Getting What You Want: The 7 Principles of Rational Living [Hardcover]

Getting What You Want: The 7 Principles of Rational Living Review

No one can accuse Robert J. Ringer of pulling punches. But, then again, as the author of such previous bestsellers as Winning Through Intimidation and Looking Out for No. 1, it should come as no surprise that this writer calls it like he sees it. Unfortunately, in Getting What You Want, Ringer seems more interested in persuading readers not to like many of the things–and people–he doesn’t, as opposed to providing a road map to rational living, as p (more…)

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Winning Through Intimidation [Mass Market Paperback]

Winning Through Intimidation

If you’ve ever found yourself coming out on the short end of the stick, you’ll appreciate the rewards that can be yours whenyou take the initiative in every area of your life. Written by the bestselling author of MILLION DOLLAR HABITS, this business gem, explains in candid terms what intimidation is, why you become intimidated and how you can avoid the mental lapses that can cause you to fall victim to intimidation.

From the Inside Flap

If you’ve ever found your (more…)

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To Be or Not to Be Intimidated?: That is the Question [Paperback]

To Be or Not to Be Intimidated?: That is the Question

Text is the rewritten and retitled edition of Winning Through Intimidation, c1974. Provides insightful advice on how not to be intimidated. Softcover.

About the Author

Robert Ringer is the author of seven books, including three best sellers. He has appeared on numerous American talk shows, and has been featured in such publications as Time, People, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron’s, and the New York Times. His books have been read by an estimated 1 (more…)

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Million Dollar Habits [Mass Market Paperback]

Million Dollar Habits

From Publishers Weekly

Irrespective of intelligence, skills, education or luck, claims Ringer ( Looking Out for #1 ), the faithful practice of specific, simple “habits” will assure success in one’s chosen field, preferably a job that is both financially rewarding and personally meaningful. The term “habit,” however, is misleading as Ringer uses it, e.g., “the Action Habit,” to embrace discussions of human relations, morality, efficiency, self-discipline, etc. This self-help book, (more…)

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How Much Do You Really Care? i.e. – You Were Always On My Mind – Show #10

There’s an old song made popular by Elvis and more recently by Willie Nelson titled “You Were Always On My Mind” – the lyrics go “Maybe I didn’t love you quite as good as I should have, Maybe I didn’t hold you quite as often as I could have, Little things I should have said and done, I just never took the time.

You were always on my mind…”

Which is certainly a cute little sentiment if you’re Elvis, Willie or a rock star coming in off the road to the wife and kids who’ve been holding down the fort.  However, tell me how that goes for you as a husband or boyfriend when you forget valentines day, birthdays or anniversaries…  Just sing the little ditty ‘you were always on my mind’ and everything will be all better?   NOT.

We show those around us that we care by spending time together, by listening and truly hearing what they say, by trying to understand their needs and wants and by doing what we can to meet those needs and wants.  All the empty words in the world can’t overcome the non-caring actions that reveal our true nature.

And so it is with our businesses – everyone says that they care about the customer and that customer service is one of their core values.  Very few businesses really take the time to ask for and then really listen to their client’s feedback.  I know this is true because it is such an outstanding and memorable experience when you run into a company that actually does listen and shows by their actions (not just their words) that they care.

Some examples:

  • A customer service rep that stays late to make sure all the voice messages left on the support line have been returned.
  • The auto service company that not only puts mats down to protect your carpet – but clean the car inside and out as an added value.
  • Any company that answers an email request immediately instead of the autoresponder that thanks you and says someone will respond within 24-48 hours.
  • The companies that take the time to put procedures into place to have a backup employee answer phone and email requests when one of their people are out of the office.
  • The electrician, plumber or HVAC company that makes sure their employees wear spotless uniforms, name badges, put white booties on over their shoes and leave their work area cleaner than when they started.

Spend less time talking about yourself and running fancy branding ad campaigns and more time developing a corporate culture that encourages the kind of actions that prove you actually care about your customers.

Interacting with you, your business and employees will be such a unique and memorable experience the word will spread quickly.  Viral marketing and referral programs are all the rage today but you don’t need a fancy program to teach you how to do this stuff – it really is as simple as old fashioned caring for the customer.

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Success Is About Relationship – Show #9

My grandmother just had her 90th birthday – in fact, we had a private family party for her yesterday and a huge open house today.  As a tribute to her I scanned in hundreds of photos, interviewed her on video and did enough genealogical research to figure out what the story of her life entailed – the same process I did several years ago for my other grandmother.

If you ever go through this process it’s fascinating to see how certain individuals in your personal history rise to the forefront when you shine a light back through your family tree.  One thing that seems to stand out – whether you find someone who was successful financially, in their family life, built an incredible social institution or just a legacy of being a game changer in a segment of society – they were always people who found ways to serve others and bring out the best in them.

Want to be a leader in your organization?  You won’t do it by being a lone ranger and doing everything yourself.  You’ll soon run out of time in your schedule and the people around you will be jealous and undermine your success.  Instead, find the gifts in people around you, find ways to empower them so they successful in their own area and then give them every tool necessary to build on that success.

My grandmother was a great cook – but where she really made her mark was as food services director for a nursing home – not really a place where culinary experts go to hone their skills and make a name for themselves.  Not one to settle for the status quo, she instead trained a staff of people under her to produce great meals.  Not only did she empower hundreds of staff during her years there but the thousands of residents and their families who visited them knew that she cared because of the quality of the meals.  As such, there aren’t many people in our 50,000 population community that don’t recognize her name.

I have a couple hundred affiliate marketing web sites that I’ve built over 15+ years on the internet.  In many ways I’ve tried to do my own thing behind the scenes and make a comfortable living for myself and my clients.  However, I’ve watched a couple guys come from nowhere and in a couple years time build a small empire.  How’d they do it?  Look for a key player, find a way to provide a service to them and in turn learn what they are doing – then come to them with a proposal to use the key player’s influence and promote their new idea.  Suddenly they are catapulted into the 6 figure a month income category.

Are you building relationships with your clients, community leaders, key players in your business niche (or any other niche for that matter) or are you such a lone wolf or caustic personality that destroys the relationships around you that could make you successful?

Success is about relationship – not only nurturing and caring for your own client base but also those key players and community leaders you can learn from and may just have the influence or idea that can be a game changer for you.

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Steal From The Very Best! – Show #8

In your industry there are some key players – the big dog so to speak, the business that everyone else is gunning for or trying to emulate.  This can be either in your local market or maybe nationally.  For business software it’s Microsoft.  I don’t know who it is for your business niche but you do.  It’s the business name that comes to mind when you analyze your results each year and need something to compare.

I can guarantee when you go to trade shows, user group meetings, marketing seminars, etc.  they always bring in someone from one of those key players or maybe a consultant inside your industry that is working with a key player.  It makes it easy for them to relate to business owners in your niche and you get a few ideas you can copy and implement without too much creativity or innovative thought.

Here’s the problem – the ideas you get from them are at best hand me downs.  Probably ones they used over the last couple years that are past their prime.  Even if they are current – by the time you implement them in your business the key players have moved on and are implementing their next innovation.

If you’re like me you don’t really want to always settle for being second or third place behind the key player – you want to leapfrog past them and BE the key player.  The only way to do that is to find inspiration and ideas from the absolute best.  Study innovators throughout history both recent and not-so-recent.  I’m a firm believer in the phrase ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ in that you can learn something from any time period and any business niche and implement it in your own business.  The internet has opened avenues for us that were never before possible.  You can join a discussion forum or community in any market niche and pull ideas from anywhere on the globe.

I talked to a couple large local clients recently who see the huge popularity of youtube and facebook and want to find a way to capitalize.  We looked at a couple of key players in their market to see what they were doing – found some videos with a couple thousand views and facebook pages with several hundred fans.  That’s nice, but not where these guys wanted to be.

Instead, we studied facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of fans and youtube videos with hundreds of thousands of views.

Transfer those ideas into your marketplace and YOU can be the key player.

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Shotgun vs Rifle Marketing (without a target you’re dead) – Show #7

I was working at a client location today and they showed me a marketing piece they were thinking about mailing.  It had a lot of pretty colors and a catchy graphic but the message was the same tired list of features I’d seen a hundred times before…  Worse yet, it was a standard flier from one of their suppliers w/their name added to the bottom – the same thing that a hundred other agents would be sending out.

Yes, it was cheap because of co-op dollars but to be honest the benefit wasn’t going to even be worth the cost of postage.  I tried to gently explain to them the error of using that piece but it fell on deaf ears – they had no concept about or were unwilling to entertain any other marketing model.

Is this what your marketing effort looks like? Just a shotgun approach throwing anything you have at a broad market hoping something will stick?  If so, you’re wasting a lot of time and resources.

If you really want to be effective, pick a market that you know you’re good at – then drill down to a subgroup of that market and figure out one felt need they have that you can provide and nobody else can (or is currently doing).  Design a marketing piece around that need – make yourself the expert (as you’ve done the research, know and can identify with their pain) and focus on that one area.  Make yourself the King of that particular niche, when you make the sale ask for a referral or two along with a testimonial.  Before long you will be the ‘go-to’ person in that particular niche and when someone asks “where can I find a solution for this?” – your name is the only one people will remember.

An example?  There are hundreds of auto auctions in each state that sell cars each week.  The emphasis is on cheap (lowest common denominator) and you can get a good deal there – if you’re looking for junk.

Want a one-off classic or resto-mod muscle car?  There’s only one name that comes to mind…  Barrett-Jackson.  They own that niche – all the big dollar car collectors and celebrities are there – in fact, they charge $45 a ticket just to let you in and look around – $500 and up to actually get in the auction area and bid on a vehicle.  These guys are having fun as you can tell when you see them on TV.  Yes, it’s hard work but instead of an auction every week they only have to have a couple each year and make millions more than your neighborhood auto auction busting their tail each and every week.

Plus, they only attract the very best clients – both buyers and sellers.  Wouldn’t you like that to be your story – only entertain the best clients?

Pick a niche, become the expert and own it – it’s much more fun than groveling around with every other average schmuck who thinks they can compete against you…



Become The Expert In Your Niche – Show#6

What is the most limiting resource in your universe?  Your time…

If you are ever going to be successful (in whatever measure you use for success) you need to be able to leverage this – the most valuable resource.  I’m not going to talk today about outsourcing, delegating, goal setting or prioritizing your daily activities – although these are all very important – instead, I want to talk about focus.  Taking one area of your life or business, narrow it down to the smallest niche and become an expert at it.

We’ve all seen people who meander about in life from one project to another – one job to another – or maybe even one wife and family to another.  They never really figure out how to be really great at anything.  In so doing, they never really fulfill any of their personal, social, spiritual or financial goals or fine tune the skills necessary to reach those goals.

By contrast, you often see athletes, community or business leaders who are laser targeted on becoming the absolute best at one thing and after they achieve that are also able to move that focus into other areas of their life and realize success there also.  The reason this works is because our minds have an incredible capacity to expand and take the disciplines learned in becoming great in one area and transfer that into other areas of life.  It also works because the confidence and sense of achievement built by success in one area is immediately transferable to other areas in our life.

You can’t be all things to all people – you can’t even be all things to one person.  Instead of trying, just stop completely (maybe for five minutes?) and drill down to one thing or area that you can become an expert.

Let’s start with a personal area – say you want to be a better spouse.  You can try the haphazard approach of a card or flowers every now and then along with a word of appreciation from time to time when you think about it – or – knowing that everyone has a basic human need to feel appreciated you can decide that every single day you are going to find a new way to show your spouse how much you appreciate them.  Just the creative process itself to figure this out will expand your mind in ways that will stave off Alzheimers for another 50 years.

For a business example – there’s no use trying to be another Wal-Mart.  You can’t beat them on selection or price.  Instead, pick a niche (cooking is hot right now).  There are a million items in the cooking niche so drill down to a single item – kitchen knives.  Learn everything you can about balance, handles, types of steel, blade angles, safety, etc.  Publish articles, write a newspaper column, start a blog, write a book – anything to get your name out there and be the one person that if someone wants to know about knives they know your name.  Either sell the perfect knives or become an affiliate and make a referral commission on every customer you send to the perfect knife manufacturer.  Once you own one area start to expand into complementary products (sharpeners, cutting boards, etc.)  Customers already trust your opinion, know you’re the expert and will follow you with credit card in hand.

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Multiple Residual Income Streams – Show #5

If you take a minute and look around at the wealthiest people around you – what do they all have in common.  Well, first throw out the ones who won the lottery, married into money or had a huge inheritance handed to them.

What’s left are people who found ways to leverage one or several assets and create streams of residual income.  Someone comes up with a great business idea that can scale up – maybe even franchise with many employees and multiple locations and eventually a small percentage of a huge gross sales number becomes millions of dollars in income each year.  Maybe you know someone who invented a product or process and then licensed that to a large company, living out their life like a rock star.  Or maybe they began investing in real estate at an early age and just kept leveraging the first property into more and more until 20 years later all the initial properties are paid off, they have millions in asset value to continue buying more and the rent income becomes a staggering number.

In the internet world – domain names are like real estate, web sites and web businesses can be operated with almost complete automation meaning that you can leverage your time into multiple streams of residual income with very little monetary investment.

With the huge number of affiliate programs available you don’t even need a product to sell – you just need to find a way to drive buying visitors to someone else’s product.  You just need to think outside the box a bit and soon you’ll have more ideas than you have time to implement.  I started a number of years ago but currently have over 500 domains and 200 or so web sites – some bring in only $4 or $5 a month and some bring in much more than that every day.   Five dollars a month isn’t much – but keep adding more and more of these until you have 1000 or so sites, then ramp up the income per site to $100 per month and pretty soon you’re into real money.

Don’t have an idea where to start? – I’ll give you one of my site ideas for free…

A year ago we had an older car that I wanted to get rid of but couldn’t seem to sell for a decent price and I noticed that the parts were selling on ebay for a decent amount of money – added it up quick and realized that I could get a great deal more out of it by selling the parts.

Instead of just putting the parts on ebay – I purchased a domain name that had the year, make and model of the car and then set up a wordpress blog with the posts titled for each of the parts I was selling – this gave me immediate search engine rankings as someone searching for ‘1995 jeep wrangler headlight’ matched my domain name and page title exactly.

Then at the bottom of each page I pulled in an ebay feed of items that match the part description and my affiliate link when they click through to ebay.  I then started listing the parts on craigslist for free with links back to my web pages.

It’s a year later – the parts are all gone but that web site still brings in a steady stream of affiliate income from ebay purchases that people make from my links.

There’s a free idea for you that most people would charge $29.95 for an ebook…