Poor information leads to bad decisions


I experienced a hilarious contradiction of ethics. Hilarious at the time, but now that I think about it more, it was actually pretty scary. Each week during the school year I teach entrepreneurship classes to high school seniors as a Junior Achievement volunteer. Junior Achievement supplies the curriculum, solicits interested high school teachers and puts them into contact with volunteers like me to teach the courses to their students. The entrepreneurship course is an hour a week for seven with topics including market analysis, differentiation, product development, marketing, ethics and business planning. Ethics is always my favorite because of the fun discussions it elicits. One of the activities this week involved role play. I approached each student and said, “I’m your co-worker. I have discovered how to hack the time clock to add 45 minutes to everyone’s pay without getting caught. Now what do you do?” The students’ reactions ranged … Continued

Getting Everything Aligned for Maximum Member Program Growth

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When asked why I choose to run, my standard response is, “I don’t want to be fat and bald.” And that’s a large part of the truth. Fact is, before I started running, I was out of balance. Even though I’d lost 35 pounds, I still had 35 more to go in order to get where I needed to be. I was drinking 150 ounces of Diet Coke a day. To me, at that time, God should have made water taste as good as Diet Coke. I was happy, or so I thought.

Do you regret a mistake?

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Members often tell me, “I wish I had known about info-marketing before; I would have made a lot more money.” I’m always polite when someone says this; however, this type of thinking is a symptom of a larger problem. When we look back on an unpleasant situation in our lives, thoughts like these often occur: I wish I hadn’t said that; I wish I had done things differently; I wish I had stayed home that night. A lot of us have lost our heads in the heat of the moment, and then, looking back, we have thought of the one thing we could have done differently that would have changed everything. That is exactly the wrong way to think. Instead, we should recognize that we created those bad circumstances because we weren’t focused on the present moment. It’s like driving down the road in your car looking only through your … Continued

The Subtle Change That Will Transform Your Monthly Newsletter Into a Monthly Member Retention Machine

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“Oh yes, I publish a newsletter for my members every month.” That’s one of the most beautiful things I can hear when I’m working with a new client. But all too often, my excitement turns to disappointment when I learn they are referring to an e-zine they publish via email each month. There’s a place for e-zines. I love e-zines. However, an e-zine doesn’t replace a newsletter. And, please, never say the word “newsletter” when referring to something you send via email. “Email newsletter” is an oxymoron. It’s either a newsletter or an email, never both.

A little known factor in info-marketing sales

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Few info-businesses have more longevity than the one I’m about to describe. Launched in 1872, it’s 142 years old, predating the telephone and the electric light bulb. You may be one of its million-plus subscribers or never pay it any mind, but Popular Science magazine is worth studying. The point of your and my info-marketing businesses is to provide value by helping our customers get results. But Popular Science isn’t trying to make its readers into scientists. So, why would someone read it? The fact is 1.2 million “someones” read it, and the magazine has maintained its numbers over the last several years, a difficult time for the publishing industry. Popular Science attracts its large audience because curious people want to know how things work. The magazine provides a lot of illustrations and charts to demonstrate various interesting things, such as how jet engines, stem cell therapies and airline flight … Continued

Launching a New Membership, From Zero to Twenty

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Willie Miranda built his real estate business the same way he built his Allstate Insurance agency — with referrals. When Willie discovered Craig Proctor-style direct response marketing for real estate agents, the customers he generated were in addition to those he was already meeting through his existing referral marketing systems.

Important Lessons Learned From Launching a New Membership

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Before you launch your business, it’s all speculation. You know what you’d love to teach. You know what you wish had been available for you as you were growing. But, you don’t know what customers will buy or how much they’ll pay. That’s why you have to launch. Dr. Darold Opp recently launched a high-end product and coaching program for family dentists with an event called $786,000 Preventative Services Goldmine. There were more than 30 attendees at the $5,000 per dentist event, one of the most expensive programs available in the dentistry niche. Dr. Opp is a solo dentist generating over $3.5 million in revenue with more than $1 million a year going to the bottom line. While that top line is impressive, we learned that’s not what dentists were most excited to buy. In fact, dentists were most excited about learning how Dr. Opp structured his hygiene department to … Continued

Unseen fear and how to overcome it

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Our brains are programed to fight for survival, similar to other animals. If a squirrel is on the ground searching for nuts, hears a tree branch break, feels a swoosh of wind and then feels a sharp pain in her side, she is going escape by running into the woods, barely thwarting the hungry hawk. What happens the next time that squirrel hears a branch break and feels a gust of wind? She’s going to run to the nearest tree, and her side is going to ache, even when the hawk isn’t around. Running for cover is now an involuntary response every time she senses that combination of experiences. Our brains are programmed in the same way. When we experience accidents or other traumatic events in our lives, our brains create responses to protect us from those things happening again in the future. As an example, imagine you fell out … Continued

Nine Months of Running 30+ Miles a Week Ends With a Beer (or Two)

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No beer has ever tasted so good, and what better place to enjoy one than at our favorite pizza place, Mellow Mushroom. My wife, Kory, had a Michelob Ultra. I had a Blue Moon with a splash of Sprite. We toasted completing the marathon — the culmination of 9 months of training. Just a few years ago I was a total couch potato. I never ran. In fact, I made fun of runners. It all sounded really stupid. That all started to change for me at my wife’s 40th birthday party. A friend of my wife’s started talking about how she was learning to run by listening to a podcast.

Some people shouldn’t be encouraged.


There are many ways to fail in any business launch. The info-marketing business is no exception. You can choose a niche that is too large, under research your niche and launch the wrong product, market poorly, market too little or rely too much on joint ventures—and this is just the beginning of the list. Life is too short. I don’t want to be misled by someone who is trying to spare my feelings. If I’m missing something important, I want to be told. I assume the same with the clients I work with. That’s why it irritates me when I see others teaching to “pursue your passion” or “follow your dream.” That’s cruel. Only fools expect success without effort. You want to build the foundation of a business so that the business will continue to grow. It will take work, a lot of learning and a serious investment. But you … Continued