July 4th for Americans is a chance to celebrate our independence. Trust me, I'm
not going to get on a soapbox and start waving the flag - but I do think it's
important no matter what country you live in to really think about that word
"independence" and its meaning for you.
My father reminded me that July 3, 1976 was his "Independence day"
since that's the date my family came over to the United States from Russia.
(Pretty cool since it was right before the bi-centennial celebration.)
For me, my independence day was on July 1, 1999.
That's the date I left my father's business to work on my own. It was by far one
of the hardest decisions of my life. You see, I had worked for my dad since I
was 12 and he thought I was going to take over the company. I had that same
thought as well until I got the "bug".
In fact, my wife, Missy, and I were talking about this recently. She was talking
about how when she met me 9 years ago, I had only one thought: "how to grow
my father's business". I would stay late working on new ads and marketing
pieces. I was in early calling my accounts trying to make sales, etc. etc.
Now I had been studying direct marketing, and results were really paying off for
my dad's business. (Actually they still use a lot of the ads I wrote in 1998
because they still work today.) But with every ad I wrote I was getting more and
Not because the ads weren't producing sales - they were - but because of the
grief and politics I had to deal with. Everybody seemed to be an advertising
expert even though they've never studied or read anything on the subject.
People mistakenly believe that if they wouldn't "read all that
copy" then nobody will. Or if the ad is "ugly" and has no
pictures or pretty graphics it won't work.
Complete and total crap.
For every ad I wrote I had to fight to get it out there. I got sick of it and
decided I would create my own product so I could write ads for myself. My first
product was to help dermatologists who wanted new cosmetic patients. It was a
big kit (manual, tapes, reports, diskette, etc) based around some marketing
consulting I was doing on the side for one of my customers.
I ran my first ad in April 1998 in Dermatologic Surgery magazine. I got 10
responses so I sent them the 20-page sales letter I'd written selling this $900
kit. Not one order.
Sent out a 2nd notice to those 10 respondents.
Then I sent a 3rd notice telling them the expiration date to get all the free
bonuses was only 10 days away. Finally on the very last day of the expiration
date I got one order over the fax machine.
I still remember that doctor's name in Flushing, NY. What an incredible feeling.
That was the start of my independence. I realized I now had the power to chart
my course as I wanted. That first sale. That's one of the greatest feelings in
the world - when something you've created is sold. It took me a little over a
year after that first order to realize I wanted my freedom and I finally
quit on July 1, 1999.
Maybe it's the new confidence you get when you realize you've created something
that people want and are willing to exchange money for. That first sale is
usually the hardest (but also the most rewarding).
It's wonderful when I help turn on that light in people. I've seen it first-hand
working my Apprentices and seeing them launch their products. How amazed they
are by the money pouring from around the globe. I love it!
And my wife is striking out on her own with a little bit of my help. She set up
her first web site - (www.InstantThankYouLetters.com)
and she's getting checks each month.
So when will your independence day be?
If you've already achieved it - I bet you can remember it perfectly. Sometimes
the bleakest times that we believe are terrible actually turn into a perfect
Take my good friend, Jim Edwards', for example. His independence day came
because he got fired. To him that wasn't a blessing at first but as he looks
back on it - it's the best thing that ever happened.
I remember the conversation we had right after it happened. I was drinking a
bourbon and Jim was having a beer. We were talking about different projects he
could try and pursue and do now. We were throwing around some ideas and we came
up with "33 Days to Online Profits".
It was right there during that call that we outlined each of the days and
moved forward from there. And "33 Days" has been a tremendous
six-figure income earner for both of us and it doesn't seem to let up.
So what can you do to achieve your independence?
I'll give you a couple things to take to heart. I can't remember the author who
said this but he said if you show me what a man does in his spare time I'll show
you the type of man he'll become. What are doing with your spare time?
- Watching TV or reading?
- Napping or practicing your copywriting?
- Yakking to your friends or studying direct marketing?
It all comes down to the choices we make every single day. In fact, you
shouldn't let one day go by without making sure you are taking at least one
proactive step towards your own independence.
Just because the thought of you doing what you want when you want may seem so
far away - don't let that stop you from taking those baby steps each and every
day. That's one of my rules and I hope you'll adopt it.
Learn to be different. The truth is you need to become extraordinary to achieve
extraordinary results. You can't be like everyone else (and why would you want
to). That means doing the things other don't (or won't) do. That means not
listening to their advice (unless they are doing what you want to do).
Frankly, if you simply did the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing
you'd turn out okay.
Why? If only 5% of people are truly successful and the 95% are the mediocre
majority - doesn't that mean the majority is wrong? Don't engage in their
thinking. Don't follow their lead. Don't adhere to the same values and standards
the "95-percenters" do.
Two people who really helped me clarify my thinking on this was Early
Nightingale and also Dan Kennedy.
Please don't get me wrong - in no way am I trying to be elitist. I'm not. But it
is tremendously important to go through your day with your eyes wide open. The
truth is most of your friends (right now) probably don't want you to change and
succeed. That would imply that they are losers.
That would mean they are failures. Nobody is going to propel you to succeed
So get on it and proclaim your own Independence Day
(c) Surefire Marketing, Inc.
Yanik Silver is recognized as the leading expert on creating automatic,
moneymaking websites...and he still doesn't know how to put up a website.
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