Category Archives for Marketing Strategist Townsville

Sins are only errors mashed with …

Bucky Fuller said:   “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

I have spent decades fighting existing reality.  I am sure you have too.  What do I mean?

How long have you been “doing battle” with things already in existence?  Like storing too much fat on your belly or butt?  Or having a bank balance that is too small?  Or my sales are too low…

In past posts I have spoken about “choosing to struggle” – and in simple terms this is explained by my learning to swim process.  When I swam I tensed every muscle, I strained every nerve and concentrated on every part of my body.  Naturally I was exhausted after about 15 seconds, and then tended to gasp and sink.

Relax Dammit!

After a few decades of struggle I concluded that something was wrong with my process.  The answer was not to try harder or for longer.  It was the opposite.  I experimented with doing nothing but ‘relaxing’ and the water.  Just lay there, being calm.  Not try at all.  I could have used a modelling strategy – you know – had lessons?  But no.  I was addicted to “figuring things out” – a strategy which still both rewards  and punishes me.

After some floating – I found that I could make movements without tensing every muscle.  Eventually that led me to realising that the key to swimming is reducing resistance in the water.  Splashing is waste.  And now I can swim and remain relaxed and move well through the water.  So – it was when I stopped doing the things that did not work or help that I benefitted.  I made the old model obsolete.

The process was to discover the process and then strategically evolve it for a clear purpose.  And to enjoy the experiences as much as you can.  Does that sound like your business?  Your health?  Or are you “working” to retain the resistance and no-purpose tension?  And yes – it is like an onion (tastes great when properly cooked!)

Do we “break” habits?

No.  We either replace them or disconnect them.

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Recommended Reading – Leadsology – For Every Business Owner

Get This Marketing and Business Growth Book for $0.99 On Kindle

Solar Power Townsville

How To Avoid Making Dumb Mistakes When Choosing Your Solar Power System and Who To Install It For You…

Education has the greatest leverage.  Investment in learning is the most efficient way to change our lives and the world (for the better).

People choosing to invest in solar panels, inverters, storage and so on have a few fundamental things to understand before they can make a prudent decision.  Because of the nature of the industry, you cannot always rely on the commission based sales people.

When purchasing anything – there are basically two groups.  Those who believe they ARE ready to buy, and those who are GETTING READY.  Sometimes those who believe they are ready – are just kidding themselves and would benefit from more of the actions that the GETTING READY crew take.

We will go into the significance of this for all business owners in a later post – because it can be the basis of making your entire marketing program 5 to 10 times more effective.  In a nutshell:

“If you attempt to use NOW READY tactics on people who are only GETTING READY your conversion rate will be dismal.”

The example of this solar power company (who I recommend personally as being the most knowledgeable for the info you need, and trustworthy in terms of the value they deliver with solar power systems and storage) is that they know that it is different strokes for different levels of readiness.  I love their course – it made my transition from GETTING READY to NOW READY short and enjoyable.

Solar Power Townsville – Advisory, Supply & Installation

Do NOT Agree To ANY New Marketing Until You Read This…

Attention Ambitious Townsville Business Owners

Stop Wasting Your Money On Getting New Leads Until You Read These Instructions…

Are you ready?  Ok.

First we are going to simplify exactly what you are doing.  There are two components to your marketing:

  1. Strategic  – which is the content of your message.  What you say and how you say it.  It includes the concepts you focus on, the images and words to communicate those concepts, and the “tone” with which it is delivered.
  2. Tactical – this kind of marketing is to do with the execution of the strategy.   Eg placing ads, websites, going to tradeshows, scripts.

When I ask Townsville business owners about their marketing plan – the answer is always about tactical marketing – “doing” websites, sending mail or email, running radio ads, all that stuff.  (often depending on which media sales rep visited).

Here is your first COMMANDMENT:  Master Strategic Marketing FIRST!

What you say in your marketing and how you say it – is usually far more important than the medium where you say it.   And when your campaign BOMBS – there is a tendency to blame the tactical part of the plan eg media (radio, press, web, FB) rather than the strategy behind the marketing piece.

Once you get your marketing strategy planning skills out of the storage cupboard that is way down the back, past the perilous swamp, over the scary swinging rope bridge behind the door with the “Beware of the Leopard” sign – your business revenue will rocket.

There are some fundamentals that EVERY business can use to fire up a scramjet on their profits.

Profit Scramjet

Courtesy Uni Qld

I was going to fully describe exactly what you need to know in detail, but I decided that unless you give this your full attention, and be fully committed to finding out how to stop wasting at least 90% of your marketing budget (if you even have one calculated) – you are just wasting your time.  Go to Facebook and look at cats if that is what you are doing now.  Don’t pretend you are “working” – unless you fully intend to apply this business revolution creating knowledge.  Is that fair?

What I am going to give you here is a summary of points to get your brain out of neutral and into “turbo-profit mode”.

  1.  All prospects want the same things.  To feel confident their money has been well spent – and that their decision was a good one.  They want the best DEAL, not the best price.  The Best Deal in terms of overall value.  They don’t want to feel like they made a bad decision.
  2. Your marketing strategy has to know what is important to your prospects, then educate them as to what “best deal” means for them.  Then show quantifiable evidence that you provide the best deal in terms of price and value.
  3. Communicate this in a way they pay attention to, believe in, and then take action on.  Then the prospect gets what they really want from you – complete confidence they have the best value deal possible and have made the best decision possible.

Your marketing errors:

  1.  Using your marketing to spread your self-serving jargon that is just a sneaky way to say “buy from me because I want you to give me your money.  Give it to me, not my competitor.”

That is why people are so jaded with marketing, and resist it.  Prospective buyers want and need to be educated so they can feel confident when making their purchase decision, and rarely do they receive this education.

The good news is that the first marketers to deliver this WINS very profitable customers.

When Your Marketing Is Done Wrong…

The end result is predictable – you start to feel INTENSE pricing pressure from your prospects and leads – and you usually have to cave, drop your prices, destroy your margins and make much less money.  You get to spend more time at work.  Yay…

2.  If you are competing on price – it is your own fault.  It means your lack of marketing strategy has given your prospects no other criteria to separate you from your competition.  You have not educated, or guided with knowledge or info.

(Luckily I know how to fix this. I have a step-by-step system that will innovate and then strategically market your business.  You become the obvious choice for your prospects to smile and say YES to.)

3.  Even if you provide Super, Duper, Hooper-level service that unmatched in your market, and your customers smile widely every time they think of you – THAT DOES NOT MATTER TO YOUR PROSPECTS IF:

A.  They do not know you exist as an option or

B.  If they do see your marketing and advertising – your ability to market your business is so inept – that THEIR perception is that you are no different, no better, no worse than your competitors.

I believe that over 9 out of 10 businesses are in this “inept” marketers category created by the tidal wave of ignorance of the fundamentals.  Dan Kennedy shares the idea of “Do the opposite” based on this statistic.  If 90% of the operators in YOUR marketplace are ignorantly inept marketing – then just by NOT doing what they do you are in a better lane on the business highway.

If you can learn the process to make your marking strategic – you get to create a pipeline that delivers eager, qualified prospects into your funnel.

More Bad News…

Right now is the time to change your marketing thinking – the internet has made your marketing ignorance even worse.  Everyone is focusing on wasting their time and money going nuts for online marketing.  Splashing money around on adwords and social marketing?

And this makes decent sense because prospects these days usually begin their buying process by researching online.

And thousands of Townsville businesses are “investing” to get leads from Adwords or FB to come to their websites.  And when they get to these sites – they see the same rubbish marketing they used to see in brochures before the interweb existed.  “Service, Quality, Price”,  “Commercial, Industrial, Domestic”.  And your new lead just goes back to the Google Search and picks the next choice…  (This is called “bounce rate” – it is people who visit and then just bounce away.  Google knows your bounce rate – and charges you more per click if it is high.)  So you lose the lead, AND pay more.

And if you even look at your bounce rate – it is likely you look at tactical ways to get more “qualified” visitors.  Rather than notice it is your low converting “Lame” website that is the real problem.

The internet for most is simply another medium to stuff up their marketing with bland messages.  If you are going to fix your website – the only way to do fix your strategic messaging that we spoke about above.

That is enough for today, but with one last little drill to tighten your thinking.

If you now take your website, and the website of your closest competitor – and you changed the business names on the pages – would a new prospect know who was who?

Note:  I have an educational program that you can use become a strategic marketer and learn how to rake in the gigantic piles of cash that you used to dream about…


Townsville Radio Adverts

Gun-to-your-head Marketing Decisions

So You Need Some More Leads in Your Business…

And then the nice looking sales rep from the local radio station “drops in”.  They have an “incredible” deal on a 12 month package – that seems “perfect for your business” according to the rep.

Townsville Radio Adverts

It is only $2,000 per month, and has spots on the most popular shows.  So – how do you decide what to do?

Firstly – it is evident that your “marketing plan” needs some attention.  Because you think you need more leads, and because you think it is fate that a wandering sales rep has a “nice” package.  If your marketing plan was in place you would already know what works best for your business – and do more of that.

Secondly – selection of marketing tactics based on “rep visit” is very high risk.  Your choice of what choice will depend to a great deal on your own marketing education, and in some cases “mis-education”.

Most of what is taught to business owners is simply wrong, and will not predictably work well.

To illustrate this – let’s pretend you have a budget of $2,000 per month to “grow your business”…

And with  that money you MUST get great results or a nasty man will come with a giant Bowie knife and chops bits off you.  (ie – you HAVE to make it work!)

From that perspective – will you review everything you have been told about getting new business?  You can “gamble” to one degree or another.

Me – I like to minimise the risk of any marketing not paying for itself.  I know that the probability of different tactics working – varies immensely.

So – I would consider that getting a 10% increase in my average sale value (the total of sales divided by the number of sales events) has the same impact on my bottom line as 10% increase in the number of customers.

Or that if I can get my current customers to come back to my business just 10% more often – that has the same impact as well.

I might even consider that many people come to my business, get a price or quote, and then buy from somewhere else.  If I can increase that “conversion rate” – it also helps with my sales.

The point is – each of the three tactics just mentioned are much more predictable ways to increase your profits – if you already have customers.  And you can do it (in many cases) for free!

Some finer tactics include contacting your old customers and “resurrecting” them with a great offer and a good reason for them to return.  (I call them Zombies – and just contacting them will often bring them back to life.)

Lead Generation Has Many Components To Master

I know about 130 different ways to increase your sales and profits off the top of my head.  But the category which requires the most clear thinking, creative writing of emotional copy, and precision in scheduling and testing – is lead generation!

With a gun to my head – I would look to other strategies first.

And at the same time – I would begin to create and test lead generation activities to discover what works – and I would know because I would ensure it was measurable.

With $2,000 per month available – you could do radio.  Or you could put that cash in to a referral system.  Eg Refer a person to my business this month to go into the draw for “something”.  Perhaps $1,000 cash?  An accommodation deal that costs you $500 that is valued at $2500?    Or simply buy 2 cars with your $24,000 and use them to get your current customers to buy more…

Or any number of different approaches.

And how do you know which approach is best for your business?  Well – it depends…

This post was just to get it into your head that you have many different choices available, and they all have different probabilities of success.   STOP doing your marketing based on what rep walks into your business.  Get a marketing plan so you know all your marketing events for the coming year.

Or contact me for a Marketing Audit.   It may be the difference between you getting really rich from your business, or not.



Marketing Townsville

[Bites] James Hooper’s Bite Size Marketing Tips #9 – Oh The Places You’ll Go..

Welcome again….  One of my own quotes that I like to repeat too often is
“As soon as you move, you are in a different place.”

To me it means the simple action of taking a metaphorical or actual step – a single step – changes my view.

And with every change of view comes a whole new world.

It seems humans are at their best when moving forward.  When standing still we have no momentum, no power.  Think how much easier it is to change direction slightly once you are moving – just swerve a bit!

Dr. Seuss wrote: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”   I add that:  ” Learning is moving, and moving is great.  Taking action on your learnings is when you best create.”

You don’t “get it” until you do it…. Knowing how to touch-type is not the same as touch-typing…

This weeks Bite is one of my favourites and most powerful tools.  I believe most it to be the most potent “framework” for strategically growing any business (or career)

Hierarchy of (Dynamic) Value.
(Created by a seriously clever man called Marshall Thurber.)

Here is how it works.

In a market where there are:
1.  Fully informed buyers (now almost every where because of the internet) and
2.  Alternative sources of supply –

then the only defense against competing solely on price is to have UNIQUE value (and constantly improving).  This means there is NO alternative source of supply.  ie the value you bring must be unique – because in a fully informed market and with alternative sources of supply – unless you are unique – you will end up competing on price alone.

According to Thurber there are different levels of value.

From the lowest level:

Commodity – where the only difference is price.  This will give you the lowest possible margins and most competition.  No loyalty.  Eg coffee beans – grind them and make your own.
Product – better than commodity.  Eg a phone or a cup of coffee.  Margins better than commodity, but not much.  Hard to defend.
Service – same as product – and these two levels (product and service) are merging – eg phone with a phone plan.  eg coffee made for you at a standard coffee shop.  Products and Services are MERGING to create “offers”.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++Minimum Target+++
Experience – by definition – every “experience” is UNIQUE.  Selling the experience rather than a product/service or commodity means protection from competing on price.  eg Starbucks sell the experience – not the coffee.  Disney sells the experiences – not the rides.  And we pay much more for it.  (How can you make your business into an “experience”?)
Transformational Experience – Can charge even more if you can “transform” them.  Eg lose 20kg.  Get hair.  Become attractive to women/men.  Become a ‘different/better’ person in some way.
Predictably Transformational Experience – Can charge even more because you can guarantee it – risk reversal.

Your goal is for your businesses to ALWAYS move to at least the “Experience” level.  Not only that – it is DYNAMIC – people will copy your and the internet makes information flow faster and faster – so your value creation must keep changing and improving…As soon as we are not unique – we are subject to price pressure.

This is a heavy duty model – and I will revisit it in the future.  Right now make a list of what you do that your competitors do not.  And then make a list of what you could possibly do….  I promise it is worth it.


Ps – your list does not have to overpowering.  Plumbers who give chocolates, balloons on signs, specific guarantees (eg quotes to you within 3 days), different colours (pink cement trucks!), loyalty programs, smile!, get details and send birthday gifts, newsletter (seriously) – and make it “human”.

Most “competition” is vanilla flavoured beige sameness.  If you cannot create a difference that increases value (???), then make it a cosmetic one.

Pps – if this makes sense – forward it to a friend…


Marketing Townsville

Need more leads? Copywriting is the art of converting words to sales. What did Gene Schwartz do?

Just changing a few words can change the power of your marketing by 10 or even 20 times.  Starting with great material can save years of split testing.  Read what Gene Schwartz – one of the best of historic copywriters ever – gives as his procedure.

“I Write With My Ears”

by Gene Schwartz

Townsville marketing

Copywriting is the simplest of all possible jobs. It consists solely of turning items into ads, of making the physical verbal, of constructing an emotional holograph of the product so convincing that people will part with their good money to share it.

To produce copy, therefore, is not really to write it into being, but to listen it into being. In other words, to be a semi-passive conduit between the producer of the item, and its needer. Between the man who makes it do what it does, and the other man — somewhere out there — who needs what it does.

The first step, therefore — the essential step — in turning an item into an ad, is turning yourself into a listener.

You listen two ways: first with your ears, and then with your eyes. You hear everything you can about the product, and then you read everything you can about the product.

The thing that astounds me, when I read most ads, or work with writers, is that they really haven’t bothered to listen deeply enough. This is most obvious in book copy, where you can check the ad against the text. But it also stands out quite clearly in product advertising, where you can check the ad against the way the product works for you.

Lazy ears produce bad ads. Here’s what I’ve discovered about sharpening mine:

1. Sit down with the owner of the product — the man who’s hiring you — and pump hell out of him. Put on a tape recorder and have him talk for 3 or 4 hours. Ask him where the product came from, what it does, what are its problems and how he’s tried to cure them, why it’s better than its competitors, who likes it, who doesn’t like it, what proof he’s got that it works, what strange uses have people got out of it, what funny stories has he accumulated in regard to its manufacture or use, what problems was he trying to solve when he created it, how would he improve it if he had unlimited money, what causes most of his refunds, who works for him to help him make it, how it is made, how does he keep up the quality, who writes him what about it, etc.

2. Talk to his customers. Do it in person or on paper. See if they agree with him. If they don’t, find out why.

3. Listen to his competitors. They often tell you more about the opportunities they’re missing in their ads, than the opportunities they’re seeing and therefore seizing. Let them write a possible head or two for you, out of the body copy of their ads.

4. Then put all the material down, in one big pile, and underline it. Start blending it together like you’d make a cake. Give it, first, priority (your head and sub-heads); and then, order (the body claims). And then type it up — preferably adding little of yourself except as selector and condenser.

Want examples? Well, Joe Cossman spoke my most successful fishing lure head “SWIMS UNDER ITS OWN POWER” — I just put it on paper for him.

Harry Lorayne blurted out my longest-lived book head: “GIVE ME 15 MINUTES AND I’LL GIVE YOU A PUSH-BUTTON MEMORY.” Again, I just put it on paper.

Martin Edelston dreamily pronounced my best-known newsletter head: “READ 300 BUSINESS MAGAZINES IN 30 MINUTES.” I just picked it out of a 17-page transcript a day later.

And Bill Bartman came up with “FLOATS FAT RIGHT OUT OF YOUR BODY”… Dave Ross with “INSTANT LEARNING” … Clem Martin with “WORLD’s FIRST EFFORTLESS EXERCISER.”

You see? People constantly ask me why I haven’t burned myself out by now… how I can write three or four fresh ads each week without going crazy.

The answer is simple: I don’t write them. I listen them. And you can too.

Change Your Story and Drop Your Fears

Did you ever get into the rut where you and “your story” were completely different?

Where you were living a story, that you felt disconnected to – but could not stop acting as your story “demanded”?

Napoleon Hill taught about the concept of ‘accurate thinking’.   About our human habit of getting caught up in the story, and then the stories about stories.

Deming taught about the pointlessness of trying to change an outcome or results directly. “What was the process??!”

And then thus move focus to making changes in the processes that created the undesired results.

It is too late to change what already is.

We can alter how we give meaning to what is – but if your belly is layered with extra fat, or your bank balance looking too skinny – your goal can be to alter how it will be in the future.  Or it can be to play with your stories so you “feel better about it”.   And the stories with their inbuilt excuses, blaming, shaming and guilt – are attractive.

Because they allow us to retain our fear, the fear that protects us.

I watched a movies last weekend by Will Smith. “After Earth”.  In it he tells us that fear is completely imaginary.  That we create it in our minds – and we allow it.  That imagined story then makes our bodies produce physical changes – including pheromones (scents).

In the movie, an alien monster has been introduced that can only find you by smelling your fear pheromones. It then kills you.

In the midst of a battle with the monster, as he is about to die, Smith’s character becomes calm, still, centred, and accepting.  His fear dries up, he becomes invisible to the monster, and slays it.

During the film he explains that fear and danger are different. Danger WILL kill you. Fear is only an idea.

If fear was only imagined for you, as you accepted that, would you become more free now to take small action steps that were previously impossible for you?

And each step would be further evidence to prove to you that fear was only imaginary and could be dissolved?

Like when you were a kid, and there was a scary noise from under your bed?

We can lie there, frozen in fear. Or we can lean over and look under the bed to discover there is no monster, or if there is one – it is more afraid of us than we of it.

Are you living your life frozen in fear?

Lester Levinson suggested to me the idea of “trying things on for size”. Like a sweater – just try in on.  See if you like it.  You can always take it off again.

He was talking about testing a method that allowed me to realize that thoughts and feelings are NOT part of me, any more than a sweater is.

They are things that can simply be “dropped” or “let go”.

Any thought or feeling or emotion can be let go.  Including a freezing level fear.  Accept that fear and danger are different. Allow yourself to feel the fear fully, and realize that feeling is the worst that fear can do to you.  Not so bad really?

And once you feel it fully, and now know that it did not hurt you – you can just drop it. Like your old sweater into a charity bin.

Let it go.

And once you drop any fear – notice that your fears about other “scary” things you have created stories about to protect, has been weakened.  Shine your torch under your bed and the fear will disappear – but only if you eat the fear and have a look!

Perhaps fear is a bit like Pavlova. Looks impressive, but as soon as you bite it – it dissolves in your mouth leaving a sweet taste.

Have a groovy week

Ps When I was in Russia, they frequently used a saying that stuck with me: “The Devil does not like to be watched.”  In this moment, I can see that one face of the devil is “fear”.  When I set it apart from me, to move from being fear (I am afraid) to only having feelings of fear – I am watching the Devil – and he returns my power.

The Woody Allen Mashed With Julius Caesar Success Plan

A nice short Sunday Post for today – “Just Turn Up Wherever You Are.”

Townsville - Julius Caesar Business Plan

Woody Allen – who made some vaguely interesting and successful films last century apparently said “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

There are some interesting histories to this “eighty percent” idea – including the overly quoted Pareto Principle.   The concept is pretty simple on the surface – and includes “(Approximately) 80% of your success comes from a small percentage of your actions (eg 20%)”

Stay with here while I do some interesting maths – but it will make sense at the end.

If we just accept for now that 20% of our time produces 80% of our success – let’s 20/80 those numbers, and we get 20% of 20% gives 4%  and 80% of 80% gives 64%.  This results in 4% giving 64%.  So 4% of your actions give you 64% of your success.

We can repeat the maths and we see that approx 1% of actions gives 51% of success.  Now, without getting hung up on the calculations – focus on the principle that a small proportion of our total actions produces a majority of the outcome.

Before we get to Julius Caesar – consider what you do at the start of EVERY day.  You either consider your purpose, goals, and actions for the day – or you do not.  Right now – Give yourself a score out of 10 for how well you do this at the beginning of each work day.

I am now going to suggest there is specifically meaningful use for Woody Allen’s “showing up”.  What if “showing up” means becoming present, remembering then committing to the purpose of why you are there (today) and what is important to act on (today).  The degree to which we know why we are there, and doing the important things is our score on “showing up”.

Showing up does NOT include working hard reactively to what happens to you in the day.  It is not about just being excellent as react.  It IS about RESPONDING to what happens in your day – after filtering it through your purpose for being there.

Now mash in Julius Caesar “I came, I saw, I conquered.”  

The Big J showed up.  He knew why he was there – something to do with world domination and addiction to power…

He saw – he considered the environment – and then he applied massive, consistent, focused action (conquered).  Not just every now and then – but every day  – probably even hourly.  He would have been immersed in his purpose to such a degree there was absolutely NO DOUBT what meant to be.

Review NOW your score out of 10 for “showing up” at your business, job or role.  How does your score compare to Julius Caesar?  Would your daily power change if your “invoked” JC during your preparation for your day?  Is it likely that more of the vital 1% or 4% or 20% that give you the majority of your success would get done?

You could even imagine that instead of a little angel on your shoulder guiding you to do the right thing – you had an angel who was invoking Julius Caesar and making your constantly consider why you were there, and where your most powerful leverage actually is?  If you had “no choice” but to focus your attention on your purpose constantly – or a little angel with a Roman short sword would stab you in the ear – how much would your effective productivity multiply?

The best part of this is that you can even get 4% of your working time focused – it will make a vast difference to your bottom line results.  It may simply mean that you move from “doing things right” to “doing the right things right”.

Choose to have a prolific week!  If you are going to invest your time in your business (or profession or life) – it actually takes LESS work to make it ROCK.  It is hard work struggling.   It is draining.  It is not fun.  So change and decide to get legendary – or if it feels better to you – decide to “not be in a sucky place” anymore.


James Hooper




The 13th Virtue of Benjamin Franklin – For ALL Business Owners

Ben Franklin Explains How ONE Simple Change In How We Communicate Can Multiply Our Ability To Work With Others…

This was written in 1784 as part of Franklin’s Autobiography.  This is the thirteenth “Virtue” – and is the one that immediately reared and bit me on the nose.  I considered myself a pretty “smart” fellow – and for several decades believed that just being consistently “right” was sufficient to work with people.

You know – once I explained clearly and comprehensively in a friendly and forthright manner exactly how others were wrong and I was right – they would rationally just agree with me and we could move forward together…

Ha – yeah right!  Epic fail!

Now I have moved to a place (most of the time) where I fully accept that all the beliefs I have now have a very real probability of being abandoned by me within a decade.  By this I mean that within 10 years I will be able to look back and consider things I believe are correct right now – to be not correct.

I know this is true – because I can look back 10 years right now – and know that what I believed back then is NOT what I believe to be true now.  This allows me to have less resistance to change, and means I no longer need to DEFEND my beliefs when a person raises a contrary one.  Instead I can explore this new possibility knowing that I can adopt it if it proves viable.

But read now how Ben Franklin applied a related concept to further himself back in the 18th Century.  From “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”.

page 42

But it so happened that my intention of writing and publishing this comment was never fulfilled. I did, indeed, from time to time, put down short hints of the sentiments, reasonings, etc., to be made use of in it, some of which I have still by me: But the necessary close Attention to private Business in the earlier part of Life, and public Business since, have occasioned my postponing it. For it being connected in my Mind with a great and extensive Project that require the whole man to execute, and which an unforeseen Secession of Employs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remain’d unfinish’d.

In this piece it was my design to explain and enforce this doctrine, that vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful, the nature of man alone considered; that it was, therefore, every one’s interest to be virtuous who wished to be happy even in this world; and I should, from this circumstance (there being always in the world a number of rich merchants, nobility, states, and princes, who have need of honest instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so rare), have endeavored to convince young persons that no qualities were so likely to make a poor man’s fortune as those of probity and integrity.

My list of virtues continued at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud, that my pride showed itself frequently in conversation, that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several instances, I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.

I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it.

I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own.

I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so, or it so appears to me at present.

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering, I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this charge in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.

The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with other to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.

And this mode, which I at first put on with some violence to natural inclination, became at length so easy, and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years past no one has ever heard a dogmatical expression escape me. And to this habit (after my character of integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much weight with my fellow-citizens when I proposed new institutions, or alterations in the old, and so much influence in public councils when I became a member; for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language, and yet I generally carried my points.

In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.

Yeah Baby!!  This is a simple rule that cannot fail to improve how we interact with others.  Thanks Ben Franklin…


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