in fire for eternity. Eternity is a long time. The thought of being on fire for the whole time sucks. The thought of punishment by eternal fire not only causes someone to fear death but to lose his/ her reason. It destroys interest in life and makes happiness impossible.

16.  This manifests in the person thinking more about death than thinking about how to actually live a life worth living. The most common causes of the fear of death are ill health, poverty, hating your job, disappointment over love, insanity and religious fanaticism.

17.  Worry is a state of mind. It is a state of sustained fear caused by indecision. It is an unsettled mind. It is amplified when one is susceptible to the opinions and hysteria of others. It is cured by simply making a decision to follow a definite path of your own choosing.

18.  Make the decision today to not care what others may think, to not worry about imaginary symptoms, to not worry about the pain of effort. Make the decision that nothing that life has to offer is worth the price of worry.

19.  A person filled with worry and negativity can walk into a room and everyone will feel it. Even a dog or horse knows when someone feels uneasy. It makes us feel uncomfortable to be around someone who throws off negative vibes. Everyone has been around someone they immediately did not like—usually it was because of that person’s negative frame of mind.

20.  One of the worst things that can affect you is the susceptibility to negative influences. You have to go through the effort to protect yourself from this great evil.

21.  Recognize that you, and every other human being, are, by nature, lazy, indifferent and susceptible to all suggestions with resonate with your weaknesses. You must take action to prepare yourself against these fears. You must stay away from people who discourage you or depress you in any way. You must seek out the company of those who encourage you to THINK FOR YOURSELF.

22.  The most common habit of any human is to leave their minds open to the negative influence of other people. Your mind is spiritual real estate. Protect it as something so divine should be protected.

23.  People who do not succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure, and have what they believe to be air tight alibis to explain their own lack of achievement.

24.  No more effort is required to solve problems than to creatively invent reasons as to why the problem exists in the first place.

 

 

0 comments

 

This is probably some of the best material in Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich”.

 

It is excellent because of its simplicity and its potential power.

 

It explains how we can accelerate our success.

 

Here you go:

 

 

 

 1.  Power is essential for the attainment of success. The best plans are useless without sufficient power to translate them into action. Power can be defined as organized and intelligently directed knowledge.

 

2.  Power can be gained through the Power of the Mastermind. A Mastermind is defined as the coordination of knowledge and effort, in the spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.

 

3.  There are two characteristics of a Mastermind. One is economic, the other psychic.

 

4.  Economic advantage may be gained by those who surround themselves with the right advice, counsel and cooperation of people who are willing to lend their aid in a spirit of harmony.

 

5.  The psychic characteristic is harder to explain. It can be described best by saying that when two or more people come together for a defined purpose in a spirit of harmony they form an affinity that amplifies their brain power. Kind of Woo Woo.

 

6.  The Titans of Industry from Carnegie, Ford, Edison—They all said that the mastermind was the main reason for their success.

 

7.  When abundance takes the place of poverty, it is usually because of well thought out and well executed plans. Poverty needs no plan. To attract Poverty into your life you do not need a Mastermind—it is bold and ruthless and will take you without remorse.

 

8.  The urge to have sex has three possible constructive possibilities:

 

a.       The perpetuation of mankind

 

b.      The maintenance of sound health

 

c.       The transformation of mediocrity into Genius through transmutation

 

 

9.  Transmutation is defined as, “The changing, or transferring of one element, or form of energy, into another,”

 

10.  The urge to express one’s self sexually is among the most powerful emotions a person can have. Unfortunately most people confuse the emotion, thinking that the only way to express it is by physical means.

 

11.  Sex Transmutation is the process of switching our thoughts from physical expression to thoughts of some other nature.

 

12.  The desire for sex will develop imagination, courage, will power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. It is so strong that Men will risk their lives and reputations to have it. When it is redirected, it has the power to do great and powerful things. Directing this energy will allow for the highest levels of creativity and genius.

 

13.  Many people make the mistake to try to suppress their sexual urges; it cannot be submerged or eliminated. There has to be a conduit or a channel to express the energy. The good news is, when someone is able to channel this energy, they develop a superhuman power to take massive action. The bad news is if they find the wrong channel to dissipate their energy then they will be resigned to inaction.

 

14.  Men seldom have any real or lasting success before the age of 40 because of their inability to control the sexual urge. Before the age of 40, most men dissipate their energies in physical expression. As they get older (or more mature), they see that there are better uses of their energy then the mere physical expression.

 

15.  Narcotics and Alcohol also act as stimulation for the creative expression, but they are poor and destructive substitutes.

 

16.  People who are able to focus their sexual transmutation to high levels are also some of the most charismatic people. They have a personal magnetism that cannot be ignored.

 

17.  The urge of sex has been a subject that the majority of people have been woefully ignorant. Instead of something to be cultivated for good, it has been a subject for shame. It has become the playground for the deviants—not to be mentioned in polite conversation. Sex is such a taboo in normal conversation that it has become a mystery to normal people. With the shroud of mystery come curiosity and the desire for knowledge and experimentation.

 

18.  People with highly sexual tendencies are looked upon as cursed instead of blessed. If they were able to re-channel their energies into something productive think of the wondrous accomplishments they could achieve.

 

19.  Intelligent use is the only way. Excessive stimulation of sex, narcotics and alcohol will destroy the vital organs and the brain. A sex addict has no control over willpower or their ability to reason. When someone does something out of the urge for sex and sex alone, their actions are disorganized, distorted and usually destructive. When consumed with the unbridled passion for sex, a man will lie, cheat, steal and murder.

 

20.  The main reason for the success of older men in transmuting the energy of sex has to do with their ability to temper it with the emotion of love. When someone is driven by sexual urges for action—they will take massive action but it is often uncontrollable. When mixed with love the result is calmness and poise, accuracy of judgment, and balance.

 

 

 

0 comments

You Will Fail.

It is a fact of life, an inevitability.

If you decide to take action you will fail. You will fail more times than you will ever succeed.

In this 3rd part of 5, we will explore some of Napoleon Hill’s views on failure, imagination,  persistence and how these terms relate to leadership.

We start first with imagination:

 

1.  Man’s only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination. There are two types of imagination: Synthetic and Creative.

2.  Synthetic imagination allows one to arrange old concepts, ideas and plans into new combinations. I think this best described as innovation.

3.  Creative imagination is the link to “Infinite Intelligence”.  It is where we get our inspiration in the middle of the night or our hunches that something might be a certain way. Don’t get hung up on theories of the divine. I am sure everyone has had a creative breakthrough at least once in their lives.

4.  The use of our imagination is a skill that can be developed. It involves thinking and daydreaming though—two skills that are frowned upon by modern society.

5.  No individual has sufficient experience, education, native ability, and knowledge to insure the accumulation of great fortune, without the cooperation of other people.

6.  You will fail. No one will ever accomplish anything amazing without first experiencing temporary defeat.

7.  Do not keep company with people who take defeat too seriously. Failure is a great tool as long as we take the time to learn from it.

8.  There are two types of people in the world—leaders and followers. The difference in compensation is vast. A follower cannot expect to get the same compensation as the leader even though many make the mistake in thinking that they are entitled to it.

9.  There is nothing wrong with being a follower but there is no credit to it.

10.  The person who cannot control his or herself cannot expect to ever control others.

11.  You must plan your work and then work your plan.

12.  One of the penalties of a leader is that you must do more than you require from your followers.

13.  The leader must assume responsibility for not only his or her own actions, but also for everything his or her organization does or fails to do.

14.  There are thirty major reasons for failure:

a.       Unfavorable Hereditary Background

b.      Lack of Well Defined Purpose in Your Life

c.       Lack of Ambition to Aim Above Mediocrity

d.      Insufficient Education

e.      Lack of Self-Discipline

f.        Ill Health

g.       Unfavorable Environmental Influences During Childhood

h.      Procrastination

i.         Lack of Persistence

j.        Negative Personality

k.       Lack of Controlled Sexual Urge

l.         Uncontrolled Desire for “Something For Nothing”

m.    Lack of a Well Defined Power of Decision

n.      One or More of the Six Basic Fears

o.      Wrong Selection of a Mate in Marriage

p.      Over Caution

q.      Wrong Selection of Associates in Business

r.        Superstition and Prejudice

s.        Wrong Selection of Vocation

t.        Lack of Concentration of Effort

u.      The Habit of Indiscriminate Spending

v.       Lack of Enthusiasm

w.     Intolerance

x.       Intemperance

y.       Inability to Cooperate With Others

z.       Possession of Power That Was Not Acquired Through Self Effort

aa.   Intentional Dishonesty

bb.  Egotism and Vanity

cc.    Guessing Instead of Thinking

dd.  Lack of Capital

 

15.  Lack of Decision is always at the forefront of Failure. Procrastination is the opposite of decision. If you never get your butt off the couch and into action, then you cannot feel bad when you do not accomplish much.

16.  Without Persistence you will be defeated before you start. With persistence you will win.

17.  Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage. You just have to look out for it rather than feel sorry for yourself.

18.  The key to having persistence is in both knowing what exactly it is that you want and why exactly you want it. Most people quit     when they don’t know why they are doing something.

 

0 comments

 

I originally had plans to go through the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill bit by bit and give a Cliff’s Notes version for everyone to see.

 

While I think that potentially hold value and may prove to be an entertaining read, I figured I would just cut to the chase and give you actionable stuff right now.

 

I’m not going to go through the first part again. For that you can reference my previous post, What I am Learning from “Think and Grow Rich”, Part One.

 

In addition, to make it a little bit easier, I am breaking it up into four smaller posts each containing about 20 points per post.

 

Here are the first 21 amazing ideas I got from Napoleon Hill’s Landmark book “Think and Grow Rich”.

1. Having Faith is important in the quest for “riches”. You need it in order to properly visualize the steps you may take on the way to achieving your goals. Most people get caught up on the word “Faith”, confusing it with having to believe something supernatural. I prefer to use the definition “to trust that something will be true despite lack of evidence”. You need to trust that you will not only take action to achieve your goals, but that you will achieve them in the end.

 

2. If you just read the chapter once, Hill’s explanation of the development of Faith is rather out there and very “woo woo- new age hippie”. Faith is described as emotion needed to jumpstart the Law of Attraction into action, where your dominant thoughts will align with the vibrations of the Universe and you and your deepest desires will become attracted to each other. Kind of the basis for most of the self-help scams out there. Don’t get caught up in sitting back in your underwear waiting for a red bicycle to magically show up at your door. You actually have to get off your ass and do some work.

 

3. Faith can be developed by a process Hill calls “Auto-Suggestion”, a process of repeating or installing beliefs on a daily basis so that the belief will become deeply ingrained into the sub-conscious mind. Eventually those repetitive thoughts will translate into action. I think a better way to think about this is that you will “Brainwash” yourself until you develop a new habitual way of thinking, then that will lead to more effective action taking. Think Pavlov, not Woo Woo.

 

4. Once these newly installed habitual beliefs become habit, the Reticular Activating System kicks in and you start to notice all the stuff out there that was always there but you were not trained to see. You will actually be amazed at how blind you really were.

 

5. The development of “Faith” translates into self-confidence because if you are concentrating on what you do want, you are too busy to focus on what you don’t want. A good exercise to engage in is to sit down and write out on a piece of paper all the crap that is in your life that stresses you out. Once you see all the psychological trash out in front of you it is easier to focus on next actions instead of overwhelm.

 

6. If you fill your mind with a bunch of crap from TV, the news, gossip, or the internet then you will start to think in those terms. You will be the same person you are today five years from now with the exception of two things: the books you read and the people you meet. This means you form the habits of tomorrow by the way you study and implement knowledge today. It is also absolutely important that you surround yourself with people that will hold you to a higher standard. If you study crap and hang out with bums, then your path is set on a collision course for failure. If you study abundance and hang out with smart achievers, then the probability of success goes up exponentially.

 

7. One person with unshakeable faith in what they are doing will always attract others to help out. We all want to be part of something bigger. We usually fall in line with someone with a grand vision of a brighter future. Once you develop faith in yourself and what you are doing, it will be easier to get talented people to work with you. If you are crystal clear on what you want, then you generally know what needs to be done. Although most people would not admit to it, we usually hate making decisions and love it when someone steps up to make them for us.

 

8. Faith in action has the potential of a snowball rolling downhill. As long as you do not let your psychological trash stop your momentum by taking your eye off the prize, you will start a self-perpetuating cycle that will only make you stronger.

 

9. Think Pavlov, Not Woo Woo: What I Am Learning From Think And Grow Rich-Part Two  There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge to be true. Guard how you think, because your actions are the offspring of thought. Do your thoughts come from your own design or from someone else’s? Remember, people are paid Billions of dollars to study you, find out what manipulates you and then tell you what actions you need to take to be “happy”. Make sure you are walking down the road of your choosing.

 

10. We have the power to have Absolute Control over our thought process. It’s true.  Do not think that this means we actually exercise control. Generally, we are a bunch of lazy bastards who love our TV. We hate to think for ourselves.

 

11. The only way habitual thoughts get into your head is by repetition. You either take the time to decide what you believe or all the noise of modern society will decide for you.

 

12. The only way to truly achieve anything is by knowing what you want, forming a plan to get it, and taking massive action despite all the obstacles you will face. Nobody said it would be easy.

 

13. Don’t wait for a “definitive” plan on how to do something. Form as good of a plan as you can and then adjust from there. Ready, Fire, Aim.

 

14. Visualize your goals as if you already have achieved them, as if you are already the person you wish to become every day. The more you exercise Faith, the stronger it will become.

 

15. There are two types of knowledge: General and Specialized. It does not matter how much you learn if you do not have a system to organize the use of the knowledge. Colleges and Universities have access to all the knowledge in the world but rarely do you see a financially independent professor.

 

16. Knowledge by itself is not power. Only when knowledge is organized and intelligently directed through Plans of Action to the Definite End will it have power.

 

17. The school systems are broken because we teach people how to acquire knowledge but not how to direct it towards the attainment of something.

 

18. The accumulation of great fortunes calls for POWER, and power is obtained through highly organized and intelligently directed specialized knowledge. The knowledge does not need to be in the possession of the person who accumulates the fortune.

 

19. The person who can organize and direct a “Mastermind” group of people who possess knowledge useful in the accumulation of money (Or achievement of great things) is just as much a man of education as any person in the group.

 

20. Your major definite purpose or goal will provide a guidepost in helping you determine what sort of specialized knowledge you need. You have the choice of developing the knowledge yourself or getting it from someone else (in the form of freelance or mastermind).

 

21. Knowledge has no value except that which can be gained through its application to some worthy end. There is a reason why so many people with college degrees cannot find jobs. A diploma only represents general knowledge. No employer cares about general knowledge—an important lesson most of us still have not learned.

 

 

Coming very soon…What I am Learning From Think and Grow Rich- Part Three

 

 

 

 


2 comments