THERE IS A BOOK IN YOU: FAST CASH IN INFORMATION MARKETING - Rapid Riches - Cash in a Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times - Mark Victor Hansen, Robert G. Allen

Cash in a Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times - Mark Victor Hansen, Robert G. Allen (2009)

Part IV. Rapid Riches

Chapter 17. THERE IS A BOOK IN YOU: FAST CASH IN INFORMATION MARKETING

If you believe it and desire it, you can acquire it.

—ROBERT G. ALLEN

There are at least three major paths to prosperity. Instead of salaries, you want to earn profits. Profits are earned by “selling stuff.” Three kinds of stuff:

In our experience, one of the fastest paths to profit is by selling information. Read this next story to understand why.

$137,000 IN FORTY-FIVE DAYS
STARTING FROM SCRATCH

Nicki sat in a seminar and was enamored by the numbers. It was a seminar we taught called “Cracking the Millionaire Code.” And she cracked it. Here’s how.

She was listening to our guest lecturer, the marketing guru Jay Abraham, talk about finding a product to market. You see, you don’t even need your own product. There are millions of products out there already in some warehouse just waiting for you to come along and offer to help sell them. Talk about low-hanging fruit! It’s hanging all around you.

Every business needs help selling. Some need it even worse than others. Some businesses are terrible at selling. They love to create products but they’re lousy at marketing them. You can come to their rescue.

Jay Abraham suggested that you find a product category that matches your purpose—things that you love to sell because you believe in them. Enter a Google search using your purpose path.

Let’s use Google. Everyone is fighting to have their products show up in the top 100 in a Google search. Let’s do just the opposite in our Google search. Instead of going to the top of Google, go instead to the bottom of the Google search. (Or deeper than the top two or three hundred results… which is where few people ever go.)

What does this tell you? These companies don’t know how to sell their products. They need help. Search through to find a hundred or so that have a PSI that you really connect with, that you’d actually love to sell. Contact them and ask them if they’d like to sell you a bunch of their products at a very wholesale price. Maybe they’ve got a warehouse full of older models that they’d love to get rid of. You’re looking for products you can acquire for a super bargain—that you can almost steal. In economic times like these, there are thousands of companies with products they’re dying to unload.

How many companies would you need to contact until you found a perfect product that fits your purpose at a bargain basement, below wholesale price?

So you research a thousand companies to find a hundred possibilities to narrow down to ten possible products … or the best 1 percent.

Now, you don’t have to warehouse it. It’s already being warehoused. You don’t have to ship it. They’ll ship it for you as long as you pay for it. They’ve already created some marketing information that you can use. It’s ready to go. You haven’t spent a dime and you’re in control of a million dollars’ worth of product.

But you ask, “What if I don’t have any money to buy these products at a wholesale price?” Well, why don’t you just let them keep them and warehouse them for you until you bring them a buyer with cash to buy it? You could option the inventory at a fixed low price and flip it to the new buyer at your higher price—and you keep the difference as your profit. “But, you ask, “how do I find people to sell these products to?”

We’re glad you asked.

Now it’s time to find an appropriate database—people who are already looking for this kind of PSI.

In the world of the Internet, which reaches more than a billion people (and is growing hourly), how many databases are there? Millions of them. (A database, by the way, is just the contact information for a list of customers.) Some websites list the contact information of just the website owner. That’s a database of one. Other databases gather the contact information of every customer. Some small online companies have only ten, a hundred, or a thousand customers.

You’re searching for…

1,000,000 databases with 1 name = 1,000,000 customers
100,000 databases with 10 names = 1,000,000 customers
10,000 databases with 100 names = 1,000,000 customers
1,000 databases with 1000 names = 1,000,000 customers
100 databases with 10,000 names = 1,000,000 customers
10 databases with 100,000 names = 1,000,000 customers
1 database with 1,000,000 names = 1,000,000 customers

Bottom line? You’re looking for at least 100 databases with 10,000 names or more.

Why would these database owners let you send an e-mail to their list of highly prized customers? If you sent it to their list, it would be spam. It has to come from them. Why would they let you do that? It would have to be some sort of profit split. You’re looking for a widget that has a high profit margin—like something that costs you $1 and has a value of over $100.

This is exactly what Nicki did. She found a company with a CD that contained special software and hundreds of special reports for stay-at-home moms. It was extremely valuable. But it only cost $1 to reproduce. Nicki acquired the right to the unlimited, nonexclusive use of this CD for less than $1,000. This was her information product.

Then she searched high and low and stumbled upon two college students who had been studying database gathering in a computer class. They had been able to gather 700,000 opt-in e-mail addresses during the semester. (We assume they got an A in the class.) They also were unaware of just how valuable their database was. Nicki convinced them to let her send a message. But there was a twist. She explained in her e-mail that 100 percent of the profits—all of the money—would go to a cause Nicki feels strongly about—orphans and orphanages.

The e-mail went out. Here was the offer: Send me $100 for this incredibly valuable CD. You get the CD and I’ll give all of the money to charity. All of it. I won’t keep a penny for myself.

Guess how many people took her up on her offer? A total of 1,370 people. That was less than a third of 1 percent.

Total earnings were $137,000. Cash. Starting from nothing. In less than forty-five days after learning this concept. What an enlightened “profitable servant” project!

Starting with this initial success, she and her new partners have since generated over $1 million in profit for themselves in addition to the orphan project from this same database. How do they do it? They find profitable PSIs to offer to their database.

You now have just learned this concept. How soon can you earn your first dollar?

The goal is to eventually be selling thousands of units per day without having to spend more than a few hours a month to cash the checks.

THE INFORMATION BUSINESS

Now, let’s explore the secret to why this approach works so well with information products. With most product products—that is, hard lumpy objects—the cost of producing that product is at least 10 percent of the price of the product. Often, it’s much more than that. For example, how much does it cost General Motors to produce a car? The hard costs of metal and plastic are very expensive, plus all of the labor and shipping. The profit margin per car is low. But with information products, the profit margin is extremely high. Why? Because it’s so inexpensive to produce it.

In the previous example, Nicki was able to find an information product that someone else had produced. It was a CD that was jammed with valuable information. To the right customer, this organized information was valued at over $1,000, so the purchase price of $100 seemed like a bargain. Yet the cost to duplicate the CD was less than a dollar. The profit margin was 99 percent.

In many cases, this information can be digitized and sent over the Internet at lightning speed for free. If people have a serious problem and need specific information yesterday, they’ll pay a premium for immediate delivery.

Of all the products you could sell, information is the ultimate product.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS THE REAL ESTATE
OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Another term for information is intellectual property. It’s the real estate of the twenty-first century. It’s so easy to create and sell. It’s the ultimate wealth creation vehicle. That’s why we say the information business is the best business in the world.

THE BENEFITS OF INFORMATION MARKETING

· Easy to research

· Easy to create

· Easy and cheap to test

· Easy and cheap to produce, inventory, and correct

· Low-cost start-up

· High perceived value

· High markup

· Income while you sleep

· Unlimited worldwide market

· Mobility: operate from any mailbox in the world

· Copyright protection from competitors

· Prestigious, impressive career: “I’m an author.”

· Satisfying: a permanent record for future generations

· Make a difference

There as so many ways to create information products.

51 WAYS TO PROFIT FROM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Books

E-books

Audio books

Audio programs

Single audio cassettes

Video trainings

Multimedia systems

Workbooks

Coaching programs

Mentoring and apprenticeship programs

Speaking internationally

Speaking in breakout sessions

Speaking representing your employer

Train-the-trainer programs

Public seminars

Corporate training programs

Presenter-at-large events

Boot camps

Tele-boot camps

Hourly consulting

Long-term consulting

Subscription consulting

Spokesperson contracts

Licensing

Infomercial products

Home-study courses

Tele-seminars

Weekend retreats

Subscription audio CD series

Ghostwriting and coauthoring

Branded retail products

Mini-books

Trade associations

Conventions and trade shows

Agenting and information arbitrage

Seminar company workshops

Business-building systems

Practice-management tools

Newsletters

Radio or TV show

Philanthropic foundation

Media expert

Syndicated column

Private-label magazine

Rights—yours

Rights—other people’s

Special reports and white papers

CD-ROM and DVD training

Counseling services

Adult professional education

Reference guides and directories software

Learning to Sell a Billion Books

STARTING WITH NOTHING, FROM NOWHERE, AND WITH NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT I COULD DO IT

MARK VICTOR HANSEN

When I was bankrupt and upside down financially in 1974, I felt hopeless and helpless. Fortunately, several years earlier I had sold my way through Southern Illinois University. I won a little telephone selling contest and had been given an audiotape by Cavett Robert, the dean of speakers, founder of the National Speakers Association, and the man who invented selling books and products from the platform. His tape was called Are You the Cause or the Effect?

It was the message of this simple tape that came to my rescue when I was so low that I had to reach up to touch bottom. I listened to that great and inspiring tape 287 times. Like the gunslingers of old, who scratched notches into the side of their guns, I made a mark on the tape after every listening. I could repeat the entire talk perfectly, word for word, and thought about offering to do Cavett’s talk for him if ever he couldn’t show up.

Deeply inspired, I wrote Cavett. To my astonishment, he handwrote me a letter and told me to send $35 and join his newly founded organization, the National Speakers Association. I didn’t have the $35 to join or the airfare to get from New York to Phoenix to attend the first convention. I wanted to be there so badly, I borrowed the money to go.

At this meeting that wowed my soul, spirit, and desire to become a giant in the speaking business, Cavett planted in my mind the idea that would change my life. He said, “As a public speaker, you need to write a book. If you personally cannot write an entire book from your own experience today, do a multiauthored book.”

The thought captured my mind and heart and illuminated an immediate possibility that I had never heard, thought about, or even considered. I could do this and make it manifest in almost no time at all. Cavett had done it himself and showed the book that he had created, of which he had sold hundreds of thousands of copies from the platform.

I leaned over to my seatmate, Keith DeGreen, and asked, “Are you a good editor?”

Keith said, “I was head of the law school journal.”

“Great. Let’s do a multiauthored book. I am a great salesman and I will sell eighteen people in this room, at $2,000 each, to write a chapter of our book. For that, each person would receive one thousand books fully paid for, since the book costs $2 to print, that they can sell at $10 and turn it into $10,000, plus have the calling card of a book with their name on it.” For Keith and me, it became a self-funding deal. As a child selling greeting cards and now as a young adult, I had found a formula to pre-sell my dream and have what I wanted in the shortest time possible. Most readers could do something like this to fund their future enterprises.

Eighteen people paid us $2,000 apiece. We took in $36,000 before we had even written a single word. Then we used that money to get the book printed. The book became Stand Up, Speak Out and Win!

I sold twenty thousand copies of that book, at $10 each, in one year from the platform—signing each and every one of them. I jokingly told every audience that this was my bestselling book—and it was at the time. I earned about $200,000 doing basically free talks and selling one book. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, doing what I totally loved—helping people decide to make an ever greater difference—and traveling and getting clients to underwrite that and my lodging costs.

I had sold myself out of my financial disaster and sold myself into a brand-new life.

Let’s jump forward fifteen years in time.

Jack Canfield and I had been public speakers for several years. We knew the power of a goose-bump story to transform a speech. Once day, we brainstormed the idea of putting together a book of our best stories, plus dozens of other goose-bump-type stories. We called it Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Unfortunately, no publisher wanted anything to do with a book of short stories, but we were convinced that this book was a winner. Hundreds of rejections later, we finally found a publisher who would give us a shot if we guaranteed to buy the first 20,000 copies. We agreed. At every one of our speeches, we sold the unpublished book to our audiences. When the book was finally published, we had thousands of buyers waiting to buy the book.

It wasn’t an instant hit, but by the end of the first year, the book took off and has been selling millions of copies every year since. From the first Chicken Soup book in 1994, we have now over two hundred different titles, like Chicken Soup for Teens, for moms, for golfers, and so on.

(Go to www.markvictorhansen.com and get a free audio, video, and text download from several of our books.)

Early on, we told our skeptical publisher that we wanted to sell a billion books by the year 2020. He just laughed at us. But we were going to have the last laugh. To date, we have sold over 112 million books; that includes all the titles that my name graces, many of which are specialty books and electronic books. We’re well on the way to our billion books!

The question is, did we know we could do these phenomenal numbers and make it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s bestselling nonfiction authors? We did not. We pinch ourselves that it has happened and is still happening.

Recently, our former publisher informed us that he thought the Chicken Soup idea was tapped out. So we found a new partner who was passionately convinced otherwise. We sold Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises and the trademark. Our new owners got us lots of big-time opportunities, one of which is IMG (International Management Group)—they have Tiger Woods, Emmitt Smith, the Vatican, Rolex watches, and a thousand other giant brand names.

When I met Tim Rothwell, executive vice president of IMG, his first line to me was “As a brand, Chicken Soup is totally untapped! We are going to do…” And he mentioned the roll-out of more greeting cards, games, pet foods, women’s fashion, and other joint ventures with IMGers. One man thought we had tapped the market and another thought it was untapped.

May we suggest (and give you permission to believe) your future earning power is vast and untapped? We give you permission to have a billion-dollar idea and to execute it. If you can make a million, you can make a thousand times that, a billion. We want you to do it. Give yourself a gift by downloading the free e-book Chronic Profitability at www.cashinaflashthebook.com/gift.

A Billion in Specialized Knowledge
ROBERT G. ALLEN

I discovered my scalable profit project by teaching a small seminar on real estate investing. I had knowledge, skill, expertise, and a passion for real estate, and I loved to teach. I began teaching an evening course at a local hotel in Provo, Utah. The year was 1978. As I remember, it was $75 for a four-week class. There were about twenty students a month—an extra $1,500 in revenue. The hotel room was cheap. The manual was collated by me and my wife in our master bedroom. It was high-profit.

Then one day I had a bright idea. I wondered if someone would pay $100 for a full-day seminar. Rather than four weekly sessions, we could get it all done in one Saturday. I ran a simple ad in the newspaper for a free seminar on how to buy real estate with little or no money down. A lot of people attended. We held more free events. Eventually, I held a full-day seminar filled with about a hundred people who enrolled for $100. A hundred people times $100 is… ka-ching… $10,000 for a single day of teaching. (Of course, it took several days of planning and marketing.) Still, $10,000 was a lot of money thirty years ago. That’s a lot of money today! I had found a vein of pure gold.

I wondered how much someone would pay for a two-day seminar. Would they pay $195? I ran a full-page ad in the newspaper. Two hundred people ended up coming at about $200 per person. That was $40,000 for a single weekend. We’re talking serious money. I decided to scale up some more.

Of course, this sounds too easy. I’ve left out the hard parts—the times when nobody paid for the seminar. There were dozens of hard knocks and disappointments—like the time when my wife’s purse was stolen when she was registering people at one of our seminars in Baltimore. Or the time when I invested a lot of advertising in Denver, Colorado, for a seminar when the Denver Broncos were playing a key football game. Money down the drain.

Still, we kept scaling things up. We eventually charged $500 for a weekend seminar. Ultimately, I licensed the seminar to a nationwide outfit and scaled down my payout to a net royalty of $58.50 per student. Each week there would be hundreds of students nationwide. I collected weekly checks for $20,000, $30,000, sometimes $50,000. And I didn’t even need to be there to teach the seminar. They eventually taught 103,000 people at about $500 per person. I just cashed the checks. Millions of dollars’ worth.

During this time, I released the book Nothing Down: A Proven Program That Shows You How to Buy Real Estate with Little or No Money Down. Fueled by the advertising from the seminars, the book took off. It spent fifty-eight weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.

But good things often come to an end. The seminar outfit stopped earning profit during a down time in the real estate market. They closed their doors. That major source of income dried up. Then a freak avalanche destroyed our mountain home at the Sundance ski resort. When the insurance company balked at paying the insurance, our banker demanded immediate payment on a large loan I had borrowed on a speculative real estate project. We went into a full financial avalanche. We lost everything… and eventually declared bankruptcy.

From nothing to everything to nothing again in seven short years. Scaling up to 100 percent and then scaling back down to zero. About a year after this financial collapse began, one of my previous employees, Thomas R. Painter, tracked me down and convinced me to scale things back up again. Our first seminar was taught to ninety-three people at $1,000 per person. We scaled up our prices over the next five years and scaled up the number of people we taught. We eventually went on to teach twenty thousand people during a weeklong Wealth Training at $5,000 per person. Do the math. It’s breathtaking.

Then Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The United States launched Desert Storm on January 17, 1991. People started watching the bombs drop and stopped attending seminars. Our business dried up. It was time to scale things back down to zero. We closed the doors for the next seven years.

When the conditions were right, we started to scale things back up. As a test, Tom Painter and I started a financial tele-coaching business in 1999. Tele-coaching was just in its infancy. Our first online class had eight people who paid $1,000 for a series of live weekly teleconferences with me. From that small re-beginning, we have grown into one of the largest training operations for real estate investment education in the world. We have hundreds of thousands of students who have attended our one-day to three-day free events. Tens of thousands more are protégés who have paid up to $5,000.

But only a few qualify for our intense, yearlong Mastery Program. It includes one-on-one coaching. Live field training in various cities. Several powerful three-day bootcamps. The Harvard of Wealth. The Stanford of Profit. We work with our students until the money starts to flow. But we charge a Harvard/ Stanford-type tuition. Price tag: $29,900. That’s a hefty tuition. But our Mastery Students often go from learning to earning real profit in ninety days or less. In fact, the success of our students is staggering (check out MillionaireHallOfFame.com). With our coaching, our students have earned over a billion dollars in actual profits and have donated over $30 million to various charities of their choice.

Each ninety days we have a new challenge patterned after my famous real estate challenges.

In our various challenges, over $100 million in profit has been logged. What kind of income is generated from only one hundred Mastery students? Once again, do the math.

It’s taken me over thirty years—through several incarnations—to create programs with enough excellence to be worth that kind of tuition. At times, it’s a very lucrative business. Other times, it’s very, very difficult. Through it all, the scaling up and down, I keep pursuing my purpose path with my various partners.

SO HOW DO YOU EARN YOUR FORTUNE
WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?

Both of us have gone from bankruptcy to billions. If you’re struggling through bleak financial times, all we can say is, we totally understand! We’ve earned the right to tell you that you can survive and prosper… starting right now with what you already have.

The money can start to flow into your life in as little as twenty-four hours from this very minute. What? Twenty-four hours from now? Yup. Look at a clock. Log in the time. Your twenty-four hours just started.

Rich in Six
ROBERT G. ALLEN

That’s the name of a new information product I just launched and marketed through an infomercial, Rich in Six. The product offering is a book, some CDs, special reports, et cetera. By the time this book is published the Rich in Six program will hopefully have already been on TV for several months. The success rate of infomercials is about one in twenty-five. But those that hit are extremely profitable. Let’s just say my fingers are crossed.

Here is the story of a student of the Rich in Six program and exactly how she earned her first profit in twenty-four hours. One of her hobbies is painting. She’s been painting for years but has sold few paintings. It was more of a hobby than a profession. I challenged her on a live conference call to turn professional and start selling her paintings. She created a nice e-mail message and sent it out to about 150 of her friends and family. On the PSI scale, she was selling paintings… products. She got some interest and sold a painting or two. Then I enlightened her to the possibility that one of her other PSIs was her skill as a painter. She could sell this know-how to others and earn even more profit. I challenged her to create a sixteen-week painting seminar and to sell her knowledge. She had never done anything like this before. As soon as she heard the idea, she almost went into a panic. The how word started to attack her. “How will I sell it? How will I deliver it? How can I find people who might want it? How? How? How?”

She beat back her uncertainties and put together an e-mail to the same people to whom she had offered her paintings. I had coached her to create scarcity by saying in her e-mail that she had only one spot available. She offered to coach one student how to paint over the Internet using a live webinar with sound and visuals. She reasoned she would be able to teach basic painting skills one-on-one to a student.

How was she going do this over the Internet? She didn’t know. How was she actually going to teach successfully? She didn’t know. She just knew that somehow she’d be able to figure it out.

My challenge came to her on a Monday afternoon at about five o’clock. She spent the rest of the day wondering and worrying. Then she got clear in her mind and heart exactly what she would do. She would send another e-mail to her current database. Twenty-two hours after she had been challenged, she sent the e-mail. It offered to mentor someone to paint in a sixteen-week course for $1,000 tuition, payable immediately.

Exactly two hours later she received the following email:

Hi, Linda:

Are you sure you can teach me to paint over the phone?

If so—I always felt we had a connection ever since we met at that seminar…

I would love to be your sixteen-week student and I have the $1,000!

Debra Jo

Following is the e-mail that Linda sent me after she had just made a thousand dollars in a single day from idea to cash.

Hi, Bob:

I felt a little shaken up on Monday after the Rich in Six teleconference.:-) When your mentor tells you exactly what you can do, I figure you’d better do it. So I did—I pushed away any fears and spent the rest of Monday thinking about how I would structure my offer. And Tuesday morning I wrote out my e-mail.

I checked and Debra Jo’s e-mail is marked as arriving at 5:06 Tuesday. Exactly twenty-four hours after the call ended the day before! She and I are both excited! Thank you for your great mentoring!

Linda

She turned her knowledge, skill, and passion into $1,000 cash in twenty-four hours. That may not seem like much to you. But I had launched my training business almost exactly the same way nearly thirty years before—an eight-week course for $75.

Let’s just dream for a minute. How could Linda turn this simple success into a million-dollar-a-year empire using this simple idea? Well, we already know that someone is willing to invest $1,000 for a sixteen-week course. How many more people does she need to attract? One million dollars is generated from only a thousand students. Do you think there might be another thousand people somewhere in the world who might want the same experience? Absolutely!

Here’s the problem: she is only one person and she can’t teach a thousand people a one-on-one course. She has to scale things up. First, she needs to perfect her system by teaching twenty, thirty, fifty people until she has individual success stories. She needs to show proof that her system works. Then she turns on the marketing machines.

She makes herself available for a class three times a week. She increases the class size to ten students. As a bonus, she offers them archives of her most successful classes online for advanced study. So now her student base is thirty students at $1,000 per student. That’s $30,000 per “semester.” She can do three semesters per year … or close to the $100,000-a-year figure.

Let’s scale this up. She can either increase her class size or find other artists in her city whom she can train to teach her system. Each trainee needs to attend her $5,000 train-the-trainer course. She finds ten people in her city who are willing to pay her $5,000 for the privilege of earning nice incomes teaching art students. Of course, they earn half of the $1,000 tuition. So their $5,000 tuition turns into a $15,000-per-semester income. Not bad for a $5,000 investment!

Now Linda has ten people each teaching thirty students per semester. That’s three hundred students, for which she earns $500 per student or $150,000 per semester. That’s close to half a million dollars a year. And she doesn’t have to teach any of those classes.

But we’re not done. By this time, she’s learned not only how to market her painting programs to individual art students but also how to market train-the-trainer programs. Her total income is over $500,000 a year. Of course, this is not all net profit. There would be marketing costs, Web fees, and the like. But there would still be a very, very nice profit left over.

Let’s scale this up some more. She thinks that there are other people who would like to earn half a million dollars a year selling art training. So she launches her advanced business-building program. How much should she charge someone? We’re going for the big bucks because it’s worth it. It’s $10,000. She will only allow one advanced business builder in each city in the world. She gives them exclusive territory. There are a thousand big cities in the world in which she could sell her $10,000 business-building experience. This would require some serious marketing. But is there enough margin to hire a whole team of people to carry it out? Let’s do the numbers: 1,000 ABB students times $10,000 equals (drum roll, please): $10 million.

Of course, each of these 1,000 students would have to buy the art training materials for each of their students. It’s only $50 per kit, and she only earns $20 profit per kit, but since there are a thousand business-building students who market nine hundred students per year at $20 profit to her, that equals (drum roll, please): $18 million per year.

Do the math. You get the picture? Information products can become very, very exciting very, very quickly.

Earlier we shared Mark’s story of how he sold a multiauthored book to eighteen people for $2,000 a person. In other words, each person received his or her own chapter in the book. That gave Mark and his partner, Keith, instant cash to create the book. Each author could buy extra copies at a low price to resell for a profit.

Let’s go in the opposite direction. Let’s get multiple sponsors for a single-authored book.

$62,000 OUT OF THIN AIR
THE BERNICE WINTER STORY

When we talk to multimillionaires who have amazing success stories, we ask them what got them started, what was the catalyst for their action, and what was the creativity that led to their extraordinary results. We have found that most often it was an unwanted and unwelcome event, an exigent circumstance, that yielded the extraordinary results.

Bernice Winter grew up the oldest of five children in a dysfunctional family. Hers was a life way too full of drama for a little girl. In her young life, the police came and took her and her siblings to shelters time after time after time. Consequently, she attended several different schools while living in shelters. Some of the schools were located in wealthy neighborhoods and others in poor districts.

Bernice noticed some profound differences between the rich kids from the wealthy-neighborhood schools and the poor kids. The rich kids didn’t worry about money. Their parents took care of the basic necessities of life for them. The rich kids talked about the activities they had planned for the weekend, fun stuff. The poor kids didn’t talk about having fun; instead they had responsibilities such as how to put food on the table, how to keep a roof over their heads, and who would be there for their siblings. They didn’t have to worry about weekend activities. There were none.

At a young age, Bernice had seen enough contrasts in life to determine that she would not just accept what life had dealt her. Bernice decided that if she had a choice to worry about money or not to worry about money, she would choose not to have to worry about money when she grew up. She was a dreamer. She told her mother, “I will never work for money when I grow up. I will have money work for me.”

Bernice said, “I was a thinker. My mother would laugh at me and lock me in the closet, telling me to think. That’s what I did in the dark closet. I would dream and I never let go of my dreams and I let them be huge. I believe in fairy tales.”

By the time Bernice was eight, she was knocking on doors to find cleaning jobs to earn money to put food on the table so she and her younger brothers and sisters could eat. By the time she was fifteen she was out on her own trying to create her own fairy tale.

Eventually Bernice got into the condo business and stayed there for fourteen years before venturing out into a new career. Within a short period of time, this new venture failed and she lost everything—her home, her bank account, and her car—and ended up homeless and on the street.

It was a long way back up from the bottom. During this tough time she picked up a copy of our first book, The One Minute Millionaire. It caught her eye because of the purple and yellow book cover with the butterfly.

Reading The One Minute Millionaire transformed her mind-set about money. She began to reconnect to her dreams. With each new bit of information she learned and applied, Bernice’s level of success increased. Within one short year she was back on her feet. Her confidence was back. That year she received an award from the Canadian Condominium Institute for her contribution to the condominium industry in Canada.

Bernice’s most brilliant lesson was to turn her existing knowledge into a book. She wrote Ten Secrets to Surviving Life in a Condominium. The book was written as a guidebook, resource book, and fictional story meant to educate anyone who is or wants to be a condo owner and for anyone who has to deal with one.

In the story, a couple by the name of Bob and Betty decide to sell their house and buy a condo. The reader then travels on an educational journey about life in a condominium while encountering problems and learning how to solve them from experts in the field.

After coming up with the idea, Bernice needed to consider how she was going to produce the book and get it published. She knew that her printing cost would be $7,000. Artwork and other costs associated with publishing the book would run the overall costs up to $13,000. By then, Bernice was a true protégé. Bernice decided to apply Robert Allen’s Nothing-down or OPM (Other People’s Money) principle to publish her book.

She approached vendors on her trade list (Realtors, contractors, service companies, advertisers—companies that did business with the condo trade) and pitched them with the idea of buying into the book. She told them it was worth spending bigger dollar amounts because newspaper and magazine advertisements were expensive but they didn’t stay on the shelf. Within a day, a week, or a month, all the advertising money spent on these forms of advertising went into the trash can. She compared that to a book. Books don’t go off the shelf. They reside in homes and in libraries and their message remains over time.

Bernice contacted the vendors on her trade and referral lists and offered to write them into her story and give them a full-page exclusive advertisement (in their vendor category) in her book for $7,000. She also offered a lesser advertising package where they could buy a half-page ad for $5,000 but they wouldn’t be in the story and they wouldn’t get an exclusive ad in their vendor category. The first advertisement she sold paid for printing her book. The second advertisement paid for all other publishing costs. She made approximately $62,000 from advertising before she sold the first copy.

Bernice sold three thousand copies of her book in hardback for $19. When she ran out of books she sold another two thousand e-book copies for $15 each. Bernice then decided to edit and rename her book and do a second printing. She went back to the vendors and asked if they wanted to be in the next edition. The vendors had had such great results with the first book that they jumped at the chance and paid another $7,000.

Bernice said that it is a really neat feeling to see her book in a library or to have someone bring the book to a meeting and ask for her autograph. And this is only the beginning.

A lesson that Bernice has learned along the way: If you’re lying in a hospital bed looking at the monitor that is recording your vital signs, you want to see peaks and valleys, not a flat line. Get excited about those curves that life throws you—those peaks and valleys. It means you’re alive and still in the game!

THERE’S A BOOK IN YOU

You also have a story that’s worth writing about. When it comes to the information business, your story is the most important story. Writing your book about your experience is your most important product. So scan through your cache of problems, fears, or failures that have occurred in your life. Make a decision to solve or resolve them one by one. Everyone likes a survivor. But everyone loves a winner!

That’s your richest vein of gold. Your story is easy for you to sell. Why? Because it’s true for you. It’s comes from your own experience—from your own heart and your own mind. Therefore, as you share your testimony about what happened for you, it’s real. It’s authentic. It’s enlightened selling because you passionately believe it. It’s your lowest-hanging fruit.

Both of us have programs where we show would-be authors how to become New York Times bestselling authors like we are. Check it out at www.cashinaflashthebook.com/author.

Could you become a bestselling author? If Linda can do it, so can you. If Bernice can do it, so can you. If Mark and Bob can do it, so can you.