I know it sounds completely counterintuitive… but… the secret of success is…
[insert pregnant pause here]
And I should know. For nine long years, every single business and entrepreneurial project I launched didn’t work at all.
Good thing I kept my day gig during that time or I would’ve been living in “a van down by the river!”
Even after I finally started a business that worked (my very first mail-order business) I still failed at about 8 out of every 10 new promotions/products I tried.
With more marketing experience and a better understanding of our “lizard brain” human nature, my success rate improved. But still, about 7 out of every 10 new things I tried didn’t work out.
You see, failure is part of the success process. Finding out what doesn’t work allows you to discover what does work.
Another little-known secret of success is…
[insert another pregnant pause here]
Every time I test a new project or marketing idea, I want to fail as fast as possible.
Simple. I’d rather lose a few grand quickly… than waste six to 12 months of my life testing slowly only to discover my idea doesn’t have legs.
You see, I value my time a lot more than money… and so should you. You’ll be way ahead of the game if you lose money and fail fast… instead of losing lots of your time.
Failing fast lets you quickly move on to the next thang that possibly will work. Delaying your failure, for whatever reason, not only wastes your precious and limited time on this earth, it costs you a lot of money in the long run.
If I throw a few hundred or few thousand bucks at a test to the most responsive “starving crowd”… with my very best headline… with the best offer and price… and it flops… I’ve found out exactly what I need to know. It’s time to ATP (abandon the project) and move on to something else. I much prefer that to losing months of my life with something that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of working.
I call this process “buying information.” If the thing flops, shows it might have legs or is a grand slam home run… either way I’ve found out what I need to know.
Then I can decide to…
1. ATP if it’s a total stinker…
2. Tweak it some more if it has legs…
3. If it’s a winner, start rolling out and scaling up using my Master Success Formula I teach the knights in my Marketing Camelot.
In any case, I’m still ahead of the game. Had I invested months and months of my life in that puppy… regardless of whether it’s a flop, base hit or home run… I’ve lost. The slow approach prevents me from dropping the losers as quickly as possible… and also delays me from exploiting the winners as quickly as possible. (When you have a winner, I’ve discovered fast implementation in every available media wins the most market share.)
Failing fast is the smart entrepreneurʼs biggest success secret!
If that’s the case, why do so many rookies avoid it?
I think there are a couple of reasons:
1. Dragging their tests out over weeks, months or God forbid, years, is a way of avoiding failure. By doing it slowly they can delude themselves and say, “It hasn’t failed. The results are just coming in slowly.”
A person with that mindset obviously doesn’t understand the success process. If they did, they would rejoice in the flops and view them as a badge of courage. (I’ve got more “badges of courage” than just about every entrepreneur I know.)
But even worse, somebody with this mindset places zero value on his or her time. They don’t realize it’s a piss-poor investment of their limited life. Losing a few hundred or thousand in a couple weeks, days or even hours to buy the results you need is waaaaayyyyy cheaper than losing months or years… if you realize the value of your time.
2. They don’t want to risk any money.
I can appreciate that. I don’t like losing money, either. But I’ve got some news for ya:
That’s part of the entrepreneurial experience. (And it’s probably why so very, very few people choose to be entrepreneurs.)
I’ve lost millions (literally) and it has been the best education I’ve ever gotten. I don’t regret it one bit. In fact, I don’t even view it as a loss. To me, it was an investment in my marketing education. And my ROI has been exponential. It keeps paying me quite handsomely year after year.
Also, that million-dollar+ investment in my marketing education puts me head and shoulders above 99% of all the freelance copywriters out there.
Because I’ve invested 7-figures+ of my own money in my own copy… in my own businesses. That’s why I can make the big bucks and be in the top 1% income bracket as a copywriter if I ever have the desire to do client work again.
In comparison, most freelancers nowadays have only read a few books or bought a course or two before hanging out their shingle on the Internet trolling for clients. Their income will always be limited because their value to their clients is limited.
A copywriter/entrepreneur who has mentored with a big-name “player” in direct response, has 25 years experience putting his money where his mouth (and pen) is, investing everything in his own projects… now that guy is worth a fortune (literally) to a smart client.
That’s why I sound like a broken record, always telling you to start your own projects… even if you think you only want to freelance as a copywriter. The experience you’ll gain as a kitchen table entrepreneur will make you MUCH more valuable to your clients. And if you’re smart, once you’ve put your money where your mouth is and have that experience, your fees will reflect that value.
But don’t think you need a million smackeroos to get your project started. I’m all for doing thangs on the cheap.
I started my first mail-order biz with only $200. And I was so broke and in debt, I had to work overtime for a couple weeks to raise the seed capital. So, obviously, you can start these projects (initially) on a shoestring budget.
But (and I hate to burst your bubble) I don’t know of one single successful entrepreneur who was able to build a substantial business without investing (and losing) a fairly good chunk of change. The gurus telling you it can be done for free aren’t being honest.
Sure, I know folks who have built hobby level businesses with little to no monetary investment. But I don’t know anybody who was able to build a significant full-time income that way.
Speaking of starting projects with a shoestring budget…
When I started my first successful business, I was broke.
Actually, worse than broke. I was neck-deep in debt from the nine previous years of serial entrepreneurial failures I told you about a few minutes ago. (More than 20 failed businesses in total. Gawd, I felt like such a loser.)
Therefore, with no money and lots of debt, I had to be VERY creative about how I advertised this new business.
And… even though what I did to start my business with almost no money was all the way back in the early 90s, it works just as well (and sometimes even better) today.
Seeing as how advertising on Facebook is getting to be more and more expensive… and less and less stable… knowing my little secret could make the difference between your business remaining stable and you enjoying a predictable and reliable flow of new customers… or being forced OUT of business within the next 6 to 12 months.
I reveal all my best jealously guarded secrets like this in detail in The Doberman Dan Letter. Which is one of the many benefits you get when you become a knight in my Marketing Camelot.
In fact, in the latest issue you’ll see exactly what I did when I was starting my first direct response business. And in spite of the fact that I was broke and drowning in debt, I got my ads running with virtually NO resources.
Anyhoo, if ya don’t wanna miss out on tested and proven business-building secrets like this, click here and claim your knighthood in the Marketing Camelot today.
All the best,