Archives for September 2009


Is Canada’s Business Community Oblivious?

I am a born and raised Canadian… so what follows is not anti-Canadian.  It is an observation of a dangerous trend I see Canada’s entrepreneurs following.

Canada is a great land filled with wonderful people… but the business community I see is wimpy. We have taken our ‘nice guy’ image too far… and it shows in our revenues and our profits,

For the past 7 years I have been consulting with entrepreneurs from all over the world… mainly the US, Canada, and Australia.  In many cases I also help them create marketing campaigns to launch new products or services, and to put bums in seats at seminars they host.

The problem?

Canadians seem to hate marketing.

They aren’t willing to invest the money in it, they aren’t willing to invest the time and money to learn how to do it right, and they aren’t competitive in many ways with companies who are good marketers.

Take this interview with Google:

Canadian businesses are not keeping up with consumers when it comes to taking advantage of the Internet, a senior executive at Google told a group of reporters at a press event in Toronto yesterday.

At a media session held at the search giant’s Canadian headquarters, Nikesh Arora, president, global sales operations and business development for Google, said that while Canada ranks among the top nations in terms of consumer usage, the volume of online advertising by Canadian companies does not reflect this sophistication.

“Canada has world-class Internet penetration and world-class broadband penetration, but what we find fascinating is that it’s not as competitive a business market,” said Arora. “The online adoption of businesses is not at par with the online adoption of consumers.”

According to Arora, failure to establish more of an online presence through search, display and video advertising could have adverse long-term effects on businesses as online research becomes more central to consumers’ business decisions. He added that Canadian firms were already missing out on opportunities to penetrate foreign markets in an increasingly borderless world.

“There’s a benefit that [businesses] can grab, but there’s also a risk if they don’t grab it,” said Arora, pointing out that international companies would fill the online void left by inactive Canadian advertisers.

In a nutshell: we are missing the boat and it is passing us by quickly.

International entrepreneurs are starting to get it and are taking our customers from us!  How? They are actually out there in front of the buying public… Canadians aren’t.

Another major study conducted by multiple international countries shows Canada is overly confident in their business building ability.

In fact, Canada is ranked near the top for high failure rates for entrepreneurs.  Why?  Because we think we are better at business and marketing than we actually are. We don’t invest the time or money to learn how to do it better… because we naively think we are already good at it.

And it shows!

Thankfully the tides are turning and I am seeing a large number of Canadian firms just starting to pay attention.  2 years ago, 85% of my consulting and copywriting clients were from the US.  Now, it is 50% US and 50% Canadian.  A trend I like to see.

This applies to any and every entrepreneur… not just us Canucks.

Don’t get too cocky about how smart you think you are… there is always someone smarter and someone willing to work harder to get the sale.

In a recession, you have to busy your butt to generate business… and sitting back on your ego won’t get you anywhere other than bankruptcy.

Get out there and market yourself daily.

Get out there and read a new book a week, or a month, on proven marketing strategies.

Get out there an do something… and get your ego off the chair and get BUSY!

To your success. Troy


When Harry Met Tommy

Fellow Business Builder,

I want to introduce you to two people today.

One of them is real, one is entirely fictional.  Both of them are
highly successful, and pull in hundreds of millions in revenue per

The best part?  They use completely different approaches to grow
their thriving empires.

The main reason I wanted to talk about these unique business models
is that they are both thriving in the downturn.

They both sell higher priced clothing.   And they both target a more
affluent type of buyer.

>> (whether you sell clothes, houses, or computers, the same priniciples
apply to you and your business… guaranteed)

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First, meet Harry Rosen:
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Harry Rosen is a Canadian Icon with 55 years in business.  Harry has
turned his initial $500 investment into a $250 Million dollar empire
and continues to thrive in the current economy. Harry Rosen now
proudly owns 35 percent share of the national market in high-end men’s

One of the BIG reasons Harry has done so well?

“Most companies are faceless but I’m the face. Like me or dislike me,
it’s what you get,” he says.

Direct from the master: you MUST have a face in front of your

Simple… yet ignored by 99% of businesses out there.

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Do YOU put your name and face in front of all your messaging?
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Do you make sure people understand that you are there for them, and
that you will make sure they get the attention they crave?

It is one of the most critical skills to master in a buying
environment like this.

People are desperately seeking out companies who are different.
Companies who have something unique about them.  Companies that give
them a good story they can share with their friends and associates.

Harry does this.

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Guess how Harry Rosen got his start?
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A little know fact about Harry is that he was an outstanding
copywriter who hand wrote out long “quirky” little letters to the
top CEOs in Canada.  He would hand pick who he wanted as a buyer, get
their address and hand write out these “odd letters”, as he called
them in an interview.

Despite what many people think: those executives not only received
and opened his mail; they read it top to bottom and came in to order
some finely tailored suits and clothing.

Hand written… long copy… no photographs.

The TOP business leaders would respond with credit cards in hand. (I
did ask him if he kept copies of them… unfortunately he said no).

They continue to sell to the affluent professional.

The up and coming executive who must make the right first impression.
The new manager who needs to look good in the boardroom, as well as
after hours at the company party.

While Harry no longer hand writes those letters, they still continue
to use advertising campaigns that bring people in the door.

One way they do it is through their Ask Harry Column.  It all started
with an ad they ran that told this story…

“This is Harry. Harry has a store. Harry sells suits. Harry’s suits
are all naturally tailored. Harry calls this lean, unpadded styling
the Cambridge look. Harry specializes in the Cambridge look. If you
like the Cambridge look, remember his name, Harry.”

“Right from the moment it ran, it was very successful,” Rosen says.

“We had customers coming in from outside of Toronto, from around the
country, in fact. That was the beginning, although I didn’t understand
it at the time, of the branding of Harry Rosen.”

Anyone could ask Harry any question they wanted about clothing,
dressing the part, or even how to act in social situations they are
involved in.

You can ask Harry “Can you wear a French-cuffed shirt and cufflinks
with a sports jacket, or only a suit?” and get an answer.   Some of
the random things Harry helps men understand through his Ask Harry

* Changing trends in the men’s fashion world –

* How to pick a wine with confidence

* How to tie a tie – also one of the top applications on Apple’s

* How to pack a suitcase

* How to choose and wear your denim

Harry still spends every Saturday in his flagship store with a tape
measure and piece of chalk in hand. He does the same thing at his
other stores across the country at least a couple of times a year.

This is a man who has become a Canadian Icon in the business world,
and a major success in the world fashion scene.

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His new breakthrough advertising campaign
features prominent Canadian Business Men in their element.
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Each ad is like a case study with the customers photo, their name and
credentials, and their story of how they became a devoted Harry Rosen

Some of the titles he gave his customers:

The Influencer
The Guru
The Entrepreneur
The Visionary

To see how the ads/story lines look, you can look at
(the actual ads have more copy than on this picture though)

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How did Harry continue to thrive in an economic disaster?
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They introduced a new campaign: “Welcome to The New Confidence”

“Our experience has been that the surest way to bolster the economy
is to inspire confidence, the kind of confidence conveyed by dressing
in a manner that underscores the fact that you are the right leader
for the task at hand. Your personal brand is your biggest asset

Harry Rosen is an exceptional business man and his use of his photo,
his name, and his values in their marketing is one of the big reasons
they have done so well.

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Next, my friend Tommy Bahama
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I say friend because I feel like I know Tommy, even though he is a
fictional character.  I am actually wearing one of Tommy’s shirts
right now… and I love Tommy’s clothes.  They are right up my alley
(an ex-suit who despises wearing a tie anymore… I was a Harry Rosen
Shopper and have now moved to the Tommy side).

It is very interesting to me that both Harry and Tommy target similar
demographics… upwardly mobile more affluent type of buyers.

Yet their clothing styles are dramatically different. The sales
approach they use is even more different. Harry sells you on looking
good and knowing how to act in a professional situation.

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Tommy sells you on the way of life that many of us strive for.
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From their site:


There is a warm westerly breeze rustling the palms, the lulling roar
of crashing waves – it’s a celebration of island living, courtesy of
Tony Margolis, Bob Emfield and Lucio Dalla Gasperina.

In 1992, our fictional Tommy Bahama character became the inspiration
behind the experience of traveling to exotic locales where the food is
good, the beaches are hot and the mood is relaxed.

Tommy Bahama and his tropical adventures command the finer things in
life: casual, comfortable sportswear, golfwear, swimwear, footwear and
accessories for men and women.

As the purveyor of island lifestyles, Tommy Bahama, has created a
world where life moves at a more relaxed pace, where the enjoyment of
the good life is the norm, rather than the exception.

Not sure about you, but I can hear the waves, and see myself there on
that beach.  It is what I strive for… and there are a lot of people
out there who have a dream just like that.

And the Tommy character is just what the doctor ordered.

For the beach lovers out there… you can visit Paradise Nation and
travel to exotic locations with Tommy

They have also expanded into the restaurant business now, and,
although I haven’t had the privilege of frequenting one yet, I know
people who have and they absolutely loved it.

Tommy Bahama also knows that those who aspire to an island lifestyle
want more than just the nice comfortable clothes to go with it; they
want to completely immerse themselves in everything to do with the
beach bum life.

They now sell luggage, furniture, bathroom accessories, bedding and
bathroom goods, rugs… even ceiling fans.

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By the time you are done with Tommy’s store,
you are completely decked out from head to toe
and from doorway to bedroom.
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You can even pick up a bottle of Tommy’s finest Tropical Rum for
your afternoon cocktails out on the patio set you bought from Tommy.

You ARE living the Tommy lifestyle…
exactly what you wanted.

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So what does all this have to do with you and your business?
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Pay close attention to these two businesses.

They both use a personality front and centre. One of them is a real
person, the other is fictional (but real in the customer’s mind).

The personality is used everywhere, and it becomes the main reason
why people buy… they aspire to be just like that person they hear so
much about.  They want to live the same lifestyle… look the part…
be that person.

This is a secret of success that is soooooo rarely used.

For example, a new client has just come on board.

He has a successful business in the horse training business.  He
lives on a ranch in the middle of no where.  And people from all over
the world seek him out to get lessons with their horses. They fly him
all over the world to teach his classes.

And he wants to take his business to the next level.

How would he do it?

He would model what Harry and Tommy have done.

He would give his clients an insider’s view on what it is really
like to be a cowboy.

To work with horses day in and day out.

To ride deep into the mountains on a 3 week trip.

To be at one with nature and live off the land like real cowboys used

And we build his personality into everything that he does.

I will share with you what happens as we get this rolling.

Much like the Lobster story I have shared here, the key to success in
business today is giving people a unique story they can tell their
friends and family.

The lobster brothers send out dvds with every product shipment.

Pop the dvd in and watch your dedicated lobster fisherman telling you
about their family, about how they catch your lobster, and about how
it is working on a fishing boat for a living.

Those brothers built a million dollar business in just a few months
using their personalities as the main selling point.

In a business that was traditionally a price-based decision.

No longer.

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So the question for you is…

…do you want your customers to think of you like a Tommy?

…or a Harry?
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Both work.  One is more wild and free… living the ultimate
lifestyle many of your customers aspire to.  The other is a
professional… works hard and plays hard.

Do your customers want to:

“Escape the troubles of the modern world in favour of a place
that’s relaxed and worry-free… where life is one long weekend.


“Live in their own New Confidence in a New Economy?”

Which person are you targeting?

How are you giving them what they want?

How can you?

What can you do to give them the lifestyle they want?

How can you tie your personality into it so they will NEVER forget

What one thing could you do in the next month that would get them
talking about you to their friends, family and associates?

I would love to hear your ideas.

Thanks again.

To your success,

Troy White

PS: This was originally written for Clayton Makepeace and The Total Package.

If you aren’t keeping up to date with our daily blog posts at – why not?


The F*@!#N Fast Way to boost your sales by 163%

In this issue:

* The F*@!#N dinner campaign that broke all kind of sales records
* Getting a 50% response rate to a one time mailer …
* How to leverage “the diaper mailer” …
* And Much More!

A Direct Mail Information Service survey found that 78 percent of your clients
actually DO want to get mailings from you. Combine that with your own
highly targeted campaigns — ones that make full use of your customer
data — and you’ve got a winning combination.

Just to add fuel to the fire:

* 70% of Generation Y have stated that they respond to print
direct mail (vs. 68% Generation X and 61% Boomers) – 2007 Veritas
Customer Focus.

* 90% will open their mail if it looks interesting or intriguing
(vs. 84% will open it if it has their name on it) – NOTE: people are
more likely to open it if it looks interesting than if it has their
name on it – Consumer Attitudes Towards Direct Mail Study.

* 163% are more likely to buy from a website if they see a
printed direct mail piece than if they saw digital e-mail only – 2007
Multichannel Direct Mail Study, comScore Inc.

* 73% prefer print direct mail for offers and information – only
18% said they prefer e-mail.

* Those who received a promotional product in a dimensional
package responded at a rate that was 57% higher than those who
received the same promotional product in an envelope – Baylor

* Response rates for the dimensional package recipients were 75%
higher than for the group who received only a sales letter – Baylor

People WANT to be intrigued by your mailing piece
– Is regular print cutting it?

Take Knorr’s new launch of a frozen food line.

First, they know exactly what people typically think of frozen meals
– ugh.  Blah.  Not very tasty.  So they used that as part of their

Second, they pushed the edge a little – especially when you consider
they are quite a traditional company – not exactly ones to push it
that far.

They wanted to target a younger audience than they were used to
(those less likely to want to spend their time in the kitchen cooking
a gourmet dinner).

But they also wanted to target a 25-35 year old professional women,
one who enjoys a glass of wine over dinner.

Great market that is highly focused and has disposable income.

Based on their own in-house list, combined with a list from a partner
company, they were able to put together a very desirable list for
their offer.

Step #1, they gave a coupon for a free $8.99 dinner to this exact
demographic group. The next closest niche group they could find, they
mailed a lower end coupon for ready-to-serve soup, worth $3.99.

The front of the direct mail piece reads:
To reveal the full message, put this in your freezer …
F*@!#N Delicious
(showing a picture of a scrumptious shrimp
and pasta bowl underneath the headline)

When you put it in the freezer, the message changed to (using
temperature sensitive ink) :

To reveal the full message, put this in your freezer …

It worked incredibly well for them.

Stepping into a very risqué type of marketing (the other ads they
ran all used the F*@!#N concept – “Not your mom’s F*@!#N dinners”).

The most targeted list received over 50% response, with a 10%
overall response rate from all different list segments.

They sold out all the products in the first run and had to plan
carefully for subsequent mailings.

Or, what about the Nova Scotia-based golf course that mailed sports
writers who had recently played one of the five courses around?

Included with the mailing was a beat up old golf ball with a simple
1-page letter:

“While doing some routine maintenance on the course, the ground
crew found this ball in the sand trap or water hole, and an eyewitness
thought it might be yours.  And, by the way, we’d love you to come
back and we can help you plan your trip …”


So was their response.

They were deluged with phone calls both to book further golf trips,
plus to compliment them on the very intelligent piece.

My point is that every single one of us should be using more
creativity in our mailers.  The copy is king – but your customers WANT
MORE from you.

More fun.
More interactivity.
More unusual marketing pieces.

For example, why not do a Web card (a postcard showing a screen shot
of your website) with a highlighted section on your website – make a
secret clickable link that would not be noticeable otherwise – forcing
them to go to your website to check out the link?

Or you can borrow this idea from a piece I received.  A nice, shiny,
blue metallic envelope shows up in my mailbox one day.
Inside is a one page letter and a diaper.

The actual letter teases you with some very targeted copy.

They know who you are, what you do for a living, and what your main
area of interest is.

In order to find out what the diaper is for, and to find out what
this is all about, you need to go to a special website – (It is no longer live, so you won’t find
anything there.)

Makes it difficult NOT to check out the site.

Which is the exact point.

There are hundreds and hundreds of gimmicky things you can use in
your mailings to bulk them up and make them more compelling.
People want to be entertained (and sold), so make sure
you are giving them what they want.

There are a few ways you can find ideas for your business here:

1. Find related products to your industry niche, your product, or
your target market.  Talk to promotional companies to see what they
can find for you. (They typically have bookshelves FULL of catalogs
they can pull ideas from.)

2. Talk to pop-up creators (Not the Web page pop-ups, but the
physical ones that can create pop-up people, buildings, clothing,
animals … or pretty well anything else you can imagine.)  Search for
pop-up direct mail or dimensional direct mail with your industry in
the search term – see what you find.

3. Use a one-page creativity initiator, like this one I created

(for a more graphical list,
go to ):

Action Figures    Art classes        Airplanes
Archery        Board games
Basketball        Baking        Baton twirling
Blackboards/chalk    Beanbags        Biking
Binoculars        Bird watching    Blocks
Butterflies        Bowling        Cap guns
Cracker Jacks    Clay Creations    Caterpillars
Cots        Books        Boomerangs
Bubbles        Bug Collections    Boat sailing/building
Card games    Carpentry        Cards
Costumes        Chess        Candles
Camping        Checkers        Cats
Clay molding    Construction    Coloring books
Cartoons        Chalk boards/drawing    Cars
Cooking        Computer games    Crayons
Chemistry        Dancing        Dollhouses
Dogs        Dominoes        Dolls
Drumming        Dune buggy    Electric toys
Exercise        Elephants        Elegant party
Dice        Dreams        Energy

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NOTE: The birthday bundle special is on for 2 more days….

packed with hot marketing ideas for the year end buying season

PLUS a free teleseminar that will help you improve your cash flow and attract new clients

details at:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =  = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =  = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Football        Firecrackers    Frisbee
Finger painting    Flower pressing    Finances
Forts        Guitar        Games
Gardens        Garages        Golf
Gymnastics        Hunting for bugs    Horseshoes
Haunting        Harmonica        Harp
Hammocks        Horoscopes    Helicopters
Hiking        Hockey        Jewelry making
Juggling        Jumping rope    Kaleidoscopes
Kites        Knitting        Letter writing
Listening to music    Lumber        Mummies
Magic tricks    Magnets        Microscope
Magnifying glass    Marbles        Marionettes
Model making    Musical instruments    Masks
Nature walks    Needle point    Paper airplanes
Paper-mache    Plants        Pipes
Photography    Piano        Playgrounds
Ping pong        Poster coloring    Puppet making and play
Pool        Puzzles        Rocks
Remote control cars    Reading        Robots
Slides        Skiing        Snowmen
Star gazing        Scare Crows    Silk Screen
Soap Making    Ships        Sleds
Science        Scrap books    Scrap yards
Sand boxes        Rope        Skating
Stamp collecting    Skateboarding    Sketching
Tires /tubes        Twister        Trampoline
Tea Party        Tents        Trading cards
Telescopes        Swimming        Strings
Stickers        Train sets        Tools
Traveling        Violin        Volleyball
Video games    Walking        Whistling
Wagons        Whittling        Walkie-Talkies
Writing        Xylophone        Wilderness
Yoga        View-Master    Yo-Yos
Yarn        Zebras        Zipper
Zoo trips

4. Use a site like or
Thousands of ideas are there for you – at incredibly reasonable prices.

5. Talk to direct marketers who specialize in dimensional

6. Talk to packaging experts.  There are lots of freelance
packaging experts out there who are used to producing product
packaging and would welcome the opportunity to be more creative with a
new type of mailing piece – like the one direct marketer I know of in
Canada who used a packaging expert to design a mock-up shipping carton
with “live animal” written on the outside, straw sticking out of it,
and a surprise inside.  This mailing piece was responsible for over
$1.6 million dollars in new revenues for him.

It doesn’t take much to stand out from the crowd these days in
print mail – many people are getting cheaper and cheaper in their
marketing and moving from print to digital, despite the response

I have personally mailed many a bizarre thing: Halloween masks,
bells, dollar bills, coins, cartoons, hats, MP3 players, memory
sticks, garden seeds, etc. and have always been very happy with
the results I got.

If you are feeling a little sluggish in the sales department, maybe
now is the perfect time to try something new!

To your success,

Troy White

PS: If you want to crank up the heat in your marketing, the Birthday
Bundle Special is still on for 2.5 more days…

details at:


It’s my birthday today and I have something for YOU…

It’s my birthday today and I want to do something special for you.

And I want to make it something that doesn’t cost you and arm-and-a-leg… but yet holds the potential to make you a bundle.

One of the biggest factors in successful marketing is in finding proven templates (either by your own testing, or by copying others tests)… and then implementing them immediately in your own business.

IT CAN SAVE YOU A FORTUNE in marketing tests.

Even better, it can make you a bundle.

Why risk your own money, when others have already done it for you?

Recently, I have created a number of new products on CD and DVD – along with print manuals as well.  They are designed to give you PROVEN templates for building your business and growing your client base.

Again, I risked my own money to test these campaigns… you don’t have to.

Through this special link…. you get a number of lead generating and conversion templates … proven to help you build your business in good times and in bad

I want to give you a gift on my birthday – have a look at for details – I promise it is worth your time.

Thanks again – and I promise to send you more tips to help you in your business.

Until then,

Troy White


Writing tips that create wealth

To continue on from the last post about writing, here are the 5 basic components of a good story:

  1. PASSION. The big reason you need to practice your writing is to develop your voice and passion in the written form. The major problem with most marketing is the void of passion.  Most advertising is boooooooring.  And the results from the ads show it.  Get your voice and passion bottled up… inject it into your story… and you will have a winning campaign… guaranteed.
  2. YOU… or a hero. All good stories have a central character that the story is built around. (this is where your bullet points from the last exercise help). The story shares things from their perspective and is designed to eliminate readers who don’t like your point of view… and draw in those who do.
  3. The obstacle or antagonist. Every story must have a point… and an obstacle is usually an excellent point to use in your marketing materials. Share with them an obstacle you were faced with, how you overcame it, and what you learned from it.  A simple formula that works time and time again.
  4. The big moment. What one thing sparked you to take action?  What made you realize the problem you were faced with was a problem? What or who inspired you to take the action to fix the problem?
  5. The transformation. What happened as a result of all this?  What did you end up doing?  How did it feel to overcome the problem?  What are you doing for them as a result of your problem being solved, or to solve the problem?

This takes practice… as does any skill.

But this skill pays FAR MORE than any other skill I know of.

And you can only get better at it with age… vs many other skills that deteriorate as you age.

So… have you started writing yet?


Get on it… your bank account will thank you.


Writing your story to make you money

THE most powerful skill you will learn is the ability to craft a good story and prod people to take an action.

It should be something we all know in business, but very few people take the time to improve on this crraft.

You don’t need to become the next Stephen King, but you do need to be able to tell a decent story that compells your prospects and clients to take the action you want.

I always teach people to start with a blank piece of paper and a pen.

Lock yourself up somwhere quiet.

Grab a glass of water or coffee.

And start writing down anything and everything from your past that you can remember.

Things like (from my file):

– married for 10 years

– have twin 8 year old daughters

– they were born at 3 pounds each – 2 months premature – 5 weeks in hospital to get bigger before going home

– almost flunked high school

– a bit (ah hem) of a partier in my teenage years

– have lived in Canada and the US

– LOVE hot weather

– 1 dog and 2 cats

– multiple failed business ideas

– two successful businesses

– used to paint houses for a living

– ran a College Pro Painters franchise to put myself through university (had 8 painters working for me)

– rode a 1970 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle for 13 years

– favorite car I ever owned was my 1967 Cougar

– favotire vehicle I now own… 2008 GMC 4×4 Silverado SLT

– and so on.

You should have pages of bullet points when  you are done.

Each and every one of those bullets can be turned into a story that you can use as a promotion, as a blog post, as an article, in your bio, etc.

It really is easy… and will be very profitable for you… IF YOU DO IT.

I will continue sharing ideas on what makes for profitable story telling.

The key right now is for you to start writing out that list – then KEEP IT ON FILE (I lost my first list… lesson learned).

To your success, Troy