Your Ideal Day and Picking Your Customers or Lifestyle
I just got the first season of ‘Kung Fu’ in the mail the other day. it’s the old TV series (1972 start) with David Carradine. I watched the first ‘episode’ which was the pilot. I’ve now been sucked in.
If you don’t remember the series, go online and Google it. You’ll find a few sites that show clips.
One of the reasons I like the show is that it teaches some great life lessons.
If you haven’t seen or heard of the series, it’s worth a look.
YOUR Ideal Day
Almost every day when I get up I ask myself the following question: ‘if I were on vacation today, what would I do? How would I spend this day?’
This question has become an obsession for me. It’s the only thing that really matters to me in business. To see if I can be doing something I love that will allow me to live EXACTLY as I want to live.
I talk about it in my seminars, but here is my list of things I’d want to do today if I were on vacation:
Play with my Dogs – they make me smile
Do some exercise – it sure feels good when it’s done
Get a massage – whether from a machine or a human, I want it
See a movie – the other day I saw a TRIPLE feature (I was tired)
Read a good book – without that I don’t feel ‘fed’ mentally
Take a short nap – 20 minutes and I feel really rested (I’m 50 now)
Eat healthy food – when I do this I feel a lot better Connect with people – have some ‘real’ conversation(s)
I don’t have to do any of these for long, but I need to do them every day if I’m on vacation.
So, why not try and find a way to be on vacation EVERY day of YOUR life.
For most people the problem is either time or money. For some it’s both. For MANY people the problem is formulating their list. People don’t know what they really want.
If your business can’t get you to the point, within the next 2 or 3 years where you can be on vacation EVERY day then you need seriously think about what the heck you’re doing!
How much would you be wiling to pay me right now (in a lump sum) to allow you be on vacation every day of your life? What would it be worth to you?
How much money and how much time would you be willing to invest to get to that place? If you knew what it was like, my guess is PLENTY!
Picking Your Customers/Lifestyle
I recently got an email from someone who belligerently asked me a question about some aspect of my business. Thinking that email occasionally makes communication difficult for some, I ignored the tone and answered the email. When the response came back it was clear my first instincts were right.
I then responded that I didn’t think I could help the person and directed him to go to one of my competitors.
This is what I love about running my own business. I can run it on MY terms. If someone is difficult or being a jerk, I can cut them loose. If someone behaves badly I can inform them that they fall ‘outside my business model.’
Please understand me. I think I’m a pretty nice guy. BUT, I don’t like being pushed. That just doesn’t work for me. So, whenever I get the feeling that someone will be difficult to work with, I turn the work (or the order) down.
Do I lose some money doing this? Absolutely. Do I have more FUN in my business as a result? You bet.
You really have to come up with your own formula for happiness in business. Mine differs from many people out there. I place a very high premium on doing things ethically and only working with people I feel share my values.
Here’s my list for what I want from my business:
Feeling like I’m really helping others
Respect of my Peers
Ability to sleep at night
If you notice, money was not at the top of the list. So, when a project (or potential ‘deal’) comes my way, I evaluate it according to my own criteria in this order.
Projects that will limit my freedom are dismissed out of hand. I’ve often thought about how ‘fun’ it would be to own a restaurant. One problem: you’re tied to the place 24/7 for the first few years. So, no restaurants in my future.
People will approach me who seem to be uptight and sometimes even militaristic. These folks don’t seem like a lot of fun to me so I normally say NO.
If a deal or project won’t help anyone I’ll probably shy away from it. I’m no boyscout but I want what I do to be able to help fellow entrepreneurs get closer to where they want to go.
If working with someone will hurt my reputation, I’ll say no.
Whenever a project/deal makes me worried that I’ll have to look over my shoulder or have to worry about things, I’ll pass.
Since I’m in business to make money I’ll make sure that the project I consider working on has a HIGH likelihood of making me money. Preferably, a LOT of it. BUT, if you notice, it is NOT on the top of my list.
There are a lot of well known marketers (information ones and otherwise) who do not share my set of priorities for THEIR business. There are many who have just one priority. To make a BOATLOAD of money. Great, they should pursue the course they think is best for THEM.
I think there will be another round of problems for some of these folks. Legal and otherwise.
I don’t want to be a part of that.
Are there information marketers who make more money than me? ABSOLUTELY! How many are happier than me? SHOW ME ONE!!!!! From the outside, I haven’t seen one that comes close.
I see a lot of guys stressing out having to make huge payments every month and having to STRETCH the truth when they write their copy. Not me.
I see people who make claims about their backgrounds and abilities that defy logic. Heck, there is guy out there who is coaching people on how to put together products whose sole background as far as I can determine is as a performer. This is nuts.
The real question is what do YOU want from your business.
It’s fine if it’s different from mine, but make sure and ask yourself the question. DAILY.
I would rather make less money and have more FUN.
I would rather make less money and have more FREEDOM.
I would rather make less money and only deal with people I LIKE.
I would rather make less money and sleep WELL at night.
I would rather make less money and take MORE vacations.
BUT, this is me. This how I want to live. You may have a whole different set of what you want and how you want to live.
I have turned down LARGE sums of money to work with people who I thought were crooks.
It goes back to the SHORT vs. the LONG view.
Every action I take in my business life revolves around this simple philosophy. Will I be better off 5 YEARS from now if I do this or that.
From a money standpoint it’s pretty simple. I MUCH prefer deals where I make my money ‘on the back end.’ Deals where very little cash comes in up-front.
In my coaching program I have structured it so that I make the VAST majority of my money over time. I make people give me a chunk of money up front primarily to make sure they are SERIOUS. I’d rather make $3,000 a month for the rest of my life than take a lump sum cash payment right now.
It’s also better for me/you taxwise to follow this strategy.
This assumes that you have your personal overhead under control. I’ve sat around with all the ‘bigshot’ marketers listening to them talk about fancy cars and other toys and silently laughed to myself.
When they are sweating it out at the end of the month seeing if there sales will cover their bloated lifestyle, I’m watching if it’s the 4th or 5th day of the month’s sales that will cover my ‘nut’ that month.
I THINK it may have something to do with my background. You may or may not know that I grew up in the Philippines. My Dad insisted that we live in an area that was very simple and relatively modest.
I was surrounded by locals who could barely pay to put clothes on their backs. I think it may have been there that I learned some of my life lessons. These people were much happier than my aunt who lived on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
I studied them. I asked them questions. I tried to figure out what made them so content with so little. I can’t tell you that I found they answer, but I remember one year the day after Christmas.
I looked outside and saw a kid who must have been around 4 or 5 years old playing with his ‘new’ toy. It was a tin can on wheels which had a string attached to it. He was pulling it around and having the time of his life.
That must have had an impact. I guess I’m lucky. As long as I get to go to the movies fairly often, I’m in heaven. I buy $12 jeans from Costco. I don’t care! When people see me driving around in my 2003 Honda Element (the dog-mobile), I don’t care!
It makes no difference to my level of happiness. BUT, that’s me.
I do spend money on things other people would think I was crazy for spending money on. I drop a lot of cash for education. I spend big bucks on going to see theatre. I pay to get a great massage at a SPA.
My point is that each of us has our own wants and needs.
The real question (in my humble opinion) is trying to figure out whether what you want is REALLY what you want or what your parents or pears tell you is what you want.
If it’s really what you want then BUY IT! Spend it. Don’t hold back.
I am writing this to you as I fly back from New York to
Las Vegas. I’m sitting in coach. Since I fly almost exclusively on American Airlines I’m a ‘bigshot’ with these guys. I could have upgraded to first class, but I’m cheap with my upgrade ‘stickers.’
I won’t even spend them unless I’m going cross country. I’m just as happy sitting back in an exit row with lots of legroom. More than even the folks in first class. Heck, I don’t fly for the food!
So, here’s my challenge to you. Make a list of what you want from your business. Put it in priority order. Is your business giving you exactly what you want? If so, congrats!
If not, why not? What’s missing? What’s out of priority sequence? What do you need to do to change it?
I hope this makes you think about things a bit.
And remember, the people that you choose to follow in life or in business better reflect the goals and priorities YOU have. If not, you’re in for trouble.
You may wake up one day and found that this or that guru had led you into the ‘promised land.’
The only problem will be that that PROMISED LAND may be THEIRS and not YOURS. If It took a long time to get there, it will probably take you a while to get back.
Think about it.
Who are you following? Do they reflect your values and ideals? Are they after the same goals you are? If not, GET OFF THEIR BUS!
Your LONG term Life Wishes
My parents wouldn’t pay for me to get my degree in theatre. They thought this would be a frivolous profession and wouldn’t allow me to support myself.
In retrospect, this was pretty good counsel. They did pay my college bills all the way through my masters in business. Which, by the way, has NO impact on one’s ability to be successful as an information marketer.
If you’re like me there are probably a bunch of different things you would have like to have tried to do if you had a few lifetimes to try.
For me, this list includes:
Running and advertising agency
Improv Comedy Performer
I think you should have a list of things you’d like to do some time before you die. What profession or calling did you miss? Is it really too late to try and get it?
As an information marketer you can make a ton of money. Here’s my plan: I look at the list of professions above and I put them into priority order. Of the entire list there are two that JUMP off the page (computer screen) for me.
Film producer and improv comedy performer.
I am in a position to do them.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE producing info products. It’s a lot of fun and I feel that I’m using my talent effectively. But I’d like to TRY these others.
The nice thing about my info products business is that it will ALLOW me to try them. At my seminar last Saturday I asked the group: ‘How many of you have a college degree?’ All but 1 hand went up.
Just about everyone had gone through 4 years of college to end up working for the ‘man’.
I suggested that if they followed my SYSTEM that they could get off the rat race in under 3 years. How many will do it? Unfortunately, too few.
Heck, whenever I offer people my 5 free ebooks only 30% of an audience actually goes home, gets online and downloads them. Crazy, huh?
People will work their butts off for 4 years to get job working for someone else. Yet, they will not put in 12-36 months to get an info products business going. In my opinion, this is nuts!
The burning question is WHY? A few things come to mind. I think some people are scared. Some of scared to fail, and others are scared to succeed.
Some people are LAZY. I have nothing to say to those folks.
I always make people an INCREDIBLE offer to buy my materials at these events. I’m often times shocked at how few people take me up on the offer.
What people want and what I won’t offer (like some of the seminar promoters) is the promise that they can get rich by buying the materials and putting them under their pillows at night.
BUT, if people were to buy the materials, follow my advice, and build their info products business they would be able to go DO exactly what they have always wanted to. It may take a while, but it can happen.
Why do so few people do it? I give up. I don’t know. I know one thing, it makes me sad for them.
As I am now committed to producing a film or two over the next year I’m reminded of how many people POSTPONE their dreams. Some of them forever. It’s sad.
My only hope is that YOU won’t be one of them.
All the Best,