I need help seeing shades of grey.

13 replies
I am a completely black-or-white thinker. This is causing some pretty big roadblocks when it comes to my internet marketing career.

I tend to be able to see a product idea one way, and that's it. When I try to think of angles on that product idea, I fall short. Obviously, this is a VERY necessary skill in IM, and I don't have it. But I know I can learn it...I just don't know how to go about doing that.

I would love to hear from you if you've had this same problem. Any book or website suggestions on how to expand my thinking would be so greatly appreciated.

Thanks! Y'all Warriors are awesome!
#grey #shades
  • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
    Get a book called:

    DID YOU SPOT THE GORILLA, by Richard Wiseman

    You will not be disappointed. It's all about helping you change the way you think, and spot opportunities.

    Speaking of which, I need my copy so I can read it again.
    eCoverNinja - Sales Page Graphics & Layout Specialist
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Lisa, Grey have you become a Brit as well.

    Brainstorming is something I do a lot of for clients, and being able to see where you want to end up is a great way to start.

    Let's take a blog for an example, as I know you build them. Do you want to keep building or do you want to do something different?

    Let's say you want to be the next big company who supplies blogs to the rest of the world, you want to be bigger than wordpress but do things differently.

    OK. This isn't going to happen overnight, but take it step by step to go from the ultimate goal down to where you are at the moment.

    Every step ask yourself, what else can I do to make this happen?

    At each stage keep digging deeper.

    It isn't an easy skill but you can develop it to a level.

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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Originally Posted by Lisa Gergets View Post

    I tend to be able to see a product idea one way, and that's it. Obviously, this is a VERY necessary skill in IM, and I don't have it. But I know I can learn it...I just don't know how to go about doing that.
    Ive experienced this problem myself Lisa. Its a case of "knowing what you dont know" which is quite frustrating!

    Ive learnt a couple of different strategies over the last 6 months. Ill put them down in dot points for your consideration below.
    • Selling in different formats
    Instead of just offering a $17 ebook, think about how you can repackage your product into a different format, such as a series of audiobooks, dvds or a physical product. The list goes on.
    • Dissecting products.
    Instead of offering one product at $97, why not "dissect" that product into numerous, individual products and sell them at $17, or $27 each. You may just end up with 5 products from one, - hence bringing you a greater earning potential - get it?
    • Sell complimentary products.
    You may already have a great product that is selling well. Why not create a product that "compliments" your existing product. Lets say you are selling shoelaces, Im sure you could sell inner soles and shoe polish easily - make sense? This works well if you already have the traffic/customers.
    • Different selling angles
    Whilst I dont know a great deal about this, reselling your products and offering resale rights, or even master resale rights can be quite profitable. Instead of just offering a $7 ebook, you *may* be able to offer the resale rights to your customers and charge them a lot more.

    Best of luck, hope this helps.

    BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hi Lisa,

    This is actually something I often cover with coaching clients.

    To get started you can start giving your subconscious some exercises to work on.

    When you have something you want to get ideas about - rather than ask 'how can I do this' or 'is this possible' - ask yourself 'how many ways can this be done with great results?'.

    The secret then is not to expect immediate answers - go do some other things and let you subconsious work on it. If when you want to start doing things you're still stuck - just ask yourself 'what would XXX do in this situation?' (substitute XXX for your favourite guru or someone you know who could get great results).


    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard

    The traditional way to create a niche offline was to look at the "6 P's"

    Product, Price, People, Place, Package, and Promotion.

    Can the Product be changed physically? Longer, shorter (short reports), a color change, the shape...

    Price is fairly easy to think about higher, lower, or special deals...

    People would be "Chicken Soup For The Soul" tweaked for "Chicken Soup For The Student's Soul", "...Grandmother's Soul"...

    Place or geography as in "Chicken Soup For The Soul Of Chicago"...or an actual franchise like McDonald's in Paris.

    Package is not only for the physical look like blue phones but taking a hardcover book and making it available in paperback, or a digital download. So, if you have a digital (ebook) could you offer it as a physical hardcover? A paperback?

    Promotion is when you change the way you would normally distribute the product like things being offered only through the Home Shopping Channel or "You can only get this offer online".

    Woodie Hall, wrote a book called Your Ideas May Be Worth A Fortune and in it he discusses some of the methods he uses to change his view or thinking on a subject.

    He talks about making something bigger, smaller, longer, taller and could it be round or square or inside out?

    What would a Bluebird look like if it were yellow and flat? Could a box be round? Does a phone have to fit in your hand?

    So I would start with the 6 P's and then apply some "weird" physical changes or people who would normally not buy something using it in a different way.

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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    Wow, just got back from lunch and there's so much awesome advice here! Thanks so much you guys. I really really appreciate it!

    {...humbly bows down to your infinite wisdom...or something...}
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    • Profile picture of the author kf
      Lisa, I would suggest you get out of grey, black and white altogether. ...

      Try some new things to inspire creativity and free-thinking (brainstorming).

      When we were kids, we did this automatically without needing 'logic'. Some ideas:

      - If you use the keyboard or type ideas when you think, then go sit under a tree somewhere with a pad of paper and a pencil. Jot down ideas as they come to you. Don't censor or edit your ideas. Just write everything down.

      - If you are right-handed, try using your left-hand to write.

      - Write only using crayons - bright red and orange and purple.

      - Brian Tracy (I believe) has a method where you write down everything idea you can possibly think of ... and when you get to the end of the list you force yourself to write down 25 or 50 more things. (This is the essence of his method, not the exact method.) Allen mentions a similar technique in one of his reports in the war room.

      - If you have a project plan, write down each step on an index card. Next, shuffle the cards and lay them out. A new order that you hadn't thought of will be there. Shuffle again. Then again.

      - An alternate to the above idea - and possible more fun - throw the index cards up in the air and devise a way to pick them up ... left to right, closest to the wall ... to get your new 'order'.

      - Talk to somebody who knows nothing about your project or your business. They will come up with completely off the wall ideas. (And ask some really interesting questions.)Most of them will make you cringe, but they may also come up with really cool stuff. Don't discount any of their ideas (especially while they're giving them) ... just write them down and re-visit them in a day or two. This is a great technique at Starbuck's for example. People *love* to be asked for their help/opinions.

      - My personal favourite is mind-mapping. With paper and pencil.

      - Take yourself on an 'artist date' (Julia Cameron - The Artist's Way) to jump start and feed your creative side. An artist date might be a visit to a museum, the opera, the theatre. Go alone - you want to engage with yourself, not a companion.

      HTH .. and since you are thinking black and white, try throwing some colour into everything you do. Use crayons, color markers, high-lighters. Wear bright colors you may not usually wear. Put bright throw pillows on your bed or a bright yellow mat in your bathroom.

      If you have a chance, pick up anything by Barbara Sher. Just reading how she thinks might help you open up to new ideas.

      Remember - like chocolate and peanut butter - the least likely combinations may turn out to be winners.
      Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything. ~ Alexander Hamilton
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  • Profile picture of the author Lawrh
    Here's a site that you may find useful -

    Articles On Brainstorming

    “Strategy without action is a day-dream; action without strategy is a nightmare.” – Old Japanese proverb -

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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Lisa, you're right, there is a lot of good advice here, but I want to vouch for what Andy Henry said. The only thing I would add is that when you decide the right question to ask yourself, you write it down. I think writing it down reinforces the thought to your subconscious that it is important to you, otherwise the subconscious has little to go on in determining which thought, of the thousands you have each day, is the most important to you. I know that sounds weird, but there is science behind it. Review your written statement several times during the day, ideas will start coming to you out of the blue. It always helps me to do this and then step back and let things simmer, so to speak.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author Hanz
      Hi Lisa, I'd say there's nothing better than a pen and paper, carrying it wherever you go! Anytime something pops in your head, write it down. The true marketer is always thinking of selling strategies 24/7. For example, even when I'm out standing in line at the grocery store, I'm simply thinking about a sales pitch/letter or a unique idea or twist of an existing strategy.
      I'm not sure if it's a trait which can simply be learned from reading a book. It might be a case of 'either you have it or you don't.' But you obviously can improve upon it. Asking for advice from your peers is always the best thing. Running ideas around the room and seeing what other people think and asking for advice...
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hey Lisa,

    Lol I always approached thinking of ideas like I approach writing. I use free writing where I simply write without thinking of anything in particular, and you would be surprised to see what comes out. It's the same thing with coming up with different ideas. Andy gave you a powerful suggestion, and the way I am referring to is very similar to his only I take it a step further but brainstorming on paper after I've left it go for a while subconsiously.

    It works a good treat.

    Wish you all the best with it. I just know you'll get it. It's like anything else that is learned - you have to work at it to develope this skill/gift.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Lisa, are you surprised and impressed with my ability to answer one of your posts without teasing you in any way?

    I think it's your new photo. It scares the hell out of me.

    You're not our sweet little Lisa in the Go Go Boots and the tambourine.

    John the vampire has turned you Goth
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    • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
      Originally Posted by Matt Maiden View Post

      Lisa, are you surprised and impressed with my ability to answer one of your posts without teasing you in any way?

      I think it's your new photo. It scares the hell out of me.

      You're not our sweet little Lisa in the Go Go Boots and the tambourine.

      John the vampire has turned you Goth
      Do you have ANY idea how many PM's I've had to answer about that freakin' photo? Who knew people cared that much? LOL (Kinda cool tho.)

      Here's the deal with the new photo: it was taken a couple years ago when I was around 15 pounds thinner than I am right now. I am trying to lose that 15 pounds, and since I spend a lot of time on the WF, it's like looking into the mirror that I WANT to see...like posting a photo of how you want to look on the fridge door, kinda.

      Okay, so that's the deal with the photo. LOL
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