Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

Inspiration

Impossible Is Nothing: Read This When You Feel Like Giving Up

Henry Ford decided to produce his now famous V8 engine.  He had, fixed in his mind, the exact image of what he wanted his new engine to look like – all 8 cylinders were to be cast in one block.  He sat down with his engineers to produce a design, but his engineers were unanimous, telling Ford what he wanted was simply impossible to achieve. Ford said, “Produce it anyway.”

“But,” they replied, “it’s impossible."

“Go ahead,” Ford commanded, “and stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required.”

Tree
Tree

So the engineers went ahead as instructed – they really had no option if they wanted to keep their jobs.  Six months passed, and nothing happened.  The engineers tried every conceivable plan to meet Ford’s orders, but the thing seemed out of the question: “impossible!”  At the end of the year Ford checked in with his engineers and they still had nothing to show him – they had found no way to build what he wanted.

“Go right ahead,” said Ford. “I want it, and I’ll have it.”  So they kept forging ahead… and achieved it.

If you can conceive of it – you can achieve it.  It’s been proven time and time again.  Thomas Edison imagined a lamp powered by electricity, and despite having over 10,000 failures, we have him to thank for our brightly lit houses, our X-boxes (?!), our refrigerators.

Marconi dreamed a way of to harness the intangible forces of the ether – a way to connect the most humble of homes and most stately of mansions.  His “friends” admitted him for psychiatric evaluation when he announced he’d discovered a way to send messages through the air without the aid of wires, or any other physical means.  His invention?  The radio.

Be as GREAT as you can imagine.  Set your sights on BIG goals, not little ones. Settling for less, or deciding to be small to keep others happy, helps no one.  Be careful whom you listen to and share your dreams with.

And, as Winston Churchill said, “Never, never give up.”

The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business. The actor went on to enjoy an acting career that so far has spanned 4 decades.  He has been ranked #1 in the Top 100 Movie Stars Of All Time, and today is still the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.  The actor? - Harrison Ford

This author’s first book was rejected by 12 publishing houses and sixteen agents. The author? John Grisham.

This band was turned down by a recording company that told them "We don't like your sound, and guitar music is on the way out." They were talking about the Beatles.

Told by a music teacher, "As a composer you are hopeless!" - Beethoven

Fired from a newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas" - Walt Disney

Acorn
Acorn

Were told by Publishers that "anthologies didn't sell" and the book was "too positive."  Rejected a total of 140 times. The book? Chicken Soup for the Soul: it now has 65 different titles and has sold over 80 million copies all over the world.

No matter what challenges you might be facing right now, don’t let anyone push you off your path

Within every acorn lies a mighty oak tree.  But remember, the gardener has to actually take action and plant the acorn for it to grow.

So too do you have to put your ideas into action.

The best way forward is always through.  Make something happen.

How to Turn Mud Into Chocolate Mud Pies ...

"When written in Chinese the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity"  ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959 Nearly a month ago a small tornado ripped through the sleepy town of Dexter, MI.  As with most tornados, it arrived with little warning and plowed a path of destruction that stretched over 10 miles, upending trees, houses and the lives of the people who live and work there.

Dexter also happens to be the city just north west of where I live.

And its where I keep my horse.

By nothing short of a miracle, the tornado missed the barn by less than ¼ of a mile.  The night the tornado unleashed its fury I got a text from the barn manager to say that despite the 135 mph winds, all people, animals and property were safe.

I happen to believe in miracles, and that was certainly one of them!

The next morning I yanked on my boots, hopped in my car and headed out there to double check on my horse.

As I approached the little town, the first sight of damage I saw was that it looked like someone had emptied 100 dumpsters worth of trash onto the branches of trees.  The damage got worse as I drove on.  It looked like a war zone and I felt like as if I was part of some kind of horror movie set on a Hollywood backlot.

King Kong had stepped on a car wash building and squashed it flat as a pancake.

A restaurant had its whole top floor ripped off.

Cars were overturned or wedged into the side of buildings.  Homes destroyed beyond recognition.

A somber parade of more than 30 huge landscaping trucks shuddered past me to begin the mammoth clean up task.

As I sat in the traffic jam, I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the local business owners.  Dexter has a thriving small business community, but how many would have planned  for this kind of catastrophic event?  Very few was my guess.  Most would have woken up that day thinking it was just going to be a regular, old Thursday.   Now, in one foul swoop their incomes had been severed, their homes damaged, and they had no idea when they’d next receive another paycheck ….

Except for one little business, that is.….

Which just so happens to be my favorite little coffee hut out there.

As I approached the lot where the coffee hut was located,  I noticed that unlike the rest of Dexter (which understandably was in a total state of shock and mourning), the place was a hive of activity.  The vibe, very upbeat.   Everywhere I looked there were people – in cars, out of cars, directing traffic, talking to each other…there was laughter even - police officers, landscaping crews, rescue crews, locals, volunteers…

In fact, you could say the place was rocking.

I also noticed that everyone seemed to be drinking coffee!

Turns out the little hut had survived the tornado but had no power or water.

That would have been enough to keep most businesses shut.

Not this little business.

The owner had brought in a mobile truck complete with generator, a portable espresso machine and a cash register. And someone had been up baking carrot cake muffins that were being handed out left, right and center.  Extra staff had been called in to help, and they were taking, and making coffee orders like crazy.

Never mind that the parking lot was strewn with debris, or had huge potholes which a mini could get lost in.  The staff were running around, taking orders, bringing coffees, boosting morale.

Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

On one day I’m sure that little business made more money in a 24 hour period then it did the whole month prior.

That takes some “hootzpah, and some fierce bulldog determination to succeed no matter what.  I don’t know that owner, he isn’t part of any of my coaching groups at the Client Stampede, but I’m going to seek him out to hopefully interview him on how to thrive despite mountain sized obstacles

Reminds me of another favorite quote of mine…

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of equal or greater opportunity" - Napolean Hill

Press on ...

Earlier this week I was on a coaching call with one of my Platinum members, and she was having a vent session. You know, one of those horrible "this is all just too hard I think I should just give up, I'm not really cut out to do this"..kind of vent session.

I've certainly had them and I bet you have too.

When I was a kid, my Mom used to call these outbursts "haircuts". All we'd have to say to her is "Mom - I need to have a haircut - can you listen for a sec?". And we'd let it all hang out, moan, whine and complain...and within 5 minutes, usually felt a lot better.

Vent sessions are important. No - they're critical for your success.

Being a solopreneur can be lonely and terribly isolating...there you are banging away at your key board, with just your dog at your feet...and an empty coffee mug on your desk. Its essential you have an outlet - someone you can trust your innermost fears to, who's not going to freak out (like your husband who just saw the credit card bill and is wondering if this "marketing stuff really works!")

That's the power of having a good coach.

Someone who can help you walk through your fears, realign your path, and keep you moving exactly where you need to go.

I heard someone once say that you can never put a price on having someone in your life who believes in you more than you believe in yourself...

I saw the power of this when I was 15 years old in high school. My Mom's best friend also happened to be the vice principal of my high school and the head of the math department...

Now math has NEVER been my strong suit. But when I was 15, the vice principal took my Mom aside one day and told her that I didn't have a hope of passing my math exam that year. And of course, my now very worried Mom, told me...

Thing is...she was probably right.

Except that that wasn't what I wanted to hear..and I'm a Capricorn (goat) ...so, if you want me to do something...just tell me it can't be done and I'll find a path to get there!

That year I got a math coach and met with her religiously twice a week. For me that was akin to having to get a root canal on a regular basis

...algebra, statistics, fractions YECH!!!

There were times I'd show up to those coaching sessions in floods of tears because I just didn't "get" it. My coach would quietly listen, and when I'd finished throwing my pity party and having a vent session, she'd say to me quietly "alright...now where were we.."

That year I passed my math exam with 76% - a personal triumph of epidemic proportions! But if my coach hadn't believed in me...or had told me that it was unlikely I'd pass and I should just "stick to art"...I would never, ever had known what I was capable of.

What about you?

What problem are you grappling with at the moment that makes you just want to scream? Is it bad enough to make you question whether you should throw in the towel and just go get a desk job working for someone else?

Never, NEVER, Never Give Up!!!

You were given your dreams for a purpose. The fact that your goal is to make $100K, $200K, $500K, or to work less without sacrificing income so you can spend more time with your family...I believe these are your God given desires.

You've got them for a reason. Its your job to grace the world with your own form of beauty - no one else offers what you do, in the way that you do.

This week's ezine is all about the power of perseverance.

I want to give you a giant helping of inspiration to help you push through whatever you might be struggling with right now. (Keep this ezine in a safe place so you can reread it when you need to!)

Winston Churchill famously once said "never,never, never give up."

There's another saying I love - an old Japanese proverb that says "fall done 7 times get up 8."

But by far, one of my favorite quotes of all time is the one Erin Brokovich carried around in her pocket in a letter her Dad wrote.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

To your massive abundance and success!

How a Cow Shaped Rubber Band Sparked a Fashion Revolution and Made a Fortune

This month, while trawling for interesting information to share with you in Marketing Dynamite, I stumbled on an interesting article in Inc magazine called “How I Did It.” It was about a guy named Robert Croak who in 2006 started a national fashion frenzy by introducing colorful shaped rubber bands called Silly Bandz. At their peak in 2008, his little company was selling more than 1 million packs of Silly Bandz a week and people were driving to its offices from Alabama, Indiana, and Kentucky because his phone lines were jammed up with orders. In Inc, Croak talks about being so overwhelmed with shipments at one stage that the company ran an ad on Facebook saying:  “if anyone was looking for work, they’d hire them on the spot – with a line down the street, and a full warehouse, they started packing shipments on tables on the sidewalk.”  Croak goes on to say “Silly Bandz put me in a category of wealth that most people have never imagined, and everybody wants to look at me and say ‘that guy got lucky,’ when in reality it took me 20 years to get where I am today.”

I tell you this story because all too often we assume that an overnight success is just that – luck, when rarely luck has anything to do with it. It’s the culmination of invisible years of multiple failures, bulldog tenacity, sweat, massive risk, a steadfast goal and belief in yourself.

The Kardashian "Mother Lode" - How Chris Jenner Created The Kardashian Juggernaut

Love 'em or hate 'em, reality tv stars, The Kardashians and Kardashian Inc. are branding powerhouses to be reckoned with. Last year they earned $65 million – more than Tom Cruise, Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie combined. This year their estimated earnings are set to top more than $100 million. From fragrances and paid endorsements to designer duds and a “destination Kardashian” at the Mirage in Las Vegas (which houses every product the family endorses). “We’ll take Kim in a bikini and put her on a beach towel,” mother Kris Jenner says. “So you would be laying on a Kardashian at the pool.” The hotel itself will be a Kardashian shrine: room keys will bear their image, each of the 4,338 rooms will house Kardashian-branded water in the minibars, Kim’s fragrance on the vanity; oh, and Kim and the girls will be vamping on a dozen of the new slot machines. Really? You can lay on a Kardashian by the poolside and this is their mom speaking? (Actually it was Kris’s idea).

The mother and “Momager” behind the Kardashian powerhouse, Kris Jenner, may be many things – bossy, controlling, nosy, obsessed with personal lubricant to name a few, but when it comes to monetizing her family’s reality TV fame in inventive and controversial ways, the woman can’t be beat.

And, just like the inventor of Silly Bandz, the success she’s created for her family hasn’t been overnight either – it’s been many, many years in the making. A former airline hostess, she started back in the early 90s selling exercise equipment via an informercial she wrote and produced with gold medalist hubby Bruce Jenner.......... (continued below).

Kris met husband Jenner on a blind date - at the time he was doing  a little motivational speaking, a few public appearances but mostly playing a whole lot of golf.  Kris recognized an opportunity when she saw one and began overseeing his speaking engagements and management deals.

By 1994, Kris and Bruce launched a line of stair-climbing fitness equipment via a self-produced infomercial, “Super Fit With Bruce Jenner,” in which they both appeared. The ad was a success, running 2,000 times a month in 17 countries, however in 1995 and 1997,Kris added 2 more daughters to the clan and her show biz career took a 10-year hiatus.

In February of 2007, inspired by the Success of Sharon Osbourne and the Ozzy Osbourne Show, Kris independently produced a presentation tape of a reality show following her family and had begun shopping it to different production companies.  It was about this time that Kim Kardashian sat her Mom down and told her that a sex tape she'd made with her boyfriend had been sold to an adult film distributor and was going on sale at the end of the month.  If there was ever a time to turn lemons into lemonade, this was it.  Kris hired a spin doctor to handle the public outcry. Vivid, the adult film distributor ended up having to pay Kim a reported $5 million for the sex tape and the tape itself went on to become one of Vivid’s best-selling DVDs in 10 years — putting the Kardashians squarely on the map. In 2006 Kris signed a deal with Ryan Seacrest Productions to follow her family on a new reality tv series - Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

“My job", said Kris "is trying to take my kids’ 15 minutes and turn it into 30.”

Looks like she hit the ball out of the park on that one ...

Got Rejected? Buck Up And Read This ...

As Super Entrepreneur Kathy Ireland recently told me "I love it when people tell me no, because then I say 'well great, now at least we're talking!' ." If you're feeling a little down and out because of a little rejection, then buck up, toughen up, and most importantly don't give up,  because you're in great company:

The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business. This actor went on anyway to enjoy an acting career that so far spans 4 decades, has been ranked #1 in the Top 100 Movie Stars Of All Time, and today is still the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.  The actor? - Harrison Ford

This author’s first book was rejected by 12 publishing houses and sixteen agents. The author? John Grisham.

This band was turned down by a recording company who told them "We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out." They were talking about the Beatles

A chubby child, this boy was told by a music teacher "as a composer he is hopeless" - Beethoven

This well known person was fired from a newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas" - Walt Disney

This author was told by Publishers that "anthologies didn't sell" and his book was "too positive" .  He was rejected a total of 140 times. The book? Chicken Soup for the Soul. It now has 65 different titles and has sold over 80 million copies all over the world.

Feeling better?  Ok good - now go out there and make that sale :)

Ode to David Ogilvy

One of the Most Brilliant Advertisers of All Time – This cantankerous and controversial old Scotsman would have turned 100 this year.

Best Ogilvy Quotes:

“Good copy can't be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You've got to believe in the product."

 “If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.”

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine."

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

“Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.”

“I don't know the rules of grammar... If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”

“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”

Recommended Reading: “Ogilvy On Advertising” by David Ogilvy – he’s funny, insightful and a brilliant writer and copywriter.

How to use “Power Phrases” to effortlessly sell your prospects without sounding like a used car salesman.

Words are the most powerful weapons we have.  Your ability to write copy that connects, resonates and persuades your prospects to buy from you, will ultimately determine the size of your bank account. As Mark Twain says “The difference between the right word and almost the right word, is the difference between lightning and lightning bug”.

Now of course you can hire a copywriter to write your sales copy for you.  You may decide that’s the fastest path to get where you’re going.  Or you may decide to write it yourself. Either way I strongly urge you to study and learn how to write great copy.  It’s one of the 3 smartest investments you can make in your business.

In the meantime, here is a quick short cut or what I call “power phrases”.

Here are some examples of power phrases – these are ones to enhance your company’s image:

Who you buy from can be just as important as what you buy

We offer the most comprehensive _________ in the industry

We make life easier …

We offer practical, low cost solutions…

We’re familiar with every nuance of …..

Day after day we …..

Our total commitment to ….

We recognize the realities of ….

We don’t play games with …..

Despite what you may have heard ….

What’s our formula for success?

It’s our job to …

We offer the added advantage of ….

Here are some power phrases to justify a high price:

The ____ you receive will be worth many times the price

Treat yourself to a ______

Why pay $ ____ for a _____ when for a few dollars more you could have a ______

Allow yourself a little indulgence

Not as expensive as you think

A practical luxury

The Rolls Royce of _____

The Harvard of _________

Flagrantly expensive and worth every penny, ______ identifies you as ________

Here are some power phrases that convey security and peace of mind:

You’ll never have to take chances with …

Rest easy.

Never again will you have to …..

You won’t lose any more sleep over …..

Protects your valuable ……

Avoid embarrassing mistakes….

Gives you the assurance of …...

Incorporate some of these power phrases into your marketing and see what a difference it makes!

Lessons from a cab driver, a birthday cake and the new experience economy

In my last gold nugget I talked about how we’re entering unchartered territory.  The old economy – the way things used to be – is never coming back (in case you missed I reposted it on my blog - just look a couple of posts back) What does this mean for entrepreneurs and small business owners everywhere?  It means that we all have to adapt to the new rules of the new economy so we can thrive and prosper. Or else face imminent extinction.

This new economy could also be called the “experience” economy.  The best way for me to explain this to you is by showing you the evolution of the birthday cake.

Back in the day Moms used to make birthday cakes from scratch, mixing real eggs, flour, sugar, butter together.  It all cost mere dimes.  As we moved to a goods based economy, mom’s then paid a buck or two to Betty Crocker for premixed ingredients.  Later when the service economy grabbed hold, busy parents ordered cakes from bakeries or the grocery store which at $15, $20 cost ten times as much as packaged ingredients.  Now as time starved parents, many of us don’t make a cake or even throw a party.  Instead at $150 or more we outsource the whole thing to The Discovery Zone, the RainForest Café or some other business that’ll stage a memorable event for the kids and often throws the cake in for free.

Welcome to the emerging experience economy.

There’s a BIG difference between services and experiences.  If you ever watched any rerun’s of the old tv show Taxi – you might remember Iggy, a somewhat deplorable but fun loving cab driver who decided he was going to be the best cab driver in the world.  He served sandwiches, soda, conducted personalized tours of the city and even sang Frank Sinatra showtunes.

By engaging his customers in an actual experience, he created something else completely different from an ordinary cab ride.  One that was far more valuable and memorable, which he could charge more for.

If airlines did a better job of creating an actual memorable experience for their customers, more passengers would shop in their in-seat pocket catalogs for momentos from their flight.

So – what can you do in your business to differentiate yourself from the pack and create an actual memorable experience for your customers? That’s your homework for the week.  

Have a great week!

Julie

How you deal with failure will determine whether you ever get the chance to deal with success, or not

One of my favorite quotes is a Japanese proverb that says "fall down seven times, get up eight times". One of the biggest obstacles to our success as business owners is how we choose to deal with our failures.  When I started out in business I was chasing a ghost - a perfect model of a successful business that I somehow, some way needed to find and replicate.  Any deviations from this perfect model were a failure which I was to reprimanded for so that I could quickly brush myself off to get back on "the path".  Too many failures and I began to feel a failure myself.

Thankfully I've learned through painful trial and error that that isn't how it works.

The best explanation I've heard of how success works is that we're like an auto-guided missile.  We set off with a very clear goal - a destination in mind.  But as we get into our journey, we need to make course corrections as we go - a little to the left, a little to the right.  Sometimes a lot to the right.  And the path we end up charting is never the one we could have planned for ourselves anyway.  It's a far richer learning experience, with even greater opportunities than we could have conceived of when we started. How quickly you can recover from a failure will determine how successful you'll become.  I now teach my coaching students about the power of "failing forward".  Failures are great - as long as they don't stop us moving towards our goal.  Think of your path as an obstacle course - like a line of poles  that show dogs weave in and out of - yes you're going to hit some poles - a lot of poles on your journey.

But the goal isn't perfection - it's progress.

It all started with a Harley

We just got back from a short trip to New Zealand (we survived the Christchurch earthquake as thankfully we were all much further north, but the devastation is just horrendous). So in the true spirit of kiwi optimism, I thought I'd blog about an inspirational story about a small business startup started by two Maori brothers from new Zealand...

In the late 1980’s, there were two Maori brothers called Mike and Doug Tamaki.  They had grown up pretty poor in a small New Zealand city called Rotorua.  Known for it’s thermal springs, boiling hot mud and as the country’s center of Maori arts and culture, Rotorua’s entire industry is 100% based tourism. But during the previous 5 years, Mike had also noticed a major change happening among his people.  The younger Maori generation were leaving Rotorua in droves, and they weren’t proud of being Maori and were doing everything to disavow their own heritage and cultural roots.  So Mike Tamaki came up with a plan of his own.

He wanted to start his own cultural tourist attraction in Rotorua, but nothing like the heavily stereotyped plastic feeling dinner and dance performances offered through the hotel chains.  His dream was far bigger.  Mike wanted to create a legendary Maori experience for visitors to Rotorua – something that would give them a real appreciation for their history, way of life, hospitality and wicked sense of humor.  So Mike drew up his plan but was quickly denied by every bank he approached.  So he started on working on his brother Doug, to convince him to trade in his Harley Davidson motorbike for a 16 seater mini bus. It took a lot of persuading but finally Doug gave in, and the brothers started bringing tourists to their homes.  They’d personally pick them up from their hotels, the train station, the airport, or the bus depot and bring them to their homes. They would cook them a traditional Maori dinner, called a hangi, in the ground; introduce them to all of their extended family; and give them a real experience to go home and tell their friends about. The idea was a huge success.  So the brothers set out recreating it on a larger, grander scale.

They built from scratch a pre-European Maori village 15 minutes south of Rotorua. Many said they shouldn't, couldn't or wouldn't pull it off. The distance from hotels was seen as a deterrent, the forest setting wouldn’t be appealing, the in-ground, real hangi approach (as opposed to the shortcut versions being offered at the time) seemed labor intensive and too difficult.

The Brothers turned all of these negatives into positives. The bus journey to the village outside of Rotorua is now a major highlight; renowned for its warmth and humor. The forest environment is absolutely stunning – you walk through and each “hut” is set up with different scenes depicting their past and present ways of life.  You truly feel like you’ve gone through a window in time. The real hangi dinner has become a highlight of the visit, with travelers telling friends and family of it when they return home.

The Tamaki Maori Village now employs 150 guides, teachers, performers, and professional staff in their Rotorua project and turns over more than $10 million each year. They’ve expanded their operations to 4 other New Zealand locations.

But even greater than their financial success, the Tamaki brothers have reinvigorated an entire race of people’s pride in their own culture, shattered stereotypes, turned obstacles into selling points and achieved what everyone else told them was impossible.

Hope you have a great rest of the week :)