Marketing lessons from a chinese buffet

13 replies
I love Chinese food. My problem is with the chopsticks.

I had lunch with some friends today who all have pretty mad chopstick skills. Me? I still use a fork. No shame, but this has become quite the joke amongst my circle of friends. To them it comes naturally (years of practice I suppose) and they can't see why I don't bother. To me, I'm just hungry, and the fork is my solution.

Still with me? Good, because there really is a marketing lesson or two here and not just my post-lunch rant. Here it goes:

It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing, you have to do what works for you.

But, and this is key, how do you know what works for you?

Experience.

Let's bring this home into our space: Internet Marketing.

Article marketing? SEO? Buying pre-built sites or building from the ground up? CPA? and on and on. How do you know what works the best? How do you know what method or approach to take?

Again, experience.

You see, I have experience with the fork. Spaghetti. Chocolate cake. Baked potato. And it was experience that led me to ignore the chopsticks and go for the fork, in spite of what everyone else was doing.

(On a side note: focus also came into play here. Instead of wasting time fumbling with the sticks, I went straight for the big money, a big forkful of lo mein)

But perhaps you're asking yourself how do you gain experience?

We're not born with it. It is developed over time through trial and error. Believe it or not, there was a time when I was unfamiliar with the fork. There was a time when it was awkward, and unrefined. A time when it, like the chopsticks, just didn't work.

Have you ever heard people say that about Internet Marketing, that it just doesn't work?

It took time for me to master the fork, as it will take time to master the chopsticks. But in time, through trial and error, and learning and evolving, experience is formed. We grow. We change. We learn. We become better.

So the question...what does this have to do with you?

Along the way as an Internet Marketer you're going to be faced with plenty of roadblocks, detours, and setbacks. Some rice is going to fly, and some eggs are going to drop if you know what I'm saying. And you will inevitably find yourself in the great tension known to all who have gone before you, and this too is key...

On one hand, you must ignore the noise and distractions and taunts of your chopstick loving friends. You must do what works for you.

BUT on the other hand, you will never progress forward unless you take risk, unless you learn, unless you work through the unfamiliarity until experience is formed.

At times you will be tempted to throw the chopsticks down, you will be tempted to give up on your Internet Marketing dreams. Don't. Press forward. Let everyone around you work their 9 to 5 dead-end job; but you, you pursue something bigger.

Once you cross that barrier, and determine that you WILL succeed online, you'll notice another distraction though. This marketer says his chopsticks are the best, and his product will show you the fastest way to use them. Another marketer says he wants to show you a secret way to hold the chopsticks, and his strategy is really the most effective.

Shhhh.
Quiet the noise.
Your friends are jerks.

Focus on the one set of chopsticks at time. Focus on one Internet Marketing strategy at a time.

You see there are dozens of different ways to make money online, but you must ignore what everyone else is doing and do what works for you. But the only way to know if a strategy or technique works is to spend time diligently practicing it. Take this journey one step at a time. Don't bounce around from product to product, secret strategy to secret strategy. Master the fork. Then master the chopsticks. Evolution is a process, and so is learning to make a living from home.

The same is true in Internet Marketing. There are dozens of ways to make money online. But you waste time when you bounce from one idea to another. You must focus. You must persist. You must face your fears, learn something new, and even when everyone else around you says "try something different", you must keep on keeping on. Make sense?

I've got some leftovers to finish up now, so...

Until next time,
Derek
#chopsticks #marketer #newbie #niche marketing #trouble
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I eat Chinese Frog Legs. Since I can only find frog legs at the Chinese restaurant, does that mean that they only harvest frogs from China?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      What I want to know is: what do they do with the rest of the frog?

      The last time I went to a Chinese restaurant was actually in France, and it looked like the guy sitting at the next table had frogs' legs. (His friend's didn't look quite so bad).
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    • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I eat Chinese Frog Legs. Since I can only find frog legs at the Chinese restaurant, does that mean that they only harvest frogs from China?
      They're actually lizard legs which are deceptively sold as frog legs. Tastes like chicken though.
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      :)

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    • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I eat Chinese Frog Legs. Since I can only find frog legs at the Chinese restaurant, does that mean that they only harvest frogs from China?
      I grew up in Louisiana, and can hook you up with some killer frog legs harvested from right here in the good 'ole USA. Not as many options here in the Northwest though.

      Derek
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    Thanks, Derek, for giving me some valuable marketing tips AND reminding me that I have some leftover Mongolian Beef in the fridge (that, yes, I will be eating with a fork!)
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Derek, let me add something to your most excellent post...

      The time to learn to use chopsticks is not when you are seated with your friends, with their mad skills.

      The time to learn to use chopsticks is in your own kitchen, with leftover Chinese food, or spaghetti, or chicken soup.

      Then you can bust out your 'they laughed when I picked up the chopsticks, but when I finished lunch with clean shirt...' headline.

      Bringing it back to IM, the time to practice your skills is with anonymous sites you don't care about. Make your design mistakes. Screw up your design. Send dumb messages. Make all your mistakes, then bust out what you've learned on your money sites.
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      • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          The time to learn to use chopsticks is in your own kitchen, with leftover Chinese food, or spaghetti, or chicken soup.
          ...and a rubber band to rig "kid chopsticks" to start with. Quicker to learn how to do it if you aren't dropping the darned things all the time:p
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          • Profile picture of the author Henry White
            Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

            ...and a rubber band to rig "kid chopsticks" to start with. Quicker to learn how to do it if you aren't dropping the darned things all the time:p
            IMNSHO that just aggravates things - you're also working against the rubber band. Better to just learn the proper hand position and relax (especially the back of your hand and forearm): with rice, you're actually pinching off a bite at a time, with almost everything else you only need enough pressure to lift the weight - too little and it falls back onto your plate, too much and the chopsticks slip out of alignment and the food goes flying across the table or the room.

            Major clue: you'll also be significantly more successful with chopsticks if the food is cut properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    don't forget to put add addicting additives on the list
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  • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    Derek, let me add something to your most excellent post...

    The time to learn to use chopsticks is not when you are seated with your friends, with their mad skills.

    The time to learn to use chopsticks is in your own kitchen, with leftover Chinese food, or spaghetti, or chicken soup.

    Then you can bust out your 'they laughed when I picked up the chopsticks, but when I finished lunch with clean shirt...' headline.

    Bringing it back to IM, the time to practice your skills is with anonymous sites you don't care about. Make your design mistakes. Screw up your design. Send dumb messages. Make all your mistakes, then bust out what you've learned on your money sites.
    Excellent additions John, thanks for contributing.

    It reminds me of something I first learned from Paul Myers Need To Know. Create a "virtual sandbox" he called it; a place to play, practice, and just have fun. Just what you're referring to.

    Best,
    Derek

    PS - I'm liking the headline idea.
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    Thousands of happy Warriors agree...
    This service is a MUST - so worth it - Barry C.
    Derek is a keyword genius - Alan W.
    The results are incredible - page one already! - Navia B.
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  • Profile picture of the author RandySeet
    My friends still ask me why I use a fork instead of a chopstick, even though I have success with a fork.

    It's because I can eat faster and more relax using a fork.

    Excellent Post.
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  • Profile picture of the author microsoftofd
    That’s a very informative post! Keep sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author mstewart
    Originally Posted by Derek Thomas View Post

    I love Chinese food. My problem is with the chopsticks.

    It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing, you have to do what works for you.

    Don't bounce around from product to product, secret strategy to secret strategy. Master the fork. Then master the chopsticks. Evolution is a process, and so is learning to make a living from home.

    The same is true in Internet Marketing. There are dozens of ways to make money online. But you waste time when you bounce from one idea to another. You must focus. You must persist. You must face your fears, learn something new, and even when everyone else around you says "try something different", you must keep on keeping on. Make sense?

    I've got some leftovers to finish up now, so...

    Until next time,
    Derek
    It is a really impressive post.By using example of the chopsticks and forks,you give us good suggestion about IM.YES,focus and persist are the keys to the success of IM.
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