Sunday, February 27, 2011

Success or Failure: The Choice Is Yours

By Rich Schefren

In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a thought experiment known today as "Schrödinger's Cat."

Schrödinger asks us to imagine a cat inside a box. The box also holds a mechanism that could - but might not - kill the cat. The box is constructed in such a way that no one can see the cat. Likewise, there's no way to know if the deadly mechanism has detonated.

Because there's no way to determine whether the cat has been killed, it is equally possible that the cat is alive or dead. In a sense, the cat is simultaneously alive AND dead.

Only when the box is opened will we know for sure what has become of the cat.

In some ways, your dream of a fulfilling, successful life is like that cat.

Sounds like a stretch, doesn't it? Well bear with me for a minute...

You see, every day, you make dozens of choices. What you do, how you act, what you read, who you talk to, what you eat for breakfast, how you treat your prospects and customers, what you say to your team... and on and on.

Everything you do or don't do every day either moves you toward success or away from it.

But the thing is, it's likely that you don't know which direction you're heading in. I call this the Delay Between Cause and Effect. Most of the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make each day don't result in immediate feedback. There's a delay. So, whether you make the right choice or the wrong choice doesn't make a noticeable difference immediately.

That's why - like Schrödinger's Cat - your dreams are both alive AND dead at the same time. It won't be until some point in the future when you "open the box" that you'll discover whether you've achieved the success you dream of... or need to start from scratch.

As I said before, in some ways, your dreams are like Schrödinger's cat. But in other ways, they are completely different.

For instance, your dreams are not dependent on a random mechanism inside a sealed box. You can take specific actions to help ensure that you achieve the success you long for. You can direct your destiny.

You Can Choose Success with Every Action You Take

It may seem to you that today is much like yesterday. It isn't. It is different. Every day is.

Appearances are almost always deceiving. In life, you never stay in the same place.

Which means that today you are either closer to your goals or you are further away. Period. The delay between cause and effect is always there, working behind the scenes. And right now it's either helping you or hurting you.

Now, let's apply this daily reality to your entire life: Right now, the journey of your life is following one of two paths. One path curves upward toward success, the other curves downward toward failure. The best way I've ever seen this reality described is with the following diagram...

Notice, there are no straight lines. Every entrepreneur's life and business is either improving or declining. You're either curving upward or downward.

So, the question is: Which way are you headed?

Not sure? Perhaps in the middle, you say? Sorry.

There is no middle. You are either going up or going down.

The early part of both curves is fairly flat, so it can certainly look like you're moving along on a nice, even keel, heading neither up nor down. But appearances are deceiving until it's too late.

Often times it's easier to figure out where you stand by looking at the subcategories of your life. In other words, look at which path you are on in each important area of your life and business.

On a personal level:

- Your relationships are either improving - growing deeper and richer... or degrading... growing more stale and distant...

- Your health is either building day by day, or it's ebbing away slowly...

- You're either getting smarter - more knowledgeable, more skilled, and more capable - or you're getting dumber...

- Your finances are either improving - taking you closer to security and financial freedom - or the days and/or the dollars are slipping away, driving you closer to dependence and the poor-house...

On a business level:

- You either know your prospects' mindset better - their beliefs, frustrations, and dreams - or you're more out of touch with the people who have final authority on whether or not your business dreams come true...

- Your products and services are either improving or they're falling behind your competitors...

- Your marketing is either getting better - getting more customers to spend more money more often - or your competitors are receiving a greater share of their wallet...

- Your overall business is either growing - getting all the necessary conditions in place - or it's simply getting closer to going out of business because you're sacrificing the essential to chase the non-essential...

This is too important to simply know and understand the concept. So let's take a moment to get very honest with yourself. Check the box that corresponds to the curve each area of your life and business is on right now. Which ones are on the success curve and which ones are on the failure curve?

How's that for a wake-up call?

If you are honest with yourself, I'm sure you realize you could be doing better. And that can be either good or bad news. It all depends on what you decide to do about it.

You see, if you decide this essay is really a wake-up call - that you can do better - and you decide to start doing things the right way immediately, then you are on the right path.

Make the right choices... Constantly strive to improve rather than decline... And you can ensure that when you "open the box," your dreams will be alive and well.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 Things You Don't Know About Working From Home

1. You'll suddenly realize that housewives are totally busy people -with hardly any breaks.
2. You'll be challenged not to work because your cute baby is staring at you, saying "play!".
3. You'll be asked constantly, "What do you want to eat today" by your spouse.
4. If you're not careful, that DVD collection will be your #1 distraction from work.
5. You don't remember when was the last time you took a bath/shaved.
6. You're suddenly more interested in nice looking shorts and pajamas in the mall.
7. Your cellphone isn't getting much use unlike before.
8. When you walk to the neighborhood park, pool, all you see are yayas and their wards.
9. When it rains, you're happy you're indoors and won't be going anywhere!
10. In the hot months, you're happy that you can afford an aircon for your room!

So there it is --the honest good and bad. Find out how you can work from your nice bahay --even if you're already abroad:

Nilo M. Sarmiento

P.S. Don't worry, this is no s-c-*a-m. I know the guy. Read and judge for yourself:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Give "All" Your Advertising And Marketing a HUGE B-O-O-S-T in Response

By Bill Glazer

Before I became a coach & consultant to small business owners, sales professionals and internet marketers, I was running the family owned menswear business when a disaster struck.

To be honest, it could have been a disaster. Instead, it was an OUTRAGEOUS success.

Here's what happened. I came into the store one morning and discovered a sprinkler had malfunctioned and we had three inches of water in the store. I called the insurance company and made a quick settlement and then I realized I had a lot of merchandise but most of it wasn't really damaged. Yet I had to liquidate it... F-A-S-T!!!

So I wrote an advertisement and I put in all the facts.

Imagine that. I was so OUTRAGEOUS that I used facts!

The facts were these: I had a sprinkler malfunction, I made a quick settlement and now I needed to sell merchandise... fast! I put the name of the insurance company and the policy number and other settlement information in the ad so that readers would understand this was real.

I also presented the ad as an advertorial - meaning it was designed to look like an actual newspaper story (see below). Thus, surrounded by real news, the ad looked like real news. So not only was I presenting the facts; I was presenting them as news. News you, the reader, needed to know.

I had a great sale but here is the truly OUTRAGEOUS part. The insurance adjustor who handled my case saw my ad and wanted to know why I didn't put his name in there. So I ran another ad telling the story of my insurance guy and the best part is - he paid for the ad!

Yes, that's O-U-T-R-A-G-E-O-U-S!

Here's an interesting fact about the Sprinkler Malfunction story and why I used an advertorial. I used an advertorial because they are read three times more often than other types of ads.

But why is that?

That's the beauty of OUTRAGEOUS Advertising. You don't need to know why. You only need to know that it works. These are not guesses I am presenting you. These are proven OUTRAGEOUS techniques that work.

Why do they work?

It works because people notice OUTRAGEOUS things.

Why do it? Because everything else is boring, and there is a lot of it out there. Each day, you may think you see 20, 30, maybe 40 advertising and marketing messages - but the truth is that each person each day is exposed to about 3,700 marketing and sales messages. Thus, your job, as an advertiser, is to stand out among that clutter. Yes, each person sees 3,700 or so marketing and sales messages every single day. Most, we don't even notice because they are boring.

Cutting through that clutter and boredom is not easy - unless, of course, you are OUTRAGEOUS.

The Gage Menswear Sprinkler
Malfunction OUTRAGEOUS Ad

Stand Out or Get Thrown Out!

The competition for attention is intense. As a consumer, you know that, and you know what gets your attention.

Facts are hard to ignore and the facts are these:

- People are bored
- People are overwhelmed
- People like to be amused

You can be like everybody else and be treated like everybody else. Or you can be OUTRAGEOUS.

Think about the biggest day for advertisers in America - the Super Bowl. What happens? People watch the biggest football game of the year, and they watch the commercials. Why is everyone interested in the commercials? Because they are OUTRAGEOUS, and people love OUTRAGEOUS advertising!

The best part can be OUTRAGEOUS without spending Super Bowl money. People will love you and you'll earn super money!

7 Steps to Apply OUTRAGEOUS Advertising in Your Business and Your Life

Step #1: Understanding that everything you do to advertise and market your business can be OUTRAGEOUS. In fact, I've found that OUTRAGEOUS Advertising works in every media there is from Offline to Online. It doesn't matter!

Step #2: Understanding that you are NOT your customer: Whenever I deliver a seminar on OUTRAGEOUS Advertising there is always somebody who approaches me after I finish speaking with..."Bill, I love your kind of advertising, but it won't work in my business because my customers or clients, or patients, or prospects are too sophisticated for that kind of advertising."

While I seldom get into a heated discussion over it, they are typically dead wrong. They're wrong for the same reasons that I mentioned earlier in this article. Their customers, like everybody else's customers, are bored and overwhelmed with the advertising they see and generally like to be amused.

Step #3: Train your brain to look for ideas in "obvious" places. In chapter '4' in my book, OUTRAGEOUS Advertising that's Outrageously Successful, I show the "now" somewhat famous Diner Placement mailer that I created for my Menswear stores. This idea came to me when I was sitting in a Diner having dinner with my wife.

The truth is you can receive inspiration for your OUTRAGEOUS Advertising in just about anything that you encounter in your everyday life if you train yourself to constantly be on the lookout for it.

Step #4: Train your brain to look for ideas in "unobvious" places. I thought of ideas for creating OUTRAGEOUS Advertising while I was riding a Donkey in Santorini, Greece and riding on a Camel in the Negev Desert in Israel.

The important point is that you can get inspiration for OUTRAGEOUS Advertising ideas anywhere and everywhere if you are constantly thinking of how you can use them.

Step #5: EVERYTHING can be OUTRAGEOUS including YOU! Throughout my book you'll see example after example of how people position their businesses OUTRAGEOUSLY, position their products and services OUTRAGEOUSLY, and position themselves OUTRAGEOUSLY.

The point is, don't limit your thinking about OUTRAGEOUS Advertising. Once again it can be anything and anyone.

Step #6: S & D: This is a concept that is so powerful that I wrote an entire Chapter (Chapter 10) in my book about it titled: Swiping Ideas and Deploying Them Into your Business. The important thing is that even if you don't consider yourself creative or you can't find ideas to apply OUTRAGEOUS Advertising as I suggest in Steps #3 & #4 above, you can S & D (Swipe and Deploy) them from others.

Step #7: Discover that OUTRAGEOUS Advertising is FUN! This is one of the biggest bonuses to applying OUTRAGEOUS Advertising. You'll find out very shortly after you apply it that not only will your customer love it, but you'll find it to be the one thing that you do in your business that you'll enjoy doing more than anything else (with the possible exception of making the extra income that the OUTRAGEOUS Advertising brings to you.)

This was true in my retail menswear stores and it's still true in my Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle marketing company. Sure my customers and now Members are always looking forward to the next piece of OUTRAGEOUS Advertising that comes from me, but I really find it fun to think of or discover the next one that I create.

Now don't get me wrong. My menswear stores were hugely successful as my marketing company is today, but I no longer think of the how much money I make. I just know that by applying OUTRAGEOUS Advertising that's OUTRAGEOUSLY Successful, the money will come and I have a great time figuring out how to attract it.