I nearly died yesterday.
I was walking across the road and a P plater came flying down the road well over the speed limit and nearly collected me.
In fact, if I hadn’t looked up and stopped at the exact time I did, I might not be writing this message to you today.
Admittedly, I was walking while on my mobile phone and not paying as much attention to what I was doing as I should have been.
Now that’s not the normal way you would open up a Christmas message, but I think it’s really important for all of us to pay attention, particularly at this time.
Because things really can happen in an instant, can’t they?
Every year, we hear stories about babies and toddlers falling into swimming pools – it happens in an instant – and it’s devastating.
Every year, dozens of people die from car accidents which could have been avoided, particularly over this period.
More couples break up over the holiday periods.
And more people see psychologists and counselors over this period.
So pay attention to what you are doing. Stay present and in the moment. And stay safe.
Ok, now that I have got my safety message out of the way, let me tell you what I love about this period and how taking time out and enjoying yourself can even help you improve your business.
Personally, I love this time of the year because it gives me a chance to catch up with family and friends… to reflect… to give… and to have some downtime.
I will personally be away from lunchtime today until the 11th January, so it should be a nice break with lots of visits to the beach with my family… a few days in Darling Harbour showing my “little man” all the theme parks… and an opportunity to get plenty of the vitamin D from the sun.
I want to finish the year by saying a big thank you to everyone who has sent me emails throughout the year… to everyone who has invested in my products… to everyone who has shared a little of themselves… and to everyone who has taken the words I have shared and implemented them in their lives.
I may not have the time to respond to every email I receive, but I can tell you personally that I LOVE RECEIVING them and I LOVE WRITING THESE EMAILS.
And you can be certain that there will be more great ideas coming your way in January.
I heard a year or two ago that Bill Gates used to feel guilty about taking time off for holidays.
Until he started to think of this time as creative time for your brain to come up with ideas.
Now I don’t feel guilty about taking holidays. In my view, we all need recovery times, especially those of us in business who work so hard week in and week out.
But I am aware of the fact that when you take time off, when you relax and chill out… you go into what’s called your ‘alpha’ brain waves and ideas come to you.
So make sure you carry around a little notepad with you over the holidays because ideas can be like slippery fish – you gotta catch them while you can 😉
Merry Christmas… Happy Hanukkah & Happy Holidays
Today is my third last day before I take a break from everything for a couple of weeks.
And things are getting ugly.
I think it’s been all the work and stress leading up to the final day, trying to fit everything in.
For instance, I wear glasses when I am in front of the computer. And yesterday one of the sides snapped off.
I don’t have time to fix it, so I feel a little lopsided at the moment.
What’s more, my neck is out of whack (which reminds me I better call my chiropractor)…
Ok, back again now.
Anyway, my point is things are getting ugly prior to the couple of weeks I have off over xmas.
But not as ugly as the way the Australian cricket team was portrayed in the newspapers yesterday.
Apparently, it was a pretty fiery test and things got quite heated there throughout the game with the West Indies (which they won by about 35 runs I think).
It can happen in business too, can’t it.
Particularly when there are misunderstandings or things are not communicated effectively.
For instance, when I first started my business, I used to meet with customers and sell them on my copywriting services.
But when I came back with the advertisement, they were expecting to see something else.
Why? Because they had been trained to think ads were to look a certain way – and not so UGLY.
Anyway, I got tired of this pretty quickly. It wasn’t good for my client and it wasn’t good for me.
So I had a chat with my wife (who is far smarter than me in these things) and she said:
“It’s all in the framing”
You need to frame exactly what the customer will get from the very first communication. That way there will be no surprises.
And that’s what I’ve done for years:
On the first call, I explain that my ads are ugly. But they are written that way because they work.
And I ask the question: Is it more important for you to have a pretty ad or an effective ad?
Then I send a small number of samples so people can get a feeling for my style and approach.
And that little process has solved a heck of a lot of problems.
How about you?
What’s more important?
That your ad looks good? Or that your ad is effective?
If you value results over appearance, then I urge you to get your hands on http://www.copywritingthatsells.com.au/cashflow – it’s a great way of turning your downtime over Xmas into moolah in 2010.
Is social media a load of hype – interesting question, isn’t it?
After all, it’s probably the biggest phenomenon happening on the web right now.
It’s cheap. It’s easy to get onto. And it can give you massive leverage.
But there’s one downside: IT TAKES TIME.
No different to normal networking, really.
If you look at networking in the real world, it does work. I’ve gained clients from networking… I’ve met friends from networking…and while I haven’t done a lot of networking over recent years, I have made money from it before.
However, here’s what you need to weigh up.
Is the networking worth the time?
Because you know, when I look at the most successful people I know… the people bringing in seven figure incomes… they are not spending all their time on social networking sites.
They’re spending their time running ads, sending out sales letters and doing things on a larger scale.
Sure, they all network.
But they network smart.
I once went to seminar with a guy who was a millionaire. And one of the things he said was: don’t spend all your time at seminars talking to everyone & handing out business cards. You’re not going to get wealthy doing that.
Instead, target particular centres of influence and focus on building a relationship with them.
And a few months ago, when I interviewed a social networking expert, she said that 95% of your business from places like twitter and facebook don’t come directly from people buying from you and your links.
But that’s the way so many people are using it.
They are using it to try and sell stuff.
Instead, use this medium to build relationships. And focus on building relationships with centres of influence who really count.
And once you have invested the time in building those relationships, send them the fill in the blanks letter template on pages 10-11 of lesson #2 of http://www.morecustomersmadeeasy.com (which I’ll send you in advance if you order today) in order to leverage that relationship many, many, many times over.
Remember, it’s not the amount of followers you have on twitter…or the number of friends you have on facebook…in my view you can achieve huge levels of success…
By cultivating DEEP relationships with KEY centres of influence.
Nurturing those relationships by providing them with quality information, ideas & conversation.
And then using the strategies in lesson #2 of http://www.morecustomersmadeeasy.com in order to ethically monetise those relationships so everyone wins 😉
Remember, when they zig, you zag.