7 Facts of Uncaring Reality


In his book Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill talked about the need for accurate thinking, to have your thoughts aligned with reality and the world as it is rather than how you think it is, want it to be, or think it ought to be.

In a fair and just world you’d think the fact you’re excellent at your craft would be enough and clients would flock to your door, pay you what you’re worth, and never try to hammer down your fees or fuck you over when the time comes to pay.

Alas, the world is neither fair nor just.

Life itself is neither fair nor just.

Bad things happen to good people every day of the week, and we only had to look around us to see not only is there often no reckoning, no "getting their comeuppance" for bad people, but also sometimes crime does pay.

There’s a common belief the universe somehow has your back and wants you to succeed.

I’m not sure where the people who come out with that shit get their ideas from, but as far as we can tell it’s nothing more than wishful thinking, a bromide for those of weak character who choose not to accept reality for what it is.

Newsflash: not only does the universe not care about you, but it’s oblivious to you.

It’s not inimical, intentionally hostile, or uncaring — it’s oblivious.

And if you want a successful business then it’s incumbent on you to do the fucking work.

That's the only control you have over any of it.

There are still no guarantees you’ll succeed even if you do everything right, but it’s a certainty you’ll fail if you don’t.

The archer can aim his arrow and loose it at the target with perfect form and accuracy; but once the arrow has left the bow, where it ends up is in the hands of Fate. Maybe a sudden wind will blow the arrow off target; maybe a swooping bird will fly into its path at precisely the wrong moment; or maybe the target will simply move unexpectedly.

The point is this: no matter what you do, you can never guarantee the results, nor whether you reach any of the goals you set.

They’re outside your control (which is why the conventional approach to goal-setting is so fucked up and misleading).

See, there are three things in life:

  1. Stuff we have no control over.
  2. Stuff we have some but incomplete control over.
  3. Stuff we have complete and absolute control over.

The problem is, most of us spend our time and energy focused on and worrying about things we can’t control. 

There are only three things you control in life.

It comes as a stark realisation for most, and many will resist it because of their entrenched beliefs.

But their inability or reluctance to recognise reality makes no difference to the facts.

Assuming you’re of sound mind, you have absolute control over:

  1. Your thoughts.
  2. Your beliefs.
  3. Your actions.

And that’s it.

You have no control over what other people say, do, think, or feel. More to the point, they have no control over what you say, do, think, or feel, unless you cede your power and self-determinism to them, as weak people are wont to do.

And your life and business will be far happier and more likely to be successful if you take responsibility for everything that happens to you, regardless of fault, and have the equanimity to accept what you cannot change, the courage to change what you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Our business and everything we teach is predicated on this philosophy.

And if you can see how powerful it is and imagine the difference it can make to your life and business.

So let's continue with the good cheer and look at 7 things you might wish were different.

Fact of Uncaring Reality No.1: Nothing Comes Without a Price

And business success is no exception. 

The price of a successful business is discipline, more than a little hard work, many late nights, and frequent setbacks and disappointments; but a struggling, so-so business has a price all of its own — and perhaps the unceasing pain of regret, the headaches, the frustration, and endless fruitless hours scratching around to make a profit is a price you’ve already keenly felt being extracted from you an inch at a time.

More than that, there’s no guarantee you won’t ruffle a few feathers and even make one or two enemies, particularly among your competitors. And you’re definitely going to need a thick skin, because, as does anyone who becomes successful at anything, you’re going to draw more than your fair share of criticism, sniping, and envious and back-biting comments.

There’s also a good chance you’re going to run into a lot of resistance from friends and family, maybe even your spouse. Chances are your employees aren’t going to be too keen on some of it, either.

All of this is unavoidable. 

A large part of the secret of business success is to stop trying to be everything to everyone. If you try to be all things to all men and women, you very quickly end up being nothing of consequence to anyone. 

You can’t please or even serve everyone, so it’s just as important to say loudly and clearly to whom you don’t want to sell your products and services, as it is to say to whom you do want to sell them. And that can be emotionally very difficult, especially in the beginning when you’ve been used to taking every customer or client who came along because you were afraid of losing their business.

You also need to stop being nice just for the sake of being nice. Nothing wrong with good manners, but compromising your integrity for fear of offending someone (especially someone who isn’t giving you money) is a waste of time and energy.

So before you agree to pay the price… are you sure you’re willing to pay it?


Fact of Uncaring Reality No.2: You Are Not a Special Flower

Everything I share with you here has been proven to work in the real world of small business in probably every single country in the world, and in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of industries and niches.

So while it’s possible you have somehow contrived to be in a business and dealing with customers and clients in a way you can truthfully say “My Business Is Different”, it is highly unlikely — to the point where it’s vastly more likely you’re just plain wrong and are merely feeling uncomfortable about what needs to be done and hiding behind a shield of irrationality.

Because you are not a Special Flower. 

The reality of the market will be utterly heedless and uncaring of any sincerely held belief you have of deserving a break, or how people “ought” to buy from you just because you “need” the sales. That’s not how business works, and avoiding taking the marketing bull by the horns and wrestling it to the ground because you believe, for all sorts of manufactured reasons, marketing simply doesn’t work or ought to be unnecessary in your industry or niche, is guaranteed to make your business crash and burn.

Human beings are wired up a certain way. It’s how we’ve evolved. And marketing systems and strategies have themselves evolved to influence people to react in certain ways, ways dictated to a large extent by the way we’re wired up.

In other words: if you’re dealing with actual human beings and you’ve not discovered some strange race of aliens to sell to, then what I share with you here will work for you, of that I am certain.

Which leads me neatly to my third warning.

Fact of Uncaring Reality No.3: Stuff Doesn’t Do Itself

Nothing I share with you will work to any degree or in any respect whatsoever unless you actually put it to work in your business.

Even if you agree with every word I say and see the value in it, nothing is going to change for you unless you do the fucking work.

If you keep doing the same things you’ve been doing in your business up to this point, then you’re going to keep getting the results you’ve been getting. Moreover, if you follow the herd and mimic, ape, and mirror your competitors, you’re going to get pretty much the same results they get, too. As Einstein is alleged to have once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. 

At this point you can probably see the truth in this and make a silent promise to yourself: “this time is going to be different”. But the chances are it won’t be, not unless you radically change your past behaviour. If you’re anything like me you’ve bought “how to” books before, read them, seen the wisdom therein and… done absolutely nothing further with what you’ve discovered. I know a guy, already very successful and wealthy, who has a garage full of unopened courses and programmes, covering everything from copywriting to Internet marketing. He’s spent more than $100,000 on it all, and by his own admission, it’s money wasted.

It’s an easy trap to fall into, though, because of the emotional comfort we get from the buying process. We tell ourselves, even if not in so many words, “if I just buy this product… it’ll solve all my problems”.

I can tell you from long and painful experience that doesn’t work.

And… it’s never going to work.

So, please, whatever you do… do something


Take just one thing I share with you and give it a try.

And how do you choose what to do, and, more important, what to do first?

Well, my fourth warning is this...

Fact of Uncaring Reality No.4: Strategies and Principles Work; Tactics Sometimes Don’t

What I mean by this is for everything I teach you, there are a dozen different ways of putting it into action. And while they all work, not all of them are going to work the same way for everyone every time. You may even find some of them might not work at all in your particular case. This is no different from two people having the same bug but responding slightly differently to different treatment.

The cure is available, though — we just have to go about it slightly differently. But here’s the thing: if you don’t try for a cure, you won’t get one.  Few things in life are certain. Death and taxes are two of them; and there’s a third: uncertainty. One thing you can be certain of is life and business are full of it.

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about business owners all over the world: when it comes to this marketing lark they love to talk about it and get all moist about the possibilities, but no matter how much they love the concepts and ideas, and ostensibly agree with and embrace the need to test things, when it comes to the crunch they falter, beset by doubts and fear of failure.

Get used to failure, Bubba, because my fifth warning is…

Fact of Uncaring Reality No.5: Most of What You Do Is NOT Going to Work

It’s true. 

As a veteran marketer, I can tell you a sales letter sent out in the post is doing very well if it makes a sale to five people in a hundred. You can make a lot of money very quickly with a conversion rate of that size. But look at the other side of it: 95 out of 100 are still not buying from you. Whatever you’re offering them has failed to tickle their fancy. It’s even worse if you are selling face to face — just imagine how demoralising it can be, if you let these things get to you, to find 95 people out of 100 reject your sales pitch.

To look at it all in a wider context, what professional copywriters, who love to crow about their amazing successes, don’t tell you is perhaps seven out of eight campaigns either flop or just about break even, and only one in eight hits that profitable sweet spot. 

But that’s when the magic happens… because when you do find those sweet spots, they’ll pay you back for the failures many times over. You can make a fortune on that 87.5% failure rate. 

The annoying thing is… it’s impossible to tell ahead of time what’s going to work and what’s not. That’s why we have to keep testing stuff until we find what works. Yes, I can look at your ad or sales letter or website, and tell you with great confidence whether it’s a good one or a bad one. But — and here’s the crucial point — even if it’s a good one, it can still bomb. In other words, I can tell you if your ad is good; I cannot tell you if it’s going to work.

In fact, there is only one certainty I can offer you. 

And that is… you will fail to achieve every result you don’t go for. 

So, every direct mail letter or postcard you don’t send, every email blast you never do, every book or “special report” you don’t write, every video you never make, every irresistible offer you don’t test… every single one of them will make you no money at all.

That I can guarantee.

Fact of Uncaring Reality No.6: There Are Two Big Mistakes You’re Making In Your Business Right Now

Most business owners make one of these two very common mistakes with their marketing — and the real problem is many of them make both of them at the same time.

The first mistake they make is having unrealistic expectations. I know we’re all impatient for success, but it takes time and it takes effort. It can be a lot easier than we think, and it can come a lot faster than we’d believe, too, but it comes neither effortlessly nor overnight. 

Why anyone thinks it should is a mystery, but it’s a situation not helped by the number of over-hyped sales letters out there on the Internet making all sorts of bizarre claims.

And the second mistake they make, which really follows on from the first, is they give up too quickly. They’ll, say, pick a strategy like direct mail and send out one piece to a small list. And when they don’t make the Big Bucks as promised by the sales letters and the “cookie cutter” systems they peddle, they simply give up and move onto the next Bright Shiny Object.

Unfortunately, outrageously profitable marketing systems are built piece by piece over a period of time. They do not spring into being overnight and almost never turn an enormous profit from the outset. Sometimes you don’t even manage to break even. The marketing “gurus” who sell you the lie overnight success is likely, or even possible, hide from you the sweat they put into doing the groundwork to make their ridiculously profitable systems possible. 

Success takes time and effort, and you’ll find it’s what’s behind every “effortless” and “overnight” success.

So man up. 

Grow a pair. 

And stop dithering and waiting for the certainty no one with integrity can offer you.

Fact of Uncaring Reality No.7: There Is No “Secret of Success”... Except This One

Virtually every business owner I talk to is searching for that one thing, the secret sauce, the silver bullet, the Holy Grail, or whatever metaphor you like to use, to fix their business and send their marketing off into the soft-focus sunset on My Little Pony where presumably everyone will live and profit happily ever after.

Well, we can dispense with that nonsense right now. As adults and business owners we don’t need fairy tales.

Fact is... the secret of success is there is no secret, not in the sense of a magic spell or shortcut. Loads of people will offer you one and even take your money in return for some bullshit mumbo-jumbo promise, but they’re liars, every single one of them.

Everyone knows deep inside it really boils down to hard work and finding a few things that really work and repeating them over and over again until we master them. 

It’s really that simple.

The trouble is, this view is very unpopular. And it’s unpopular to the point where some people get angry with me, personally, for pointing it out to them.

Imagine everyone who ever read my books somehow got together in a room. If I was then to conduct a survey, a rough headcount, I can tell you right now what we’d get in the way of results.

Around 20% of the people there would hate them and everything in it. Maybe 5% of them would hate me, personally, too, and disagree violently with everything I said. Then, maybe 60% would agree with me to a greater or lesser degree, but not feel strongly either way. And maybe the top 20% would love it and declare themselves my loyal fans, some of them to the point where they’d offer to bear my children.

Now imagine we fast-forward a year and we get only those loyal fans, the top 20% back into the room again and ask them what they’ve done over the past 12 months.

And this is where it gets depressing and frustrating.

Because once more I can tell you what the results would be.

Probably 20% of them would have gone to work and put the ideas I share with you here to work in their businesses, and a small percentage of them, maybe just 1%, would have done everything and a whole lot more besides. Then 60% of them would have done a bit here and a bit there, but never really knuckled down to it. And finally 20% of them would have done Jack shit. 


Oh, they’d have a whole bunch of “reasons”, but they’d really just be excuses; and as someone once said to me: “excuses are like assholes: everyone has one, and they all stink”. 

All these different people would nevertheless have one thing in common: they’ll all get the results they deserve for their efforts over the long haul. 

At first doing the shit I teach you is going to be hard.

Very hard. 

Everything is going to be new to you and much of it counterintuitive and very uncomfortable.

And what you’ll do is concoct all sorts of reasons in your own head why these uncomfortable ideas and strategies won’t work in your particular business, even without trying them. I mean, there’s no point in trying them, because you somehow magically “know” they won’t work, don’t you?

But... no.

You don’t. I don’t know whether any given strategy will work for you or not, no matter how well it’s worked for me and others — but you don’t know it, either. 

You can’t know it.

What you’ll actually be doing at this point is avoiding doing something just because you find it uncomfortable but want to justify that irrational decision to yourself.

While this is understandable, and it’s something we all do, I’m afraid it’s not going to help you grow your business (or do anything else worthwhile, either).

As I’ve often said, marketing is actually pretty boring, because once you find what works, you just keep doing it. For me, the excitement comes from finding ways to make what’s working already work even better.

But if you’re looking for that one easy and effortless answer to your problems, you’re going to be disappointed. And I strongly urge you to face that disappointment and get over it right now and then move on.

The only way to succeed in business is with dogged stubbornness and refusing to give up.

After all, you don’t fail until you stop trying to succeed.

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