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Business Rules

A lot of people will tell you the one golden rule of business. Some people say it's "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Some are less gracious, and say "do unto others as they have done unto you." Some are downright cynical, and say "do unto others before they do unto you." Sometimes we focus on exactly what to do; in Judaism, we turn the first one around, and say "that which is hurtful to you, do not do to your neighbour." My grandfather told me "never do anything you don't understand."

But the one I've found most useful is Don Lapre's "never do anything yourself that someone else will do for $5 an hour." This is also the core idea Tim Ferris hit on in The Four-Hour Work Week. Imagine my surprise when I discovered how the "scammer" Don Lapre taught me the same thing in one sentence ten years earlier.

Toward that end, the question of "how do I promote my product?" is best answered by "get other people to do it for you." If you're using JVZoo like I suggested, it's a simple process to get your product hooked up for affiliates to promote... just set an affiliate commission percentage (I recommend 50%) and click the box to list it in the product directory.

If your product has a good description and fits the audience people will be promoting toward, people will promote it for you. JVZoo does all the bookkeeping, and you don't have to do much of anything.

That said, it will be useful if you write some ready-to-send emails for your product, produce some pretty graphics, write decent sales copy... all of those things. And you're not going to attract a lot of affiliates without them, so most of the people you do attract are going to be members of your existing audience.

There's no shortage of people who will tell you over and over that it doesn't matter what you are selling if nobody wants it, or nobody can find it, or you haven't written good enough sales copy. And this is true.

But if you wait until you have everything, then you will have nothing.

Just like you are never "ready" to move out on your own, or to get married, or to have kids, you are never "ready" to sell your own product. You will just wait forever, sitting around panting and staring up at other people selling their own products while they say all the things you need to have.

This is bullshit. You will never be ready. Accept that you will never be ready, and do it now.

Have you ever noticed that all those people saying you need this and that and the other before you sell your own product always finish up with "oh, and by the way, I just happen to sell that shit." That you need to have before you get started. Stop! Don't do anything! Buy my shit first.

Bullshit. Take what you have. Use what you know. Get a buy button up somewhere. It's the new way of making stuff: everything is broken. Figure out what's broken, find the most important thing to fix, and fix it. Then promote the #2 problem on the list. Repeat until the stuff you've made is sufficiently fixed to be good enough.

The basic reality is that 90% of the shit people are selling you is shit they learned by doing it themselves. And while this is good if it saves you time or makes you money, there are a lot of people doing it with absolutely no concern for you at all. They're not selling you things to make your life better - they're just selling you things to get your money.

In other words, they don't know or care whether it's going to save you time or make you money. It's your problem to figure that out. But when you sell to your audience, target the things they care about and tell them what helped you. It will immediately set you apart.

Just, you know, give a shit. It's that easy.

And that's really where affiliates come in. Good affiliates will know what their audience cares about and what will help them, so they open up a whole new audience that you might not understand. And bad affiliates only care about making money, so they do all the shitty "whatever will sell" crap, and that is not your problem because you didn't do it.

That's the real key. What you're not doing because someone else will do it is min-maxing your stats and trying to extract maximum possible cash from your audience. This is what you are outsourcing: the shitty stuff. The "I don't care I just want the money" stuff. Don't do that yourself. Let other, lesser people do that.

It's part of what we're going to talk about tomorrow. There's a method to the madness here.