“Gary, How do Gary/ Merri Scott continuously continue to produce uniquely insightful information for readers? How could I model just a small slice of Gary ‘s success online? I truly do not understand how you have been able to continuously grow for decades while evolving from print to internet/online, covering totally new locations, new businesses and completely new subject matter (not only investing, but health, language, Real Estate Retreats, Import/Export, Publishing, Country – UK, US, Ecuador, etc). What angle on marketing (small secrets) has allowed you to continuously succeed? I realize there are no miracles other than hard work, but any pointers to leverage?”
The first messages in this series looked at how to generate staying power by first doing something you truly enjoy. Second to live within your means.
The final point to gaining staying power is to understand the needs of your customer or client. This forms the triangle of power needed for long term success in business, happy, workers, happy bankers and happy customers.
A long term understanding of your customer’s wants needs and desires requires empathy and flexibility. Needs and capabilities change with time. Our business would be in trouble if we were still writing about how to invest in London real estate for example. When we recommended this (in the 1980s) it was a really good investment. Maybe now it is or is not (probably a poor value) but prices are so high most readers could not (or would not) invest anyhow.
Seeing the future helps as well.
A reader recently sent me this note:
“Dear Gary: I realized long ago that you were one of only three or four men I knew who could see the future. Learning from you, I have begun to see it also. So far, it has been immensely profitable. You guys also seem to have so much energy. I myself am a lazy old cuss who prefers to read books and be with the family. Don’t like TV too much, and I avoid movies. Cordially.”
Its worth clarifying that no one can see into the future. Yet there are ways to improve the odds about what society will do next. Fortunately we can see some of the future in the here and now!
A friend inadvertently taught me this fact years ago when he recommended a book (How to Survive the Upcoming Crash of 1995). I read the book when it had the New York Times bestseller list for many months. The compelling, frightening information told about how the U.S. economy was about to melt down because the U.S. debt was out of control and was headed to 6 trillion. The book offered no solution to this dilemma.
I wrote a marketing piece that mentioned the book, outlined this problem and gave readers a way to find solutions by ordering a course from me. Over the next two years this marketing piece worked unbelievably well creating millions in sales even though the data in book was totally wrong. Later I asked myself why. The answer? That marketing piece nailed the thoughts of millions of investors right on the head because they had all read that book! I had inadvertently tapped into the national psyche.
Now I always look at the list in large newspapers of best sellers.
We can get clues about business trends by watching what everyone reads. Best selling book lists are like a window into a nation’s soul. This is why two authors who have had special, phenomenal success in recent years can lead us to greater investing and business returns. In fact the clues you will read from these authors is so powerful you could say they are like magic.
One of the fundamental rules you can use to spot trends is that people always want what they have lost and no longer have.
Once the building trade had perfected clean, low cost efficient central heating, the trend that everyone wanted a fireplace began. Is it smoke and ashes and the labor involved in building a fire that mankind misses? Probably not. Perhaps instead they lost romance.
Once America created a smooth highway system so anyone can drive anywhere without hardship or bumps, four wheel drive off road SUVs became the most popular form of transportation. Did we long for the sweat of replacing blown out tires ruined by potholes?
I doubt it. But I’ll buy that we had lost the our sense of adventure.
Get the drift?
So when two authors in a matter of years each, for the first and second time ever, have three books about magic on the New York Times best selling book list (all on the list at the same time), we have to ask what is it that people are seeking.
First J. K Rowling had three of her Harry Potter books on the list at one time. No author had every accomplished this before! Then Dan Brown came along and did the same thing. His Da Vinci Code was such a success that readers scooped up so many of his previous books that they all raced onto the top ten list and were there at the same time.
We must ask what were people seeking that they found when they read those books? What special element unites the Rowling and Brown books? Harry Potter is about magic.
The Da Vinci Code is about hidden codes that lead to the Holy Grail.
The common link? Secrets! Both authors write about mysterious, hidden secrets.
Using the “people want what they have lost” theory, let’s work backward and ask what are people seeking when they are magnetically attracted to these books. If people are seeking magical secrets in their lives, what have they lost?
Perhaps it is something they can trust? Look at what has happened to all the institutions we have been taught to rely on, the government, our police, religious centers, industry, educational institutions, science, even our athletic leaders. All have been involved in scandals, defrocked and shown as immoral, using deceit, lies and fraud.
Yet man is a social animal that needs to believe and belong. Mankind needs to feel it knows truth and consequently is looking for it in secrets. Maybe we believe that truth is being kept from us?
Assuming this theory has some credence, we can ask what kinds of trends will develop in people’s search for truth.
Would one such trend be Cafes Philos?
In 1999 this site included an alert about this type of business and investment when it shared
“The growing trend is for the purchase of immaterial goods, such as sports, entertainment, health, communication and spirituality. Togetherness is a key motivator for emotional fulfillment. Many wealthy consumers have learned that just acquiring stuff is not enough. More and more things don’t satisfy much or for long. At some point our material excesses turn into junk, worthless burdens that cost us to store, clean and insure. Successful companies in the future will learn to attach symbols of love and togetherness to their products and services.
“There will be a growing business in ties that bond people together.
“Coffee houses and similar places of gathering will continue to boom. Clubs will grow. Restaurants which offer a place for people to be together will thrive.
“Cafes Philos, (there are about 50 in France now) are clubs or cafes where a philosopher raises a question to create a discussion for all present to join, will boom around the world. This market is not just about being together, but is about being united by a common story. The root of this market is the 100,000 years of selective processing of human genetics which have favored those who belonged to packs or tribes.”
Remember this site alerted readers five years ago. Now Time Magazine April 5, 2004 article, All the Right Questions by Anita Hamilton confirms this fact. Here is what the article says.
“Discussion groups based on the teachings of Socrates are reviving the art of conversation. There is a buzz in the air at the El Diablo Coffee Co. in Seattle. Known as a Socrates Café, the group at El Diablo is just one of 150 or so that meet in coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, churches and community centers across the country.“ Read the entire article here.
Think about how this can apply to any business you review. This is a strong trend and it will have an impact on many businesses so keep your eyes open to man’s search for the truth because in spotting how this trend works can have a magical effect on your wealth.
Then recognize that as the future unfolds problems will change as will opportunity. So too should the business you love so keep reading that best sellers list looking for new windows that are opening in the nation’s soul.
Our Correspondence course “Self Fulfilled-How to Use Publishing in Business” looks at many ways to determine how to spot future markets of potential. See Self Publishing Course
Or learn about our October Writer Publisher camp at Writing and Publishing Courses for Self Publishing
One trend I have seen growing is people leaving North America, moving where life is warmer, simpler, more romantic and costs less. One reason I reached this conclusion? The popularity of the life abroad romance books such as “A Thousand Days In Venice – An Unexpected Romance” and the Peter Mayle “A Year in Provence ” series.
Plus I see it happening. The future is here and now in Ecuador. Steve, our man in Ecuador just sent this note. “ Gary, More than a handful of people have moved down to Cotacachi and we’re starting to get visits from our new neighbors. It’s a delight to go visit them in their new houses or condos and see them turning them into homes.
Just yesterday I went to visit Nancy and Karl in their little cottage they just bought a few months ago. They really got a bargain when they bought it and have absolutely transformed so it’s a wonderful home. First and foremost they had a wall built around their half acre. Then they had a wall knocked through and replaced by an arch, a fireplace was also put in to take the edge off the occasional chilly evening and make for some cozy evenings in together. Nancy is due to retire soon and she can’t wait – seems like she may even bring it forward. Here they are below outside their new home and sitting at the dining table.
They also had all new kitchen cabinets built by a local carpenter, the same one we use at El Meson.
The whole kitchen was done for less than a thousand dollars, you can see the quality below.
Until next message I hope that magic in your future is no secret!
Until then, good global business.
Learn about healthy eating and how to live a fuller more vibrant life through ancient lifestyle patterns of the ancients.
June 13 –15, 2007 Weds. – Fri. Andes Extension & Real Estate Tour in Ecuador. Ecuador Real Estate
Join Steve, our man in Ecuador, June 19 – 21, 2007 Tues. Thurs. Shamanic Mingo. See Ecuador Shaman Mingo Tour
Join Steve for our next Ecuador Export Course July 17 – July 22, 2007 Tues. – Sun. See Ecuador Exports Tour