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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Review: Think and Grow Rich

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Think and Grow Rich. A Hundred Million Readers?

It has been estimated that "THINK AND GROW RICH”, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 masterpiece has been read by in excess of 100 million people.

It would be hard to find any success coach, self made entrepreneur or sales trainer that wasn’t inspired by this small, disarmingly simple little motivational book.

Written in a language that at times seems a little old fashioned the message and philosophy resonates deeply. Hill sought inspiration from the great achievers of his day and spent 25 years, with the patronage of Andrew Carnegie, interviewing over 500 millionaires a few billionaires and 3 presidents included for good measure. 

In a world of cause and effect Hill sought to identify the common Principles followed by top achievers that if discerned and duplicated by mere mortals would lead and inspire them to their own achievements. 

Written in the midst of the Great Depression, when confidence and self-belief levels were at a low ebb, Hill identified that during such times more great fortunes would be made than in any other time in history.

Interwoven amongst anecdotes taken from the likes of Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Henry Ford to name but a few industrial icons are Key Principles that if followed hold the elusive code to unlocking your untapped immeasurable potential. Potential alas that most fail to realize they possess and hence never tap in to.

Some of the Principles Hill describes, that many a personal development author has made a good living from espousing, include: Desire, Faith, Auto-suggestion, Imagination, Visualization, Organized Planning, Decision and the Sub-Conscious Mind. 

Hidden in the heart of the book is perhaps Napoleon Hill’s best known quote, and core message. ‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve'

As the first motivational book I ever read, I can still remember the goosebumps, and intense inspiration that ensued. Re-reading this folksy book still managed to elicit some of the same feelings many, many years later. A Timeless classic. 

Who's inspiring you?

For more Inspirational Book Reviews including Friedman, Gladwell, Sharma, Trump, Ferris, Tracy, Alborn, Bandler and more..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


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 Is that title transparent enough? I’m being facetious of course. It’s almost impossible to review anything without the prejudice of our own agenda. As we all have some sort of agenda- or else why would we invest out time and energy on commentating-the best course of action in doing our due diligence may be to compare different apples from different orchards. O.K perhaps I’m over doing the metaphor-but I’m guessing you know what I’m saying.

Despite the evangelical claims from the passionate believers, there is no one true route to success in any field of endeavor. Your MLM business may be proven and have the best skin care and nutritional supplements on the face of the planet, but that doesn’t mean that ANYONE can succeed in that business.

Years ago in the door to door sales world, World Book competed with Encyclopaedia Britannica for bragging rights as to which was the best. Guess what? Both had similar degrees of success AND failure. Amway versus Herbalife? The same debate will prove equally pointless. Both will have advocates and detractors.

At some point the discussion needs to evolve. Which business best complements YOUR ambition, ethics and budget? Do you really have any affinity to the goods or services that business markets? Can you relate and trust the person that solicited you to join?

Here is a brief review of 5 different online business opportunities. It is biased as I am involved to varying degrees in all five, and if you choose to partner up with me in one or more-horror of horrors-I will earn some dosh!

That said here is a quick review of the pros and cons of each as I see it.

SWOM: click
A business-networking site that attracts online marketers and welcomes them to network and share their story. The entry to the forum is FREE, but don’t be fooled, the only benefits are to paid members. 

Membership is $25 per month and can be covered by referring 5 others to the network.

Income potential: Pretty low, but the ability to build mutually beneficial business connections, pretty high. There is some significant opportunity in having 50 000 internet marketers that you can instantly engage. This is a lot more interactive and beneficial to networkers I believe than the likes of Twitter which has a very large mix of non business members.

Downside: You will get a quite a few emails from other SWOMMERS asking you to look at their stuff-but they are pretty receptive to you sharing your programs with them.

MLSP: click
A funded proposal style-training program. These guys are heavily influenced by Mike Dillard of Magnetic sponsoring fame and have done a pretty good job at creating a branding program for online marketers.

Membership: $50 per month, which can be recouped with just 4 referrals.

This is a pretty easy program to promote and the content offered in the back office really is very good. Even complete beginners can kick start their business by utilizing the tools offered.

Income potential: Probably a bit over stated in the videos. There are a few absolute go-getters who are unstoppable, but for most average online marketers it is probably still in the category of a funded proposal. This provides an opportunity for you to list build and offer affiliate programs to your prospects under one umbrella.

Downside: Not much of a downside. If you do nothing else but absorb the information in the back office you’ve probably got 6 months worth of monetary value. There is the potential to get side tracked a bit as you will get exposed to the primary program of your sponsor, which may not align with your business plan.

Similar in many ways to MLSP-but invitation only and consequently less promoted. An online training system designed to teach the fundamentals of Internet marketing with branded affiliate links to other popular programs. There is an opportunity to do some co-operative marketing with solo ads-which is a big benefit to inexperienced and even experienced marketers.

Membership: Membership $297 pus $20 per month.

Income Potential:  A Vehicle to leverage your other business opportunities as well as list building. $500 -$2500 per month.

Downside: The upfront investment, which is counter balanced by a $150 affiliate commission on referrals which is really easy to promote. A little cheaper over 12 months than MLSP.

This is a Vacation club Program with heavily discounted access to over 80000 global resorts.

Membership: Lifetime membership $695 plus $30 per month for business builders.

There are some significant savings on personal travel. A very easy program to market as it is very tangible. $500 referral commissions on personal referrals PLUS $500 on second level.

Income Potential: No real ceiling. $2000 - $5000 per month

Downside: Requires some marketing effort and some people prefer more than 1 level deep over rides.

High end and potentially lucrative information marketing program. The upfront commission of $2000 is attractive as well as a $500 second level over ride. This is a program for big picture marketers. The resources in the back office are impressive-literally 1000’s of eBooks and videos etc. The really cool part of this program is the allocation of a personal assistant who will do the follow ups for you. This adds a high degree of professionalism. 

A big plus is that you get 2 businesses for the price of one as Primo Vacations is included in the top Platinum package.

Membership: $2990 plus $59 per month.

Income Potential: Very high potential with some earning $30k plus per month (some will earn zero)

Downside: Not within everyone’s budget and definitely a potential to LOSE money. You need to be committed to make this work. The monthly $59 fee is a little high AND some of the eBooks are definitely a bit yesterday. Overall though its hard to fault the content value of the back office. That said it offers the highest potential income business opportunity I've seen in this investment bracket.

Summary Comparison:
               Cost x 12 months - Income 5 Referrals  10 Referrals- Override
SWOM                  $300            $350           $700                   
MLSP                    $600            $900          $1800                                    
TURNKEY              $520            $750          $1500
PRIMO VACATIONS $1055          $2000        $4500
YOUR NET BIZ       $3698          $10000      $20000    $5000

Monday, June 21, 2010

Has Your Business or Idea Gone Viral Yet?

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I sheepishly admit to failing one module at Uni-Economics 101! That’s pretty embarrassing, because Economics 101 is really just a module on common sense!

Re visiting the topic of my angst, it occurred to me that basic economics is simply the study of how economies operate. Ultimately successful economies are built on debt. Hence the success of lending institutions. Debt creates an outlet for entrepreneurial initiative. Businesses are created, people are employed, and products are manufactured, transported and ultimately sold.

So what you ask? Well within this economic activity you and I need to find our place. Depending on where we situate ourselves in this complex machine will determine our financial destiny, job satisfaction, security and life balance. 

If you want to be the conductor of your own life and aspire to uncommon goals and successes, you will need to be very careful how you position yourself.
Ideally you need to find a position within this economic machinery where you can impart the most leverage.

This is absolutely imperative. It is almost impossible to set and achieve ever-bigger goals if you are on a fixed salary. $50k per year or even $150k per year is a label that defines the ceiling and limit to which you may reach.

The miracle word in economics is ‘compound’

Earn $100k per year and pay your taxes, interest and your loans and spend the rest, and that equates to your lifestyle. The day your income stops is the day your lifestyle falls apart.
Imagine for a minute the following.

If I give you a dollar and I ask you to invest your efforts in finding a way to doubling its value every month, do you think you could turn a dollar in to 2 dollars in a month? Almost certainly.

If you could maintain this ratio of compounding return you’ll find the figures become pretty crazy. After 6 months you are earning just $64. Not enough I’m guessing to inspire you to bother ‘wasting’ your time.

However if you can maintain this result for just 18 months your original dollar is now accumulating at the rate of $262,144 per month!

The maths doesn’t lie. The part of the equation therefore is the return on investment puzzle. How do you create a return of investment of 100% per month?

Once you get your head around the figures and adapt your mindset. The natural instinct is to shout out loud ‘that’s nonsense, in the real world that will never work” Maybe you're right, maybe not but the principle remains. Just adjust the figures to your business.

This brings me belatedly to the point of this article.

Change the above example to Online Page Views for your Blog, Website or You Tube video. Is it now perhaps a little more digestible? 

With respect to Susan Doyle whom I’m guessing you’ve heard of, a rather unglamorous middle aged contestant in UK Idol, who didn’t even win, went from virtual non entity to You tube phenomenon in a matter of weeks. A video of her performance on the TV show was uploaded to You Tube and subsequently went on to be downloaded over a 100 million times within 3 months! Now that’s what I call viral!

This is more profound than you might imagine. If you are, again with respect, a non-entity offline, bear with me here. You have no online connections. You have no business. No social networks. No web building skills. Perhaps the only thing you have going for you is a fire in your belly. Then I have news for you. You have the ability to transform your whole world in a matter of literally months.

Find away to tap into this viral phenomenon and marvel at the results. 

I wish you well - Kiaran

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Do You Measure Your Marketing Effectiveness?

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Do you have a system to measure your results, a way to measure your activity effectiveness?
Once upon a time I competed at an international level in track and field. One of the life lessons I learned from that experience was the value of measuring activity and how predictable the inputs at training were to the outputs or results in competition.
In a sport where the tiniest fraction of a second can equate to success or failure, the slightest edge made a difference.
One missed training session in a month-made a difference. One last 300-meter sprint when all you want to do is lie down and feel sorry for yourself-made a difference.
At a certain level, talent becomes less relevant to mindset. A lazy talent will rarely compensate for a holistic training program.
But it wasn’t all about just hard work. Ineffective hard work leads to injury and decreased performance. Hard work doing the right training routines is the key.
There is a parallel to the sales and marketing world. Once you understand the value of a unit of input in your marketing endeavors, life becomes positively predictable.
For instance: Let’s imagine that it takes you 1 hour to research and write and submit an article to Ezine Articles. If your average article receives 100 views and 10 clicks to your website and 1 opt in to your business list – then the cost of an opt in is 1 hour of your time.
If it takes 10 opt-ins to produce $100 profit- then the value of your time is $10 per hour.
If your goal is to earn $100 per hour then something clearly needs to change.  Keeping the same analogy. Is there a way to increase average views to 1000? Can we up sell to a higher end product or service that is worth $1000?

  • Most economic activities can be condensed into a value unit. Let’s imagine you spend an hour per day on your social networking sites cultivating connections. That equates to 30 hours per month. How much business is this activity generating? $10 per hour? $100 per hour? Zero

  • Not everything is a financial equation. I appreciate that, but let’s be honest-if you are spending countless hours trying to build an enormous Twitter following-have you analyzed the pay off? 
  • Free traffic is rarely free. If you have the opportunity to earn $25 offline and you invest that in paid advertising that generates $50 in business, is that more effective than working 5 hours online to produce the same result?

So many questions. We live in a world that seems to offer so much ‘free’ stuff and yet we always pay a price, and that price is time.
I’ve recently been looking at the out sourcing world, and it is fascinating. There are some very talented people who live in parts of the world where the exchange rate is such that $5 goes a long way. If there are areas of your business that require skill sets that you don’t have, then this may be an effective strategy.
The message is this. Keep asking the question: What is the value of this activity and how can I leverage it ten fold?
Try to figure out the value of your inputs. Persistence only has value if it is in the direction of producing effectiveness. Working 100 hours per week for $1 per hour is NOT the goal! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How To Overcome Frustration and Disillusionment and Achieve your Goals

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Here's a quick Video I shot a little while back that you may relate to:
it relates to that debilitating emotion of frustration. That feeling that you're banging your head off a brick wall and the wall's winning!

There are a couple of personal anecdotes that might encourage you.

All comments appreciated-especially the ones I don't have to put into babel fish in order to moderate!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When To Quit

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 I'm a pretty big fan of Seth Godin of Purple Cow fame. This is a Vid that really hits home on the topic of Quitting. Contrary to evangelic preachings that you should NEVER quit and perseverance is the key to success Godin takes a contrary view. Quit early or AFTER the dip BUT not IN the dip-as that's the point just before the hard work is about to pay off.- Worth a look I reckon

Cheers Kiaran

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are You Pitching Get Rich Quick To your Internet Marketing Business Prospects?

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Lately I’ve been noticing a number of my social/business networking colleagues-jumping ship from promoting high end (as in high entry investment) to lower entry programs.

I've begun to wonder why. Is it because their previous businesses were no good and they've found better programs or as I suspect is it that they were not better informed as to what is required to build high entry business programs? 

I believe too many people are being lured in to opportunities that are not best suited to their situation and who consequently quit-disillusioned.

Below are some warnings for people taking their first steps in these often shark invested waters-lol!

High-End programs –Entry $3K-$5k+-generally offer the most lucrative return on dollar investment BUT also by extension a greater risk of losing money.

Consider this analogy. If you purchase an investment property and hook up with a developer, with a view to negative gearing yourself into some positive equity, you may invest $400k for instance with a view to earning $100k over a few years. Great when it works and disastrous if the property market plummets.

This however doesn’t make it a scam-it simply implies that ventures have risk, and you need to weigh up the risk and reward.

The concern with this example is this: If the risk is not explained and only the reward is pitched. If the investor is completely new to the game and not equipped to adapt, or indeed if the investor is not in a position to risk losing any money. Ethically I suggest these people should not be marketed to. 

Back to the online world; Too many people I believe are being solicited (not scammed) into high end programs based on the heavily edited and cleverly copy written landing pages that attract their attention and encourage them to part with their hard earned dollars.

Let’s look at the following equation: You attract 50 people to your $3k program and earn $2k from each sale. Great, you’ve earned $100k and perhaps a residual income on the sales that they bring in, BUT…
Whilst it’s true that all they have got to do is to duplicate your efforts and they have the opportunity to earn the same reward there is a nagging concern.

Did they join the program realizing what is required to achieve this level of success?
Be honest have you ever promoted a program along the lines of: this is the quickest easiest way to make money fast and quit the rat race, just work a few hours a week and then just chill and shop! May be you bought in to a program based on that seductive lure.

High-end programs are successful for LEADERS. What do leaders do? They immerse themselves completely in their projects. When they start on the ventures they stay up until 3am in the morning completely obsessed with making it happen. They outsource. They invest in lead generation programs. They create funded proposals and set up regular Webinars. They go to conferences and hang out with successful entrepreneurs. And, they absolutely deserve their successes.

Alas most people who join these programs are shocked to discover the price that’s required and aren’t equipped either financially, or don’t have a deep enough desire and appetite or are too inexperienced and overwhelmed to achieve any success.

People leave programs not because of diminished ambition, but because they were not properly informed as to what was required to succeed and will often move on feeling ‘scammed’
What’s the solution? The rule of marketing is to sell all the features and benefits of a program and to hide the warts. Ethically I would suggest the following approach.

Focus on how you can help your prospect achieve the absolute best result for them. In most instances an 18 year old with zero online marketing experience and limited budget but with a ton of ambition may be better suited to joining a lower entry program and learning the ropes, creating some modest results and building some cash flow before moving on to the next level.

However someone who’s already had positive experience in business and a grasp of the requirements to build a solid 6 figure income, and who also is up to speed with cutting edge marketing techniques-is well suited to taking the plunge.

My 3 Levels of Entry into the Internet Marketing Business World.

Low level: Under $300 -Educational-Modest affiliate income-and platform into the industry-The 4 Step System.

Medium Level: Under $700-Travel Program-easy to sell-high value-72% commission – some online experience would help but perfectly aligned to the 4 Step Program– Primo Vacations.

High Level: $3k-$5k-Your Net Biz-Information Marketing. A potentially lucrative 6-figure program. Will work well for highly motivated and focused people BUT is not a simple turnkey business. It will not be for most people and I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.

There are hundreds of opportunities to choose from some are great and some are absolute rubbish. My message is to pitch the whole truth to your prospects. You know what? Many won’t join you-but that’s better than lots of people joining you and finding out later they were misinformed and quitting, disillusioned and out of pocket.

My goal online is to create success by helping others achieve THEIR goals and aspirations-NOT at the expense of others and the pay off is far beyond monetary.

Wishing you all well I your endeavors.

Cheers kiaran
For any questions regarding any of the above programs you can contact me direct on any of my social media sites on the side.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Are you in Business or is it a Hobby?

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Have you ever been committed to achieving something? I mean absolutely focused with complete belief in the outcome.
Both in sport and business I see one common denominator that separates those who achieve their potential and those that come up short. All things being equal true belief has a power that is hard to quantify.
The most well known line in the best selling motivational book of all time ‘Think and Grow Rich’ is the following.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe you can achieve.
The problem of course is that when we first start on the road to our goals is that we have no reference point to guide us. We start with a dash of hope that evolves into belief or dissolves into cynicism and justification for failure.
During my 13-year career as an international athlete, I trained with athletes whose natural ability I envied but…who never really ‘made it’
The clues were apparent on the training ground. Sporting success is rarely a factor of talent alone. Blood sweat and a few tears are often pre requisites to the grand prize-and curiously pain is something of a narcotic to the believer. It provides feedback that progress is being made.
For the non-believer, pain is just that; Horrible, nauseating, and pointless.
When asked the question-what do you do for a living? How do you answer? This will give you a clue as to your belief in your project.
I hear people mumble and utter incoherent noises that skirt around the subject. So, what do you do exactly?
Me? I sell. That’s it. What do I sell? That almost makes no difference, as the process is the same.
Commerce consists of a supply chain that all of us link to. Lets consider some of the links:
  • Idea creation
  • Design
  • Manufacture
  • Distribution
  • Pricing
  • Human Resources
I’ve sold millions of dollars of goods and services including security, home improvement, smart wiring, insulation, educational software, financial and investment services, and that’s just offline. My interest in the actual product or service was largely incidental. There are other people and departments that look after the above. Facilitating a sale is my job. Simple.
Define what you do, and if you are online ‘marketing’ or ‘promoting’ change your focus from the stuff to the processes and systems.
Selling is relatively simple. It’s a process-it’s numbers. I repeat SELLING IS NUMBERS.
Sell a unit and earn a dollar, sell a million and earn a million. That’s pretty simple. In every organization I’ve ever worked in there has been a tinge of snobbery/jealously by the administrators toward sales consultants. Why? After all without sales there is NO business.
Someone earning an hourly rate of $20 cannot get his or her head around a salesman earning perhaps $1000 for a 1-hour presentation. It doesn’t compute or seem fair.
The problem emerges when the sales consultant can’t justify their worth.
Selling is measurable-it’s bottom line. Architects design, engineers engineer and lawyers…well let’s not go there!
Get your head around what you do and then the business you’re in becomes less relevant.
Everyday I am getting pitched the latest greatest online opportunity. My interest is in the system and processes that underscore the business. I want to know the exact 10 bullet points that need to be ticked off and the sequences that need to be followed, so I can decide if it’s my cup of tea.
My previous blog mentions a couple of effective systems, but they are useless unless you get your head around what you do and if your belief is real.

I welcome your comments and connections-Cheers kiaran