Your Ego Is Robbing Your Bottom Line…

iPhone09-2 335

Friday, 1:48pm
Reno, NV
Bring me the sultry wench! That one, with the fire in her eyes!” (Trapper John, M*A*S*H)


One of the single most important lessons I learned early in my career…

… a lesson so critical to success that I can easily say it’s been worth a million schmackeroos to me…

… is something almost no one wants to hear about.

Like drowning men refusing an offered hand to be pulled into the boat… I’ve gotten used to seeing people stare back in horror and bolt out of the room when I’ve tried to impart this lesson to them.

Can you guess what I’m talking about?

Of course you can.  I put it in the freakin’ headline.

If you’re not enjoying life… or not experiencing the kind of success you feel you deserve from all your hard work…

… you probably don’t have to look far to find the culprit behind your misery.

It’s you.

Actually, it’s your ego.  Which most people believe is who they are.  And you can live an entire existence trapped inside this illusion… from cradle to grave.

And never realize the prison you’ve encased yourself in.

I was very, very fortunate to stumble onto this lesson early.  The smidgeon of psychology I’d picked up in college alerted me to the ways humans “perceive” the world.

It’s natural to believe that everyone sees the world  the identical way it “looks” to to you.

This is what causes most of the arguments in bars and marriages.

It’s also what causes business owners to screw up “sure thing” sales with prospects.

This perception thing was immediately obvious to me.  I’m red-green color blind.  Throughout my school years, it was made abundantly clear to me that I wasn’t seeing things the same way others did.  (In kindergarten, before I could read the crayons, I colored Little Boy Blue purple, the grass red, the lush trees brown, and the sun pink.  Our teacher, bless her heart, dressed me down in front of the class, implying that I was an idiot.  She’d never met a color-blind person before.  My career as an outsider thus began in earnest.)

I started paying attention to how people “saw” things.  People experienced the world in wildly different ways… not noticing certain things (like the fact Uncle Fred was drunk at Thanksgiving), focusing on details that eluded others (like the hickie concealed under Suzie Q’s turtleneck), and processing input in ways that left me speechless (like falling asleep from boredom watching “The Exorcist”).

(Who can sleep while Linda Blair’s head is spinning around spewing pea soup, for cryin’ out loud?)  (Turns out, Uncle Bob could.)

When I discovered a westernized version of Zen (via the Beatniks), it all started to make sense.

We are essentially blind in the universe.  We pick up sensory data from our eyes, ears, nose, touch, taste… and translate that data in our brains into something that makes sense.

The world outside our head takes shape, has depth and drama and a rich abundance of goodies and dangers.

And yet, it’s all illusion.  You screw with the wiring, and it can all change.

Everyone understands how going deaf, for example, can impact the way you interact with the world.

As a business owner — and thus, as a salesman (since selling is the only way to keep your business alive) — you are doomed if you refuse to go further, however.

Just as real as being deaf interferes with incoming data…

… so does being encased in your ego.

Your ego can be heard in that cacophony of voices inside your head — it’s the one getting pissed off whenever things don’t go perfect.  Or whenever you feel threatened or challenged.

Most of the world stumbles around with their ego in charge.  They reject good advice, argue violently about topics they really do not understand…

… and see their Number One Threat as anything that dents or pisses on the image they have of themselves.

Great salesmen and saleswomen know that closing the deal requires a little sacrifice in the ego department.

You get your ego out of the equation, and suddenly it’s easy to see things from your prospect’s point-of-view.  Easy to walk a mile in his shoes.

Easy to tailor your sales message to fit into his head… rather than trying to bludgeon him with your idea of how he SHOULD be thinking and acting.

But here’s where it gets REALLY interesting:

When you continue to lock up your ego (in some dungeon in your head where you can’t even hear it grumbling)…

… the REST of your life also gets easier.

You’re no longer processing everything through that cramped vision of “what’s in it for me”, or “how does this affect me”.

You are… in essence… finally FREE to experience the world as it really is.  Not as your ego thinks it should be, or wishes it was.

This realization not only helps you see your market — and all the wonderful prospects in it — in ways that allow you to communicate more effectively…

… but it also greases the skids on everything else you do.

Your ego is like a snarling little yap dog.  Always pissed off, or looking for reasons to go into a hissy fit.

I’m telling you, after years of seeing all sides of this: Your ego is not doing you any favors.

It is, in fact, burglarizing your bottom line if you’re in business.


Well, the most obvious crime is the way it will hinder you from learning what you need to learn to put your quest for success on high heat.

“Learning?”, your ego says.  “I don’t need no stinking learning.  I’ve done all the learning I need to do…

… and if I can just find that Magic Button out there all those successful azzholes are hiding from me…”

And so on.

Your ego wants the world to bow down to you.  And finally realize how wonderful you are… and lavish fame, money and happiness at your feet.

Oh… and also give you that Magic Button that all the guru’s and Big Dog marketers are using to get rich, but are hiding from you.

Well, guess what?

There isn’t any Magic Button.

I know many of the most influential and infamous guru’s and Big Dogs in the marketing game.   Some of them (being really smart salesmen) even make their living selling Magic Buttons…

… because it’s so easy to sell that kind of voodoo crap to ego-shackled prospects.

Once you jettison your ego… you can clear your mind of all that nonsense about thinking the world really SHOULD have Magic Buttons you can use to just get rich fast, without having to break a sweat.

You know… like all those get-rich-fast schemes promise.

Your ego…

… is an idiot.

And it’s robbing you blind…

… by keeping you from making the decisions that really will kick-start the adventure in wealth, success and happiness that can be yours.

If only you figure out the right steps to take.

Those steps are out there.  They’re not magical-easy…

… but they’re not difficult, either… once you find a guide you can trust to personally walk you through everything.

The first step is the simplest of all:  Just elbow your nattering ego aside…

… and make the choice to finally get the skills and mojo you need to transform your ability to make your business rock-out.

You may not be ready for the Simple Writing System at-home mentoring program yet.

It’s clearly not for everyone.

However… if having a professional writer be your new best friend for the next 2 months…

… personally applying one-on-one coaching to help you learn and master the simple steps to creating all the killer sales messages you’ll ever need…

… if that seems like the totally logical and correct thing to do…

… then you should consider something.

First: Your ego will hate the idea of “learning” anything.  Get past that.

Second: WHAT you learn in this system is the single most important thing in business — knowing exactly what to do to communicate with your prospects so they realize they want what you offer…

… and you’re the guy they want to get it from…

… and, yes, they agree that it’s time to close the deal right now.

Without this simple classic salesmanship in your toolkit, you will forever struggle… and risk being destroyed by your competition, no matter how well-funded, well-staffed, or well-supplied with software, warehouses and production lines you are.

If you can’t sell… you are toast.

Third: Just because the Magic Buttons being promised out there are really bullshit…

… doesn’t mean that — once you finally empower yourself with the cash-generating skills of being able to sell — you will not see results that pile up like magic.

Because once you absorb these simple skills…

… your ability to close a deal will be so smooth and effortless, your competition might believe you’ve made a deal with Satan to be able to pull it off so easily.

But any “magic” is really just a step-by-step system (or formula) that — finally, for most folks — reveals how killer sales messages are created.  For your ads, your websites, your videos, your email, everything.

This mentoring system doesn’t pull any punches.

You go through the step-by-step system at your own pace… with a pro writer watching your back.  I’m in the mix, too — I often get into the interactive feedback and advice being ladled out in the online classes.

There are tons of other resources available, too.  Like networking with other students (who include every part of the business world, from rookie beginner to veteran biz owner).

And getting insider access to webinars I’ve done with Marketing Royalty like Rich Schefren, Andy Jenkins, Jeff Walker, Ed Dale, and others.

(Plus getting a free invitation to the next Action Seminar.)

We offer this Simple Writing System at-home mentoring system because it’s the opposite of a Magic Button.

It’s a real skill set.  Broken down into the most drop-dead simple step-by-step system you’ve ever seen.

Taught and gently force-fed into your brain by experienced teachers, like me.

We’ve transformed the lives of the most stubborn, reluctant, and ego-driven entrepreneurs the universe could ever create.

The process is not hard.  Not scary.  Not tricky.  And not boring.

It is, in fact… fun.

You can see for yourself what others have been saying about their experience in this unique coaching program by going here:

For the next few days, we are accepting students for the program that begins April 12.

Warning: There are NO current plans to ever host this program again.  It’s extremely challenging to get this kind of professional faculty together.

We are not an institution.  We’re just a band of pro’s who know how to teach… and this Simple Writing System program is a near-perfect environment for doing exactly that.

You come in, with whatever experience or lack of experience you have…

… and you leave armed-to-the-teeth with the exact simple skills to go out and dominate your market.  By creating sales messages (ads, websites, videos, etc) that bring home the bacon…

… whenever you need them.

(Side note: Even if you outsource the creation of your ads and websites… you still need to know how a great sales message is created.

Or you will be held hostage, forever, by other people.  Who may, or may not, be worth the fortune you must pay them to do what is, essentially, very SIMPLE writing.)

Everything good that will ever happen to you in business…

… starts with the fundamental knowledge of closing a sale.  And “translating” that ability to everything you put out — all ads, websites, videos, etc.

No gimmicks.  No tricks.  No fads.

Just the raw ability to bring in the Big Bucks.  All by yourself.

Just consider this, all right?

Without your ego getting involved.

This isn’t about your ego.

It’s about you… finally being in control of how successful your business becomes.

I’ll see you in the program, if you decide to join us.

Just hurry, all right?  We’ll stop accepting new students in just a few days here…

Love to hear what you think about this — both the subject of ego-interference… and the opportunity for getting this kind of coaching.

While readership of this blog remains huge, we haven’t had much interaction in the comments lately.  I miss those long threads.  (Last month, we had comment threads going 60-deep and longer.  We’ll start back into that interactive phase once the Simple Writing System program gets started again…)

For now, let’s hear what your thoughts are on ego (which we’ve discussed before, and will again — it’s that important)… and on the mentoring available.

We’re serious, you know, about not having another SWS mentoring program planned.  Do not assume anything here.  This may be the last one…

Stay frosty,


Just enter your name and primary email address below and we'll send you the new report right away.

"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Hartmann and Eric Graham, James Foster. James Foster said: Your Ego Is Robbing Your Bottom Line…: Friday, 1:48pm Reno, NV “Bring me the sultry wench! That one, with the fire… […]

  • Sneed, Butch says:

    Not me…I don’t have an ego.

    • John Carlton says:

      Always nice to hear from you, Butch.

    • John – I appreciated your approach to describing the power of the ego. I have worked to loosen the ego’s hold both personally and professionally over the years and found your words inspiring. It is the kind of article that anyone can realte to.

      I often talk about the ego first from the perspective of how it can make your life easier and you can feel more alive if you “put a box around it” as you said. And then later, depending on the audience, I relate it back to business or sales. In this case you did the opposite.

      Brillant! Thank you.

  • Matt says:

    I loved the article on ego. I have an idea for a new membership business that offers businesses a physical product that their business needs. The idea seems great to me but trying to figure out what they need and how to give it to them has been a struggle and definitely a learning opportunity.

    Your article has opened my eyes to look at it more from their point of view. To try to understand their needs and problems and how I might help. Someone once taught that the more people that you help get what they want or need the less you will have to worry about what you want or need.

    I cannot afford your Simple writing system right now but I was able to scrape up enough to get your Marketing Rebel course. I also have captured everything I can get from you and am in the process of studying every word. Pondering it and thinking about it and finding ways to apply it.

    I know that the most successful people are the servants not the masters. Well educated servants that is.

    Thanks for all your help.
    I look forward to your course and hope that you will not discontinue offering your more advanced course.


  • Hey John,
    as a reformed died in the wool egotist ( one day…) I really appreciate this post. I’m curious about where you get all the ideas for your blog as it is definitely the best on the net, bar none.
    You see my ego wants to be famous and the whole thing is kinda counter-intuitive. maybe this is a result of the way we’re brought up and educated. Two completely unconnected events in many cases.

    I’m looking forward to hearing the reports about SWS as I had a hoot doing it. I recommend it to everyone who wants to “sit at the top table in the feast of life…” to quote someone we both know.

    Cheers John,


  • I am interested in joining this group or whstever its going to be . That being said I do have a TBI and my memory is a challenge for me. plus what sounds good to me right now may not be as rosy when it comes up later.. That being said I am reminded of a quote by TONY ROBBINS which went like this “when the student is ready the master will appear” at least that is where I think I heard it first but he may have been quoting it from someone else.. get back to me when you open up this program.

    • harold grams says:

      Hello Frank,
      Your mention of TBI caught my attention as I have treated many patients with TBI. I realize this isn’t the place to discuss what I do, but I just wanted to reach out to you and offer some help. You can email me and we can discuss the possibilities.
      Dr. Harold Grams

      my email is
      my phone is 207 293 3328

  • Phil says:

    Right on target. Great article. I’ve been hiding from the fact that I need to learn sales for years. I’m the great inventor I don’t need to sell. Leave that to those that were born to sell.

    Yeah right. I need to learn it. All my SEO skills, web dev skills, and great ideas don’t get me anywhere unless I can close the deal. the universe has been throwing this message at me a lot lately.



  • Edward says:

    Mr. Carlton..
    I have known about your training course for over 5 yrs. However, I haven’t seriously considered taking it until recently. Things change and it seems
    that change is the only constant in our daily lives. After a long and intensive look at Internet Marketing..I have decided to take things to the next level. I have no illusions about my talent as a writer. I am also aware that to be successful in sales, I have to be able to communicate persuasively. There is no doubt in my military mind that you are the one who can teach me how this is done. At this moment I am in a financial pickle and I have to watch where my money goes. I realize that investment in knoweledge is the only true way to prosperity, but at this time the more mundane things like rent, food, electricity et al…take everything that comes in. I have taken the steps neccessary to start my online business and I have no doubt that things will
    turn around in short order. I am also aware that if I had your training..things would progress in hyper-
    drive. I will be taking your program in the near future..but not at this time…yer friend, Edward

  • Stephen says:

    Hi John
    Good thought-provoking thoughts 😉 Thanks.
    Having grown up outside the US (yes there are other lands and dragons over here) it has taken quite a while to get used to what looks like US-style pushy hype, er… I mean advertising, er… I mean selling, er… whatever you call it.

    (I don’t mean copywriting, per se, just the use to which it is so often put.)

    So many of the sales pitches and messages are just so unbelievable, so lookalike, so predictable, that I’ve just about stopped reading them. Sounds bad, stupid and ignorant of me, etc, but all this hypnotic crap that passes for building a ‘relationship’ is such a turn-off. And, how honest is it?

    Once I start reading ‘the marketing format’, the action words, the 100 words most likely to have me salivating there with my credit card at the ready, I find that I, the prospect/customer/human on the other end of the marketers’ Send button has been competely left out of the picture.

    It’s seemingly all about some big name trying to build their empire even bigger while they play a numbers game with me, knowing that 3% of 100000 will buy the $29 book (oops $47), that 8% of those will buy the $97 CD set, that X% will buy the Y course, and Z% will pay through the nose for the same material presented at a seminar in some over-rated hotel 5000 miles from here.

    And the 20 or 30 people who pay the big bucks for this priviledge are the ones the expert really wants to build a ‘relationship’ with because there’s lots of money involved.

    And what’s more, they teach them to do the same thing, to treat customers with contempt, to funnel them all this way or that, and the game just repeats.

    Not forgetting that there is always the self-congratulatory comments about always over-delivering such amazing value, blah blah blah.

    Of course people want to succeed, to write their great book, or create some great opus, or be an inspiration to millions, their children, even maybe just their local town’s folk. Even those who strive to make enough to pay off the mortgage, have a simple holiday from time to time, to spend time giving back to those that helped them along the way, or those who really do need a hand. I understand all that.

    But why does the appeal so often have to be to some grandiose ugly mansions, 38 ugly troop-carriers, er… I mean cars, to wads of money, and ego-tripping about the ultimate lifestyle? (I won’t even mention Mammon.)

    If that was true, then surely there’d be more time to answer customers on the phone occasionally (great PR, by the way: have the boss answer the incoming calls for a day…), or a personal email to say Hi!

    There are some great exceptions to this, and I’m very grateful for those who have taken the time to reply, or give personal help (and yes, I have bought some great courses and products, and quite a few duds), but the whole ‘thing’ gets muddied by more and more people who appear to know less and less about how to communicate. It’s sad, isn’t it?

    So, here’s my question: do I have an ego problem because I question the MO of some so-called successful IMers, or does the whole IM world need a ‘Grand Shakeup Conference’ where we all come down to earth and remember that it is all about people and not just obscene and venal intrusions into others’ lives and their businesses?

    Of course, I would expect an invitation LOL!

    You must have touched a nerve somewhere John, so thanks for the opportunity to have you reply to my rave.

    Yours sincerely

    PS I’m normally quite a serious person, but all the hype increasingly bugs me, so I get irate.

    • Jonathan says:

      Awesome. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    • John Carlton says:

      Hi Stephen.
      You know what? The modern world is designed to bug us. None of our ancestors had to deal with virtual worlds, global anarchy, an economy based on blips in a database, or any of the other challenges to sanity this brave new adventure called Life In The 21st Century hath wrought.
      And within this turmoil and chaos is the “marketplace” we do business in. It’s noisy, distracting, crammed with scams and opportunity in equal amounts.
      The truth about modern marketing ain’t pretty. Having the best product means squat. Being a genuine nice guy out to do the right thing won’t save you from bankruptcy. The marketing graveyard is full of fabulous products no one figured out how to sell.
      Selling is the language of the marketplace.
      Sure, there’s so damned MUCH of it going on, it’s annoying, it pisses us off, and our fight-or-flight urges kick in big time.
      However… one man’s hype… is another man’s essential information.
      You can want the world to come at you in short little bursts of exciting, entertaining bite-sized pieces of lusciousness…
      … but if you live your life that way, you’ll be perfect fodder for the worst scams.
      You can use the “what the heck, I’ll go with my gut” method of choosing what you buy… and maybe you’ll survive just fine. Maybe get stuck with a bad car that doesn’t meet your needs, or was overpriced, or a lemon. You can survive that, probably.
      But you’d be a fool to apply that kind of decision-making to, say, getting married. You want to know as much about the other person as possible. Courtship is, essentially, a long sales letter. You’re getting pitched, and you’re processing the data on your own at the same time.
      The decisions you make for your business are (or should be) as carefully munched on as the other life-long choices you encounter.
      Hype is in the eye of the beholder. If you are offended by classic salesmanship — which presents a choice, and then lobbies for you to make that choice — then you need to find another way to make your business work. I’ll tell you that every day there are fresh businesses launched by good people who don’t believe they need to know how to sell in order to thrive…
      … and those businesses are shuttered and empty soon after.
      Business isn’t a popularity contest. If you have an ethical product that your prospect really should have (because it will make his life better, or fix a dire problem he has)… then SHAME on you if you ignore the proven ways to get his attention, and SELL him on it… just because you’re uncomfortable with the sales process.
      You do NOT have to be obnoxious in order to sell. You don’t have to be anything other than who you are, in fact. You just need to understand the emotional, psychological and behavioral mechanism your prospect has to endure in order to agree to buy what you have.
      Some of the smoothest salesmen alive can close the deal without a bit of perceived hype. They’re still using classic salesmanship tactics, however. They understand the needs of the prospect, and they understand the process required in order to close the deal.
      Scams will never go away. You must be hyper-aware as a consumer. The dangers of an open marketplace are with us forever.
      Nevertheless, the old maxim “the more you tell, the more you sell” will also never go away.
      If detailed information and legitimate urging to join up strikes you as “hype”, then maybe the opportunity in front of you isn’t something you should engage in.
      But I’ll tell you what: If this were the last train about to leave the station, and the conductor didn’t do all he could to make you clearly understand this fact…
      … and the train left without you…
      … you’d be in a world of hurt. And you’d be right to blame the conductor for not grabbing your attention and forcing you to understand just how critical the situation was.
      This upcoming SWS program very well might BE the last one. It starts April 12. There is not another one planned.
      I could whisper this fact. Or just ignore it.
      Or, I could do everything in my power to make you aware of this… so you aren’t left behind, ticked off that no one made it clear to you.
      When you don’t care about that train about to leave, the conductor is just yelling. It’s an annoyance, and you wish he’d shut up.
      When it’s your train, and you’re about to miss it, then you’re thankful he broke through your daydreaming.
      The SWS adventure is about to start. It will change lives, as the previous ones have. This is the real thing, crammed with real value and real skill sets that can fuel success for the rest of your days.
      It’s a crazy time to be alive.
      Choose your resources and choose who you trust carefully.
      And when you discover genuine opportunities, jump on them. I know the lure of the Magic Button is powerful and hypnotic. Choices are seldom easy when the stakes are high.
      Do what you think is right.

      • Stephen says:

        Hi John
        Thank you for your insight and expertise in laying it out so clearly. And thank you, also, for taking the time to reply, I really do appreciate it.

        I do have a product that is make or break for people, that really is about them missing one of life’s key opportunities, and they will, not might, but will be very upset when the train leaves, to borrow your metaphor. (Sounds corny, but my goal is to have you write the launch copy because it needs to be done right 🙂 I think you’ll like the product and the job.)

        You see, I do believe you and your many fans – your rep is pretty enviable. If this seems ironic, then I just like to sound people out to see what’s below the surface, and you came up refreshingly honest and straight, IMHO. So, thank you.

        By learning from you, and putting your training into action I know I’ll earn enough to pay you, if you’re available, and interested, after what I said in my first post.

        I’m close to enrolling in your course, but human that I am I’m a bit scared that my wife will go nuts when I commit to $2k (or$2.4) (over $3k NZD). I’m trying to help her look past the cost, to see the future return. So, today it’s fear factor!

        All the best from New Zealand


  • carlen says:

    You’re spot on, John. From observing myself and others, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s fear in some form or other that wraps our egos in a translucent-like cocoon.

    Comfortable opaqueness is the norm until we somehow realize we’re not seeing 20/20 …

    And it’s fear, in all its corrosiveness, that drives rage and greed.

    What I disagree with is this: that fear, rage and greed are more powerful than love … f,r and g may make more noise; may be extremely demanding; and may seem overpowering

    …but it’s only love in its quiet, gentle, persevering way that has the capability of dissolving the “realism” of our ego’s cocoon…you remember the children’s story of the wind, rain and sun, don’t you?

    … The wind and rain both boasted to the sun they could get the man to take off his coat before the sun could … the wind blew and the rain rained, and the man clutched his coat tighter than ever … but when the sun beamed, the man eventually warmed to the point that he took off that coat …

    what we feel and sense is not necessarily more powerful than what we know to be true … the earth sure does seem flat! … the sun sure does seem to revolve around the earth! … oh well, enuff of this … I’m calling it a night.

  • Lois says:

    I love where you went with this. Do you know the work of Eckhart Tolle? I am sure you do. I began following his letting go of ego philosophy a few years ago. What I uncovered was really magical–me without the burden of ego judgments that reek havoc with authenticity in relationships and business. It is amazing what you see once you are free to see it.

    We love sitting at the end of the table!


  • MJ says:

    John – thanks for putting this together. We all need to be reminded that I don’t know a damn thing… 🙂 And I”m reminded about that every time a test a new marketing campaign.

    I like to think of my ego as the little 5-year old version of me. It’s when my “mini-me” is awakened by an event that I know someone/something struck a nerve…..and I need to take a deeper look as to WHY that situation affected me.

    I finally figured out the knowing the WHYs of human interaction are much more important than knowing the WHATs or HOWs.

    God Bless – Happy Easter!


  • Anderson says:

    I believe of all the lessons about entrepreneurship, business, salesmanship and so on – this lesson needs to be taught and learned first.

    I can speak for myself – and perhaps others – that had we learned this lesson first – that our own ego ends up murdering our business, and our bottomline (or at the very least, get in our way) – we would have made our fortunes sooner, rather than later (or at all) in our careers.

    And its especially a problem – when we get that ego from someone else, who has yet to achieve that result themselves. Best example – the Business/Advertising university professor who is teaching their students how to make it in that business…when they’ve never even made a dime with it. And most likely – they’ll end up bleeding white someone’s business with stuff they think should work – and doesn’t. Exceptions always exist though.

    Even worse when your ego says “you need a degree in writing” to write a salesletter. or “Only writers can write salesletters”. Or “affiliate marketing is only small change” Or – “affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s stuff on Clickbank”

    Talk about jumping in your own way huh.

    Yeah – this needs to be the very first lesson any budding business owner, entreprenuer, salesman needs to learn.

    Your ego, is going to rob you blind…if you let it fly out of control. Especially, when its telling you how you should make money….when you’ve never actually made any.

    We are our own worst enemy

    Great post John

  • Steve says:

    John–Congrats on a great post. And congrats on perhaps one of the super smoothest transitions into a pitch (for SWS) I’ve ever seen. This whole “ego” thing goes SO far beyond business, and I’d submit (and without an affiliate link) that anyone further interested in this topic should get their hands on “A New Earth,” by Eckart Tolle. This book will not teach the tenets of copywriting. That’s YOUR game. It will provide some wild perspectives on what it is to be a human being, and look at that ego, which we’ve all got, from a distance.

  • John, love this post! Masterfully crafted, in fact I’ve read it 3 times and I keep on saying WOW! I’m looking forward to working with you and Stan again in Dubai and Hopefully India.

  • EbenPagan says:

    They only magic bullet out there is the one which breaks down one aspect of you’re business into small easy steps while automating it as much as possible with the most efficiency while giving the most effectiveness.

    Example: Their is a so-called SEO software called SENuke. This software breaks down SEO into small steps – that automates the process as much as possible. You still however have to do work but you are only doing the CORE work which makes the actual difference while the software automates the work which just builds upon and pushes on the core work to be most effective.

    This software is white hat – you have to put the hard work in it – all it does is it makes it easier for you to actually get the damn work done.

    That is what a magic bullet really is. It allows you to put in the damn work that you’re ego doesn’t want to do.

    What you’re ego perceives is to be a magic bullet is what truly is plain insanity.

    If you ever want something in life – you have to pay for it. Never ever waste you’re energy and time into thinking you will get something just because you say so. This is not to say you can’t get things easily – you can and in fact – it is YOUR JOB to ensure you makes things easy for yourself while still being able to give something in exchange for what you want.

    True economics is dependent upon giving value in order to get another value that is wanted.

    This involves seeing world not just in you’re own eyes. Which means – you need to get out of you’re ego.

    Henry Ford, one of the most richest mother fuckers, said “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor”

  • Joelle Niedecken says:

    I guess we don’t need to tell you, ‘Great writing, John!!’… considering you’re in THAT business… BUT, Great writing, John!! Love the way you describe our nasty little buddy… EGO… maybe it should be IGO… like I GO outta here!!
    LOVED the story you shared about being colorblind and how that helped you to become more aware of things and that there were literally other ways of looking at things (and that that can be a GOOD thing!)… probably something most of us unfortunately don’t learn til a much later age.
    So, are you SERIOUSLY saying there’s NO Magic Button?! I think I do have one, though… or at least the closest thing to One… my Bible… and yes… IT’S JUST THAT ‘EASY!!!!’ Do you get it?!! 😉 I SO WANTED to throw the Easy Button (from Staples) in here somehow… lol …. hope you don’t mind a little Bible in the mix…
    Having said that, anyone who reads the Bible some, knows that what you’re saying is SO TRUE and SO RIGHT ON… just because… 1) Humble yourselves, ourselves, however… or BE HUMBLED… myself, I would rather choose the first , and 2) are ANY of us as wise as Solomon?! I’m not thinkin’ so… so YEP, I think that means…. We NEVER QUIT LEARNING!!!!!!!

    Thanks for your work and your teachings… 🙂

  • EbenPagan says:

    Also – Great singers and entertainers are really great at getting out of their own ego.

    The reason why is because they are in the ENTERTAINMENT industry.

    Which means, you need to please an audience not just yourself…

    Horrible musicians and rock stars are those who only care about themselves on stage and do not make any effort to get the point of the audience and what THEY want….

    A marketer and entertainer are both the same in one aspect: Each must create an image, value, philosophy and belief which fits into the audience harmoniously. They are both public figures who must deal with people. They are selling themselves not exactly their music or product.

    • Lois says:

      I saw Paul McCartney last night in concert here in Miami. His joy at performing and his selflessness in giving his all was a delight to see. He played for 3 hours and 10 minutes straight entertaining us far beyond the ticket cost which was considerable for field seating. Sold-out performance.
      Few musicians have withstood the test of time as he has nearing his 70’s. He sang a song for John, one for George and one for his wife, Linda, he lost years ago. His ego nowhere to be seen on stage. Just joy, love and music.

    • Sarah says:

      I like the way you put that observation together. Hadn’t thought about this from the musician/entertainer point of view. I do know, however, that a masterful copywriter had a way of telling you a story so attuned to what you, as a buyer, are living that you think that they are speaking directly to you. Much the way any music worth it’s salt takes the listener into itself and makes the listener experience something on a deeper level.

  • Dear John: This really resonated. I’ve been a student of a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master for 3.5 decades – half my life – quit a tenured professorship to do it – best thing I ever did – but friends and colleagues told me in no uncertain terms that I was mad.
    Could I have permission to copy this message on ego on my website and with a link to your website?
    Maybe one of these days I’ll be rich enough to hire you.
    All the best, Dr. George
    I know your busy but I’d love to chat – all change starts with conversation.

  • Hi John,
    I just went to type my name above here, and the handy little prompter gives my the options of Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey, Bruce Barton, P.T Barnum, then me; it’s a good thing she didn’t put your name in there – I would have got really confused. And now in your blog you’re going on about I’m not who I think I am – You and the Dalai Lama, and Frank and Andy and John Delavera and Mark who are all on the same wavelength as you! What is this – some kind of conspiracy?
    All I know is this ego thing I have circling around is a two-faced, Janus devil, shades of Arthur Koestler – One is the ‘I know it all’ ass…e you and Gary Halbert are good at mimicking, and the Other being the “I can’t” or “don’t know enough yet” loser.
    Either way, your prescription is just right. I’m working on it …
    Thanks very much for your preamble to your course, especially for making it simple enough for the student. I am using it. I can understand the reasons for the testimonials. Today I don’t see how to pony up for your course, but I am keeping the door open.

  • Dan says:

    Loooooooongtailsalesletter, great … Great content, no doubt, but I stopped reading half of it, too many too much, read 1000s of these.

    As Eben said, Marketers and Artist have much in common, actually are the same. In video you can act more like an artist (or like an asshole as a lousy actor ;~) and be more persuasive and compelling in less time than a ltsl., like Frank Kern. On the other hand, if you are not a born actor, you can’t learn to be one. But more and more potential customers and marketers (like me) prefer salesvideos.

    Now you will not show a video to sell a writing thingy, of course, ok.

    Come up with a video about who to do video and I’ll jump on it.

    BTW: I leave selling up to my alter ego, better for my sanity …

    • John Carlton says:

      Good tactic. Advanced lesson, though — first, you gotta realize the ego is even there… you gotta learn how to control the little monster…
      … and then, after you’re enlightened, you can start experimenting with alter ego’s. Which I’ve helped numerous people create and use. It’s great — you can be a shy, reclusive, fragile guy in real life, and bust out the Center-Stage Dude when needed for biz purposes.
      Just don’t try this at home until you’ve got the basics down first, okay?

  • Eckhard says:

    throws up the old question “who are you?” – seems there is little left of you when the ego is being pealed away. however there is hope, many wise men (not only Tolle who says to be influenced by Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi) found that the ego is in fact the representation of some otherbodyelses, mainly society with their expectances. But beware they can also be your teachers and your prospects and your customers. be yourself after you found out what that means.
    those who do not like the overmarketed Tolle and the harsh Krishnamurti nor the oh-so-lovely-Maharshi may want to get back to Buddha. However, this guy is also somebody else.

  • Ted says:

    Hi John,
    Its not my ego that I am worried about. How can I stop these Swedish people calling me a hero.
    Check this out John, I think you will like it.


  • hongkong076 says:

    I got a lot from that post. Thanks. I just got here and like others will not be able to pay for a course right now( not asking) Just want to thank you for what you have given freely.
    Respectfully Jeff.

  • Colin Joss says:

    Hey John,

    If anybody’s wondering if SWS works… then here’s the bottom line.

    Last week, a sales letter I wrote for two big name internet marketers went live. It sent sales through the roof.

    Their old sales letter pulled in just $500 from a list of over 100,000 subscribers.

    But with my sales letter – written using what I learned in SWS – their sales rocketed to close to $120,000… in just a few days.

    Are they happy? You betcha. In fact, they’ve recommended me to one of the world’s top infomercial marketers.

    That’s the power of joining SWS.

    It doesn’t matter if you only want to write for your own biz… or start a new life as a freelance copywriter… SWS works!

    Join now!


  • harold grams says:

    Hello John,
    Tremendous post.
    Now, where’s the course in how to push the ego aside?
    How about another follow-up post with “10 ways to alter your ego”? Or, write whatever you think would be helpful about the “how to do it” part of getting beyond our ego.

  • Kevin M. Roy says:


    Great Post. I especially liked the part where you said: “You are… in essence… finally FREE to experience the world as it really is. Not as your ego thinks it should be, or wishes it was.”

    That’s border-line religious to the marketing community. Happy Easter.

  • Hey John,

    Insightful post. Your earlier post “Who’s Watching Your Back?” gave me a completely new way to look at other people’s decision making processes.

    This has done the same, thank you.


    PS- I feel you with the colors thing hombre- I got whacked pretty hard with the colorblind stick too. Hard not to feel like an outsider when you’re a kid and your paintings make no sense to anyone but you.

    I still maintain that my eyes are fine, it’s everybody else’s that are screwy.

  • John,
    Nice piece.
    And this ego thing needs to be clarified.
    People talk about the ego being the problem.
    To be more accurate it’s the lack of ego development that’s the problem.
    Kinda like you talk about copy writing, and …
    Kinda like without a developed ego to mediate the urges of the little head we get in trouble. We know all about this don’t we Tiger.
    So we need a well-developed BIG EGO, to interact with & control our lizard brain which sees everything as “eat or be eaten.”
    And to a lizard brain a little, undeveloped ego is a tiny morsel to gulp down.
    A BIG HEALTHY EGO can use its Emotional intelligence to make decisions, based on human principles.
    A BIG HEALTHY EGO is willing and able to work with its blind Self in the service of joy and abundance.
    BIG HEALTHY EGO = the willingness to do what is necessary to produce great copy.
    BIG HEALTHY EGO says, “I’m a sh-tty copy writer. i need help.”
    Get it?

  • Rick says:

    Seems you said there are no magic buttons but then portrayed your latest offering as exactly that!

    • John Carlton says:

      An 8-week coaching program, where you are guided through a step-by-step system by a professional writer/teacher who lavishes personal, one-on-one attention on you…
      … is “magic”?
      You’re not paying attention, Rick.
      This is the OPPOSITE of magic. This is finally getting serious about your future, and engaging in this unique opportunity to learn a simple skill-set that will transform your life and your business…
      … but you have to get off your butt, and you have to apply yourself.
      Do not confuse “simple” with “magic”, dude. It’s only simple because I spent 30 freakin’ years MAKING it simple. Figuring it out on your own would take you years, IF you managed to discover the essential parts that are hidden from most folks.
      Most business owners never figure it out.
      It’s a simple system, but it won’t accidentally crawl into your brain just because you need it.
      Sorry to go off on you, Rick… but really, man.
      I mean… really.

  • patricia says:

    Hi John,
    Would if I could and will when I can. Also thank you so much for the free mini course.
    Happy Easter!!

  • Venus Brown says:

    What I have discovered about my ego is that it can be a very tricky thing. Essentially it will say “Don’t worry about me being in the way — I’m outa here!” And then it will lurk in the background waiting to see if it is being attacked. And, oh brother, if it is….
    Well, let’s just say it can REALLY get in the way.

  • Brocton says:

    Howdy John,
    I’m having trouble with this post, perhaps you can help me?

    When I try to find my ego to put it aside, I can’t find it. I’m wondering… how do I put my ego aside?

    It sounds funny, especially in the context of so many other comments from people saying they can relate and have benefited from this lesson.

    But I’m stumped. Maybe I’m missing something hugely obvious here, but it seems the word “ego” is a gigantic burlap sack we wrap around all of the behaviors and ugly parts of ourselves we don’t much like.

    However, when it comes time for rubber to meet the road and actually find this thing called “ego” so I can put it aside… it seems to evaporate.

    Is the lesson here to be humble? Not to be too big for your britches? I guess there’s that old saying, pride comes before the fall… but if that were the *only* thing that you were writing about here… I dunno, that doesn’t seem right. It feels like there may be more to this that is just not registering for me.

    In part because there are certainly times when you’d better be big enough to fill out your britches (and then some), like when dealing with uncertain clients as a copywriter… you’ve got to have command presence. Here, having ego is important.

    This is something valuable I’ve learned from you in the past.

    But how does that fit into the scheme of ego bandits robbing bottom lines?

    I’m confused.

    It’s embarrassing to be the only guy in the room who doesn’t get it, but I’d rather be enlightened than cool.

    Lil help?


    • John Carlton says:

      Naw, you “get” it, Broc. I’m using the term “ego” to mean that part of you that is the Observer inside your head. For folks who are mostly unconscious — the zombies who dominate the population, slumbering away their lives — this Observer is a tyrant that boxes you in by creating the illusion that what you see and hear and think is somehow “reality”.
      And it’s not. It’s your “version” of reality… and until you’re conscious of the process, you’re a slave to it.
      So, for example, you may not just consider chocolate ice cream superior to vanilla… but you may get downright militant about it… and consider anyone who disagrees as inferior, crazy or in desperate need of being corrected.
      Substitute any politically-charged subject in for chocolate there, and you get the reason the world is so fucked up all the time.
      The Enlightenment (that period right around the time our country was founded) was all about challenging long-held beliefs… from the deity of kings, to the desirableness of “free thinking”. (At the time, kings were actually thought to be god-like, and free thinking was seen as dangerous and perverted.)
      There’s probably a decent book out there that explains the basic parts of our mind, but I can’t think of it just now.
      The Carl Jung book “Man And His Symbols” is as good a place as any to start.
      Anybody else got a recommendation?
      Here’s the 25-cent primer: Early shrinks and philosophers tried hard to map out the human mind… and came up with various ways of saying we have a lizard or ape brain (the ancient part of our mind that runs the basics of breathing, eating, pooping, and wanting sex)… a “self”, which would be the ego… and a super-ego (which has been called the “scolding parent” voice inside our heads — it’s where our sense of morality resides).
      All of us have these little beings inside of us. When you live unconsciously — like a zombie, sleep-walking through life like most folks — you effortless slide to and fro with them. And you are angry, hungry, horny, bored, excited, scared, envious, and such without control over any of it. You’re like a puppet, responding to input without reflection or sense of consequence.
      Your lizard brain wants what it wants.
      Your super-ego will twist you up in murky shame-spirals for violating whatever code of behavior has been installed in your mind.
      And your ego observes, and tries to live in the world… but, left unconscious, it is like a rookie amateur thrust into the big leagues.
      Once you become fully conscious, you note when the various parts of your brain try to take control. Ah, yes, Mr Lizard wants to gorge on chocolate. That’s interesting… but we’re not gonna do it. And Mr Super-Ego is stomping on the guilt reflex because I’m moving past the limits that were installed in me by misguided teachers in grade school… also interesting, but I’m making my own decisions now.
      And Mr Ego seems frightened and moody today. We’ve left the comfort zone, and entered challenging situations. So Mr Ego needs to go lie down in the back, and let me get to work.
      That “me” in there will only arrive when you’ve become conscious. It’s a process, not an epiphany. You start by living an examined life — why do you do the things you do? What is the truth to your existence, right now? How are you still a slave to out-dated or dumb rules pounded into you as a child?
      What do you really want?
      What are you really afraid of?
      What’s it like to face an objective reality, instead of the illusion you’ve carefully constructed about and around yourself?
      It all starts to make sense as you wake up, Broc. I’m not saying you’re asleep. Or that you “need” to do ANYTHING.
      I’m just trying to explain a fully conscious existence, as I know it to be.
      Hope this helps.
      It’s not hard, once you get on the right path.
      And life is more fun awake than asleep.
      But you must find that right path yourself. Others can help you, but they can’t do it for you.

      • Chubby says:

        Hi John, where does the “id” part of the psychic apparatus fit into all this?

        And are you saying that we should be more like a Caril Ann Fugate personality rather than a Stepford Wife type?

        P.S. I love the SWS material. Keep up the great work.

      • Mark Milan says:

        Two of my favourite spirituality books are “Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior” by Chogyam Trungpa and “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I think by studying these two books, you can compare them to find the common message.

        Being someone who has explored the subject for quite a while now, I think it’s worth saying that 99% of the information on spirituality is absolute and utter bull, and 99% of the people who explore the subject end up disappearing up their own arses, tripping up on the same ego they have supposedly dispelled.

        • Brocton says:

          The other 1% write books, build audiences and get turned into statues for the next generation of the 99% to worship and be confused about, missing the point entirely.

          Hyuk hyuk hyuk.

  • Kevin Rogers says:

    Hi Broc,

    Great question, and I’m as eager for John’s answer as you are.

    But, from what he’s been teaching me lately, I can confirm that you nailed the premise with that last line: “It’s embarrassing to be the only guy in the room who doesn’t get it, but I’d rather be enlightened than cool.”

    The biggest challenge most of us face is allowing ourselves some humility in the name of higher learning. Volunteering for those scenarios that stand to embarrass us work against egos wishes.

    However, if you’re after the right thing, you fend it off, stuff it aside and march onward into the red-cheeked schooling life loves to dole out.

    You make an excellent point about “being the adult in the room” requiring a healthy dose of ego.

    It can be difficult to decipher when swagger is good and when it’s damaging.

    I’ll shut up in the hopes John will tackle that one… no doubt more eloquently than I can.

    You’re on the right track here, Broc. Could be that the idea of ego “vanishes” on you sometimes because there isn’t a dragon size one there to begin with.


  • ken ca|houn says:

    Solid points about ego getting in the way of success. I’ve always been told I have a big ego, in fact one of my early bosses from my corporate days, at Rockwell in ’91 said to me that one shouldn’t trumpet one’s own success too loudly, and gave the super analogy that “Miles Davis doesn’t have to go say he’s an expert, he just blows his horn and shows ’em what he’s got”.

    On the flip side, having trained thousands of sales pros later, I realized the main challenge in sales is timidity. Of so many I trained, only about 5-10% of sales people have the guts (using a polite metaphor) to ask for the sale and present upsells. Unfortunately online we see a lot of hacks copying salesletter approaches without mastering the words, the subtleties, and thus generate the masses of poorly done pitches that don’t sell that proliferate.

    Most of us appreciate a damn fine sales professional, who’s consultative, product-knowledgeable, asks the right questions, helps us match up with what can help us. They’re rare.

    One of the things I’ve always found most valuable about my longtime learning w/John is that he shows you how to become a more successful sales pro, and then get that honed to a finely tuned instrument using words, carefully constructed. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t still read through John’s controls, to program myself for success, and this is after 6+ years of learning from him. His stuff works brilliantly. But you need to learn the fine points.

    Great salesmanship precedes great sales copy, and John’s a master especially at getting in synch with prospects, of knowing how to research hot buttons, express them in writing, deliver superb body copy, headlines, 2-point bullets and craft compelling calls to action that get the sale done.

    I’ve never been able to stop reading any of these blog posts, or stop midway through his salesletters (in fact it’s one of the very few sites I regularly re-check a few times a week to see if there’s anything new he’s written; I don’t need an email reminder… and with my 18+ hour a day schedule that’s saying something… he’s a compelling writer).

    Ego, tamed and brought to bear in service of contributing to your prospects needs (and wisely leveraged), is a powerful ally, when harnessed with skill and experience. Most people fail because they don’t have the persistence, energy, dedication and guts (I almost said something that rhymes with “walls” but resisted the temptation) that it takes to create companies that succeed.

    My position on ego is that it has served me well, I’ve made millions that, had I continued to be a shy bookworm of my teen years, I’d never have achieved here in my middle years. But the more I put ego to the side, to learn from the very few genuine masters of their crafts, the more I get ahead. The real trick is, choose your mentors carefully, and you’ll see most of the top guys have a healthy ego but also know how to train, which is a rare combination that John offers… (and I’d encourage folks to work with him if you can, via SWS and other means, to hone your skills for sales success). A healthy self-esteem, and respect for trusted mentors, can work with ego/persistence/self-image, to work wonders in becoming successful. The key is, remember it’s all about being in service of others, to keep ego in check while developing market position and branding.

    to profits,

    • John Carlton says:

      Good point about timidity, Ken. I try to make it clear what I mean by “ego”, but the word is used, abused and mis-used so much, it can get confusing.
      Also excellent point about FIRST learning to put your ego aside… and THEN bring it out when it serves your purposes. It must be your bitch, so to speak. Not the other way around (which is how most people operate).
      Always good to hear from you, Ken.

  • Nicely put Mr Carlton. It’s refreshing to read the ego being described in no BS, blonde friendly terms.

    Lara Jane

  • Rezbi says:

    What’s an ego? Is that like an eagle without the feathers?

  • Rezbi says:


    I like what you said at number 26.

    It’s like the time when one of my self defense students said to his buddies, while watching me show them some moves, “Look at him, he’s a natural, ain’t he?”

    To which I replied, “Yeh, I’m a natural, but it took me 20 years to become one.”

  • Colin says:

    it is very painful to say No because I have searched and searched and you and Dan Kennedy are the two that I am modeling my writing/Business up-skilling upon. The problem is that I am journeying from the great land of OZ to the great USA to learn from DK at his SuperConference then experiencing your great country till mid June. All I can say is that I hope that you will provide further teaching in the future.
    You are so right about EGO and message. I am a Podiatrist and a fellow educator at a Conference once commented that I would do anything to get the message across to the patient. My reply was “what good would it do if I got to keep my self respect and my patient got to loose his foot”.

    I look forward to your every posting on your Blog.

  • gary says:

    Egomaniac’s unite!! Buy all the get rich quick stuff you can get your hands on. We need this to feed our self serving role and to have oodles of desktop cluttering, bookshelf puking overloads of the latest and greatest programs that will have us just stare at the computer and cause it to “jackpot” us cash; even while we are deep into our sportscar, hot lady,money to burn, superhero nocturnal wet dream of reality of not having do any work and get everything.
    You see we have to band together because…. .Carlton is telling us we have to work to get it, Kern is telling us to stay away from the shiny things(I thought the dude surfed for his money), Johnson is tellling us we need to work at getting a list, Walker is telling us to get out and network to get it, NLP is telling us to work thru the levels to get it( or did those guys just hypnotize us?). They are all telling us that we have to do some work to get it.
    Yet so many others are telling us we don’t have to do any work at all……. those are the guys that understand us, they’re the ones that keep us going and feeding us(Ego’s) and getting us the latest and greatest new thing so we can sloth our way to riches. They are our dealers of quick cash crack.

    So out with your wallets boys and buy those rose colored programs that will do it all for you and let you lead the life you so deserve……because if you don’t grab the latest get rich program your neighbor will and leave you in poorsville.

    And when your shelves cannot possibly hold anymore stuff and you sit there figuring out whose made off with all your money………and you see his reflection in the latest DVD program case staring back at you. You say “*&^$$ you” Ego, I don’t know any of this and you go back to school. Ya, it hurts a little bit because ego’s been what you thought was your best friend but all it did was pick your pocket.
    When I came around and dumped my know it all ego and I took the SWS coaching program the last time it was offered and let it teach me like I was a two year old( a much better person to be). It took me from always searching to realizing everything was going to be fine, all I have to do is help people help themselves. The coaches in the program pushed and prodded and yes criticized, but it was because they knew you had it in you to do your best. The course demands your time and attention and to some of you that sounds like work, if it does…….go look at your bookshelves and ask yourself which one of those programs did you actually learn something that you still use.
    Now the word work has me saying “how lucky am I that I get to do this everyday”
    If you have to, invite your friends over for a funeral and have them give a great eulogy to your ego.
    If you are on the fence about SWS, ask yourself this….. do your clients, people, patients, or contacts come to you and ask you to sell them something? If the answer is no, then go to school and get a masters it copywriting…..SWS is it. And no I am not an affiliate for them, but man after reading this whole thing I think I should.
    Damn…….what’s that thing about hindsight?

    P.s. if you see my ego around tell that prick he owes me a lot of money!!

  • Larry LaFata says:

    Yes, John,
    my ego got in front of me as I read your post!

    It sez:
    “How does this guy write so f@#^$%# good?”
    “how can everything he writes, so draw you in, and you can’t extracate yourself?” “How does he do it?” ….and on and on.

    Dr. Joe Vitale has a course called hypnotic writing, but you are truly THE hypnotic writer.

    Sorry I can’t make April 12, I know I’m missing a tremendous opportunity.

    As far as the ego, it is one of my favorite subjects.
    You can read my take on it on Google Knol, just google: Google Knol, larry lafata “the 10 things you need to know about habits before you can quit smoking.”

    I talk about how smoking is actually made up of hundreds of rituals that program your ego.

    You ego loves rituals. Religions know this, they use rituals, as do the Military, the Media, our schools, even sports. .. they are all a form of a sequence of rituals that your ego can’t break away from.

    This is why 95% of dieters, smokers, prison inmates, rehab outpatients, etc. all go back to their respective habits (i.e. the micro-rituals) that they are programmed with.

  • Susie says:

    Always enlightening – thanks John!
    One of my mentors said “When you’re having a civil war in your head, you have no energy to attack other countries.”
    And now – to learn those little bastards in my head are costing me money, too??? Dang….
    Thanks for always challenging my thinking. In one of the comments you mentioned Jung’s book. Another good one: “Born to Win” – tough read, but worth it. (My ego really hated this one….)
    And now – off to work on that magic button – because the Simple Writing Systems mini-courses inspired me to completely re-think and re-do the copy on my website and in my autoresponder copy….Thank you!!!

  • Larry LaFata says:

    PS: John
    I almost passed out in the movie theater when Linda Blair did that head spinning thing. I was about 17. My friends actually had to take me outside for some fresh air. No more Heinekins before a movie for me after that.

    Your uncle Bob must of had a few, too!

  • Merryl Rosenthal says:

    Great article!

    Thanks to both a Buddhist friend of mine and author Eckhard Tolle, I long ago discovered how ego-driven I was and learned to get out of my own way–most of the time. It’s a process, after all.

    Cheers. 🙂

  • Brocton says:

    Thanks for your reply John. I was surprised to see so much time taken to answer my question. And Kevin, always good to hear from you.

    In any case… here’s a limerick about the inner “me” you might enjoy because… well… it’s fun.

    “There was a young man who said “Though,
    It seems that I know that I know,
    What I would like to see,
    Is the I that knows me,
    When I know that I know that I know.”

    – Alan Watts (1915-1973)

  • Giselle says:

    Thank you for the three lessons John. I was grateful to be taught by a man(now deceased) who brought a completely new concept to the planet. He also commented on how the brain polarity of Americans was reversed compared to Australians. Scientifically, this is not the case but it is energetically and behaviorally. While I recognize your brilliance; I am astounded that people will read to the end of the many current long forms of IM. I have shown adults, professionals and teenagers these items and not one feels they are genuine but scams. They all seem to be directly relating to the negative part of the ego, the one that feels a lack. You see, when the negative ego is embraced, it doesn’t want things but feels contentment with what it has. So business is trying to fill what is essentially an emotional need with things, whether that be information or physical items. Yes people have a need but most of the e-commerce out there is junk. Even those teaching how to become IM’s tell people to use elance etc; so little is genuine or new-mostly rehashed. Yes many people have made a lot of money out of the needs of the masses. I work with wealthy, corporate people, helping them to gain work/life balance and develop basic interpersonal skills. They may be mega rich and run huge businesses, but I remind them that on their deathbed, these aren’t the things they wished they had spent more time on. I realize NZ & Australia are following America’s business lead, but I don’t think this will result in wildly happier people- just more confused judging from the early results. For the record, most people could learn something from you. I just hope they turn it into something original and shorter. Get to the point quicker before we die of eye strain.

  • Cliff says:

    I used to think I didn’t have an ego, but many of the things you said in this post relate directly to my experiences. So, guess I do! I just never realized what was ego in my life.
    I have signed up for the course and am looking forward to soaking up everything I can in the next two months of instruction.
    Teach me, I think I’m teachable NOW!
    Cliff Bell, Christiansburg, VA

  • “Your ego…
    … is an idiot.
    And it’s robbing you blind…”
    LOL, this is great!
    It reminds me that I shouldn’t take the ego too seriously…me and my story.

    It also helps me realize that although it may feel that way, I am not that “little voice” in my head.

  • Dana says:

    I’ve always been one to “try first/learn (the right way) later”, or one might say, “wing it”. Well, that hadn’t worked in my life, so although I still believe in the “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach, I take it now with a little more knowledge & planning of what I’m attempting to tackle. Some things you just can’t wing. But as I say that you can’t wait for everything to line up perfectly before you take action either, cause that’s never going to happen.
    And another question I heard from a millionaire years ago was, “do you want to be rich, or do you want to be right?” More times than not, proving your point just isn’t worth it. He used this in business/marriage, etc.

    Great post again!

  • Lina says:

    You made me rip up my ego at the last Action Seminar. I totally ripped it up, and I believe it worked. Well, I learned a lot. Musta been the ripping of the ego that did it. Had to have been 🙂
    Getting called an idiot because you screwed up the crayon colours? Man, that’s harsh. And you got me thinking about the marriage proposal/long sales letter. I think there’s a niche for me there. Like a Will Smith Hitch kinda gal. But a chick copywriter. How to marry the woman of your dreams with a “kick-ass” marriage proposal sales letter…
    I better sign up to SWS… That’s if you’ll still have me.
    Lina, from Sydney

  • Elaine says:

    Thank you.
    This is clear, to the point, and completely useful.


  • Kyle Ellerbeck says:

    Im sure it will be awesome…you free stuff has done leaps and bounds for me. As a matter of fact I told my recent client “Its imperative you get Carlton’s free 6 day deal, or you wont GET IT.” Thanks for not holding back my friend 🙂

  • […] out this excellent blog post by John Carlton.  Yes, it’s true this post is there to get people to sign up to John’s Simple Writing […]

  • On point! My ego has been kicking my ass for years and as a guy,I think we really tend to think it’s protecting us or doing lots of good. At least that’s been my experience for my life. Thanks for the wake up John!

  • >