The Success Attitude That Never Fails

The Success Margin

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

*** The secret to success, in life and in business, is to work hard at the margin. Relentlessly. Those little marginal extra efforts will inevitably grow into something big ***

”God is in the details”


Most entrepreneurs are optimistic. But not necessarily realistic. Not surprisingly, they expect success with every action they take. But, that is not how the business world works.

For example, when most entrepreneurs run a single advertisement in a magazine, newspaper, or on the Internet, or send out a mailing, they are often shocked and discouraged at getting poor, or even non-existent results.

This view, while understandable, is completely unrealistic. It is a result of an attitude based entirely on flawed assumptions.

I’m perhaps the highest paid copywriter in the world. But no one, including me, hits a home run with every sales message.  I can tell you I’m thrilled when I bat 300% (3 out of 10) on new products and/or new advertising program. My high batting average earns fortunes for myself and my clients.

But, approached correctly, you can create great wealth for yourself with a far lower batting average.

Plus, I can’t count the numerous advertising campaigns I’ve created that at first achieved poor results. Then, after going back to the drawing board and creating a new headline, or new offer, or new copy, turned a flop around into a big success.

Other hugely successful people experience similar results. Recently I spoke at Mark Joyner’s conference in Los Angeles, ”Survival Strategies for Tough Times.”

One of my fellow speakers was Joe Sugarman. Joe is undoubtedly one of the most successful entrepreneurs in America. He is known as a world-class marketer and copywriter. He is best known for his BluBlocker sunglass infomercial that has run for years. And also for electronic products in his company, JS&A, heavily promoted in space ads and by catalog.

In his presentation, Joe commented as follows: “I’m thrilled if one out of ten of my ads work, because this one product and ad can earn me a fortune.”

In actuality, I’d be deliriously happy if just one out of twenty ads, mail pieces or Internet  offers were a home run.

Please note the vast difference in attitude between myself, Joe and entrepreneurs who are looking for the quick, instant success.

Sugarman is the best example I know for a wealth-building attitude that underlies his incredible success. Providing you have quality products people want, over time the willingness to keep digging until you find something that is profitable never fails.  It’s as close to automatic as you can get in the business world.  And it will work for you too.

You simply work the percentages. You test small, and then test again until you get a product and offer that works. Then you roll out  big.

Bottom line. Don’t be discouraged by a few flops.  Expect them. Honor them, as they are necessary. When you flop, just say ”next.” Each time you are one step closer to success.

The reality is that with new product and copy launches, there is no such thing as failure. You always get results. Plus, each test brings you critically important marketing information regardless of results.

Kind regards,

Ted Nicholas