Behind the scenes of a psychological campaign
January 07th, 2011 - 40 Comments
There’s a great story I know about a very sophisticated marketer who writes 30-page long emails. Someone asked him, “Does anyone really read those?”
He laughed. “Only the buyers,” he replied.
There are profound differences between people who consume and people who take action. It’s not just about buying something, either — it can mean testing your assumptions, pursuing your goals, or producing valuable material that helps others.
Today, you’ll learn…
- The background of a simple psychological experiment I ran earlier this week
- 3 breaks I’ve created that have allowed me to get into one of the world’s top universities, to earn over $100,000 in one hour, and to influence millions of people in a positive way to help them lead a richer life.
- What you’ll be getting for the next 4 weeks, including material on psychology, negotiation, and hustling your way to success
The focus of this week has been to begin peeling back the curtain to see how top performers think. When I talk about 2011 being the Year of the Hustle, this means we are NOT going to be doing things like:
* Starting 5 projects but flaking out on all them
* Having 20 ideas of things we “should” do, but talking ourselves out of every one
* Getting really excited about a business idea with a friend, but getting let down when he doesn’t follow through
* Making New Year resolutions of all the things we’re going to do, then doing nothing and getting depressed in February that we’re doing exactly the same thing as last year
What we ARE going to do is take action. That means educating yourself enough to take action — and then implementing. You will learn 100x more from doing something than from reading about it.
But having someone tell you, “Ugh, just go do it” is not enough. There are complex psychological, cultural, and even physiological reasons we don’t do the things we “know” we should do. So today, we’ll continue exploring…
…and I’ll show you precisely how you’re going to take more action this MONTH than in the last 3 years, combined.
Behind the scenes of a psychological campaign
You may not have realized it, but the 2 posts earlier this week were a psychology case study.
In the first post, I told you what I’d be giving you this year: free material on hustling, including how to find a better job, earn more money, and take action. The number of comments: 180.
In the second post, I wrote about challenging un-tested assumptions, and asked people to leave a comment with how they were going to specifically test their assumptions within 48 hours. Number of comments: 57.
When you ask people to take action, you will dramatically eliminate a huge percentage of people. This is why people leave hundreds of comments talking about how excited they are to have free content wash over them, but when you ask people to take action, a fraction of the people respond. Same as in the email I sent out to people who subscribed to my list.
In other words, everyone gets excited when you tell them what you are going to do for them…BECAUSE I DIDN’T ASK THEM TO DO ANYTHING. When I do, people get a lot quieter.
And the same is true of people who take action.
I can tell you, to the dollar, that certain users (the ones who leave comments or subscribe to my email list to receive more content or do XYZ action) are FAR more likely to take action and succeed. We measure it carefully.
Now let me share how action has helped me leapfrog even my own expectations.
My top 3 breaks
Here are 3 breaks I created through action that have paid off handsomely.
1. The first break I engineered was getting into my top choice for college, Stanford. This consisted of writing over 30 drafts of my college essay, deeply understanding the psychology of the admission committee, and overcoming the self-defeating barriers and cognitive-dissonance — including “I don’t have enough money” and “I could never get in there” — that plague so many high-school students. And yes, there was a lot of luck involved. For extensive details of how I did it, how I got into Stanford.
Result: Met incredible people; had experiences like speaking at conferences in Hawaii and Japan; learned about social influence and persuasion; got dream jobs and internships.
2. The second break was resisting the temptation to go make $120,000 at a big-name company, even though it was essentially the “default” thing to do out of college. In fact, all you had to do was click a few buttons on our internal recruiting system, and you’d be scheduled for an interview at one of these firms. When you went — assuming you prepared and did your homework — you could land a job and be earning a very nice living as a 22-year-old.
However, imagine if the “default” behavior is earning that kind of money. How easy would it be to turn that down — with your eye on something bigger and more meaningful (as I describe here)? In the coming weeks, I’ll share how to use psychological and decision-making criteria to guide your choices to long-term outcomes. In my case, I turned down job offers to co-found my own company, where we grew to several million users and raised millions in venture capital.
Result: Learned how to build a company from the ground up, tested marketing ideas to grow to several million users, and raised venture capital.
3. Finally, my third big break was focusing on “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.” When I went full-time on IWT, I was able to refine my techniques and material to influence millions of people.
Result: Launched my book to become an instant NYT/WSJ/Amazon best-seller, then grew my business over 1000% in one year, including earning $100k in 1 hour. Helped millions of people optimize their finances, automate, invest, earn more, and stop thinking of frugality as the only way to live a richer life.
In the coming weeks, I’ll outline the techniques and tactics used to achieve each big break.
But for now, let’s get back to the psychology.
Example: The Manifest Destiny Fallacy
There is a funny thing that people in the self-development world do. You’ll see this in blog comments all over the web: They’ll say things like “That’s obvious” or “Do you have anything NEW???”
I call this the Manifest Destiny Fallacy, and I’ve written about it before:
“Have you noticed how lots of people always want more and more information, but rarely implement what they already have? A couple years ago, I started realizing how lots of personal-finance readers were constantly asking for more and more information — more blog posts, more book reviews, more financial magazines — but would often just READ, not take action.
To put it bluntly, I have lots of friends who read blog post after blog post, but have STILL not automated their money, started investing, or even put together an aggressive plan to pay off debt.”
So I wasn’t surprised when I recently got this email from a reader named Kyle.
“I’ve been a subscriber to your emails for a couple of weeks now. And I have NOT really been doing anything you’ve suggested in your emails. Buy 200 books to get a lunch with you? Set up for direct deposit? Set up your bills to pay automatically? I mean, this isn’t really breakthrough stuff. If you’re actually making a decent amount of money here, I gotta start something like this… Maybe your premium content is a little more useful, and that’s just awesome you can make so much money on so little.”
“What would you like to read about?”
“I would really love to read a kind of “Day in the Life” of your life. What do you do on a daily basis? How much time do you spend writing, researching, relaxing, golfing, etc.? And an overview of your finances. How much do you actually make? Where does in come from? 50% book sales, 30% courses, 20% affiliate offers? I would love to hear about how YOU are making money. That would be much more interesting than little things I can do to save or do. Thanks for the quick response!”
Now, Kyle asked for some good stuff. And this month, I will be sharing details of how I run my business, including how to generate multiple streams of income. But there’s also a huge fallacy in his email. Do you see it? Here’s what I wrote to him:
…i am willing to bet you have not done all the stuff in my book/materials and, if you did, you would find some tremendous results (be able to put away $1k/month, have more free time, automate investments, etc).
be careful of always wanting NEW material. it’s better to implement the stuff in front of you
The Manifest Destiny Fallacy is about always wanting more and more…and never stopping to implement what’s in front of you. This is why I get emails from people who say things like, “Ugh, what else do you have that’s NEW?” Or: “That’s obvious” or “I can’t do that because….”
Whiners always look for something else, something new, because it’s easier than implementing what works.
What’s coming this month
Starting Monday, I’m launching a free 30-day course on hustling. IF YOU TAKE ACTION, you will make more progress this month than the last 3 years.
Here are the details.
Week 1 – The invisible scripts of luck and success. My post on the invisible scripts that guide us was one of my most popular posts ever. I’ll include case studies of invisible scripts that hold us back — and how to turn those scripts into constructive and tactical success.
Week 2 – Psychological techniques to dominate. How can you strategically use concepts like cognitive dissonance, the Fundamental Attribution Error, and techniques from the worlds of social influence and persuasion to hit your goals? I’ll show you specific experiments, case studies, and techniques to use immediately.
Week 3 – Negotiating your big breaks. I’ll show you how to negotiate to get higher hourly rates, to get meetings with top executives, and how to convince people to pay you for your valuable services. Including ready-to-use scripts and case studies of people using them.
Week 4 – Creating your first big break. There are fundamental differences between people who win and people who dream. I’ll show you characteristics of both. And then I’ll show you how I took people from whining to winning…in their own words.
What you need to know:
* This material is free and will be on my blog
* Each Monday, I’ll give you an action item for the week. You can choose to take part or not, although I can mathematically tell you that the people who participate are far more likely to succeed in hitting their own goals
* By Wednesday of each week, submit your results for the action of the week
* Each Thursday, I’ll reveal the winner, who will get a prize and 15-minute call with me to discuss psychology, personal finance, or earning more
* You will fail. That’s fine. This month is about iterating, trying different things, and figuring out what works. Better to fail trying than to do nothing at all.
* Speaking of doing nothing, if you simply want to read content and let it wash over you, please go find another blog. We will systematically mock people who complain and do nothing
* At the end of this month, I’ll be launching Earn1k 2.0, a new version of the most comprehensive program on hustling and earning money on the side
Am I doing this out of the goodness of my own heart? Yes, but I also have a business to run. I’ll also be releasing additional material via a free email list, including:
- Rich case studies of people who’ve hustled their ways to success — by finding better jobs, living bi-coastally, living in multiple countries, or even quitting their jobs entirely to work for themselves
- Interviews where you can submit your own questions — and get answers from best-selling authors, TV personalities, marketing juggernauts, lifestyle hackers, and more
- If you follow along with what I’ve put together, you’re going to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. But in 30 days you will have hustled to create a BIG break in your life
At the bottom of each post this month, you’ll see a bonus that you can get by subscribing to my private insider’s email list. It’s free, and in exchange for you trusting me with your email address, I’ll give you material that will blow your mind.
Here’s the email list (1-click unsubscribe — I hate spam.) Sign up to get an early look at the insider material I’ll be sending out this month.
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