Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Questions Anyone?

In all my years as a chef and restaurateur I was little concerned about issues of motivation and reward. I cooked food, I sold food or I consumed it... and nothing was disguised about anyone's motivation OR reward - because the truth is always in the tasting, isn't it?

Such was my grounded thinking before my explorations into the netherworld of internet publishing and marketing.

The world I once thrived in... automatically assumed everyone is an expert... and I would never deign it within my power to think just because I might be rather more expert preparing your food... that I was really more or less of an expert than other folks - who certainly were experts about foods they liked or didn't like!

Thus framing the way I approached everyone was simple. Always in the spirit of utmost hospitality... like that of an enthusiastic host... I was sensitive about ensuring everyone had a good time. I wanted that no one ever be hurt or insulted... so nothing was left to chance. For me to sense that one single someone... might somehow not feel included in the merriment... of just feeling the sheer pleasure of the moment... I had worked (played) so hard to make happen... was anathema to all that mattered to me.

I find I enjoy amusing myself sometimes when asked to respond to questionnaires from marketers, writers and copywriters - most anyone I come across, and respect, online. Along the way I've learned to not expect any real feedback, as my questions relate less and less to any serious intent on my part to engage as a real customer. Since more and more of the messages I receive are merely about selling me more of the same old recycled information... or more of the same new-and-improved whiz-bang gadgets or insider tips... or another exclusive membership to a club, a mastermind group or one more inner circle... I wonder if I'm not being set up for a practical joke... and I shouldn't just have my chuckle and move on to the next one... so as to not feel I'm being rude by simply ignoring them.

Words which really turn me off include...

I will show you or I will teach you - even if I'm convinced the vendor truly is capable, if not extraordinarily well-qualified.

Must said vendor be so damn convinced of his first-person self worth? Why is so much information I need to make an informed decision simply not stated - whether accidentally or intentionally omitted... or not?

I have the secrets is another. I've often been inspired to ask if they might want to barter with me, as I've got a lot of secrets too I'd like to trade.

Next time you wanna sell me $197 worth of secrets how 'bout I sell you $497 worth of my very own proprietary trade secrets in exchange?


I DO like to over-deliver, ya know!

I'm rich and successful so, by its own implication, this means you must not be if you're reading this sales letter right now.

Take a look at my toys if you don't believe me!

This is always from some twenty-or-thirty-something young hot shot who just hasn't realized yet a million dollars or two ain't what it used to be - given that s/he's probably only a year or two removed from some hell-hole of a cheap suburban box and a ten-year-old car... which only yesterday repaired this person back and forth from his dead end ivory tower job downtown.

Here's a screen shot - it's proof of my earnings, AND of how smart I am!

Boy, it's like hitting the jackpot, ain't it? Hey, what you do in Vegas stays in Vegas, okay?

... Then I've got the ideal training course - or coaching program - just for you!

Man I hate these words program, coach, or course because they sound so, you know, canned. Sounding a little bit fishy for me, it's like imagining the fates of a few dozen sardines in a crowded tin - each one programmed or coached, of course - for a fantastic career as a success merchant or widget dealer. In a tried-and-true mogul-in-training, climb-the-corporate-ladder language I can only describe as corporate-speak... delivered in a streamlined fish factory sorta way, I hate knowing how easy it is that our own fates can be sealed by someone else's idea of an afternoon snack.

So it's good to remind yourself: To be spoon-fed someone else's idea of a good time is to invite them to chew you up and spit out your bones!

It calls up that achingly sad scene with our old friend Willy Loman... near the ending of Death of a Salesman... when for one brief heart-wrenching moment... he's brought to the sudden realization... he'd been living a lie all along... and his world crashes down upon him... hurting all those he'd held dearest.

Remember him? Had it all figured out, didn't he? All Willy needed in life was the right kind of program to fit you into... plus a shoe shine and a smile!

This is the fear I personally fear the most, the fear that living my life will have been predicated on one big fat lie, one on top of another, and I ultimately hurt all those around me - myself included.

No wonder it calls to mind this startling truth: "Man is one of the few species left on Earth who still preys on its own."

Then I'm presented the terms guru, as in I am your guru, and newbie, put to me like You are my newbie, which are meant to be taken, I'm given to understand, in all sorts of new and interesting ways.

How they are perceived - and acted upon - by either party, though, is how big lies often get started.

As I've come to understand their meanings I've compiled a few synonyms for each of these insider terms.

The Guru is... a spiritual advisor; the seller; the teacher; an expert; your instructor, maven or guide; the rich one; smarter-than-thou; holier-than-thou; the better one; a smart-ass; the controller; the lister; the targeter.

And the Newbie is... a babe-in-the woods; the customer; a neophyte; a pigeon; the client; a noob, a mark, a victim or the prey; a sycophant; a sucker; the lesser one; a dumb-ass; the broke one; the controlled; listless; the target.

Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy a good laugh like most folks. And, yes, I've bought a lot of this stuff too. Perhaps I felt like I must tip these jokesters from time to time so they'd continue to entertain me!

It seemed the ethical thing to do at the time, I guess. And after all, they were just trying to earn a living, weren't they?

Besides, I learn a lot from these folks, so it's the least I can do - to throw 'em a bone when they're deserving. And I might want to actually engage them seriously one day in a more genuine dialogue or something, so why wouldn't I want to develop a relationship with them - as one-sided and preposterous as it often is now?


Perry Marshall Asks...

What is your most pressing Business Challenge?

... And Lark replies...

My most pressing business challenge is to reconcile my idealism with the demands of an online entrepreneur.

In such a competitive environment I'm convinced our approach - the ways we frame our messages - must be without any hype whatsoever; not to mention, it must be above reproach if we are to expect the mutual respect we hope to engender among our clients and customers.

Fortunately, the things which interest me most go to the heart of persuasion techniques I'm studying - along with concepts of motivation and reward.

Less inclination towards business and more towards busy-ness is at the heart of our message... because there really need be no separation, ideally, between our personal and our professional lives... if work is allowed to feel more like play.

I believe these are some very basic universal principles ordinary people might better relate to with less apparent effort and little or no skepticism - about our motivations... and the rewards to be expected by all of us.

Insights can be found in our brand blueprint - called a Legend Platform - on our blog, which you can access from our first information product...

... at Mark and Lark.com

Thanks for reading... and "thank you" for the audio!


And I'm a sucker for contests too! Here the questions asked are...

Why do you need to learn copywriting?

... and...

What will you do with the lessons you learn about copywriting?

... in 250 words or less...

... though I must tell you I was really thinking about the scene in Scarface when Tony Montana is being asked at the fancy car dealership, "Are you chure you actually ARE a Porcha customer?"

Or words to the same effect anyway.

Laurence Says:
February 10th, 2007 at 12:50 am

Thanks, Ray, for giving voice to the teachings of Ray Edwards via your videos. I enjoy listening to folks... as much as I like seeing their words and pictures on a web page.

It heightens the overall look and feel of the relationship-building process; and it enhances the feelings and perceptions the words and images do not always supply... sufficient enough to make a virtual connection, that is.

A human voice such as yours, once heard, is as magical as the siren song of the Muse in literature... and the impetus for me heeding your call to action today!


We form relationships in life because one is a lonely number - and it often takes two to tango.

It’s why we form personal and business relationships in the first place - our species demands its propagation and alliances lend themselves to our better social adjustment and survivability skills.

For economy of scale and a surfeit of abundance to coexist in nature requires an artful collaboration, doesn’t it?

All’s well... when the music stops, the dance is adjourned, and we’re invigorated by the experience... that ends so well.

Thus begins... our common emotional journey... for nourishment of the soul... and the hunting and gathering of sustenance... anew.

A copywriter’s study ought to begin in grade school and continue over a lifetime.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world all human beings should be learning to eliminate barriers... by overcoming obstacles... and building a happier society... for a healthier sustainable future... simply by applying its lessons.

One lesson learned from the biblical Tower of Babel story is that our once common human language was supplanted by a confusion of tongues...

The confusion many of us have with everyday language is at the heart of all our other difficulties. Irregardless of which language is spoken though, language arts - by way of spoken and written words - are critical of mastery if we are to enjoy any measure of true success in life.

... and in the Information Age it is still but one emergent lesson from this ancient story we would be foolish to set aside and forget.


Mark and Lark, the serial comic adventures of two suburbanites learning to master the intricacies of internet marketing and the skills of the copywriter, was borne from our desire to combine Mark’s love of technology and my love for words.

Let the music – and the dancing – of the acolytes begin!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Recipe for Piracy

Buffalo Pot Roast, Old Creole Style

Daube de Bison a la Creole Vieux


• American Natural Bison (from the Round, Loin or other suitable cut from the butcher) – or substitute Natural Beef (Daube de Boeuf a la Creole Vieux)
• Fruity Olive Oil
• Garlic
• Sweet Onions
• Ripe Tomatoes
• Orange Peel (reserve fruit for later use)
• Tomato Paste, canned (for color)
• Fresh Thyme
• Fresh Bay Leaf
• Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley Stems (reserve leaves for garnish)
• Fresh Chives (strictly for garnish)
• Saffron Pinch
• Natural Sea or Kosher Salt
• Cracked White & Black Peppercorns
• Cayenne or Creole Seasoning (recommended, but optional, to taste)


• Remove silverskin and superfluous fat from Bison
• Rough Chop Onions & Tomatos (use plenty – the amount is determined by the amount of gravy you want)
• Smash a few cloves of Garlic
• Remove the Orange Peel from its fruit (think about the amount of orange flavor a la Basquaise you want)
• Season the Bison & brown in brazier with Olive Oil
• Combine all other ingredients in brazier until sautéed lightly
• Season to taste
• Braise in 350 degree oven until done – about 1 hour
• Remove Bison from brazier to rest on the carving board
• Remove Bay Leaf, Thyme, Parsley Stems and Orange Peel
• Puree vegetables and juices to light, airy gravy consistency (wavy gravy?)
• Adjust seasonings and color to taste
• Serve it up with Garlic Riced Potatos, and Mom’s Creole Succotash seasoned with Ham Bone Marrow & Secret Spice Mixture (or substitute commercial ham paste/base)


Select big ol’ low slung but wide-mouthed salad or soup bowls. Spoon the spuds and smear all around the bottom of the bowls, higher in the very center. Slice 3 fat slices of Pot Roast & arrange in center on top. Slap ¾ cup of gravy over the meat. Arrange the Succotash in a ring between the edge of the bowls and the meat and gravy in the center. Garnish with fresh Thyme, Parsley, Chive, Bay Leaf and reserved Orange fruit sections. Serve with a gravy boat of hot gravy, a starched white linen napkin, and a trencherman’s dinner fork.

Heat up a crusty ol' peasant loaf, and bring it forth with soft butter or gussied-up olive oil in little ramekins set in front of the bowls. A butter lettuce salad with bell peppers, tomatos and green onions a la vinaigrette should do nicely – afterwards of the Pot Roast.

Now whip it on ‘em with a few glasses of cold Beer or Pinot Noir. Play some saloon music from Old New Orleans or have an old Jean Lafitte pirate movie showing on the big screen… like The Buccaneer... and finish ‘em off with some Lady Finger cookies and Blancmange puddin’ with shots of Absinthe for dessert.

Card-playing would seem to be in order – gamble if you must – you know Lafitte sure as hell did!

Bring on some dancin’ girls for a little more flavor, unless you’re with the little lady. If this be the case, consider headin’ on in to town, and drop her off at home.

Better still; don’t bring her along in the first place – unless she likes to get a little silly, that is!

Lafitte himself was the product of a Spanish mother and a French father, and as such, was not really that bad a guy.

The Louisiana Territory was claimed by the Spaniards, the French and the Americans at different times in its history; but Lafitte himself leveraged so-called Letters of Marque on the high seas to legitimate his activities as a privateer – not a lowly pirate!

He is said to have aided the Americans in their War of 1812 against the British. As a citizen of the world he merely acted in his own interest, by leveraging a little paperwork received from nations’ governments – all with similar interests to his own.

While some viewed him as a pirate, others viewed him as a private citizen authorized to do some necessary dirty work. And if conflicts of interest arose, or if he ever stepped on anybody’s toes... well, let’s just say he was never available to receive a court summons anyway!

He actually founded two of his own nation-states during his lifetime – unencumbered and beholden only to himself.

My recipe was created in honor of this colorful character, and you’ll delight in fixin’ this easy-to-prepare sup for your own family or guests.

For our special occasion, why not read up on the guy – and now you can be Lafitte for the day – okay?

Best served in the late summer-early fall... when it’s cold, muggy or rainy outside. Change up the veggies for somethin’ more in season... and it works in the dead of winter too.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Good morning... hold on to your coffee cup. Someone's got something really important to say!

Mark and I have only known each other for less than 8 months now... and we have a new internet marketing business together.

So... think back... to that boss, significant other, or partner-from-hell you so fondly remember... just for a moment.

Now consider this person-from-hell is in a full court press trying to persuade, inform, or convince you of something or another... and you're not able to politely interrupt, interject, or get one word in edgewise... as there's just no stopping this person - once they're in full stride... on a roll.

The following chat discussion between Mark and me one morning - a few months back - started out as a humorous attempt by me to demonstrate to Mark that I was up-and-at-'em before he was... and was ready to seize the day!

Previously, we'd had some pretty funny discussions about the one-sidedness of a typical sales letter online... in which our only choice was to buy into a marketer's or a copywriter's message or not - with no other option available to us.

Mark, especially, found all this particularly hysterical... and some of our best belly laughs together have been at the expense of some sales letter writer's all-out effort to get us to whip out a credit card... in effect, to steamroll us into making a buying decision where incomplete information was being provided... and there didn't seem to be any room for negotiation either.

Here we are being sold a horse - and no horse-tradin's being allowed!

My friends... in Texas, this type of behavior, is really frowned upon... let me tell ya.

Anyway, just pity poor Mark, because, you must know, he really does have the partner from hell!

He's often mystified by poor Lark. And he'll wonder why I ever saved this chat in the first place.

Maybe he'll laugh just remembering it!

So, with this being said... please do... enjoy our little chat... :)

Laurence says:

Ohayou gozaimasu... is formal Japanese for Good Morning... and millions of people on our planet know this language well enough to understand its meaning. However...

Laurence says:

... in the U.S. and in Europe, in Africa and Central and South America, many millions more do not fathom the meaning for good morning in the Japanese brain... except to, perhaps, grunt... smile... or nod an acknowledgment of a Japanese person's presence in the A.M. hours...

Laurence says:

... much in the way we imagine members of different human tribes once did millions of years ago. We are here together in a virtual community where we cannot assume ANY of us even... speak the same language... much less fully comprehend and fully connect to common symbols (words, sentences, phrases, etc.) used in the language we call "English".

Laurence says:

Therefore, even as you may be able to read this collection of organized symbols, it would be presumptuous for any of us to automatically assume actual communication is really occurring...

Laurence says:

... because much is implied and inferred, though little - so far - has been written or read which we can identify as being substantative or even a propos to this occasion.

Laurence says:

To think about what has just been communicated, comprehend, if we are allowed or are able, this tiny bit of information.

Laurence says:

Before this sentence, count up the number of letter, word and punctuation symbols used to create the words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs.

Laurence says:

To quantify these is to invite a closer examination into the minds reflecting on these pieces of, presumably, a larger symbolic picture.

Laurence says:

For what purpose, to what end, might this exercise serve us? Are we to assume something - or anything - of value might be gained in this moment of our time together?

Laurence says:

How might the language - the instrument of our communication - be miscommunicated, or misconstrued, even now, while it is we have read this much so far?

Laurence says:

How many of us have been prompted to move away from this exercise in communication already?

Laurence says:

Can any inferences or assumptions, any claims of beneficence, be implied or stated thus far in our narration? Do these words illustrate for us anything which might enjoin us in a commonality of meaning and purpose?

Laurence says:

How might each of us still here proceed with this incomplete narrative in ways which will unite us and empower us - individually, and as a group?

Laurence says:

Shall we write and read more - at this very moment in time we have together? Engaged, as we are, in an exercise of disjointed communication with each other?

Laurence says:

Let's consider more. Notice how each of us is being drawn deeper into our narrative? So long as these symbols are being created these same symbols are bringing us closer. We cannot say we are being united, nor can we imply we are being divided, though it might be fair to say we might never be brought closer than we are right now.

Laurence says:

Language - or other symbols of communication - does not always accomplish our aims, does it?

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde

Laurence says:

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure." - Mark Twain

Laurence says:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." - Benjamin Disraeli

Laurence says:

"Then there was the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches." - W.I.E. Gates

Laurence says:

As a shared experience let's suppose we extract some value from this exercise... understanding, of course, from the outset, that each of us will ascribe a different value, or a nuance of value, to the symbols - or words - presented here.

Laurence says:

Let's examine the central idea expressed in this equation:

Creation of Order = Initiation of Chaos

Laurence says:

"A life not examined is not worth living." - Socrates

Laurence says:

"Let's put that which we might call our busy-ness aside for awhile. Instead, let's make some history today!" - Lark

Laurence says:

Good morning, Mark!

Mark says:


[End of chat]

Phone's ringing

The wife's speaking.

The dog's barking.

I forgot what I was saying...

... or thinking.

And Mark never even saw this conversation piece... until I pointed it out to him that afternoon... as it had been much too tall a tale to fit all at once onto his chat screen... for him to ever really notice! :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What is value?

Now here's a loaded question! Another one of which begets as many questions as answers...

...and I pose this particular question because the use of this word is included in the American Marketing Association's response to this question:

What is marketing?

And its latest definition is...

Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.

So, disregarding for a moment the myriad questions which might arise from the first question demanding of a rational answer, let's presuppose we understand value to simply mean something worthwhile.

As students of internet marketing, Mark and I are very interested in exercising sound judgment - to the best of our abilities - as we chart our course in this new business.

We like to believe our principal reason for beginning this new business is so we can gain more freedom to live our lives in a purpose-driven, more playful and joyful manner.

In previous posts I briefly discussed plausible definitions for the words freedom and reason as they were also component parts of questions preceded by the words What is ______ - similarly to the question we have before us now.

It's true that these rhetorical questions examined here can lead only to even more questions - if we are to expect logical answers. Not the least of which, of course, are:

What is rhetoric...or rhetorical?...


What is logic...or logical?


But let's not go there right now, okay?

Forgive me if I interrupt this discussion with a little story...

When I was a boy my younger brother, sister and I were coerced, then forced, to eat liver...when my mother prepared it for the family sit-down - and, boy, we hated the taste of it!

It started out harmlessly enough...because chickens then, as now, typically come with the paper-wrapped heart, kidneys, gizzard, and liver inside the cavities of said birds...meant to cook separately from the chicken itself.

And we ate a lot of chicken at our house - prepared in all the usual ways home cooks dealt with this popular food staple.

In my parents' salad days - during the time before WWII...as the Great Depression was drawing to a close - there was a slogan, "A chicken in every pot, and a Ford in every garage."

This was one of the prevailing mantras for all those aspiring to a comfortable middle-class lifestyle in those days; and the measure of a family's having attained these only-average material needs was the mean common denominator for what was understood to be the basis for achieving The American Dream.

Their own parents raised them with the experience of scarcity informing their families' value system - so much so, that wanton disregard and waste of important necessities of everyday living was considered a real sacrilege.

Thus, to turn one's nose up at food - any food - was, for Mom and Dad, not only repugnant, but downright immoral too!

And loving their spoiled, unreasonable children meant imposing some discipline on them - even if it meant corporal punishment was their response to our supposed transgressions of their authority.

Because another dictum of the times was, Spare the rod, and spoil the child, and, like their parents before them, they wanted to do right by their kids, didn't they?

Well...my siblings and me got a helluva lot of whuppins growing up, let me tell ya. But those beatings we endured for detesting the taste of liver - for over several of our tenderest years - are the ones which still stick in my mind to this day.

Under threat of more of the same, we tried faking it...secretly spitting it out... holding our noses while swallowing the vile stuff...chasing it with the strongest beverage within our immediate grasp...before throwing it up...even direct insubordination - all manner of protestations were met with the same expectation of one more traumatic and hurtful family drama lesson....

...to which Mom or Dad would often remind us, "This is gonna hurt me - more than it's gonna hurt you!"

Dad had an old-fashioned GI belt, and the rule was, if you moved your target butt away from where he was aiming, your beating was just gonna be worse.

And this action wasn't based on any fair rule at all!

A lot depended on our tolerance for pain...and Dad's presumed responsibility not to permanently disfigure us...or leave any noticeable welts the neighbors or our teachers at school might see...not to forget, Dad's mood...or predisposition to sadistic violence...if he'd had a bad day at work...or if he was really angry at Mom, etcetera.

After a very long while we got used to choking chicken liver down - even if none of us dared to sample the giblets. By then Mom was taken with the idea of cooking calves' liver, always with a bunch of oily browned onions and brown pan gravy...

No wonder the French and the Italians - most of the world - considered that American dining pleasures were just beyond barbaric...in the years before and after WWII.

I know I seriously considered I might really be a closet vegetarian growing up - and actually was...off-and-on...after I left home.

Here's one moral of this story which might be inferred...

One person's idea of what is something worthwhile is not necessarily and easily transferable to another. In our capitalist society money is only assigned a value as it is merely a convenient representation of its perceived value in an exchange of some sort.

We neglect to scrutinize it...beyond what it represents...at our own risk - or reward, for that matter...as it's but a medium for the exchange of equivalent values which drives all capitalist enterprise.

Because money - like value - is always seen, kinda like beauty, in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

One man's junk is another man's treasure...and so on and so forth.

But here's the rub...

As internet marketers, when our businesses are dependent upon closing the deal, in the face of tremendous competitive forces swirling all around us, we must also dance the dance of the high wire artist - at least in our minds - teetering between the back-and-forth use of ethical persuasion tactics and our purported aims and desires.

So...it's not so much that we don't want to deliver - even over deliver - on our promises...and deliberately take advantage of, or mistreat, those with which we exchange values...goods or services, in exchange for money, for instance. It's that we're also dealing with issues of qualitative value measurement as well.

In other words, we naturally lean toward pathways of least resistance at all times - so focused are we on gaining that qualitative edge as measured by our quantitative desire to come out of any deal with the continuous wherewithal to grow and prosper in our businesses.

Don't we?

Therefore, in this socio-economic climate, we make bad deals, so-so deals, and good deals for ourselves all the time - even outside the context of our businesses - even exclusive of situations involving money.

With exchanges of value - or trade-offs - our charts are examined, and our ships of state are set on course - often to uncharted waters far from shore.

So it is with our lives - we must sink or swim...often with sharks...or remain afloat...onto our merry ways.

Mom or Dad would've advised...Be a good boy now...and...Eat up, son - or go stand in the corner! as the rules by which to govern our actions in the world.

To this day, like you maybe, I wanna value you precisely as much as you value me, if not more so. In a perfect world, I want to do good by you; and you want to do good by me.


I know I value the memories of my childhood - even forgive all those trespasses on my freedom. And all the mistakes I've made allowing myself to get ripped-off...or ripping myself off...all of my own volition...on my own accord.

I retain a healthy respect for authoritarian power structures as they exist - even if, to me, they often seem unreasonable for me to wanna buy into from the get-go.

Being naturally skeptical, I never forget a betrayal of trust - by anyone, including myself!

But then skepticism is really not enough, is it?

The answers for what might seem valuable to us are sometimes elusive, if always, at least, illusory - even with the clearest of thinking and the best of outcomes for all exchanges we want to see happen.

And knowledge of good and evil, alas, reveals only more of the same, wouldn't you say?

Thus it is, we tend to value what we esteem to be good - somewhat or more than worthwhile upon first glance - when it can be, in fact, like for our three storybook children who despised the taste of liver, really very bad.

Or so it seems...and it usually goes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Follow Up Correspondence from Stu


Thanks for your email.

I appreciate you sharing the details of your idea. I can sense your passion behind it.

One thing you must consider is the management of everything. If it’s not managed properly then it will drive people away but if it’s managed well then over time it will attract the right kind of people you want participating.

Good luck!

Take care.

Stu McLaren
"Taking Ideas From Concept to Cash"



Thanks for validating my initial perception of the kind of person you might be - and how you might respond to my message.

I will continue to speak to issues of transparency in the marketing process, especially how it relates to workplace issues of motivation and reward, affiliate programs and JV partnerships, etcetera - not to mention, our relationships with our clients and customers.

How people relate to others is co-dependent on transparent communication being made self-evident to all parties as the relationship is developed and strengthened over time. And you're absolutely right - how this is managed is key to its workability.

Given that 90%-98% of most marketers' persuasion tactics are not acted upon, and only 10%-20% of most affiliate sign-ups actually make a real financial impact for affiliate managers who strive to motivate them is at the heart of what I wish to address.

By turning a blind eye to these issues marketing becomes nothing more than a numbers game...somehow dehumanizing the entire process.

And those with mature businesses - those who have accumulated large customer lists and other marketers to their sales process - are in the best position to invest intellectual capital addressing the essence of this continuing problem...in an honest effort to improve the process...so that its effectiveness can be markedly improved and sustained.

The "right" kind of people we might attract to this overhauled process - if correctly initiated and managed properly - will no longer remain an issue, as it is rendered moot...much in the same way ongoing natural selection...works biologically in nature.

Upon closer examination we understand that these core values of belief inherent within human nature are not so separated from the natural world itself...because, as observed with viruses or butterfly effects, we know certain these characteristics must exist.

The net results can be revolutionary...if we choose to diligently concern ourselves with this underlying core value of belief - and believability - as seen from all sides.

Good luck to you too, Stu!

I'm very grateful to you for reading this at all...

Mainspring Mindshares

[P.S. - I know you must be very caught up in your busy-ness, so please do not feel the need to respond again. :) Laurence]

Friday, February 02, 2007

Hands Reaching Across the Cyberwaves...

Last night we had the opportunity to listen in on an exclusive teleseminar with Tellman Knudsen and Ben Mack.

And this morning Stu McLaren asked for some feedback from his mailing list subscribers about his newsletter.

With these marketers words dancing in my head, herewith, is my reply to Stu...

Dear Stu,

This April...I will have been studying internet marketing for one year! So you can see I approach this subject as a relative neophyte.

However, I must tell you, I find myself much more discriminating the further on down the road I travel.

I am not a fan of becoming a geek so that I can be a slave to a machine. I have spent over $10K to date for mostly worthless junk. And I firmly believe ideas are like a**holes - everybody has one!

So...no offense intended here...but...it seems to me what experienced marketers should be considering is this:

===>Form marketing co-ops of 100 to 500 partners, each involved in decision-making for the group at-large.

===>Allow fluid interaction via chat and a forum hosted by moderators chosen by the group through periodic voting.

===>Provide state-of-the-art marketing tools to the members - including metrics tracking and other software so that individual actions of each member can be definitely tracked in real-time online observation by everyone involved.

===>Lay out a step-by-step action plan for the group members to cooperatively follow - changeable according to day-to-day conditions - while staying open to actionable ideas of all other members.

===>Provide a running P&L statement in the private membership area showing the day-by-day account of how all money is to be divided according to individual participatory efforts...as agreed upon by each member in advance of joining the group.

This proposal, in a nutshell, is the type of program I myself would want to put together if I had the proven skills to form such a group and pull it off...

...because, like myself, I believe others will see that trust and confidence in the process itself is paramount - and a few helping hands never hurts either!

One day I will do precisely this...

It is an interesting way to win over battle-tested allies to a cause - a cause which can only succeed because its members become loyal to the group as their accumulation of revenue shares increases over time.

Experienced marketers will see this as a no-brainer...and a way to make quick & easy bucks...assuming they do not have to sacrifice their alpha male or guru image of themselves...because they are not called upon to subvert their brand positioning strategies in any demeaning way...and they can get behind the product(s) and/or service(s) being promoted to their followers in the first place.

Seen from this perspective...even newbies can contribute to the viral marketing promotional efforts of some highly-scrutinized, very useful information products... made better because of the mastermind group brainstorming and directly promoting them.

People want to learn to succeed online, but without real-time interaction, in an environment in which their success is practically guaranteed...simply with measurable guided participation...they will mostly flounder and eventually fail.

Who can trust the sales process when the possibility of getting ripped-off is so high? When real transparency is our guiding principle more participation can be assured. Safeguards and guidelines can be constructed...and procedures can be implemented...to prevent commission theft or counter-productive efforts from having a negative impact.

If you believe learning is so key to success online, why not consider that confidence and trust must be earned - and actions always speak louder than words?

Make it a two-way street for the participants...by bringing together under (y)our umbrella...the mavens, salespeople and connectors (as described by Gladwell in The Tipping Point)...necessary to the task of reaching that vaunted tipping point...and thereby bring about a true win-win situation for everyone concerned.

The continuum of learning, actively participating and growing - in a cooperative group effort - is not socialism, Stu. It is a sure-fire way to develop a cadre of affiliates, network marketers, and JV partners - all rolled into one dynamic system of interactive growth.

Selling online doesn't have to be such a dastardly enterprise - with so few winners compared with many more losers.

In bringing together - by open invitation - divergent thinkers (ideators) to identify problems and solutions in a process of elimination or trial-and-error (clarifiers) so that products can finally be created and put together (developers) ALL active participants (implementers) will finally feel a true sense of co-ownership, and so will more enthusiastically promote more profitable products brought to market.

Individuals will freely participate according to "how the spoils of war" are to be divided...and various leaders will rise like cream to the top...allowing for standouts within the group to be recognized and separately rewarded by the others... if the group so chooses.

Each participant must be able to perceive and appreciate from the get-go that their fifteen minutes of fame within the group will be a given once they realize actionable results are accurately measured and structured participation all-but-guarantees a successful collaboration.

I want to learn from heroes who understand that my efforts are equally as heroic - and prove it by their actions, not their words.

Smoke-and-mirrors, secrets, insights, hucksterism and magic are separate from the real opportunities real people deserve and want to respect.

Let's get behind a cooperative work effort in an atmosphere of work-as-entertainment - which brings in real dollars to our wallets!

At the end of the day...I want to believe in a concept of motivation and reward which seeks my enthusiastic and undying support...because it is open-ended and transparent for all concerned...and because I don't want to participate in or promote...suffering or struggle...for anyone.

Best regards,


Mainspring Mindshares

[P.S. - Here is another sometime marketer worth checking out. Kinda like you have also earned earned our respect and admiration! His name is Blair Warren. And he was introduced to us by a fellow named Ben Mack]

----Original Message----

From: Stu McLaren [MyIdeaGuy]
Date: 02/02/07 02:55:43
To: Laurence
Subject: Laurence...from Stu McLaren

Hey Laurence,

I noticed that you signed up for my "Insider Ideas"
newsletter a couple days ago - thanks a lot for signing up :)

Did you read the first issue?

I'd love to know what you thought.

Drop me a line when you get a chance. Just reply to this

Thanks again!!

Take care,

Stu McLaren
Your Idea Guy