Thinking – No One Gets Paid To Do It Anymore

By Ernest O’Dell – Questar TeleCommunications and Guerrilla Internet Marketing

Back when I was in elementary, junior high and high school, my dad used to work with me on my homework. Algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and a few other “technical” subjects weren’t always my favorite past-times. They required me to “think through” a problem to arrive at the “correct” answer.

Oh, sure! I could come up with any old answer just to get out of doing home work, but it wouldn’t “cut the mustard” and get a passing grade. My dad used to tell me, “Think. Just think, boy!” Well, actually, he would get frustrated at my lackadaisical attitude towards the whole venture and yell at me in his loudest voice. Seems he got more stressed out of the exercise than I did.

Henry Ford once hired an “efficiency expert” to go through his plant. Ford directed him to find the most nonproductive employees and tell him who they were so he could then fire them.

I’ve always wondered what an “efficiency expert” was. Sounds like a “cushy” BS job only the government could come up with…

(I know I’m not supposed to end my sentences with a preposition, Maudie! But, I’m just havin’ a conversation with my readers! Leave me alone!)


…I do digress.

When this “expert” finished, he gave his report to Mr. Ford and told him that he was particularly concerned with one of his engineers.

Every time I walk by his office, he’s just sitting there in his big office chair with his feet propped up on the desk. I never see him doing anything! I definitely think you ought to fire him!

Mr. Ford was curious to know who was wasting his money and company time that way, so he asked the “expert” to point him out. When they came to his office, sure enough, they found him reclined back in his chair, with his eyes closed, feet up on the desk, with his hands folded across his chest.

Mr. Ford whispered, “Shhh! Don’t wake him up!

The expert cocked his head to one side and looked at Mr. Ford sort of funny and asked him, “Why?

To which Mr. Ford told him, “I can’t fire him. I pay that man to do nothing but think, and that’s what he’s doing. He’s my ‘idea man.’ I pay him to come up with new designs for my cars! He makes me millions! Leave him alone!

Even in today’s culture of corporate downsizing, right-sizing, left-sizing and the old Lateral Arabesque, no company can afford to lose its thinkers. Not yours, not any of them.

Most especially if your just a “small shop” of just a few real estate agents under one broker, or a medium sized off of insurance salesmen.

Now, I know you probably can’t afford to hire a “staff thinker,” so you’re going to have to “wear the hat” because people are depending on YOU to come up with the “bright ideas.”

In the larger scheme of things, it’s likely that you already have some of these people working for you. You can call them strategic planners, researcher, creative engineers, visioneers, or some similar version. At Disney, they’re called “imagineers.”

At Microsoft, they’re called “millionaires.” Bill Gates is the wealthiest billionaire on the planet. He’s wealthier than Donald Trump. But they both have ideas that have made them billions, and they have “idea people” working for them.

I know what you’re probably thinking right now: Ernest has been sniffing too much Folger’s Coffee at 2:00 o’clock in the morning.

You’re probably formulating a retort to ridicule my logic and come back with something to “cut me down a notch or two…” But trust me here… just listen to what I’m saying.

You don’t have to agree with me, and you don’t have to disagree with me. Just don’t dismiss it “out of hand.”

At least, not just yet…

You’re thinking to yourself, “Ernest has gone off his rocker! And if he thinks I’m going to hire—much less—keep someone with a title and no responsibility, he’s nuttier than the bag lady on the corner of 5th and Vine!

And I would agree with you.

Who in their ‘right mind’ would hire someone—or keep someone—who had no measurable goals, no restrictive job descriptions, no pressure? Because nobody can tell if they’re doing their job! Well, that’s exactly what happens to the “Corporate Thinker.”

It’s such unfamiliar territory that people get lost in it. Why? Because most people are like drones… sheep, if you will. They want you to tell them what to do. They want YOU to do all the thinking. They don’t want to come up with any ideas because it might require more out of them than what they are getting paid for…

(There it is again, Maudie! Dang!)

Look around your office and see if you can identify the person you’d go to first if you needed a great new plan or idea…

There’s your Thinker.

His or her real job title may not be your first clue. But because you always go to them first when you have a problem, and you’re in need of a solution, should be the first hint.

They’re your “go-to” guy. Or your maven. Or, whatever you want to call them. Just don’t call them dismiss-able.

Years ago, at the El Cortez Hotel in San Diego, California, management decided they needed another elevator in the hotel because one just wasn’t adequate to serve their guests. They hired engineers and architects to retrofit the hotel for a second elevator.

The “experts” discussed several options, and eventually settled on a plan to cut a hole through each floor to accommodate the new elevator.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, a janitor overheard their discussions, and inquired about their intentions. The engineers patiently explained their plans to him (thinking—of all things—that he wouldn’t ‘understand’ because he was “just a janitor.”)

The janitor was concerned and told them so: “That’s going to make quite a mess—plaster, dust, and debris everywhere.

No problem,” he was told, “because the hotel would be closed during the construction.

But that will cost the hotel a lot of money in lost revenue, and a lot of people will be out of jobs while the hotel is closed,” the janitor replied.

Well! Mr. Janitor!“, one of the architects remarked snidely… “You got a better idea? What do YOU suggest we do? Huh? You’re just a janitor! What the hell do YOU know?

To their surprise, he told them something that none of them had ever thought of before: “You could build the elevator on the outside of the hotel.

Hmmm… they all scratched their heads.

It’s never been done before. But it’s an intriguing concept, and it just might work. And it would be unique and we would be the only one in the world with an elevator on the outside of the building.

The engineers and architects, hired for their creative thinking, decided it was an idea worth developing. An architectural feature we now see every day on hotels around the world. Talk about a feat of engineering! And the idea was the brainchild—not of a structural engineer—but of an humble hotel janitor.

Not a “staff thinker.” Not a “corporate planner.” But a thinker on the staff.

This janitor spent his days, weeks, months and years at that hotel—minding his own business—doing his job… many times alone: with only his thoughts. So, while he worked, in what many would consider a menial job, he did a lot more thinking than the experts who had a lot of letters behind their names.

Chances are you have several people like that in your company.


Come and lean a little closer to me while I whisper something in your ear: They’re worth their weight in gold.

Did you hear what I just said?

Consultants and “experts” may come and go, but the employees who work for you every day, who faithfully come in and do their jobs (and sometimes the job of others) are your best source of great ideas and inspiration for the rest of your organization.

Let’s lay down a few ground rules for encouraging great thinking:

  • Respond with enthusiasm. Don’t criticize them or belittle them because they don’t have a college degree. Some of the dumbest morons I’ve met have college degrees, and many of them are elected “officials.” When someone has a great idea or thought, be enthusiastic rather than demanding details on how to implement it. Don’t argue with them like you’re in a health care summit with the President. This person might only be the janitor, or the clerk behind the counter at the store, or the sacker who is bagging up your groceries. But he has ideas that nobody else has ever thought of… (There it is again, Maudie!) Somebody else can develop the ideas. And if you told me you haven’t seen it happen before, you would be lying to me and your pants would be on fire.
  • Make your workplace conducive to thinking. Windows are inspirational. Big windows. Bay windows. The kind that lets in a lot of sunlight. Whole walls made out of windows. Cheerful colors stimulate creativity. Flowers, trees and office landscaping. Real plants: not those fake plastic ones. The ones that have beautiful aromas and scents. The kind that cause allergic reactions in some people and inspirational thoughts in others. Photographs hanging on your office wall, letters of commendation from the Governor of the State of Texas, letters of rejection from the President of the United States (yes, even some of those are inspirational… they inspire you to keep doing what you’re doing because you know you’ve ‘hit a nerve.’) You know those inspirational posters you see in other people’s offices? Those are some of my favorites. Sterile surroundings are for doctor’s offices and operating rooms. What we’re looking for here is some “brain candy.”
  • Celebrate every now and then. Take the gang to an adult version of Chuckie Cheese. Take them to the opera or the symphony if that’s their “cup of tea.” “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is still true. Let your staff know they can still have fun and be productive at the same time. I used to work for an I/T firm in Austin, Texas years ago where everybody brought their favorite beer for Friday afternoons. We had food catered in from a different place each Friday and we all got together to just “unwind and mastermind” about the next “Big Thing.” Then we would go home full of barbeque—with a buzz.
  • Give credit where credit is due. If memory serves me right, it was a truck driver at a big trucking firm who came up with a solution to a very big problem they were having. Seems that their logistics weren’t quite lining up with the manufacturers and they were wasting a lot of time on the road with empty trucks going back and forth on the road. The solution was found in a small software application that cost the company a whopping $35 dollars a month to use, and they not only saved millions of dollars each year, but also multiplied their revenues over 400% each month. (And they even got the tax deduction on the software as an expense!)

“Minds are like parachutes: They don’t do you much good unless they’re open.”

Click the link below to download a copy of this article in PDF.

Thinking – No One Gets Paid To Do It Anymore – GUERRILLA REVIEW.pdf


How To Lose Friends and Have Them Treat You Like a Leper

By Ernest O’Dell – Guerrilla Internet Marketing and Questar TeleCommunications

“Oh my gawd! Here he comes again?”


“That MLM’er! The one that was in here last week. He was too cheap to leave me a tip, but he left his business card for some multi-level business! What a cheapskate!”

This sounds like a typical conversation between a couple of waitresses at a restaurant where one of them got burnt by someone trying to “prospect” them into a MLM business.

Sound familiar? The poor schlep MLM’er doesn’t know any better: that’s what he had been taught, “Everybody’s a prospect!”

Yeah, right!

No… truth be known, everybody is NOT a prospect in Network Marketing! Not only for your business, but also NOT for your product or service.

Get over yourself!

If you want to annoy your friends and family, lose all of your confidence and fail miserably at your network marketing business, go ahead and adopt the mantra that “everyone’s a prospect.”

If prospecting everyone that comes within three feet of you is your only marketing strategy, be prepared to adopt at least two (2) exit strategies (also know as “Plan B”):

  1. Go join the 97% of network marketers that quit the industry without making a profit.
  2. Or become a hermit and leave society.

Because, eventually you’re going to alienate everybody who has ever known you, and word will get around… when they see you coming, they will close their drapes, turn off their lights and act like they’re not home. They will get Caller ID installed on their phone and send your telephone calls straight to “voice mail hell.”

Think I’m joking?

Try it. And I can guarantee you that within one year—or less—you’ll be on to the next “latest and greatest” thing since sliced bread.

You’ll be out of that old MLM faster than a west Texas coyote can eat a bag of Cheetos. And you won’t be happy either.

You want to make people “madder than a mosquito in a mannequin warehouse?” Just button-hole everybody you run across, and you’ll quickly develop the reputation as the “get away from him” guy and not the “go-to” guy.

The mantra “everyone’s a prospect” has been the worst myth ever foisted on the unsuspecting and has been used as the principle lead generation techniques for decades.

But is there any truth to it? Ask the millions of aspiring entrepreneurs who have tried and failed—miserable, and broke—more than once. They will tell you, without fail, it’s not for lack of “presentations,” “pitches” or “contacts.” Often, it’s simply because they’re trying to sell to an audience that just doesn’t care.

Your company has spent millions on “market research” and knows exactly how many people you need to “talk up” to get someone interested and how many of them it takes to get a prospect signed up. Your upline will tell you repeatedly that it’s just a game of numbers.

What they don’t tell you—and will NOT tell you—is the amount of rejection you personally have to endure and how it is demoralizing, discouraging and unnecessary. They won’t tell you the truth about the flawed model, because they know if you figured it out, you wouldn’t be their next “sucker.”

Now, I realize this picture I just painted you doesn’t sound real positive. As a matter of fact, it’s got a whole lot of “negative energy” in it, because truth happens to be a “two-edged sword.” Truth cuts both ways, and it’s something the New Wage crowd hasn’t learned yet.

Can you be successful in Multi-Level Marketing?

Absolutely! But only on one condition: you build your business on relationships and trust. If someone doesn’t know you, if they don’t have a relationship with you, how can they trust you? They can’t. And it’s not until you start taking their concerns into consideration and developing a friendship (relationship) with them that they can come to a conclusion whether they can trust you or not.

I have a report in my files written by Ann Zieg, who is considered an authority on network marketing and MLM. She points out a lot of the flaws in the model and how it has been abused over the past several decades.

She says the same thing that a lot of others are saying: The number one LIE in network marketing is that everyone is your prospect.

MLM companies tell their reps to approach everyone with a pulse: “If they’re not covered up with dirt, they are walking upright, they’re alive… they’re a prospect!


Pestering the waitress, the bartender, your barber, your hair dresser, your kid’s teacher if they ‘want to make more money’ is embarrassing. Not only for them, because you’ve put them into an uncomfortable situation that they now have to try and get out of graciously… without hurting your feelings.

You try that with me, and I’ll hurt your feelings. I’ve been through this all too often.

It’s a tedious approach, but worst of all IT DOESN’T WORK. Even if you do happen to recruit your sister, brother or cousin, they won’t last long. And if you ever try to recruit them into the next “Big Thang” they’ll just brush you off. Even if you do get a few prospects this way, they won’t stick around long or be able to duplicate your success: if you’ve had any success at all.

Compare this approach to your brother-in-law, the plumber, the electrician… or maybe he’s a carpenter. When was the last time a plumber or carpenter came up to you in a coffee shop and asked you to purchase services from them?

The last time I called a plumber or carpenter was because I needed one for something around the house, and I’m terrible at both. You also don’t want me messing around with electricity! I called the plumber or carpenter because I sought them out through ads in the yellow pages or word of mouth.

You can make money being a carpenter or plumber just like you can in network marketing. So, why shouldn’t a plumber or carpenter approach everyone with a pulse asking them if they need their services?

What’s the difference?

They seek out their target market.

They advertise in the yellow pages, etc., or they have a good “word of mouth” reputation around town. It is then that people call them if they want/need their services. Their success rate (sales) is much higher since they only deal with people who need/want their services.

Something happens when you chase people down to get their business: they run! If you back them into a corner, they are overcome with the “fight or flight” syndrome, and they come out scratching and clawing to get away from you.

They may have been interested in what you had to offer… at first. But now they tend to want to run away from you. Don’t take it personal. You’ve already made it that way. It’s an involuntary response that most people do not overcome.

And don’t give me that crap that “they’re just not intelligent enough to understand the concept” or they have a “poverty mindset.” I know too many people who are happy with their jobs, whether it pays a half million dollars a year or a hundred thousand a year.


Because they find it fulfilling.

I also know too many people who are making millions every month and they’re too busy working with something that is proven to work. What they might want to know from you is this: show me proof that your system works.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but let’s get back to basics.

You might have the best product or service in the world, but not everybody is going to need it. If you’re selling some diet drink, not everybody is obese and going to need it. If you’re selling an energy drink, the kid who is on a constant “sugar high” definitely doesn’t need to be drinking it.

And that also goes for recruiting them into your business. They may not be “the brightest bulb in the value pack” when it comes to sales and recruiting, but they’re good at making sawdust and fixing leaky faucets. They might not be able to explain a compensation plan that looks like a pyramid made out of bunch of dots, circles and connecting lines. But they can fix your toilet when it’s broke, or put in a new cabinet in the kitchen. Something you CAN’T do!

I have a friend who used to sell some sort of weight loss drink and “breath spray.” Yeah! Imagine that! He tried to “button-hole” everybody in his church until they run him off. Then he started going to the church across the street, and it wasn’t long before he had them on the run, too!

Today, less than a year later, he’s off into something else. And before the diet drink bizop, he was into something else. The guy had quite a history of a lot of failed attempts in MLM.


Because he believed the Big Lie. The one that says everybody is your prospect.

No, they’re not.

But they can be your friend.

Remember the old classic by Dale Carnegie, “How To Win Friends and Influence People?” It’s a great book and I still have an original copy from 1959. Mr. Carnegie didn’t teach button-holing as a way to make friends and influence people.

Just be yourself, and when people ask you what you do for a living, tell them in ten words or less. Make it your “elevator pitch.”

My friend, Dan Williams*, writes about the Superman Elevator Pitch in one of his articles.

And who are you?

Superman, a super hero saving the world!

Great, superman. What is it exactly that you do?

I fight for truth, justice, and the American Way. I also jump tall buildings in a single bound which makes it easier to catch criminals.

Super! What makes you different?

Well, unlike some other super hero’s that I won’t mention, I don’t wear a funny hat, so people tend to take me more seriously.”

And what do people do if they want to know more?

Great question. If you have a cause you would like me to fight for, just give me a call for a free consultation. I am always near a phone booth ready to take your call.”

Do you see how simple Superman’s answer was? It was actually less than ten words, and it was short, and to the point.

Some old friends of mine in Austin, Texas hosted the morning radio show at KVET radio and would tell people to “put a bumper sticker on it.” Same concept: bumper sticker—elevator pitch. Make it short and sweet. If people want to know more, they’ll ask. Just like the ensuing questions that Superman got after he answered his first question.

I’ve been on many an airline flight where I’ve sat next to someone and we would strike up a conversation. I’m sure you’ve been there, too. When I was young, and living over seas, I was living in North Africa and going to school in the states after the Libyan Revolution of 1969.

People would ask me, “And what do you do?”

Duh! Go figure! “I’m a student. I live with my parents during the summer in a foreign country, and I go to a boarding school in the states.” (It couldn’t get much simpler than that.)

Now that I’m older, I go to parties where I don’t know anyone and someone asks me, “And what do you do for a living?” I tell them “I’m a writer and author.” If my new friend is a female, I’ve attracted a new friend (and possibly a phone number). If it’s a guy, he walks away like I’ve got some sort of plague. Sometimes I’m treated as if I were Ernest Hemingway (who, by the way, was one of my favorite novelists).

If they really want to know more about me, and what I write about they’ll ask. I really don’t have to “button-hole” them and force it on them.

By now, you should be able to determine the genre of my writing. But enough about me.

What about you? And that is the key to this whole equation.

What about your prospect? What are their interests? What are their challenges? Maybe they have a problem with their telecommunications, and you know of a solution. Maybe they just need a house cleaning service and you know someone who does house cleaning that you can recommend. Maybe they’re new in town and all they need is a fence builder or a landscaper. Do you know someone who builds fences and mows lawns?

If you do, then you can become that new prospect’s “go-to” guy and give him the reference. Are you going to make any money on the deal? Maybe… maybe not. But who cares? What you’re doing is developing a relationship—a friendship—with them, and a “trusted source” of information.

Later, who knows when, you might have a new customer or a recruit develop out of that relationship. But, don’t push it. Don’t ruin a good friendship if they don’t appear “open” to what you’re doing.

Be a “solutions” person with your new prospects, but develop the relationship first.

(*Dan Williams is the founder of The Networking Community and author of “Tales From The Networking Community”

How To Lose Friends and Have Them Treat You Like a Leper – GUERRILLA REVIEW.pdf

There’s Nothing Like An Invasion To Stir Up The Local Populace

By Ernest O’Dell – Guerrilla Internet Marketing
and Questar TeleCommunications

During the first Persian Gulf War, General Norman Schwarzkoff was quoted as saying, “Never fight a war you can’t win.” Those words could also be applied, in a business sense, to what you do every day in your career. Whether you are in sales and marketing, real estate, insurance, or retail sales, you have probably encountered the difficult task of penetrating your competitor’s “territory.”

In a sense, business—and sales—is like a war except nobody gets killed. But in business, you have the sense that you’ve read Tzun Tsu, and you wage a different struggle of sorts, most notably against your competitors. Like Schwarzkoff, I don’t advocate choosing a “war” you can’t win with as little effort (time, money and casualties) as possible. However, I do recommend adding up the “costs” to your marketing and sales campaigns.

So the term “war” is a business term. It’s how you eliminate your competitors from your market niche. It’s all wrapped up in the artillery or the “tools” you use to defeat them. One such tool that positions you as the “expert” in your field is the business of public speaking. Another tool is learning the art, the “craft,” and the science of article marketing.

Both public speaking and article writing can both be classified as a science, but it’s NOT rocket science. So, it’s not something that you need to study four to eight years to master. After you learn the science and the psychology behind the two, then you can go on and learn the art form and craft your own style.

As a public speaker, General Schwarzkoff made more money in two years after he retired than in all the years he served in the military. His fee was something like $75,000 for a one hour speech, and he often had 2 or more a day to do. That’s not quite as much as a president makes in 15 minutes, but it’s still a lot more than most people make in a year.

I’m not suggesting you should go out and fight a real war and win it in order to achieve similar results. What I am suggesting however is that to win the “war” of business and sales, there is little that compares strategically better than getting into the business of speaking and article writing.

Public speaking is a positioning tool that quickly catapults you to the status of “expert” or “guru”. Right or wrong, when you stand on your feet you are perceived in that fashion. So it makes perfect sense that you should be able to do the same when it comes to talking about your business, your product or your services.

You’ll note I used the term “business of speaking”, because that’s what it is, a business. Call it a sub-set of your primary business, but still a business nonetheless. Most professional speakers make the mistake of thinking all the money is in the speaking fee. That’s a real BIG mistake.

Former presidents get paid as much as $250,000 (or more) for just 30 minutes. Other business professionals may earn more—or less—depending on their expertise. It’s nice money. But the REAL money is in the customer, the audience you are speaking to and how you can set about getting them as a client or prospect.

This is why I always do better in “sales to close” ratios when speaking to groups, seminars, conventions, work-shops and trade shows. Instead of making a “pitch” you’re giving “expert” opinion and information. The sales pitch can come after the program. The only difference in doing public speaking is that you’re reaching a larger audience than if you were making a presentation “one-on-one.”

If you’ve been reading my articles for very long, you probably think that I sound like a broken record, but I can’t stress the reality enough: the numbers prove it. You can talk to 10 people “one-on-one” all day, and make 2 or 3 board-room presentations, and maybe—just maybe—close 1 or 2 sales. You can talk to a group of 50 to 200 (or more) people in a seminar and end up with 10 to 20 (or more) new customers.

It’s just a mere fact: the proof is in the numbers.

The real payday comes from knowing how to drive people to the back of the room in a stampede like feeding frenzy eager to throw money at you in exchange for your products or services. It’s a good feeling to see people climbing over each other with their credit cards waving in the air begging someone to take their money. It’s a better feeling when the day is over and you realize you’ve just made as much money in a couple hours as most people make in a whole year exchanging hours for dollars, and all you had to do was flap your gums.

But… that’s just a one time shot. How do you turn that kind of feeding frenzy into a residual month-to-month income? Simple: turn your product or service into something that has value, where people will pay you a subscription to keep them on your list. Make it so valuable that they will hunt you down and throw money at you to get the information that is buried in the abyss of your mind!

How much money would you make if you gave away a free report? Nothing. But that’s okay. What if you have some information in that report that leads your prospect to sign up for your product or service? And if that product or service is a “one-time” sale, or if is a monthly residual?

If it’s a one-time sale, then you’re going to have to sell a lot of it to make back your investment. Let’s say you do a seminar and you have some recorded DVDs, CD’s and books of your latest product. Can you sell enough of them to recoup your expenses of renting the convention hall? Or do you have a system set up that will pay you a residual?

These are questions you can ask yourself and then apply it to your business.

If you’ve written a book about network marketing and all of the “life lessons” you’ve learned from it, you can sell it at seminars, or give it away as a bonus with a paid entry fee to your seminar or workshop.

If you’re in real estate and you’ve become an expert in REO’s, foreclosures, BPO’s or wholesaling, then you can write a monthly newsletter to your paid subscribers.

If you’re a telecommunications expert specializing in Unified Communications and Messaging systems, and have been able to communicate those ideas to business—both large and small—then you can write timely newsletters to industry professionals, or promote an adjunct product/service at the end of the article.

The key here is providing value to your customers. Whether they are “one time” customers or long term subscribers is totally up to you. But in either case, you will have to justify your existence with more than just a perceived value. Your knowledge and expertise must be transformed into real value that your customers can use in their daily lives, businesses, or they will dump you faster than a west Texas road-runner. You have to give your customers reason to give you their money.

Over the past thirty years I’ve given public speeches in a variety of forums and formats: from civic clubs to professional organizations. Subject matters have been narrowed down to my areas of expertise, but I was surprised to learn that I could actually earn a living from it.

Whether you are speaking in a “work-shop” at a trade show or a “job fair,” or speaking at seminars and conventions, you can determine a value to your presence and what you have to present to the audience. Pricing it right is the tricky part.

This is why I come back to the analogy of “counting the costs” of putting together a promotional campaign and calculating your expenses with the production of your materials, conference room rentals, breakfast, coffee, lunch, etc., or any other catering costs that might be built in to your day.

They you have to determine how much of that you’re going to “sock away” for taxes, expenses like venue, travel and products: usually about 50%. If you’ve already spent $10,000 on putting together your “dog and pony show” and you only make $5,000 out of the deal, you’re already more than 100% “in the hole.”

How do I figure 100%? Because, if you spend $5,000 to put a seminar together, you need to do better than $5,000 just to break even. And if you break even, then you haven’t made any profit. If you don’t get to expense all that on your taxes, you’re already in trouble… but it can wait until “tax time.” However, you’ve got to eat, pay bills, fly back home, pay the mortgage, between now and then.

If you only make $10,000 (a whopping 100% return doesn’t translate into a 100% profit) you’ve only made—in actuality—a 50% profit. (I’ll leave that to your tax preparer to explain to you.) In the meantime, all you have left after your “over-head” is $5,000 and when you get home, you’ve got to commit at least 50% of that to a tax account, so you don’t run afoul of Uncle Sam. Now, how much does that leave you?
A paltry $2,500 dollars.

Do the math.

Don’t get alarmed: just go back and recalculate what you ca charge for your seminar. You may have to have a larger number in attendance, you may have to charge an admission fee, or you may have to charge more for your “back room” products (tapes, CD’s, books, DVD’s, etc.).

Where you might get away with a “loss leader” —a loss leader is something that you can afford to give away in order to sell something else at a higher price. Whatever that “something else” might be… it might be a subscription, or a set of books, or a residual service that pays you over the long term, a loss leader can be an effective “lead in” for your “back end” product.

If you can work “top down” by talking directly to the CEO’s of companies you want to reach, and have them sponsor their employees into your seminars and workshops, just make sure you have all the legal stuff in order. Dot all your “I’s” and cross all your “T’s” before you launch into this venture.

Do it right and you can make as much in one or two weekends as most people make in a year—or a decade.

You don’t have to sacrifice your family life and kill yourself on the road, but you can work hard for 50 or 60 days out of the year exchanging your time for money. That translates into about 5 days a month. How—and where—you spend those five days is up to you. You can start locally, then work up to regional gigs. After you accumulate some money, you can reinvest it into seminars on the national and international range.

That 5 days can be split up to one or two days in a local or regional workshop, with a three day weekend per month in close proximity. It’s all in the efficient scheduling of your resources and time.

The other three weeks of the month can be spent at home, where you can work on your articles, write reports about your latest seminar, compile any transcripts and videos—or “farm them out” to third party sources—now that you can afford to do so.

That “other three weeks” can be spent working at the computer writing your articles and reports while your old dog is laying on your feet, keeping them warm. He’s happy, you’re happy. Your kids and spouse are happy (or should be) that you’re home and “available for them.” Just don’t kill yourself there, either. (That’s another article.)

Do you remember the movie “Red Dawn” where the school kids were sitting in class and they looked out the windows of their classrooms and saw enemy troops parachuting in on their school grounds? They really didn’t realize that they were under an enemy invasion until it was too late and several people got shot in the ensuing invasion.

Later in the movie you see where the local populace got “stirred up” and did something to fight back, whether it was taking an active part in the resistance, or furnishing the freedom fighters with the necessary gear they needed for survival.

We saw this with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan back in the 70’s when the mujahedin fought against the invading forces of the Russians with everything they could get their hands on.

I use this analogy to illustrate that your penetration into the competitor’s “territory” might not be an easy win. And if you don’t play your cards right, you might not win at all. You might end up losing: a lot of money, a lot of time, and if you don’t play your cards right, your life and sanity.

Count the costs. But know this: while you stir up the “local populace” of your competitor’s territory, you will have been successful in your invasion. Now, what to do with it?

Are you going to make some mistakes along the way? Sure you will! Will you learn from them? You better!

But you will never know if you don’t survey the “landscape” of your turf and “scope out” the competition. In short: do your homework. You know your specialty better than anybody else.

Whether you take your business to the next level by public speaking or writing articles, or both, you’ll know you’ve been successful when they sign on with you for the long term and you can work two months out of the year and get your life back.

Theres Nothing Like An Invasion To Stir Up The Local Populace – GUERRILLA REVIEW.pdf

Get Engaged to Make the Sale

By Ernest O’Dell

Ordinary salespeople make cold calls. Smart salespeople make 15-minute speeches to seminars, conferences and business network groups during breakfast or lunch and collect 50 or more leads. Think about it…

What is the dumbest question you’ve ever heard in sales?

What will it take to get your business?” This is sales stupidity. It’s usually asked at the end of the sales presentation; and no matter how intelligent you looked at the beginning, all that is thrown out the window when you make that mistake.

You should know what it takes to get their business. Salespeople never cease to amaze me when it comes to losing a sale. Let’s talk about “intelligent engagement”. It’s a sales process. It’s simple, it’s effective, it’s applicable to any sales situation and, most importantly, it’s transferable.

Click the link below to read the rest of the article…

Get Engaged to Make the Sale – GUERRILLA REVIEW.pdf

Getting Over The Competition

Don’t you just wish the competition would go away?

By now, all the “there’s plenty of room for everyone” and “competition is healthy” proponents have gone home, or they’re broke, or both. So what’s left is the fighting few. And they’re fighting. Trust me: They’re fighting! They’re fighting for survival. They’re fighting to stay alive.

Every business is busier fighting competition and price than they are answering the phone from interested prospects.

And they’re all hoping for some miracle answer. Well, there is one. But it takes some understanding to get there. And after reading this short piece you will understand it. It’s subtle and requires more work than you’re doing now. The reward is that sales will become easier to come by if you pay attention to what is said here, and apply it in to your business.

Take a look at the options for dealing with the competition and you’ll get a clearer picture. You all know the options: over, under, around and through—well almost.

Consider these:

1. Going around the competition.

Getting around the competition requires connections, inside information and stealth tactics. Not to mention a bit of masterful political play. Alright so it’s manipulative. And borders on the sneaky. You have to “pull a crafty one” to get the business. Is that bad? Depends. To get the order, no. To get future orders is where the “depends” comes in. Depending on your “around” tactics, you may have gained a poor reputation.

2. Going under the competition.

Bad strategy. All bad. Undercut them by lowering your price? A one-time win where everyone loses. Low profits. Market deterioration. And the next-lowest price wins the same way? No. Not a good option.

3. Going through the competition.

Fighting has its place. And sometimes a fight will produce a win. Tenacity is great, but beating them down by talking trash is a losing proposition. Fighting them is a good philosophy. Sales is often a fight. But too often a fight for no reason. Some of the fight is based on the dreaded fear of loss, or desire to gain, rather than the less combative one preferred by the customer: desire to help. Tip: You may also go inside the competition. Learn all you can about their strengths and weaknesses. This is especially necessary for product and service sales.

4. Going over the competition.

This is the ideal way. It assumes that you take the high ground. Now don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean that you can sit back and wait. It means you have to rise above your competitors in a way that they have to respond or lose.

Here are a few ways over:

  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Trade Shows
  • E-zines and Newsletters
  • Referrals
  • Build value by building profit
  • Earn testimonials and use them to get over again. Others speaking on your behalf is better than any sales pitch against someone else.

If you invest the time and effort it takes to go over the competition, you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams, and sales will be easier and more fun. And once you reach a high level of over you will be qualified for the highest level.

5. Ignore the competition.

Sales and competition share the same adage: “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” Sounds a bit stuffy, but it’s better to build your skills than to try to beat someone. Go for best, not beat. It’s a better, cleaner win. Will you always win? No, but you will always feel that you should have. Have self-confidence to keep you ready for the next opportunity. Wake up the next day and go to work sharpening your skills.

This is not a simple solution. Rather you have been presented facts and philosophy and the chance to make your own decisions about how you want to handle the competition. Some of you reading this will think that the way over is foolish, idealistic or worse—unobtainable. That will only help the competition.

Dealing with the competition, over or ignore are the hardest ways—but they work. And the longer you go over them the more you can ignore them.

Yes, you want to beat the competition—it’s instinctive. But a smarter path is to have them looking over their shoulders to see where you are. Let them hear your footsteps and beat them by being chosen or preferred.

When a prospect picks you over the competition, it’s a day to celebrate and a day to discover why.

When you figure out why you were chosen—what works and what doesn’t work—then all you have to do is repeat the process.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse… repeat.

Getting Over The Competition.pdf

The Tech Savvy Business Owner

Turn Your Telephone Into A Virtual Lead Generating Machine

To stay competitive and dominate your market, you must find innovative ways to maximize your investment in your marketing and sales campaigns. You can do that by enhancing your customer relationships through state-of-the-art communications and Unified Messaging. Whether you run a real estate agency, an insurance business, a medical practice or a direct marketing and sales business, doesn’t make any difference…

To become competitive, to stay competitive, and to dominate your market sector can be accomplished with a virtual PBX system, or “virtual Executive Assistant.”

It is no longer necessary to spend money on equipment to put in your telco closet. It is all transparent now: your communication needs are “plugged in” by simply setting up your virtual system in less than 5 minutes.

When you do this, you will have performed a bit of magic: you will have turned your simple phone system into a massive, and effective lead generation machine.

To learn more, read the rest of the article by clicking on the link below…


No, The World Does NOT Revolve Around You!

By Ernest O’Dell – Guerrilla Internet Marketing and Questar TeleCommunications

Just in case one of those “positive thinking” gurus tell you that it’s “all about you” or “you deserve to be rich” or some other New Wage bilge like that, don’t get sucked into their delusion.

I’m going to elaborate as to why the world does NOT revolve around you, and why it’s NOT all about you and why nobody owes you a living.

Want to read the rest of the article? Click on the link below to download the complete article in PDF format.
No The World Does NOT Revolve Around You – GREEN BAR.pdf