Thursday, September 22, 2011

Costco Is A War Zone

This is just playing dirty to someone like me who loves to cook.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Step Right Up!

This past week I attended a so called free “educational seminar” about how to invest in the stock market put on by a company called Rich Dad.  Rich Dad is a spin-off from Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad (I initially liked this book but have found some of the ideas go against my no debt opinions).  I am big on self education and finding ways to broaden my knowledge but this seminar I went to was one big sales pitch.

I am in sales and I understand the need to sell products but what is completely underhanded about this “educational seminar” was that there was a lot of selling and no education.  As I was sitting in the audience and listening to this guy scream at us, doing all kinds of gyrations, and getting people to raise their hands.  I couldn't help but think back to a book I read about educating yourself and not falling into the traps of so called new techniques promising fame and fortune quickly.  The only way to have sustained success is a process that promotes consistent little steps that ultimately accomplish a big long term goal.

The circus barker at the seminar was playing on the emotions of people who had lost hope or never had it.  Even though financial education is what was being sold, the people in the audience were not financially educated to recognize a con when they saw one.  

There are many people and organizations out there that want to separate you from your money.  You must be able to recognize them from the legitimate businesses that are truly trying to help you.

Here are some tips to tell the difference:
  1. Any legitimate business or business person is not going to pressure you into a sale right on the spot.  If a company tells you that they have a rate for now that won’t be available later, then you should probably walk.  Or, if someone actually tells you, you can’t think it over also walk.
  2. They don’t allow questions to be asked in the group that are being talked to.  This helps to keep the people thinking that everyone agrees with what is being said usually.  
  3. The old saying “if it is to good to be true it probably is”, should be etched in stone in your brain.  I am not saying don’t take risks but do your research either before or after (preferably both) prior to committing any money to an investment or purchase.
  4. Finally, you are the first, last, and only line of defense against being taken advantage of.  You must educate yourself on what are sound investments even when they seem to be benefiting you such as these stock educational classes that were being peddled.
I actually walked out of the presentation about an hour and 20 minutes in because I recognized that the circus barker was trying to manipulate instead of educating me on purchasing stocks (which is what was promised).  In the past I probably would have fallen for this con.  When I got home, I started to research this group and found out they sell classes for $200 only to try and sell you more classes during that time in the tens of thousands of dollars.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Marketing 101 Should Have Been

(Affiliate Link)

Here is a book I recently read for those of you trying to earn some extra cash by starting your own business.

Whether you are in business for yourself, work at a small company, or work in a large company, in sales or marketing everyone should read this book.  Not only does Jay Levinson teach you about marketing in general, he teaches you what you should be doing step by step to grow your business.

I have always looked on marketing as voodoo but after reading this book I have come to realize that was due to dealing with people that did not know how to market.  Every piece of marketing should be tested, measured, and repeated if successful.  The problem I have seen with most marketing plans is that there is not a proper formula that is followed.  Jay gives you a plan to follow and one that works.  

The book starts you off talking about the basics of any marketing campaign.  Making sure you have the right targets based on your current customer profile, what is your measure for success, what are you wanting your prospect to do.  After these basics are laid out then it is time to talk tactics.  What types of marketing are good for your business.  Is it your business event driven, television, radio, Internet, magazine, or a combo of differing types.  Along the way Jay has tons of examples of how to use these mediums of influence successfully, and how to save money when you use them.

Jay also talks about what your marketing materials should look like.  From your business cards, to your brochures Jay gives you great tips on what you should be trying to accomplish with each marketing tool.  Jay also delves into what each of these things says about you to a customer.

Overall this book is great and should be read by anyone that works in a company or owns a business (Did I leave anyone out?).  I loved the simple approaches and many examples of how to market yourself and your business.  Jay also gives you a list of other books, articles, and websites, that he finds useful.