Category: Success mindset

The Lonely Path To Success

Wednesday, 10:38 PM

Dear Friend,

I got an e-mail a couple days ago that warmed my heart.

Direct response copywriter, Colin Chung was a member of my Kitchen Table Business (KTB) coaching program I ran a couple years ago.

Back then he had a really good grasp of direct response and how to write compelling copy (he has gotten a LOT better since then, too)… so he excelled in my KTB program.

Since then he has gone on to focus on his freelance copywriting career and has earned the privilege of working with some pretty "big dogs" in our interesting little world of direct response/online marketing.

It's always encouraging to me when I kick my baby birds out of the nest and get to watch them soar to new heights.

Imagine my delight when I heard Colin and his growing family was…

Read more ...

Donner the Doberman Speaks

Monday, 10:07 PM

Dear Human Friend,

I'm Donner the Doberman.

Dad's asleep on the couch but forgot to log out of WordPress… so I've hijacked the computer and am typing my first post.

Not too bad for someone without fingers, huh?

You've seen me before, haven't you? Daddy has a picture on this website of him holding me when I was just a puppy.

That was a long, long time ago.

On August 18, 2011, Daddy said I turned 13 years old.

I hear him talking on the telephone saying things like I've outlived all my litter-mates by almost 4 years.

I don't really understand that… but I guess it's a good thing.

Our new friend, Dr. Albano says I'm equivalent to a 100 year old man.

Maybe older.

I don't really understand that either… so I ignore it.

13 is just a meaningless number to me. I still run and play outside in the sun every day.

And I like to play and rough-house every morning with my little brother Chiqui Rikki.

(He's just a little pipsqueak Shih Tzu… but since he's been around Dobermans since he was first born, he thinks he's a Doberman. I don't have the heart to tell him he's just a little fluff ball.)

I've been Daddy's best friend since I was just 8 weeks old. He likes to say we've been best pals for more years than he was with his "starter wife" and the Colombiana (so far) combined. That sounds like a long time.

I was born in Myakka City Florida. The very day I turned 8 weeks old, Linda Werlein at Von Asgard Kennels put me in a kennel with my tennis ball, put me on a plane and I traveled all the way to Dayton, Ohio to go live with my Daddy.

I was scared when I first arrived.

After all, they took me away from my mama and my brothers and sisters, put me in the belly of a noisy, cold jet and shipped me to a strange new place.

But Daddy was so excited to see me when I arrived. I'll never forget that.

A few days ago, our new friend, Dr. Albano, told Daddy I have "cancer."

I don't know what that means.

I went back home and played outside with my brother Chiqui.

Daddy went home and cried.

He's been a lot more snuggly with me since then.

I like that.

He hugs me and kisses me on the top of my head and says things like, "Daddy loves you."

And… "you're my best pal in the world."

He's always done that… but he does it a lot more since we saw Dr. Albano.

He seems so sad and worried lately… so I always stay by his side to protect him and keep him from being sad. That's a what a true friend does.

Unfortunately, I may not have much more time to speak with you. You see, tomorrow I go to visit Dr. Albano again in the morning. I am going to have something called a "surgery" for this cancer thing.

I HOPE I can speak with you again but, as my dad says…

"Nobody is promised tomorrow."

So I'm going to take Dad's advice and tell you NOW what I want to tell you.

Please don't wait to live the kind of life you want… because nobody is promised tomorrow.

Please don't put off the accomplishment of your dreams until "tomorrow." Too many tomorrows turn into weeks, then months, then years… then decades. And you rob yourself of the joy you COULD be experiencing during that time… the joy that comes from working every day towards a dream.

As my dad says, it's not the accomplishment of the dream that makes you happy… it's the journey.

One more thing…

Please don't wait to tell the people you care about how you feel about them. Tell them NOW… because nobody is promised tomorrow.

And tell them every day after that, too.

You won't regret that. But you will regret it if you DON'T say it.

And I don't want you to have any regrets. I sincerely want you happy… like I've made my dad happy these past 13 years.

Dr. Albano sent medicine for the pain and to help keep me calm. I took it a while ago and I'm getting sleepy.

So I must go now. (I'm going to dream about chasing tennis balls.)

I hope I have the chance to speak with you again soon… but just in case I don't, let me say this:

Thank you for listening to my dad and following your dreams. It makes him VERY happy when you do that… and when he's happy, I'm happy, too.

So please keep making Dad happy, OK?

All the best,






"Why I'm NOT subscribing to The Doberman Dan Letter"

Wednesday, 12:23 AM

Dear Friend,

I'm still down in Colombia South America on vacation… but no matter what I do, I can't seem to keep from writing.

I'm writing a blog post for you every couple days, finishing up the November issue of The Doberman Dan Letter… revealing some killer "stick" strategies that QUADRUPLED retention in one of my supplement continuity programs… and also working on copy for a new product I'm releasing soon in the health market.

I could just goof off on my vacation if I wanted to. I don't need to do all this stuff for the money. But I HAVE to keep writing… even when I don't want to.

See, the remote possibility that something I write could motivate someone into action and rescue them from a life of quite desperation (like I had before discovering direct response) COMPELS me to keep writing.

I was VERY reluctantly pushed into this role and have fought it every step of the way. But I've now come to accept my fate… just like Gary Halbert did.

I simply CANNOT quit. Even when I try, I'm pulled right back into it… usually in 24 hours or less after "quitting."

Although my blog subscriber list and Doberman Dan Letter paper & ink newsletter subscriber base is starting to grow rapidly… you'd be surprised at how few "you've changed my life" letters I get.

When I do get them, I cherish them.

Just a few weeks ago I got an interesting one.

One of my blog readers, a full-time freelance copywriter, sent an e-mail explaining why he was NOT subscribing to The Doberman Dan Letter.

It was one of the nicest letters I've ever gotten.

I translated it to the Colombiana and she had tears in her eyes. Like me, she sometimes doubts I'm actually reaching anybody… and questions the huge investment of my time into this stuff.

I guess we were BOTH wrong.


Out of the few marketing blogs I do read, let's see, Makepeace doesn't write much anymore, Carlton's good, love Ben Settle's list, there's a few others I dig. Garber is hit or miss but he occasionally amazes me when he's on his game.

But I want you to know why I'm not buying your newsletter

I should be. I'd be chomping at the bit to sign up and waiting like a giddy school girl for it to come in the mail.

And it's completely your fault that I'm not.

You said something that made me feel worse about myself than I've ever felt in my life.

Remember your post a few months ago about taking a vacation from your problems?

Right when you published that (or at least when I read it), I'd just got out of a 6-month relationship that I was miserable in.

I was coming off of an easy 100-hour week busting my ass for a client who had me on a (very nice) retainer.

I read that post at 7am.

I'm 29. Joined the Air Force when I was 20 after realizing I wasn't cut out to deliver pizzas my whole life.

I got out at 24, worked a couple of sales jobs, struggled like crazy, and turned to the Internet full time when I was 25. I still struggled until I was about 26-27, and finally started to develop enough chops and results to have the balls to charge a little more.

I'd been on ONE vacation in my entire life, for 5 days, to Vegas. That was years ago.

I read that post, and I thought to myself "man, I'm making money, but all I do is work and I'm miserable". I realized then and there I was in this business to be fucking happy, to be free, and I wasn't either one.

I hopped on a plane that night for San Diego.

I went back home to Missouri a week later for 5 days to sell my stuff.

I'm writing this from my balcony, I can see the Pacific Ocean from here and it's *fucking amazing.*

I went on vacation and I've been gone for over 3 months.

I've been working about 10-20 hours a week to keep afloat, those bad habits of eating and having a place to sleep at night cost more out here.

But I've been loving life.

I don't know where I'll be a month or two or a year from now.

I'm staying in a monthly vacation rental.

Next month I could get a place here, maybe head across to your side of the country, maybe jump on a plane and check out Asia or New Zealand, I have no idea.

I do know that I've never felt more relaxed or free in my entire life.

That blog post was the kick in the teeth I needed to just let everything go.

It was just the right message at the right time. It struck a nerve with me.

If I knew where I'd be when the newsletter was coming in the mail, I would have already signed up.

I more than likely will subscribe soon. (I temporarily cancelled Ben and Craig's newsletters when I took off).

I know in this business that we judge the impact we have on people by how many of them pull out their wallets.

I just wanted to let you know you've given me something much more valuable than a print newsletter, and when I get to somewhere semi-permanently to call home again, I'll buy whatever you're selling at the time.

In the meantime, I'm going to work a few hours a day, not worried about stress or being burned out, and spend my free time enjoying my life. I'm still on vacation.

That blog post was the last straw, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

You're (IMHBAO) a very rare breed these days.

I'd say that Ben is about the only guy whose talent scares me on the same level yours does, but that's because he pulls it off daily and he's just seems too good to be younger than 40.

But yeah, I owe you a big "thank you", and I just wanted to let you know that.

Take care.

Your Future Subscriber,

Happily Stress Free At The Beach,

Scott Murdaugh

P.S. This post is hands down my favorite out of any of your stuff I've read. When I moved into this place, there was a 60" plasma TV in my bedroom. I asked the property owners to please take it out the day I got here. I've never been huge on t.v. but I actively avoid it at all costs after reading your thoughts on it. I even canceled Netflix.

Is it hot in here? It must be. My eyeballs are sweating. ;)

There is NOTHING Scott could have said that could have made me happier.

If he'd told me he made $10 million bucks this year from something he learned from my blog or newsletter, even that would take 2nd place to what he just shared.

I can go to bed happy every night knowing…

SOMEBODY actually got it!

Every time I feel like quitting (which is several times a day) I'm gonna come back and read Scott's letter.

And I'm going to keep doing what I do, hoping one day I'll get a letter like that from you.

Because I sincerely appreciate you.

And even though I don't know you (yet), I truly care about your success and happiness.

All the best,




The One Sure Path To Success

"Talent is useless without training, thank God."

- Mark Twain

Sunday, 1:37 PM

Dear Friend,

"That kid's got a God-given talent."

"He's a prodigy!"

"He was born to play that guitar."

Those are things I heard adults say shortly after I picked up the guitar at the young age of seven.

I had no idea what they were talking about. It made absolutely no sense to me.

Here's why:

It all began after pizza night… which we did every Friday at Jeep & Joe's Pizza in downtown Barberton, Ohio.

After that was TV time.

And this particular night we watched The Partridge Family. It was the first episode I had ever seen.

I was completely and utterly mesmerized.

Keith Partridge was the coolest human being I had ever seen in my short little life. He was a rock star with long hair, rock star clothes… and what captured my attention the most, he played the electric guitar.

I knew from that very moment… this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

After weeks of persistent pestering, my dad finally relented and took me to "Happy Hank's"… Henry's Music in beautiful downtown Barberton, Ohio to sign me up for guitar lessons.

They refused. Said their experience showed a 7-year-old kid was too young to learn guitar and would never stick with it more than a few weeks.

In another few months I'll be approaching 40 years as a guitarist… some of those as a professional. Ole Happy Hank was right about the other 99.9% of 7-year-old boys… but he was dead wrong about me.

I didn't get upset with Crappy Hank and give up on my first-ever dream.

I got MAJORLY pissed off!

I bugged my dad until he took me back to Crappy Hank's and bought me a book on learning guitar. If that old fart wouldn't let me take lessons, I was going to teach myself.

And that's exactly what I did.

And am STILL doing today.

From the very first moment I cracked open that book and played my first chord (an open G Major "cowboy chord") on an old crappy beat up Harmony acoustic with 15 year old strings my Mom left gathering dust in the basement… I was completely hooked.

I LIVED with that guitar.

Hell, I SLEPT with that guitar… literally.

Every minute of every day I wasn't in school, church, eating or doing chores, I was playing that guitar.

Until my fingers bled.

And then I put on my mom's cotton gardening gloves so I could continue playing it in spite of my sore and bleeding fingers.

I gave up playing outside, riding my bike and playing sports like all my friends just so I would have more time with the guitar.

I put in some serious time with that instrument. But it didn't feel like work… it was a labor of love. After all, I was PLAYING the guitar, not WORKING the guitar.

That's why I didn't understand all those comments about "talent", "child prodigy" and all that stuff.

Those adults couldn't have been more wrong.

It wasn't talent or a "gift" they were seeing… it was the predictable result of THOUSANDS of hours invested learning my instrument.

Talent had NOTHING to do with it.

If that talent theory held any water, people with genius IQ's would have a HUGE advantage over the rest of the population and would be raging successes in a multitude of disciplines.

That's simply not the case.

In fact, quite the opposite. People with genius IQ's are much more likely to be working in menial jobs with little to no personal reward and minimum pay than their average IQ counterparts.

Give me two students…

One with lots of natural "talent" but an aversion to work…

…and one with no "talent" but a willingness to work his ass off.

After only a few months the no talent student will be so far ahead of the talented one it will make your head spin.

History shows again and again, the surest path to mastery of anything is…

10,000 hours!

Ever read any of the Travis McGee novels by John D. McDonald?

You should. They are some of the best examples of story telling masterpieces ever written.

Gary Halbert even claimed studying John D. McDonald's writing would make you a better copywriter.

The first time I ever read a Travis McGee novel I marveled at McDonald's ability to weave an almost addictive story, describe scenes in such detail I could picture them in my mind (I still remember them as if I was actually there)… and suck me in so much I thought about the characters and story line throughout the day as if it was something actually happening.

But I wasn't marveling at some kind of unique talent or ability. I was experiencing the results of John D. McDonald's 10,000 hours.

He had heard that it takes most writers ten novels before they get really good. So he went about writing his first ten novels...

In his first YEAR!

When you make THAT kind of dedication to your passion… without compromise… you are destined to become a master.

It's not a matter of IF it will happen… it's a matter of when.

Once you're very close to… or have exceeded 10,000 hours of training in your chosen discipline, (interesting word choice, huh?) you are at, or almost at, the point of "effortless" mastery.

Of course, it wasn't originally effortless. It was really frickin' hard… and you probably considered quitting many, many times.

Heck, you probably DID quit many times.

But if it's a TRUE passion or dream you only "quit" for a very short period of time.

You always came back.

You HAD to come back.

It's as if this particular discipline has chosen YOU… and you simply CAN'T quit… even if you think you want to.

So you get in your 10,000 hours, making whatever sacrifices are needed to do it as quickly as possible.

And all the civilians marvel at how effortless you make it look. The jealous ones (the ones who don't have the balls to do their OWN 10,000 hours) call you…




They like to make themselves feel better and claim that as an excuse for their own cowardice and/or sloth.

Many will hate you and deliberately try to sabotage you with words and deeds.

Even just beginning your 10,000 hour trek is a silent accusation that they, too, could begin their own 10,000 trek… if they had the balls.

But they don't.

A precious few very unique and special people will encourage you and become your own personal cheerleader. Many of those will be people who have already completed their own 10,000 hour journey… or are in the process.

The other 99.9%…

Their response will be to try and pull you back into the "crab bucket" with them.

Ignore them.

Their fate is punishment enough… poor bastards.

No, it's not easy.

Simple, yes.

Easy, no.

(Anybody who tells you it's easy is lying to you… and probably trying to sell you a "magic bullet" solution.)

So, no. Not easy.

But worth it.

Look, you're going to spend 10,000 hours doing something. Most people spend it on stupid stuff that produces NEGATIVE results in their life. Like watching TV.

Why not invest those 10,000 hours in something you're passionate about… that will produce happiness and success?

And the time to start is…

Right NOW!

Whatever it takes, start chipping away NOW at those 10,000 hours.

I promise you it won't be easy.

And almost no one will understand you or support you.

But don't ever forget this:

The minute you start on your 10,000 hour journey (and stick with it), you've gained a few things most people won't EVER have:

1. The balls to stick your head above the crowd and brave the folly of tomatoes… and…

2. Somebody in your corner…


All the best,




Napoleon Hill was WRONG!

"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve."

- Napoleon Hill

Friday, 12:48 PM

Dear Friend,

I've found that attacking Napoleon Hill's philosophy is akin to attacking somebody's religion.

People react VIOLENTLY to any kind of logical analysis of Hill's teachings.

Most would rather continue to live in a fantasy world than confront reality. And many times they'll go to great measures to silence anybody pointing out the Emperor has no clothes.

(BTW, did you know Hill was completely broke in the final years of his life? W. Clement Stone had to step in and rescue Hill by giving him a figurehead position in Stone's massively successful insurance company.)

For example… the quote above. Do you REALLY believe that's true?

I WANTED to believe it… and for decades I chose to believe it, in spite of tons of credible evidence to the contrary.

For example… my mind can conceive certain appendages on my body being MUCH bigger than they presently are. And because Nap Hill said so, I chose to believe that appendage was growing longer and thicker day by day.

Heck, I even chose to help the process by taking pills and potions that claimed they could make that appendage bigger.

But I didn't stop there.

I also did regular exercises designed to force blood into that appendage to help it grow bigger.

After DECADES of doing this, visualizing a freakin' HUGE appendage and believing it with all my heart… I can simply look down and see that this appendage hasn't grown in years.

Hey… wait a minute!

I was talking about my biceps. What did YOU think I was talking about, you pervert?

Well, even if I WAS talking about what your twisted mind thought, Hill's formula STILL wouldn't work.

Don't believe me?

OK… apply the formula to an amputee. Even if you had 100 billion dollars to throw at this experiment… and you do EVERYTHING possible to get the amputee to conceive and believe he can grow a new limb… it ain't EVER gonna happen.

OK, I admit… that's a pretty extreme example. Instead, let's apply Hill's "think and grow rich" formula to your finances and see how that works out for you.

For the next 12 months don't do ANYTHING different in your job or business. Keep everything "biz as usual" with one exception. Throughout the entire day, every day, I want you to imagine you having the most wealth your greedy little mind can possibly think of. Don't actually DO anything… just think about it and visualize it as vividly as possible.

I'll bet you dollars to donuts at the end of those 12 months your net worth won't have changed very much at all.

Does that mean Napoleon Hill's
"think & grow rich" philosophy is just B.S.?

Not really.

See, your thoughts control your actions.

Didja catch that? I said your thoughts control your ACTIONS… and it is your ACTIONS that can make you wealthy.

In fact, you can have a completely negative defeatist attitude, not believe you're gonna get rich, yet take the right actions consistently and persistently… and…

You can get filthy stinkin' honkin' RICH!

Or… you can believe with all your might… have the undying faith of Peter (the only cat other than J.C. who walked on water) yet take no action… and you're gonna stay poor and miserable.

In fact, Hill even included the "take action" part in many of his books… but for some inexplicable reason, most people ignore that part… including Hill later in his life.

During my 12 years with a badge and gun, pounding a beat in the inner city, nine of those years I also did the part-time entrepreneur thang. (Yes, I MEANT to spell it that way.) And EVERYTHING I tried during that time was a miserable failure, leaving me with a high five-figures debt… and a broken heart.

After nine long years of NOTHING ever working, when I started my first little mail order business I wasn't exactly Mr. Positive Attitude.

In fact, I was quite negative and cynical. (12 years of being a cop contributed GREATLY to that attitude, too.)

But it didn't matter… because no matter how positively or negatively you think about it…

2 + 2 = 4!

And NOTHING will EVER change that.

You see, direct response is a numbers business.

I know some really negative, cynical and nasty people who have made themselves unbelievably wealthy with direct response marketing. (BTW, you DO understand if you have an online business you're a direct response marketer, right? Damn rookies! lol)

I also know some extremely positive thinkers, with more faith than God himself… who have always been, and will always be, completely broke…

'Cuz they sit on their asses
THINKING about growing rich!

Poor bastards.

They bought in lock, stock and barrel to the EASY part of Hill's formula.

But they've left out the most important part…

Taking ACTION!

I've discovered the "knights" who have joined me at the Round Table in my Marketing Camelot are some of the smartest, most positive-thinking  and encouraging people I've ever met. Many have pitched in to help further my vision of making The Doberman Dan Letter a true Camelot… where we can share ideas and resources to help each other.

They understand action is the most important part of the success process.

The delusional few who mistakenly believe they only have to read a newsletter and THINK about growing rich to magically achieve their goals do NOT stick around my Marketing Camelot very long.

And I'm quite happy about that.

I don't want them around me or my cherished subscribers.

If they DO slip past the castle gatekeeper, I HOPE I can help them get into action… but honestly, I kinda doubt it.

I've found successful people have a history of being DOERS… at least in SOME aspect of their lives.

And they are the "patches of light" in my life.

They are the reason I get out of bed in the morning and do what I do… because money alone is no longer enough of a motivator for me.

If you've studied Napoleon Hill's stuff and still aren't getting the results you've imagined so fervently for so many years… try adding the most important ingredient…

Consistent and persistent ACTION!

THAT is what will cause you to grow as a person and achieve what you truly want.

All the best,