Why has the word “millionaire” become so taboo? During the middle of my 2013 Million Dollar Challenge, I came to some interesting conclusions about what $1 million really means and its impact on sales and marketing.
First, let’s be honest. Being a millionaire does not have the shiny luster it once did. Retiring on $1 million would be pretty tough these days considering the cost of real estate and rising inflation, but a lot depends on how you’d invest it. Plus, you’d have to pay taxes, so you’d probably have to make $1.8 million just to net $1 million.
Most of you who know me know that I’m not about hype. I prefer to give credible, real-world advice on business and real estate that my clients can use to take their lives and businesses to the next level. One million dollars is merely a benchmark, but all too many so-called “gurus” use the term so loosely – and quite frankly in a way that makes “$1 million” seem sleazy and even taboo.
To me, that’s part of the problem and it’s why many people I talk to don’t even believe they can make $1 million. That’s too bad, because while I can teach plenty of strategic techniques to build a $1 million business, it all starts with believing in yourself – not just focusing on the numbers themselves.
People often ask me to define success. The formula is a simple one: Practice + Preparation + Belief + Failure = Success. But too many entrepreneurs these days just want to wing it and do things themselves. And it’s tough to coach someone who doesn’t plan and prepare.
Marketing my Challenge: Lessons Learned
Anyway, back to my “Make $1 Million in 18 Months” Challenge and how I marketed it. Here’s some advice: If you’re planning to use the word “millionaire” in your marketing, I’d reconsider. Here’s what I found:
- To clients who know me and know who I am, it made perfect sense that I was going to teach them four viable strategies on how to make $1 million in 18 months. But when I ran ads in newspapers, it was one of the worst marketing bombs of my life. Newspaper readers didn’t know me, so they automatically thought I was BS’ing them.
- I thought that 18 months was a reasonable amount of time to make $1 million. If I’d suggested 12 months, I doubt anyone would think it was possible. But if I’d used 24 months (or even longer), I would have attracted less qualified prospects. The lesson here is to TEST, TEST, TEST. Without it, you’re flying blind. Also, be sure to test one thing at a time or else you’ll never know what really worked.
- The world “challenge” added a dynamic competitive quality to the campaign. Some of my team disagreed with me about using this word, but entrepreneurs do compete – and just like in sports, it often brings out the best in us. So people like to be challenged. I found that the hundreds of high-quality entrepreneurs and investors I met agreed with me and were driven to rise to my challenge more than anything else.
This 2013 $1 Million Challenge taught me a lot about what to do – and what not to do in an ever-changing marketing environment. In the end, it’s not about what you want, but what your clients and prospects want that really matters. Give your clients what they want, and you’ll be successful. And while I like being a contrarian, I did learn that if you do so too early in your marketing campaign, you’re taking too big a risk.