What about having a good, POWERFUL opening?

“How one letter makes me over $9,000 a month and I don’t even have to mail it!”

Copywriting for real estate investors.

This going to be partly done by me and partly by Azam.

So it is me that is using this letter and I made an intro to how to use the letter below.  I’m new to copy writing and how to use words in print to gain compliance, and I’m new to real estate too by the way lol.  I always struggle with starting so I asked Azam to do a class on that too. 

This is brilliant stuff, for realz.

If you are in real estate AND want to know about copy writing and how they merge then this class is totally for you and also check out the other epic post on copywriting for real estate investors.

First about COPY WRITING then the letter

You can scroll down and get the actual letter that we will be using.

Before that though you should understand the basics about how to use/create copy.

You can build a full side business around this one idea so it is a good idea to know about it.

Holey Moley Guys today is going to be brilliant, a few titles for today’s class:

How this ONE letter makes me over $9,000 a month and I don’t even have to mail it.

How any real estate investor can use this ONE motivated seller source (that EVERYBODY has heard of) in an unheard way to make over $2,000 a week with a single letter… and I’ll even give you the letter for FREE…

A master class on copywriting for real estate investors, how a SINGLE letter can make you 9 grand a month and how (and WHY) you need to get better with words… a crash course on first sentences.

Think about these things here…

The Shawshank Redemption is considered to be one the best movies ever made, yet it only made $50M when released BUT over twice that since then because of usage and rights on TV, cable, etc.  Even some MINOR actors are still getting checks of $500 – $1,000 a month from it…

The Beatles haven’t released an album since 1970 but the Michael Jackson estate (who owned the rights to their catalog was making over $30M/year on it) was paid over $750M for half of the rights back, the royalties are still making $70 – $100M… over $60,000 pounds a day from a business that was shut down over 50 years ago… think about that…

– Michael Jordan played in the NBA for 15 years and made a total of $90M in his career while playing basketball… today his royalties from the “Jumpman” deal with Nike make him over $100M a year… for doing NOTHING…

The lesson is clear: BUILD something that keeps paying you (pretty much) forever.

– You can try to be like Mike or like Michael Jackson but all that stuff is heavily dependent on luck and unreliable, there IS another way…

– If you get better at copy writing and creating campaigns that increase transactions and the value of a business then you can get paid ROYALTIES just like the examples above and use a SINGLE letter to make $10,000, $50,000, $100,000 a month and more for the 10 years and even longer…

– The key to doing this is get better at the copy writing and also the process of EMOTIONAL ASSIGNMENT so that your compliance gaining is predictable and scalable.

Million Dollar Idea/Model:
Take a TOP salesperson’s presentation, transcribe it, then send it in the mail

– You’ll have to “clean it up” first… today you’ll see how to FRAME it better, use HEADLINES, then SUB HEADLINES and then two three sentence paragraphs in between the SUB headlines.

– Once you have a process that goes through the Five Crowds you have an entire business.

– You can get paid for delivering it back to the company but then ALSO renting it out (licensing) to other companies and getting residuals that way.

Basically this is badass stuff
– First we’ll go over the actual letter
– Then we’ll go over copy in general and how it relates to EVERYTHING
– Then I’ll do something people have axed me for a LONG time, I will break down how to use famous sentences and “borrow” them to make residual money with GREAT letters and openings
– Yes I’ll be going over how to tell great stories and the ONE secret to compliance and answering what is almost ALWAYS the number one toughest question that new/old copy writers have and yes that ONE massive secret to COMPLIANCE ALWAYS
– FINE I’ll tell you the secret right now, your message MUST in some way… control emotion.

Yes, it’s all about our fewwings…
– The most powerful people in the world get/stay in power by controlling emotion
– Specifically, since you aren’t going to be doing this with a gun or force (hopefully) you’ll have to get REALLY good with words
– Today I’ll go over how to make sure you NEVER get writer’s block, that you ALWAYS know where to start and exactly how to use famous, time-tested emotion-triggering words and stories to get people to do sh**

You can download the letter for free HERE.

FIRST – let’s go over this letter, here’s a quick intro from Anna. 

Motivated sellers from expired listings, how this one letter is making 9 grand a month, and I’m not even mailing it LOL.

So please watch this before you watch Azam’s class
– I asked Azam to do a class on copywriting about this
– In that class he will break down the letter and a lot of other stuff, like how to START your copy better with some great examples, I LOVE this stuff and could watch and listen for hours the class is amazing and brilliant so please check it out I think you’ll love it
– This is exactly how I been learning how to write compliance in print better

A piece of copy can be an ad, letter, email, voicemail script, dialog sales script, THANK YOU letters, referral letters, text, receipts, etc. anything written, read or spoken.

There are (more than) five easy ways to make money with copy
– Improve a current piece
– Improve a past piece that is not being used
– Use the same piece better, like with a better targeted list
– Get a piece from another source and bring it over (an MFM)
– Start from zero, do NOT EVER do this when you starting out

The story behind the letter
– I asked one of my agents for a letter that wasn’t working, it was an expired listing letter
– I worked on it by meeting with sellers and getting feedback
– Then I would use it with expired listing but also regular homeowners

I would meet with a seller or realtor or call or email them:
– Hi, I just got 42 buyers to the house over on Elm Street and I’m looking for sellers who need to sell so I can test out this marketing method
– Sometimes I send this letter to people who REALLY need help but they don’t reply, can you look at these two and tell me which you think is better?
– In general Mr. Seller how can I get through to sellers in this neighborhood when they think they’ve already heard it all before, how do you suggest I let them know I can help them?

I got some good ideas, but often I would convert the sellers on the spot LOL
– You can see the full letter below, feel free to steal it and use it however you want just make sure to send me a testimonial
– Remember you do NOT need any money, my realtors are paying me about half their commission or sometimes 30-40% on top of the deals I do with the sellers and with lease options I try to make 5-10k up front
– So even if I meet with 20 sellers a month or just five a week I can make sure to make the 10-15k/month extra, but I’m going with 9k/mo because that is the worst so far

You can download the letter for free HERE.

Thanks so much! = )

~ Indy Anna

That was the $9,000 a month letter.  You can download the letter for free HERE.

More than ANYTHING else the most important skill as a real estate investor, business owner or entrepreneur is your DIALOG…

… think of copy writing as your dialog in print.

The better you learn this skill, the further you will go.

When I learned how valuable this was I paid and did whatever it took to learn how to write good copy.  Once you have this skill you can almost literally write your own check.  Much the same way John Lennon famously said “Let’s write a swimming pool.”  In fact Paul McCartney has a great quote on this:

“Somebody said to me, ‘But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.’ That’s a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, ‘Now let’s write a swimming pool.’ We said it out of innocence. Out of normal, fucking working-class glee that we were able to write a ‘swimming pool.’ For the first time in our lives, we could actually do something and earn money.”  

I paid over 30k to learn from the best copy writer alive
–  I wrote out ads and entire letters by HAND (not typing)… yeah…
– To this day I can recite entire letters from memory
–  It has totally eliminated writer’s block and I can get into the mode with anything
–  I created a series of Algo for this “If you’re a (TARGET) that wants to (BENEFIT) without (PAIN) then this will by the most important letter you read all year…”
– To START brilliantly is the key, it hooks people and they comply seemingly without choice

SO… I will go over a KILLER way to open and tell great stories that lead to COMPLIANCE…

When I got trained…

– I was made to WRITE out by HAND entire ads and letters, it has been wired in my mind…

– Also the “Greatest Copywriter Ever” told me a story about somebody he trained to write a letter for “boner pills” and he came back with a standard “rock hard all night long” type of letter…

– To fix that made the student CALL and talk to buyers, and you know what he found?  The secret to selling ANYTHING and EVERYthing…

– It is all about the CORE EMOTION… in this case it was older men feeling guilty about not getting/keeping erections for/with their wives of 50+ years…

– So if THAT is the emotion – GUILT – what good does the average approach make?  But they would dig in… it starts with “pleasure her and make her moan for hours”… and then it just gets worse as it their response rate plummets… “Fu** her brains out… when I was done with her she was practically illiterate”… then to a point of crazy… “Pound her pu**y until she is in a coma!”… (sigh)…

CALL THEM UP… that’s a big secret that NOBODY does and it is how Anna has made so much from this letter.

Why is Anna making so much money from that ONE letter?

– First she asks sellers over the phone and IN person to evaluate it.

– She emails sellers and asks their honest opinion.

– She ask brokers… then asks realtors… then asks realtors to ask their sellers.

How did we do deals “hot markets”

– Phoenix Arizona, after the 2007 stuff when new home builders OVER built so you could buy the $250k – $350k houses for $80k – $100k, same thing with Vegas but they had a LOT more rules… but with all the competition how can you beat them all?

– These markets are easy to find by the way (average income $50k – $60k, houses after corrections you can buy 250k+ houses for $100k or less.

– How do we beat others?  Taking the letter/s and going door to door (something nobody will do) and TALK to the people about the letters they get which ones they reply to and what goes in the BIG bucket of junk that they get.  Now you know the best ones and you take the other ones and build your investor list.

– Same with magic shows when I called and asked found out that they wanted to LEARN a trick or two so I doubled the price and did a class too.  Docs wanted to know that their staff wouldn’t have to learn new stuff for software, etc.

– Also “Million Dollar Challenge” I bought 10M worth of homes in less than 10 hours… it worked but not as well as I wanted when I called heard: “Of course you can do it Azam!”  Then I focused on one of the camera men, Jimmy D, then the letter did 3-5x better. 

Then I did a challenge to pick a random person to make 10k in 90 days, he did in 14k in two weeks $1k/day THAT was a win, then I picked an unemployed gal and she did 10k/mo… then challenge to take an entire room and GUARANTEE everybody leaves with a deal in their area… 100 people and 100 deals…

I learned all this and my whole focus changed based on the CALLS.


– Do NOT assume that you got the right message MAKE SURE, this step few will take and the calibrations based on conversations will pretty much NEVER happen NOBODY will do this so this is how you can develop a campaign that produces for YEARS…

– This also relates to something called “Curse of Knowledge” or cognitive bias, Stanford experiment done by Elizabeth Newton found 1 in 40 people could discern “Happy Birthday” when tapped out.  What is in your head is NOT what gets in their head, your skill of compliance requires that you simplify so what YOU SAY is what THEY HEAR… and do.  To avoid this MAKE SURE you get clear.

– The point is that talking to people, on the phone or in person, can help you get more direct knowledge of what it takes to have high compliance.

In other words the BIG secret to putting together a campaign and a letter series that produces and pays you for years, that basically becomes an entire business in a single Word document or letter, is getting DIRECT feedback by talking to people.

Nobody will do this, even if they somebody like me to teach it to them they STILL won’t.  Use this to your advantage.

Speaking of high compliance here is a good move for that:

– You can put ANYTHING in the “return address” so focus on centers of influence and turn them into testimonials then use THEIR name (with permission of course) in the return address

– So a doc gets a letter from another well known doc in the area, a big realtor from another big realtor, etc.  This will get the letter opened for SURE.  Then use a simple cover letter: “Hey Rob here’s why I’m telling you about the guys I got my computer from… I just did some real estate deals with… who just tripled my business in less than 90 days flat…”

– So it isn’t JUST a better headline but the SAME exact campaign but from the RIGHT person can change the entire math of a business… What return name/address would GUARANTEE your target will open?  Pets are great too, somebody sent me a picture of two Eclectus and it said from Eago and Zazu – BRILLIANT!

This is also how to create VIRALITY in your campaigns so one feeds the next and feeds the next and feeds the next and a single good campaign can be used for years.

This is also how a TINY change makes all the difference

– An entire business can succeed or fail based on a SINGLE headline

– In the example above the letter being framed that way more than tripled several multi-million dollar companies, it was the “headline”

– Just a TINY word or phrase can do all of that, you’ll see more later

Writers are the ones who change the world, so get better with words.  Writers aren’t always the most powerful people on the planet, but the wordsmiths in general always are.

The biggest questions you had when it came to writing copy:

– What exactly is copy and when does it apply?  (everything from your emails, voicemails, scripts, rebuttals, questions, framing, handwritten THANK YOU notes, notes to yourself, scripting with your team, chats, texts, Skype auto-replies, email signatures, etc. ANY time you use words that are written/documented.)

– For people familiar with copy they ask about HOW TO START… how to kick off a great letter

– How do I tell GREAT stories that HOOK my people?

– How do I keep my people, my FANBASE, tuned into me and EMOTIONALLY INVESTED in my message and mission.

– What should I be reading and what lessons should I take away from other works?  Can I use fiction to model after?  What exactly can I borrow and how?

– How do I connect my message to famous events or big news stories?

– Can you help tell us exactly what authors, books, works that you use to model after or exactly how to gain compliance by using existing works?

– How can I get somebody else to write for me?  (careful on this one and remember you STILL need to know what works…)

– How can retell great stories but in such a way that they sound unique and original so I get the credit for coming up with them even when I ADMIT it is borrowed?

– How do I connect my message to famous writings of the past?

– What is the formula for telling a GREAT story WHILE selling my sh** at the same time… how can I apply this to my real estate business?… what about other businesses and industries…?

… and a LOT more…

I’m going to give you the framework – the skeleton, the outline and then you can apply anything you want over that.  The emotion is the hard part, once you have that hook everything else is easy.

What you’ll be able to do when we’re done here:

– You’ll know exactly how to start your copy and make it KILLER opening

– You’ll know how to tell some of the best stories EVER (yeah… for realz…)

– ALSO you’ll learn the exact words to use to make sure you seamlessly move from the story and the Emotion Build RIGHT to the close and compliance move

– You’ll know famous lines, conversation starters and all kinds of history ‘fun facts’ stuff that will help you become a generally more interesting person

– You’ll understand how to build, create and buy new businesses at will by using your new found copy writing skill, this isn’t hard and you’ll travel at the speed of light past all the mediocre masses and be able to skip to the front and be a compliance gaining machine

– You’ll learn about books you should be reading and surrounding yourself with and the kinds of words you need to start using to build your businesses

– Overall you’ll know more about how to write compelling, converting copy and HAVE FUN at the same time (which is beautiful and possibly the biggest secret in the world)

So let’s get started…

But NOT from zero because starting from zero SUCKS…

Starting from zero SUCKS:

– Who hasn’t been through the awful experience of sitting in front of a blank page with its toothless mouth grinning at you?
– Windowless wall, empty desert, ocean of nothing, deafening silence screaming at you
– Do NOT start from zero

Nine quick and easy ways to make money with copy writing:
– You can improve a current piece (headline!)
– You can improve the way it is being used
– You can use one from the past with NO changes, just tracking
– You can improve a previous piece
– You can import a piece
– You can import better uses (selects)
– You can have a marketing “Deathmatch” to find a champions (ALWAYS do this)
– You can use testimonials BETTER, they can even be the whole piece you’ll never find a business that does this too well… I PROMISE.
– You can start from ZERO… the hardest and usually worst way

When writing advertisements the single most important part of ANY ad is the headline.  It is the ad for the ad.  Nobody reads anything else first, they MAY look at a picture and possibly read the caption but then their eyes will focus right up to the HEADLINE.

Can an entire business be started from a single headline?

– Overworked real estate investor needs help, I’ll teach you the business.

– Empty Nesters need help: I’ll trade you my 5BD 4BA house for your 3BD 2BA house…?

– I’ll put your house on AirBNB and we’ll split the profits.

– If you and your clients are in LOVE with your logo, then you can stop reading this.

– I’m doing an experiment with “crowd funding” to help a local business raise $50,000 – $100,000.

It is like the ad for the ad.

So it better be good.  Hollywood studios have learned to spend MILLIONS on making good movie trailers and using the audience reactions to measure, with great accuracy, how well a movie will do based on how well received a movie’s trailer is.

Now studios are putting a quick 3-second trailer FOR the trailer at the start.

This is ALL about the HOOK.

They need to get you to pay attention, keep paying attention and then DO something when the message is done.  You have the exact same goal… and challenges.

This is NOT just about writing headlines but OPENINGS.

The difference is not always clear because a good opening CAN be used as a headline but it doesn’t have to be.  In the video above as I was talking with Indy Anna I explained that she could’ve started the letter off with the story about Vilfredo Paretto and it may do better.

That’s what got us talking about how to start a letter or a story that ultimately ends in in compliance.  So today you and I will go on a more academic approach and talk about authors and literature throughout history that was able to HOOK their audience from the start and take them on a journey.

Want to learn how to write?  Then learn how to read.

Stephen King, in his helpful book/guide “On Writing“, said you should read at least three times as much as you write and if you don’t have time to read that much, you won’t have time to write that much either.  In fact King is a good place to start when it comes to an opening here’s what he said:

“There are all sorts of theories, it’s a tricky thing.  But there’s one thing I’m sure about… An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story.  It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”

Powerful words from an artist.

He went on to say:

We’ve talked so much about the reader, but you can’t forget that the opening line is important to the writer, too. To the person who’s actually boots-on-the-ground. Because it’s not just the reader’s way in, it’s the writer’s way in also, and you’ve got to find a doorway that fits us both.

The opening line doesn’t just invite and compel the reader to take the journey but it must invite and compel the writer to create it

Stephen King on why he spends months or even YEARS coming up with an opening sentence, also more tips he has on how the open and the HOOK is what determines your success as a writer.  Some of King’s favorite opening lines are here.  According King his best first sentence was for his 1991 book Needful Things:

“You’ve been here before.”

I’ll give you a few good examples, but first you should know the pattern.

A champion example in copy…

– Racehorse Man of War 1919 – 1920 raced 21 times and won 20 with one surprising and shocking lost, to a horse named “Upset” and since then when the underdog beats the favorite it is called an “upset”.  (later I explain that is not the full origin)

– As a business owner we always APPEAR to the outside world as the underdog, so when the chips are stacked against us it is important to remember “You’ve been here before.”

– We only learn from mistakes but they don’t have to be ours, it is best to learn from somebody who HAS been beaten down and been “there” before instead of having to go to the basement yourself, one insight from them can save you decades so instead of saying to yourself “You’ve been here before” to talk yourself out of a negative situation you can say “I’ve never been this high before”… then go on the MFM piece… don’t limit yourself to learning only from times when “You’ve been here before” and instead FROM people who have “been there before”…

How to use great sentences in your copy in FIVE easy steps
– Remember from the Humor Class?  Punchline – Parallel – Borrow the Punchline
– You do the same kind of thing here —> say the sentence —> give context —> state the lesson and Transition —> start the Parallel —> Borrow the lesson
– You’ll see several examples and while we do it ask yourself how YOU can apply these

We call this the Great Sentence Stealing or Sentence Structuring.

Before you ask no this will not work your area, I’m sure of it.

All this focus on JUST ONE sentence Azam?

Yes.  In fact if the sentence is good enough it can be an entire short story all by itself.  Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was at lunch with friends and they each put down $100 into a pile and made a bet.  They bet Hemingway that he could not come up with a short story in just six words.

Hemingway took out a napkin and wrote:

For Sale:
Baby shoes,
never worn.

Brilliant, right?  It has been said that a novel is contained in those six words.  As the (false) story goes after blowing away all his friends at the table, Hemingway collected his winnings.  The story itself is good, but the story about the story is pretty good too.  That’s why it has lasted, but…

Hemingway did NOT write it

The first mention of a story like this was in May of 1910 (Hemingway was 10 years old at the time) when The Spokane Press ran an article titled “Tragedy of Baby’s Death is Revealed in Sale of Clothes.”  In the article the author mentions an advertisement that ran a week earlier offering baby items that had “never been used“. 

Then about seven years in a journal called “The Editor”, the editor in charge William R. Kane wrote about the idea that mother had lost her baby and found eventual acceptance of this tragedy in a symbolic gesture by giving away the “Little Shoes, Never Worn.” 

That wasn’t it…

A few years later in 1921 the comedy magazine “Judge” ran a similar story.  The Judge magazine was very influential during it’s run from the 1880s until the 1940s.  Many of their editors and employees started or influenced publications that are influential today, one Judge editor was Harold Ross who went on to start The New Yorker for example.

The version of the story that Judge went with was a baby carriage being offered, and not because a baby died but because twins had been born.

So why does Hemingway get credit for this story?

This is a great lesson in marketing.

There was NO attachment at all to this story and Hemingway during his entire lifetime and for decades after.  It wasn’t until 1991 in a book on helping writers to get published that author Peter Miller recounted the story.  A year later another author, John Colombo, told the same story and even presented a supposed letter from well known writer Arthur C. Clarke confirming the story.

The a few years later in the 1990s another writer John DeGroot wrote a play called “Papa” which also credited Hemingway with coming up with the famous six word story.  Later DeGroot told Playbill magazine (a monthly publication for theatergoers that has been in circulation since the 1880s) that whether or not the story “actually happened… we’ll never know truly.”  Except we do know.

Why the heck does it matter so much Azam?

This business very, very short stories is actually a big deal to us.  A very, very big deal.

The idea of telling an entire story while being constrained to using the minimum amount of words or sentences, is a brilliant concept that we use in our teaching and training.  This “six word story” eventually became part of, and helped pioneer, the genre called flash fiction.  Soon Cosmo Magazine (which has also been around since the 1880s) started producing collections of what they called the “short short story” and the American Short Short Story.   The Smith Magazine publication, a magazine to help story tellers, used this story as the basis for their very successful “Six-Word Memoirs” as well.    

Within flash fiction are many other related categories like “twitterature“, the mini-saga and many other micro-story items.  Among our favorite…

Also below I’ll post the video Azam’s epic post on copy writing for real estate investors.

The One Sentence HORROR Story

The One Sentence HORROR Story

We use this with our special needs kids to help them learn spelling, grammar, writing, etc.  We are also starting to use to these collections to raise money.  Very cool stuff.

We use this a lot in our work with students and the Special Needs Heroes

– It helps to make writing “cool” and to develop that skill in a way that is a GAME, we’re all about the gamification

– We are starting to share these and the results may be monetized on YouTube if you get a chance to do this or be a part of it please help support us THANK YOU!

– Now we are doing one sentence love stories, comedies, mysteries, etc.

Example: I woke up today and brushed my teeth…

– Now we take each word and come up with different meanings, syntax, etc.

– Then we apply nouns, verbs, imagery, etc.

– We brainstorm variations and come up with great results that everybody reacts to…

This morning I brushed my teeth…

… and realized they were getting smaller every time I touched them…

… but no matter how hard I try I can’t get the blood out…

… I wanted them clean before my execution…

… It’s getting harder to hide the fangs…

… I’ve been asleep for over 734 years…

… I had twice as many as yesterday…

… right before I sharpened them…

… and noticed two were missing…

… all 376 of them…

(could be teeth on a comb, chainsaw, etc.)

You get the idea… 

We’ll be talking more about this in the future.

Anyway… like I said using GREAT SENTENCES to start with…

How to use great sentences in your copy – Five Steps to Sentence Stealing
– Remember from the Humor Class?  Punchline – Parallel – Borrow the Punchline
– You do the same kind of thing here —> say the sentence —> give context —> state the lesson —> start the Transition and Parallel —> Borrow the lesson
– You’ll see several examples and while we do it ask yourself how YOU can apply these

This is part of what we call the “Borrowed Open” and helps with conversations and to avoid writer’s block, several ways to use this – here are 10 ways…
– Can be a joke
– A famous quote
– Your best/worst memory, some superlative
– A milestone that people immediately relate to (wedding, birth, etc.)
– Standard headline formula “If you want (BENEFIT) without (USUAL PAIN) then (ACTION)”
– Scene or line from a famous movie (In The Matrix Neo asks: Why do my eyes hurtMorpheus: Because you’ve never used them)
– The chorus of a famous song (I will survive, also Steve Jobs often modeled activity after Bob Dylan and the Beatles, etc.)
– A famous historical event, like the Titanic leaving port
– A crazy fact… try to breathe and swallow at the same time or sneeze with your eyes open, if you fold a piece of paper 42 times it would reach the moon, fold it 103 times and it would be larger than the observable universe of 93 billion light years (talk about power of exponential growth), sharks kill about three people a year while people kill over 50 MILLION sharks a year, the deadliest animal on earth is the mosquito they kill more humans than humans do – we are second – but third biggest killer on the planet is… the snail, they can over 10,000 teeth, North Korea and Finland are separated by exactly one country, the famous “JK Wedding Dance” has raised over $70,000 for charity – amazing to think the way a bride decides to walk down the aisle can support her favorites charities for a decade to come… and counting, etc. 
– In this case a famous opening of a book, chapter, song, etc.

The five parts to this
– First, say the sentence
– Second, give it context, explain why it is such a big deal and why/how it worked so well
– Third make the lesson/point clear
– Fourth start the Parallel and Transition 
– Fifth, borrow the Lesson so the Parallel ends with the SAME lesson

The Transition and Lessons should sum it up

– If you find yourself in the wrong story, just write yourself a new one.

– In the end, we all become stories.

– Don’t become who hurt you.

– Hurt people, hurt people.

Here are some examples.

“Call me Ishmael”

This is a very famous opening.  In fact, this is considered by many to be the best, most famous opening of any novel ever written.  It is also a way for homeys to say they spot a plus-sized girl.  This is the opening line of the Herman Melville’s famous 1851 novel, Moby Dick.  The reception of Moby Dick was hardly epic, the publisher printed 500 copies but only sold 300 in the first several months.

After three years the first edition, original printing was still available.  When Melville died in 1891, 40 years after writing Moby Dick, the book was out of print and before being out of print it had sold about 30 copies a year for over 30 years.  In total, during Melville’s life he only sold about 3,000 copies of Moby Dick.

It was a “failure”…

It wasn’t until the 1920s that scholars and critics valued (or even noticed) Moby Dick and turned it into an icon, decades after Melville’s death.

Famed author Ralph Ellison (full name Ralph Waldo Ellison named after Ralph Waldo Emerson) wrote his legendary novel Invisible Man after being inspired by Melville.  The book won the U.S. National Book for Fiction in 1953 and the first sentence is modeled after Moby Dick’s first sentence…

“I am an invisible man.”

Ellison also wrote 2,000 pages over 40 years that a friend eventually put together in the book Juneteenth.  I bring it up because the “Juneteenth” celebration of freedom was something I didn’t learn about in school but it is a big deal and a great story of freedom fighters.

There is a project called “Call me Ishmael” at CallMeIshmael.com where avid readers can call and leave a voicemail about their favorite books.  Thousands of readers have called and over one million readers have viewed or listened to the stories left.

More recently the story was revamped…

Nathaniel Philbrick, of famed Philbrick literary family, wrote his book “In the Heart of the Sea” which won the National Book Award in 2000.  The novel was based on about the real-life tragedy of the whale ship Essex which was lost in the 1820s and is the original inspiration for Moby Dick.  The book was made into a movie later directed by Ron Howard and starring Thor and Scarecrow

Philbrick is a great writer and for years I’ve used this introduction as a great example of what good writing does.  It can teleport us to another world.  As you read the below TRY and stay where you are physically.  This was a writing exercise introduced to me years ago and it still works well, remember this is page ONE.

An excerpt from “In the Heart of the Sea”:

… And on that February morning in 1821, the lookout saw something unusual – a boat, impossibly small for the open sea, bobbing on the swells.  The ship’s captain, the thirty-seven-year-old Zimri Coffin, trained his spyglass on the mysterious craft with keen curiosity.


He soon realized that it was a whaleboat – double-ended and about twenty-five feet long – but a whaleboat unlike any he had ever seen.  The boat’s sides had been built up by about half a foot.  Two makeshift masts had been rigged, transforming the rowing vessel into a rudimentary schooner.  The sails – stiff with salt and bleached by the sun – had clearly pulled the boat along for many, many miles.  Coffin could see no one at the steering oar.  He turned to the man at the Dauphin’s wheel and ordered, “Hard up the helm.”


Under Coffin’s watchful eye, the helmsman brought the ship as close as possible to the derelict craft.  Even though their momentum quickly swept them past it, the brief seconds during which the ship loomed over the open boat presented a sight that would stay with the crew the rest of their lives.

First they saw bones – human bones – littering the thwarts and floorboards, as if the whaleboat were the seagoing lair of a ferocious, man-eating beast.  Then they saw the two men.  They were curled up in the opposite ends of the boat, their skin covered with sores, their eyes bulging from the hollows of their skulls, their beards caked with salt and blood.  They were sucking the marrow from the bones of their dead shipmates.


Instead of greeting their rescuers with smiles of relief, the survivors – too delirious with thirst and hunger to speak – were disturbed, even frightened.  They jealously clutched the splintered and gnawed-over bones with a desperate, almost feral intensity, refusing to give them up, like two starving dogs found trapped in a pit.


Later, once the survivors had been given some food and water (and had finally surrendered the bones), one of them found the strength to tell his story.  It was a tale made of a whaleman’s worst nightmares: of being in a boat far from land with nothing left to eat or drink and – perhaps worst of all – of a whale with the vindictiveness and guile of a man.


Now THAT is how you start a story, right?


Call me Ishmael

– This ONE sentence has basically created an entire industry

– There are many interesting things about and it has been obsessed, debated and discussed more than any other sentence in literature history, notice he doesn’t say “I am” or “My name is” just that you should CALL him that so it is unclear if that is his real name…

– Biblical reference to Abraham’s first son who was banished to wander and die in the wilderness not like the much more favored half-brother Isaac, but Ishmael doesn’t die when he miraculously finds a well… just as Ishmael from the Moby wanders the ocean and is the only survivor

– To say “Call me Ishmael” means you are about to share a long tale of despair, tragedy, bloodshed, death, destruction, etc.  Many ways this applies to business.

– BUT there is a BIG hook here that I use a lot… reality influences the stories we tell, but do the stories we tell influence reality?  So when Melville wrote that sentence he had NO idea that it would be as obsessed over as it is in fact remember that the book was OUT OF PRINT and barely sold and he lived for 40 years after wards and thought of it as a failure and was largely not relevant relatively speaking… ironically HE BECAME ISHMAEL wondering through his life like through the desert or the ocean…

– We each have a brilliant idea like this, everybody has a Moby Dick of brilliance in them… and now it is easier than ever to maximize that and share your gift with the world… this has been used for computer training, universities, business MFM deals, private money, etc…

Questions to ask about this:

… What brilliance does your target have that is being under appreciated?  What assets do they have that are being underused?  What kind of difference could a single big deal make for them?  What is the equivalent of their Moby Dick and how can what you do help them get that out in the world?  What would sky rocket their business, life, relationships, etc. right now?

The five parts to this Sentence Stealing…
– First, say the sentence
– Second, give it context, explain why it is such a big deal and why/how it worked so well
– Third make the transition where you make lesson/point clear
– Fourth start the Parallel
– Fifth, borrow the Lesson so the Parallel ends with the SAME lesson

Here are some examples…

1.) “I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”

This is the opening of the book Middlesex, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003.  This book was also a winner of the International Dublin Literary Award, the Prix Medicis and being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  The author Jeffrey Eugenides also wrote The Virgin Suicides which was made into a movie directed by Sofia Coppala.  Eugenides has also won the Whiting Award, the Salon Book Award, the Aga Khan Prize or Fiction and many other awards.

Of all his opening lines in his books this is my favorite and FORCES the reader to learn more.  This takes on a new meaning today with some social issues but back in that day it was much more shocking to suggest somebody could be born twice and with two different genders.

How we have used this:

What’s the lesson or the EMOTION HOOK?
– The idea of  rebirth is appealing and makes us want to know more
– We all want a rebirth of some kind, to be young again or younger, more attractive, etc.
– Think about your target and if they could shed their past sins like snake sheds it’s skin or if they could relive their lives over again what would they most optimistic about? 

If you could relive one decision what would it be?  If you had one year to do over, what year would you pick and why? 

What is the one decision that you made that no matter how many thousands or millions of chances you ever got you would make the same choice… or a different one? 

Imagine an alternate universe where this a version of you that is living your dream life, what’s the single biggest choice that he made that you didn’t?

Powerful questions that immediately shake people out of their zombie state.

What’s the Emotional Hook:
– The idea of a FRESH START, to leave your past sins, mistakes and baggage behind us, this is why we love New Year’s Resolutions; A new year, a new me, etc.
– Everybody wants to be FREE of some skeleton in their closet and they imagine their life much better if they were rid of it
– Think of time travel movies and the inner thoughts we have about what we would change if we went back to our childhood or back in time a decade or two THIS emotion of “How much better my life COULD be…” is a major pull

Start with the sentence
– Explain that this was the first sentence of a very famous book, but why is it so good?
– This is a story of re-birth, and that’s what we ALL want in one way or the other, wouldn’t it be great to be able to to redo the last few weeks, months, years or decades… how much further would you get?
– What if there was a way to get ALL that benefit (and then some) of a rebirth, but in the real-world… then we get into how we can help them with their business buying, JVs, etc.

How we have used this:
– The hook we usually use is the re-birth one
– One campaign we said if you could go back and invest money for the last 20 years you would LOVE that chance right?  To have bought MSFT or whatever BUT… you could make even more if put that money in another business in your industry like a medical group for example… why does going back in time have so much appeal?  Because you KNOW what would happen, what if you could do that now… what if you KNEW for sure which companies were about to go through massive growth?  I want to let you in on a secret little list of mine that will tell you exactly that… Or…
– If we buy your company or if you “sell” or trade it for shares in another you can have ALL the benefit of going back in time and buying them 20 years ago… 

2.) “They shoot the white girl first.”

This was how Toni Morrison opened her 1997 novel Paradise.  This was Morrison’s first book after winning the Nobel Price in Literature in 1993, it became a selection in Oprah’s book club.  Morrison was a badass, she also won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1987 novel BelovedBarack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and she has a bunch of other awards and honors.  She was a badass.  Read her stuff.

So what an opening right?   Brilliant, isn’t it?  Who got shot, why and by whom?  You MUST know the answer.  The story starts with a struggle between a group of men and women and that battle continues throughout the whole book.

How me and my friends have used this…

What’s the lesson and the Emotional Hook?
– One way to position this is that it is about somebody GETTING it, the first one on the chopping block
– We all have a secret (or not so secret) insecurity that we are disliked by those around us and they are plotting our downfall with each waking moment

– We are ALL afraid that if the cards are down it is ME that will get the axe first

– Ask yourself this about your target, what totem pole or food chain are they at the bottom of that do or do not know about?  We are all “the white girl” for somebody, even if we aren’t it is best to always make yourself more necessary to your clients and the people who call you their client

– Focus on the emotion of being second best, the red-headed stepchild, being disposable, nobody wants to be the “white girl” yet we all FEAR that we are, FOMO, etc.

Today there is an obvious racial tone to this
– You probably want to stay away from that… for realz
– Me, I don’t give a fu**… kidding kidding… sheesh…
– This is a story about SOMEBODY getting it first, and we’ve all felt like that… dispensable
– The secret to creating income immunity (and being a better person) is to NEVER be on that list where your clients, employer, friends, etc. are ready to give the axe
– Let me ask you a question how important is it for your clients to keep paying you?  Is it vital or are you the “white girl” who is the first to go… whose chances of surviving a rough patch are the same as the slutty girl in a horror movie… this is to explain how we help client relations and make them the LAST to get a bullet
– So that’s the hook we’ve used to promote our CRM software, our client retention and lead gen stuff, how we get appointments for audits (which turn into business purchases or consulting deals) this is also a hook used with sellers: 

– “Realtors always have pocket listings that they promote more aggressively, fight for higher prices and overall do a better job for… here’s two questions to ask your realtor to see if you’re on THAT list or if you’re just “the white girl” about get shot (go expired)…”

– We’ve also used this when a company of ours that we we an interest in is being bought and there is a chance that our agreements (and our continued payments) are the “white girl” in which case we explain “It is important you pick the RIGHT things to label as the ‘white girl’ because if you pick the wrong one it can be catastrophic, so I just want to explain three things and then ask that we either sign a new contract or be released and allowed to compete…”  We also use this with MFM stuff as well, Propaganda Package, books, etc.  “You MUST make sure you’re never the white girl, here’s how to position yourself to avoid EVER being on that chopping block again…”

– NEVER fight to be taken off the chopping block, if anybody thinks you belong there then you do – all your work should be done ahead of time to avoid that categorizing and for your targets they KNOW they are always in danger of this so focus on which chopping blocks they are on or will be on and how you can help them avoid that

Effing brilliant.

3.) “124 was spiteful.”

That’s it.

Toni Morrison was so good that we’ll study the opening of her novel Beloved which (as said above) she won the Pulitzer for and how she became a finalist for The National Book Award.  The 1998 movie Beloved was based on this book as well.  A survey of writers and professional literary experts and critics was done by The New York Times in 2006, the results ranked Beloved as the best work of American fiction in the last 25 years.

That’s how it opened… that was it.

Who or what is 124?  Why spiteful?  Such a GOOD curiosity inducer.  The first paragraph introduces the possibilities and lets the reader know some detail about 124.  Later we find out that 124 is the spirit of a murdered baby who has come to haunt the mother who killed her, she is meant to symbolize the pains and suffering of slavery.  The first paragraph is a solid start:

124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter Denver were its only victims. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, was dead, and the sons, Howard and Buglar, had run away by the time they were thirteen years old — as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered it (that was the signal for Buglar); as soon as two tiny hand prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard). Neither boy waited to see more; another kettleful of chickpeas smoking in a heap on the floor; soda crackers crumbled and strewn in a line next to the doorsill. Nor did they wait for one of the relief periods: the weeks, months even, when nothing was disturbed.




Each one fled at once — the moment the house committed what was for him the one insult not to be born or witnessed a second time. Within two months, in the dead of winter, leaving their grandmother, Baby Suggs; Sethe, their mother; and their little sister, Denver, all by themselves in the gray and white house on Bluestone Road. It didn’t have a number then, because Cincinnati didn’t stretch that far. In fact, Ohio had been calling itself a state only seventy years when first one brother and then the next stuffed quilt packing into his hat, snatched up his shoes, and crept away from the lively spite the house felt for them.

Later in the book, the mood of 124 sets the tone of each chapter and section.  To attach such personality to a number so early on is a skill.  A good opener.

Here’s how I’ve used this example…

What’s the lesson or emotional pull?
– Given that a writer as skilled and talented as Morrison introduces a main character by pointing to her spite, it says a lot about what we can expect from 124
– This is true in general, if I asked your friends to summarize you in one sentence or word, what’s the first thing they are likely to say?
– Politicians often do polls where voters are asked to sum up the candidate in one word, BILLIONS are spent to forge that one word it is that important and we all care what people think about us
– One emotion here to work with is how angry, fed up, “frustrated” your target is, he feels like he is always late to the party… we help him be less spiteful.

What you are most spiteful about?

What would your kids say about you in one word?

When I ask business owners or investors about to describe their attitude about their growth… they are “spiteful”…

Start with the quote and then the significance of the work as usual
– Later we learn “124” is the spirit of a baby murdered by her own mother
– It is interesting that Morrison introduces 124 and the first thing she mentions is how “Spiteful” she was
– If a book was written about you, what would be the first thing people say about you?  For too many it would be “Spiteful” or something similar… because they don’t the history… this is how we promoted a family crest/history documents and plaque
– Another version was with same intro and then… for most investors/business/sellers owners if they were honest a book about them would start with the “Jack was spiteful” about his returns, his lazy staff, lost opportunities, vacancy rates, days on the market, laziness of her realtor, showings but no offers, offers but no sales, etc. and then we would help them invest or sell, etc.
– Basically we used them as the “Spiteful” ones, why the would be spiteful and how we can help them be less spiteful

Remember the pattern:

– First the sentence

– Then the background and why it such a big deal

– Then the lesson and transition… “124 was so spiteful that the very first thing we learn about her (and the book’s story to come) is that 124 was indeed spiteful… it’s interesting because as I talk to so many frustrated medical practice owners that is how they would sum up their attitude about the direction their business is going; they are spiteful.”

We also often include the Cherokee story of a wise man telling his grandson that every man has two wolves in him.  One is full of anger, resentment, hate, rage, laziness, lies, treachery, failures, excuses, nastiness, etc.  The other is full of hope, optimism, love, compassion, gratitude, kindness, achievement, charisma, all good things, etc.  The old man then says the two wolves are in you and constantly fighting to the death.

Boy: Which wolf will win?

Old man: The one you feed.

(mind blown)

Now the transition is to…

I’ve notice that with many real estate investors they are feeding the wrong wolf and they desperately want to see the opportunities so they can start feeding the RIGHT wolf…


… it is interesting because…

… I’m telling you that because…

… it is a good lesson for people trying to…

… I’ve always remembered that because…

… it is funny I see the same thing happen with…

… you also see the same thing happen with people who…

… I’ve always loved the secret lesson for X people and that is…

… it is fascinating to think about and the way it applies to me and you is…

… I’ve learned how important this is to people like you want to grow their real estate business because…

… when I first heard that I thought it was BS but then I realized it is actually life changing when you think about…

– Fourth start the Parallel

– Fifth, finally borrow the punchline and lesson

Next is a more recent example.

Another example… 

4.) “Dear Anyone Who Finds This, Do not blame the drugs.”

This is how cartoonist Lynda Barry started her 1999  illustrated novel Cruddy about a teenage runaway.  Barry won an Eisner Award and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (also called the Genius Grant) and many other awards.

The rest of the paragraph, the full first page is even better.  Look how this story begins:

Dear anyone who finds this, do not blame the drugs.  It was not the fault of the drugs.  I planned this way before the drugs were ever in my life.  And do not blame Vicky Talluso.  It was my idea to kill myself.  All she did was me a little push.  If you are hold this book right now it means that everything came out just the way I wanted it to.  I got my happily ever after.

Signed, Sincerely Yours,
The Author,

Roberta Rohbeson
1955 – 1971

Brilliant stuff.  It explains the situation, sets the tone of the novel and creates the atmosphere and narration for the entire book.

How we have used this…

What is the real lesson or EMOTION?
– Often in life we blame the consequence and NOT the cause, the LAST thing or factor in a bad decision and not the stuff that created a situation where all we needed was a push
– “The cost of being blameless is being powerless.”  If it isn’t your fault then you don’t need to do anything different
– So when any an agent blames the market, the economy, the buyers, etc. that is an LC, remember it FEELS GOOD to blame others for our problems and most will the few artists take blame and because of that they take back POWER

As real estate investors are watching more and more competition eat away at their profits and less leads that cost more money each, they are watching businesses slowly die and nearly all them are blaming the market, the economy, the GDP, etc.  In other words they ARE blaming the drugs… the (very, VERY few) smart investors know something that the rest don’t…

We go on to talk about getting trained correctly, or in the medical field buying other practices.

5.) “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

This is how Leo Tolstoy opens the famous Anna Karenina, which many writers consider to be the best work of literature ever written.  Yeah for realz.  It is more than 800 pages and was released over the span of four years in the 1870s.  Tolstoy is often considered to be one of the greatest authors of all time and when he didn’t win a Nobel Prize is considered one of the biggest Nobel controversies ever.  Tolstoy also wrote the famous works War and Peace (which is used in one of my fav quotes of all time from Lex Luthor) and Hadji Murad.

Okay I won’t make you wait or have to look it up, the quote is from the original 1978 Superman movies when Gene Hackman played (the best) Lex Luther (ever) and he says:

“Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.”

That itself is a great opener as I covered in the Humor Class.

Anyway, Tolstoy was brilliant 

So anytime somebody is that celebrated and their work is that revered, you should study it.

This opening line is something that I’ve used and modeled after in many presentations and speeches.  The idea that there is only ONE way to be “happy” and many ways to be unhappy is arguable, but I borrow and put it this way:

“There are many roads to mediocrity, but only one road to mastery: obsession.”  

– Azam Meo

That’s another thing these openings do, they allow you to borrow and calibrate them so you can have a similar effect.  Also talking about Tolstoy and other brilliant visionaries (like Azam Meo for example) automatically makes you seem far more intelligent.

If you are unique, does that require unhappiness?

That is what Tolstoy is suggesting that even though we all want to be “ourselves” or unique, it is in that lack of conforming that we will find misery, sadness, tragedy and ultimately unhappiness.  A gloomy outlook for sure, and definitely not true but it sounds good.

The story itself is about love and heartbreak and finding your true Soulmate.  There is a bit of irony in the heartbreak and I come away from it with the lesson that your focus should always be on GRATITUDE.  I guess that may say more about me than the book though.  I’ve never forgotten the opening line.

What’s the lesson and EMOTION:
– Nearly everybody is unhappy, just not unhappy enough to do anything about it, your target wants “happiness” whatever that means to them

– To get to any destination there are many more ways to get somewhere ELSE than to the desired goal, it is best to look at things with a binary “one or zero” approach and think there is only ONE way to the goal

– When a business is running smoothly you know exactly how the owner feels and how confident he is with every breath, on the other side when a business is struggling you may not know why but you definitely know the pit in the stomach the owner feels every night when he goes to sleep…

What if we could get ALL the good with none of the bad?

The EMOTION here…

is the feeling of running carefree through a meadow as a child versus that feeling when you’re scared of heights and about to plummet on a roller coaster…

It is interesting because when I ask struggling real estate investors and business owners how things are going, they always have a different path that they took that led them to financial ruin… however when I talk to the real estate folks who are killing it, they always did the same three things…

Same thing with docs, and with consulting, ownership, managing, software, etc.  Also with financial planners, real estate investors, etc. you can replace “struggling real estate investors” with any other group and focus on the difference between the “happy” and the “unhappy” being the answer you have…

… They had a system that brought their patients back like clockwork… they were actively buying other medical practices… they had ownership in at least TWO different businesses… they created at least ONE source of side income…   

6.) “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when the ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” 

How can you talk about American short stories without talking about one of the main inventors and pioneers of them, Edgar Allen Poe?  The above is how he started “The Cask of Amontillado“.   Poe is considered one of – if not THE – fathers of detective stories, mysteries, science fiction and psychological horror.  It seems like he is the first American author ever to earn his living off writing alone.

This line to start the story is interesting for a few reasons, one big reason is that it is never explained what insults Fortunato made against narrator Montresor.  This is even crazier when you see what he goes on to say 

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled—but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk.


I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. 

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

Wow read that again…

“… to smile in his face and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.”

That term – immolation – general referred to with some sort of sacrificial purpose, like a ritual where you burn somebody alive… or something like that, and again… 

We never find out WHY…

It has been speculated the narrator and “hero” had some mental illness that fabricated the insult.  At the end we learn that Fortunato is chained and basically buried alive as he his sealed behind a wall.  After doing this Montresor tells us that 50 years later Fortunato’s skeleton still remained chained and hidden behind the wall.

Burying somebody alive is pretty rough, and again it makes the mystery behind the motive even more fascinating.

Lesson and Emotion… Everybody is a snowflake.
–  Explain the back story and how this unknown insult led to a man being buried alive and killed in a horrible fashion
– It wasn’t the “thousand injuries” it was the INSULT that triggered him
– We are ALL easily triggered, your target clients (even though they may NEVER admit it) are little children who will get worked up over a simple gesture or phrase or even far less… and sent into a frenzy
– If we can get people to murder over an insult, the opposite must also be true, what if we could get them to act in a positive way with a basic word
– We make huge decisions often because of something very small

When I was a busboy in Indiana we used to have professional athletes from there Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts come through the restaurant and I quickly learned that the best way to ensure a big tip was to say the magic words “I’m a big fan.”

It was amazing how that tiny phrase FORCED a big tip.

Such a tiny hinge opened such a big door.

I wondered how many other small hinges opened big doors…

(then we get into this with clients, customers, etc.)

General Lessons on humans
– We are easily manipulated, highly impressionable and our actions/attitudes VERY flexible
– Just a small word, gesture, syllable, etc. can make a massive difference in your compliance
– Part of mastering emotion control is understanding these TINY Compliance Gainers

You NEED to understand this:

– Having people hold warm coffee versus cold coffee changed how they judged a character in a story, that Yale study is here.

– Health experiments done by Google revealed shocking results; by covering candy like M&Ms the employees ate millions of pieces less, by positioning water at eye level and soda down and behind people were 3x more likely to drink water, by moving junk food across the counter you were HALF as likely to eat it, etc.

Google’s experiments on keeping their employees healthy and drinking more water and less candy was easily done without “educating” employees or anything else like that just by making these TINY, nearly invisible, changes. 

– Think of it like putting your hands in hot water than room temperature, then cold versus room temperature.  You can CHANGE what something IS based on what you show them right before REMEMBER THIS.

– In retail I used to show the most expensive TVs, suits, shoes, etc.  

– After the Google experiment I tried one of my own with cookies wrapped “to go” and it had a SHOCKING result on me… 

– For more on this look into the Kuleshov Effect here.

This is also based on visual induction or the brain’s perception that one thing is related to another adjacent thing.  So two unrelated things create an EMOTIONAL connection when they are shown together.  What fires together WIRES together, this explains addiction; “I drink/smoke to relax, focus, etc.”

What fires together WIRES together

– The best propagandists and manipulators are ALWAYS doing this

– You can use the same powers for GOOD

– Take the hook, then the transition and EMOTION part

– What you see isn’t just influenced but what you see before but it can be DETERMINED by it

– Never ignore this lesson 

There are ALL kinds of ways to use this emotion: SMALL causes create VERY BIG results.

– One tiny change in a headline can 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x, 20x the ROI.  Think about that, an entire BUSINESS can be supported by a single ad:

“I’ll sell your house in 30 days flat or I’ll buy it myself.”

“Overworked real estate investor needs help, I’ll teach you the business and we’ll split your profits 50/50.”

“I’ll trade you houses?”  (this boosted the Sub2 ROI by 5x)  If you can no longer afford the payment on your house and need a way out…


The smallest change in a business can double, triple or hectuple (10 times) but how often are you really experimenting with that?  When was the last time you even tried to double your business?  I’ve been working with medical groups just like yours and I’ve test hundreds of tiny “hinges” to find the winning ones that can double or more a business overnight…

It’s amazing how small changes can have such a massive impact in the results, 10 realtors can try to sell a house and fail but then the seller comes to me and I put my magic system to work for them and BOOM, they got an offer in the first 30 days… it kept happening again and again… soon I started even guaranteeing that I would get a cash offer in 30 days or I’d buy the darn house myself!…

Subtle changes can have the most dramatic impact in the finally result.  If an airplane from California to New York is off by just six inches then it would end up in Florida, and that’s how so many investors feel right now.  They wanted to get to shiny New York and they are in the Florida swamplands.

Next up…

7.) “The magician’s underwear has just been found in a cardboard suitcase floating in a stagnant pond on the outskirts of Miami.”

Novelist Tom Robbins opened his first novel “Another Roadside Attraction” with that sentence in 1971.  Robbins went on to become a legendary writer, he was named the among the 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century by Writer’s Digest, well known critic Fernanda Pivano called him “the most dangerous writer in the world.”  In 2012 he won the Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Virginia.  The above excerpt was his FIRST sentence from his FIRST novel.

What’s the hook and how to use it?

– One play is the randomness of it, that’s one way to go

– The sentence itself is a great opener for a few reasons, I’ve used and created many headlines like this watch what happens when I just add one hook:

“Magician’s underwear found in cardboard suitcase floating in a stagnant pond on the outskirts of Miami… writing on underwear contains stock market secret that Nevada housewife used to turn $500 into over $500,000 in less than six months, leaving experts scratching their heads in astonishment.”

Or something like that.


8.) “There is a story behind my cousin Julia’s coma.”  

This was from a short story called Fairytale by J. Annie MacLeod the pseudonym of muli-award winning professor Jennifer Cognard-Black.

Anytime you mention a story being behind something it immediately activates curiosity and a need to know more.  There’s a story behind why I made this video… see?

The transition:

When you first read the sentence it kind of feels like that scene in Titanic when Jack yells “I’m the king of the world!”  Everything seems so perfect, but not to us because we know of the tragedy to come.  As soon as we know that Julia ends up in a coma it paints how we see everything else we are about to learn about her story. 

I don’t know the story behind your foreclosure or why you’re late on payments but…

I want to know it, I’ve heard hundreds just like it and the process of getting folks out of foreclosure is, frankly, pretty easy and not that big of a deal.  It is their story and the way their lives are improved when I can help them, THAT is what really motivates me…


There’s a story behind the “big” assignment fee…

The emotion or the HOOK:

– Your target has a story that they want to share but “nobody” wants to hear it

– What background info about your target would better inform about who they are?  What parts of their story would tighten your relationship?  What are the best parts of their story that go unappreciated by the friends, family, employees and/or coworkers?

– How does their ‘story’ form their standards and decision making processes now, who do they credit/blame and why?

– How can you use YOUR story or background info, research or development info, origin story, etc. to help them develop a better perspective and gratitude regarding your positioning… like with the assignment fees versus double closings (when you explain things MY way you’ll NEVER have problems with even six/seven figure assignments and investors will JOYFULLY pay you)…


Yes they’ll pay six figures… JOYFULLY.  = )

Another example… 

9.) “Go ahead,” Adrian said, “pull the trigger.”

Indigenous American writer Sherman Alexie wrote this as the first words in his short story “The only traffic signal on the reservation doesn’t flash red anymore.”  Alexie has won many awards like the American Book Award, the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Odyssey Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, he was among the 20 writers for The New Yorker, the PEN/Heminway Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas and a list of others.  

“Go ahead,” Adrian said, “Pull the trigger.”

I held a pistol to my temple.  I was sober but wished I was drunk enough to pull the trigger.

“Go for it,” Adrian said, “You chickenshit.”

While I still held that pistol to my temple, I used my other hand to flip Adrian off.  Then I made a fist with my third hand to gather a little bit of courage or stupidity, and wiped sweat from my forehead with my fourth hand.

“Here,” Adrian said.  “Give me the damn thing.”

Adrian took the pistol, put the barrel in his mouth, smiled around the metal, and pulled the trigger.  Then he cussed wildly, laughed, and spit out the BB.

The transition:

I remember reading this and being taken back that Adrian would react to a gun in his face by ASKING for the trigger to be pulled.  That fearlessness was inspiring during a time where everything scared me, financially at least.  When I was dead broke and didn’t have money for a quarter tank of gas I was scared of even the smallest things.  A flat tire, a plumbing repair, my kids coughing or getting sick, etc. even the slightest cost would break the bank.  One day I looked in the mirror and made myself a promise that if I ever figured out how to become financially fearless and have the nerve of Adrian to look  (financial) death in the face and laugh, that I would go back and bring everybody else up with me.

This letter is me fulfilling that promise…

The emotion and the HOOK:

– Everybody wants the freedom from their FEAR, just like Adrian, what would it take to lift your targets burdens?  What is the biggest fear your target has that they would LOVE to one day laugh?  What is the best illustration that your target has conquered their fear?

– You can also go in another direction about being Adrian “suicidal”, what was the bottom of your target’s life where they were most likely to say “just shoot me” and what does that say about them now?

– Being Financially Fearless or free of our current phobias, concerns, shackles, etc. is like a permanent vacation.  Your target wants to feel that freedom, what pain can you help the get rid of?

“The marvelous thing is that it’s painless,” he said.

Since we corrected the record about Ernest Hemingway and the six sentence story myth, it makes sense to include an example from him.  This is how Hemingway started his famous story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”  It was later made into a movie starring Hollywood legend Gregory Peck and Oscar nominated actress Ava Gardner (who was also Frank Sinatra‘s ex-wife), the movie went on the become one of the most successful movies of the 1950s.

Here’s the full intro:

The marvelous thing is that it’s painless,” he said. “That’s how you know when it
“Is it really?”
“Absolutely. I’m awfully sorry about the odor though. That must bother you.”
“Don’t! Please don’t.”
“Look at them,” he said. “Now is it sight or is it scent that brings them like that?”
The cot the man lay on was in the wide shade of a mimosa tree and as he looked
out past the shade onto the glare of the plain there were three of the big birds squatted
obscenely, while in the sky a dozen more sailed, making quick-moving shadows as they
“They’ve been there since the day the truck broke down,” he said. “Today’s the first
time any have lit on the ground. I watched the way they sailed very carefully at first in
case I ever wanted to use them in a story. That’s funny now.”

“I wish you wouldn’t,” she said.
“I’m only talking,” he said. “It’s much easier if I talk. But I don’t want to bother
“You know it doesn’t bother me,” she said. “It’s that I’ve gotten so very nervous not
being able to do anything. I think we might make it as easy as we can until the plane
“Or until the plane doesn’t come.”
“Please tell me what I can do. There must be something I can do.
“You can take the leg off and that might stop it, though I doubt it. Or you can shoot
me. You’re a good shot now. I taught you to shoot, didn’t I?”
“Please don’t talk that way. Couldn’t I read to you?”
“Read what?”
“Anything in the book that we haven’t read.”
“I can’t listen to it,” he said.” Talking is the easiest. We quarrel and that makes the
time pass.”
“I don’t quarrel. I never want to quarrel. Let’s not quarrel any more. No matter how
nervous we get. Maybe they will be back with another truck today. Maybe the plane will
“I don’t want to move,” the man said. “There is no sense in moving now except to
make it easier for you.”
“That’s cowardly.”
“Can’t you let a man die as comfortably as he can without calling him names?
What’s the use of clanging me?”
“You’re not going to die.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m dying now. Ask those bastards.” He looked over to where the
huge, filthy birds sat, their naked heads sunk in the hunched feathers. A fourth planed
down, to run quick-legged and then waddle slowly toward the others.
“They are around every camp. You never notice them. You can’t die if you don’t
give up.”

What’s the lesson: Dying is painless compared to regret.  (wow, read that again)
– Harry is kind of an a-hole, he hates his wife and women in general, although he grows to appreciate her by the time he dies
– The story is of a man on his deathbed and reflecting on his life and in doing so have many regrets
– Your target has many regrets – if you were on your deathbed and had less than an hour to live, what would you do?  If you had a day to live?  If you had one week left to live, how would you spend it?  Not at your practice right?  That means you are waiting to live your REAL life… what would your regret the most in their final hour if it was today?  How can you help that final hour filled with more gratitude…

The Transition:

What if could get you the same income but half the hours?  What if I could show you a way to sell your practice for more than it’s worth AND still get your full time income while you stay at home?  I may be able to help you trade your practice for ownership shares in a much larger group that pays you monthly and quarterly dividends that match your current income…

We’ve used this with doctors

– This can be easily applied to ANY other group as well

– Anytime you ask about having an hour left to live, all the BS disappears and we realize how much mental energy is spent on nonsense it is a good framer for ANY conversation

– With ANY business owner, entrepreneur, etc. they know the pain of REGRET of NOT taking advantage of opportunities and so they focus on minimizing that and remind them that they secretly dream of MUCH MORE and they never imagined they’d be stuck where they are NOW is the time to get out of the daily rut or one year, two years, etc. will be the same

– We also mention the TIME experiments and how time actually disappears with monotony and expands with breakthroughs, record breaking and the unique

10.) “You better not never tell nobody but God.”

That is the first line in “The Color Purple” written by famed author and activist Alice Walker.  The book won the 1983 Pulitzer for Fiction, a National Book Award and many other honors and awards.  It has been made into a musical and film as well.

The movie version was directed by Steven Spielberg and was world’s first introduction to Oprah Winfrey, it also helped launch other careers of people like Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover.  The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, won four Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for – and won – many other awards.

About the line…

The person speaking is the father of the 14 year old Celia, is telling her not to tell anybody that he raped her because it could kill her already sick mom.  Dark stuff.  It is a sign of things to come and it starts her letter to “Dear God”.  Brilliant opening.

Lessons – there are a few and a newer one:

– In the story the father goes on to tell the girl that if she tells and the mother finds out it will kill her, a psych prof client of ours had a friend in the exact same situation that was too scared to tell and it is because of that situation that she decided as a child to get into psych field – we use that story with scholarship drive to get more donors

– Also a lesson that we don’t speak up or ask for help because we are scared, but help – for sexual abuse, domestic violence or financial help – is always a good idea when done correctly…

– We also have used this for donation drives with women’s shelters, people don’t speak up MOST of the time so we need to show a guiding light for the ones who do

– In general when it comes to terrible crimes we are shamed or scared into silence, we all know what it is like to be scared of speaking up, how can you help your target be the hero they want to be?

11.) “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”

This is one of my all time favorite lines, it was written by Zora Neale Hurston in her novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God” in 1937.  There is a LOT to day about Hurston and how this work came to be, so we should look at her personal background and story a bit more.  This was also made into a movie starring Halle Berry, don’t worry it is more like X-men Halle Berry and NOT Catwoman Halle Berry.  At any rate, the book is much better and legendary.

First here is the full opening:

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.

She also heavily influenced (or perhaps created) the John Lennon and Yoko Ono the famous song “The Woman is the Nigger of the World.”  There is one of the first interviews of Billy Idol ever where he speaks strongly about the song and theme.

The sentence from the book: 

“De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”

Zora Neale Hurston

– Born in Alabama but family moved to Eatonville, Florida at the age of three
– She grew up during INTENSE racial tensions, Eatonville was the first all black incorporated township 
– Her mother died and she was sent away for school, dropped out and worked as a maid
– To qualify for high school she changed her birth date by 10 years
– She went to Howard University and started working on her PHD in anthropology at Columbia University
– She wrote essays, novels, plays, etc. her anthropology work got accolades and awards as did her auto biography, but nothing sold well or got much traction
– Returning to Florida she worked as a substitute teacher and (again) as a maid
– Struggling with money she lived in a welfare home, got sick and died in 1960 and was buried in unmarked grave in Eatonville
– After her death her belongings and writings were to be burned, a friend just happened to see the first and put it out to save her work that is the ONLY reason her papers and writings exist today
– During her lifetime, her work went mostly unnoticed for DECADES, as recent as 2001 and even in 2018 her work has been published after recently being found in Smithsonian archive material

“I have made phenomenal growth as a creative artist. … I am not materialistic … If I do happen to die without money, somebody will bury me, though I do not wish it to be that way…”  – Hurston

Alice Walker (yes the author from above The Color Purple) comes to the rescue

– In 1973 Walker tried to find Hurston’s grave and bought a headstone calling her “A Genius of the South” and wrote an article “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston” about her in Ms. Magazine
– THIS moment was when interest in Hurston’s work was revived
– It was only after this that her writings were widely circulated, published, acclaimed, etc.
– In a poem Walker wrote about Hurston’s novel “I love the way Janie Crawford left her husbands.”
– It was Alice Walker who made sure that Hurston’s work would live on

Now about the actual book:

– It is a complex story dealing with racism, male/female roles, feminism, etc.

– Throughout the book she has relationships ends up getting money, power, etc. and in the end she is telling her life story to “Phoebe” as she is back home and un-trusted by the community

– “I’ve been to the horizon and back… you have to go there to know there…”  She DID get the all those “wishes” and it made no difference she is right back where she started and just as miserable or happy based on how she CHOOSES to be

– Phoebe Watson says she has become “10 feet higher just from listening to Janie”, THAT is the point of life and it took her meeting this random person at the END of her life to realize it

The Emotional Hook

– We ALL look at the horizon and hope that our wishes are out there, just beyond our reach and that line “never landing until the watcher turns away his eyes in resignation” WOW… really think about that, that as long as you watch/wish you NEVER get it

– Your target is always hoping that he will get that “one thing” that will change everything IT NEVER DOES, the story of Janie is all about that; she got wealth and power and none it mattered she was always “herself” and until she fixed that nothing else mattered

– Your target is scared that they have settled in life and (Azam’s quote) “the more you stay on the shores of comfort, the more you’re convinced that the horizon has everything you want” 


It is interesting to see this affect with medical practices, as their profits begin to decline they start grasping at straws hoping that each new shiny object will save them from the train wreck… they keep looking to their boats at the distance… well over the past 10 years I’ve specialized in helping the hopeless shore-bound practices get to the best booty from the most packed boats…

… The amazing thing about this is that if you talk to 100 real estate investors you will find over 95 are blindly focused on the “horizon’s ships” and the big secret for finding motivated sellers… they chase the shiny objects of facebook ads, google marketing, social media, they think if they just “twitter” better or something like that then they’ll hit it big… well here’s the big secret that I’ve never seen anybody ANYWHERE figure out… you can build your real estate business and get it to 30k/mo all with FREE leads, no need to spend ANY money on marketing for “motivated sellers”… if you think you NEED money or a marketing budget then you are staring at the ships on the horizon without even knowing it… ALL you need is a phone and THAT is how you know you’re skilled…

Many more examples…

(use the wishful eyes to your advantage and realize that EVERYBODY secretly wants to believe that there is a magic bullet, by focusing on that it is NOT you can create just as much desire as focusing on what “it” actually is)

… What if the answer to doubling your business, then redoubling and working less and less to a point where your staff doesn’t even know what you look like, what if the bridge to that Utopia is just from a SINGLE… letter… yeah I said letter and before you laugh you want to read what these five doctors said after THREE DAYS of working with me…

Many other great examples too – DO THIS.

Also this kind of work is helpful and gets your brain working and focused on the deep and meaningful ideas of mankind.

Get around these ideas, one of my other favs…

Another great author of the time Carter G. Woodson

– Historian, author, journalist and legendary activist
– Considered “father” of black history, pioneer in developing African-American history, in February 1926 launched Negro History Week which was first version of “Black History Month
– Son of slaves worked in coal mine and eventually became 2nd black person ever to get a PhD from Harvard, started Association of the Study of African American Life and History
– The U.S. Post Office create a 20-cent stamp in his honor, Library of Congress held an exhibition to honor him, had a google doodle of Woodson in February 2018, much more stuff
– People like him should be studied, he wrote The Mis-Education of the Negro in 1933

The oppressor has always indoctrinated the weak with his interpretation… Philosophers have long conceded, however, that every man has two educations: that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself…

… If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one. 

In Conclusion…

(Oh and I just put the class again here just above)

I hope this post helped you get over writer’s block and always have a well of brilliance to go to so you know how to start great stories.  You should also now know how to tell those great, time tested stories and borrow the emotional hook for your own compliance moves.  Remember that copy writing, especially for real estate investors, is one of those high income and mobility creating skills so you want to learn this.

Now go out and double, redouble and then double AGAIN your business…

Much love and makes sure to check another epic post on copy writing for real estate investors here as well.  You’ll love it.

Much love!

~ Indy Anna

Want more (brilliantly) EPIC posts of real estate investing and bidness badasssery...?

There is a great post and class on the 38 Ways to Buy Apartment Buildings Zero Down with Pet Policies, and here are some other helpful and EPIC posts... for starters as a real estate investor if you ever want to build a business that makes you 30 grand a month then you MUST do this...

Wanna Create Generational Passive Income Buying Real Estate and Small Businesses?

Here's a class on exactly how to make $30,000 in passive income as an out of state Indy landlord.  Exactly how many Indiana rental properties do you need to make 30 grand a month.  Anna can you help me invest in Indianapolis turnkey real estate investment properties?

There's also a great class Azam did on how anybody can retire in the next 1-2 years with $30,000 a month in passive income by buying and selling businesses zero down.  What about Micro Flipping?  We have a great class on how to start micro-flipping real estate zero down from your house and make $500/day, speed wholesaling 101.

There’s also another great class on how to buy apartment buildings zero down that you can check out as well.  This relates directly to growing income on rental properties.  Speaking of which make sure to check out our epic page on 14 ways to avoid tenants from hell.  Also we have a great post on how to make build a "six figure a month" real estate wholesaling business.

Also here is a post on how I did this and I flipped a house off Zillow for 30.  Also you can check out the post on five steps to flip a house right off Zillow for 40 grand.  You can also check out our other epic post on 57 ways to make money with vacant land.

Here’s another post on how a Hero flipped a house off Zillow and made 40k in a few weeks while he was learning to read.  Also you want to check our post on the EPIC $25 million letter and the copy writing lessons for real estate investors, you'll love it.  Also you can see how ONE letter is making me $9,000 a month.  Also you can check out the post on 101 FREE places to advertise your houses.

Also check out the "SA" class and your REAL chances of create social mobility and income ascension with your real estate business.  Brilliant stuff.  Also there is a great post on the ONLY way you'll ever make 30 grand a month as a real estate investor and/or business builder.  Another brilliant class with a free downloadable Investor Guide is about 19 Ways to Make $10,000 a Month by Helping Tired Landlords.

Plus make sure you check out Azam's post on how to hire a realtor that makes you $10,000 a month... while you sit back with your shoes kicked up on your desk and fingers folded behind your head.  Also there is a great post on how to make five grand a week from putting out signs.

Also we have some great posts on 30 ways to buy real estate with no money down.  That is a two part series so make sure to watch the second part on the 30 ways to buy real estate zero down and with no loans or credit.  I also get questions about our "Epic Flipping" and how to turn $1 into over $25,000 by flipping ordinary items for exponentially high ROI.

And don’t forget our EPIC page on 100 FREE ways to find motivated sellers, we are making the number one page in the world on FREE ways of finding motivated sellers.  Also check out how I find motivated sellers from code violation properties, and also how I make over $1,500 a week giving investors access to that list

Speaking of lists, for a list of the "Good People" and My Indy Anna Homeys - this is a FREE list of EVERY possible contact that you'll ever need to build a real estate business in the Indianapolis or the Midwest.

You can also get a LONG list of every contract, piece of paperwork and legal document that you'll EVER need for your real estate business all FREE to download.

Also perhaps the most important class Azam has done is on the "Frequency of Thought" and how to use the laws of quantum physics to rewire your brain, attract brilliance like a lightning rod and be the best version of yourself.  Check out this epic 3-hour class on Quantum Real Estate.

When I first go started I thought wouldn't it be great if somebody put together ONE list of every possible contact that I would ever need to build a passive income with Indiana real estate - or any Midwest real estate?  Well that's exaclty what I did with our “People Page” here it is:

A totally FREE list of every possible real estate professional contact you’ll ever need to do unlimited deals, start and scale your real estate business and create generational passive income with real estate anywhere Indiana or the Midwest.

Stay here at BigReia.com and you’ll become allergic to being an LC and addicted to improving the world and creating Income Ascension and Social Mobility for you and yours… 

Thanks so much!  = )

Make the Universe Smile.

~ Indy Anna
Love (at) BigReia.com
(YES that's my actual Direct Line and I really do answer lol, so please text me first Thx!)

Free Comic Book Reveals:

100 FREE ways to find motivated sellers.

Free Comic Book Reveals:

100 FREE ways to find motivated sellers.