Busting 3 Myths About Investing in Yourself

October 27th, 2013 by Bob Burnham

One of the best investments I’ve ever made was investing in myself. Some people may view what I’m saying as a sheer sales technique but nothing could be further from the truth. My own business transformed dramatically after I invested in myself. It is one strategy that has always given me a big return.

When you keep the flow of money going, you find that whatever you give, you get back. People I have invested money with for programs and products have turned out to be valuable lifelong clients.

For example, my company, Expert Author Publishing, helped publish Lisa Sasevich’s book, The Live Sassy Formula because I invested first in Lisa’s Sassy Mastermind, and I received and continue to receive business from many of the other Sassy entrepreneurs in her Mastermind group.

Read on as I dispel some myths that can hold you back from wealth and self-actualization.

Here are the 3 Common Myths about Investing in Yourself: 

  1. You’ll never get value out of a high-priced program.

    This one couldn’t be further from the truth. If you start buying low-priced programs, most likely the person you’re buying them from isn’t that successful, whereas the people behind the higher-priced programs are more successful, have been doing it longer, and are making more money. They are more likely to teach you about the real ins and outs of creating success for yourself. 

    Someone once said to me, “I don’t want to pay you $300 an hour,” meanwhile they wanted to make $500 an hour. I was thinking, Are you going to pay someone $125 an hour to teach you how to make $500? I don’t think so. It just doesn’t work that way.

  2. I won’t get a return on my investment.

    In the stock market over past decade you’re lucky to get a 2% return. Real estate in the U.S. has been even worse. But every time you invest in yourself it pays big returns over and over again—and nobody can ever take it way from you; not the market, not the economy, not any one expert or boss or corporation—and that’s powerful.

    What you accomplish by writing your own book is amazing. First, it feels so good just spending a day achieving some quality writing. Becoming a published author boosts your esteem sky high, makes you an expert in your field and ups your chances of attracting success. 

    When you invest in yourself, you create your own lifestyle, set your own working hours, open up to more freedom, leisure time and activities with family and friends. This is time you’ll never get back. These are choices you make that nobody can dictate or ever take away from you.

  3. Investing in yourself may work psychologically, but not necessarily monetarily

    Yes, it’s true, the experience of having faith in yourself is not tangible—you can’t touch faith. But you can reach that feeling of becoming competent and unstoppable, which gives you ultimate control because you’re the one who is taking the action that changes your life and the lives of those you love. When you take what you’re learning and act on it, the upside is infinite, the sky is truly the limit.  Psychologically you are saying, “I’m banking on me, I’m doing this for me, I’m putting myself first,” and the world reflects back to you your #1 status.

    Let’s take the example of a dining establishment. You wouldn’t open up a restaurant without any leasehold investments, such as new paint, tables and chairs and kitchen utensils, and say to yourself, “I’ll wait and see if lots of customers come in before I invest in this restaurant.” You invest in the restaurant first because you know that restaurant will be providing for you in the future.

    Seeking employment in these times when standard college courses may not set you apart from the crowd means banking on targeted information for your specific niche. After all, you are unique and special, so treat yourself that way.

If you feel you may have interest in one of the programs I outlined at my event, let’s set up a strategy session to talk about your book, your future and the benefits of investing in yourself.
Let’s chat about YOU.

Your Story is Important

September 1st, 2013 by Bob Burnham

A few weeks ago I read an article by Ty Montague in the Harvard Business Review titled “If You Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story.” In it, he explained that having provenance gives everyday items cachet, which makes people want to buy them. Back in 2006 a New York Times columnist set out to discover what makes one piece or art or pair of shoes or household object more valuable than another. He took a random sample of thrift shop items (all less than $1.00) and asked storytellers to include one object in a story. Then he placed the merchandise on eBay replete with story and watched in astonishment as the value of each object rose spectacularly 2,700%.

How does this concept of value work? Well, back in the 1920s, Alberto Alessi’s grandfather took simple household items such as tea and coffeepots, creamers and sugar bowls and made them iconic. He gave the tradition of gabbing informally over coffee a twist. These coffee sets were modern takes on ancient forms, they oozed style, and were engraved with the company’s distinctive mark. That mark told the story of the Alessi family. These items were made available to middle-class people, allowing the to have modern style and sophistication drinking after-dinner coffee with friends. A slew of famous designers, most recently Michael Graves and Philippe Starck have designed tea kettles for Alessi, with Graves’s designs showing up everywhere from Target to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

We can imagine the impact of the tea set story by asking these simple questions:

How would your grandmother or great-grandmother revere these items back in the 20s?

How would that story be embellished if the tea set had been a wedding gift to your grandmother? What if the gift were from her mother?

How would you cherish these items if they were handed down to you by your precious grandma and sat proudly in your own dining room?

And what if the exact design of your heirloom were in the Museum of Modern Art?

As you can see, this layer of stories makes these items even more precious. The same is true for your own story. The more intricate and astonishing the story you tell about yourself in your own book, the more people will want to read your book. Guy Kawasaki talks about having a relationship with your readers through trust and transparency, by over-delivering and being likeable. People want to follow distinctive or funny people on social media because of the cool factor. Think of someone you know who is just the coolest. Wouldn’t you be thrilled if they wanted to be your friend? Seth Godin even goes so far as saying that people may know all about you and what you have to offer but will still buy your book as a souvenir of the relationship they already have with you (because they think you’re cool).

Establishing that kind of bond with your clients, readers and followers takes mining your life for what makes you unique and not being afraid to share it, because your story can be just as important as the information you impart in your book. It’s about stepping up, branding and becoming known in your field, but also about being honest and authentic at the same time.

My next newsletter will give you tips on how to do that. 

Many people are stuck in their lives because of their recurring thoughts. They may talk about wanting to write a book but they don’t do it. Even though they’d love to become a best-selling author and change people’s lives, every day this notion seems to get further and further away until their dream finally dies. But there is a solution to this, and the solution comes in studying and recognizing your limiting thoughts. Here is more good news if you find yourself stuck: 

  • The thought of becoming a best-selling author would never have occurred to you in the first place if it were not possible. We have an infinite range of possibilities, talents and abilities, and once we give them focus, that’s when miracles start to happen.
  • Manifestation is not about presto/shazam/abracadabra, creating something out of nothing. It is about being aware that what you want already exists. Although we say that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, the light bulb already existed, he just needed to become aware that it was already there. Your book already exists.
  • If you are not getting what you want, there is usually some form of resistance going on. It could be resistance to sitting down and writing – why not record your book and have someone transcribe it? The resistance could be deeper – it might come from what people will think of your book or your writing style. Or it could be because the book brings up a really uncomfortable thought/attitude/belief you have about yourself that you are afraid to confront.

It’s hard to get from point A to B when you’re terrified of A. But sometimes you have to unlock one key thought to get another door to open. It’s likely you are protecting yourself from some kind of truth, pain, embarrassment or shame. You are stuck because a protection mechanism is keeping you “safe” and resistance is the outward manifestation of that. It is your job to find out, by listening to your inner dialogue, what you are afraid of. Is it about being vulnerable? Is it rejection? Failure? Success? Once you confront that fear, it will vanish and you will be able to write. Each time resistance comes up there’s a gift for you – the gift of freedom from some negative and wrong illusion you had about yourself.

Goals + Accountability = Success

March 20th, 2012 by Bob Burnham

Now is the time to think about what we accomplished last year and set new goals.

Many people seem to do the same things day in and day out because that’s what they’ve always done. But if we set reasonable goals and make ourselves accountable, we can really start making quantum leaps in our lives.

If you pick even one to three reasonable goals you believe you can achieve this year, your life will start moving forward. If you don’t set goals, your life will stay the same.  Here are some tips:

  • It’s important to have the accountability quotient, but it’s also important to make your goal reasonable. If you commit to something that you think is unreasonable, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. If your goal is reasonable and accountable, then your life can’t help but change in positive ways.  This applies to that book you’ve been meaning to write. Take a step today that will take you further toward your goal.
  • Goals become realities when you have an accountability partner or expert or mentor – someone to keep you on track. If you know that daily you’ll be getting a phone call asking about the steps you took the previous day, you will not disappoint! Book mentors not only keep you on track, they also have all sorts of ideas to shape your work and get it out there in the world so you can make money from your expertise, instead of simply the $2 to $4 revenue from the book itself. You could spend 10 years and a lot of money, time and struggle searching for these answers, or you can find what you need in one place with Expert Author Publishing programs.
  • Many people hesitate, asking: "What if I make a mistake?" Even if you pursue the wrong goal, the fact that you’ve achieved this goal shows you can achieve any goal you desire, so go ahead and write your goals down and follow through on them.
  • Be specific. Give each goal a definite date for completion. If it’s not written down, it’s not going to get done. Put your list of goals where you can see them every day.

The whole idea of smaller goals and accountability is akin to building a building – it happens one brick at time – there is no other way. Each goal you complete builds your confidence so you can reach for even bigger dreams.

As I tell my students in my workshops, classes, and my Expert Author Mastermind Programs, speaking is the number one way to get out there and make money from your book and the programs and packages you’ve created from your expertise. It’s low cost and highly effective because your audience gets to meet you in person. As you get out there and speak, keep in mind these 3 essential components to optimize your sales and have potential clients pursuing you: 

  1. Offer Forms. Always have Offer Forms ready to hand out to get your audience opted in to your program. Have your Offer Forms handed out closer to the end of your talk when you are ready to go through the Offer Form and explain exactly what you would like them to do. Make sure the Offer Form looks professional and asks for a phone number and email address so you can build your list. You can offer them a free strategy session with you so you can sign them into one of your programs or some other offer you are currently running. If you do offer a free strategy session be sure to follow up with your prospects promptly after event.
  2. Seeding. Seeding means sprinkling your talk with enticements for your services. These can be stories of successes you’ve had with other clients and customers who have taken your programs. Just by mentioning that a client made $7,000 in three days or conquered their fear of flying in one session, you are seeding the audience for success.

    First, you’re describing your program in a way that makes people want to have the same kind of transformation that your clients had. And you are also seeding the steps and benefits of your particular formula or system. Second, you may be able to sell a higher-ticket item by mentioning a success story you had with a one-day/one-on-one mentorship client, so they can hitch a ride on the fast track to success.

  3. Scarcity. By invoking scarcity, you create a desire in the client to take action. You can generate scarcity by limiting the amount of applicants in your next program. Time limiters create scarcity – your audience has until the end of the workshop to sign up. Price limiters are also effective – this price is good for today only, then it goes back to your regular price. 

Remember that you are the expert and the audience expects you to act with authority. It’s up to you to state your offer clearly and to tell your audience how to respond. By taking the speaker and leadership role, you can significantly increase your business and transform more lives.

Lessons Learned

February 14th, 2012 by Bob Burnham

I’d nearly signed a potential client when he cancelled after calculating that my program added up to $333.00 an hour. I love my customers and I’m grateful for all of them, but I was saddened when I heard him say there was nothing I could tell him for $333.00 an hour that was going to help him.

I immediately thought that was a belief he needed to work through, as he called me because things just weren’t working for him. He said he was missing a piece of the puzzle, and he wanted to know how I was able to have a successful business.

There are many lessons budding entrepreneurs and expert authors can glean from this experience:

–Don’t take it personally. This is where this client is stuck. Maybe he’ll get unstuck and maybe he won’t, but it’s not about you or the quality of the products and programs you’ve created from your book.

–You get what you pay for. If I counted up all the money I’ve spent on different programs, it would be well over $100,000, and the specific information I share in my programs cost me $2000 an hour.

–Experience counts. Experience can be worth much more than study. Mentors know the ins and outs in their business. Day to day, they are making real-world decisions, learning from every success and failure. For example, I know how to shape chapter titles. Just reading the table of contents can spur someone to buy your book; and I’m an expert at front and back covers that optimize sales. Yes, people do buy a book by its cover!

–People don’t value what they get for free. Clients who are not invested are often not seriously committed. Many times the amount of money invested in your programs is commensurate with the effort they make.

–You get what you pay for. Sure $333.00 an hour is not cheap, but if you call someone who charges $100 an hour, you’re going to end up with a $100-an-hour business. Why waste time? If you really want to make a lot more money and have a successful business, get your information from the best.

That reminds me of a story. A power plant’s generator failed. Each repair person they contacted could not get it started again.

Finally, an expert was called in. He evaluated the situation for about an hour, marked an X on the generator, then hit it with a hammer. Everything started working again.

When he billed them $1,000, the company asked him to itemize his rate of $1000 an hour. The expert replied:

“$1.00 for hitting the generator with a hammer. $999.00 for knowing where to hit the generator.”

The current job market is rough. A report issued on April 2, 2010, confirms that the unemployment rate in the United States alone is holding steady at nearly 10%.

These figures are disheartening and even a little scary. You may want to make more money with a new job, but feel that there is no way to get one today’s economy. Maybe you just want a job period, but are having no luck. Are you one of the many who are choosing to give up—to not try again until more signs of recovery are observed?

I have a solution for anyone who answered “yes” to that question. Don’t let the economy dictate your life. Determine your own fate and set yourself apart from the competition. It’s true that any advertised jobs are receiving floods of resumes. It’s true that it is increasingly difficult to make your own resume stand out among the rest. With similar qualifications, work history, and references, how can you make sure you and not someone else will get called in for that all-important interview? How do you secure the job that will get you more money?

It’s simple: WRITE A BOOK.

A former student of mine, Nina Telpoukhovskaia, is a perfect example of how writing a book can get you that higher-paying job! Only a few years ago, she lived in Russia and spoke very little English. After she moved to North America, she wrote and published a book. The book became an Amazon.com best seller and made Nina a name for herself! She recently spoke at one of my workshops and told the attendees how being a published author helped her to get three very well-paying jobs (one of which was in marketing for the 2010 Olympics!). Nina went from knowing barely any English to being considered an expert in her field in no time at all thanks to writing a best-selling book. I wanted to share with you ways that you can use your status as a published author—once you finally get that book written—to make more money and stand out in the job market.

Your Resume
With a simple line on your resume such as, “Wrote and published [The Best Internet Marketing Book], the definitive guide to successful internet marketing,” there is no way an employer can pass you up. You are automatically seen as an expert in your field. That one line will set you apart from all of the other people who applied for the job and will ensure that you are called back for that interview. You are already on your way to landing the job and making more money!

The Interview
Imagine being asked by your future employer, “Why should I hire you for this job?” At that point, you throw a copy of your book on the table and confidently answer, “Because I wrote the book on it!” Being a published author gives you a powerful advantage to landing a better-paying job. Discussing the research you performed and the experience you had while writing your book will instantly position you as an expert in your field. And imagine how much of a leg up you will have on your competition if you could say that you were a Best-selling Author as well, like Nina Telpoukhovskaia!

Social Networking
Now more than ever, you can use social networking sites to your advantage. On Facebook.com, you can set up a “Fan Page” for your book or even for yourself as an author, and you will have one more way to set yourself apart from those people who want the same paycheck you do! Point to your Facebook page with a link in your email signature and your future employers can “discover” you for themselves. Get a lot of fans on the page and you will also build prestige for yourself.
Linkedin.com is great tool for employers to learn more about you and what others in the same occupational field think about you. One of the most impressive things you can post is that you have written and published a book. Just like with your resume, employers will take notice! When it comes time to hiring for that high-paying job, being a published author will set you apart from everyone else and will help you to land that job and that paycheck!

There are lots of ways that being a published author can steer you toward finding your dream job and earning more money. Now that you have the tips and resources in your hands, it’s time to get started on writing your book! Learn how to write, publish, and make money with your book with our Instant Author Riches system! The sooner you get that book out there, the sooner you can land those great-paying jobs!

There has been a lot of excitement at Expert Author Publishing lately. I held a successful All-day Workshop on March 6, which I am excited to tell you all about in this blog post. I also received terrific news from one of our authors, which I will also fill you in on.

Workshop March 6 2010

The photo above was taken at my March 6 “Write and Publish Your Own Book in 40 Days” All-day Workshop. A great group of soon-to-be published authors attended and they were excited and ready to learn the tools they need to get their books published and into the hands of readers. A huge draw of this particular workshop was our special guest speaker, Nina Telpoukhovskaia.

You might recall from an earlier blog post that Nina is one of our Amazon Best-selling Authors. She is a true inspiration and role model for our aspiring authors, and it was a pleasure to have her speak to us about her accomplishments. Nina started her talk by explaining how she went about setting up an Amazon Best Seller Campaign. This information was very valuable for the workshop attendees, coming from a woman whose book hit #1 in the “Sales and Selling” category on Amazon’s Canada site!

Nina has also experienced success beyond selling copies of her book. One thing I always stress at my workshops is that becoming a published author can open doors in your life and career that you never imagined. Nina is a perfect example of this! She spoke to the workshop attendees about using her published (and best-selling) author status to receive spectacular job offers. Since publishing her book, Nina has positioned herself as a true expert in her field. Thanks to being set apart from others who do the same work she does, she was offered a very coveted marketing job with the 2010 Winter Olympics! Talk about prestige building upon prestige. What makes her story even more amazing is that Nina came from Russia only a few years ago. She couldn’t even speak English. To go from that point to having a best-selling book in Canada is truly amazing and inspirational.

Before I wrap up my discussion of how the workshop went, I did want to tell you another success story from one of our authors. Marco Longley, the author of The Ultimate Hot Tub and Pool $ales Book: Discover How To Double Your Sales in 7 Days, has achieved quite a bit of recognition after he became a published author. His book has already shipped to over ten different countries! What’s more, he just let us know that he has booked an event as a keynote speaker that will pay $4,000. With other speaking enquiries already in from Dubai and the United Kingdom, Marco is well on his way to achieving a tremendous future with his book and his status as a published author.

The Ultimate Hot Tub and Pool $ales Book

Our authors are certainly inspiring, and it was terrific to hear from them about their progress at the workshop on March 6. Keep an eye out for two books that we will be publishing soon: a book on Spiritual Chemistry and another about how to make an extra $150 in tips per night than the average waitress. We are ecstatic that so many of our authors are choosing to take that next step to get their books published, and we wish them all the best!

This past month, I had the terrific opportunity of visiting a former student of mine at Coles Bookstore for her book signing. Alice Maryniuk published her long-awaited book Thinking For a Change: Transforming your life by transforming your thoughts early in 2010 and has already started a successful marketing campaign for it.

Alice is among a growing number of my students who have gone on to publish their books through my publishing branch, Profits Publishing. She had us format her manuscript while she outsourced her cover design. The end result was a beautiful book that is now in the hands of readers and is now working for her.

Alice was incredibly gracious to grant us a video interview during her book signing. Watch it and discover what she has learned about improving her own life by becoming a published author!

Publishing her own book has already done wonderful things for Alice—after only a month! As she explains in the video, our guidance and encouragement at Expert Author Publishing as both teachers and publishers helped her to believe that she really could finish her book and reap the rewards of doing so. Her business has improved along with her sense of accomplishment. Great things are happening for Alice, and we couldn’t be happier for her!

Now it’s time for you to finally experience all of the miraculous changes that becoming a published author can bring about in your own life! Imagine yourself in the video, signing your book at a local bookstore. We can’t wait for you to fill Alice’s shoes and become the next published author from our Profits Publishing branch! If Alice’s interview wasn’t motivation enough, I know that our workbook, “How to Write, Publish & Make Money With Your Book,” will point you in the right direction. Get the workbook now at http://www.expertauthorpublishing.com/write_publish_make_money.html and start changing your life for the better!

Writing the “Perfect” Book

February 1st, 2010 by Bob Burnham

I teach hundreds of students every year how to write and publish their own books. In my classes, they are given all of the tools necessary to become published authors and to start making money with their books.

My students are motivated individuals who truly want to get their books written and out into the world. And so I began to wonder … If I am teaching hundreds of students every year, why haven’t those hundreds of students all become published authors by now? They all have stories to tell and they have all learned how to turn those stories into books. So what is holding them back?

This reminds me of a student from a few years ago. She had been working on the same book since 1967. 1967! That is quite a long time to be writing one manuscript! I had to ask her why it was taking so long. Why did she not just finish the book, get it published, and get it into the hands of readers?

She simply replied to me that her book was not yet perfect. She was in a writing club where everyone would critique their fellow members’ books. She told me that she was constantly coming across changes that needed to be made and revisions that would make her book better. Her aspirations for writing the perfect book stalled her efforts and placed her onto the path of possibly never reaching publication.

The secret I have learned is simple: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT BOOK.

Don’t fall into the same trap as the student I just described. No book will ever reach unattainable standards of perfection. Take a look at any book on Amazon.com. Chances are, no matter what book you have searched for, it will have a good number of positive reviews and its share of negative reviews. It is impossible to please every reader in the world with your own manuscript. Trying to do so will cause unnecessary delays in your writing process.

One lesson I want to teach my students—and all of your reading this blog post—is that a published book is always better than a book that is never published. Once your book has been finished and is out there in the world, it can start working for you and making you money. Even a mediocre book that is published will provide better results than a terrific book that never had a chance. If you are waiting to reach an impossible perfection, you are missing out on all of the great things your book can help you accomplish.

So get started writing your book now! With the help of our DVD set, “Write & Publish Your Own Book In 40 Days,” you can be well on your way to finishing that book you’ve been wanting to write. Imagine becoming a published author by the end of the year! Now that is a goal worth striving for!

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