Thursday, 11:07 AM
I just tore into my Dan Kennedy newsletters for the month.
Not only did I get some inspirational material to swipe for the welcome webinar with my new Kitchen Table Business proteges… I also ran across THIS in Dan's Marketing To The Affluent newsletter:
It's always nice to be recognized by your peers… especially someone like Dan Kennedy.
Anyhoo… here are the lessons of the day:
When other people say how great you are, it carries a lot more credibility than you saying it.
In fact, if you have to say you're a "great copywriter" in every issue of your newsletter and blog… you wind up looking like a braggart with low self esteem issues.
And saying you're an "excellent copywriter" is a pretty good indicator you're not. The truly great ones never have to say it. Their work (and other credible people) say it for them.
So a big thank you (again!) to Dan Kennedy.
It feels really good to be recognized by the very person responsible for me getting into this crazy direct response business.
I hope you experience something like that soon.
P.S. My blog has attracted some of the coolest, sharpest and most astute entrepreneurs, marketers and copywriters from around the world. The real DOERS. (Or soon to be doers.)
The flaky, do-nothing, thumb-sucking, whine and blame the world, take no personal responsibility critic types seem to wash out VERY quickly… thank GOD!
To be totally transparent with you, I purposely do things to repel them… as fast as possible. I don't want the rest of us to catch whatever it is they're infected with.
The simple fact that you're reading this right now is a pretty good indicator you're one of the winners.
And I'm glad you're here.
Thursday, 9:28 PM
I received an offer yesterday from someone who wants to buy one of my "kitchen table" businesses for one million dollars.
Yup… a cool million.
A "1" with six zeroes after it.
One MILLION dollars. (Spoken in my best Dr. Evil accent.)
Now I realize that the gaggle of gurus will laugh at that as "small change". After all, those guys allegedly make that per MINUTE on the Internet. But dag nabbit, for a poor kid from a broken home in Barberton, Ohio… that's still a lot of money.
So I celebrated like there's no tomorrow.
I ordered a Domino's pizza (they had a $5 discount coupon when ordering online) and drank grape Crush cola… or "pop" as we call it in Ohio.
What a great day… and what a feeling.
I woke up the next morning and promptly declined the offer.
You think I'm kidding?
I'm as serious as a heart attack. I literally said "NO" to a million dollars.
I'll tell you why in just a minute.
It sounds pretty good though, doesn't it? Start a little entrepreneurial project from your kitchen table with nothing but your wits, a notepad and a pen… and then sell it for a million dollars.
Wow! And to think I started with only…
(If this were an episode of "Family Guy" here's where the flashback would start.)
I started this particular "kitchen table" business back in 2004 in a tiny one bedroom apartment with no furniture in a bad neighborhood in Miami, Florida. I was so broke at that time I didn't know if I could pay my $750 rent.
True story. I almost (I said ALMOST) took a J-O-B to try and pay the rent.
Geez, I haven't thought about this in a long time and a lot of emotions are starting to flood back.
Damn good thing you're not here in person right now. Doberman Dan doesn't cry but his eyeballs are sweating a little bit.
Where was I?
I Almost Had To Take a J-O-B.
(Just the mention of that word makes my stomach turn!)
Here's what happened…
I had been hanging and working with the Prince of Print, Gary Halbert, since early 2003. We had a "sugar daddy" client back then with lots of work and thought that gravy train would continue for a long time.
The gravy train ended fast.
So there I was in a brand new city with nothing but my laptop and the clothes on my back.
See, I had been living in Costa Rica and never planned on moving back to the states. Halbert talked me into abandoning my home in Costa Rica to move back to work with him. He was a damn good salesman!
While I was relocating to Miami, all my belongings were stolen from storage in Costa Rica.
So there I was in Miami with no money, no income, no possessions, no clients… and my new bride who had just arrived from Colombia.
Things didn't look too good for DD.
But I'd kept my pulse on what was hot in the musclehead market. And back in 2004 there were some new supplements that were all the rage.
You're thinking your hero DD dove in and started working feverishly to write copy for a new business, right?
To be completely transparent… I was scared.
I had no income and the "wolves were at the door".
I needed some income FAST. And I had to accept whatever was available at the time to get some money coming in.
At that moment, it was a sales job at Guitar Center.
There's No "Plan B" For Me…
I don't have any rich relatives that are going to leave me money.
I absolutely refuse to accept anything from any looting socialist commie blood-sucking government agency.
There is no pension fund to bail me out and give me a pension for some bullshit "disability"… like many of my former co-workers with no balls and no integrity.
There are no bailouts and no backup plans for DD.
My only security is ME.
The only "helping hands" are the ones at the end of my own two arms.
Like so many times before, I had to man up and do whatever it took to survive.
So off to work I went for my first day's training at Guitar Center.
The people there were really nice… and surprisingly ambitious.
It was kinda funny. On my very first day of training the manager already had me pegged to manage a new Guitar Center they were opening in the area.
During a break from training, I pulled one of the top salesmen aside to pick his brain. I asked how much he typically sold each month and what his commissions were.
He told me he had sold about $50,000 worth of gear the previous month. And had made less than $2,000 in commissions!
I couldn't get out of that place fast enough… and I never went back.
I went home to my crappy apartment in that scary neighborhood, sat down on the inflatable mattress in the living room (the only "furniture" we had) and cried like a baby.
I felt like such a loser.
I decided right then and there I would do whatever it took to be financially independent.
I unplugged the phone, took the batteries out of the clock, closed the blinds so I didn't know if it was day or night… and worked non-stop until I had a killer sales letter for those new bodybuilding supplements.
With the last few hundred dollars of credit I had on my Visa, I threw some Google adwords traffic at my new online sales letter.
And guess what…
It Worked Like Gangbusters!
In a very short time I went from broke with no income, to making a really strong 5-figure income every month.
That business took a major nosedive in early 2005 when the feds decided to reclassify those products and ban them from sale. At that point I started doing client work again.
When one of my clients at the time (one of the gaggle of gurus) screwed me over and didn't pay me for some copy I wrote for him, I decided I would focus on my little business again.
It didn't take long to get things rolling again. At one point the business grew so fast I had to put the brakes on and stop rolling out. The fulfillment center literally could not keep up. And my merchant account was having a cow because they had never seen a 1,300% increase in sales in less than 5 months. I got on a first name basis with everybody in their security department.
By the way… if you ever experience that kind of quantum leap growth in your business, your merchant account is going to start freaking out. Just expect it.
When you see that happening it's best to preempt it and start calling them to explain what's going on. If they call you first it usually turns out to be bad for you.
When I was in the midst of my quantum leap growth, I called the security department every day and got to know everybody there as well as I could. I asked about their families, where they were from, how many kids they had, hobbies, etc.
So my first call of the day was always to the merchant account security department. No matter who answered I could always say, "Hi John. How did the fishing trip with your son Jimmy go this weekend? What?! He caught a 12 lb. bass? Awesome! Yadda yadda yadda."
I think that's why they didn't shut me down and freeze my account… because that's what they were originally going to do.
Be very, very nice and patient with the folks working at your merchant account company. They have the power to really hurt you.
After a while though, there was simply no way around it. I had to stop rolling out and drastically slow down the growth. My infrastructure simply couldn't handle it… and my merchant account was going to shut me down and freeze my account.
I PRAY you have problems like that some day. It was one of the most exciting things I've ever done in this crazy direct response business.
After experiencing my quantum leap in that business I basically left things like they were and took the next two years off. It was AWESOME!
I only needed about 30 to 60 minutes, three days a week to keep things humming along. And the business actually grew a little over those two years.
I goofed off a lot, traveled, spent a lot of time playing guitar with several bands. I worked on a CD of original music (that I WILL finish in 2010) and hired some of the top "A list" studio musicians from Los Angeles and New York to play on it.
Boy, did I enjoy my two years off!
But all good things must come to an end. After two years of basically ignoring that business, sales started to slow down a little. Of course, the economy has a lot to do with it… but you can't ignore a business forever and expect it to grow.
So this year was time to go back to work.
I know the bodybuilding market like nobody's business. Bob Kennedy, the publisher of MuscleMag International, says I'm the best copywriter he's ever met in that niche. I completely "resonate" with that market.
I would HOPE so. I've been writing copy in that market in one form or another since 1995.
But I also want to stretch out and work in some different markets. So I recently made the decision I'm going to start accepting a handful of select clients in various markets.
And if the opportunity comes up, I'll sell my bodybuilding business and totally focus on writing copy and increasing sales for other people.
Shortly after making those decisions, word leaked out about both those things… accepting clients again and possibly selling my bodybuilding business.
The first thing that happened was I got booked for copywriting gigs immediately in November and December… and the first three months of 2010.
And yesterday I received the million dollar offer.
If all that is any kind of indication, 2010 is gonna be a good year.
So you're probably dying to know why I turned down a million fungolas, aren't you?
It wasn't the price.
It Was The Terms.
I think the correct technical phrase that properly describes the terms proposed is… they "suck out loud".
(If something sucks, that's pretty bad. "Sucks out loud" is "sucks" on steroids.)
The buyer made the offer contingent upon me working on marketing and writing copy exclusively for them. They wanted me to sign a non-compete agreement for five years!
Let me think about that for just a mi…
Oh well… you can't blame the guy for trying. Bob Kennedy told him he should do whatever it takes to get an exclusive with me.
But I don't want to "get married" right now. I want to date around.
So there's no million dollar pay day for DD this Christmas.
But there's no reason you can't create a kitchen table business, live well off it for several years and then sell it for a million dollars or more.
In fact, I'd really like to see you do that.
And right now there's only one thing keeping you from doing that…
It's your butt. It's not in motion.
Motion Beats Meditation!
Take 30 minutes right now and get started on something.
Maybe in a couple years I'll be reading your blog post about your multi-million dollar buyout offer.
That would make me really happy.
All the best,
P.S. I still have a few client spots left for 2010… but they're filling up fast. If you don't book me soon you'll probably miss out.
Click here to contact me about your project. I'm really picky about who I work with and I turn down a lot of client work. But it's worth a shot at least exploring the option of working together. Who knows… we might click.
"Gentlemen, this is a football."
– Vince Lombardi
I know a little bit about weight training.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to do much since breaking my L-5 vertebra in my lower back last year and rupturing three disks.
But I do know how to gain muscle and lose fat. (I would hope so. I've been working in the musclehead niche for 15 years!)
It's a weird niche.
The truth is, building muscle and strength isn't all that complicated.
You need to lift heavy weights and eat a lot of the right foods.
It's pretty simple.
I didn't say easy… just simple.
But you can't sell a bodybuilding system that says "lift heavy weights regularly and eat a lot of food."
People don't want to hear that. They want to hear there's some kind of sexy new secret, shortcut, magic pill, etc.
Releasing my first Doberman Dan product last week has been a learning experience. I really didn't expect to run into the same mindset as the bodybuilding market… but it's there.
I discovered that the Internet Marketing, direct response marketing, copywriting, and "how to make money" niches have a lot in common with bodybuilding.
In both markets what REALLY works is tried and true principles. But apparently the market doesn't want to hear the truth.
That's why all these Internet Marketing gurus have to INVENT new techniques with sexy names in order to sell more and more products.
Another Gary Halbert Story…
One of Gary Halbert's other protégés told me this story. (It was either Caleb O'Dowd or Scott Haines… I can't remember.)
Halbert went to a seminar a couple years back with a bunch of different break out sessions. There was everything from beginning mail order sessions to the ultra-complicated direct mail regression analysis.
Guess which one Halbert went to?
The beginning mail order class.
Now Halbert had been writing copy for almost 40 years at that point. He had penned some of the biggest winners in the entire history of mail order.
Why would he go to a beginners mail order class?
Gary said that if he was forgetting something, there was a 99% chance it was in the basics.
The Great Vince Lombardi
The great football coach Vince Lombardi began every new season with a lecture to both the veterans and the rookies on the basics of football.
He literally held up a football and said, "This is a football."
He talked about its size and shape, how it can be kicked, carried, or passed.
He would then take the team out onto the field and say, "This is a football field."
He took them around the field, describing the dimensions, the shape, the rules, and how the game is played.
Apparently he did that every year… even after the Green Bay Packers became NFL champs and won the first two Super Bowls ever played.
Can you imagine how "basic" and boring that must have sounded to his veteran players?
Apparently Lombardi believed that no matter how advanced his veteran players were, they still needed to be coached in the basics.
Maybe that explains why Vince Lombardi was one of the most successful coaches in the history of football.
Do you really KNOW it?
You see, there are a lot of "experts" on the web sharing their "knowledge".
Their "knowledge" consists of parroting stuff they've heard other people say… or stuff they've read in a book.
Or worse, parroting what they've read online from another person parroting stuff they've heard other people say.
Everything I share with you on this site is stuff I've LIVED. I've got the battle scars to prove it.
Sure, I originally discovered the principles and concepts from books, seminars or other people. But I didn't start really learning it until I started DOING it.
Whenever I hear somebody say they already know what I'm teaching… that almost always means they may have heard it or read it before… but they've never actually DONE it.
And if you haven't done it… you don't know it.
A lot of people in this niche think they know the basics so they go off chasing the next latest and greatest "secret".
And there's no shortage of people willing to sell them their "marketing fantasy" for big bucks.
Unfortunately these poor souls are off chasing fantasies that are never going to work.
If Gary Halbert spent his career focusing on the basics, what makes you think you don't have to?
The 3 Ways To Make Money
Like I said in my Master Success Formula, there are really only 3 ways to make money and build your business.
97% of business owners only focus on one out of the three. The few that "get it" and focus equally on all three experience quantum leap increases in income.
But let me be totally transparent with you…
The Master Success Formula is not sexy. It's not a "magic pill".
It's based on decades of tried and true principles that flat out WORK.
The bad news is… it requires work. (Gasp!)
Yup, you gotta implement the Master Success Formula (or any basic marketing principle, for that matter) if you want the results.
If you just read it or study it, then you don't really know it.
I've noticed a lot of the younger guys and newbies in this niche (especially the ones that are IM guru disciples) don't really know the direct response basics.
They're always off chasing fantasies looking for the newest "secrets".
The truth is, there are very, very few new discoveries and secrets in direct response marketing.
In fact, you can learn the basics of direct response in a weekend.
And it will only take you a lifetime to master it.
So stop chasing fantasies and buying into the "magic pill" myth.
Focus on the direct response basics. They'll take you where you want to go.
If it's good enough for Gary Halbert, it's good enough for the rest of us.
All the best,
During our recent teleseminar, a very successful "Mr. X" online marketer in a competitive consumer niche revealed several successful methods he uses to research markets online. It's worked out very well for him.
I think online market research tools like the Google Adwords keyword tool definitely have some merit.
But when I'm looking for a hot market to develop and sell products to, I want to know that there are BUYERS… people who have actually "voted with their wallets". And I want to know EXACTLY how many buyers there really are.
Don't get me wrong… it is helpful to find out there were 250,000 people searching for your keyword on Google last month. But how many of those people were just looking for free info and how many actually BOUGHT something? You can't find that out with Google.
Wouldn't it suck to invest a lot of time and money developing a product for a market with a lot of keyword searches… only to later find out those people were cheap bastards searching for free info… and very few are willing whip it out (their credit card, that is) and actually BUY something?
That's why I'm revealing one of my closely guarded secrets for finding groups of people with money burning a hole in their pockets, that have proven they will buy your products.
I've never seen any of the current crop of Internet Marketing gurus teach this. Probably because they don't know about it… but it's the jealously guarded secret of the richest direct marketers in the world.
BTW, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I've recently been revealing ALL the secrets to finding HUGE markets in upward growth trends and how to take tap into the money already flowing there to get really rich, really FAST.
It is the best way I know to make a LOT of money (even MILLIONS) very, very quickly.
And I'm going to give you a brief glimpse of this secret right now…
BTW, if you want to discover ALL my secrets to starting a business that allows you to make a lot of money very quickly… and how you can get more new customers in the next 90 days than you've gotten in the past 2 YEARS for your existing business… click here now.