Paul Myers is a guy who a lot of people in the Internet Marketing world know, primarily because he offers really great stuff at really cheap prices, and also probably because was one of the first big “marketers” online (or at least he has been online since the days of the first “big” online information marketers – whatever “big” means).
I’ve gotten a lot from his (completely free, no strings attached, check it out here if you like) goal setting book, and like to read what he has to say about the goings on in the world.
I also frequent the Warrior Forum, which paul mentions in the email below. The Warrior Forum is a place where people who like (or want to like) Internet Marketing hang out and help each other.
Okay, that’s all the prefacing you need in order to get the inspiration from this story which Paul sent out today.
“From the Mouths of Babes…”
One of the great things about discussion forums is that you get to see things from so many different perspectives. This has value in ways that even the posters usually don’t realize.
A gentleman on the Warrior Forum told a story recently that shows the right way to think in times of crisis. The lessons in it are powerful, and can be a big help when you’re facing one of life’s occasional “surprises.”
The gentleman, named Michael, lives in Kentucky, in an area that was pretty hard hit by the remnants of Hurricane Ike. When the power went out, he went to check on his elderly neighbors. He found that 4 of them had medical equipment they needed to keep running. Michael immediately went out and bought 4 gas-powered generators to keep them going through the outage.
He then got to work helping people clean things up.
Michael figured that his family would be okay, since they had plenty of food on hand, and past power losses usually only lasted about a day.
When he heard that this one was expected to last a week or more, he knew he had a problem.
He had just spent his family’s emergency fund to buy generators for other people.
If you’ve ever been in an area that was hit by this kind of storm, you know what happens. Your freezer thaws, gas prices rise, and food and supplies disappear from the shelves.
If you have a family, things can get scary.
So, Michael made his way to a place with power and an Internet connection – his workplace. He went to the forum, where he’s been a contributing member for 3 years, told his story, and asked a simple question, paraphrased below:
“Here’s what I can do. Who needs work done, and can pay me right now?”
Michael is a known quantity there. He knew what skills he had to offer, and had developed a reputation for doing what he promised. Needless to say, there were people more than willing to send work his way.
People who had no money to give created information products and sold them to other people, with the proceeds going to Michael.
Most of this went on while he was away from work, so he didn’t know about it.
Something else was going on at the same time. Michael had a meeting with Destiny.
Here’s that part of the story, in Michael’s own words:
Yesterday after I left Work and arrived home, I sat
down with my grand daughter and asked her a simple
Michael: “If you absolutely had to make money to feed
your family right now, What would you do?”
Granddaughter: “Papa, I would borrow your chain saw and
go see if anyone needs help cutting up trees!”
Michael: “So, You think it would be alright for someone
to try and make a profit from someone’s misfortune
in a crisis?”
Granddaughter: “No, that would be kind of mean, but I
would still help them if they need it.”
After that reply and I cleared the tears from my eyes, I
picked her up and gave her the biggest Hug and Kiss I could
From the mouths of babes…
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Two minutes later, his son’s cell phone rang. It was Michael’s son’s boss, wondering if he knew anyone who could remove 7 trees from his store’s parking lot, and would $250 per tree be fair?
4 hours after that, it was done and they were paid.
As the family sat around a wood fire that evening, roasting marshmallows, Michael asked the little girl if she thought it was okay to take money from a business for the work he’d done.
“Yes, because they were willing to pay someone to do it.
People around here shouldn’t need to pay because that’s
what neighbors are for.”
(Somebody buy that kid an ice cream cone.)
Michael’s granddaughter is just 8 years old.
Her name is Destiny.
When Michael got back to power, and Internet, and logged back onto the forum the next day, he returned the money people had sent him, except for the folks who still wanted him to do the work they’d asked for. He asked the people that had given him money to use it to help someone else.
He also decided to offer the profits from a site of his to help another family in his area. The site is http://www.wsogold.com/
People like Michael are the folks that change “areas” into “neighborhoods.”
We should all have, and be, such neighbors.
Here are the main lessons from Michael’s story, and how you can apply them for yourself. Not just in times of trouble, but every day. In no particular order…
Network: The folks at the forum had Michael’s back because, for years, he had theirs. Help people out, and most of them will be there to help you out when you need it.
It doesn’t take years to develop those kinds of relationships.
If you’re sincere in your efforts to help, you might be surprised at how quickly folks recognize that.
People are pretty cool like that.
Be a good neighbor: Not just because it might come back to you, but because it improves your whole environment. If things around you are better, your outlook and possibilities are better.
If you’ve ever had a bad neighbor, you know the impact they can have on your life. Likewise for a good neighbor.
That is as true for online “neighborhoods” as for those in the “real” world.
The difference is that, online, you can create any neighborhood you want, and populate it with whatever kinds of people you like.
Focus on the result: Michael knew exactly what he wanted, and looked at every possible source of ideas for getting it. Even to the point of asking an 8-year old girl for advice.
That is, by the way, a classic example of the Mastermind Principle in action.
Know your resources: This is where a lot of folks miss the boat.
Michael had it down about as well as most people. He knew what skills he had to offer that his usual market would typically consider.
Most of us get into that mindset. We associate certain things with “making money” or “having a social life.” Pretty much everything we do is categorized and defined by what we’ve done in the past, or what we see other people doing.
This is comfortable, but limiting.
And when things change, that tendency to think in the same old patterns can be costly.
Destiny, being only 8 years old, hasn’t yet learned to restrict her thinking that way. Because of that, she could see things more clearly. She looked around at the destruction and saw the problems that needed solving.
That’s the definition of a hot market: Problems that people desperately want solved.
And, because of that clearer vision, she saw the resource that would allow Michael to solve it. A resource he knew he had, but which he hadn’t associated with making money.
A simple chainsaw. A tool in his garage was the answer he needed, and probably wouldn’t have considered without that vision.
Most of us have far more in the way of skills and resources than we usually consider. Many of them are things that even the clearest vision won’t let other people see.
Knowing all your resources, and being able to look objectively at the complete list, is helpful in just about everything you do. It can enable you to create opportunities and expand activities way beyond what you currently experience.
You have much more available to you than you know. Not knowing about those resources, or not thinking of them when they could be of help, is like throwing them away.
You need to become aware of everything you have to work with.
For that, you need a process.
Paul’s goals workbook (mentioned earlier and linked here) includes a basic, but very effective, process for hitting specific targets.