Archives for November 2013

New Economy: Pain and Pleasure in Marketing the Eyes Wide Open Way

[Note from Ali: this is a guest post from new economy icon, Tara Gentile.  With this post, I am inviting Tara into a continuing dialogue I look forward to you all participating in — here in the comments — that will open all of our eyes to the shifts we can make now in how we show up to lead the way into the new economy.]

In today's post, Tara is awakening us about a key perspective we need to understand about how we use pain and pleasure in marketing.  

If you've been conditioned deeply in the old economy ways, as I have, you've been taught to focus on your prospects' pain when writing copy and doing presentations.  And if you are more sensitive than I was, you couldn't do it because it was simply too painful to you to inject more pain into the world.  So you just stopped marketing.  And now you are the best kept secret out there.

Tara's article explains that understanding and speaking to your prospects' pain is important — and if you do it the way I have learned to over the past couple of years and Tara understands naturally, marketing to your prospects' pain doesn't leave the world worse off (more on that in another post)– but, what can be even better is learning to speak to your prospects' pleasure.  Read on and I'll add a bit more commentary about how exactly to do that at the end.  See ya there.


Article by Tara Gentile: The Use of Pleasure and Pain in Marketing.

“Pain points” are a key way we get people to pay attention to us as marketers. But when was the last time you spent time or energy developing “pleasure points?”

Pain points serve a purpose. They allow us as product designers to focus on needs and opportunities. They allow us as marketers to grab a prospect’s attention. They allow us as leaders & visionaries to show we can empathize with our prospect’s current situation.

Pain points have often been used to manipulate or shame, but they don’t have to be. And your marketing, sales, and product development will suffer if you don’t spend time identifying and communicating that you understand your customers’ pain points.

Pleasure points, on the other hand, are an underutilized reversal of the this old standby. Sure, you see plenty of “Make More Money,” “10lbs Thinner,” and “More Inner Peace Now” sprinkled around. But is this really painting the picture of pleasure that your prospects are looking for?

Pleasure points are a key way to get attention from your Most Valued Customers, especially in the You Economy, especially in a “saturated” market. And we’re all in the You Economy and most of us are in saturated markets. So how do you pin down your customers’ most important pleasure points?

Often, I ask my clients, “What does that look like?” or “What does that mean for your customer?”


Pleasure points are all about painting the full picture of success. Click to tweet!

When you’re 10lbs thinner, you might get to shop at a trendier store for clothes that are a different size. When you’ve got more inner peace, it might look like a cleaner house or a less frazzled schedule.

But it’s also about searching for the deeper meaning of success. When you’re 10lbs thinner, you might be more inclined to rekindle the fire in your romance or go looking for romance in the first place. It might mean that you spend less time at the doctor’s and more time in the great outdoors.

Just as Danielle LaPorte talks about using core desires as metrics of success, we can use pleasure points to name those desires, paint a vivid picture of them, and dive further into what those desires mean for our prospects so that we can help them create the “success” they’re after through using our product or service.

The key here is specificity. You’re not aiming to paint a Rothko. You want to aim for something more like photorealism. You must get clear on your customers’ core desires, the unique circumstances those lead to, and what deeper meaning those circumstances hold for your customer.

About Tara

taraTara Gentile is a business strategist, the creator of the Customer Perspective Process, and the ambassador of the You Economy. She works with entrepreneurs to create truly social business models and marketing strategies that generate more profit while meaningfully impacting customers & communities. Her work has been featured on Forbes, US News & World Report, and in the NY Times bestselling book, The $100 Startup.

[Note from Ali: Tara has opened your eyes to see that speaking to your market (marketing) can actually be pleasurable for them and for you and, in fact, must be if you want to experience the most pleasure yourself in your business as we step into a new economy together. Not only that, but I see it as one of the most valuable gifts of the new economy — we get to better the world through our marketing, instead of leaving it worse off as so much marketing does.

One way to leverage pleasure in your marketing is to give the people in your community permission to experience  full pleasure. It's the secret to using marketing and business for good.   It's something I'll be paying a lot more attention to going forward myself.

So, let's hear it.  

Post your examples of pleasurable marketing so we can all see how it's done.  And I'd love to hear how  you allow the way you speak to your market (do your marketing) to bring more pleasure into the world (instead of injecting more pain?)]


From Huffiness to Happiness

It's the last week of my 30s and I had strong intentions to spend this week creating new. It's not happening and if I let myself wallow in it, I feel a combination of frustration, angst, anger and surrender.

Instead of making space for the new, I allowed two big sales events to be scheduled — one in each business, which means I'm upleveling programs and products, webinars and sales pages. In both businesses. At the same time.

“The last week of my 30s,” my mind huffs dramatically.

This is the week I was going to launch a new dramatic web series, create a massive new platform to unite women throughout the world in sisterhood, get new photos taken and host a big ass wedding for Ali Shanti + Alexis Neely.

Instead, I'm doing what I've been doing for years. I guess it makes sense that this week would not be about starting anything new and instead would be about closure.

And, when I stop to truly consider all of it and quiet my mind down for a moment, I am so grateful that I “get to” spend the last week of my 30s this way.

Ten years ago: the last week of my 20s, I only dreamed of this reality. 

Ali Shanti

I was just starting out in the world of business. I had only been in my own practice a few months, I had a 6 month old baby and a 4-year old at home, and it was starting to hit me that having my own law practice was going to require a lot of me.

I dreamed of a time when I could do all my work from home, not have to go into an office (even if it was my own) and when I would make a significant impact in the lives of many people.

Today, that is my life.

Craig and I took the kids + our partners Corey and Anna Whitaker to the Dominican Republic where I got to speak at the Zentrepreneur business mastermind hosted by Vishen Lakhiani of MindValley and then we got to attend Awesomeness Fest (check out the pictures on my Facebook to get a sense of it).

Dream come true.

This week, I get to share the Money Map program with hundreds of entrepreneurs in Chris Brogan‘s Human Business Works community, and I know without a doubt that these are just my kind of people.

Plus, I get to educate hundreds of lawyers about the New Law Business Model way and our Personal Family Lawyer and Family Business Lawyer programs so we can select the next 12 elite lawyers who will get to benefit from our systems and training.

Dream come true part deux.

Dreams coming true all over the place and yet my mind is wallowing in self pity at what's not happening. (Craig and I are playing a relationship game in which I get to notice whenever I do this and shift it.)

I want to hide that from you and pretend I'm always positive, enlightened and cheery.

But, the truth is, I wallow sometimes. I have pity parties. And I forget how good it is.

So here I am. The truth is out. And, boy, do I feel a lot better. Not only because I told you, but because by writing this out and being with it here with you, I was able to wake up and get beneath the bullshit of my mind to what's really true.

ali shanti 1

I'm fucking living the dream.

And, the dream is shifting.

I can feel myself in the liminal space — the space between how far I have come and how far I have yet to go.

Ten years from now, when I look back on this night, I will remember that this was the night the seeds were planted for something new.

For The Way We Are Now web series. And the Sisterhood. The Ali Shanti radio show. And the next two books. Plus, the wedding.

It's all happening. Even if I don't start any one of these projects before I turn 40.

I can surrender into the divine timing that has me here the last week of my 30s doing what it feels like I've always done so I can create space for something new.

And I can decide to do it differently.

From Struggling Service-Based Practice Owner to Thriving Entrepreneurial Business Owner – with Alexis Neely & Chris Brogan

Money Map to Freedom: Webinar with Chris Brogan and Alexis Neely

“From Struggling Service-Based Practice Owner to Thriving Entrepreneurial Business Owner: How Knowing & Using Your Entrepreneurial Archetype to Create a Money Map to Freedom Leads to the Life & Business You Really Want”

On this webinar, you'll discover:

  • The difference between a practice and a business and how a business serves your life while a practice keeps you trapped, no matter how successful you are with it.
  • Your unique entrepreneurial archetype — where you are now and where you want to be, so you can create your personal money map to a life of freedom;
  • How to create a business model around your service that allows you the freedom to do your Great Work while living a life you absolutely love;
  • How you can stop focusing on saving for retirement and paying off debt and instead make the smart investment decisions that will lead to the life you really want in your elder years; and
  • Why the quest for financial freedom is a fool’s errand and how you can have financial liberation (an absolute key in the emerging new economy) today.

We invite you to share your comments below.

To start your Money Map to Freedom today, go to:

How Eyes Wide Open Tax Planning Will Save Me $50,000 On My Taxes This Year

It's time to plan for your 2014 taxes. Yes, now.  I know tax time isn't until next year and maybe you just got done filing your taxes on the extension from last year. That's exactly why I'm telling you to get on it now.

Six weeks from now it will be too late and if you aren't doing something about it now you could be stuck with a big, unexpected tax bill.

In fact, it would have happened to me again this year if I wasn't on it the way I'm telling you to get on it.

Every November we send our financial projections off to our tax advisor for an end of the year tax savings analysis.

Had I not done it this year, I would have been looking at a hefty, unplanned for $55,000 tax bill next April.

Fortunately though, I still have time to plan.

And, thanks to the planning possibilities, I can put $17,500 into my retirement account and shift around a few other things and bring my tax bill down to just $5,000.

That's an extra $50,000 in my pocket. That's one full time team member for a year, tuition times two for my daughter at the fancy private school I want her to go to next year, a new app, creative project or travel.

It's $50,000 I'd rather have say over instead of it going into the US war machine.

Maybe for you it won't be $50,000 tax savings for you. Perhaps it will only be $10,000, or even maybe just $5,000 or even just $2,000. Or, it could be a lot more.

No matter how much (or how little) is at stake here, it doesn't take a lot to save you money. The only way to lose is to wait and do nothing until next year.

I recently spoke with a 7-figure woman business owner in our industry who does not have a 7-figure foundation. She wanted me to help her refile her 2013 taxes because she is sure she paid too much and wants to try and get some of it back. Too bad, so sad, not going to happen. And, frankly, even if it is possible, it's not worth it.

Tax strategy planning does not go well after the fact. It's a before the fact kind of thing. It's just too late later.

So, do it now.

Get your books in order so you can easily send your income and expenses to date plus projections for the rest of the year to your tax advisor. If you don't already have a tax advisor, hire one now. If you don't know where to find one, use our resource guide.

But before you do, make sure you know what to say when you call your tax advisor. Here's a presentation I did last year around this time. It's from last year, but the content is really evergreen for the most part.  >>Get it here.<<

Taxes are your biggest business expense.  Get your act together and save big bucks on your taxes NOW.

The Inner Fire That Gets Things DONE

emersonSo you want to have an impact.

Yet you find yourself… distracted. Confused. Stuck in resistance. Spinning your wheels & not getting results.

What gives?

Why is it that some entrepreneurs create outstanding, prolific results while others spend the same amount of time just redoing their websites over and over again?

It's not a difference in talent, creativity or intelligence.

It's a difference in motivation.

What is it that sets an entrepreneur like Vishen Lakhiani apart from others who constantly get stuck in ruts of self-doubt and time-wastage, focusing on things that only distract them from moving forward?

The difference comes down to the kind of focus that emanates from truly inspired intentions.

It's the intensity of an inner decision, at the deepest level, to unwaveringly move forward in an outcome you want to create. That inner application of will opens doors and creates space for things to simply happen.

This level of clarity and determination is directly related to the seed quality of your motivation: how much do you CARE about what you're doing? And why?

972043_10151694173664754_1388379101_nWhen you decide to do something – ANYTHING – from a clear enough place of motivation, you will figure it out. You'll just figure it out!

It's like a single woman who gets pregnant by accident and chooses to have the child. She says to herself: I have NO idea what I'm doing, or how I will do this, but I. Am. Going. to do it! She figures it out.

This is exactly the level of motivation that separates mega-impactful people like Vishen from people who “kinda have a vision.”

Inner Motivation.
=> Births Indefatigable Will.
===> Generates Clear, Consistent Focus.
==================> Gets Things DONE.

It's all about the quality and strength of the energy you're holding in the SEED of your motivations. It's nothing that can be done on the “outside.”

Do you yearn to be doing something that makes you feel this alive?

The starting point is to ask yourself:

  • What do you truly, deeply, and passionately CARE about?
  • What problem do you see beloved people, animals, or Mother Earth having that you are PISSED about?
  • What problem would you walk through fire to see solved?

529703_479458995440512_117341366_nWhat will it take for you to discover what that is?

I want to know what matters THIS much to you, that you'll give everything into it.

Please join this conversation with me. I'm in it with you, on my edge, asking myself these questions. Please comment below, and share this with others you want to bring into the discussion.

I'll tell you what I care about this much: It's the forests. It's the Sacredness and sanctity of Life. It's the inner quest for the Truth of our being. That's really personal, and it's true: that's what matters enough to lead me through fire.

What matters this much to you?