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June 2010
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August 2010

July 2010

A Formula for Success

I'm a big fan of Napoleon Hill and his philosophy of success.  A friend shared the Napoleon Hill CD "Richest Man in Babylon and The Magic Story " and thought the tips provided were worth sharing as we head into yet another beautiful summer weekend.

Napoleon Hill Philosophy of Personal Achievement (paraphrased in my own words):

1. Have burning desire, the drive to make it happen, and the drive to put your plans into action.

2. Practice the skill and art of being open to new opportunties.  What concrete action steps have you pursued to seize these opportunties.

3. Have a strong sense of purpose. The passion to achieve what we set out to achieve with the right attitude. Are you reaching your goals or just drifing along?

4. See failiure as a new opportunity.  Are mistakes a pathway to opportunity.

5. Keep the friends who help us and stop befriending those that  hinder us in achieving these goals. Seek out friends and family that help and encourage vs. criticize.

6. That which is positive and that which is negative is inside all of us.  We are what we choose to embrace and integrate. It's why some people are always on the negative, and others are always on the plus side.

Many thanks to friend and reader Herb Yost for this gift of inspiration.


Affiliate Summit Almost Sold Out

There seems to be a conference on digital marketing scheduled every week in New York.  While each has its merits, one of the best is Affiliate Summit East at the New York Hilton from August 15 to 17.  Most conferences focus on a cross between marketers trying to get more ROI out of digital marketing programs and advertising agencies that are looking for new ideas to bring to clients.

Affiliate Summit is different in that the focus is exclusively on affiliate marketing and the entire conference is made up of practitioners, people that make their living from executing ROI positive SEO and PPC campaigns. There is a big difference between receiving your paycheck from an advertising agency based on advice packaged for a client, and paying your mortgage based on insights into how to use digital media.

The event kicks off on Sunday August 15th with a few presentations and the meet market, one of the highlights of the event.  The purpose of the meet market is to provide an informal gathering where affiliate marketers and the affiliates themselves can meet.  It's a great opportunity to pick up new ideas and network.

This years keynotes include Frank Lutz, author of the incredible book Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear (on my list of must read books for marketers) and Jim Kukral, who frequently writes and consults on digital marketing.

The conference is expected to sell out by July 31st, so you need to act now if interested in attending (when was the last time you attended a conference that sold out).

I'll see you at the show!

Escape from Cubicle Nation

Cover of "Escape from Cubicle Nation: Fro...Cover via Amazon

Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur is the title of a book by Pamela Slim, a former trainer for large corporations that was inspired to write a book to help corporate executives make the transition from cubicle to their own business.  The book was inspired by her observation that often the most successful employees within corporations are often the unhappiest, with many harboring deeply hidden aspirations of starting their own business.

The source of all this unhappiness was often the inability to meaningfully contribute to the companies they worked for.  The author contends that as organizations fight for survival, they continually change.  The byproduct of these frequent changes is a constant feeling that your position is not secure and work you completed does not matter.

The book then goes on to help those thinking of "escaping" through the many factors that need to be considered, from the reaction of your spouse to the reaction of your parents.  The book even provides advice of replacing medical insurance and other corporate perks.

Written in the spirit of the best selling business book, The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris, these books together provide a viable blueprint and last minute reality check for anyone thinking of starting a business.

The book aptly ends with some words by Guy Kawasaki, from his book The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything .

"The truth is that no one really knows if he is an entrepreneur until he becomes one - and sometimes not even then.  There really is only one question you should ask yourself before starting any new venture:

Do I want to make meaning?

Meaning is not about money, power or prestige.  It's not even about creating a fun place to work.  Among the meanings of "meaning" are to:

  • Make the world a better place
  • Increase the quality of life
  • Right a terrible wrong
  • Prevent the end of something good"
I couldn't agree more and recommend this book to anyone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur.

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It Sucks to Be Number 2

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

A friend shared a fantastic You Tube video on the battle unfolding between the iPhone and everyone else.  For the few that read this blog, I'm a believer in the "laws or physics of marketing." Simply, consumers have enough room in their brain for a leader and maybe, and that is maybe, a number 2 brand.  According to the landmark book by Trout and Ries, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind , number 2 brands never, repeat never become number one (if you read one marketing and advertising book, this is the one). 

Most #2 brands resort to some type of "my features are better than your features campaign" (usually because the analytical types that populate companies understand direct comparison vs a more conceptual basis for comparison).  The only problem is that everyone buying the #1 brand couldn't care less.  Do you really care that a Chevrolet has better gas mileage than that Nissan Altima you have your eye on.

Every category has a defining benefit.  The brand that owns this benefit or characteristic wins.  Period.  The only time share changes is when the #1 brand forgets they are number 1 and stumbles, such as the trip and fall by Toyota (are you wondering like I am why there wasn't 1 auto maker that stepped in to steal perceptual share), or when the leading brand changes marketing/advertising direction and forgets to reinforce ownership of the very characteristic that got them here.  For example, in the luxury segment, the #1 luxury characteristic, engineering, is not owned by anyone right now (share doesn't count, as it is a just a statistic that may reflect a confused marketplace - e.g; HP being #1 in laptops). As an aside, the new Cadillac campaign is obtuse, Lexus is recalling cars, BMW and Mercedes are not saying anything and on and on.

for all of these reasons, It also makes you wonder why Google is launching a Facebook competitor, (really, they are nuts for doing this) and why the iPhone will prevail and trounce all of the Droid phones once released by Verizon in January (even though Android is #1).

Here's why:

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