Lessons From “The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches”
As part of the copywriting challenge put forward by Gary Halbert, you’re supposed to read some of the best books on copywriting you can get your hands on.
I’ve been following Gary Halbert’s challenge, and I’ve been writing some lessons that I’ve learned from the books he recommends. To date, I’ve written about:
Today, it’s the turn of Joe Karbo’s “The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches.” As is the general structure of the articles I’ve been writing, we’ll start with a review before moving on to some of the lessons I’ve learned from the book.
What Is The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches by Joe Karbo About?
The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches is a weird book. I got about halfway through the book and wondered why I was reading it.
It’s different from the other books in the challenge, and it’s more a self-help guide. If you read it all the way through, you’ll find that that’s because the self-help stuff sort of sets the stage for the later stuff on direct marketing.
The book starts off with self-help exercises about knowing yourself, writing out your goals and embarking on a course of changing your life.
It’s got a funny buzz-name (Dyna-Psyc) and to be honest, it made me feel like I was being recruited by Scientologists or some other weird group.
If you’re into the self-help stuff or you’ve never really thought about what you want from life, you might find this more helpful than I did.
The Direct Response Stuff starts around half way through the book.
As with a lot of these books , they’ll say similar things. Direct marketing is direct marketing and the process is pretty scientific. However, like with all of these texts, the gold is in the little nuggets that come from individual authors.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about the gems I’ve found in The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches.
Six Lessons From The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches
Like I said above, I’m not really into the self-help niche. It’s a bit cargo-cult for me. That said, here are a few important lessons I found from that section.
Lesson One: Eradicate Self-Doubt
Self-doubt holds a ton of people back from achieving their goals… or more importantly, starting them. I get emails from people who are worried about whether something is possible, or whether something is realistic.
It doesn’t matter what I tell them, the fact is they’re never going to find out unless they find out for themselves.
At some point, you have to take a dive into the unknown.
I maintain that you might as well do that now and get it over with. Even if you have a bad experience or you fail, you’ll learn. I wish I’d started failing harder a lot sooner. You can make more mistakes in life than you think you can.
Lesson Two: When You Think About Your Goal, Express Them In Absolute Detail
Now, Karbo talks in pseudo-scientific generalisations as self-help authors are wont to do. I’ve heard every reason for visualising your goals from spirits on the Etheric Plane connecting themselves to your desires right through visualisation changing your neural pathways.
I don’t know which of these is accurate, but I figure the general advice that you should visualise your goals and make them detailed is probably good advice. If you’re going to day dream, you might as well be specific about it. It’ll most likely help. Again, I don’t know why.
Let’s get down to more practical matters, because I’m better at explaining those.
Lesson Three: Success Is About Using What You Have To Hand
This is probably the best bit of advice from the self-help section.
I’m assuming that if you’ve read this far, you probably want to succeed. If you can make it through seventy-plus pages of The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches, you probably want success too.
Now, a hell of a lot of people go about attaining success in the wrong way.
They look at the television, internet or magazines and think, “That sports star/musician/politician/business tycoon is a success, so I need to do that in order to be a success too!”
This is not the way to achieve success. The reason all of those people had success is that they took what they had – be it freakish athletic genetics, quick-wittedness or a creative streak – and made it work for them.
You can’t replicate someone else’s unique set of characteristics. You can only discover your own.
You might have no money, no particular talent and no God-given ability to inspire people, but you will have a set of attributes that are unique to you. In order to find success, find those parts of yourself and make them better, bring them out and design your life around them.
Lesson Four: Do What You Enjoy AND what You’re Good At
This could be lesson 3B as opposed to 4. It’s worth repeating though.
Most people who want to start a business will focus on one thing: Whether they can make money from it.
This rarely ends well. If you’re chasing money without thought for what it is you’re going to be doing, then something will go wrong.
That’s not to say, “Don’t chase money” because money is awesome. If I could, I’d be like Scrooge McDuck and have a swimming pool filled with solid gold coins to swim in.
You have to have something other than a desire to collect gold coins though.
Most people who get past that will fall into the, “Do what you love and the money will come!” trap.
That thinking has spawned a billion guys with guitars sweetly serenading their bedroom walls because they love “the music” and it’s also spawned nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-million heartbreaks when said guys realise they’re actually going to work at the local warehouse as a career instead.
Doing what you love is no guarantee of success. In fact, it’s probably the opposite.
You need to find something you enjoy doing (or at least don’t hate doing) but you also need to pick something that you can do better than most of the people who try it will.
This brings me in a round-about way to the next lesson.
Lesson Five: Never Overlook The Obvious
Most people will think, “But how do I find something I can do and something that nobody else can do?”
If you’re in the “I need to be a rock star and make a hundred-million” or the “I wanna be a tech giant and create a new Facebook” camp, then your brain is probably fried.
That’s not because you haven’t thought of a great new idea… it’s because you’re trying too hard.
Most people, when trying to create a business, think about the big, extravagant and beautiful business ideas.
There are a million would-be lifestyle bloggers who are all currently fighting tooth-and-nail for SEO places and finding weird sub-niches to fund their $1000 a month travel blog costs.
Meanwhile, let me tell you about the three richest guys I know.
- One of them started by digging holes in ditches for pipes and wires and stuff. He now has a garage bigger than most houses to store his luxury cars in.
- Another one started cleaning windows. He now runs domestic services for big, big companies.
- A third one – I don’t even know what he does, because he’s too busy running around South East Asia getting himself in all kinds of trouble… but it’s certainly not anything to do with lifestyle blogging.
If you’re trying to find a niche within a niche to make money, you’re probably overlooking some obvious service you could provide.
Lesson Six: You Need To Mark Up Your Service
Many people try businesses with no mark-up. They’ll compete on price or simply charge whatever they think they can get away with and not a penny more.
Joe Karbo advises against this, and recommends a 3x to 5x mark up. The reason for this is that you have production costs and marketing costs. If you charge too low a price, you’ll never be able to market your product, never be able to expand your product line – and probably never be able to tour Asia whilst some builders build you a garage for your luxury cars.
Price your service like you are a bigger company than you are. Rolls Royce are not operating on a 5% profit margin… and neither should you.
It’s amazing how little sentences can bring out a lot from you.
I thought I’d struggle to finish this article at 500+ words, because I didn’t really enjoy the book. Instead, we’re at 1500+ and I’m cutting the article short.
That’s because little bits of wisdom don’t seem like a lot until you really think about them.
Even if you don’t like a book, there are probably lessons to be had. I’ve certainly found that with this book.
That said, I feel I’m being a bit harsh… you might like it more than I do. Even if you don’t, there’s plenty to learn from it. So, you might want to get it from Amazon. It doesn’t cost much.