Dylan and Rita were at their wits' end when I met them at the World Internet Summit .
By this point in their lives, they were supposed to be successful. They were supposed to be vrooming around in flaming red Ferraris, living the plush life and knocking back champagne on the harbour.
Hah! They should be so lucky.
After two whole years of heartbreak, they were just as lost as they'd ever been. Sitting here at this Summit, they were somehow hoping the information they received would solve their problems. Intently and studiously, they scribbled notes about how to succeed on the Internet. How to improve their marketing with a product that bring them their fortunes once and for all.
Yet there was just one teensy-weensy problem.
They had no product. Nada. Nothing.
All they had was a sob story
But what a wonderful sob story it was. If you can call sob stories wonderful, that is.
They'd scraped their shins dabbling in real estate. They attended seminar after seminar. Even greedily latched on to every single piece of information that the pros were doling out.
And unlike most, they didn't just sit around doing nothing. No siree. They actually put what they'd learned into action. They went out and bought property. They worked long hours. Renovated the properties. Put them up for sale. They did as they were told.
And they were still struggling.
Despondent and weary, they wondered how this Internet Seminar they were attending would help them. How could they create a product? How could they advise someone on their website, or even have a consultancy of sorts, when they had failed so miserably?
Failed? I think not
Can you see a gem of a product? You can't? You're kidding, right?
Because it's there for all the world to see. Dylan and Anita have failed. Like spectacularly! They've bought the wrong houses, done too much renovation, put in the wrong tenants. Everything they've done is totally, completely wrong.
And if they had a chance to do it all over again, they'd know exactly what they'd skip and what they'd stick to.
Now stop and look around at the landscape. How many books and workshops do you see on succeeding in real estate? Tons, huh? And how many do you see about failure? Not a lot.
So here's the plan
Dylan and Rita could put together a tiny booklet. Nothing too fancy. Just a photocopied production from Kinko's. In that booklet, they could put in every single failure they've ever had. And what they'd have avoided or done differently. To beef it up, they could also go to successful real estate punters and ask them how they'd have handled these particular situations differently and successfully.
And Voila, they'd have a book called The Pitfalls of Real Estate – How to Avoid the Mistakes We Made. They'd peel off the gloss and show you the reality and how not to get into the ditch they'd so spectacularly fallen into.
And Dylan and Rita wouldn't have to stop at a book. They could go on to create a workshop. And an audio set. And a hands-on consulting service. If you were starting out in real estate investment, would you want to make the same goofy mistakes as Dylan and Anita? Wouldn't you be more than glad to spend another $200 and find out the facts?
Dylan and Rita thought they had failure. Instead they have customers walking around with $200 in their hands dying to be educated. A thousand such customers a year, and they'd be in Champagne City…nooo sweat.
The darned goldmine is sitting under their noses. And they just can't see it.
What's more, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone else on the planet who would be uniquely in a position to describe their real estate experiences in a similar fashion as Dylan and Rita. The frustration, the fear and the passion alone will make them squillionaires, if they pursue this path.
And all they have to do is tell us about failure.
Failure? Julie doesn't know what that means
Julie is a smart girl. I know because I met her in Sydney. And she's into selling travel to corporates. She doesn't think she's exceptional.
In fact, the concept of being the best in the world is as alien as the dark side of Mars is to a wary Rover.
However, Julie does something better than her colleagues. She listens. And consequently she sells more. Quite a bit more actually. And if pushed a little bit, Julie could quite easily be the best in the world in one field.
*Selling With Silence*
Doesn't that send a chill down your spine? Wouldn't you like to hear a speech or read a book on Selling with Silence? I'm falling off my chair thinking how Julie could be the foremost authority on teaching salespeople to shut up.
And she's damned good at it. While I blabbered on, she listened. Intently too. It's a niche of a niche. But hey, do you know anyone on the planet who's doing the same thing?
And really – you don't have to be the best in methodology. You just have to be the best in getting clients to understand the concept. All your clients need to do is relate to you and consequently get results.
Julie has it in her. And she does it everyday. Now all that's left is for her to turn it into a product and whammo, it's showtime!
Tania wasn't impressed
It had been fifteen years to the day when Tania had a handicapped son called Tony. Today, fifteen years later, Tony was more or less able to manage without too much assistance. But the last fifteen years had been gut-wrenching for Tania.
She had to leave her job. The computer generation passed her by. And now fifteen years later, she was available but unemployable.
It looked like she was doomed to work at Burger King for the rest of her life.
Or was she?
When Tony was born, Tania wept bitterly. This was not the perfect baby she'd hoped for. Look around you Tania. Every day on this planet, tens, if not hundreds of parents are shedding tears of disappointment just like yours.
Once the tears are dry, they'll turn to the one source up there in the sky called the Internet. They'll search for how to manage a handicapped child.
And they'll find your site. And like some secret library, you'll be able to give them tons of details. Nothing flash. Just the unvarnished truth.
Then you can sell them a book. Perhaps a membership to the site.
Year 1. Year 2. Year 3. Year 4. Year 5…and so on. Tell them the type of hospitals to visit, the type of education to impart, the kind of pitfalls to watch out for.
These parents will worship you Tania. Because your knowledge is going to save them years of tripping and stumbling. When you stand in public and speak, it needn't be a polished oration.
You'll do fine as the words spill out from your heart.
Your magic, your niche is within you. Your product can be created today, if you so wish. You don't need to sell someone else's product. You've got your own.
And by God, you don't even have to be a success at what you do. How good is that?
Why do you wait?
It doesn't matter if you're a copy editor or web designer. You've got your product within you. You can create Marketing success out of your own experiences.
Sure the road is long. Sure it's hard. But hey, the passion will get you there. And you'll have wild, raving fans every step of the way. You've got the potential and the words. When you're passionate, you don't need eloquence. It will pour out like a raging torrent from your heart.
If you've been struggling to find a product, look no further than your nose.
Why do you wait? It's time to turn Tears into Gold. And that time is right here, right now.
Go for it! Be Brave and mighty forces will be with you.
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Sean, this post made me cry! But it’s so true – and it helped me realize my story will help others, too. I’m on the right path and the product I’ve been labouring over will help others.
Thanks for pointing out the obvious – the stories we can miss when we’re just too darned close!
Sean, great article and I live it. Now if only I could take this belief to the bank!
Susan. Good point and in our case we didn’t have the knowledge .. just needed to muck in until we could afford it … mmm still mucking in but there you go. Anyone interested we have our first interactive childrens colour books up on iTunes …. this is our passion and story ….
sorry thats: kiwamedia on iTunes
Sean … you inspire, you paint with words like no other, you are great…PERIOD
Richard Michie says
Sean, this article is great. Everyone has a story they just need to tell it. There seems to be a thing especially in England that people are embarrased about speaking or writing about what they know even when they’ve put in loads and loads of time learning it. “Who’ll want to read that?”. Well the answer is lots of people, so go and tell them!
Melinda | SuperWAHM says
A lot of the time we don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we’ve learned. We discount and devalue our life experiences, write them off as insignificant. And in the process we overlook the fact that those experiences are precisely what other people are looking – and willing to pay – to avoid.
Often we don’t know how much we really know.
Susan Greene says
Inspiring stories. The only problem is that while these people may have the knowledge to create an informational product, do they have the ability to write it and market it? Yes, you can always hire someone for those skills but there goes your profit margin.
Nonetheless, a great article Sean. I plan to pass it along to a few friends who I know will find it inspiring.
Debbie Schultz says
Wow! THank you so much. I am waiting to be an expert, never thought I was really one, but I am! You are so right, everyone has a story to tell. Forget trying to be something you’re not just go with what you know!
Wow, So I read the article intro, then read the first two examples, then almost stopped reading – thinking well this kind of stuff doesn’t apply to me, i’m stuck working from home because of my kids…
Luckily i kept reading… and there I was!
I literally did a double take. My kids aren’t as old, but i can certainly relate to what you described. Even though i’ve been trying to make lemonade from lemons, so to speak, i hadn’t thought of using it as a strength to build from.
is this the right path for me?
Don’t know yet. But its giving me something to think about
This made me think of the advice in the movie, 3 idiots. You have to watch it.