The Ethics of Business and Self – How to Brand Yourself

During the last year and a half, I’ve learned things about human behaviour and interaction that I could not have even imagined. Here’s something profound which can help you brand yourself as an exceptional person and/or business. You will see that you must be ethical in your life, or life will bite you in painful places!

Do not use these to beat yourself up. Use them to evaluate your behaviour and the behaviour of others. It is possible, even likely, that you will see and understand some things/people things quite differently in future!

Between humans, there are 4 types of exchange:

    1. Criminal
    2. Partial
    3. Fair
    4. Exchange in Abundance

1. Criminal exchange includes stealing from another or not paying them for something. However it includes some things which may surprise you. If you say you will start a webinar at 7 pm and you begin at 7:10 pm, that’s criminal exchange. There may be valid reasons for that. It still doesn’t change the nature of the exchange. Some people were robbed of their time! If you give your child a present, and they don’t thank you (genuinely), that’s criminal exchange and you have been robbed. If you give your children an allowance and do not require them to do something for it – you have turned them into criminals! You have given them something and they have not reciprocated – they got something for nothing!

2. Partial exchange is now easy to explain. You promised your 5 year-old daughter a chocolate birthday cake covered in sprinkles (her favorite item!). You gave her chocolate cake without the sprinkles. Another example – a business has a sale on some expensive t-shirts, and advertises that they come in 7 different colours. When you get there, there are only 6 colours available. This doesn’t include the case where they ran out of the 7th colour because so many people showed up to buy. If they never had the 7th colour available, it is partial exchange.

3. Fair Exchange is probably now obvious – you got what you were told you would get – you got exactly what you paid for!

4. Exchange in abundance is what sets people and businesses apart from the ordinary. It helps you brand yourself if you do it consistently. Suppose you are a massage therapist. One day you tell a client that although they paid for one hour, you are going to give them one and a half hours. That is not exchange in abundance! If, on the other hand, as they are leaving, you give them a book or a DVD with which they can learn to manage their pain themselves – then you have given them exchange in abundance.

Exchange in abundance is never more of the same. It’s the addition of something unexpected, something different. The monetary value of the added item is generally unimportant. This exchange can be called over-deliver – but you must also never under promise. Promise exactly what you are intending to deliver, a fair exchange, and then by addition, somehow turn it into exchange in abundance!

OK – quiz time:

Which can get you wide publicity? Items 1 & 4. Which publicity do you want?

Make it a habit and practice to always give exchange in abundance in business and in your personal life. You will be recognized, your business will be branded – and, it will all be positive.

How can you turn your children into criminals? Spoil them. How does this work??? The difference is in how the conscious and unconscious minds work. The unconscious mind always knows what type of exchange is going on. The conscious mind may or may not – it depends on experience, knowledge and perhaps quickness of perception at the time.

When you give a young child an allowance, and they do not have any responsibility to exchange something for this, the unconscious mind realizes: “I got something for nothing. I’m a criminal.” Usually, when they are small, they don’t know how to deal with this. When they are teenagers, they are physically big enough to rebel against being made into criminals. And so they do!

Ever wonder why a spoiled child behaves ever more badly in many cases? If you are small, and you have been turned into a criminal by a parent, how do you tell them or show them that you don’t like it? Bad behaviour is one obvious way that young child can show their disapproval. Then their behaviour gets worse after you “punish” them in some way.

Why? Because they legitimately know that they are right. And, you are punishing them for pointing out what you have done. Bad behaviour is perhaps the only way that they can show you that something is wrong – you! They are usually too young to even begin verbalizing this, and you are now telling them again that they are wrong!

Once you internalize these ideas, you will see many situations in a completely different light. Hope these ideas are useful to you.



Mind Mapping & Organization

Mind Mapping is an indispensable tool in certain parts of the creative process. It can also be use to bring organization to a project, and to communicate ideas with others. It can also be used simply to help show existing organization of some project or creative process in progress.

Over 40 years ago, Tony Buzan invented Mind Mapping. His mind map software is called iMindMap. That, and much more than that, is available here:

Tony Buzan & iMindMap Software

Originally I encountered it first as “Brain Storming’. In that form, writing free-hand, it can be very useful. But, and this is important, the way in which is used often includes more than one word in a mind map branch. As such, it may block the free flow of ideas. It is then less useful when using it as a tool for sparking associations.

As an example, if I were to use the word Jim instead of the phrase Jim Carswell, then from the word Jim, I can branch to the following choice of words: Carswell {the person}, husband, father, son, brother, teacher, internet-marketer, and more. This one-word rule allows my mind-map branches to each form part of a long sentence, and express different thoughts.

Shortly, I’ll list a number pieces of mind-map software here, and possibly expand the post.


Niche Marketing Breakthrough – the Avatar

From the beginning, I’ve had difficulty with the concept of a niche – how general it should be or how narrow it should be!

Recently, in an introduction to Facebook Marketing, I was introduced to a process which for me, makes niche definition/ identification extremely simple and effective!

I’m just beginning to experiment with Facebook ads. I believe that is one of the best places to to get traffic, especially if you can develop an “avatar”. Ad costs can both be low and very targeted.

This is a new use of the word Avatar or me. Developing an avatar is really a niche definition process.

As an example, here is an avatar, just written off the top of my head right now: “Joe is 40 to 47 years old. He has just lost his job on an assembly line and is having great difficulty getting a new job. Most of his skills were learned at that job, and they seem to be of no value or of little demand in the town of ~110,000 where he grew up. His wife is working, so they can barely manage to pay the bills while falling further in debt. He has 3 children, Heather age 14, Joe jr age 11, and Krystal age 7. Joe is willing to learn new things, but having barely passed high school, is under-confident in his ability to learn…. more, more, more – lives in mid-west, etc, etc”

By writing this avatar, I have literally brought my niche to life – by defining the people who make up this niche! You can develop your avatar in as much detail as you need or like. Do whatever you need to clarify your niche.

Before writing an avatar, visit the Facebook Ad Manager and start creating an ad. You don’t have to complete this process! While filling out your imaginary ad, take note of all the categories which Facebook asks you about. Then abort the ad development process, sit down with a fresh piece of paper (actually, I use a fresh notepad text file, lol) and let your imagination develop your avatar while including as many of the ad categories that you can – age, gender, location, etc, etc.

Once you have written this avatar (in as much detail as you can) – and I suggest writing the avatar for the person(s) who would use the products on your sites – then you can go and find out how to advertise on Facebook. Then your advertising will be dictated by this avatar. This avatar will (hopefully) describe the target audience for your Facebook ads. Your cost per ad will be low, and you can begin with a $5 per day advertising budget. I can’t write much more without beginning to write a book, lol!!

Important note: you don’t actually need a website to sell products! You can use the capabilities built into an autoresponder to create squeeze and offer pages, to in fact develop a sales funnel using only the autoresponder capabilities – and then advertise these through Facebook or solo ads or…

Writing an avatar is great fun, effective and identifies the “pain points” that your ideal client may have – and how your products can be of use to the Avatar!!! This process made it extremely easy to identify my niche marketplaces in exactly the right level of detail so as to allow me to advertise effectively and directly to them. Done right, Facebook ads in particular will be very low cost, and will begin generating the extra capital with which to fund more advertising.

Learning about the Avatar was a key breakthrough.

If you use this process/approach, please let me know how well (or not) it works for you… (it works, by the way).

(I would also like to hear from anyone that uses or experiments with this process – I will eventually develop this into a course/coaching/product/whatever on how to develop Facebook ads – especially because it has given me such insight into niche marketing.)


PS – added on August 4th: it certainly appears that the idea of an Avatar is derived from people who are using Facebook ads. In a program on FB ads, it’s is being called a Persona. If more names for the Avatar crop up, I’ll include them here…

Advice and Hope for the Downtrodden Members of the Online Business Community!

I’ll share some of my experiences, hoping you will get some insight and/or inspiration to help you continue developing your online business to profitability.

After spending large parts of 2011 to 2013 attempting to become a successful online entrepreneur, I ran smack into the reality that “I was afraid of success”! Three times during the summer of 2012, I reached a point where I felt I could become a success. In each case, I backed down and started new activity in a different direction.

I didn’t fully realize this fact until later, in early 2013. By then, I had also realized that “I was afraid of failure”! (What a combination!)

All fears reside in the unconscious mind, causing you to unconsciously behave as they dictate. Every time I got close to success, my unconscious mind acted quickly to protect me from  success (my unconscious had a fear of it)! It diverted me to a new course of action. My conscious mind did not initially realize what was going on!

However, if you see yourself doing the same thing over and over, you eventually recognize what is happening, even if you don’t know why!

I decided that I had to change (change myself). In June of 2013, I took a Practitioner’s course (followed by a Master Practitioner’s course) in NLP, TLT and Hypnosis. {Neuro Linguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy).

Working with other practitioners and on acquaintances, I developed skill and understanding, as well as a love for these disciplines. And yes, with the help of these disciplines and other practitioners, I’ve made great changes in myself and in my behavior.

Do you have to go that far? Probably and hopefully not! What do you have to do then?

First you have to identify your problems. One easy way is to absorb the following “dictum” from NLP: “How you do anything is how you do everything!”

How do you use this? Look for the small indicators. Do you hesitate just before you join a party? Or do you see someone who you find attractive, and then you hesitate? Then there is some sort of issue. Learn to listen to yourself at those times. Do you say something negative or fearful to yourself at that moment? If so, what do you say?

In this way, you can begin to become aware of your fears or your limiting beliefs – so then you know what you are dealing with.

One way to overcome these, to change these in the unconscious mind is to take appropriate action. Here’s an extreme example. Suppose you are afraid of both heights and of flying (these are almost always unrelated, as almost any psychologist can tell you). Then go sky diving! Doing this a few times will show that you can overcome these fears. (However, it may or may not remove them from your unconscious mind).

Afraid of success? Define success and then lay out a series of small steps which culminate in some form of significant success. Make each step clear and detailed, so you will know when you have succeeded in completing a step and that you can move on to the next step. Achieving a significant success will change the contents of your unconscious mind.

There are three things needed for success: (1) the right mindset; (2) the right skills; and (3) the taking of action. We have just spoken extensively about the first one and ways to get there. The second one involves identifying what skills you need and in mastering them. The third one is up to you – without it, nothing will happen!

Comments, contributions?