Do I have A Wrong Idea of Business?

by 6 comments
I think it is was Zig Ziglar who said, “You can only get what you want,
if you help enough other people get what they want.” And this is the
mantra by which I try to conduct my online business.

I love teaching, coaching and helping people.

I love to see my clients excel and do well.

I’ll bend backwards to make sure that I give my best effort to every
job I do.

I try to always give a fair price.

But has this paid off for me? I’ll have to say, “No.”

For me it has always been that the “nice guys finish last.” And to
illustrate this I’ll give you a few examples without breaking confidences
of past clients and relationships—except where those clients have
already done so.

When I first started taking clients as a copywriter and ghostwriter I
wrote ebooks and sales letters for a few clients who are today net
millionaires. You’ll think after they have arrived that they won’t ‘forget
you’, but instead they find other copywriters to give the “big jobs”. I
basically launched their careers and they forget Joseph in prison.

I must admit that this has not been so in all cases. There are a few
clients who have stuck with me from the start to this very day and I
write almost all their copy. They are the main source of my income.

Another marketer once contacted me about his website that wasn’t
selling too well. I gave him a FREE critique not expecting anything
further. Anyway he asked me to rewrite the copy for this website and
claimed that he was happy with the letter. Within a few weeks he
shared his results with me upon which I asked to see the traffic
sources. Most of the website “visitors” were coming from traffic
exchange programs, i.e. low quality traffic sources. The low conversion
rate wasn’t hard to explain.

Anyway he demanded a refund in contradiction to the agreement that I
must be allowed to improve the letter before a refund would be issued.
Anyway, my Paypal account was empty at the time and so within the
time of the delay he became very nasty, even threatening to show up
at my door and kill my entire family!!

Well, that was the breaking point at which I had to enforce the
agreement. Today his smear campaign against me includes a post on a
scam board which shows up as the #2 results on Google search for my

And it has been my experience if you genuinely want to help people you
end up getting bitten—much like rescuing a trapped animal. On the
other hand, there are clients to whom I’ve quoted a price hoping that
they would reject the offer and just go away. And like magic they
become some of my highest paying customers!

No wonder some marketers would teach you to “play hard to get”, “be
busy” and “be tough with clients” otherwise they would take advantage
of you. This is a lesson that I’m yet to learn.

So did Zig Ziglar have the wrong idea of business? Should I be running a
charity instead of an online business? Should I just pretend to be tough
so I make more money even if some people hate me for it?
#internet marketing #business #idea #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
    I can really relate to that due to some of my early experiences but I guess we need have a balnce of both things together.... Authority and helpfulness....

    Just one of them won't take you there...

    Even if I review a product, I clearly state my terms of agreement and most people do agree, some that don't aren't the people I'd like to deal with!
    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      I know. It's frustrating sometimes. I've had plenty of experiences with people you help advance in their life goals, who then completely forget about you when they "make it."

      I think maybe the secret is constant salesmanship and higher prices. Marketing can certainly trump quality and price.

      A few years ago, I lost a web design & hosting client to another company that was "cheaper." Well, anyone with basic math skills should have been able to figure out that "cheaper" was actually twice what I would have charged them.

      Just last year, I lost a web design & hosting client to a company that overbid me. The client wanted a website redesign with lots of bells and whistles. And, they wanted in done by that summer, which was about four months away. No problems. I gave them a price, and they went with the other company. A year later, when the new website was completed, it didn't have all the stuff I had quoted. All the bells and whistles that had really pushed the price up, weren't there. My bid on that would have been 1/3 of what my bid was. So, that company really overbid me.

      And, more recently, a potential website client went with a web design firm that did their website for, if I remember right, at least $1,000. Maybe more. But, basically all it was was a cookie-cutter website.

      Maybe I ought to just figure out my price like I always do, and then multiply by 5 and make that the bid price. If I get it, then I don't have to worry about 4 others I may lose. If I don't get it, it's just more time for me to work on my own stuff.

      And, bending over backwards to help clients, only seems to pay off up until some slick salesmen shows up at their door promising them the moon.
  • Profile picture of the author The Mysterious Marketer
    Your quote is a bit off. The original Zig Ziglar quote:

    "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

    However, it was not:

    “You can only get what you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

    Read this again:

    "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

    The way you're saying and approaching it is different from what was originally intended in terms of the perception. As a copywriter, I think you can understand the implications.

    I think that Zig Ziglar meant by "have everything in life YOU WANT", as being the things that you truly want in life. Whereas from the way you are saying it "get what you want", it somehow seems to be that you are approaching the situation through the lens of having something that you think you want, and you expect it to be given to you. In the end it may not be what you really want, but you are trying to get what you want, if you catch what I mean.

    There is a difference in getting what you want, and having what you want. Do you already have what you want?

    By saying "enough other people to get what they want", it some how implies that you approach the situation with a limit for yourself. Once enough people get what they want, that's it, I can retire and I don't have to do anymore. It's enough. I'm doing this just because I want to get enough people on board so I can get what I want.

    Whereas, the original quote is open ended, it has no limit...

    However, it doesn't say that you have to help everyone get everything they want. Like selfish clients who have no end of want.

    It just says that, to achieve what you want necessitates helping other people achieve what they want. In other words, just help other people get what they want. But not necessarily, help everyone get everything they want, even selfish and bad stuff.

    But I also think that it means helping others get what they truly want. Most people don't even know what they want... What they ask for and what they want are two totally different things.

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