Church of the Invisible Hand
How School Almost Killed Your Chances at Success
When I was in 1st grade, I peed my pants at school.
I kept asking the teacher if I could go to the bathroom, and she kept saying "no." I begged, I pleaded, I even started crying. She just repeated "no," followed by "you can hold it."
I couldn't hold it.
Right there, in the middle of class, I peed my pants. The other kids were laughing. The teacher was yelling at me. It was one of the most embarrassing moments in my entire life.
I stood there, frozen, in a moment that seemed to last forever. Then I locked my eye's on the door, and I ran out of the room.
The teacher followed out into the hallway, and then escorted me down to the principal's office. They put me in a clean pair of pants from the lost-and-found, and called my mom to come pick me up. There was no way I was setting foot back into that classroom. Not that day, at least.
That moment stands out to me. It made me question what was really going on there. And it led to a long pattern of observation about the underlying lessons of the schooling system.
The lesson being taught there was "you must get permission from authority, even to use your own body." But the broader lesson was "you can't do anything in life without permission from authority."
And that's a lesson that follows most people throughout their entire lives.
Wanna add on to your own house? Better ask the authorities.
Wanna keep more of your own paycheck? Better clear that with the authorities.
Wanna start your own business? Better go get permission from the authorities.
12 years of obedience conditioning, training you to ask for permission. And that training permeates every aspect of our thinking. It stifles creativity and coats ingenuity with a layer of self-doubt. It kills the brightest ideas before they even get a chance to shine.
It even tells a person they can't achieve as much in life if they don't finish the training program. Didn't get your graduation papers? No one will hire you? Didn't get your permission slip? You couldn't possibly do this job. And it works so well, most people deny themselves permission to even try.
The world gave Henry Ford permission to bring them a faster horse. He built them a car. And that's how you have to be in the world. Permission-getters sit in cubicles and wear jeans on Casual Fridays.
Entrepreneurs don't ask for permission. We go out and change the world. We don't wait for people to tell us it's ok to do so. We get up, and we do it.
When I got home that evening, my dad sat me down. "Mijo," he said, "you don't need to get permission."
That one sentence changed my life.
Written by Nathan Fraser Direct Response Copywriter Marketing Consultant High Priest of Propaganda
Will Robots Take Your Job?
So, Jane (a totally made up social justice warrior) was out protesting her job today.
She was demanding that her employer pay her $15 dollars an hour to bag burgers and give customers bad attitude.
Her employer only operates at a 3.5% profit margin, but Jane has a right to a living wage.
She spent all day waving her sign and shouting out sound bites she learned from her gender-studies professor.
Tomorrow, she'll go into work, and realize that she protested herself out of a job. She'll walk into her place of employment, and be greeted by a shiny new kiosk. Sucks to be Jane.
Now, while it's easy to laugh at Jane, she isn't the only one facing this problem. Yes, low information, entitled brats will be the first to have a robot replace them. But, is that where it will stop?
Now, before you start calling me Peter Joseph, hear me out.
I am a devout capitalist. I would be miserable in a Venus Project utopia. But, I am a realist, and my head is not in the sand when it comes to automation.
In the coming years, more and more labor jobs will be replaced by robots.
Is this the end of society as we know it? I doubt it.
But, will it bring a lot of change? Almost certainly.
As the horse and buggy disappeared, the cab industry was born. And sometimes, automation actually increases labor in a field.
So, what about you? What will happen to your job in the very near future? What are your chances of being replaced by a robot, like poor little SJW Jane?
Well, today I came across this interesting article. It talks about some of the least likely jobs to be replaced with robots. Is yours on the list?
Hint, if you're on my mailing list, you're already in a better position than most. (see number 1)
How to Offer Less and Charge More
A few years back, my mom passed away.
When she was alive, she leaned on me, pretty heavily. I paid her bills, I ran her around, I listened to her constant complaining. It was enough to drive me insane. But I'd trade everything I have for just one more afternoon with her, to tell her that I love her, one last time.
I miss her now, and I often remember things about her that I didn't appreciate nearly enough when she was alive. You don't know what you've got til it's gone.
You see, economics is a lot more emotions driven than we'd like to think.
Supply and demand is not just a statement of logic. It's a statement about emotions. It's a statement about what drives us. It's a statement about our values. And we tend to only recognize something's true value when it's scarce.
So, how can you make this work for you? How can you get people to recognize the value of what you have to offer? The answer is simple. Make it scarce.
Let's take a look at the three most common forms a scarcity, and how you can use them in your marketing.
Urgency is time based scarcity. It is the idea that something will only be available for a limited time. You might still be able to find this item later, but not here and not at this price. If you don't act before this deadline, you will miss out.
When something has a sense of urgency attached, we know that we have to act now, or forever hold our peace.
Rarity is quantity based scarcity. The idea that only so many exist, and thus, they are more valuable than their counterparts.
Rarity is what floods Central Park with Pokemon Go players in the middle of the night. Rarity is what makes a wheat penny more valuable than an equally weighted piece of copper.
There are millions of Pokemon out there, and billions of pennies. But when you find a rare one, you place more value on it. Because rare is scarce, and scarce is valuable.
Exclusivity is scarcity based upon status. The item or service itself may not be scarce, but the client who has access to it is.
Think of a Rolex watch or a Ralph Lauren shirt. These items are not scarce in the real world. But because of the status applied to them, they can be sold at way over their cost to produce.
Another example is a therapist who only books appointments with celebrities. They are probably no better than any other therapist. But they exclude most people from their services. This allows them to charge more to those they do accept.
When you create scarcity with exclusive access, you drive up value in the minds of those you exclude, and those you accept.
So there you have it.
Three simple ways to add scarcity to whatever it is that you provide. Three simple ways to increase the value of whatever it is that you provide.
Next time you run a sale, consciously apply urgency. Next time you have a limited supply, use the rarity to your advantage. Use scarcity to your advantage.
One last note.
Companies often give free products to people with high status. This is a way to increase the Exclusivity factor of their own products. And it often works. But is can be used in reverse.
In 2011, Abercrombie and Fitch offered to pay "The Situation" to STOP wearing their clothes. Mike Sorrentino, of MTV's Jersey Shore, was actually offered money to not be seen in their clothes.
Exclusivity is just as much about who you choose not to serve, as it is about who you do serve.