Friday, December 30, 2005

A Successful Business Year 2006

Some questions to ask yourself as you prepare for the New Year and all the opportunity it holds:

1) Who am I working for?
2) What is the value of my time?
3) Am I working to promote my own business, or am I working to promote someone else's business?
4) Am I building my own list, or am I building someone else's list?
5) Are people visiting my site because they want what I offer? Or are they visiting my site to gain credits so they can promote their own?
6) Who benefits when I join particular programs?
7) Who benefits most from my efforts, my time, my money, my advertising, and my marketing?
8) Is there a better way?

After asking myself these questions, I derived my own set of goals for 2006.

1) I will work for myself, not someone else.
2) I will build my business, not someone else's.
3) I will build my own list, not someone else's.
4) I will participate only in those programs that put money into my pocket, not take it out.
5) I will succeed.

Do your goals match or exceed mine?

Whatever the case, I hope you do make plans towards your success –

Happy & Blessed New Year!

P.S. For the easiest list-building tool to be had (for free)
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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Six Power Steps - Step 2

Power Step 2 - Strive to Be Different

Nearly everyone you know will strive to be normal - because it's socially acceptable. But the normal person goes nowhere special and achieves the mundane.

Using a fictitious character called Norman, here's an example of his normal expectations of life and mediocre results:

"I live in a pleasant neighborhood in an average house (translated as meaning: all the houses and gardens along the street look exactly alike, apart from the odd differences in plants). I own an average car (just another standard box on wheels, which apart from minor differences looks like nearly every other car on the road)."

Norman's other goals and ambitions: "I save up all year round to take my wife and children on holiday, somewhere nice where it's safe. We usually book a package holiday, so everything is taken care of and we know exactly what to expect. Even the entertainment is all planned for us."

"My job is boring, but it pays the bills and the pension is good. It'll never make me rich, but then I don't want to be rich (but he wouldn't give away a lottery win!). Anyone who's rich has had to lie and cheat his or her way to the top. I like to sleep at night with a clear conscience. I may not have much but at least it's honest toil."

"I don't have much to do with the neighbors; I don't really like them. But, to keep the peace I mow my lawn once a week and keep the garden weeded and tidy, and do the odd job for them. I like to think they view me as a nice guy."

"Every other weekend we visit our best friends, Alice and Paul, and they visit us alternate weekends. Like us, they're your average typical family. Most nights after work I shower, change and after dinner, put my feet up and watch television until bedtime. Every Sunday, we have a roast dinner and every Friday we treat ourselves to a fry up. Am I happy? Well, it's life, isn't it?"

That's how Norman thinks and lives his life and that's how many people live their life. Norman’s family spends their days grumbling about how they hate their jobs, get fed up with their bosses and partners, but that's all they do. The same gripes day in and day out - but taking no action to change their situation, simply because they are slaves to being normal (and 'what will other people think of me, if I do something unusual?').

Living in the Fast Lane of the Elite

Let's compare Norman's goals and ambitions with another invented character, David. He's one of the smaller group of people who move forward and live the life of the elite and privileged.

"My philosophy on life is simple. Life is too short to be little. I'm not concerned with what other people think of me. If all my neighbors want to cut down their hedges and build short brick walls and block pave their drives, that's their choice, but I'm not going to have it done just to please them. I like the trees so they're staying and I prefer to have a shingle drive. I've done everything possible to make our house individual."

"Often, I ring Sarah from the office and ask her to forget about cooking dinner for that night and how about going out for a meal? We've tried all the restaurants within a twenty km radius."

"We both love holidays, and I take the family as often as possible. We spend most weekends, exploring new places and trying out different activities."

"I love my job; it's very challenging being a manager. I get to meet and work with people of many different personality traits, from varied backgrounds. Every now and then a junior is obviously aiming to take my job. I don't find it threatening; I like the challenge. I enjoy working with intelligent people who stretch my potential."

"I work hard and I am paid well. Do I feel guilty? No, I expect to be paid handsomely for my efforts; I wouldn't have it any other way. We live in a large house in an exclusive area and that's my reward for going the extra mile at work."

"I don't automatically go home at the end of the working day. And sometimes I arrive at the office as early as 6am, just to prepare for a meeting with my team."

"I want to be rich and I am prepared to plan and work towards my goals. I look forward to the future. I don't know what's around the corner and I don't care, because whatever happens I will handle the situation. I know I can solve problems - my strength lies within, it does not come from any outside forces. I couldn't care less whether other people approve of me or not, I know I'm okay and that's all that matters."

Two Opposing Philosophies

Norman's slavery to acting normal (and slavery to what other people think), creates poverty and unhappiness. While David's striving to be different (and refusal to be a slave to other people's expectations of him) creates wealth and happiness.

If you are ever tempted to query if David's attitude is not a tad selfish, then just ask yourself this question, "Who would you prefer to have as a friend? Norman, who's bored and unhappy, or David - who's exciting and happy?"
Easy, isn't it?

Clients pay $4500 a day to hear Stuart Goldsmith's hard-hitting marketing advice. Legendary copywriter Gary Halbert recently described him as "The second best copywriter on the planet!" His sales letters and adverts have made him many millions of dollars. In his startling free action guide "Double Your Way To A Million", Stuart shows how you can change nothing into $1,310,720 without any capital, simply using your wit, imagination and your natural abilities.
Claim your free copy now
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Six Power Steps - Step 1

© 2003 Stuart Goldsmith

Stuart Goldsmith is a multi-millionare, and he's letting us in on the way he thinks - I'd listen if I were you. ;)

This series of six power steps structures your thinking to make sure the actions you take will drive you towards success.

Today's Power Step -

Power Step 1 - Be in Charge of Your Life

Caring what other people think of you puts them in charge of your life, instead of you.

"What will other people think of me?" slavery is extremely common. Most of us are brought up (rightfully so) to consider others. But, unless we are discerning, we soon find ourselves caught up in a job we can't stand, or living in a relationship which makes us unhappy, or getting caught up in the spiral of poverty.

"Trying to please other people all the time" syndrome begins in childhood. It stems from a desire to be liked and admired. Let's look at a fairly typical scenario: three boys, Fred, Joe, and Matthew, all five years old, are best pals. They fight to sit together at school and spend their breaks in a group. Fred comes to school one day with a stack of pokemon cards to show his friends. Joe is envious of Fred's collection and a fight breaks out when Fred refuses to give a prized card to Joe.

There are several resulting scenarios, all with serious implications for Fred's future. A teacher could break up the fight and make Fred feel guilty for not parting with the prized card. Joe could refuse to talk to Fred even ending the friendship, unless Fred relented. Matthew would side with either Joe or Fred, or be a peacemaker and force the other two to discuss the problem and sort it out amicably.

The biggest danger to Fred is if the solution entails his giving the card away, when he really doesn't want to. In other words, if the only reason he gives in, is because he desperately wants to be liked and it really matters what his friends think of him. If they were real friends, of course, Joe would understand Fred's view and Matthew would not criticize. Fred might even willingly offer Joe another not so valuable card out of his collection.

Over the years thousands of small incidents build up, until by the time we are adults, most of us make a habit of putting what other people think of us before our own personal needs and desires.

The Right Reasons

Before you cut the grass, decorate the house, start a business, go on holiday, always ask yourself, "Am I doing this for the right reasons?"

Yes, the gardening has to be done, but not if you're in the middle of crucial market research, and if you don't cut the grass today you're worried that the neighbors will think you're lazy. Yes, a house has to be decorated, but not if it's at the expense of your health through shooting your stress level through the roof trying to fit it in between a busy advertising campaign, and it's only because your partner insists you do it now.

"Other people" slavery kills your creativity, your energy and drive towards your own goals and fulfilling your dreams. It stops you from going to places you want to visit and enjoying the kind of entertainment that you enjoy. So, make certain you're not always driven to do things, merely because you're worried about what other people think of you.

Be confident in who you are!

Clients pay $4500 a day to hear Stuart Goldsmith's hard-hitting marketing advice. Legendary copywriter Gary Halbert recently described him as "The second best copywriter on the planet!" His sales letters and adverts have made him many millions of dollars. In his startling free action guide "Double Your Way To A Million", Stuart shows how you can change nothing into $1,310,720 without any capital, simply using your wit, imagination and your natural abilities.

Claim your free copy now

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

9 Tips for Better Copywriting

by Alex A. Kecskes

1. Avoid the wimpy verbs--is and be.

These "do-little" verbs only occupy space and state that something exists. So don't write, "There is one simple omission that can transform a sentence from boring to brilliant." Do write, "One simple omission can transform a sentence from boring to brilliant." Similarly, avoid, "We will be running the new program from our Dallas office." Instead, opt for "We will run the new program from our Dallas office."

2. Place the longest item at the end of a series.

Start with the simple and work toward the complex. It's less confusing and makes a more memorable ending to the sentence. If you have a series like "He was always later that Joan, loud and boring." Opt for "He was loud, boring and always later that Joan."

3. Specifics are more convincing.

Unless you must for legal reasons, don't use words like many, several, approximately, nearly and other such mushy weasel modifiers. Specifics tell your audience that you know what your product can do based on tests, research, results, etc.

4. Modify thy neighbor.

Neighboring clause, that is. Make sure your modifiers apply directly to the pertinent clause in question. Do this and you'll avoid such gaffes as "I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way. (The truck wasn't coming the other way, it was stationary.) Better to tell the judge "I was coming the other way and collided with a stationary truck." (You'll still pay the penalty for running into a truck, but at least you'll come across as sober.)

5. Use single verbs to avoid doublespeak.

Single verbs can often do the work of two similar verbs. Instead of "The computer was operating and running smoothly," go for "The computer was running smoothly." Or, instead of "He was empty and ran out of gas," go for the more direct "He ran out of gas."

6. Vary sentence length.

A string of sentences all the same length can be boring. Start with a short sentence or at least a medium-length one, then go long, short, medium or any combination thereof. Imagine a person talking in sentences that are all the same length. Robotic.

7. Are your sentences like the Energizer Bunny?

They go on and on. Just because you're conveying legal or complex technical information, doesn't mean you have to use serpentine sentences that never seem to end. Instead of saying "Laser beams, which have many properties that distinguish them from ordinary light, result from the emission of energy from atoms in the form of electromagnetic waves." Break up and re-phrase: "Laser beams have many properties that distinguish them from ordinary light. They are produced when atoms emit energy in the form of electromagnetic waves."

8. Go short and sweet.

Why use a 4- to 5-word phrase when a 1- to 2-word version will do nicely--with no loss in meaning? Statements like "in view of the fact that" can be easily reduced to "since" or "because." Word economy is particularly important, especially when you're paying for premium ad space in a major publication.

9. Don't overstate the obvious.

Redundancy is good for space travel, but not for clear writing. Phrases like "anticipate in advance," "totally finished," or "vital essentials" will drive your readers crazy and communicate very little. The same goes for stringing two or more synonyms together like "thoughts and ideas" or "actions and behavior." It makes readers wonder if you really meant to say two different things or just wanted to reinforce one word with a needless synonym.

Alex Kecskes provides a full range of copywriting services. Visit for more information and samples.

About the Author
Alex Kecskes is a former ad agency Copy Chief who has created effective copy and concepts for a wide range of ad agencies and Fortune 500 companies. As owner of ak creativeworks, Alex provides strategic copy for brochures, mailers, multimedia, radio, newsletters, PR and web content. He has published articles in a variety of publications about health issues affecting both men and women, as well as topics in business and technology.

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