My first book was published in 1984.
It was called Zen and the Art of Writing.
It contained methods for increasing creativity, from NLP to meditation to Focusing to improv, all tools I had studied along the way in developing myself as a writer.
It was cause for celebration as I had struggled my entire adult life to get published, through homelessness and poverty, and a lot of desperate days and nights.
Well, I was finally published.
But ultimately that led to disappointment.
Because I didn’t have a name, or a following, or a marketing formula, or a very good publisher, the book was a dud.
I didn’t receive a dime from the book.
I was left to continue my struggle.
It would be almost ten more years (!) before I had a book published that did anything for me.
In 1992 I released The Seven Lost Secrets of Success and got a taste of what it’s like to be a rising star as an author.
I discovered that a book is an advertisement for my services.
People would read it and want to do business with me.
I never received an advance for the book, though.
But being the author of it brought me opportunities.
I was invited to speak at events, go on radio shows, get hired to write sales letters and ads, and more.
The book brought me business.
But it would get even better.
In 1994 I wrote The AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising for the American Management Association.
I received a small advance – finally – for that book.
At first I was disappointed at such a low amount.
But after decades of trying to get published and finally receiving an advance, even a small one, I was grateful.
And that book changed my life.
Complete strangers and large companies hired me without meeting me, all because I was the author of an important book.
I’m talking known entities like The Red Cross, as well as movers and shakers such as politicians, lawyers, authors, speakers, celebrities, oil magnates, millionaires and billionaires, CEOs and more.
All I had to do was answer the phone.
And by then I had a bit of a local name as a copywriter, had my own small database of fans, and was with a publisher that at least knew a little about marketing.
I was able to leverage my books into attracting more money.
Being an author made me an author-ity.
That was a turning point in my career.
That experience of being published and being seen as the authority happened repeatedly, and kept growing, as I kept writing, publishing, and marketing.
In 1996 I wrote one of the pioneering books on how to make money online.
It was titled Cyber Writing and it, too, brought me more business as a copywriter, even though the book itself brought me almost nothing in terms of royalties.
And because the Internet was now available to the masses, my audience became the entire world.
Of course, releasing Hypnotic Writing (thanks to Mark Joyner’s persistent encouragement) as my first e-book (and later selling it to a major publisher) did wonders in establishing me as the copywriter to hire.
I became an Internet celebrity.
I could list more publishing milestones, both audio and print, but you get the idea.
Obviously, being an author gives a credibility that is bankable.
But the best was yet to come.
In 2006 I was invited to appear in what became the hit movie The Secret — invited because of one of my books (The Attractor Factor) — and I ended up in the New York Times best-selling book, The Secret, too.
And while I wasn’t paid to be in the book (or the movie), being included in such historic wonders brought global attention to me and elevated my career into outer space.
Being a contributing author in such a mega-bestseller brought me even bigger and better opportunities, even when neither the book or movie brought me anything directly financially.
I’m now an acknowledged success.
The offers and opportunities keep rolling in.
It’s a sweet life.
But it sure didn’t happen overnight.
What I’m offering you today is a way to have “overnight” success – and save yourself all the hassle and disappointment I went through – by being a coauthor in my next bestselling book, what I’m calling “The Prosperity Factor.”
A few people want to know why there’s an investment to participate.
Because you’re paying to skyrocket your career in one strategic move.
You can play the game and try to get published on your own.
I did that.
It took me DECADES.
And even if and when you get published on your own, you still need to promote your book.
If you don’t have a built in audience, or a reputation, or a list, or a plan, good luck.
I tried that, too.
Took me years.
What I’m offering you is a one time chance to explode on the scene – riding on my name and fame, benefiting from my database and strategy, and guaranteed to be a bestselling author almost overnight.
I have a team in place to help you.
I have the printer and the contacts.
They all need paid.
Your investment is an investment to leap over the desperate masses and shine as a bestselling author – now, not decades from now.
It’s an investment in yourself.
Believe me, if I could have done this in my struggle years, and hitched my wagon to a star, and had success as an author almost instantly, I would have grabbed it.
It would have saved me years to decades of waiting, praying, trying, hoping and struggling.
If you see the value of being in and on the cover of my next bestseller, and advancing your career in one smart move, then go to http://www.instantbestsellingauthor.com
This is your chance.
PS – Keep in mind that a lot of people will want to be in this book, and space is obviously limited, so if you are sincerely interested in advancing your career in one strategic smart move, then please zip over to http://www.instantbestsellingauthor.com right now. This is your moment. Grab it. Why not do it right now, while it’s on your mind?
I’ve been reading the book, The Einstein of Money, about the legendary investor — the inspiration for Warren Buffett and countless others — Benjamin Graham.
While I’m not personally an active investor in anything but guitars, a couple of cars, and rare books on marketing and metaphysics, I wanted to learn what this icon had to say about money.
As I was reading it, I was reminded of my own formula for attracting more money.
It goes like this:
Profit = P + P.
I failed algebra in the ninth grade (retook it with a different instructor the next year and got straight A’s, thank you for asking), so my formulas are simple.
They need to be, so I can understand them.
Mine goes like this –
Profit equals your Passion plus the Public’s Interest.
Here’s an example:
Waaaaay back in the early 1990s, I was inspired to learn all I could about Bruce Barton, the now forgotten ad man of the Roaring Twenties, cofounder of BBDO (the giant ad agency), a bestselling author of many books, including The Man Nobody Knows (still in print today), and so much more.
I was fascinated and mystified by the man, his enormous successes, and the strange reality of his being virtually forgotten by the 1960s.
All my research led to my writing a book that became (and still is) one of my most popular ones.
So let’s see how the formula worked in this case:
My Passion urged me to investigate Bruce Barton.
There was no rhyme or reason to it.
No contract from a publisher.
No one paying me. (I was in fact broke at the time and struggling.)
From outer reality, there was no evidence at all that a book on Barton would go anywhere.
But I followed my passion anyway.
When it came time for me to title the book, I knew the Public didn’t care about Barton.
After all, he was already forgotten by the 1930s and dead by the 1960s and a footnote in advertising today.
The Public would not buy a biography of Barton.
What would the public buy?
What was their interest?
I knew from my own interest in self-help, self-development and success literature, that the Public has a solid, always hungry interest in success.
So I titled the book The Seven Lost Secrets of Success.
I used the formula of Passion (my interest in Barton) and added Public (their interest in Success) and created a new product (a retitled book).
But did it lead to Profit?
The book was first published in 1992. It quickly went through numerous editions, being sold to my mailing list at the time (this was before the Internet, so it was all snail mail).
One mutilevel marketing company loved it and bought 19,500 copies of it for everyone in their business. (!)
Later, a big publisher bought it from me and published it.
It’s still in print today.
So, yes, it led to Profit.
The formula works
The problem with most people is that they never focus on passion to begin with.
They just chase money.
Money is a lousy motivator.
Passion, on the other hand, is real fire.
But when people follow their passion, they often forget to think of what the public wants.
The public pays for it, so you need to tie your interests to their interests.
You have to find the intersection of your passion and their desires.
While someone later came out with a biography of Bruce Barton, it did not sell well. I’m glad Barton got the attention and respect a biography gives, but from a Profit standpoint, thinking of what the Public wants is wiser. (Actually, if you look at the subtitle of the biography on Barton, you’ll see that the author tried to widen his reach to appeal to the public by not just writing a biography of Barton, but by making it about America itself.)
Here’s my formula again —
Profit equals your Passion plus the Public’s Interest.
A lot of my thinking about this developed decades ago, when I read a little book from 1928 called, How to Profit from that Impulse. While that 68 page book, which was about poetry, didn’t reveal any formula that I remember, it got me thinking about how to profit from your passion. That led, in time, to the formula I just revealed to you.
I’ve applied this same formula to my music.
When I decided to become a musician, I did enough research to shockingly discover that there are 3,000 new albums released weekly. (!)
That’s overwhelming competition.
How would I ever stand out in the crowd?
I looked at my Passion (making original music), thought about what the Public wants (to be healthy and happy), and opted to become the world’s first self-help singer-songwriter.
My Product/Profit became a new category of music that I call Healing Music.
This has paid off with seven albums so far, all doing well enough for me to be encouraged to make more. (And I will, including me playing the saxophone on a future album.)
As you can see, the formula works.
You just need to apply it.
Here it is one more time for you to ponder —
Profit equals your Passion plus the Public’s interest.
I’m still reading The Einstein of Money, but doubt Benjamin Graham had much to say about my formula for success. And remember that even high rollers and big time investors are often motivated by something other than money.
As Donald Trump once said –
“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”
Play the game of attracting money, try out my P=P+P formula, and see what you think.
PS – Want more? The definitive audio course on attracting money is still The Secret to Attracting Money.
The hit AMC television show, Mad Men, has been riveting and repulsing me since I first started watching it years ago. You’d think I’d turn it off. But there are moments in the show when brilliance comes through and I sit in awe. Then again, there are way too many moments where I’m just disgusted.
In case you didn’t know, Mad Men is a soap opera-ish adult drama about an up-start advertising agency in New York City in the 1960s. The characters are alive and easy to love or hate; the sets are so real it feels like you time traveled right to the sixties; the conflicts, personal and public, are engaging; the dialogue is human, real, and sometimes profound. All in all, it’s no wonder the show is a hit. It’s prime time drama with unique elements. And it’s won 15 Golden Globe awards and 4 Emmys — so far.
So why does it repulse me?
Virtually everyone on Mad Men has at least one psychological problem. The leader of the pack is of course Don Draper, brilliantly played by actor Jon Hamm. Draper has so many demons inside his skull, he’s a walking version of an internal hell. He’s self-destructive with women and booze, but he’s also often a genius at ad campaigns. He’s got so many secrets he might as well call himself Freud’s best candidate for therapy. In fact, he’s not even Don Draper. That’s the identity the character stole long before he became an ad man. Ah, the twists into mental hell.
Of course, I didn’t like it at all when Lane Pryce, a charming character in the show (played by Jared Harris), embezzled money from the company, was caught by Don Draper, and committed suicide. That episode is still stuck in my craw. I wasn’t even going to write a blog post about the show until after that unforgettably sad airing. I liked Lane. But he, too, was deeply flawed. More than that, people unconsciously model what they see. Seeing a strong character choose suicide is not showing wisdom. Again, we unconsciously attract what we believe and expect.
But the psychological issues don’t bother me so much as the business practices the agency demonstrates.
Lying, betrayal, manipulation, head games — it’s the way of life on the TV show. The series reveals the struggling agency is a prostitute that will sell anything for money. Their chief secretary, Joan Holloway (played by Christina Hendricks), even sells her body for a one night (actually, it was a one evening) stand to get a partnership in the agency and sway a voting client to give the agency a new account. And the agency itself takes on a car company they openly believe manufactures unreliable cars. Anything for a buck.
I know something about ad agencies. I’ve studied and written about some of the real life “Mad Men” in history. Most of the names are legends in the business (and sometimes dropped on the TV show for authenticity), but many you may never have heard of unless you go Google them: John Caples, Bruce Barton, David Ogilvy, Helen Woodward, Claude Hopkins, Rosser Reeves, and more.
These people were geniuses at writing copy and creating ads that pulled in sales. Some, like Maxwell Sackheim, created ads that were so powerful in making sales, they ran unchanged for forty years.
What I admire about the real Mad Men (and Mad Women) I studied were their creativity and sincerity. Bruce Barton, the cofounder of BBDO, and the subject of my book, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success, believed sincerity was the key to success. He turned down clients he didn’t believe in, walking away from thousands to millions of dollars.
John Caples, one of the most famous copywriters in history (he wrote the legendary 1926 ad, “They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano, But When I Started to Play…!”), said Barton’s secret was one word: sincerity.
I don’t see that secret practiced in the TV show.
Obviously, there is much truth to the stories and characters in the AMC series. You can read plenty of books about that era and discover many businesses practiced that sort of insincere, manipulative advertising, marketing, and selling. Some still do today. I’m not overlooking that reality. I’ve seen it first hand.
Decades ago in Houston I was in the offices of a corporation, there to write a sales letter for the company, when the president took a call and started yelling, “If you want a $#!&**!!! war, then you got it!” He then slammed down the phone. He turned to me, smiled, and continued our conversation as if nothing had happened. It was unnerving. I was seeing “Mad Men” the TV show in action.
I didn’t like it.
That’s the dark side of business; the side that repulses me.
But there’s also the bright side.
What I am pointing out is the fact that many people and businesses practice compassionate capitalism. They practice sincerity. They did then. They do now. They work hard to offer a product or service they believe in, and they market it in ethical ways. I think they should get equal time on the air.
The Internet helped me discover a more loving way of doing business decades ago. That’s when people who should be competitors of mine became affiliates, coauthors, and supporters of mine. It was refreshing to see online businesses openly share in the income, openly share credit, and openly work on deals together. I saw love in online marketing. I practice it, and teach it. I’ve written about it, too, numerous times, and in numerous books. This love based approach to business is alive and well. Not just online, of course, but everywhere — if you look.
But I rarely see that portrayed in the Mad Men series. Sometimes Don Draper will do a noble thing. Often he exhibits genius in creating or analyzing ads and concepts. Sometimes a young executive will reveal strong ethics (usually the character named Ken Cosgrove, played by Aaron Staton) in the show.
Unfortunately, more often than not, the show reveals the shadow side of business and life. If you don’t educate and enlighten yourself, the negative elements broadcast in the show may distort your view of reality; you’ll see the negative even in the positive.
That’s where I want to see a remedy.
Here’s what I suggest:
Quit watching the show. Yea, I know, I’m not going to stop either. Not with one episode left in the current season. So at least give your brain some balance and read some of the more loving business books and read about the more wholesome business characters.
Here are a few suggestions (in no particular order):
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing (but True!) Story of Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century by Jeffrey L. Cruikshank and Arthur W. Schultz
The Seven Lost Secrets of Success by Joe Vitale
The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising by Kenneth Roman
My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Faith and Fortune: How Compassionate Capitalism Is Transforming American Business by Marc Gunther
Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World by M. Bishop
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis
Screw Business As Usual by Richard Branson
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising by Andrew Cracknell
Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the 60’s and Beyond by Jane Maas
And remember: You can be the positive example you long to see.
You may not see it on Mad Men, but you can live it.
Rather than look for inspiration, be the inspiration.
Be the hero.
PS – What books have you read showing a more positive side of doing business? I’d love to know and I’m sure others would, too. Please post a comment and tell us. Thank you.