[Quiz] The Life-Changing Secret Behind “Operation Money$uck”

Misha blog 7-10

Wednesday, 8:40pm
Reno, NV
Money, money, money, money, money, money…” (Cabaret)


Hope you enjoyed the last post, where I offered up 3 observations about moolah.

For this current post, I promised to reveal the 4th observation…

… which is so powerful, it can instantly change the way you move and get things done in the world.


… I’ve just had a sudden urge to get all Socratic here, and ask readers to do some critical thinking before I reveal that 4th observation.

It’s too easy to just toss the really hot wisdom in your lap… and the retention level when you don’t have to think about it first is abysmally low.  I do you a grave disservice by not using the most powerful teaching methods available when I’m sharing the good stuff…

… and the Socratic method — which ignites critical thinking skills by asking questions (and never, ever just gives anything away) — is a proven way to juice up the ol’ brain cells, while being able to see what other folks come up with from their perspective.

In fact, let’s make it a real Quiz.

The first person to chime into the comments section here with the answer I’m looking for… will get a brand-spankin’ new copy of “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel” (complete with audio CDs) as their prize.

That manual (which absolutely belongs on your shelf, if you don’t have it yet) has been used and praised by most of the Big Dogs now operating online…

… and it’s selling, right now, for $299 at www.marketingrebel.com.

That’s a bargain, considering how much life-altering mojo is contained in that thick (but really freaking fun to read) tome.

So… that’s the prize.

Here’s the quiz:

In the previous post, I described this Big Damn Observation #4 as…

… “a cool little tactic that seriously changed my life almost immediately…

… allowing me to become one of the top freelancers in the game…

… and opening up amazing new opportunities (like mentoring with Gary Halbert) that would have never happened otherwise.

All of that is true.

But here are some more hints:

Big Obvious Hint #1: You probably never heard of this tactic before… unless you’ve known a professional who took you aside and shared it with you.  (I have written about it several times in this blog… and it’s the FIRST “order of business” I share with any copywriter who comes to me for advice.)

This doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out, however… especially with the rest of these hints.

Big Obvious Hint #2: It involves making money work for you after you’ve earned it… but NOT in the way most people think money is “supposed” to work. (Important hint.)

Stew on this for a bit.  And realize that not everyone has similar attitudes toward money.  And that I’m referring to a secret that is used by the best in the biz (but almost completely off-the-radar of most folks).

Big Obvious Hint #3: The amount of money we’re talking about is not chump-change, either.  However, the precise amount depends on you.

To get to the correct answer (if you want the prize), you’re going to have to think hard about the role money plays in your life right now.  About the power it has over your behavior…

… and especially how it influences your life when you’re flush, and when you’re broke.

These are HUGE hints, folks.

I’m just giving the answer away here.

The vast majority of people go through entire careers never understanding how this simple tactic can transform their lives in a heartbeat.

And this is important, too: Most professionals who learn about this tactic…

… dink around and never implement it.

And suffer.  And never attain the high levels of respect and fame that the Big Dogs wallow in.

ALL “A List” professionals use this secret as the cornerstone of their reputations.  Most never discuss it.  Yet, it’s as critical to their career as breathing.

And… that’s enough hints.

Here are the rules of the quiz: Post your answer in the comments section below.

Everyone is invited to give it a go.  There is no limit on submissions.

The first person to nail it gets the prize.  (I’ll have my long-suffering assistant, Diane, contact you for shipping info and we’ll send it over as soon as we can.)

Heck… I’ll even sign the manual.  (That oughta boost the value of it by another dime or so.)

We’ll let this play out for approximately one week.

I’m on the road (hosting our awesome Mastermind Group in San Francisco, if you must know) starting early tomorrow…

… and when I get back, I’ll post the winner, and a few more of my own thoughts on this crucial (and almost ridiculously-powerful) secret of using money to change your life.

While I’m gone, I’ve asked a close colleague of mine — the esteemed Robert Gibson — to hang out in the comments section as my representative…

… to monitor things, and to maybe drop a few teasing hints as he interacts with everyone.

Robert is a veteran teacher in the Simple Writing System coaching program (and has participated in every session we’ve hosted).  He’s smart.  He’s wicked funny.

And you should feel free to interact with him as much as you like.

These quizzes, when they work, are loads of fun…

… and they can force some serious critical-thinking processes to sizzle in people’s heads.

That’s a very good thing.  Strong critical thinking is one of the casualties of the modern world, as too many people insist on always taking the easy road (regardless of how far away from their goals it takes them)… and never developing the discipline required for turning your brain into an asset.

Consider the hints.  Face up to your own relationship with money…

… and see if you can’t figure out what this potent tactic is.

You “win” just by going through the motions, you know.

However, if you’re first with the right answer, you also win the prize.

Ready?  Go…

Tip for getting the most out of this exercise: Think about your answer BEFORE commenting.  Then post your comment… THEN read the other comments.  That way, your thinking won’t be influenced by what other folks post.

I’ll be back here next week with the winner and the answer.

Stay frosty,


P.S. By the way… I’ll be alerting the folks who follow me on Facebook and Twitter right now, and we’ll send out email alerts as soon as we can about this post.

God knows how long it takes email to show up in your in-box… so if you crave early notification for stuff like this, stop screwing around and join me on Facebook (John Carlton) and Twitter (johncarlton007).

Like most of the hip marketers I know, I’m using Facebook more and more, cuz it’s so easy and immediate and satisfying. (Did you see my photos from the Little Feat concert?)

Anyway… good luck with the quiz.

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  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eric Graham, James Foster. James Foster said: Quiz Time. With a prize!: Wednesday, 8:40pm Reno, NV “Money, money, money, money, money, money…” (Cabaret) Howdy… … http://bit.ly/9zY3ca […]

  • Ian says:

    Hey John,

    The tactic is to sock away enough money to last you 6 months…if…you had no income.

    This gives you the power to say no to any deal and not NEED anyone…or…
    … feel forced to take a gig you loathe to pay the rent.

    That’s my shot at what tactic you’re getting at.

    Great blog post, thanks for shaking my brain awake.

  • Bas says:

    My take is actually not to have your money, but your work work for you. Kind of what Ian brilliantly suggests, but going one step further:

    Work on successful projects. Success doesn’t require nation wide coverage or a big paycheck. Success is when you exceed your client’s expectations by far. And the funny thing is: success comes around.

    Take Old Spice for example, I bet it wasn’t the most interesting gig for Wieden+Kennedy, but they knew they’d hit it out of the ballpark. And so they did. Two youtube flicks and a twitter campaing. And now any man in the world wants to be that man.

    While you’re establishing a name through your deliriously pleased clients, hire freelancers to pick up your work. To meet your high standards, all you need is to add your special topping to their cake. This will free your time to pick up more projects and meet with professionals that are higher in the tree than you.

    Anyway, that’s what I would do if I did. But I haven’t yet. Maybe soon 🙂

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Bas,

      Robert Gibson here.
      You have some great thoughts.
      It all comes together a little too easy though.
      You have the key to success as “work on successful projects.” If it were that easy, every project would be successful, right?

      I’m writing this response for you and for everyone reading the blog:

      When you’re doing marketing for a client,
      there are 3 sets of expectations to exceed:
      the client, the people the client is selling to and your own. That’s a lot of things to exceed!
      Here’s why – you can deliver as promised and still fall short.

      Your Old Spice example really drives the point home. They have an amazing viral campaign going on. Their commercials are on You Tube and they’re getting MILLIONS of views!
      Everyone is showering W+K with accolades. I even saw the phrase : “this is the future of marketing.” It was akin to when Crispin Porter + Bogusky did their “Subservient Chicken” ads for Burger King. It’s the novelty of interaction(on their new You Tube campaign), edginess and the humor.

      So let’s look at the Old Spice campaign through the lens of success:
      W+K is thrilled with the campaign.
      The critics are thrilled.
      Commercials are being watched.

      Expectations have been exceeded….right?
      Well, yeah..sort of..except for one small problem.

      The product they’re selling…is actually selling
      This is from Brandweek:
      “Sales of the featured product—Red Zone After Hours Body Wash—aren’t necessarily tracking with that consumer appeal:
      In the 52 weeks ended June 13, sales of the brand have dropped 7 percent according to SymphonyIRI.”

      Pay close attention to that. That’s huge.
      In Direct Response, if people don’t buy, the electric bill doesn’t get paid.

      People say a lot of things, but they vote with their wallets.

      John’s shared some powerful, life changing tactics. They’re simple to understand.
      Not always simple to apply.

      Think of a married couple.
      Wife says to the husband:
      I love you….
      Husband thinks -great! I’m loved!
      The wife finishes her sentence:
      ..but I want a divorce.
      Kills the mood a little..lol
      So if you’re the husband, do you say:
      “At least I’m loved”
      “I better call a lawyer?”

      Back to Old Spice:
      They love the videos..but they’re buying less.
      Which do you pay more attention to?

      The parallel to John’s quiz is this:
      by having some honest conversations about money, that puts you in the right neighborhood. But as he points out, most professionals never implement the tactic.
      So is knowing something helpful if you don’t implement it?

      John’s offering a great prize to one person
      and a greater prize to everyone here.
      To get the first prize you have to guess right.
      To get the second, you need to implement what he’s teaching.

      Again -if it were that simple to implement, everyone would do it.

      For a lot of people, there are things that keep getting in the way.

      That’s what I would love to help you with
      while I’m here looking at your great answers.

      So here’s my proposal for you:
      When you look at John’s blog above and his previous post:

      What are the obstacles and challenges that come up for you?

      So in addition to giving your best answer to win the first prize, I’d love to hear your thoughts to help you win the second one -success.

      And if you want to step in and help someone here too with some ideas or encouragement, that would be great too. 🙂

      Sound like a plan?

      You’re all doing great!
      Robert Gibson

      • Bas says:

        hi Robert,

        Thanks for your insights. They sure raised some questions for me. I will work my mind around them & I will try to write them down here.


  • Eric Transue says:

    John, since you said you have written about it before on this blog my guess is you are referring to “F*ck You Money” and putting it to work for you.

    By figuring out how much you need for your FYM and then putting that away you create independence in your life. You are no longer a slave to other’s demands, long hours or crappy jobs! You know you already have your FYM so in a sense it is working for you by giving you the ability to do what pleases you. It gives you the freedom to concentrate on things that are important in your life. Your FYM frees you from having to chase the dollars like you might have to if you didn’t have the security of your FYM.

  • Ken says:

    I think the real insider secret here is in how you transfer your cash into assets…..creating real REAL wealth.

    Gold, Real Estate, Controlling Interested, and other tangibles are the ticket to wealth. Every really wealthy person I know, has a VERY small portion of the their “assets” in cash. Even as a young guy(20) having several expensive items has saved my butt a few times. I needed a certain amount of cash and I was able to turn in my assets in exchange for MORE than I paid for these items.

    Cash is the worst investment since Enron.


  • Bob Massey says:

    I think the secret is being generous with what you earn … to be willing to give some away … benefiting others only to find that, somewhere down the line, you receive real, tangible benefit in return.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Bob,
      That’s a great sentiment. How would you measure it? Do you have some examples in your own life to share?

  • Hans Klein says:

    “Screw you money!” is how I think you normally put it. The thing is you don’t really need the money to have the “Screw you money” attitude. So, I’ll add to my answer that it’s not just the money… but, the concept that’s important. After all, you can have a ton of money, but still not think of the money in your savings account as freedom.

  • TonyB says:

    Hey John,

    Thanks for a great post. My take will follow similar thread here, but I’ll put more cherry on top by saying the secret is all about squirreling away months of “screw you” money. Piles of dosh that can fix future emergencies. The money if never touched will have done its job.

    The plus side is that the money or the thought of it gives you power and emits a different aura especially to clients who think anyone would pant like a dog in heat whenever money is mentioned.

  • TonyB says:

    Plus, it’s also it’s about taking mini retirement living deep and enjoying life like the famous Travis Mcgee (from John D. MacDonald – Travis Mcgee series) in your own “ The Busted flush” merry yacht.

  • Wow, the “Fuck You Money” seems to be the consensus around here.

    The first thing that popped into my head with all of your hints is the “positioning not prospecting” marketing stance.

    This is exactly what I’m executing right freaking now, this week, launching a $25k a month life-altering project. I’m scared shitless right now (but in a good and refreshing way) — in free fall soaring away from my comfort zone here.

  • simon says:

    Some interesting replies.
    I may be waaaaaaay off here but I think th einsider secret is not being afraid to charge BIG BUCKS.

    Most people are very uncomfortable asking for the big numbers, but virtually every successful person I know has the brass kahoonies to do that….


  • John,

    Since I wouldn’t win by offering FYM as a guess…I’ll offer a different one.

    Money as Leverage.

    The simple act of leveraging your money back into the most important parts of your business (i.e. marketing systems) to get out of that beginning “gotta keep chasing the cash” mentality that beginning copywriters seem to go through.

  • Nick Neilson says:

    From Chapter 18 of “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel”
    “#4 – Set aside some screw you money… enough to last year 6 months to a year.
    Don’t invest it in anything riskier than a bank CD.
    Don’t play around with it.
    It’s an invisible partner there to back you up.
    If you never touch it the rest of your life, it’s done its job.
    Just knowing you have this cash stashed away will change the way you go about your every day existence.
    You will viscerally (def. not intellectual, dealing with crude or elemental emotions) become a different person.
    This back up cash means that you do not ever have to take s*** from anyone.
    You are no longer a slave to the system.
    If you do not like the look of a job or a client you can walk away.
    This ability to say “Screw It” gives you not just freedom but a powerful sense of confidence people
    can smell on you.
    Because you don’t need his measly fee and he can shove it if he tries to manipulate you or force you to compromise your principles.”

    I would say Ian hit a home run on the first pitch of the game.

  • Adam says:

    Invest in yourself.

  • Thomas says:

    Have balls of steel!

  • Susie says:

    First – thanks so much for these thought-provoking quizzes…always good brain food.

    I think it’s the old principle from “The Richest Man in Babylon…” Save 10%, tithe 10%. Because when you’re broke – your dominant thought is lack. When you know you have money growing in the bank, and you know you have enough to give away 10% – I think it changes your thought process.

  • Martyna says:

    money will not buy you an identity, have it first.
    what comes to my mind are the basic things-
    individuality- priceless, responsibility for your own decisions, independence and later authority. entrepreneurship. a thought from some time ago- money is created by people, yet it is stronger than most of them.
    it is an interesting post. thank you.
    what is your observation?


    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Nice thoughts Martyna!

      • Martyna says:

        so basic, right? and I believe that they give you space to know ( as they are so basic- so common) what is happening in somebody else’s head- and that leads to superior salesmanship and opportunities


        • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

          Well, not too basic.
          It’s basic for you. Which is great!
          Because it means you can help teach what you know to others. Terms like identity can fill libraries with books on the subject. It’s like pointing to a mountain and saying it’s easy – all you have to do is climb.
          There’s a plastic globe in classrooms across the world. It can make the path from one country to the next look as easy as moving your finger a few inches in any direction. The actual doing takes a lot more work. That’s where you can help teach what you know.
          Thanks for responding!

        • Michelle says:

          Good comment about the head, Martyna!

    • Michelle says:

      There are so many outstanding comments here. In boils down to one word, the answer is “Gnosis”, so go to http://wowomojo.com to get the full scoop on the poop. I’m a decent writer, but I’m a better editor, so you’ll may enjoy seeing the editing process live.

      • Michelle says:

        Aww Rats. OOps. That one didn’t work. (Note to self: Self, Fix this.)
        Robert, I made a boo-boo. Can you detach this comment and make it a stand-alone? or do you need to delete it. If so, I’ll be happy to re-post it.

        • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

          Hi Michelle,
          Mistakes are OK.
          We’re all friends here.
          No need for deletion.

  • Octavio says:

    When you position yourself of someone who is building a relationship providing massive value that generate results with honesty and entertainment, then you gain the trust and friendship to work again and again.

  • Wyman says:

    I think the question is for whom do the benefets of this product or service solve a specific problem?

  • Mitch says:

    You must be talking about screw you cash!

    That kind of cash is the sweetest type. Your self esteem literally EXPLODES! You become a badass mofo when you realize you can trust yourself.

    Love you John, you are THE BEST TEACHER. Sick chat you had with Tony Robbins too!

    Long live the Carlton.

  • Axl Midas says:

    The answer is – Don’t think about the MONEY!!

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Axl,
      John’s previous post of a 2 part post was called:
      “Money Money Money Money”
      So it might involve thinking about money.

  • Susan says:

    Your money is not a reflection of your value but everyone thinks it is.

  • Marlo says:

    I think it’s what Dan Kennedy wrote about,
    his observations of wealthy people:

    1. To set aside an amount each period or so and never to touch that money.

    2. To set aside an amount you should give away.

    Both work to boost your self-esteem, as
    successful entrepreneurs perform at their
    level of self-worth.

  • Rezbi says:

    Get good, get connected, and get paid.

    Darn it, John, there are so many jeniuses on here I’m never going to win.

    Can I just have the prize?

  • Crystal says:

    Since no doubt #4 is already covered, I’m going left field here, and adding my personal observation #5:
    “Spontaneously giving away money is the fastest way to feel rich, and blast away any feelings of lack”
    Seriously, when the person in front of you at the checkout is $2 short, and you just pass it over, telling them not to worry about it, or if they want, to pay it forward, there is nothing better to make you feel like you’re living in abundance.
    You’re also missing #6 – “Your money will be limited principally by what you believe you are worth.” Build your beliefs about yourself, the money jumps too. I’ve done it. Repeatedly. Walked into jobs at double the salary, or more. It’s bizarre, but fun.

  • Leanne says:

    I’m thinking giving, but a specific form of giving – – tithing.

  • Dan says:

    Perry Marshall actually has a saying for the attitude you’re referring to (and I quote), “Money Runs From Desperation”
    The Beatles say “Can’t Buy Me Love” blah, blah, blah, which all boils down to the fact that If you’re goal is “the money” then you never will achieve the level of professional esteem and recognition that attracts money. The key is to have the money chasing you and like women, the more they know you want them the more they know they got ya, so as it was said earlier, the tactic has already been mentioned and as one mafia don, said to the other in his New Jersey accent; “Forget about it will ya!” and oh yeah I do agree with previous posters who mention paying yourself where you put some away. If you don’t pay yourself handsomely, then who else will?

  • Tammy says:

    I bargained with Life for a penny,
    And Life would pay no more,
    However I begged at evening
    When I counted my scanty store.

    For Life is a just employer,
    He gives you what you ask,
    But once you have set the wages,
    Why, you must bear the task.

    I worked for a menial’s hire,
    Only to learn, dismayed,
    That any wage I had asked of Life,
    Life would have willing paid.”

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Tammy,
      That’s a great poem.
      Don’t forget to credit the author:
      Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

      • Janet says:

        Thanks Tammy, for posting this poem and thanks Robert, for letting us know the author’s name. I read this in “Think & Grow Rich” but didn’t know who wrote it. Glad to know who it is and also glad that it’s a woman. Just because women at that time were doing wonderful things but struggling to be appreciated. (All the more reason to be glad you appreciated her here Robert).

        • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

          Hi Janet,
          My pleasure.
          There were lots of great poets
          from her time.
          One of my favorites is Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

          Here’s one you might like:
          “There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
          Can circumvent or hinder or control
          The firm resolve of a determined soul.
          Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;
          All things give way before it, soon or late.
          What obstacle can stay the mighty force Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
          Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?

          Each well-born soul must win
          What it deserves.
          Let the fool prate of luck.
          The fortunate is he
          Whose earnest purpose never swerves,
          Whose slightest action or inaction serves
          The one great aim.
          Why, even Death stands still,
          And waits an hour sometimes
          for such a will.”
          Ella Wheeler Wilcox

          Have a great night.

        • Michelle says:

          Hi Janet, I went to check your site, and got a website not found message. It may just be a burp in the internet, but thought you’d want to know. Think and Grow Rich is a great book. One of my favorites.

        • Janet says:

          Thanks Robert & Michelle. I think I figured out what was wrong with my website link. Hopefully it’s fixed now.

  • M says:

    How about finding a way to get a percentage of what is produced in terms of sales and/or profits … either through a royalty or a “backend”? This seems to be one way to keep the work producing … even after it’s been worked (or produced … or written!) …

  • Daniel says:

    Never chase money, let it come to you.
    As simple as that sounds and as vague it is the secret to true financial success.
    To clarify, present yourself as an invaluable asset that can fix their problem that no one else can. People will seek you out and throw money at you.

    Thanks John for the brilliant and thought provoking posts and sometimes hard a$$ when needed.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Daniel,
      I get where you’re going with this.
      Great insights.
      It’s important to put in some distinctions.
      Just sitting there and presenting yourself doesn’t get you paid. You do have to do some work. People will seek you out based on what you’ve done. Not just what you say you can do. In marketing, testimonials serve that purpose.

      If we are truly getting results for others, it’s a reputation.
      If it’s just a website that makes us look important, it’s empty posturing. Big difference.

  • Eric Barton says:

    Charging more and Pricing yourself at the top above others in your niche can make people assume your the best and the expert choice.

    • Janet says:

      But Eric, what if you’re not the best? It takes a lot of work and study to be worth that high rate. It takes a lot of work to truly be an expert. How do you feel about someone hiring you because he/she made that assumption, but not being up to par with those expectations?

      So many “gurus” have been advising us to charge a lot without telling us how to be *worth* a lot. That confused me for a long time. Stick with Carlton, he makes more sense. Work hard, do good work, believe in yourself, and charge what your worth. If you’re doing the first three, what your worth will keep increasing.

      • eric says:

        absolutely I agree about providing max value and I pride myself on overdelivering value but was taking a guess at what John was saying about all gurus having in common.

        • Janet says:

          Thanks for your reply Eric, and I hope I didn’t sound like I was doubting your value. I just think it’s important to qualify the concept of charging more as only being a good idea if you’re worth more. Because I do remember being confused as a newbie and thinking I was supposed to charge a lot, being told I should charge a lot, and then having the same people tell me you shouldn’t charge a lot until you’re worth it. It’s important to be clear about that issue.

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Eric,
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge.
        I think you’re saying that ‘Charging more and Pricing yourself above your competition can present people with the impression that you’re the best, therefore your services are worth the price.’
        If so, I see what you’re saying.
        There was a doctor who opened a practice by setting prices at twice the going rate (1970s). This doctor used Gum-Shoe Advertising to earn $20,000 per month. One day the doctor decided to pursue a different path.
        Why do you think someone would build something worth so much money, then turn and walk away?
        Looking forward to your reply,
        P.S. I think I got this one posted correctly. We shall see!

        • eric says:

          Hey Michelle-
          I think the reason the dr. and others may fold up after a while because it gets harder to bring in people after people start talking and sharing their experiences. Then it becomes more about him having to get new clients constantly versus repeat customers.

          I think that strategy only works short term if not as good as says but can work long term if constantly deliver value.

        • Michelle says:

          It wasn’t the repeat customers. He simply walked away from $20K per month in 1970s money, and closed down a booming practice. That’s a decent wage even today.
          Any other ideas?

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Janet,
        You brought up a thought-provoking point when you say the gurus tell us what to do, but not how to do it. I’ve seen that too.
        You advised us to work hard, do good work, believe in ourselves and to charge what we’re worth in order to increase our worth. That’s some sage advice, but out of curiosity . . . how might someone discover what they’re worth?

        • Janet says:

          That’s a great question. And I’ve found it frustrating trying to figure out the answer. To some extent you’re worth x amount of dollars if your copy earns your client considerably more than that. There’s no guarantee that your copy will do that no matter how good you are. But I did learn in the process how important it is to value your time. If you know what you’re doing and you do good work, you deserve to be paid a reasonable rate. But setting fees has always been very difficult for me.

          A few copywriters recommend choosing an affiliate product at Clickbank, becoming an affiliate for that product, and writing your own sales letter for the product. In doing so, you will make money and prove to yourself and others that you’re copy makes money. I still haven’t done that.

          Frankly, I wish there were an apprentice program or a serious training program, and perhaps some board overseeing the profession and offering certification to those who reach a certain level of expertise. It must be a nightmare to try to hire a copywriter. And it’s no picnic to be a copywriter either, without any good way to gauge your expertise other than the number of dollars you bring in (which isn’t really the best way to measure the worth of your copywriting).

        • Michelle says:

          Hi Janet,
          I don’t know the answer to that either. Other than spending the time to write articles and comparing your writing to copy that catches your attention.
          Anyone care to help out here?

  • Natasha says:

    Your attitude about money & your beliefs about money and your self worth (can i do it, am i worth it?). These determines how your work your business, how your position yourself, how you appear to clients and what you will do with your money when you are flush eg spend it on stuff or create wealth with leverage. Your mindset will determine whether you will struggle forever, own a lot of stuff or create true wealth – whatever that is for you.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Natasha,
      Very true.
      If you haven’t read him, you might like Charles Haanel’s book ‘The Master Key System.”

  • Anne says:

    Thanks John, as usual very thought provoking!
    Always be grateful whenever money comes to you no matter how big or small an amount and then ‘put away’ 10% of whatever the amount is. This money can be used at anytime as long as it is being reinvested in moving you/your business forward.

  • Lou says:

    It’s Simple. Money has to be given away.

    Money given away freely and of you own accord (“How Much is up to you”) powers your self image and reputation. Money ain’t noting but a thing. Get rid of your money, and you’ll be more successful. that’s the secret most of the gurus don’t take advantage of.

  • Natasha says:

    Believe in yourself, that you can do it.
    Look at your knowledge and skills – do they need updating or refreshing. Be open to opportunity and learning. Leverage your knowledge and skills

  • Shirley Bass says:

    Make what you’ve learned make money for you.

  • Adil says:

    Hey John,

    I reckon the 4th Observation is investment on yourself.

    One should use the money they have to constantly invest in themselves. This is the cornerstone to what most people say is there success. They constantly make sure they are learning things to improve themselves.


    P.S. Thanks for the blog posts. They still help me produce some of my best work

  • Money is a tool that one can use as leverage. The price of a package can get you into the immediate circle of the expert author giving you close range access to him/her and an opportunity as an insider to communicate directly with the source. Here in, the opportunities are potentially exponential and limitless.

    Thanks John

    Michael Harwood

  • Adam says:


  • Lisa Marrone says:

    Hello, John!
    You have great stuff! Thank you.
    I think the answer is:
    You need to recognize your Why, and your own intrinsic value, and everybody, I mean Everybody, has this. Then you have to communicate it in an effective way that all your readers and viewers will understand it; this includes showing your results – your money, and what the money gets you – freedom, time, security. Next, you have to communicate how you realized what you really wanted in life was not the money, but that the money makes things easier and nicer.

    Thank you for the thought-provoking opportunity!


  • Hi John,
    here’s my ten cents worth.
    What everybody else has written is spot on. I’m not sure I can add a lot but here goes.
    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the question. As I see it the question you are asking is about how do you get big money. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Keeping it is a whole different ball game.
    Money is attracted to attitude. Yep, this is one of those kinda flakey “The Secret” posts.

    The thing is that first off you have to believe, on a really deep level, that you are actually worthy and deserving of big moolah.
    I’m talking about right down there in your neural networks. It’s about actually being hard wired that way.
    That’s step one. the second bit is this.
    “The more confidence we have in ourselves and/or our product or service, the more we will charge for it”. When you hook these two thing together then you become a money printing press that makes the Federal reserve green with envy…
    There’s probably more but it’s what I’m focused on right now and creating huge value, of course.


  • Wyman says:

    Build trust and expert status by giving away your best stuff. Then charge higher prices for coaching and mentoring.

  • Laurie Weiss says:

    I think #4 is spending your money to create the time and opportunity you need to learn from the masters. That may mean helping them in a variety of different ways just to hang out in their presence.

  • Wyman says:

    Build a big list so you can do Joint Ventures with the big dogs.

  • moooolaaaahhhhh. Its funny how people perceive money and judge you for having or not having enough of it. The answer to your question has many possibilities “philanthropy, outsourcing, tithing” all come to mind. The truth is the answer is “not talking or worrying about it” you see big shots all talk about making money and thats the key. Tell them what they want to hear and watch it flow to you with ease. “the screw you mentality” often comes naturally once u make it big. It’s having the ability to fight off the lure of money when u are desparate that sets im stone ur mentality. Make a plan and riches u will have; fail to plan and plan to fail

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      You’ve got some good ideas here.
      There’s also a lot of money in NOT telling people what they want to hear.
      The real money is in caring enough to be honest.
      Will everyone appreciate it?
      Well, what exactly does everyone appreciate? lol
      You’ll never get everyone and that’s OK.
      There’s another distinction:
      the “screw you” mentality John speaks about in his posts refers to independence. It doesn’t have to be about contempt for anyone.
      Even the “big shots”.
      Hope the arthritis is feeling better!

  • Bill says:

    Earn the money first, then take it! And keep working towards being worth what you earn

  • ken ca|houn says:

    You’ve all made some really great posts from everyone here this go-round, nice to see some like minded positive folks, especially in these dire times.

    Clue being what money does for you after you’ve earned it, it’s influence over you, that’s the crux of it… how does money or lack thereof influence personal behavior? FYM is certainly a great big part of it, and market positioning/jvs to enable justifying higher fees, and confidence to boldly go where you haven’t before, marketing and copy-wise.

    When I don’t have enough money, I scramble (creating new products/jvs), and worry. When I have a lot of money, I go to Vegas and party at the Bellagio (it’s my home away from home – Bellagio lakeview suites are great, as is the O show), or spend lots of $ on amazon buying movies & books, or take family on other vacations to tropical spots.

    I would really worry if I ever got to where I had less than 2 years’ worth of “FYM’ in my accounts, which thankfully I do. From Tony Robbins, I learned the value of contribution at a UPW event, so I give $ to where it’s needed, and that was a big personal transformation; being in an abundance/impact/legacy mindset.

    So, I would say money’s influence is on ability to impact one’s behavior in “moving towards” vs “moving away” from goals and objectives, in subtle persuasive ways to shift your behavior to act from scarcity vs wealth mindset. If you act like a mouse when you’re broke and a lion when you’re rich, you’ve got it the wrong way around… speaking from personal experience. You’ve got to be a lion king of the market no matter What’s going on … be the financial rock in the middle of the storm, so people take solace there… and buy.

    to the chase,

  • Kerry says:

    Pay yourself FIRST – put something aside from everything your earn (say 10% or what you can). This was the 1st key principle in the ‘The Richest Man in Babylon” book and How to become wealthy.
    Thats my take.
    Kerry Beare

  • Since you are the single greatest asset to your business, before you invest in other aspects of your business, be sure to pay yourself first. Pay yourself before you “build your business” – this acknowledges your value and worth as “the talent or asset”, and lays the foundation to grow on properly.

  • Mike says:

    Run your life like a business. Pay yourself first. Tithe.

  • Since you are the single greatest asset to your business, before you invest in other aspects of your business, be sure to pay yourself first. Pay yourself before you “build your business” – this acknowledges your value and worth as “the talent or asset”, and lays the foundation to grow on properly.

  • Janice says:

    My guess? The money is in the LIST!!!

  • Jason says:

    Hey John,
    I think the answer to your quiz is to put enough money away to last you 6 months so you aren’t stressed to take a job that doesn’t pay you what your worth. If you can’t walk away from a deal knowing that you don’t need it, then you are a slave to money and when money rules your life, you don’t make money. If you learn to control it, then you control how much you make. This is actually taught in the infamous “The Richest Man In Babylon” book. It is the most under-taught principle by most experts.

  • Sean says:

    Give your money away. The most powerful principle in making money work for you is also the most powerful psychological principle known to man. Real prosperity is an “inside job”. It’s a head game.

    But it’s more than a psychological trick it’s the most essential ingredient to success anyone can embrace. We have ingrained in our fear fostered lifestyles the tendency to be poverty or lack minded. The most powerful cure for lack is a fundamental change in what we believe.

    Lot’s of people will stand in front of mirrors and stuff repeating affirmations but those thoughts have no more power than the poverty thoughts they speak all day long. In fact they probably have less power because people are constantly (and almost unconsciously) saying things that produce more lack than 1000 affirmations a day will cure.

    The real cure for lack mindedness is that something has to give prosperous thoughts more power than poverty thoughts. The absolute best cure to completely defy poverty thinking is to actually give money away. It doesn’t matter if you earn only a dollar a day or 500.00 a day you give a percentage away just like clockwork.

    Every time you earn some money give away the same percentage. The most common percentage in all history (and there is written documentation dating back 1000’s of years) is 10 percent.

    No matter how poor you are you can implement this any time you like and your action of giving that money away is more powerful that 10,000 thoughts telling you that you will not have enough — because with your actions (they do speak louder than words) you are defying those poverty thoughts with the actions of a generous person.

    One generous action immediately empowers more generous actions. After a while that generosity beings to appear in your countenance and character. A little while longer and people find themselves wanting to do business with you. Strangely the 90 percent you kept ends up buying more than the 100 percent you had all to yourself.

    This is essentially an investment in your ability to manifest generosity. The universe loves a person who thinks outside of themselves and contributes systematically to the well being of others. The best targets for your giving are the poor and disadvantaged. Your money is worth so many times more to them than it is to you that you have a huge multiplication of value just in distributing this way.

    There is a principle that whatever you do comes multiplied back to you in greater measure. When you find places where your money will provide more value for someone else than it would for you — you invoke the power of multiplication on a level that surpasses Einsteins comment that there is nothing as powerful as compound interest.

    I’ve met a few greedy people who were rich but did not know about this strategy — but I’ve never met a wealthy person who had sustained wealth that did not know and use this principle from a time before they became wealthy. Either that or one of their ancestors learned it before he became wealthy and had passed it on.

  • John Cumbow says:

    Spend some of your money on learning. Hire a mentor or teacher so you can learn the things you need to know to get ahead.

  • Kelly says:

    Money observation #4 is a 6-8 month emergency fund for all your living expenses so you don’t have to take crap from anyone. You usually call it the ‘screw you fund’.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention in order to receive, you must give first. It starts the wheel of karma. Most importantly, it transforms a limiting mindset into an abundance mindset because you know more will come. Fear is a mind killer.

  • carlen says:

    Hey John… Socrates, huh? Hmm… makes sense now that I think about it. He was one of the ancient world’s great rebels, so that puts you in good company.

    Anyway, to the QUESTION… Money is NOT the goal, whether you’ve got much or little. Money (or its lack) is a key byproduct… it’s the effect, not the cause.

    So if money is not the goal, what is? Value is. Knowing what’s valuable to a client, prospect or friend is key. Or in marketing terms, What does she/he truly want?

    And value happens at several different levels. Knowing what’s of value to your prospect… knowing the value of your product or service… knowing the value of the relationship between your client, your product and yourself…
    knowing the value in seeing your product’s sale as an ongoing dynamic, not as a one-time transaction.

    In business, value created… value given… and value received form the unbreakable matrix out of which money pours. Money does not construct this business matrix… value does. Money, however, is a key consequence, or byproduct, of this matrix.

    Pass the hemlock, please.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Carlen,
      Interesting thoughts. Not the correct answer.
      No need for the hemlock.
      It’ll be OK 😀

  • Nick Konev says:

    Lack of money can really make life difficult. So, if this is true, then the answer is that having enough money will make your life less difficult, so you should have a number in your head about how much money you need to live comfortably, and work to achieve it, especially for retirement. Having this money saved and put away for a rainy day or retirement will make life less difficult.

  • Stephen says:

    You cannot become truly successful with money without having your own business. Only by having a business in place, do you have the mechanism that will provide the cash flow to ‘expose’ your real purpose for wanting money in the first place. Thus, the key is to getting the Biz going and to pour every last cent of profit (what you earned) back into that business. (**If you net’ed a million dollars last year, did you dump it back into the company, or buy a Porsche? Or Gold? Buying gold isn’t a bad idea, if it’s reserved for the biz. Remember, they seized everyone’s gold in 1933, they can do it again!) Then, to ‘stay receptive’ to any and all biz ideas that mentors and others you respect and trust suggest. That is what all the ‘big dogs’ have done. You need to be humble enough to ask a mentor/professional: When you look at me (or my biz), what do you see? You must humbly become the : Master of the Moment!

    Here’s to big dogs!!

  • Tammy says:

    John never knew the author. Its a poem my father in law taught me and my kids. Every time someone complains about their lack of funds we recite it.

    It’s nice to know the author

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Tammy,
      That was me.
      I’m watching the store while John’s away.
      That’s a great poem to share in your family.
      If you ever need to find an author of a poem,
      just type some lines into Google.
      With quotes I find some have been attributed to the wrong person for years.
      Robert Gibson

  • I hope it isn’t considered “cheating” if you’ve studied John’s stuff intensely… but I’m going to take a shot at this:

    Is it the F.U. Money Account?

    1. It changes your life immediately because you’re not freaked out about money all the time.
    2. It lets you become a top freelancer because now you can say no to petty jobs and drama clients.
    3. It opens up amazing opportunities like Gary Halbert because you can work for them for free knowing you got your own back for the time being

  • I do think that the more you give back to the community the more money you will get in your pocket and in your heart !!! money is only good to pay bills and after that you are able to choose new goals wisely and open your wisdom !!!!

  • Jason Hodder says:

    i’m following your advice and not reading the other comments yet. (Can’t wait to read them.)

    i think the secret is putting away enough money so that you’re not *scared* to try (test) giving away some of your best secrets for free to establish credibility, reciprocity, (and thereby do pretty cool and good things for people who need help with something they are struggling that causes the pain that you can help them solve).

    in fact, having that money put away can take *desperation* out of many equations for you and empower you *emotionally* to test a lot of ideas.

    good luck to everyone participating!

  • Tom Watson says:

    Use the money you earn and invest in education, training for yourself. Use the money to continue learning, developing yourself and skills enabling you to continue this cycle. Pick someone smarter, more insightful than you and pay them to teach you.

  • Operation Moneysuck!

    Understand that as a freelancer, money comes from YOU being able to do what you do best. Every second you spend doing “regular mortal stuff” (like answering your own customer service line) is lost.

    Set yourself up in such a way that you can focus on your moolah-production. Pay someone else to do everything else.

  • Ok, here’s my wild shot. Stay out of debt. Easy to do if you are earning lots of money but extremely hard when you’re broke or just getting by.

    When you’re debt-free you are more independent and have fewer worries. It allows you to do things you want with fewer worries.

  • Steve Gunn says:

    I may be way off base here, but I think observation #4 has to do with earning residuals/royalties.

    Hint 1: “allowing me to become one of the top freelancers in the game…”

    Taking jobs with a smaller upfront retainer, relying on residuals from the success of your promo’s for the “bulk” of your income increases your chance of landing clients by 1- showing them you’re confident in your ability to craft winners, and 2- lowers their upfront cost basis in hiring you. -Which, if successful, could make you one of the “top freelancers in the game”

    Hint 2:“… and opening up amazing new opportunities (like mentoring with Gary Halbert) that would have never happened otherwise.”

    This relates to observation #2, once your monthly “nut” was covered with residuals, you were free to take on projects/adventures that wouldn’t necessarily put any “short money” in your pocket to keep the bills paid, but would pay out dividends 10 fold, long-term; such as working with the late great Gary Halbert. This is only possible once you have passive recurring income that covers the basic necessities.

    Hint 3: “You probably never heard of this tactic before… unless you’ve known a professional who took you aside and shared it with you. ”


    Hint 4: “It involves making money work for you after you’ve earned it… but NOT in the way most people think money is “supposed” to work.”

    Ideally, any advance or upfront retainer you receive should adequately compensate you for the time spent creating a new project. So, in effect, any money made after the fact is “free” money. You earned your money once, when you wrote the promo and worked for it, but now your “ownership” of that work is what is paying you dividends. It’s similar to investing money in high yield investments, you are expecting a steady cash flow over time in exchange for “investing” dollars today. In effect, you’re discounting your “present” earnings on a project and investing the difference in partial ownership of the success of the offer. So, your money is “working for you”

    Hint 5: “To get to the correct answer (if you want the prize), you’re going to have to think hard about the role money plays in your life right now. About the power it has over your behavior…

    … and especially how it influences your life when you’re flush, and when you’re broke.”

    This is the hint that made me think my answer was correct. By taking some of your payment for projects as long term “backend” money, you are “insuring” against the “feast or famine” roller coaster that effects too many freelancers. Which can really improve your position psychologically when it comes to working on the next project. If your “nut” is covered by residual income from work that has already been done, and you aren’t worried about where the next paycheck or mortgage payment is coming from, you can fully devote yourself to the project in front of you and produce (usually) a better result.

    When you don’t have money troubles hanging over your head, you are able to focus and become much more productive [at least in a healthy mind].

    So I think observation #4 is “Try to get paid dividends/residuals for your work whenever possible. You’ll earn more, and more consistently over time.”

    Or as I like to say “If they’re offering cash, try to get a little equity, and if all they’re offering is equity, make sure you get cash upfront.”

    -Steve Gunn

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Steve,
      Equity sure is nice to have.
      Great advice. Not the right answer for this.
      Keep at it.

      • walter daniels says:

        Having already replied/guessed, all of the “Financial” ideas are good ones, but not it. I’m in a wheelchair, from a back injury, but getting ready to go “on my own again.” I’m blessed with people that are “paying back” some of what I’ve “given away.” 🙂
        Even if it never came back, I’d still do it. Whether it’s money, time, a piece of floor, food, whatever, I try to help my friends.

        • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

          Hi Walter,

          More important than guessing the right answer is the kind generosity of people like you.

          What’s so moving in these comments
          is everyone is helping each other by sharing their best ideas for success.

          John just started with one post at the top of the page. In a few days we have over 100 comments filled with great ideas and life experiences.

          That is truly paying it forward.
          Thank you for being a part of it.

  • Geoff Dodd says:

    The method is.. insisting on royalty payments, like 5% to 20% of extra revenue you cause to be generated, to create residual income into perpetuity. This way you don’t depend on each next gig for an income and your income stabilizes a lot. Geoff Dodd, Australia.

  • sam says:

    See money as a tool for creating massive leverage – into assets that provide lasting value (social contribution,philanthropy, capital assets)

  • Pat says:

    Hi John,
    Wow! What a great prize! And audio media too.
    I’ll be signing up for your facebook page right quick to get the jump on your next quiz.

    Meanwhile, inline with your suggestion, I’ve thought about what your 4th observation might be, am posting my response, and will then read through the others and find out who beat me to the prize. 😉
    I figure the 4th observation is something like …

    Observation #4
    Once you’ve got your nut covered for say the next 3 months, start setting aside money for your continuing education fund (though ideally that was actually built into your monthly budget/nut, as it ought to be considered an essential).
    Now, start investing in yourself —in your lifelong education. invest those funds—say 10% of your income— in learning how to be the best widget maker or ?? there is; determine who the masters are in you field of interest and find a way to apprentice yourself to them – via books, discs, audio and video files, live seminars, coaching, and/or via mastermind programs.
    Next to the opportunity to work directly with/be mentored by someone skilled in their craft, books, webinars, teleseminars and audio media are our best option to learn from those who’ve been there, done that. Always inspirational to watch, read or listen to someone really skilled in their area of expertise.

    I drool at the thought of winning your book though I suspect I haven’t a chance at this late date … I drooled over the ‘sales letter’ for it when I first ‘discovered’ you a month or so back; I’m quite new to IM and have been away from copy writing for some years now.
    Years ago, when I moved from graphic design and production to sales at our local newspaper, I bought every sales book out there—telephone sales included (over a period of time), 5 or 6 cassette tape courses ( to play in the car between sales calls along the 1/2 hr drive between two towns) and traveled a half day each way and an overnight stay to attend sales seminars in Vancouver. Later, as a sales manager I booked new reps into the sales seminars and made my library available to them. Few books were ever borrowed.
    So, given my record of purchasing art and business books, I’m confident there will come a day when I do own a copy of your book. With blogging and copywriting in my foreseeable future I can hardly wait.
    Be assured, I will be reinvesting earnings from IM as early as possible, to further my learning in this awesome new world.
    Onward … Pat

  • paul says:

    ‘Give it away give it away give it away now….’ Perhaps- the realisation that you must focus your attention on finding something to offer, rather than finding ways to ‘get money’. Its a subtle mental shift, but quote profound. It opens you up to angles you would never have previously considered in the ‘whats in it for me’ mindset. I accidentally started a (3rd) business by talking about things I was interested in with people, who then asked me to help them with their projects for a fee. And of course its what is being done here, offer something good and useful, give a bit away, charge for the rest. It gives highly qualified leads and establishes excellent relationships valuable to both parties. The money follows, its just the medium of exchange which represents the intangible concept of ‘value’. Is that worth a pen at least? 😉

    • paul says:

      Hold up- I think Im being too esoteric. To be specific and practicle- to demonstrate your fabulousness, prepare to forego some upfront payment to get paid later either as fees/percentage/equity!

  • Michelle says:

    You must deeply desire the acceptance, cooperation, help and understanding of those individuals whose development, experience and wisdom are equal to, or greater than your own (mastermind group). Desire goes beyond “I’d like to have that,” “I want that” or even beyond “I need that.”

    Desire motivates you to seek answers from your ‘mastermind group’ and to make choices that are beneficial and constructive to you and to those near you.

    Desire is intense emotion and it’s usually coupled with sensory data: images, sounds and scents. Desire, by it’s nature implies that you’ve scrutinized an object and you’ve determined that the object is more valuable than it costs.

    When you consciously focus on a desire, you’re tapping into a goal-oriented, highly-creative power that will seek a solution based on your unconscious beliefs.

    A house divided cannot stand. A mind pitted against itself creates conflict, discord and confusion. You can’t be of two minds. Both the conscious and the unconscious mind must desire abundant wealth.

    Program your unconscious mind to work for you.

    • Michelle says:

      — Continued from above.
      IF you say, “I deeply desire financial wealth, but . . . ,” you’re of two minds. Stop waffling. You can’t desire both at the same time. You either desire financial wealth, OR you don’t. Resolve the conflict.

      Words are powerful, but the images and emotions that they create in our unconscious mind are even more powerful. We’re programmed from childhood to do as we’re told without question. Use words wisely when programming your mind.

      The difference between “Don’t forget the Alamo” and “Remember the Alamo” is the embedded command to “Forget.”

      Pretty powerful, huh?

      And you know you got it right because you wrote your desire down. You know it inside and out. Pros and Cons, and the cons are minor details.

      The $ is already yours. You’re simply making the trip to pick it up and if you happen to get a flat tire on the way, you’ve got a spare and all the tools to fix it.

      • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

        Hi Michelle,
        Some very interesting thoughts.
        Now that you have the first half of your equation down, how do you turn that into something specific and measurable?

        • Michelle says:

          Hi Robert,
          Money has been in use for over 2,700 years. It’s pretty safe to say that we perceive money as valuable. In fact, we perceive that it’s so valuable that we’re willing to give up about 1/3 of our lifespan to engage in the pursuit of money. We invest that money in something else that we perceive as valuable: food, housing, entertainment, vices; things that make us feel good in some way.

          The unconscious mind understands and communicates not with words and logic, but with the senses. Images, sound, touch, taste, smell and emotions. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

          When we came to this site, it was with intent to obtain something we perceive as beneficial to us (desire). We were willing to invest time to obtain our desire. John hooked us, he told us what he was going to present us with. We perceived that a few words and a few hours of thinking were worth $299. In fact, John told us that we would benefit simply by trying to answer this quiz. He’s right. Each of us has already benefited. We perceived that we were valuable enough to invest in ourselves and we acted upon that perception.

          Sometimes there are no perfect scores on quizzes, and sometimes, there are.

          I perceive that I am valuable enough to obtain John’s course through heart-beat investment. Why? Because I am valuable to me. I deserve the best I can provide. I’m willing to pay the price to obtain my desire (investment). Just as the rest of you have done. We perceive that we will benefit from his product. We were “ready to be sold,” and John asks for a sale right on the front page. He creates an atmosphere conducive to a sale.

          Wow, 20+ years of heart-beat investment knowledge for the bargain price of a few hours of thinking, questioning, analyzing and acting upon a desire to obtain something I perceive as more valuable than a few words.

          John invested a portion of his life to create the best product he could create. Why? His self worth allows for nothing less than full commitment to his desire because he deserves nothing less than his best. He provides abundant value.

          We’re hardwired to act in a manner consistent with our perceptions. If we perceive ourselves as unworthy of wealth, our thinking is poverty-oriented. Poverty is a way of thought, action and lifestyle. When we don’t have enough money, we tend to think about the LACK of money and we feel an unpleasant emotion. At this point, some people go on shopping sprees, some watch a movie, some go out to eat. Others do all three . . . instant gratification.

          The only limitations we face are those we place upon ourselves. Do you want money? How much? How much is enough?

          We’re walking, talking billboards advertising our true thoughts and feelings to the world. I’m a little short on cash is totally different than being BROKE.
          I’m broke means I NEED TO BE FIXED. OMG! I’m broke! Am I worth fixing? . . . I am . . . aren’t I?

          When we desire abundant wealth, we encounter opportunities to act in a manner consistent with our perceptions. When we perceive ourselves as worthy of abundant wealth, we make choices that are constructive and beneficial. We feel good about ourselves and our choices. It’s instant gratification on steroids.

          That’s life-changing mojo.

    • ken ca|houn says:

      very intelligent comments Michelle, extremely well written; some of the best writing/thoughts I’ve seen posted here, ever. well thought-out.

  • I think the fourth nugget is clear – spread your risk! By that, I mean that you have to invest in developing multiple sources of income and do that WITHOUT LOSING FOCUS.
    I know this to be the biggest winner of all time – if you do NOT follow this strategy, you are in the classic “put it all on the nose” betting trap. If, in addition, you have spent all your cash as if your horse had already won the race, then your bet is doubled up!
    Usual result – doubled up losses.
    Then you lose your house as well as your business, as well as your self-respect and on and on … all that without going into debt!!
    Next move – debt!
    Next, next move – poverty, again!

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Andrew,
      There’s certainly some merit in being cautious.
      Not the correct answer though.
      Keep at it.

  • Daniel says:

    Something I used early in my career was to act as if I already had the money I wanted to have. This changed my complete approach to doing business, it showed in my body language, voice, intent. No matter how broke, sad, or lethargic I was I acted as if everything was already going great… and success followed 🙂

    If that is not THE tip you are looking for it should be at least one of them.

    All the best.

  • Janet says:

    My guess: Visualize having the money you need to feel comfortable – or more money than that if you want. Really take some time to imagine what it would be like in vivid detail. Visualize earning this money as a successful, sought-after copywriter whose work has high value for your clients (or whatever profession you’ve chosen). And notice how you feel. If you can, do this every day.

    Most of us, when we don’t have money, live out of fear. While a certain amount of fear can spur you to action to get out of that situation, it can also paralyze you and leave you feeling drained and, frankly, like a loser.

    That energy will carry over into your marketing and, if you can get clients, your copywriting.

    Visualizing a situation that is good for YOU (and not anyone else) can really raise your energy level and your effectiveness and increase your confidence.


  • Stef says:

    The best way at making money is solving people’s pressing problems while giving value every chance one gets. And investing in things that give compounding interest makes my money work more effeciently and effectively for me.

  • Martin says:

    Sounds to me like Rudyard Kipling time:

    “If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;”

    Belief in yourself and your abilities.
    You had the skills to become wealthy once and, even if you lost all your money tomorrow, you could bounce back. You only lost money, not your skill.

  • Mido says:

    Pay yourself first.
    No matter how much you are earning. If you don’t pay yourself first and live with the rest, you are living a desperate life from paycheck to paycheck and your value is … well, can you guess?

  • Joe says:

    Give It Back

    You need to get in the habit of giving back, and don’t wait until after you’ve made it. I hear this all the time, “once I’m making $100,000 a year I’ll start donating”. Bullshit, if you don’t get in the habit of giving back early you won’t ever do it.

    Give time, give money, give training and anything else you can. It just works, it seems the more you give the more you get. So don’t wait another day, find something you believe in and start giving today. It pays to give.

  • Kathy says:

    The principle of compounding — like compounding interest.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Compounding interest is powerful.
      Not the right answer – keep going.

  • Holly says:

    This kept me up last night – but that happens often with your powerful words!
    That being said – I have seen it in roundabout terms on here, and I am not completely convinced that it is THE answer here, but I know it is absolutely AN answer you have talked about many times.
    Learn to sell with words and you will always be marketable. So even if you loose it all – and have to start over, No one can take that skill away from you. And people will always be buying (even if they are bartering with water and bread – they will be buying).

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Holly,
      That’s what’s great about John’s posts.
      They get a lot of people thinking and sharing great ideas like yours.
      Not the right answer for this, but still great.

  • Michael says:

    Don’t know if this went thru the first time … How about finding a way to get a percentage of what is produced in terms of sales and/or profits … either through a royalty or a “backend”? This seems to be one way to keep the work producing … even after it’s been worked (or produced … or written!) …

  • Aura says:

    I already own the course, which is great 🙂

    Anyway, my best answer to this one is the concept of <a href="http://www.mrfire.com/article-archives/copywriting-samples/seed-money.html?hop=auracle"Seed Money as outlined in the book at this link. (Sorry it’s at another copywriters site).

    It seems to me that you are either talking about the ‘law of tithe’, or the concept of taking full responsibility for yourself, owning everything and not complaining (the essence of Think and Grow Rich). Mark Victor Hansen talks a lot about the law of tithe in his seminars. He’s gotta know something – his ‘Chicken Soup’ books are second only to the Bible in book sales.

    My step-mother became a millionaire in the 80’s (back when a million bucks meant something ;-0) and she used to always say, ‘Money only solves money problems.’ And its true. She taught me a lot about the value of integrity, keeping your word and having a very high standard of quality.

    Life is sure more comfortable with bank, but it won’t solve a bad marriage or keep your kids from partying like wild hoodlums (it may, in fact encourage this.) I grew up in Laguna Beach and knew a lot of kids from major money who’s parents didn’t pay any attention to them – so they partied to cover their emptiness.

    I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve worked with who were shocked to discover that money wasn’t the solution to all problems. One client struggles with a career that makes her miserable, and is having trouble with the idea of leaving a financial firm where she is a name partner. Even though she has many celebrity clients and another offer, she is worried about leaving because of the money.

    In fact, the people I have known and worked with who WERE happy AND had money were all doing things that they loved and were true to their Dharma. Many of the known artists that I have worked with (directors, musicians, writers, comedians etc.) are happy with their work, but struggle with inconsistent income. I am sure this is similar for copywriters, I know it is true for entrepreneurs. I have a CEO who runs a green company, who’s challenge lies in getting enough capital to fund the demand for his innovative product. This is a quality problem to be sure 🙂

    I think your quiz is getting at these spiritual principles of money, but I’m not sure. If you are talking about a tactic – then maybe it’s something like budgeting your income so that you only live on half of it (T. Harv Ecker’s ‘jars’ system).

    Whichever you are looking for, I sure appreciate you getting my brain to ponder this for a while. It’s an important subject.

    Getting back to the Seed Money (Law of tithe) concept, it seems pretty obvious that the reason our recession has gotten so bad is because everyone clamped down and went into fear mode about cashflow. Money can’t flow like that. It has to be shared, and given. The attitude of fear has only made the recession dozens of times worse. I am not talking about debting – which you covered eloquently in your first money post. But I AM talking about the willingness to be part of the flow. Money is like a river, that’s why they call it cashflow!


    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Aura,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Lots of good ideas here.
      It has some elements of the correct answer, but not all the way.
      Keep going.

  • Pete says:

    I think the secret may be sacrificing short-term profits and taking the majority of your compensation as success-based fees (e.g. in copywriting, getting royalties). And on a similar vein, when working with partners, resisting the urge to say “Promote my stuff!” and instead finding a way to help them first. So, essentially, it’s give first, then get-get-get-get-get….

  • marjorie edwards says:

    the answer is “audience participaion” (sorry can’t spell). Much like HP and your cute Socratic method. you must involve the audience in your online biz which makes the circle grow along with your bank account. it is a smart move to pull in people and make them feel apart of the action with out asking for the wallet.

  • PaulB says:

    Answer to the question is:
    People hate losing money more than they love making money… TaDa
    send me my prize fool

  • Ara Rubyan says:

    Plow your profits back into the part of your business that is already profitable.

    Of course that means you have to know WHAT part of your business is profitable.

    In direct response that means you have to test, test, test to see which PPC ad, sales letter, website is getting people to DO WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO versus which one is NOT, e.g., opt in, buy, etc.

    Having found that, go with it…then immediately test it against alternative version.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Eventually, your message becomes much more highly effective IN DOING WHAT YOU WANT IT TO DO. You profits will go up. Use those profits to DO MORE OF WHAT WORKS

    Have at least two versions of your , etc. working at all times. Pick the more effective version

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Ara,
      Good stuff.
      Most of the examples you’re pointing to are about marketing. John’s post is referring to money.

  • Ara Rubyan says:

    Plow your profits back into the part of your business that is already profitable.

    Of course that means you have to know WHAT part of your business is profitable….and what is not.

    In direct response that means you have to TEST TEST TEST to see which PPC ad, sales letter, website is getting people to DO WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO versus which one is NOT, e.g., opt in, buy, etc.

    Having found the more successful version, go with it…then immediately test it against alternative version.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Eventually, your message becomes much more highly refined and effective IN DOING WHAT YOU WANT IT TO DO. Your profits will go up.

    Then…use those profits to DO MORE OF WHAT WORKS.

  • Ara Rubyan says:

    sorry for posting twice. the second one is the keeper.

  • Phil says:

    I’d say it’s changing your mindset from providing a product/service (whatever that may be) to providing VALUE, and charging your clients based on that model. So it’s no longer about trading hours for dollars, or creating a transaction for a widget. Base your compensation on a piece of the value you’re actually giving to your client. So the material in a $20 book can be sold for $2000 because the information inside can be worth tens of thousands.

  • peter says:

    Decide to be happy whether you have or don`t have money. Yes, even in tough times you can appreciate what you do have. This attitude allows you to be positive and proactive about fixing problems and moving ahead.

    And decide you don`t “need” money when doing business. That way you communicate with personal strength and authority. And you perform at your best.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Peter,
      Not the right answer, but great input.
      Happiness is important at every point in your life.

  • Coot says:

    Learn to milk cows……

  • Justin Quick says:

    When I was 21 years old…I lost my mom (my only parent). To finish my last year of school required a move to Charlotte, NC, about 100 miles from home. What followed was a rapid understanding of what it meant to be an adult. Things were so hard financially that, while I always had a roof over my head (thank God), I didn’t have much to eat.

    I’d usually eat a pack of oatmeal in the morning and a Ramen noodle at night – coffee with cream and sugar would get me through the entire day by suppressing my appetite.

    That was the lowest it ever got.

    And of all things, I’m grateful for those times. It taught me just how important my mom was to my life and that money was not only irrelevant in many ways, but that money is just as powerless as you are.

    I assure you this will make sense in a moment…

    Now I’m 23 and the copywriter for one of the biggest and greatest internet marketers on the planet. Using John’s advice to build my skills, I have literally quadrupled income streams by doing nothing more than writing better copy and understanding what a complete sales job is. (And I’m excellent at what I do! My mentor is hyper-successful, and my stuff is quadrupling what he was already doing!) My positioning as this guru’s writer will propel my career and soon I’ll be making five digits per month because of my brain (which is pretty cool to think about).

    Mr. Gary Halbert has been a huge mentor to me – though we never met. I’d shake his hand with tears in my eyes.

    My senses tell me the answer to this quiz has something to do with attaining CELEBRITY status as an expert. There are plenty of experts, but few who attain celebrity status amongst even the experts. By having guys like Gary and John as mentors and because of the shit I’ve lived through, this “no-bullshit” attitude has infected me too.

    When I speak at public meetings I use this metaphor: If you got sick, you’d go to the doctor. When you go see the doctor, you don’t sit down and say, “I’d like a prescription for Lipitor 300mg with directions to take 1 tablet by mouth every day as needed for cholesterol.” Just the same, you don’t give your surgeon instructions while he’s doing the work.


    Many are trying to provide a service. But service makes you a SERVANT.

    So I say, when your business gets sick, you bring it to me. You don’t tell me what to do, I’m going to tell you EXACTLY what to do. You’ll pay me first, I’ll give you a prescription, we’ll see how well it works or how well it doesn’t work, and we’ll keep going from there.”

    I don’t know exactly how to phrase this answer, but I’d say it has something to do with realizing…as an expert…that you’re in the CELEBRITY business.

    As an aside: Mr. Carlton, if you read this, I want you to know how impact-full your material has been on my life. I live in full confidence that I’m steering my financial destiny because of the raw sales power your work has installed into my writing-hand and my marketing brain. I’d shake your hand any day too and then pull you in for a hug, dude. Much love.

    Justin Quick
    A very busy 23 year old copywriter 😉
    Charlotte, NC

  • Aura says:

    After reading all these posts I have more thoughts on this.

    There is a lot of fear and delusion out there around money right now, especially because of the current economic climate.

    It IS important to deliver value and to OVER deliver on your promises, but giving yourself away isn’t always the best answer. Yes, you do need to give. But professionalism goes a very long way, and so does integrity. And that means getting paid what you are worth – not demanding inflated fees, but having a solid ethical sense of what your service is worth.

    I just had to pull a column that I write from an online show because they wouldn’t have a rational, professional discussion about money. In fact it scared them. That’s all I need to know in order to not want to do business with them. But, you can be sure that I’ll be shopping it around to paid venues immediately. I’m not going to cry about it.

    On another occasion, I purchased a $1,000 coaching course from Eric Louvier which came with a money back guarantee and was never delivered the second half of that course. When I wrote to him about it, (after much research to find his hidden contact info) I was insulted, put down and threatened. This is far from ethical and displays a complete lack of integrity. I never got what I paid for, even after I complained to the BBB about it (to which I wasn’t even answered). I like the line from “A Bronx Tale” where the older guy tells his mentee, after he’s chasing down someone who owes him twenty bucks – “Think if it this way, you just paid $20 to get them OUT of your life.” Mine cost a little more, but the lessons of who you DON’T want around are ultimately priceless.

    Hey, my brother made a lot of money dealing drugs. To me that certainly isn’t a worthy goal, nor does it justify the means. Now, his behavior is so outrageous it will probably land him in jail. Gee, what do you expect?

    The thing about money is that all it does is pour Miracle Grow onto your personality. So if someone is an arrogant egomaniac – then they just become more so. If they are a hard working decent humble person, then they will be more of that too.

    I worked for Peak Potentials for 3 years, giving my time and getting courses in return. I made sure to find a way to get the knowledge I wanted, even when I didn’t have the budget to throw that kind of money at my education. Now that I have a baby, I can’t do that kind of thing any more.

    But I do believe in teaming up with people – those who are worthy of respect – and to me, this is a function of integrity. I don’t really know what answer you are looking for John, but for my money and my life-principles the real answer is integrity. Because, in the end, there is no amount of money that is worth more than solid values and working within a solid moral context. Frankly, this is the only kind of situation where I personally feel safe.

    As for me, the real answer is that you’ve got to like yourself at the end of the day. Integrity, truth and honesty are the cornerstones of this in my world. Because when it is all said and done, I have to enjoy who I am and who I work with – no matter what the money is.


  • Trisha says:

    My guess: If you have enough money to pay someone to make a problem go away then you don’t have a problem.

    This is an extension of the principle of having enough “screw-you” money.

    If you broke you consistently say that you have no idea how to solve a particular problem / make ends meet…but when you are flush with cash issues are regarded as minor obstacles that can be solved by hiring someone with the required expertise.

    For example, if you have enough money in the bank to be able to for example hire John Carlton & work with him as a mentor…you don’t have a problem about not being able to learn how to be a copywriter…and aren’t consistently going to say I have no idea how I am going to sell my product- because you have the ability to hire someone to help you solve that problem. Minor obstacle not massive roadblock preventing you from going anyway.

  • Dana says:

    As they say on Family Feud…show me “outsource”!

  • Sergey Simenshteyn says:

    I think, this tactic is using curiosity in your copy.

  • Paul says:

    ‘Believing is Seeing’

    It’s about knowing your own worth.

    Having pure confidence in your abilities, believing that you have what others find necessary and valuable, and that you have the ability to bring considerable skills and talent to reduce their problems to ashes is close to the heart of it, but it’s still much more than that.

    When you finally discover that life is mostly not about you, that’s when your life will begin to make a real difference – for you and everyone around you. It’s a humble attitude about being of service to others, and living at your highest potential.

    Success in life is never about money, because money by its nature always follows success. If you’re just chasing money you’re coming from a place of lack, and that’s a race you’ll never win. You can only attract money by what you know and believe about yourself to be true. Just as water always seeks its own level you can’t be more than you truly believe you are.

    To start with, you have to give before you can receive and the only way to give anything of value is to first become valuable. That takes study and requires time and money, how much really depends on how you see yourself in this world… is your glass half full or half empty?

    As you learn new skills and improve yourself, you will naturally attract the attention of those not only in need, but those who have gone before you following this path. And when you come from a place of giving you can’t help but receive, because when you shine a light on someone else’s path, you brighten your own.

  • Rovo says:

    Wow, this was a great exercise. Brought me back to my law school days of the Socratic method.

    I first thought the Big Damn Observation #4 was creating value. This theory I heard originally from Eben Pagan. Eben was distinguishing the difference from earning money from one’s manual labor to creating something once that multiple people are willing to pay for. But Robert dismissed it in one of his comments. I suppose you can create value for people without making money work for you (ie giving value away).

    So then I thought it was the Law of Compound Interest. A lot of money experts will tell you this.

    But this does not fit because it violates John’s statement that “a cool little tactic that seriously changed my life almost immediately…”. Compound interest takes time.

    Those two were obvious to me. So now I started hypothesizing. I started with donating your money. But I don’t think that is a real money secret. Plus, donating money won’t directly help you meet Gary Halbert or make you a top freelancer.

    Came up with a dozen more, none fit all of the Big Obvious Hints.

    Hypothesizing wasn’t working.

    So this is where I really started thinking about this critically and how this applied to me. I brainstormed a mind map of what money meant to me. Why I wanted money. Where my money successes and my money failures came from.

    I had a huge mind map. My brain was dumped. I walked away it from it for the rest of the day.

    The next day I looked at it and see what I could find. Are there any repeating patterns?

    Then I found “The One”. It may not be what you John are looking for. But after looking at it, I found the answer for me.


    Want to be fancy? Sure, we can call it salesmanship.

    I first found the pattern in my failures. Why did I fail at my first job? Why did I fail in my last job? Why did my last relationship failed?

    I found a repeating pattern of a lack of salesmanship. For example, at my last job, I know I did good work, but I did not sell my boss on my accomplishments. One of my coworkers WHO SUCKS, always claims how busy she is, she celebrates her success with the boss and hide her failures. I would say she did a good job selling the boss.

    Then I looked at my successes. The jobs I was successful at. How I was when I had a lot of money. How I found my fiancé.

    It was all due to good salesmanship.

    For example, after I left my former girlfriend, I started studying relationships and the psychology, physiology, and sociology of women. Soon after, I was attracting beautiful women in my life and dating like a madman.

    What was I really doing?

    I was studying the prospect! Huge part of the sales process.

    I’m naturally not a salesperson and have not had a pure sales job in 16 years. But my sales theory fits. It does fit all of your (John’s) “Big Observation Hints”. I’m not going to go through them because my post is nearing 500 words.

    Regardless of whether I’m right or not, I personally made a “Big Freaking Revelation”. I’m going to put my salesmanship on steroids and look to implement it with such a force, that it will make me successful.

    As Robert said, one will receive a great prize and everyone will receive a greater prize.

    I just found my prize.

    Thanks John & Robert!

  • Michael says:

    It’s counter-intuitive but to receive money you have to remove your desperation for it, FIRST.

    Desperation will hobble your creativity and your anxiety will repel the $. Your offering will become naturally irresistible when it is freed of anxiety.

    Ironically after you have the money (or have experienced the $) you won’t carry the anxiety anymore, and the $ attraction gift will be built into you.

  • Aura says:

    OK – The tactic that I started to mention in my first comment is the Jars system that T Harv Ecker teaches. it goes like this:

    Live on 50-55% of your income
    Spend 10% on PLAY
    Spend 10% on EDUCATION
    Spend 10% on Long Term Purchases (Big Screen TV, Vacation, etc)
    Spend 10% on your Financial Freedom (CD’s, Investments – this money is NEVER to be spent, it’s sole purpose is to set you up for life with a Golden Goose. Then you live on the eggs it produces. You NEVER kill your Golden Goose.)
    Give 5-10% away (the law of Tithe)

    I’m not sure how this tactic could attract a mentor, OR how it could cause your fees to skyrocket, but I am going to go back to it in my own life. It does work.

    This quiz has been making me think really hard! I really want to discover the answer. I am ready for a breakthrough!

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Aura,
      Your savings system sounds fine.
      I don’t know if saving money has anything to do with attracting a mentor.
      It seems like being proactive and contacting potential mentors might be more effective.

  • Rezbi says:

    Oooh, I’m soooo excited!

    I can’t wait to find out I haven’t won yet another competition.

  • P. Gabel says:

    I think he said in one of his

    courses, “watch your ass”.

    That’s what I’m going with.

    They weren’t no flies on Peter Gun.

  • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

    Craig Stevens – the guy who played Peter Gunn
    died in 2000.
    I think the flies are dead too by now.
    John said a lot of things.
    One of them is the right answer.
    Keep going.

  • Rezbi says:

    Is it positioning – get known and indispensable for something specific?

  • jan says:

    be generous with what you have and spend money to make money

  • Rezbi says:

    Gun to the head mentality.

  • Rezbi says:

    Okay, I’ll have one last try. And this time I’ll say what motivated me…

    I just wanted to be good, at whatever it was I was doing or wanted to do.

    And, if I thought I couldn’t do something, I’d try even harder to do it.

    I even took on a job once for no pay. I just wanted to become good.

    The fact is, I always thought I lacked the intelligence to do as well as other people around me and that spurred me on to work harder.

    In a sense, the way I looked at my self was this: I’m not as intelligent as others, so I have to work a lot harder to achieve what they achieve.

    I still look at things that way.

    I’m determined. I’m relentless.

    And, if someone says I can’t do something, I have to prove them wrong. Believe me, that’s happened to me more times than I care to mention.

    And, thank God, I’ve always come out on top.

    If that’s not the answer, then I don’t know what is.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Rezbi,
      You’ve won a prize much bigger than a $300 course. Your hard work has given you the self confidence to weather any crisis.
      Whether or not it’s the right answer for one quiz on a blog pales in comparison to a true belief in yourself.
      Great job.

  • Jed says:

    My answer is to figure out EXACTLY how much money you need to make to live the EXACT lifestyle you wish to live.

    So, basically, “see it” first. Imagine the exact lifestyle you want to live first. The build it.

    “Begin with the end in mind….”

    Reverse engineer your life, see the end result first then design your business and money needs around what your specific goals & wants are for your life.

    Build your business around your life and the type of life you wish to lead. Not the reverse.

    What email address do I send my physical address to to get my prize? 😉



  • Hi Guys,
    To have money, you first gotta earn money. One of the best ways to earn the money you want is to. . . kick your inner salesman alive. If you learn how to persuade the world is truly your oyster. And talk about making your money work for you. Good marketing (salesmanship in print, on the web, etc.) is the best leverage you could ever hope for. Kicking alive your inner salesman gives you everything . . . money, freedom, good relationships with others. You call the shots. Use and leverage your salesmanship skills to rake in the big bucks (think control, make profitable joint ventures and good business connections.
    There’s my 2 cents worth!

  • Joy says:

    Invest yourself, your time, and your money in someone else. Help them along the path to success. Generously provide people what they need or something to help them on their journey and they will reward you by buying even more from you and promoting you.

  • Aura says:

    Clearly I’m not going to rest until I solve this one. So, I woke up with this epiphany:

    ***Volunteer or intern for someone who is already a success in the area where you want to be successful.***

    Robert told me that my first post had elements of the correct answer, which left me scratching my head and pondering.

    I turned a lot of ideas over in my head. I posted some of them here. But the answers I came up with didn’t fit all the criteria. I think this one does. I’ll have to re-read Johns first post to make sure, but I DO know that getting a Mentor was the big clue from Robert to me (thanks Robert 😉

    SO, in that light, I would like to volunteer as an intern or volunteer for Marketing Rebel. You guys are great, the material is powerful and multi-faceted and has already helped me write copy that sells my products. Plus, I want to start writing sales copy for other people.

    BTW – I am (obviously) really prolific!

    • Aura says:

      BTW – this Tactic would have allowed John to double his fees overnight! Doing this aligns you with the creme of the industry, which leads to higher fees (AND better work).

    • RobertSWS Instructor says:

      Hi Aura,
      You posted more than one reply here.
      The correct answer has to do with money.
      The answer does not involve volunteering or mentoring.

      I can’t speak for John in terms of volunteers.
      You’ll need to follow up with his office for that one.

      If you want to start writing sales copy for other people, don’t just hinge it on John.
      Get out there and work with lots of other people. I don’t know your experience level.
      So you’ll have to calibrate your experience level to the people you contact.

      Whether you seek money or the opportunity to work with someone is your call.

      Make a list of people to contact and reach out to them. Go back through John’s posts. There are lots of ideas on how to get started.

      Intentions are great. Actions are best.
      What actions are you going to take in the next 24 hours that involve contacting people you can help? I would think at least 20-30 people would be a good start.

      • Aura says:

        Thanks I’m starting that, I have a nice business network to put the word out to (over 150 people on my personal list) plus I just put together a network referral profile.

        OK, so I’ll try again.
        the 80-20 rule.
        80% of your profits come from 20% of your efforts. The key is to do more of the 20% that makes you money and stop doing the 80% that doesn’t as much as you possibly can. That’s probably why John isn’t answering the posts on this blog himself!

        • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

          Hi Aura,
          It’s great you have a network.
          If you see John’s latest blog post,
          he’s away until Wednesday.
          That’s why he is not answering this week’s posts. Not because of the Pareto Principle.
          I’m helping out in the meantime.

  • sean says:

    The fundamental principle of multiplication is the primary principle of all success. I alluded to it in the previous post where I talked about giving away money if you want more money. The reality is that wealth is not just about money — but John was talking about money so I wrote about that and I’ll expand on it a little more.

    The fundamental principle of all wealth including money is built on the principle of multiplication. I’m not here to promote religion but since the bible is the best selling book of all human history it bears some looking at since there is no more successful writing in human history.

    The genesis of the principle of wealth is epitomized in God’s first words to his creation. (if you’re not a creationist then just look at the story as an illustration). According to the bible this is the source of all blessing: “And God blessed them and said ‘be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it’.” This is the headline story in the best selling book of all time. If you do nothing else with it — at least give credit where credit is due and recognize that the entire book credits all that is a blessing to employing the principle of multiplication.

    (giving away money is a subset of that)

    A lot of people think that story means having babies — and it does — but the application is not limited to that. Multiplication is the secret of all success. You only have so many hours in the day and unless you get things, or people, working for you you’ll only ever have the results of your own efforts. The more you can replicate yourself through the efforts of others and the things you have them do or create for you the more your wealth will be multiplied.

    Farmers plant seeds — each of which will produce many more than itself.

    During my second major career I was pretty proud of the fact that I was making 50.00 per hour back in the 70’s when that was the fee that the best psychiatrists and psychologists were making. It was a doctors salary. My father (already a millionaire — back then the average home was only 30k to 50k) complimented me on doing well but asked me what my multiplier was. I balked and then said “I can train others to do what I do and they can work for me”. He asked how long it took to train them to do what I do. I said “about 5 to 7 years”.

    He paused and then said “son that doesn’t sound like a very good multiplier”. From that point on I realized that I’d been engaging in business deals that had either no multiplier (ie: selling my time by the hour) or a very poor one.

    I immediately went out and obtained the rights to resell a particular item that I could reproduce and have in stores across the country with people in every region selling for me — even while I was on vacation. From that point on I would not entertain a business deal that did not have a strong multiplier nor will I ever.

    I’m not exactly sure what John Carlton has in mind for this last item but I can promise you that if it is not the “multiplier principle” then he is wrong. There is nothing more fundamental to building financial wealth than investing your time, money, and energy, in things that multiply.

    Einstein said there is nothing so powerful as the principle of compound interest” He said that having discovered that the very fabric of the universe was built on the principle of stored energy that could be released through something called “nuclear fission” — which is the principle of multiplication on steroids and is where we get the most efficient energy known to man.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Sean,
      That was a great post.
      Thank you for posting it.
      John posted 3 principles and alluded to a 4th. He’s sharing what’s worked for him and lots of people he’s worked with. That’s all.
      John didn’t frame them as “the only principles you will ever need to become successful.”
      Your post introduced some great ideas.
      I’m sure the people reading the blog are getting a lot from this week’s comments – including yours.
      Thanks again,

  • Mathias says:

    We as people have different beliefs about the big concepts and ideas in life.

    Money is in a way an idea… and so we tend to link beliefs to an idea…

    Like…Money is the root of all evil.
    Etc. We do this because our minds take big concepts and ideas we don’t fully understand and simplify them.

    And we forget that money is just a concept, an idea, which means you can play with it ininside your mind in whatever way you want.

    If only people used a little imagination they could change their feelings about what money means.
    They could make it so that money was a tool to use in order to, travel have new experiences and learn new things. A way to change yourself and the way you think and behave.

    And heres the kicker…
    Money is a way for you to realize your full potential.

    I have invented my own term, I call it potential-consciousness.
    It’s a way of looking at the world, of looking at things, ideas and concepts and always realize that they are here to serve you, you want things, ideas and concepts to work for you, and not the other way around.

    If you don’t desire to improve your life and your Character. If the idea of being great is substituted by a lot of stupid drama… You wan’t see the potential in things.

    People who don’t see the potential and the good things in money do so because they don’t see the good in themself.

    My guess is this:
    Use money as a way to replace the old you with a new you, with more experience, and a greater understanding and appreciation of life.

  • Andrew Baird says:

    The key is to have a buffer – money set aside so that you know whether you’re making money or not the next 3 to 12 months is taken care of regardless.

    This frees you up to choose what you work on – and who you work with. You can also start large projects that would otherwise be impossible.

    That’s my answer – the next step after this is to get continuity money coming in. So that then you’re even more free to work on bigger projects and your freedom is even greater.

    Thanks for the great quiz John!

  • walter daniels says:

    I would guess, as you say, it’s the hardest to see, and use. Secret $4, is to “pass it forward.” I;ve been helped a lot of times in my life, and I always try to pass it on. There’s an old saying. “A man never stands so tall, as when he stoops to help a child.”
    I’ve always taken that in two ways. Helping children, whenever I can. The rewards are the look in their eyes, and the joy on their faces. The other is to help people as I’ve been helped.
    I figure someday, they’ll do something that helps me, completing the circle directly. More likely is that, they’ll help someone, who. . ., etc., until it gets back to me again.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Walter,

      That’s beautifully said.
      You raise an important point that bears certain distinctions.

      There is what we do in a business construct – that being a transaction where the path to compensation is hopefully clear.

      There is what we do in an investment construct – that being what we do to better ourselves, build future value, etc.

      Finally (for this example) there what we do in an altruistic construct – that being what we share of ourselves to help others
      simply because it is the right thing to do.

      Although some good could come of it in our lives, it is not the motivating factor in our actions.

      We pay what was given to us forward…and that is reward enough.

      It transcends being a transaction to become one human being helping another.

      Thanks again for your generosity in these comments.

  • Katey says:

    From my experience and understanding this principle is the same for every area of you life if you want more of it…”Pay it Forward” without expectation or thought of receiving something in return.

    In relation to the topic of money I aim for at least 10% of my income. Give it away… to Charity, a good cause, a friend in need. What ever it is don’t hold on to it like it’s you last piece of bread – just give it away.

    But the main key is that their is no expectations, no requirements and no strings.

  • sean says:

    Yes Robert I thought about that after I posted. It was not possible for John to be “wrong” because he did not qualify any of his for items to be “the most important principles”. Just what his are.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

  • Bonnie says:

    Haven’t read all the posts so I may be repeating someone.
    I think #4 is to be so confident in your work (because you’ve worked that hard and you have that much respect for both your prospect and your product) that you can do a Rutz/Bencivenga — no money up front, just royalties afterwords.

  • Bonnie says:

    Oops – afterwards.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      Being confident in your work from extensive preparation is very wise. Having respect for your prospect and product is also key. It’s not the correct answer for the quiz but still great advice.
      Thanks for sharing it.

  • Amy says:

    Is the answer to price yourself in accordance with the value you deliver?

  • w says:

    It’s FU money!

  • I have a strong feeling that the fourth principle will be that you should never think about the money itself whilst you are doing the job. That, when you are actually trying to do the job as well as it is possible to do, is a major distraction.

    You need to think about the basics of doing the job as well as it can be done, regardless of the money it might – or might not – earn for you. Clearly, planning & testing price levels, free bonuses etc etc is a part of the job, but focusing on what you will actually earn is, in itself, a fundamental mistake because it will likely lead you into a whole series of miss-steps and pitfalls.

    Clearly, anything you do shouldwill be geared to earning a living, but if all you ever think about is “how much am I going to get out of this”, you never actually leave any brainpower available for getting the job done.

    I have, in the past, run many sales teams – varying in size from 2 to 200. The really, really successful sales people were those who focused entirely on the job in hand – i.e. ensuring that the customer/prospect received the best possible service from the sales team AND that they understood the benefits of the product(s) AND that they were positioned to benefit from the product once they had bought. This approach virtually always guaranteed that their pipelines were full, and that their sales happened.

    This never detracted from the “planning for income/commission/earnings” bit of the job – every successful sales person had to focus on that at some point, but it must never interfere with doing the job.

    It was a very common bad management practice in the software sales world to offer extra incentives right near the end of the quarter, to encourage the sales teams to close more and more business. The net results of that tactic could always be “proven” to have worked by absolutely anyone (lies, damn lises and statistics) – the negatives could never really be proved BUT they certainly encouraged the sales guys to put huge pressure on clients to buy before they were ready – never a good thing in a long-term business.

  • By the way, this Quiz – and all the incredibly interesting comments is has generated – is taking up way too much of my time!!! (Not that I am NOT getting value from it all – just that there are only 24 hours in each day!!)

    Now going back to what I should be doing – struggling to write decent headlines, body copy and closes!!!

    Till the next time ….. and many thanks everyone. Enlightenment takes investment!

  • Oh Lord – I have just thought of another “winning answer”.

    It is all about setting the financial goals for each project and going after them like a demented tiger!

    When you are selling, and we all do this every day of our lives, make sure that your goals are well established and defined – you can and must do this at the outset, and you must refine and improve on them during the process.

    Without a set of financial goals, you are absolutely bound to fail – BUT even if your goal is just to earn $10 per day, you need to focus on how to do that and then chase it down. If you just want to earn “money”, it won’t happen until you have defined how much, how it will happen and precisely what you have to do to make it happen.

  • Colin says:

    The more I learn about money the more it seems to want to stick around. Real knowledge not just theoretical…knowledge gained from experience. I have been in business for over 20yrs and money becomes shy when you cease to acquire “New” knowledge. Money also wants you to find multiple paths for accumulation. The person that only knows one or two ways to make money is at risk…because “sh.t” happens and things change.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Colin,
      Are you’re referring to complacency? or something else?

      • Colin says:

        More the need for a dose of “Healthy Paranoia” as well as sharpening your game. Most people leave money on the table because they are too lazy to collect the hard to get at money when times are good. I think money that is hard to get is the money that feeds the family when the economy turns.

        If you haven’t exercised the muscles needed to get to the “hard” money then you are at serious risk when the game gets rough.
        So one eye to look beyond the horizon … one to look around for the wolves … both arms scooping up every little dollar… you are not greedy because no-one likes to be left behind and that includes “Money”.

        • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

          Hi Colin,

          Let’s drill down a little.
          What is a specific example in your life of “hard money” that’s left on the table in good times?

          Do you have a business experience you’re remembering when you mention wolves?

          You have greedy wolves just beyond the horizon scooping up every dollar. Sounds like a horror movie directed by Warren Buffet.

          It’s a little vague.

          Just saying “watch out” doesn’t help unless you know what to protect against.

          There’s definitely some good advice here – you just need to be more specific.

        • Colin says:

          The wolves are easy to identify they are the one’s that intimidate …trying to take what you have worked for. Our response to them seems as clear as Night & Day. In the “bright of day” when the money is flowing freely we don’t worry about the bite here and there that the wolves take…the extra fee that is added to your bill or the client that is smoozed away from you because you couldn’t be bothered … its only a little after all. Money and Clients think you don’t care and they go looking for someone that will protect & nurture them.
          Night is coming…our fighting muscles have become weak and it is only when Darkness descends we realise that we no longer know how to defend ourselves. No longer do we have the skills to close the sale or write a compelling offer let alone remember where to find the bait. (Bait is very important).
          Now that we are all scared lets talk about “Hard Money”…the money associated with complexity , “Extra” services and products layered upon your existing business. The things that are not usually profitable by themselves especially if they had to be marketed as a stand alone service or product…foot cream sold by Podiatrist or the farmers roadside stall.
          “Hard Money” is usually only hard in the beginning … think about adding layers. Remember that the tasty little morsel is not only fun to get but can keep you from starving…and
          … wolves are required to keep us from becoming extinct…some animals even die when you take away the predator from the environment.

        • Michelle says:

          Hi Colin, Wow. Interesting stuff here.
          Let me see if I’m understanding you right.
          You say wolves “intimidate” and try to take what we’ve worked for . . . because we “couldn’t be bothered” and because we don’t care enough, we become weary and lose the skill to “defend” ourselves.
          The ‘minor’ goods and services we present to our customers provide additional value at small investment on our part, but they provide abundant value to those we serve.
          So, we need to invest the effort in providing a quality service that not only fulfills their needs, but provides more than they need. Find a need and fulfill it.
          Competition keeps us on our toes so we don’t become complacent.
          As for the extra fee you referred to, it may be reasonable in some situations e.g. paying auto insurance monthly rather than paying a 6-month premium in full to save ourselves cash; after all, it’s a form of credit.

        • Colin says:

          I think you are getting money and self fulfillment confused. Money is just Money, it does not get confused. If you fail to pick it up because you were busy looking to add value then you miss the point. The layered approach I talk about is adding multiple streams of income for when one stream dries up…squeezing the last drop out because you never know when the next drink will come.
          Sad to say “Money” only knows how to count and knows nothing about philosophy. Dan Kennedy says…show me yours (Bank Acc) and I’ll show you mine and then we’ll see who knows more about “Money”… or something similar:)
          The extra fee is the usually the waitress adding 18% when 6 people sit down at the table…because its our policy …and then giving 5-10% service. If you let it slide… …prepare yourself to be feasted on by the wolves.

        • Michelle says:

          Hi Colin,
          I can see why you say I’m getting money and self fulfillment confused. I appreciate that you pointed it out. It was a combination. I hope you don’t mind if I try this again.
          I was thinking about a couple people I know who are entrepreneurs (custom products for businesses,) but they approach their work from different angles.
          Guy #1 ‘sells’ a custom product that looks good and he’s willing to branch out a bit to help his customer. The product looks good and if that product isn’t quite right, he’s got a few other products. He’s out for the buck. His attitude is ‘You’ve got my money in your pocket.’ He’s money hungry but settles for less than he might achieve. His work is “good enough” and his prices competitive, so he doesn’t bother to do better.
          Guy #2 does the same thing, but his attitude is ‘How much of my money is in your pocket?’ He looks for the “hard money” and gets it by hand delivering the final product and since it only takes him 2 or 3 extra minutes, he makes a puppy-dog item that his client can purchase at will and sell at profit . . . he even offers to remove the puppy-dog item. Both parties benefit. His clients keep sending him referrals. He works smarter. Guy #1 works harder to achieve the same cash flow.
          This is the “layered approach” I was thinking about. Is this what you were talking about?
          Thanks for clarifying on the fees. My mind was going a whole different direction because I was thinking about these two entrepreneurs. I see what you’re talking about and I agree.

        • Colin says:

          I like Guy#1 because he understands that getting a product to perfection may not be his best use of time. Guy #2 you would probably take home to met the parents but I think if you married him you would have to deal with his bouts of depression when he found out that “Loyal” customer was spreading himself around (buying from others). Now if we could blend the two we would be on a winner…
          Back to “Hard Money”…Yes the extra products are part of it but also a think about recycling…webinar turned into an audio turned into a book and then bundled with another product then niche into multiple markets by changing the title of the product…now you take it on the road and sell it from the podium after being paid to speak and whilst speaking endorse a product for an affiliate commission…etc
          …all this activity on the blog must be doing great with the SEO…now I must get back to my own activity.

        • Michelle says:

          Okay, I see what you’re saying on both instances.

  • Amy says:

    Join a mastermind group. Your network equals your net worth.

  • Carlos says:

    Save money so you can take weeks, months, and up to one year off. So you can experience retirement when your still young. This exponentially increases the quality of your life. However, do not sit on the couch. You need to travel and then apply those experiences in all areas of your life.

  • Emotions… you have to separate the idea of money from emotions you are feeling. The fuck you money idea gives you emotional freedom, but that can only last for how long before your emotions realize you have no FYM left. A great entrepreneur needs no FYM because if they for some reason run out, they know they can make it back in a heart beat because they have the skills necessary to do so. All of Robert’s hints appear to deal with the emotions the person leaving the message is having. I’m going to listen to John in Print Persuasion again and maybe I’ll figure out the exact term he’s looking to be used here, but I am confident it will have something to do with controlling your emotions about spending/buying.

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Joe,
      The money is not just some lofty concept. It gives you more than emotional freedom. It clothes and feeds you. It keeps a roof over your head.
      It pays for medicines that can keep you alive. It’s very much real.

      Emotions are not the correct answer. I did respond to some posts that dealt with the ethereal side but they were not hints.

      Keep going.

  • Dan says:

    The answer is simply “Setting and Achieving Goals.”


  • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

    Hi Dan,
    Setting and achieving goals is a good skill to have.
    Not the correct answer for this.
    Keep going.

  • Akihiro says:

    Spend money to get skill that can earn more money.
    After we got these kinds of skill we can make money anytime anywhere.
    It’s like a lifetime guarantee!

    • Robert Gibson SWS Instructor says:

      Hi Akihiro,
      Nicely said.
      Learn skills that pay lifetime dividends.
      Not the correct answer, but valuable advice.

  • Aura says:

    I’m trying one more time!

    Is the answer about adding profit and increasing your customer value by using the upsell, cross sell, joint venture model? This is about increasing your reach through Joint Ventures and increasing your profits by upselling (or downselling) customers on something else who have already purchased from you. IE: They buy a $100 product, then you offer them something else for $70, if they say no, you offer them something else for $30.

    Ok that’s it.

  • Rezbi says:

    I once told a guy a joke, during one of the many jobs I’ve had in the last 24 years.

    I asked him, “How do you keep an idiot in suspense?”

    He asked, “How?”

    I replied, “I’ll take you next week,” and walked off.

    He chased after me and pleaded, “Please, you have to tell me now. You can’t just leave it like that.”

    I’m feeling like that idiot because I really want to know the answer now. And I can’t wait.

  • Rezbi says:

    Off course, that line was supposed to read, “I’ll TELL you…,” not ‘take’.

    But you get my drift.

    And I need to check my writing better.

  • Mike says:

    This is a late post, but following John’s hints I would like to make an impassioned to you geniuses:
    “Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad gig”
    I’m not a copyrighter. Just a freelance design engineer with over 30 years experience. I have had every crook, scumbag, and sociopath in the known universe try to diminish my own feelings of self worth and blight my career in order to get work out of me for well below an acceptable rate.
    Now, if I feel in any way I’m being treated badly or with disrespect, or not trusted -I walk. No arguments. I do have done that recently several times even when on occasions I have not had enough money for the week’s groceries. Something better has always tured up, which I would not have had the chance to do If I was stuck with a bad gig.
    It took me years to get the courage to do this – now I’m so battle scarred I won’t do it any other way.

    If you can put away a “survival fund” to make it possible for you to do this, so much the better.

    Don’t suffer for years like I did!

  • Bill Urquhart says:

    I couldn’t resist not sending you this one which comes up periodically.
    ” I haven’y any money but I promise to pay you back faithfully,
    when I make money from doing your program”
    Ye right , no glory no guts. no fff…g committment.

  • Azeem says:

    save 20%, give 10% away

  • mark says:

    There is only one answer Carlton. Even though I’m year’s and year’s too late.

    This has nothing to do with money, cash, bonds, stocks or even business. Create value for potential customers for free and then get to work on what ever it is you’re selling info wise or physical product wise.

    If it goes down the drain, who gives a shit?! Move on to the next launch. Make money disappear from your thoughts. Don’t make it a priority. Fuck that shit. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. Most people want an easy ride in life, and won’t do what’s necessary to bust their ass and make the cash they need to live like the rich bastard who inherited his cash. I wouldn’t want to spend a microsecond in his shoes. Have fun people. I’m goin’ to have some Canadian beer and enjoy. c ya John.

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