A Goal That's Easier to Achieve Than Ignore

By John Forde
“Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.” Confucius
Quit smoking. Lose weight. Read more. Work harder. Get organized. Spend more time with family and friends.
Every January, we make the same promises. By March, most of them are out the window.
“A resolution,” somebody once said, “is a thing that goes in one year and out the other.”
What if, this year, one resolution could improve every aspect of your life?
Yet, to make this one promise stick, you need to do no extra work, command no extra discipline, and make no extra sacrifices. In fact, following through on this one pledge is actually easier than NOT doing it.
What is it?
Two words. But before I explain, let me give you the set-up. It starts 15 years ago, just six months into my copywriting career.
I was an understudy to one of the best copywriters in the country, Bill Bonner. Already, I had a handful of very successful sales letters under my belt. And we were just sitting down to talk job review and salary.
Now copywriting is about selling. And, I have to admit, at this point I had some mixed feelings about what that meant.
It was only natural.
Lots of people are under the impression that selling is about fooling people. Says the stereotype, it’s all about tricking the customer into wanting something he never wanted before. Or doing something he never really wanted to do.
Was that accurate? I genuinely wasn’t experienced enough to be sure. But being young, I also sometimes mistook cynicism for the cloak of the wise. and during this conversation with Bill, that’s how I dealt with my doubts.
“Of course,” I told him, “you know I don’t really believe in all this stuff.”
This “stuff,” by the way, was what I was supposed to sell. Bill looked taken aback. “Wait a minute,” he said, “You’ve got to believe in it… otherwise how can you write about it? You can’t sell what you don’t believe in.”
He was right. It was simple. Yet it felt like a revelation. With every copywriting project that followed, that was my guideline.
If I couldn’t buy the product’s proposition, I either wouldn’t agree to write for it… or I would work with the product manager to reshape the product until I could.
Sometimes I’d get in deep on a hopeless case and have to extract myself. But for the most part, it’s a strategy that’s worked out well. And I’ve heard plenty of other top copywriters say the same.
Sell the products that are so good they sell themselves. Those are the ones you can believe in. And that’s the key to a successful career in sales and marketing. Yet, even in something so simple there’s something else that’s profound.
I read a book a few years ago by Joe Vitale. It was called The Seven Lost Secrets of Success, and shared the life story of advertising legend Bruce Barton.
Maybe you’ve heard of Barton. He’s most famous as the second ‘B’ in “Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborn” or BBDO, one of the most famous ad agencies of the 20th century.
He’s also the creator of “Betty Crocker,” named General Motors and General Electric, and helped build Ford Motors, Carnegie Steel, plus a few dozen more of America’s most famous companies.
Here’s the funny thing. Barton never imagined he’d wind up in the ad industry. He originally wanted to be a novelist. Then a journalist. For a while there, he was a magazine editor. But his partners would later say Barton was born for advertising.
Not because he could successfully bamboozle customers into buying. But for the opposite reason. Here’s Barton himself, spilling out his personal philosophy back in 1925:
“Do not venture into the sunlight unless you are willing first to put your house in order… no dyspeptic can write convincingly of the joys of mince meat. No woman-hater can write convincingly of love… unless you have a real respect for people, a real affection for people, a real belief that you are equipped to serve them, and that by your growth and prosperity they will likewise grow and prosper, unless you have this deep-down conviction, gentleman, do not attempt advertising. For somehow it will return to plague you.”
And then once more, writing in that same year:
“I believe the public has a sixth sense of detecting insincerity. We run a tremendous risk if we try to make other people believe in something we don’t believe in. Somehow our sin will find us out… the advertisements which persuade people to act are written by men who have an abiding respect for the intelligence of their readers, and a deep sincerity regarding the merits of the goods they have to sell.”
Translation: “Be genuine.”
That was Barton’s secret. It’s also the secret I suggest you and I carry into the coming year. By the way, that doesn’t just apply to your business decisions.
Being genuine means being honest with yourself too. Especially when it comes to focusing on your objectives and setting the goals you’ll target over a lifetime.
Ask yourself, did you buy that exercise bike as a tool to finally better your health… or did you really buy it as a towel rack that says “I care about exercise” even if you don’t?
Are you saying you’ll quit smoking because you know you should? And because it’s robbing you of cash, health, and future time with your family? Or just because it’s what your friends want to hear?
Is this really the year you’re going to get organized, get serious, and get to work building the career you care about, the skill you wanted, and the life you desire… or are these just more superficial ornaments to jot down on your “to-do” list to make yourself feel better?
Be honest. Be sincere. Be genuine.
With yourself and with everybody else, as often and as much as you can. Nothing else you’ll resolve to do could make a bigger difference.
[Ed Note: John Forde, a published writer and a direct-mail copywriter since 1992, is the editor of the free weekly e-zine, The Copywriter’s Roundtable.
You can meet all your marketing goals – and achieve all your personal, social, financial, and business dreams – with the help of ETR’s Total Success Achievement Program. Learn more by clicking here….]
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[Early to Rise Copyright ETR, LLC, 2007]
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Put a Little Bing in Your Step

By Kelley Herring
Inflammation is (or should be) a serious concern. It is the cornerstone of cellular aging and the root of chronic disease, which now affects more than 100 million people in the U.S. alone. But new research shows that eating many of your favorite foods, including cherries, may help quell inflammation and forestall the ravages of aging.
A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition evaluated the effect of cherries on inflammation. Eighteen healthy men and women supplemented their diets with bing cherries (280 grams/day, or just less than two cups of pitted cherries) for 28 days. Blood samples were drawn and analyzed before and during the cherry noshing, as well as 28 days afterward.
After 28 days, the subjects’ plasma concentrations of CRP, a primary marker of inflammation, decreased by 25 percent. Then, after the subjects abstained from cherries for 28 days, their circulating concentrations of CRP increased by approximately 10 percent.
Choose cherries for a sweet treat with real health benefits. My favorite way to enjoy them is in my Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie. Just blend one cup of organic milk, one scoop of Jay Robb’s Chocolate Whey (all-natural, pasture-grazed, grass-fed whey protein isolate made from cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH), and one cup of frozen organic cherries. In minutes, you’ll have an antioxidant-rich dessert for breakfast that will keep you full till lunch and keep inflammation at bay.
[Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is the founder and CEO of Healing Gourmet (www.healinggourmet.com), and is editor-in-chief of the Healing Gourmet book series. Learn more about how simple lifestyle choices can improve your health by reading ETR’s free natural health e-letter.]
From the www.earlytorise.com newsletter
[Early to Rise Copyright ETR, LLC, 2007]
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