The Top 10 Ways to Market Your Talents Shamelessly

Thomas Leonard (1955 - 2003)

If you’re like me – you hate hype. You hate slick anything. You hate pressure and pushing.

And yet – you’ve got something valuable to offer.

This is the quandry of many a hippie in business. The need to market – and yet the shame surrounding the marketing.

Here’s a provocative question that Thomas Leonard invites us to ask – ‘what if we took the shame out of marketing?

What does it look like to market your talents shamelessly? No one I ever knew could speak to this better than Thomas. What follows are brilliant notions on marketing.

Market shamelessly?

How can this be at all related to Attraction? Good question! Attraction is not a passive process as some might assume. It is very much an active process — planting seeds, adding value, telling (vs selling), responding and yes, even marketing. In this Top 10 List, you’ll learn how to market yourself in a very attractive way, because you’ll feel incredibly attractive as you market yourself.

1. Know what it is exactly that you provide/deliver to others.

Do you know what you offer to others? If you’re a physician, for example, do you offer relief from suffering? Wellness? Referrals? Diagnostic services? Stern lectures about smoking? Medicines? Preventive care?

All of the above, perhaps. But how do you share this with your patients in a way that they can remember it and benefit from it? Work on the exact description of what you offer and you’ll never hesitate to share it with anyone at any time. And you’ll smile while you’re sharing it because you believe in it so much.

The phrasing makes it even more real for you and the client. It becomes a meme.

2. Make it impossible for potential buyers not to buy or leave with something.

What if you decided to provide some service or product to everyone who expressed some interest in what you offer? Take Coach University for example. Don’t want to plunk down $2995 for 2 years of training to be a coach? How about a 3 month course on Attraction for $295? Still too much of a commitment? How about a LazerPhrazing tape set for $59? Still not ready? No problem! Let’s get you signed up for a free TeleClass so you can learn the basics of coaching for 4 weeks at no charge at all.

Too busy, you say? Then, how about a free subscription to the DailyCoach, where you’ll learn a bit about coaching every day for as long as you want, no charge. See the point here? If they come near you, make it impossible for them to say no to something you feel good about providing them, whether they buy your premier product/service or not.

In many cases, they will upgrade when they are ready — requiring absolutely no effort on your part. Just make sure that you have something to offer everyone who may come calling on you for help.

3. Feel incredibly proud of what you do and what you offer.

I was a Certified Financial Planner and I didn’t do very well at it financially.


Because I didn’t believe in what I was doing. I was primarily a product salesman/stock broker. Nothing is wrong with that, but I wasn’t excited about it; I wasn’t proud enough of it to tell the world. So, I tried to fake the enthusiasm for it and I barely got by. (Of course, it led me to coaching, which I became VERY proud of because I enjoyed doing it and I saw that by direct efforts, my clients measurably and consistently benefited, at almost no risk to them.)

If you don’t totally love what you do, are not proud of exactly how you do it or don’t feel good enough to tell the world about it, it’s going to be difficult to be very attractive. Either you need to change jobs/occupations/employers, or you’ll need to master your craft until you do.

4. Become a model of what you’re selling.

If you’re a marketing expert and your brochure is a dud, you’re not going to be very attractive. If you’re a coach and your life’s not up to snuff, who’s going to hire you without a hardsell? This point is probably obvious, but the more you have personally benefited from what it is that you offer to others, the better brochure you will become! Printing not required.

5. Perfect, or customize, what you’re selling so that it fits perfectly for you.

In another one of the Attraction Principles, I talk about the value in customizing what you offer so that it can fit for more than just a single set of clients. But this is a bit different than that. Here, I am suggesting that you perfect or customize what you do so that it’s a better expression of your talents — a better fit for you.

You see this happening a lot in most professions. The MD who learns chiropractic and becomes a much more thorough healer. The PhD psychologist who becomes a coach and can better diagnose and accelerate their clients’ progress. And, in addition to the synthesis of professions, you can also take a product or service and customize it around a special talent you have. And we all have them.

6. Know what you want people to do, tell them to do it and show them how.

Forgive me for saying this, but people need, and benefit greatly from, direction. There are so many choices out there, it’s overwhelming for most. And none of us had Goal Selection 101 in high school. And if you did, I want to know about it! The point is that, for better or worse, people (clients, prospective clients) respond to direction, whether during the selling process or when using the product itself.

Don’t be afraid to tell people what to do! It’s a huge way to add value. And the few who don’t want help will let you know. If you feel the buyer should buy your product or service and you feel good about selling it them, don’t take no for an answer.

7. Show customers how to sell for you.

I almost never ask my clients or customers to refer their friends or associates to me. But they do. A lot. Why? Because I show them how to sell for me, without being blunt about it.

And so can you.

What I often do is tell very quick stories about what some of my clients have gone through and how I advised them. I don’t talk about the client, nor do I talk about the client’s situation, because that would be against the ethics of confidentiality. Rather, I describe the feelings and spaces my clients had to move through.

This strikes a chord with almost any listener and credibility is established. Plus, the person I’m sharing this with (usually a client), now knows who else they can refer to me! (I don’t mean to make this sound devious; I only share the stories as a way to educate my client on themselves. But it does have a nice ‘byproduct bonus!’)

8. Make certain the client knows all of the value they are receiving.

My clients, as well informed as they are about what we’re doing together and the value they are receiving, still only understand about 30% of the value that they are getting. (But, hey, I’m working on it!) I want clients to really feel/see/understand 100% of how what we’re doing together is benefiting them today, next month, next year and next lifetime.

Not because I need the kudos, but because then they’ll take our work that much more seriously. (I’m so altruistic…) One of the ways that I lock in the value is to say something like….”The reason X is so important right now, John, is that…..”…or….”What you did right here, Jane, was called a ……”. See how this works?

9. Always have a comeback for those who doubt or criticize you.

You may not need to have a collection of comebacks, but I do. Having these in my quiver gives me the extra confidence to market shamelessly. If someone thinks that coaching is a sham, I say, “Hmm, why do you think then that every single gold medalist credits their coach for the win?” Or, that coaching is a luxury or only for Californians. I say, “Yes, coaching is worthless for those who don’t want much out of life.” (Meow.) Or, that my fees are too high. I say, respectfully this time, looking innocent and inquisitive, “Have you no goal worth that much?” (Double meow.) I almost never have to use these, but they are available, and that is emotionally helpful.

10. Develop a Capillary System to sell, screen and filter for you.

I think if I had my way, my Capillary System would handle every part of the sales/buying process so all I had to do was to do my coaching, at $400 an hour. I spend zero time selling my services, but I do spend the equivalent of 10% of my billable time feeding my Capillary System pipeline.

I have about 25,000 daily subscribers to various newsletters, I teach several free TeleClasses each month on subjects that I find interesting or need to develop further (so, it’s really R&D time, not selling), and I add to several dozen web sites with various foci. The point is, I refuse to sell.

Not interested.

But I am interested in providing value for all who want it and so I use a Capillary System as a way to nourish and attract others. By the time they reach me and e-mail or call me, they’re ready to hire me or buy something. I don’t mean this to sound cold.

But isn’t this a better way to build a business than becoming an expert at cold calls or networking? And one of the benefits of having a strong Capillary System is that I add so much value to so many people that I don’t feel badly/weird/hesitant about charging a fairly high fee. I know the client will get at least ten times the financial value-equivalent from our time together. Because by the time they’ve come through the Capillary System, they are ready to.

– by Thomas Leonard


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


5 Ways People Avoid Dealing with Pain (and what to do about it)

Everyone has a shell. Some protective mechanisms to keep them out of pain.

And, when you begin a conversation around new and better possibilities for people, it brings them face-to-face with their current reality.  It brings them face-to-face with the quality of life that they are currently settling for.  Most people know that more is possible — which makes it all the more painful to look at the level they have decided to live at.

This will bring up pain for people.

So, it’s important to realize the mechanisms that people have for dealing with pain.  In fact, these mechanisms are probably what caused them to settle in the first place.  Basically, there are…

5 Ways People Avoid Dealing with Pain:

1.    Denial: People try to pretend that it’s not there.  They pretend that it doesn’t hurt.  It’s like the old Aesop’s fable about the Fox trying to get the grapes.  He tries to trick the crow into dropping them but, when unsuccessful, walks away saying, “I didn’t want those grapes anyway.” I have heard people describe denial by using it as an acronym for Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying.
People will go to amazing lengths to pretend they don’t have a problem.  Whether it’s as extreme as alcoholism, the state of their physical health or the state of their finances.  People seem to believe that if they don’t look at the problem it will simply go away.  Denial is the ostrich sticking its head in the sand.
2.    Sedatives and Numbing Out: They use sedatives of “food”, alcohol, drugs etc. to lower their level of pain.  The use of any of these once a while, isn’t the issue.  The issue is that people use these as a consistent pattern.  But perhaps the worst drug of all is when people| tell themselves “it’s okay”.  When people have attempted to create a result again and again and failed – they tend to give up.
When people try to handle their finances in countless ways and can’t seem to get it together they will either step up and take another cut the ball or they will step down and deal with their pain by saying, “it’s okay.  It’s not really that bad.”

They will reinforce this by hanging around with a peer group that has equally low expectations of life.  This peer group will say things like, “Hey, don’t be so hard in yourself.  Quit working so hard.  Relax once a while.”  But the peer group is not really saying these things out of any sense of true caring for the person the because they don’t want to look at the fact that they are also in pain.

3.    Rationalize And Tell Themselves Stories: you can hear a rationalization a million miles away.  They almost always start with the words “Well it’s not like I…” or “At least I  . . .” (followed by the one strong standard they have).

They’ll say things like, “Sure I smoke once in awhile, but it’s not like I’m one of those people who smokes three packs a day.”  Or when looking at their finances, they’ll say, “Sure my finances are a mess but it’s not like I’m $100,000 in debt on credit cards.”  Or they’ll look at their romantic relationships and say, “Sure, it’s not the most fulfilling relationship in the world but it’s not like we’re fighting all the time and hate each other.”

The easiest way to rationalize lowering our standards is to compare ourselves with people who have even lower standards.

4.    Justify: They give their reasons:  “I mean I should do this but…” in whatever comes after that “but” is their “excuse” for not taking action.  So, at least they acknowledge that there is a problem, but the way they choose to deal with it is to prove to other people, and themselves, why they can’t do anything about it.

5.    They Use Softeners: They say, “I’m big boned…” vs. “I’m fat”.  They say, “I’m having a few problems with my finances.”  As opposed to, “My personal finances are a disaster.”  People will use the language that softens the emotional impact — and so they will never ever connect with the pain that could actually drive them to create the change they want in their lives.  Until people face, and ultimately embrace, the pain they are currently experiencing they will never have the energy or motivation to create the level of change they want.

Your job is to get them back to the truth. Your job is to “tell it like it is” and help them get honest with themselves.  Of course, it’s important that you do this skillfully and elegantly but you must also do it powerfully.

For example, most business owners are abysmal at marketing.  Their efforts are scattered, reactive and ineffective.  But they don’t realize it.  If I simply tell them “your marketing sucks” they may or may not believe it.  I have had to – over the years – create more elegant and compelling ways to help them “get it”.  I have spent considerable effort creating self diagnostic tests and, in fact, an entire introductory evening based on them doing a marketing “self assessment”.  There is an art to this that, as you master it, will make you rich and your clients much, much happier.

You’ve got to be there to say “Look, more is possible.”  And then show them why it’s possible.  Reawaken hope.  Remember, show don’t tell.  Show them how it could be better in their life, in their home, with their financial realities.  Your job is to help paint the “sufficiency gap”.

In essence you say, “You’re here.  Here is wonderful, beautiful and enough.  It’s perfect.  Over there is a higher possibility.  Something that would expand, add to and deepen the current level of richness in your life.  I can help you get there.  You’re an acorn – acorns are great and I see within you an oak.  Which would you like to be?

Your role is to help them feel powerful in closing that gap by:

1.    Affirming the Current Sufficiency – you don’t want them to feel stupid or foolish for where they are or what they’ve done.  You want to feel good and clear.  You don’t want them to feel poor and impoverished in their current state – you want them to feel wealthy and grateful. Why?

People don’t spend money – or take risks – when they feel poor.

You don’t want them to be caught up in a drama about their suffering but rather their sufficiency.  Most people never even start on a dream because they think, “I’m not good enough.  I don’t have enough time or money or friends, etc.”  Your job is to affirm that they actually have the perfect amount – the exact right amount.

2.    Inviting them to imagine a greater possibility.

3.    Clearly pointing out the gap between their sufficiency and their vision.  Help them get honest and inspired.

4.    Showing how it could be filled, step by step, with your help.  Many people avoid making a big decision because they don’t want to appear foolish.  They need to really “get” that doing business with you will “feel good” and meet their deepest emotional needs.

People are always looking for a better, simpler, easier way to get the results they’re after.

An important shift to make is from a transactional relationship to a transformational relationship in which you are both influenced by each other.

If you are truly a trusted advisor – if you’re truly an expert not only in your product/service but in your industry – then you know much more about it than your client don’t you?  So, you often have a much greater and clearer sense of what is possible than they do.

Sometimes, it’s so much easier to see what’s possible for people from the outside.  We’ve all had times in our lives, when all of our friends could see what the problem was, but we simply couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  When you’re not involved in the problem emotionally, the solution and resolution of that problem is often much easier to see.

And, sometimes, people simply don’t even know about the existence of certain options.  Imagine that you have been going to certain restaurant regularly for the past 10 years.  Every day you get there, you open up the menu and you order the food on.  It’s a bit of a greasy spoon, and all they really have is burgers and fries.  But, it’s really close to where you work and it’s cheap.  Then one day, you’re going to the bathroom, but you accidentally walk into the kitchen.  And you are stunned with what you see.  You see fruit, pastas, the most incredible salads you’ve ever seen, curries and rice dishes… you’re overwhelmed.

And you realize the only reason you never received that kind of food is you didn’t ask.  But the reason you didn’t ask was because it was never on the menu.  People will only order what they see on the menu.  If you go to a restaurant and all they sell is burgers — you’re not going to ask for a fruit salad.  Most people in their own lives, have a certain menu that they are looking at day after day.  Your job is to walk them into the kitchen and show them that so much more is available.

Many people actually, secretly have much larger dreams and visions but relegate them to the dark and dusty catacombs of their mind feeling that either it’s not possible or they aren’t worthy.  They look at their goals and think “Why me? I’m not worthy of that level of success.”  Your job is to look at them and know their inherent and invaluable worth and ask not “are you sure you’re worthy of these goals?” but “Are you sure those goals are worthy of you?


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


Death and Marketing: Top Five Regrets of the Dying

I want to talk about the strange relationship between marketing and dying.

An old school mate of mine, Rama Tello, was recently killed in a plane crash.

Too young. Too soon. No mother should have to have their children die before them.

He was killed instantly. A strange blessing not to have suffered.

But many people don’t die instantly. In a culture of such advanced medicine – often we’ve not so much extending our living – but prolonged our dying – where the last years are spent in decrepitude. As story teller and author Michael Meade puts it, “We no longer have elders dispensing medicine to the community – we have olders on drugs.

But that isn’t the worst part of it.

The worst part is this: Most people die with regrets.

Most people live trapped by their fears.  To make things worse – the world of marketing and advertising often doesn’t help people – it adds to the burden of their insecurities and neuroses. It exploits them. It often has a hand in creating them. Bill Hicks made same scathing but important remarks about the world of marketing that are worth watching.

Eventually, most people die with their music still inside them.

The beloved actor Michael Landon, who died of cancer, wrote, “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now!

So . . . what if we changed the game? What if we changed this in our own marketing.

What if we used marketing as a source of liberation – as a way of inviting people to live more full, rich and meaningful lives. To live lives in a deeper alignment to their own integrity? What if we used marketing not to make normal things seem green – but to make green things seem normal? Not to push people from a place of greed – but to inspire them from a place of deep generosity.

Not to motivate them out of fear – but inspire them out of love.

Not to exploit their insecurities but to empathize with them. To be more committed to serving them and the planet than to selling them. What if out commitment wasn’t about making sales but more about making sure things were a ‘perfect fit’ or no deal. What if we were committed to making a fair profit – not the maximum possible profit.

If you’re selling overpriced, plastic, toxic crap – stop that.

But, if you represent a hopeful alternative that’s good for your community and the planet – wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could be sustained by this business and other people could be helped?

This isn’t about seeking fame – but it is about intending influence.

It’s not about pushing clients to do anything that they don’t want to do – it’s not about pressure – but it’s about loving people enough to engage in sometimes difficult conversation. It’s not about ‘closing deals’ it’s about opening conversations and possibilities.

As Visionary Activist Caroline Casey puts it, “When people complain about the state of the world and hold up the mirror to all that is wrong, the Trickster turns it into a window that looks onto the field of what’s possible and then waves their hand again and turns it into a door and says, ‘Let’s go!’

What if part of our orientation in our lives and businesses was this: no one dies with regrets?

If you could wave your magic wand and give everyone you work with one result that would have them not only live more fully but also die more peacefully – what would it be?

  • helping men get over the fear of meeting new women?
  • helping women mend their broken hearts?
  • helping people resolve a long standing health issue?
  • helping people finally figure out their finances so they can leave a gift (not a burden) to their children?
  • helping women feel more at home in their bodies – and learn to love themselves?
  • helping local farmers find a market for the food they produce?
  • helping people learn how to work with nature to allow abundance through your permaculture courses?
  • helping people find the gifts that their deepest wounds bring them and how that can serve the world?
  • helping women to embrace their own fierceness?

Of course, these aren’t things we can give people. There is only so much we can do to help people on their journeys. We make humble little contributions where we can in our own limited ways. But, just because they’re limited, doesn’t make them meaningless.

We can still help people live more full, happy and rich lives.

And what if this started with us?

As important as it is to make our business attractive to our ideal clients – to help them on their journey to something more rich and true for them – here’s another question: is your business attractive to you?

I know so many entrepreneurs who create business that own them – rather than them owning their business. And they come to hate it. They’re over worked. Lifestyle must serve life – never the other way around.

Put differently: will your business cause you to die with more or less regrets?

It’s the age old story: Mary bakes pies. They’re the best pies ever. Her friends encourage her to own a bakery. She does. This is her fondest dream. Which quickly becomes her worst nightmare. She’s waking at 4am to go bake things, and doing the books, managing employees, dealing with zoning regulations, trying to market and soon – not even baking at all. Her business is killing her.

Is your business causing you to miss out on your deeper dreams? Time with your friends and family? Compromising your health (says Tad as he types this at 2:17 am when he should be sleeping . . .)

You are going to die.

So how do you want to live right now? What kinds of clients do you want to work with? (and which ones should you fire?) Who do you most want to help? How do you want to spend your days? What hours would you love to work? Where do you want to live and travel?

Here’s to people living lives that are authentic and true. Here’s to unconflicted hearts. The end of ‘settling’. Here’s to lives of enjoyment and a world dripping with justice.  Here’s to people’s lives overflowing with an abundance of good things. Here’s to people not needing so many ‘things’. Here’s to people being free. Here’s to people being freaky and quirky – and to a community that not only tolerates that – but relishes in it.

Here’s to our finding an irresistible eloquence that draws people forward into exuberant living. Here’s to us find ways to coax people into living with hearts that are full, open, strong and clear; to finding the perfect words and gestures that open people’s hearts and minds (and wallets) to ways of living that will earn the gratitude of our great, great, great, great grandchildren. Let’s embrace the commitment to find ever more beautiful and creative ways to inspire people to move beyond their fears and into action.

“The goal of the revolutionary artist is to make revolution irresistible.”

Toni Cade Bambara

Here’s to our embodying beauty and integrity in our lives, our business practices and – yes – in our marketing.

Here’s to, as David Korten puts it so well, “not talking the alternatives to death – but living them into being.”

Here’s to marketing being about being a generosity based business – not a greed based one.

Here’s to taking a stand for beauty in our own lives and the lives of our clients.

Here’s to your green, conscious, holistic, independent business thriving. Because – always remember this: you are where you are, because someone came before you and inspired you that what you were doing now was possible. And there are others now – watching you. If they see that you are broke, miserable, bitter and unsuccessful, if they see that you are using old, high pressure marketing techniques and selling yoru soul to succeed – they will not take the risk. They will not take the step to start their own business – and perhaps it’s a business the world needs very much.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

Here’s to marketing as a celebration of the marketplace as it wants to be. Caroline Casey reminded me of this: The marketplace doesn’t want to be an uninspiring strip mall of mass produced goods – it wants to be a lively and convivial place full of storytelling – a place that invites the best of culture and innovation. A place where the exchange of money is a sacred piece of theatre. A place where we gather to nurtured and be nurtured. A place that calls on us to make a true contribution to the well being of our community.

Here’s to the marketplace being an expression of life and community at it’s best – not tawdry consumerism at its worst – here’s to the return of something sacred and beautiful in the center of the market that matters more to us than the dollar.

Here’s to the marketplace not so much selling the promise of healing – but actually being a force of healing itself. Imagine this: marketing in such a way that, even if they never bought a thing from you – they were better off for the conversation – and one step closer to changing their life for the better. Imagine raising money in such a way that, even when they said, ‘no, this isn’t a fit for me‘ you could bless and release them back into the world knowing that your conversation with them had left them more deeply connected to their vision for how they want to see the world – and so much more likely to donate to another cause.

What if your marketing made the world a better place?

What if your marketing was a healing act?

Here’s to lifestyles that serve Life (and, if you’re struggling with how to create not only the kind of income you want but a truly sustainable and nourishing lifestyle – contact my friend Alex Baisley. He’s a genius at helping people create an alternative, non-conformist lifestyle that has them smiling on their deathbed).

And here’s to this wonderful article from Bronnie Ware of the top five regrets people have when they die. Ask yourself which ones you or your clients would have if they knew they would die tomorrow.

Nobody dies with their music still inside of them.

Nobody dies with regrets.

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Bronnie Ware is a writer, singer/songwriter, songwriting teacher and speaker from Australia. She has lived nomadically for most of her adult life. Bronnie shares her inspiring observations and the insights gained along the way through the diversity of her work. To read more of her articles and learn about her other work, please visit Inspiration and Chai at

Article Source:


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


Upselling – A Funny Story

Key lessons to take from this story – we often don’t get curious about what people are really after when they buy something from us. We just sell them what they came for instead of slowing down the convo to explore why they want it. At it’s crassest – upselling is ‘would you like fries with that?’, but at it’s best it’s a deep interest in helping people get a complete solution to their problems.

A young guy from Alberta moves to Vancouver and goes to a big “everything under one roof” department store looking for a job. The Manager says, “Do you have any sales experience?”

The kid says “Yeah. I was a salesman back in Alberta .” Well, the boss liked the kid and gave him the job. “You start tomorrow. I’ll come down after we close and see how you did.”

His first day on the job was rough, but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the boss came down. “How many customers bought something from you today?

The kid says “one”. The boss says “Just one? Our sales people average 20 to 30 customers a day.

How much was the sale for?”

The kid says “$101,237.65”.

The boss says “$101,237.65? What the heck did you sell?”

The kid says, “First, I sold him a small fish hook.

Then I sold him a medium fishhook.

Then I sold him a larger fishhook.

Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast, so I told him he was going to need a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him a twin engine Chris Craft.

Then he said he didn’t think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4×4 Expedition.”


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


The Four Things People Need Most When They’re Lost

I find that there are four things most of the people need most when they’re lost and stuck. I’ll use entrepreneurs as an example since that’s the majority of who I work with.

First is Empathy: Hell, being an entrepreneur can be hard. We can work so hard and take failure or rejection so personally. We can work so hard for so little money. The first thing I find people need to hear is, ‘You’re not crazy. You’re not alone.’

Second is Context: They need a map to help them understand where they are. They need to understand where they’re strong and weak. They need a clear diagnosis that helps make sense of their symptoms. All they know is that some things just aren’t working. But they don’t know why. They’re lost and they don’t know where they are. They need someone to help them understand where they are and why.

Third is Options: Once they feel heard and understand where they are – they need to understand the various options for getting to where they want to be. This is where more information, reading books, listening to audios can be helpful. It’s a general level of solutions. From this they can begin to pick and choose what feels relevant. This level is about learning the language in a certain arena. They start learning the general principles of marketing, some of the core strategies and tactics and maybe even hear a lot of examples.

You can start to feel really powerful, like you now know how to navigate the terrain. You walk a bit taller. But at a certain point it becomes clear that the more you learn, the more you know you don’t know. You become increasingly aware of where you’re still ignorant. And you start to suspect that you need more than just options and information.

Fourth is Guidance: In many ways, this fourth level is what they were really after when they were looking for options. At the end of the day, they can get too many options. So many that they feel overwhelmed and immobilized. “Overwhelmed by insurmountable opportunity” as Pogo said. I find that most people are silently begging to be led. They’re craving for someone to take their hand and walk them from where they are to where they want to be.

They don’t always want this guide to make the decisions for them (though often they do), but they do want someone who can not only explain the options but also give them their best advice and opinions on what would be best. And guidance can only be done one on one – in a personal relationship.

You just can’t get guidance by reading a book or listening to some audio or watching a video. That just becomes more information. And more overwhelm. In fact, all of these levels are more powerful when it’s person to person. You can get a general level, a surface level, of all of these through books and online – but working with a coach or mentor will be, obviously, far more powerful.

It’s one of the reasons I have issues with people selling their ebooks and information products for so much money. The idea that ‘information’ will save you. That if you ‘just buy this DVD series all of your problems will be solved.’ But it rarely works. How many unread books and course binders are sitting on your shelves and tables at home? How many have gone unread? I rest my case.

After they’ve absorbed enough information (and for some people it’s more than others) a question begins to surface: “How does this apply to me?” They understand that it works – and why – but they are still struggling to make that principle fit into their business.

But you need to go through these four stages in order. You’ve probably experienced this where someone tried to give you guidance without any real empathy or diagnosis and it felt awful.

If you try to give people guidance before they have any context they will resist it because they don’t understand why you’re suggesting it. It will feel like they’re doing what you told them to do. But if they understand the context then they’re more likely to share your opinion and do it because ‘it just makes sense.’

If all you do is get empathy – you’re still stuck.

If you get empathy and context but no new information – all you know is what’s wrong but you feel lost about how to solve it. A lot of flailing about can happen here.


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


How to Make a Welcome Video for Your Website

I was recently working with a client on mine on the welcome video to his website.

He is a lovely man in his sixties who does incredible mindfulness meditation trainings. When you meet him in person he is just the warmest, most real person you could meet. A bit cynical but so loving. The real deal.

But the welcome video he has up now comes across differently. It’s a bit stiff, earnest, salesy. He was using a lot of platitudes. It just didn’t feel like him.

So, we’ve been reworking it.

And it made me think that maybe it might be useful to share my perspective on how to do a welcome video for YOUR website.

First of all – why bother?

A lot of reasons. Here are a few:

  1. Vibe: People aren’t buying faceless corporate brands so much these days – they’re buying from people. A video let’s them meet you. This is true regardless of what you do. They want to meet you. They want to get a sense of your vibe. They want to feel a real person behind it all. They want some kind of relationship.
  2. Welcoming and Orienting: In a video you can sort of play ‘host’ to your website and ‘show them around’ – quickly let them know what they might find there.
  3. Directing: Very importantly – you can also tell them the ONE thing that you want them to DO while they’re on your site. This is critical. This will almost always be for them to give your their email address in exchange for some gift.

How long should it be? No more than 3 minutes.

Here’s the vibe I think you should be bringing to this video: do not bring the intention of selling, convincing, positioning etc but of welcoming them to the site. You’re just happy they’re there. You’re going for a mix of chill, happy, welcoming and informative. Don’t think of the video as a chance to SELL them but to help them find their way around the site and to DIRECT them to the most important thing they can do – sign up for your free ebook thing. You’re being helpful, not earnest, if that makes sense.

Imagine this: a friend of yours tells you that you have to meet his friend. So, you wander over to his house and knock on the door. When he answers he looks you intently in the eyes and says: “Are you searching? Searching for greater happiness, serenity, inner strength, and more inspiration in your life? Maybe you’re asking the ultimate questions, like “Who Am I?” or “What’s the Purpose of Life?” Maybe you’re yearning for awakening, enlightenment, the ultimate truth in self realization, and haven’t found it just yet. Or maybe you feel a subtle emptiness in your life, that you want to be free from some old emotional pain or patterns. If this describes you, then I want you to know that I can take you from where you are right now, to where you want to be in your life.”

How would you feel?

Wouldn’t it seem weird?

Instead of getting welcomed, it’s almost like you’re ‘mugged’. You’re marketed to. You’re barraged with very personal questions.

Scenario Two: They warmly welcome you in, offer you a cup of tea and show you around the place. They make you feel incredibly welcome and get right to ‘how can I help you?’

And this is what you want the Welcome Video on your home page top contribute to.

In essence, you’re saying, “hey, I know you’re ____ kind of person struggling with _____ kind of problem – and I want to help you get to the most useful possible on my site that can help you the soonest. I don’t want you to waste one second.” You’re already offering them guidance. You’re already earning cred as a trusted advisor. Don’t pitch them – guide them.

Here are a couple of examples of welcome videos for the full weekend Radical Business Intensive workshop I run and also one for the day long Marketing 101 for Holistic Practitioners workshop I lead.

And, of course, you can always take a look at the welcome video for this site.

But you’ll find your own style.

Here’s a template you can use:

Hey there,

Welcome to my website. I’m not sure how you found it but I’m glad you did. And I’ve got a free gift for you – which I’ll tell you about in just a second. My name is ______ and for the past ________ years I’ve been helping _______ kinds of people who are struggling with _________ and ________ and do my best to help them get a bit closer to __________. Mostly that’s through __________. But I just wanted to say hi and tell you a bit about what you can find on this website. Above this video you’ll see _______# of links.

(describe what they can find at each in a short sentence or two)

So, the free gift! If you look to my left you’ll see that I’m offering a ________ called _______ which I think should give you a really good sense of my work. All you have to do is type in your name and email and we’ll take it from there.

Thanks again for popping by – and I hope one day we might even meet in person!

A few other key things:

  1. Lighting. Good lighting is a must. Don’t have it seem dimly lit or shadowy. It should seem like it was shot in a grungy basement of your parent’s place. Maybe for a blog video. But not for your welcome video.
  2. Background. Don’t do it against a wall. It ends up looking like a mugshot. Do it somewhere with some background and depth to it.

If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


The Information Age Is Dead. Here’s What’s Next . . .

People don’t want information. Ultimately, they want guidance.

If you think you’re selling them a product or a service – think again. You are selling them a point of view, a perspective.

Let me explain: they are suffering from whatever symptoms they have (e.g. not enough clients, lower back pain, an angry wife threatening divorce, inability to get pregnant).

But – why do they have this problem? And what will it take to fix it?

Does it make sense to you that there are a myriad of ways to solve any problem? Dozens of lenses to even put on it? And, does it make sense that the lense you put on it might shape the treatment you offer?

Let’s take the general example of ‘illness’. There’s many theories on what causes it:

An inconsistency between the will of the soul and the will of the personality:

  • Karma
  • Genetics
  • Bad diet
  • Stress
  • Excessive acidity in the system
  • Fear

Etc. I know some people who think that what you eat is almost irrelevant to your health. I know others who think that food is the only thing that matters.

Here’s the point for you: what is YOUR perspective on why your clients are struggling with their challenges? What’s your point of view? What’s your opinion and perspective?

Here’s what people want:

  1. empathy: understanding for their symptoms and feelings
  2. context: a clear, well thought out point of view on why they have these symptoms that doesn’t cause them to feel ashamed and stupid. Something that makes sense to them.
  3. guidance: clear and personalized handholding on what to do about it.

Your job is to do those three things.

Your job is to make your case as to why your perspective is correct. Not to convince them – but just so they understand where you’re coming from and what kind of help they’re likely to get from you. You can’t just say, “Take these pills.” First they need empathy. Then you need to explain your understanding of how things got the way they did. Then you need to share exactly what you think they need to do to resolve it. And of course, engaging them in this conversation is critical.

They don’t want to have to read through hundreds of pages of books and e-books. They don’t want to have to listen to hours of downloadable audios. They don’t want to sit through a weekend seminar. They want someone to give them insight into their own situations. They want you to hold their hand. They want personalized, customized advice.

Always remember this: People don’t want information. They want guidance.


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.