Thursday, May 31, 2007

Does Failure Truly Exist?

Mike Stokes
Baton Rouge, LA

This thought brought me up from a nap!


(From Soar With Your Strengths)

Does failure truly exist?

Or, is it simply an inaccurate matchup
of expectations and strengths?

Could it be that people
are not successes or failures
but merely individuals
in the right or wrong
expectation environment?


Could this be WHY
you have not had the SUCCESS
that you should have had by now?

Simply because you are not
matching up the right ingredients
of product, market and skill level?

Maybe, just maybe,
it's TIME that YOU
connect with someone
that knows the ropes
in this game...

I can help...

Been there,
done that,
got the t-shirt.

In fact,
I don't just have the t-shirt,
I SELL the t-shirt.

Mike Stokes

Get my FREE Booklet

Monday, May 21, 2007

Making a Business of Your Passion

Monday 7:29 AM
Sun Spree Resort
Panama City Beach, FL

Making a Business of Your Passion
By Michael Masterson

"If passion drives you,
let reason hold the reins."
- Benjamin Franklin

One of the most common recommendations that
you will hear from business-opportunity
"experts" is to "find something you love"
and make a business out of it.

In fact, I used to make that recommendation
myself, arguing that turning your passion
into a career is a good way to make
a good living.

This is the kind of advice that
feels right and inspires loyalty.

But when I thought about the successes
in my own business career, I didn't
see that pattern.

When I decided to get rich back in the early 1980s,
I didn't stop to ask myself "What do I love?"

I set to work the very next day transforming
myself from a sometimes-good, sometimes-disgruntled
editorial director into a 24/7 marketing maven,
and I boosted a marginally profitable,
million-dollar business to a $135 million cash machine.

I didn't love the products we produced,
but I loved the process.

I retired from that business -
but didn't stay retired for long.

With my second career, I was determined to
stay a little closer to my childhood dreams
by selling publications instead of products,
ideas instead of things.

Because I partnered with someone who shared
that mindset, I have been lucky.

I've made as much money this time around,
and without the emotional conflicts over
selling products I was less than
enthusiastic about.

But even as a publisher, I haven't
really "followed my dreams."

My true passion - in terms of publishing -
would be fiction and poetry.

I can say without any doubt that had I followed
that road, I would be running a much smaller,
much less profitable business.

And it might not have given me any
more pleasure than I get now.

As a recommendation, "turn your passion
into a career" no longer rings true to me.

As I said earlier, it's the kind
of advice you want to believe...

But it doesn't take reality into consideration.

Proceeding with a pragmatic purposefulness,
it seems to me, is the best course of action.

By "pragmatic purposefulness," I mean an
ounce of passion and a pound of practicality.

I mean facing the facts and making a realistic
assessment of the business idea you love so much.

Will it really work in the marketplace?

Will it really live up to your dreams?

The usefulness of this approach was made clear
to both me and the businesspeople who attended
my Business-Building Retreat last month.

Of the 30 people in attendance whose business plans
were scrutinized, at least six realized that the
financial expectations they had attached to their
dream projects were totally unrealistic.

"You have to adjust your wealth expectations
or change your business," they were advised.

It would be silly for them to push ahead,
following their passion, when it was easy
to see, by putting pen to paper, that the
businesses they had imagined could not work.

That's basically the same advice I have for LG,
an ETR reader who recently wrote to me.

LG has been advised by a well-known guru
(who shall remain nameless) to "find something
I love and make a business out of it."

He says he has found a business for sale that
matches one of his favorite hobbies: golf.

"It is a patent for a machine that
uses sonar to clean golf clubs.

Attached to the machine is an
LCD screen that displays ads.

The money to be made is not in
the actual cleaning of the clubs
but the selling of the ad space.

It is an absolute novel idea,
and the owner claims that he
has patented it all over the world.

My only problem is the cost
for the patent in my country.

He is selling it for what would be
about five million in U.S. dollars.

I've done a couple of sums, and I can see this
business paying off itself after 3-4 yrs.

My only problem is finding an investor
that would possibly want to fund this.

I know that the investor would make a very good ROI,
but I somehow need to find that person."

LG "really wants" to get this patent, and is hoping
I can tell him how to go about looking for the
five million bucks in start-up capital that he needs.

This is precisely the danger you face when
you follow your passions into business.

You make these kinds of mind-bogglingly foolish mistakes.

Invest your time and someone else's money into a machine
that spits out advertising as it cleans golf clubs?

Are you nuts?

If I had to list the top 10 stupid business ideas
I've ever heard, his would make it onto that list.

It is stupid not just because the idea itself is so idiotic,
but because the person behind the idea - the person supposedly
holding the patents - thinks he will find investors to buy into it.

Maybe that guy isn't so dumb.

He has found, in LG, somebody who
is seriously considering it.

[LG sounds like most MLMers I talk with.]

I don't have space here to list all the reasons
why this is a completely crazy business idea.

But let me use LG as an example for any other
ETR reader who may have bought into the
"follow-your-passion" fancy.

Listen, I know that it IS possible to turn your passion
(a hobby or lifelong dream) into a way to earn a good living -
but ONLY if there's a good business idea to support it.

How do you find out if your passion makes business sense?

Start by asking friends and colleagues what they think of it.

Tell them to be brutally frank.

Then look around and see if there's anything
like your idea out there in the marketplace.

If there isn't, chances are it's not going to work.

Unfortunately, because there are so many stories about
entrepreneurs who succeeded against all odds, the idea
of pursuing a screwball idea is often lauded.

But following your passion when it makes no sense...

Makes no sense.

And if you have a family to support, it's irresponsible.

The first and most important rule of entrepreneurship is this:

Never invest in anything unless you understand it extremely well -
unless you have the kind of knowledge about the business
and the industry that you can only get by working in it,
on the inside, for several years.

Staples founder Thomas Stemberg said it this way:

"I think following your passion is a really dumb idea.
I follow a great market that provides an opportunity
to satisfy customers and to make money."

LG has a passion for golf, but what does
he know about selling advertising?

Does he have any idea of the kind of advertisers
that might be interested in this kind of program?

Does he have any idea what kind of numbers
such advertisers would need before investing
their money?

Does he know anything about the size
and volatility of his target market?

I don't need to ask him to know that
he doesn't know these things.

The way he talks about this business makes
it clear to me that he is a total tyro.

[And folks, don't think for one second
that an experienced marketer can't tell
in one minute or less if you know what
you're talking about or not!]

The good news is that LG will not find the
start-up capital he needs unless he hooks
up with a Nigerian direct-mail scamster
and steals it from some rich old lady
in Pittsburgh.

The bad news is that LG may continue to believe the
foolish mantra his guru has been chanting and
continue to follow his passion...

Instead of learning something about
business before he jumps into it.

Sound like anyone YOU know?

Getting into a MARKETING business
without knowing anything
about marketing?


LG and others like him would be well advised to hold
their passions in check until they've asked all the
right questions and thoroughly researched their market.

If there are other people out there making
good money doing more or less what you want
to do (but your idea is better),
by all means, go out and try it.

But if no one is doing it - and people you
trust give you that distant stare when you
tell them about it -

Be smart and put your energies into a business
that has been proven to make money.

If you'd like to suggest Early To Rise to a friend,
please point them to:

Ever Wish Someone Would Teach YOU?

I will:
Mike Stokes
(225) 218-1469

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

eBay Bucks

Mike Stokes
Tuesday Afternoon 3:33 PM
Sittin' by the Pool Reading

Here's an interesting fact...

"More than 724,000 Americans
report that eBay is their
primary or secondary source of income,
according to an ACNeilson study in 2005."

"...brokering more than $100 million
in transactions each day."

How much money did YOU
make on eBay today?

How many LEADS did you
generate on eBay today?

I make a good living on
just the leads that
I generate daily on eBay...

Not to mention the REVENUE
that goes into my PayPal
account DAILY.

Get this...

I SELL products on eBay
to generate LEADS
for the products that
I REALLY sell!

So, instead of me BUYING leads...

My leads are PAYING ME
to become my lead!


eBay is a CASH COW!

Go and get you some!

How much money are YOU
leaving on the table
each and every day?

Mike Stokes
Baton Rouge, LA

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Stop Spinning Your Wheels!

Mike Stokes
Baton Rouge, LA
Saturday 8:05 AM

Stop Spinning Your Wheels!

If you’re ready to quit playing MLM with
the wishers, whiners and wanna-be’s,
and ready to Master Mind with real Money-Makers
and the No-Job-For-Me crowd,
then now is the time!

If you’re ready to LEARN HOW TO

=> Market ANY Product
=> Market ANY Opportunity
=> Generate your own targeted and qualified LEADS
=> Create a FUNDED PROPOSAL Marketing System that will:
.....1. Generate high quality laser-targeted leads
.....2. Generate up-front CASH FLOW
.....3. Erase your advertising costs

.....4. Turn an up-front
=> Set up a MARKETING FUNNEL to automate your sales process
=> Set up EXIT PROGRAMS to sell to your prospects that don’t buy
.....or join your primary offer or opportunity right away
=> Keep your prospects in your “loop” so that when their TIMING right, you’re the person they turn to when they’re ready to buy
=> Set up and deliver an interesting and informative follow-up
.....NEWSLETTER to keep your prospects in your system, and
.....your name and face in front of them
=> Utilize big-time marketing SKILLS, TECHNIQUES and TOOLS
.....that you always thought were only for the heavy-hitters
=> Make thousands of dollars every month even if you don’t have
.....a product of your own to sell
=> Create multiple streams of income that flow like rivers of cash
.....every day, week and month
=> Build a thriving business in about 30 - 45 minutes a day
=> And a whole lot more…

Download and listen to this FREE Training Call

Read the FREE Articles and Reports in the archives on this blog.

Let's get started, call me:
Mike Stokes
(225) 218-1469

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

One Idea Away From A Million Bucks?

Tuesday 7:26 AM
Swan & Dolphin Resort
Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Could You Really Be Just One Idea
Away From A Million Bucks?

The answer is absolutely YES!

Our numbers over the last 21 years have shown
that the average home-business owner will spend
at least $200.00 per month on advertising and
marketing, and many will spend a lot more than that.

How much money did you earn last month
from all the people that rejected your
primary business or product?

This is a huge market and un-tapped source
of income for the home-business entrepreneur.


and TOOLS to home-business owners.

Like McDonalds…

McDonalds is NOT in the hamburger business.

McDonalds is IN the REAL ESTATE business and

Your “competition” is selling
pills and potions and rah-rah…

WE are in the PEOPLE business.


How many classes have you ever taken on
How to Make Money in the Real World
by someone who is actually doing it?

None, right?

Well, now you can connect with real doers.

Do you know why FRANCHISES took off and
become so successful in the 70’s and 80’s?

It’s because they offered a proven system...

They had already done the “trial and error”
so that franchisee could run on a proven
track and get off to a FAST START.

Get Our FREE Booklet:
The Part-Time Millionaire

Mike Stokes

Monday, May 07, 2007

Money In Your Mailbox

Monday 6:47 AM
Dolphin Resort
Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Money In Your Mail Box

Last summer while we were on a two-week vacation
in Florida, I made over $1,000 completely on
auto-pilot selling just one generic marketing book,
completely hands-free and fully automated.

I didn’t even have to go to my mail box...

Heck, I was at the beach!

My money was automatically deposited into
my PayPal account, and I was able to spend
it immediately, while on vacation,
with my PayPal debit card!

I didn’t have to call anyone,
make any presentations,
any of that stuff!

I generated 20-30 targeted leads a day,
and made $40 - $80 a day,
while I was on the beach and at Disney World!

And when I got home, I sponsored 53 people
into my primary MLM, all from those leads
that I got for FREE!

“Cool marketing course…What MLM do you do?”

It’s a process, not MLM.

Expose => Involve => Upgrade

Are you ready to learn how to use
this FORMULA in your business?

Run, don’t walk, to your computer and download
the FREE Traffic Formula Training Call
by the guy that “wrote the book”
on Funded Proposal Marketing and
BIG-TIME Marketing.

Click Here: FREE Traffic Formula Training Call

Need personal mentoring to help
you implement your own
Funded Proposal System
for your business?

Call me – I’ve been making a good living
doing exactly this for over 7 years now...

I can help you do this too!

Mike Stokes
(225) 218-1469

P.S.- We've been here at Disney for 2 days now,
and my newest money machine has cranked out $415.
Not bad for the weekend.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas"

Sunday 7:28 AM
Lake Buena Vista, FL

“How Does Selling Information
Relate To Building A Downline?”

You ever notice, in Las Vegas
they don’t advertise the gambling?

You’ve seen the ads in the magazines and on TV…

“What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.”

They advertise the shows and the entertainment
and the fabulous hotels and the fun and excitement…
everything but the gambling!

And where do they make their money?

On the “back-end” – the gambling.

You ever have an MLM heavy hitter call
you and pitch you on their MLM deal?

No? I didn’t think so…

That’s not the way they do it.

The high-rollers and heavy hitters
all follow the same FORMULA.

They all “lead” with an information product.

Look at Big Al…

Big Al sells seminars and books and tapes…

So does Randy Gage, Russell Paley, Mike Dillard,
Mike Stokes, the Amway/Quixtar hitters,
Herbalife players, the list goes on and on…

They all make their money before their downline shows up.

Now, you can do this too!

Quit spending money advertising your MLM opportunity…

No one’s interested!

You retail a low-cost “front-end” generic information product:
a book, CDs, “How-To” courses – to pay for your advertising
and lead generation, and make your big money on the “back-end”
product which is your MLM opportunity!

It’s easier to sponsor a customer
than to recruit a complete stranger.

Are you beginning to see how much simpler and
less stressful it would be to have prospects
calling you up...

Seeking your help and advice, and you pointing
them to a generic information product that will
really help them?

Rather than the major TIME and MONEY investment,
not to mention the uncertainty, of an
all-together new business “opportunity”?

It takes time to grow a downline.

And you’ve got to make money in the meantime…

And that means retailing.

How many people do you know that want
to buy some new exotic vitamin?

Yet there are millions of people already in
a network marketing business and struggling,
that are eagerly searching for information
on how to build their businesses faster and better!

Which person do you think would be easier to sell?

It’s way faster – and easier – to make $500 a month
retailing a product or service that everyone needs
than it is to build a $500 a month residual check.

Plus, you’re positioning yourself as an expert,
providing generic tools and information to the

And not out there pleading with people
to get rich with you in your new deal.

And best of all, unlike selling your business opportunity
to a complete stranger, Information Marketing is easier
to sell – you can put in on “auto-pilot”.

How often does anyone call you up to
sell you a book or marketing course?

You sell these products with sales letters and websites,
24/7, while you’re at work, sleeping, or on vacation!

Actually, you don’t sell them...

Machines do!

Websites, auto-responders, emails.

Get our ALL-NEW Free Booklet,
"The Part-Time Millionaire":

Please Send Me the FREE Booklet

Mike Stokes

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Funded Proposal Marketing

Saturday 7:50 AM
Swan and Dolphin
Walt Disney World

Funded Proposal Marketing:
“How To Get Your Prospects To Pay You
Whether They Join You or Not!”

The biggest expense you’ll have in
your business is lead generation:

Advertising and Marketing

If you can erase this expense,
you can stay in the game until
your residuals kick in.

Believe it or not, you can even turn your
lead generation into a PROFIT CENTER.

Nine out of ten of the people you talk to are
NOT going to join you in your primary deal…

That’s just the way it is.

Hey, you just can’t afford to lose
90-95% of your prospects, can you?

Well, that fact is, the smart networkers
make money whether their prospects join
them or not…

“How in the world?" You ask...

The fact is, your best “targeted” prospect for
your business is someone that has already been
in a home-based business...

Whether they’re in a business right
now or have been in the past.

You don’t have to sell them on the industry,
and they quite often already know other people
that they can bring into a profitable venture.

What’s the last thing another MLMer wants to see?

An ad for another MLM deal.

What’s almost every MLMer looking for?

A “how-to” system to make his or her deal work!

People Don’t Buy MLM.

People aren’t looking for another deal…

They’re looking for a way to make
the one they’re already in work!

Get my ALL-NEW FREE Booklet that REVEALS
"How To Get Paid BEFORE Your Downline Shows Up!"

FREE Booklet:Basic Marketing Funnels

Mike Stokes