August 19, 2017 by Razvan Rogoz
Why You Should Tell Your Story – Even If You Don’t Believe It Is Interesting Enough
From the desk of Razvan Rogoz,
I have realized that the 80 – 20 distribution and the TOC (Theory of Constraints) are largely related. This means that in any I/O system, the 20% that generates 80% of the results comes in the form of eliminating the most important system-wide bottleneck.
Life is made out of I/O systems. It is what you put in (input), you get out (output). Everything in human existence can be abstracted to some form of I/O. It is true if you go to the gym – how much you exercise and how much benefit you get from that given exercise. It is true when watching TV, when reading a book, when dating, when running, when eating. Everything in human existence can be summarized to a simple formula “you put effort in and you expect some benefit out of it”.
The 20 – 80 distribution simply states that 20% of what you do creates 80% of the outcome. This is not always true and it can be 30 – 70 or 10 – 90 or even 5 – 95. The key principle is that there is an uneven distribution between cause and effect and a small part of what will do will be highly efficient in obtaining your desired outcome while a large part will be system waste.
The TOC is something not known by most people in the self-improvement field as it is an industrial management concept. It states that a system is always limited by a major bottleneck and that the output with which a system functions is always limited to that given bottleneck. TOC states that bottlenecks needs to be either removed or the systems reconstructed around them in order to achieve a high efficiency without waste.
So how does this combine together? Any system, be it a business, dating, self-improvement, spiritual growth, improving your body is bottlenecked by something. This means that at some point, the effort you put in is reduced to the amount of that bottleneck. Imagine that you have a freeway with cars on all three lanes. At some point, it all converges into a single lane. That’s a bottleneck. The number of cars that can go on that one lane is equal to 1 / 3 of the number of cars that could go before. The entire system is reduced to the bottleneck, therefore reducing efficiency by a factor of 2X or 66.7%.
At that moment, most people take the most lackluster approach, put more input. This means putting more cars. But putting more cars won’t reduce the bottleneck, because a bottleneck is never about input but rather, about how input is dramatically lost to output. Eliminating cars is not a good idea either because yes, if you eliminate 66.7% of the cars, the bottleneck is gone as input equals output but the efficiency is exactly the same as before. This is one of the facets of the TOC, rebuilding the entire system to fit the bottleneck in the case that the bottleneck can not be fixed, as eliminating input costs is just as good as increasing output profits.
The only solution towards improving results is eliminating the bottleneck. This means making that bottleneck a three lane road so I/O once again.
How does this apply to real life? Let’s take the example of a salesman. He calls 100 people a day but he makes only $500 in sales. His conversion rate is only 10% which means 10 out of 100 people buy what he’s selling. Now, an unsuccessful and not so smart sales manager would say “work harder, you don’t want it hard enough, hoooraaaaaahh” as most inspirational and rhetorical blah blah goes. A smart one would simply say “you’re putting enough effort but you’re bottlenecked by your ability to sell. Take a few days off, improving your pitch dramatically, come back and you will get better results”.
This is why I despise most self-improvement posts on Instagram nowadays. They lack any common sense. In a system, your output is not represented by what you put in, but simply by anything under your biggest bottleneck. You’re limited not by your effort, but by your global efficiency and putting 20 hours instead of 10 hours into an inefficient system will give you the same ROI as putting 10 hours. Yes, it will give you more results, because I’m using ROI (return on investment) as a metric and not revenue but the focus for a smart person must always be ROI, what you get in for what you put out.
Bottlenecks are the reason why you’re failing in your life right now. You’re failing because your entire system is limited, is struggling in one key point. Now, you have two solutions. If you can rebuild the system without that key point, then your bottleneck is gone. In some cases, you don’t need to fix the bottleneck, you simply need to eliminate it as a critical step from cause and effect. This means rebuilding the “production line” so the bottleneck is not a required part anymore.
In most cases though, the bottleneck is important and the 20% that will generate 80% of your return is always looking at and fixing that bottleneck. It is not doing more of what you’ve done by taking a hard, critical look at what is keeping you in place and then actually solving it.
So when it comes to setting life priorities, on a day to day level, ask yourself this simple question:
“What is my major bottleneck right now in me achieving goal X?”
“What can I do to either increase this bottleneck (increase I/O ratio through the bottleneck) or eliminate it altogether from the system while obtaining the same results?”
Keep asking yourself these questions day in and day out and you’ll achieve system wide optimization where 1 unit of energy = 1 unit ot desired output in no time.
Are you interested in discovering in finding your bottlenecks when it comes to marketing and conversion? Then let’s have a talk together. I’m offering you a complimentary 30 minute session in which I’ll ask you some key questions about you and your business. After this session is done, I can tell you with a high degree of certainty how I can help you and what you’ll get out of it. Please use the link below to get started.
The Self-Improvement Copywriter
What’s your story?
I’m asking this almost every person I meet. In most cases, I get blank stares as it is not quite the type of question to start a conversation with. In some rare cases, I do get an answer. This answer comes in the form of a journey that the other person experienced. It is with ups and downs, with moments of courage and cowardice, with joy and pain. In that moment, I know that I’m connecting with that person no matter what, because there are few things more intimately than sharing your story.
And … this is exactly what you need to do with your market. You see, if you’re trading time for money or even if you’re selling information products, your market is not only buying the asset (service or product) you’re delivering. They’re also buying a part of you, your personality, your time, your identity. Selling an eBook or a seminar is a far more personal experience than selling a laptop. They are buying for who you are just as much for what you’re offering. The product may contain the functional benefit, but you’re the charm behind it.
This is where your story comes in place. Good marketers and entrepreneurs share their story. They just say it out-loud. They’re vulnerable with their marketplace and say it just as it happens. They explain the pain they’ve been through and how it shaped their life. They rejoice in the moment they’ve found a solution that changed everything. They know that their own rags to riches, from zero to hero is something that the prospect can relate to.
Many beginner marketers make the mistake of thinking that they need to appear perfect in front of their audience. No. You must appear likable which is a difference. Everyone knows that in order to be great, you need to go through a lot of pain first. If you were always the best and if you’ve always had the answer, you’ll just feel alien and elitist to your market. People don’t want to learn from the genius with the 150 IQ. People don’t want to learn from the business genius that made $1.000.000 before age 15. People don’t want to understand more about relationships from the person who always had picture perfect relationships.
No. You can’t relate with those people and having a perfect image fails in almost any market, from weight loss to dating to self-help to business. People want someone that was like them, in pain (which is true no matter what you do) and who found a solution. Knowing that you were suffering at one point, that you had the same neurosis, the same frustration, the same burning pain makes them hopeful that if you’ve found the solution, it will work for them too.
An elitist attitude will never work in the information field. Every major self-improvement has a story of struggle and pain. Every major author started somewhere a lot worse than you are right now. Stephen King was broke when he wrote Carrie and threw it in the dust. Anthony Robbins had a rough childhood and difficulties with his mother. The late Jim Rohn was stuck in his life, no money, no future, nothing. Brian Tracy failed again and again and finally found the inspiration to succeed in sales.
These stories are perfect for marketing because they help you connect with your market on a deep level. However, don’t see them as only a strategic tool. We all have these stories. We’re not inventing them. For example, I’m living an amazing life and I’m proud of it. My life is that of an outlier. I’ve done things from piloting small planes to traveling around the world to climbing Etna without any equipment to reading 74 books in a year and more. But my life was not always like this. As a child, I was suffering from social anxiety and I was obsessed with video games. I’ve had a rough childhood at home that I don’t feel comfortable talking about even now. I was extremely shy and the victim of high-school bullying. I have a story of how my life moved from pain to pleasure. If you see me give a speech somewhere or naturally present my ideas, you’d never believe that at one point, I was avoiding walking next to people on the street because I was afraid of them.
And I’m telling you this not to brag of how far I’ve came but because you can understand. I don’t care who you are – you can understand pain and transformation. You can understand rejection and struggle. You can understand how it is to be refused by everyone and then, to become someone most people love. For this exact particular reason I’m telling you to share your story. Tell it how it is. Be proud of your scars. The more authentic you are, the more you admit how bumpy the journey was to where you are now, the more persuasive you’re becoming.
Most people think that persuasion is about lying. They are wrong. Some of the most persuasive techniques are based 100% on truth and authenticity. It is about saying things just as they are, without fear of judgment that influences people. And again, saying your story, does this.
How should you express your story? Well, generally I do it in a sales letter. The story must have a purpose because honestly, nobody reads 2000 words “about me” pages. I’ve tried it and I’ve tracked readership. The story must relate to a product or service you’re selling. For example, if I’d sell right now a guide on public speaking for introverts, I’d use my story of how hard was for me to move from introvert to ambivert, how every time I went in front of the class I lost my voice and how just two months before, I gave a speech to a high-school class that doesn’t even speak English. All of this is true and accurate but it serves a purpose – to prove the qualities of my product, to establish credibility, to establish me as a person that understands his pain and ultimately, to sell the product. After all, marketing is ROI oriented, you’re selling, not writing your auto-biography.
I’ve met so many marketers who show their diplomas, their achievements, their glowing testimonials and forget that saying “I’ve cried, I’ve been in pain, I’ve been through all the suffering you’re going through right now” is a lot more persuasive than any authority element. Of course, people do buy from authorities and selling your story but not why you’re someone who can help them is useless. It is important though to show how you’ve became that person that can help them, that person that is the go-to guy in their market instead of jumping to the best version of yourself and putting that on display.
That being said, share your story. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re living an interesting story. People want to hear about who you really are. You don’t need to run a 100 people company or to have five published books to be interesting. Not so long ago, I was listening to Grant Cardone. I like this guy. You know why? I know I can learn from him because he walks the talk and anyone who has a net worth of $500.000.000 is a good role model for me. But that’s not all. It is that when he was in his 20s, he was a wreck, addicted to drugs, unable to succeed in most things. He shared something like “when I’ve returned, my girlfriend was sleeping with my dealer”. I can relate to that form of pain, even if I haven’t been in that particular circumstance and it makes me appreciate his success and his authority even more.
Tell your story. Sell your story. Say it as it is. You don’t need to be a master persuader here – just to be authentic and to allow yourself to be vulnerable.
I’m here to help you sell more as a self-improvement author, trainer or coach. I’m your go-to guy for direct response copywriting and marketing. I’m interested in helping you find opportunities for growth in your business. For this, I’m giving you a complimentary 30 minute call in which we can analyze your needs and see what solutions are there. After this, we can see if we work together. Use the link below to reserve your spot. I’m currently in East Asia and there are two major time blocks you can reserve, either in the morning or in the evening (my time). This means that at least one of the two options will make sense for you.
The Self Improvement Copywriter