Too many business leaders are looking to the future and shaking in their shoes. They fear intense competition. The new year moving forward. Change. Technology. Price wars. Product limitations. Employee turnover. Unsatisfied customers. The list goes on.
Yet a quick peek into history reveals that many of the solutions to our future problems are in the past. P.T. Barnum, for example, created an empire, made himself globally (and eternally) famous, helped his employees and partners become rich, and did it all during the Civil War, slavery, famine, political upheaval, and economic panics.
Furthermore, he did it without radio, television, computers, faxes, or the Internet! How? Barnum and other business leaders from history employed some bottom-line methods for success that were no-frills tools anyone can still use today -- if we know of them.
For example, in one of my books, I describe how Barnum took a little boy that no one thought was very special and turned him into the world's first superstar -- as General Tom Thumb.
And I discovered in my research of Barnum how he took the famous Swedish soprano Jenny Lind, an American unknown, and made her the talk of the country. Barnum made Thumb and Lind — and himself — rich. But his secret was something anyone can use today: publicity, creativity, and audacity.
And you don't need high technology to accomplish it!
Read biographies of great leaders. Find out what they did to weather their storms, survive, and ultimately prosper. Five days before he died in 1891, P.T. Barnum wrote, "If you faithfully follow my methods you cannot fail." Here was a millionaire, a business leader,
a celebrity, saying that he knew a formula for success potent at any time and for anyone.
How do you discover his and other formulas today? By studying the past! Futurists are popular now because every leader wants a handle on the future. Yet the great irony these days may be that your future success depends on lessons you learn from the past. In other words, if you want to know how to handle the new century, turn back the pages of history and find out how leaders handled the turn of the last century.
Like you, they were human beings. They, too, had hopes and fears, challenges and problems. They solved their problems and achieved their dreams without the fancy tools of today. Learn their past techniques, add present technology to them, and you can handle anything the future may bring.
In short, what a leader should be thinking about right now is — the past!
Marketing in the Roman Empire – and How to Make It Your Own
People have always been fascinated with ancient Rome. More than 15 centuries after its fall, the Roman Empire continues to profoundly influence world history. But few have ever explored how Rome marketed itself to greatness. It wasn't all blood and guts, gladiators and chariots, togas and swords. There was a strategy and a mission, too.
After all, how could an ancient class of poor farmers rule most of Europe? Why would people leave their farms and their families to travel into unknown territories and fight barbaric wars? They were basically self-sufficient. They didn't even have a need for money until the third century. What's the deal here?
Roman Marketing was the key. In short, it was a powerhouse strategy practiced by the greatest emperors to instill hypnotic confidence in soldiers, allegiance from the public, and victory over almost all enemies.
Here's how the Roman Marketing keys worked:
1. Create a mythology.
Rome did not have an inspiring past. Since it lacked the rich mythological sources of ancient Greece, Rome filled in the holes by making up their own culture. They created their own legend. They told stories of Rome being founded by the survivors of Troy. Another story said Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus. These stories awakened a sense of the heroic in people. It gave them pride and confidence. It helped soldiers agree to fight for a country that was "the glory of Rome." Battle wounds became symbols of pride. It's no accident that Rome's principal god was Mars — the god of war. With that kind of deity on your side, why NOT go into battle?
2. Share your wealth.
In the early days of Rome, citizens had no choice but to serve in the army. And they might serve up to 20 years. Why would they agree? Because Roman leaders made it worth their while. Soldiers were given land and later, when it was useful to have, money. Whenever an enemy was defeated, the goods were divided among the soldiers as well as the leaders. A happy soldier was a loyal soldier. Generosity was a trait adored in Rome. In later years, when greedy Roman leaders were more reluctant to share their wealth with their troops, soldiers were more reluctant to fight — and Rome fell.
3. Rouse the public.
Ancient Rome knew the value of songs, parades, monuments, paintings and displays in creating loyalty among the public. Many Roman leaders wrote books which conveyed their views as well as gained them popularity. Roman writers used drama and poetry to spread the fame of Rome. These public shows were designed to entertain the public as well as convince them of the greatness of Rome. They worked so well that the public eagerly awaited celebrations. Some of these events lasted for days. One lasted 123 days.
4. Discipline yourself and your employees.
Roman soldiers worked hard, fought hard, and knew the value of discipline. Self-control was worshiped. But discipline didn't always mean punishment. It meant following a lifestyle proven to get results. That method included hard training as well as daily relaxation. Soldiers relaxed before battle. Evenings were a time of quiet. Even business dealings were not discussed over dinner. Leaders saw that followers were given time to renew themselves. A rested warrior was a strong warrior. Soldiers were trained to follow proven rules designed to do one thing: Win at all costs.
5. Lead by example.
Julius Caesar remains one of history's greatest commanders. He led by personal example. He would address his troops as "fellow soldiers." He knew the names of every one of his soldiers. He often led battles from the front lines. He let his own confidence filter through the ranks. He also befriended the masses. He gave food to the poor. He provided banquets and receptions, complete with entertainment. He had his face stamped on Roman coins as a reminder of his leadership. He even brought the first hippopotamus from Africa, all for the purpose of winning loyalty so people would follow him wherever he wanted to take them.
How can you make Roman Marketing work for you today? Let's see...
1. Create stories about your business.
When you talk about people you have served who love your product or service, you create a sense of loyalty among your employees and a sense of desire in prospects. You create a culture. A mythology. Stories sell.
2. Share your profits.
Share your profits with your employees, with your community, or with other worthy causes. When you share your wealth, you open your mind psychologically to receive more, and you create goodwill among the people you touch. All of this is good publicity for your business and you. Sharing sells.
3. Awaken the public's support for your business.
Let the public know when you do good deeds, help people, share wealth, invent something or do something that helps your local area or the world in general. Support the world, and it will support you. Publicity sells.
4. Discipline yourself and your employees.
Be at work on time, create and implement a plan that brings you new business, focus on a goal and work until you achieve it, and be sure to also relax and spend time with family and friends. Create a set of principles that work and follow them. Discipline sells.
5. Lead your people.
Let customers and employees see your own enthusiasm for what you do. They will model your behavior. Act with passion and be congruent, and you'll win their hearts and minds. People want to be led. Leadership sells.
Compared to the atrocious warring times of ancient Rome, today we live in paradise. But here's the best news of all: When you apply Roman Marketing keys to your own business, you'll find that you won't have to do something nearly every ancient Roman had to do: Fight to win.
Are You Being Outrageous Enough?
One of my most popular e-books consists of 47 "Unspoken Marketing Secrets." One of the more talked-about secrets stated that people will believe a wild claim if it is just this side of believable.
Some people thought I was going overboard on that one. I wasn't. People will believe just about anything, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can profit from it.
Want proof? Let me march in just a little of the colorful evidence:
Exhibit A: In 1749, two noble Englishmen wanted to prove that people would pay to see the absurd. They ran an ad that claimed a man would appear on stage in one week. Said man would then jump into a common wine bottle. While inside, he would sing. Did people respond to the ad? The public stormed the theater. Hundreds stood outside, unable to get in due to the crowd. When nothing happened, they rioted, trashed the theater, carried debris into the street and burned it all. They were really mad.
Exhibit B: In the mid-1800s, P.T. Barnum displayed a mermaid at his museum. How did the public respond? His ticket sales tripled. (Tripled!) It didn't matter that the "mermaid" was an obvious manufacture, a weird blend of monkey and fish. People wanted to see it and decide for themselves what it was. Get that: They WANTED to see it.
Exhibit C: When a circus in the mid-1950s said they had a unicorn on display, fifty percent more people came to see the show. (FIFTY percent more sales!) How can you argue with a fifty percent increase in business? Were the people stupid? No. They were CURIOUS.
Exhibit D: When a network television show in the 1980s aired an "alien autopsy," ratings increased. Surely people didn't think they were about to see a REAL alien! Or did they? Maybe they just HOPED to see one.
Exhibit E: I now live outside of a small Texas Hill Country town called Wimberley. In late 2001, my girlfriend and I left a restaurant only to be stopped by the screaming bold headline on a local newspaper: "UFO LANDS IN WIMBERLEY!" Did we think a UFO really landed near us? No. Did we pick up the newspaper? Yes. In fact, we grabbed extra copies to give to family and friends. We also agreed that if we were going to advertise in any newspaper, it would be THAT one. What did the headlines on the other newspapers that day say? I have no idea. Who cares?
Look. People are fascinated by the outrageous. They want to believe in aliens, ghosts, mermaids and more. They want to watch a man sing from inside a wine bottle and see a pony with a horn on its head. Who can blame them, really? Don't those scenarios sound exciting?
Come on. Admit it. Which would you rather see: A pony or a unicorn? A wine bottle or a man in it singing? A fish or a mermaid? Another boring show on TV or the world's first alien autopsy?
Most people in business simply aren't outrageous enough. This doesn't mean you should mislead your customers, but you can certainly entertain them with something unbelievable —but possible.
Maybe the real question is this: Are you being outrageous enough for your customers and clients?
If you aren't, you're probably disappointing them.
Think about it.
Right now I have to go on our neighborhood UFO watch. It's my turn to hold the flashlight.
Yes, I'm ready to receive total abundance — here and now!
Please send me Joe Vitale's 6-CD audio program The Abundance Paradigm: Moving from the Law of Attraction to the Law of Creation, plus the writable PDF workbook, to try for 30 days for JUST $1.00.
If I don't immediately see and receive MORE of what I want after using these techniques, I will simply return the program. I'll even get my dollar back! No questions asked. Otherwise, I will pay the discounted price of just $79.95, which is $10 off the regular price, at the end of my 30-day trial.