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Are You a Millionaire Yet? Is It Your Fault? Who Is Really to Blame?

I have a strong feeling this is going to get some emotional comments – but here we go..

In the “information marketing” world all of the product creators have been fed the same line that goes something like this…

“If someone is NOT successful with your product, it’s not your fault – it’s THEIR FAULT”.

But whose fault is it?

The big mouth who gets on stage to sell his $5K coaching program and doesn’t feel bad at all when his clients have a ZERO success rate because, after all, it’s not his fault – it’s THEIR fault.

Then, mr.guru goes on to say to himself (and anyone that will listen)… “My other student, Joey, made $X with my system – so it must work. And if it doesn’t work for you, you can’t blame me”.

But is Joey’s success more of a fluke? Or good timing? Or does the system really, really work?

Look, there is no bigger proponent of taking responsibility than me. I firmly believe in personal responsibility in regards to your health and your wealth. No excuses.

However – with such a large percentage of people who buy “internet marketing” products getting zero results – are they REALLY to blame? Or does the problem go deeper.

 

TAKING ACTION

OK, let’s get one excuse out of the way.

No matter how good the product is, if you don’t take action on what is taught – that is YOUR (the customer) fault. No ifs, ands, or buts.

But what about people who DO go through the product in detail but do not get results.

After selling A LOT of products with a track record which I believe is unsurpassed (just look at the fitness industry’s biggest success stories and 95% of them got started with my products), here are my thoughts…

The reason for failure (besides not taking action) is one of 4 reasons..

 

REASON #1: THE PRODUCT DOESN’T WORK

This is aimed at the “Internet Marketing” products. Many of the product creators either come up with an “idea” they think will work.. then slap some copy on it and sell it to the masses.

But the concept has either not been tested outside the “make money online” niche OR never tested at all.

When I first started, most of the “IM” products I bought were rooted in sound marketing concepts (stuff by Mark Joyner, Declan Dunn, Jonathan Mizel, and Marlon Sanders). But as the years went on… the quality of the content went down the toilet with never-ending launches and hypey products.

Which brings me to reason #2..

 

REASON #2: THE TEACHING SUCKS

Another point that can’t be overlooked is the quality of instruction in the products. And it falls into 2 parts..

A) There is no step-by-step. The “guru” will say something like “create a squeeze page” and then you are on your own to figure out EVERY detail. WTF?

B) There is no progression. It’s just a bunch of random videos and PDFs with no system to implement.

A lot of recent products fit neatly into this category.

 

REASON #3: YOUR IDEA SUCKS (THE CUSTOMER)

This one falls squarely on the shoulders of the customers.

They have their idea and are set in the ways no matter what. I’ve worked with clients like this in the past – and I can tell you it’s frustrating.  This can take the shape of many common blunders…

  • The market doesn’t want what you are selling (you never asked what people really want)
  • Your pricing is not realistic at all
  • You want to deliver content that should be a one-time purchase as a membership site
  • Your hook is weak
  • Your product/company name is terrible
  • You refuse to invest any time or resources in good copy. Or good design.
  • And the list goes on and on…

And finally, there is reason #4…

 

REASON #4: YOU DON’T WORK FOR IT

OK, it’s close to the “not taking action” excuse, but goes a little deeper.

This is someone who believes they can buy a product, click a few buttons and suddenly they are RICH!

Or, they put up one video on youtube and the orders should be flooding in while they sit on a beach watching the waves roll in.

Or they blog for one week and give up when they get no comments or traffic.

Nope. Sorry – that ain’t how it works!

You are going to have to put some sweat in and if you don’t enjoy spending time on the computer then go get a real job – this just isn’t for you.

 

WHO IS TO BLAME?

My goal for this post is to open up some real dialog about what is going on in the world of marketing.

It’s stuff that is never really talked about in the open. And the “it’s our customers fault” has become so common – it’s time to REALLY take a closer look at it.

Please post your thoughts below and share this…

DO YOU AGREE? DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD?
WHO IS TO BLAME? 

P.S.  If you want to join action-takers and real teachers, check out DotComXpo.

P.P.S. Please like, tweet or +1 this post.


34 thoughts on “Are You a Millionaire Yet? Is It Your Fault? Who Is Really to Blame?

  1. Amen Ryan! In both my personal and business life I am guided by a phrase
    “The thing Has No Power! In our push button society we are continually conditioned to give power for change to things outside of ourselves and along with that our responsibility. And we don’t often dig deep enough to understand the cause and effect relationship to things.

    True, there is a shared responsibility on the part of the merchant to not sell crap, false hopes and magic products and services, but ultimately it is up to the individual to not believe that such things exist.

    My industry is flooded with trainers and coaches who push “Magic” speed and power exercises as if merely doing these magic exercises will grant the user with athletic prowess. It’s simply not true. But, we buy the idea because it’s seductive as hell and aligns with our fantasies.

    I remember about 5 years ago an infomercial for “Exercise in a Bottle.” The pitch stated “why spend your time sweating and exercising when you can get the body you want while you sleep.”

    I say shared responsibility on the part of the seller and buyer.

    1. Hey Chris,

      Your last line summed it up perfectly…

      “shared responsibility on the part of the seller and buyer”

      Rock ‘on
      Ryan

  2. GREAT article Ryan!! I have just sent out a questionnaire to some of my customers to see what information they would like to have available to them to grow their businesses. I was so surprised to find out a lot of them had paid for graphics tutorials that taught them nothing!

    I am working on some tutorials to help them learn to do the things they want to do- in baby steps and using a few of them as guinea pigs to try them out to make sure they are simple enough to understand and implement. Yep, giving away all my good stuff- but at least I will KNOW they work, and hopefully when I get them all put together in a package for my site, they will be worth well more than what I decide to charge for them.

    thanks once again for some great insight!!!

    1. Thanks Beth.

      And yes, baby steps are often the best way to teach. Just lead them through the process, step-by-step.

      Keep us posted on your progress…

      Ryan

  3. I think there is a 5th reason, too (and I’m designing my own program around it for the sake of my students). And that is…

    The teacher doesn’t MANAGE students as they go through. Just like any school would. Most IM courses are “here’s a bunch of stuff, good luck and if you have any questions, just ask”. Whereas, in reality, having somebody who’s JOB it is to ensure people are getting results, proactively ASK if they need help, review results and do corrective measures to ensure results are gotten…

    Its about realizing that the product isn’t the product. The product is the OUTCOME.

    1. Hey David,

      Great point.

      The follow-up should be there too – and it’s usually a “launch and disappear” method that has become the norm.

      Ryan

    2. David you have an excellent point there. I would call this offering “accountability” to the students. I often have an accountability partner when I start new projects to help me keep going and motivated because sometimes my own self-doubt gets in the way.

  4. Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for this! I think like anything else that we have to look at education products in the marketing space like this. (as a customer of them).

    1.) What’s my goal? What do I expect out of this course? Are my expectations realistic?

    2.) How am I’m going to measure my success? Are my expectations realistic?

    3.) What if I don’t meet my goals and I am putting in the work (work is a given)? Is there someone who I can talk to, to get help?

    As the customer we need to have a desired outcome from buying the product and a way to measure our success and our failure. We also have to be realistic and do our research on the products we buy.

    If you find that you are buying on impulse and from a heightened state of emotion, I suggest taking a step back before buying :-)

    My rant on the subject.

    Thanks!

    Jeremiah

  5. Interesting post, Ryan!

    I think it depends on a number of factors, as you’ve said. Having been a “bad” (desperate) customer myself, in the past, as well as having signed up to “bad” advice, I know that you not only have to take action – you have to believe that the action you are taking will get the results you want.

    So it’s really up to the seller to make sure that the buyer is clear about what the product or programme is going to deliver – and not to make wild promises and then hide behind the small print “we don’t guarantee results”.

    There is no magic pill. I don’t think anyone can guarantee results, even if the customer does follow the system to the letter, because everyone is different, the situation they’re in is different, and the market they’re trying to attract is different.

    But if you know that up-front – if what you’re buying is a framework or a strategy, rather than a “guaranteed get rich quick” system, then even if it doesn’t get you exactly the same results as for someone else, you’ll nevertheless have learned something from it that will be useful in getting the results that are right for you.

  6. Hi Ryan,
    Great post as usual.
    I agree more on point no 4.
    There are many BS marketers selling BS products.
    But, there are also some real experts who create really good products.
    Yet, still many can’t make it successful.

    Bottom line is because they are lazy.
    They want instant success and magic button which does not exists.
    There is no instant success.

    Thanks Ryan.
    I’m learning your 1K Per Day and Ryan Lee Method now.
    I’m also learning David’s online interview stuff.
    I’m enjoying these very much.
    Talk to you again soon.
    Thanks again :)

  7. I have been there done that!!! I have bought many IM products and couldn’t get things to work due to not being in sequence. The products didn’t really go step by step. I had to go to different areas of the product for it to make a little sense. Still not making money. Of course when I called them on it. It took them forever to respond.

    So yeah Ryan it is not all the customers fault.

    As a business owner I take full responsibility for what I do in my business. I go above and beyond to help the customer get the best experience with me.

    Here is a review I just got from someone just recently 6/6/12

    Very professional and so easy to deal with. The job was very thorough and I can’t believe how clean Jack left everything when he finished. He knows what he is talking about and experienced at what he does. I have come to the conclusion that a lot of companies will bullshit you just to get the job. Jack is definitely not a bullshiter and knows his stuff.
    I didn’t hire Jack first as he was the first one to give me a bid. Made the mistake of hiring the other company. There work was so unprofessional and lazy and a very costly lesson. I had to call Jack back out to handle what the other company was suppose to do and I can’t believe how hard working and efficient Jack was.
    Jack put the other company to SHAME. I highly recommend using Jack for the jobs you have. You will definitely be impressed. Thank you Jack for the great job and the clean condition you left mine and my neighbors properties in.

    The Moral of this is take care of your customers. Help them out. Make sure they get the product to work for them. Don’t leave them high and dry.

    Do whatever it takes and you will have a thriving business.

    Jack

  8. One thing I’ve noticed is that often, these “gurus” don’t specify who their product is for. Most of the time, this stuff – if it even works at all – is for a certain type of customer or business. I know of a guy who claims to teach you how to sell high-priced programs. However, his copywriting style is not at all suited for a sophisticated market – the most likely market for such programs.

    He’s also big-time guilty of Point #2: His materials are so random and disorganized, it’s impossible to figure out what his method is. In fact, he even had a module on flow-charting out your business model – but his flow charts looked like the engineering schematic of a nuclear collider!

  9. Or #5, your computer broke because you put your laptop on the sandy beach after you put up one video on youtube and waited for the orders to flood in as you watched the waves. I tried that because it was on the cover of your Inner Circle membership card and it totally screwed me. I’ll never be a millionaire now, thanks to Ryan Lee.

    Oh yeah, and quit blaming others. ;)

  10. It could also be an industry issue. For example, what works in fitness may not work for hardware sales. Many products can “work” for any product or service, but to greatly varying degrees.

  11. OK Ryan, time for me to really rock the boat on this one. First, I do agree that there is a shared responsibility. As someone who has taken on the responsibility of trying to teach someone how to do something, you must set some very real expectations about what they should expect.That’s what we SHOULD do.

    Unfortunately in the IM space, a lot of these so called “gurus” are afraid to do that. Instead of telling someone that it may take 6-8 months or even longer to start making REAL money online, they sell them on the pipe dream of getting rich overnight. That’s problem number one. There’s too much lying going on.

    Problem number two is this “entitled” mentality that many people have today. There are a lot of lazy people in this world. I’ll be honest, I used to be one of them. They don’t want to “WORK” for anything nor do they feel like they should have to. They want life to bring them breakfast in bed every morning and by some magical form of osmosis, they will be able to have everything that they want in life. Yeah, OK.

    Unfortunately in the IM space, there will always be sheep (lazy people who want something for nothing) and there will always be wolves (unethical internet marketers who are going to take advantage of that).

    For the small percent of people who are actually willing to work for what they want and end up buying someone’s crap product, its like playing baseball, every now and then you will get hit by a pitch. Just keep playing the game and you will win.

    The only thing that we can do is expose these fake gurus for who they really are, and try to educate the masses about what it REALLY TAKES to succeed online.

    Those who don’t want to hear the truth don’t deserve to succeed. People do a lot of TALKING about what they want out of life but when it comes time to take action, they are full of excuses and dead men’s bones. Those who really want to succeed and have that burning desire that Napoleon Hill talked about, they are the ones who will succeed.

    Everyone else…..well they will just fall by the way side and blame someone else for their circumstances.

  12. Great post, Ryan. The problem(s) you outlined are real… VERY real. However, it goes beyond the Internet Marketing world. Colleges and trade schools are just as guilty. A person can spend a hundred thousand dollars (or more) getting a degree, and end up doing nothing with it. Sure, they learned the “stuff” taught in their courses, but they have no practical way to implement it in real world situations. It’s not necessarily what you know or have learned that counts, it’s your ability to put it into action… and very few schools, courses, or educational systems or institutions provide that element.

    Recently, a very well-known Internet Marketer took all the courses and programs he’s marketed in the past, and combined them into one massive “Box of Stuff” and sold it as a “system”. His marketing was superb. He had webcasts and webinars featuring a lot of the big name, self-proclaimed “gurus” (don’t you hate that word?) talking about how the product works, and some success stories from some of his clients.

    Problem was, there was no systematic process to fit all those individual courses to work as a cohesive unit. That was left up to the individual purchaser. The result? A 40% return rate.

    I don’t go along with some of the comments in this thread that it’s the responsibility of the seller to ensure results of his or her product. Once a person accepts the product, the seller has very little control over what the customer does or does not do. I do, however, believe that the seller has a responsibility to lay out a step-by-step, systematic process on how to make the product produce the results they speak about in their advertising, and more importantly, to be completely honest and truthful in their advertising and promotions so as to not mislead their potential buyers.

    Buyers have to take responsibility and not believe everything the read or hear. Just because society has been led to believe that a college education will guarantee a person’s success, doesn’t mean that it actually will. And likewise, an Internet Marketer’s claim that his or her product will make you a millionaire while sitting on the beach watching the waves roll in doesn’t mean that will. We all have a duty and responsibility to do our due diligence on any product or service that we are considering buying or investing in. And part of that due diligence is our own history of follow-through, implementation, and action-taking of products or services that we have purchased in the past.

    It’s a dual responsibility, and one that far too many purchasers of Internet Marketing products fail to look at.

  13. You always have your pulse directly on the market Ryan. I have been discouraged by the amount of “Me Too” marketers out there who hang a shingle without even knowing how to make money themselves. There is a lot of garbage out there for sure which is why hooking up with an expert like you is really all anyone needs…then – the implementation and constant improvement is what does the rest.

    One day I was thinking about registering for a “higher end” wordpress class from a well known marketer. I had the page open to the checkout page when I got distracted and had to leave my desk for a while. When I got back to my desk, my son had written a note saying “Mom, you already KNOW what to do!!! Stop spending money on these courses and just do what you know!” That was a big moment for me.

    I decided to stick with my tried and true Ryan Lee and …well..Just DO THE WORK!!!

    My income instantly went up and I have been growing my business ever since!!!

    Thanks Ryan Lee for always speaking the truth and providing the best value out there!!!

  14. Every point that you made is valid Ryan…..The one thing that is missing by reading a book or watching a video, is that it will never replace a face to face mentor.

    To expect the majority of the people to learn from this method is unrealistic.

    While information can lead someone in the right direct , the marketer who raises false hope is misleading his clients.

    Its difficult to take action when you have no one to judge your work, and the reasons why things along the way are extremely confronting.

    Without a mentor the vast majority of people will fail….. IMO, This needs to be part of the package.

    Comments please.

  15. Ryan, I appreciate the spirit of what you’re saying here. And you must have come a long way over the last couple of years. I have followed you for about 3 1/2 years now and genuinely appreciate your fresh, honest take on things, your desire to keep growing and helping your students and your willingness to admit you have made some mistakes.

    So in the spirit of you asking how we felt, I will share the following. Not to whine and point fingers, but to be grateful for what I learned from you and share the disappointments of what you did not provide.

    You may recall I signed up for your Continuity King II program after the 2nd CS Summit. I trusted you to provide me with a great program that would help someone like me who was a total newbie and mostly clueless of how to proceed.

    During the training, as I recall the very first or second week, you were encouraging us to pick a niche right there on the spot while you were online with us. I had signed up with the expectation to do something which, during the training, you told me was too soft a market. You encouraged me to pick something else. Hey, you’re the expert. So I followed your advice. So I have been pursuing something that is not my first passion for the last couple of years and not focusing on my first passion. In a way, that is really okay, because I have learned tons of stuff and interviewed some amazing, nationally known people I never would have had the guts to email and ask for an interview if it had not been for your program. So I am very grateful for the lesson of learning how to reach out to world class thinkers and doers in a given field.

    There are many other things I am grateful for from that program. It demystified many things for me and made me realize that I can do this.

    But I must say, looking back on why I bought into the continuity King II program, I think you had some of what I’ll call the old model hype. I bought it hook, line, and sinker. There is nothing wrong with that if it had really delivered the goods.

    The thing I struggled with was the narrow focus of the program. You were billing it as something to get a business up and running quickly. But it was really not a complete system. And I struggled to make it feel complete. There was no element of delivering value to build trust among subscribers before they bought the program. It was basically a sales page and that was it.

    I do know there was one fellow who was in Continuity King I who took off running with the program. He was one of the reasons I felt I could do this, after talking to him at CS II. So he was your star pupil and an excellent testimonial for the program.

    But I was on the Google chat or Facebook page or whatever it was, with everyone else on the program. We emailed each other almost daily for months helping each other and encouraging each other. A couple never got their sites up and running. I must admit I am one of those because I was trying to make it more comprehensive with a WordPress blog, etc. (Why you didn’t have us do a WP blog is still totally beyond my comprehension.)

    Bust almost everyone got their sites live, some in very short order. But over the months, there was very little activity and most of them did not get any sales at all. Even a year or so later, we all touched base and almost everyone was disappointed. It seemed like I had fallen for the next shiny object which wasn’t so shiny after all.

    You ask, “Whose fault is it?” Obviously in my case, I have not made any sales (and I blame no one but myself for that) because I have added to what you had in the program and will be launching soon and have a much better product to offer.

    Some of the people had ideas that might not have been good niches or not positioned correctly or they just were no good at all.

    But it seemed to me some of these folks were pretty savvy marketers, compared to me at least. And while they made their share of mistakes, it seems to me there was something inherently flawed with you system. Maybe flawed is the wrong word. Just incomplete.

    Sort of like opening a bakery with just one or two pies. That’s not enough to do business. I think the model of Continuity King II was probably more valid 5 years ago but not really on the cutting edge of when you launched it. There was no social engagement or blog or anything.

    The way you encouraged us to choose niches right on the spot during one of the trainings and go register the domain name without adequate research I think was the biggest mistake. Some of the folks did what they wanted to do and offered what they thought people would want to buy, but not necessarily what the market wanted. And maybe that was just me, since you had me change my niche.

    At the time I was in awe to have live training from the one and only Ryan Lee. I appreciated the personal attention you gave me during the training. And Geo was great too. But over all it was disappointing.

    I assume that your new program, Ryan Lee Method, is more complete and covers everything. But I could not afford that because I still have not paid for the other. Again, no one to blame but myself.

    Now as I said, I am writing to express gratitude for everything I did learn from the Continuity King II program. And I am sharing my honest observations on my experience.

    I take full responsibility for what I have done or not done, as the case may be. I am not blaming you for my faults in the process.

    I know you were trying to give us a quickie way to get a business online fast. And almost everyone in the program did just that but with very little success.

    Yes, we must accept our responsibility for failure. But to what degree will you accept responsibility for the failure of this product to produce results across the board (at least from everyone I talked to. There may be other successes I know not of)?

    Overall, I have come to see this experience as learning opportunity. And I will repeat, I am grateful for all the lessons that come my way.

    I will be at the Dot Com Expo this fall and am looking forward to learning all I can from you and the amazing speakers you have lined up. I am especially grateful it will not be a pitch fest. That is so tiring.

    Thank you Ryan for the path you are now on. Thanks for keeping things fresh.

    James Early

    1. Very interesting post. I’d say that’s a pretty honest assessment. I like Ryan’s stuff too but am concerned about all the “guru bashing” on these posts. We get the point. There are crooks out there. Let’s see what new stuff Ryan has to offer. He doesn’t have to keep putting other people down to make his material stand out. It should be able to stand on it’s own.

    2. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m still kicking myself over an expensive product I bought (not from Ryan), thinking I should have “known” that it would not tell me everything I needed to know in order to start a successful business.

      I guess we are accountable for investing money based on our hopes, rather than on known facts. But certainly all the successful IMers deliberately speak to our hopes and distract from the facts, and that’s why they have made so much money we want to know what they did!

      The fact is that in order for any marketing strategy or system to work, there has to be something to sell that consumers want badly enough. And in addition, if your business exists strictly online, what you sell has to be something consumers seek in search engines or major social sites (and seek enough that you can make sales, but not so much that you’ll never stand out among your competitors.)

      Putting a website up does not a business make. “Driving traffic” to a site does not make a business either.

      I’ve gotten good ideas on marketing from Ryan. But frankly, marketing knowledge is the easy thing to get. The hard part is coming up with a business offer that meets both your interests and skills and the interests and needs of a sufficient number of consumers not already happy with their other options.

      Good luck on the journey!

  16. Ryan,

    There are basically two parts to the story -

    1) Is the method or system flawed?
    2) Have you really executed the method or system?

    If you’ve been sold something that doesn’t work or if a program does not provide all that it promises, then obviously even if a customer implements it, he or she may not see results.

    If there are people out there who have used the exact same method with success, then you have to honestly look at what you have implemented.

    Have you really done everything that was taught?
    Have you done it the way it was taught?
    Are you missing some critical component?

    And again another big question – Who are you learning from? Are you learning from the wrong teacher?

    It is also important to realize that this is business. There are no guarantees. There is an element of risk involved. The savvy entrepreneur is one who learns from others, but still tweaks and improves based on his or her own situation.

    And realize that it is a constant process. There is no such thing as – “set it and forget it”.

    If you’ve bought into a flawed system or the next shiny object, then the chances of success are dramatically low.

    If you’ve bought into an effective and proven system, but you don’t implement everything, then the chances of success are still dramatically low.

    Unfortunately, the “Internet Marketing” industry is filled with many flawed and incomplete systems, touted as the next big thing.

    But it is also filled with many buyers who have a “get-rich-quick-with-no-work” mentality.

    The few success stories you see are the people who invested in the right systems, learned from the right people and most importantly, did whatever was required for them to get the results they wanted.

    I believe there is no right or wrong answer here that can be generally applied to the masses. The answer is individual to each situation. Thanks for opening up the dialogue.

    - Jay

  17. Excellent post, There are a lot of very good reasons why we should closely examine the practice of selling products that perhaps are of marginal origins. I started to do some research into the way that the FTC and the guides including Dot Com Disclosures, it took me about 8 hours of reading and a headache to get through that mess, but at the end of it one thing became clear the idea of being able to skirt the truth with hype is something that will become a huge issue in the very near future.

    Much of this became effectively a legal issue of significance beginning in Jan of 2012, if you say that a program is able to produce revenue you must be able to prove it, which means legal proof upon demand of officials of the State or the Federal authorities.

    This line of research led to the discovery that most product sellers, do not take the time to document the effectiveness of a product or a method or a concept, they really do not know if what they are selling actually works or not.

    That is just the way it has been in the past, this is why for the last 12 months I have been working on documenting every aspect of every product that I design and produce must meet a minimum desirable effect from a reasonable effort.

    It takes a lot more time to do this but I feel like customers will appreciate the extra effort when using these products.

    It just seems like a better way to do business.

  18. I read all the comments and thought about my own experiences buying and creating products, and my business experience. Here are my thoughts:

    As for the list that you, Ryan had in your post for excuses, I completely agree with all of them but would add two more, accountability (which David mentioned) and consistency, oh and maybe one more, mindset.

    I mention accountability for the reasons David mentioned. Consistency is needed because as newbies they think implement it and wait, they are really not told to do it again and again. I have found that the only way to succeed is by including consistency in your system. Mindset is very important because personally I had a lot of mental roadblocks that stopped me from succeeding and I am still working on removing them. These roadblocks will be there and stop people from succeeding no matter how great the product is and how much action the buyer takes; the reason I say this is because if action is taken and works, when the opportunities come in the buyer will back away from them because of fear or other mental roadblocks.

    What I haven’t seen mentioned here, or maybe I overlooked it, is that a product creator cannot create a product that will contain an entire system with baby-steps to create a business in just a few videos and PDFs. It is impossible.

    There are so many parts to creating a successful business with an effective marketing system that no one can create a product in the small amount of time the market (buyers) want to learn it in. So, why do these “gurus” try to sell a complete system in “30 day” to start a business to buyers? Because that is what the buyers want!

    Let’s face it. There are three parts of the equation here and the buyer is the one that is responsible for everything. The three parts are money, the seller and the buyer!

    The seller sees what the buyer wants + the seller makes what the buyer wants = the buyer exchanges money for what the seller sells that the buyer wants

    Who in this equation is responsible? It all comes back to the buyer. The buyer controls what the seller makes and rewards the seller by buying what he sells so he makes and sells more.

    This reminds me of the old version of the Dr. Seuss Movie “The Lorax”. If you haven’t seen it I highly suggest it (the old version, not the new) it is highly educative and deep especially for a child’s movie.

    The buyers today want a business in a box that can be created in less than an hour! This is impossible to provide, yet sellers try to make it happen anyway because it sells. If the sellers created a business in a box that takes 2 years to create a profit, who would buy it? Probably no one, however, statistics in almost every industry says this is more realistic.

    This is why I try to focus my products on aspects of business, like instead of selling an entire marketing system, I will focus a product on just writing headlines (I haven’t done this type of product but it is just an example).

    I probably angered a lot of people saying it is all the buyer’s fault; but hey, if they didn’t buy crap, no one would sell crap! And if they bought crap because of sleazy advertising, then they need to be responsible and ask for a refund, which most buyers don’t do because they are too lazy.

    All we can do as product makers, is take responsibility to not be like those sleazy sellers. There is nothing else we can do about the state of the economy or industry, just be smart buyers and sellers and take responsibility for our own actions and not worry too much about what we can’t control.

    1. The product I bought with great regret because of the value to me relative to its cost was put out by one of the top IMers identified as authentic and non-sleazy. His pitch was not “30 days” but rather “I made a million in 1 year, and I’ll tell you how step-by-step.”

      Then it was a lot of videos of him hyperventilating over a few marketing strategies mixed in with cult-ish positive-think crap and attempts to sell me on even more expensive programs.

      If you never took business courses in school, you don’t know the 2-year guideline. And even the most sincere marketers don’t want you to know it.

      Hype and sleaze are rampant across markets. Cars, shoes, insurance. Should the buyer beware? Yes. But is the buyer responsible when the seller is manipulative and dishonest? No.

      Though I make the mistake of believing the lie, I am not the liar.

  19. How can we, the producers of business systems, expect people to instantly succeed if they don’t have a marketing and entrepreneurial mindset first?

    You know… the ability to persist and experiment and try and fail and fail some more and keep at it until they learn the right combination that opens the vault of success. (Ryan’s point #4)

    Without that mindset, you can throw everything else out the window.

  20. Hi Ryan,

    As always, great post. at StartDoingBusiness.com, we deal with this topic more than ever before.

    As I mentioned in a recent post, I had to spend nearly 2 hours helping one of my clients realize the fallacy of his ways on Skype just a few weeks ago.

    However, there is some justice to running an online business the way it should be ran.

    Take a look at this tweet I received a few days ago from an animator that worked on Alvin and The Chipmunks 3: ” @tweetzachsmith of startdoingbusiness.com just blew my mind – we’re definitely going to take my book #misfitsupers to the next level! ”

    So, in short, sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad. People like Scott (Who is writing a comic book and taking MASSIVE ACTION), will get results with what I teach.

    Others, like my client on Skype, will wallow in the mires and never get the results he could potentially achieve.

    What do you think? Am I right?

  21. You are right again Ryan. Several years ago when I first started marketing online, I bought products that would help me. All my life, in every area, I’ve supplemented my knowledge with the help of experts. From professional speaking to marketing and coaching, I’ve had great mentors and materials.

    In Internet marketing, even though I’ve consulted to corporations from American Airlines to Entrepreneur Magazine, I’d never come across something so confusing (at first).

    At first I was flying blind. I’d try to check out some guru, then buy his or her stuff only to be stopped by either the lack of clear teaching or trying to figure out how the components would work.

    I finally came up with this assumption, most gurus can’t teach. Many are self-imposed (on us) gurus and aren’t worthy of that title at all. Others were successful. I’ve seen some who made it with mostly JV help and had no idea why they’d succeeded. Yet they put together some ragtag course.

    The very first product I bought, the “guru” said, “Get an auto responder.” Unfortunately he didn’t explain it. I had no idea what it was. When I finally got a service, I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me over 6 months to realize that each list was segregated and could be mailed to separately!

    The good news was that I got the rights back to a book, “How To Take No For An Answer And Still Succeed,” and sold more online in a few months than my publisher sold in over two years. Then made it into a pdf and upped the price from $19.95 to $27. and sold even more. Love Internet marketing!

    You are the clearest trainer (worthy of “guru” status) I’ve yet to find online. Also the most ethical. Thanks for all your good work.

  22. Ryan,

    I had someone share this post with me in my skype group earlier today and felt I needed to read it. We just had this conversation earlier this week and I agree with everything you point out 100%. I think the fault lays heavily on both the product creators and the customers. However, here is my problem with the creators.(Especially WSO creators) You would think that you were in a manufacturing company since they pump out so many IM products but no true support, no qualified training, and no system to ensure the success of the students. And thats where I have to draw the line.

    Most of the customers out there that buy these products are truly indeed looking for a solution but many of them have no clue how to start or even apply what they read. So they buy these BS products and then fail miserably and now are even more broke because they spent the last few bucks they had on something that didn’t deliver.

    Now don’t get me wrong, ACTION is a must in order to succeed but if there is no system in place to show the right steps of action and in what order, it doesn’t matter how much action you take, you will not succeed. Many of us that have been around IM for a long time forget that we too had to learn and alot of us the hard way. So why not fix it and create not only products but also a learning system that their students are bound to succeed if they take action. Not hold their hand but providing a true guide that is doable.

    I could go on forever on this topic. This is a topic I have been really passionate about and just recently decided to refocus my brand and also how I was going to help people out.

    Great post…I am glad to have had one of my skype members share this with me. It shows that there are leaders out there that truly get what success is all about.

    Thanks
    Tony

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