« Open Mike I: Abe Lincoln Played Pool | Main | Roger Cicala's Nine Commandments »

Sunday, 23 June 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I haven't read this book but I ordered it instantly because my first reaction was exactly like yours, and yet you ended up finding it valuable.

I'm convinced that a fraction of the population understands money in a non-emotional way and does far better than the rest of us who have ... issues with it. I'm hoping to switch sides.

Mike, I would agree with Eolake's fundamental approach. Since brevity is the soul of wit, I will put it this way: "There's a sucker born every minute". Modern consumers will pay anything they're asked to for anything they're told they should have. A friend of mine who is building a photography business was agonizing over what to charge. I suggested choosing an appropriate amount for any given service-- then, double it. It worked.

You forgot to add the "SA*", right?

Yeah, it seems to work that way. I worked at a place where everyone had to pay for the computer support we provided. Because we were in-house we charged something like 20 bucks an hour. And we had more business than we had staff. So, to try and reduce the load, rather than increase staff, we tripled our rates. And we got more business! We raised them again thinking that would get the work aligned with available staff. Nope, more business. It's one of those "go figure" things.

From Amazon: "one woman claims she won $1.7 million in the lottery using the techniques presented within these pages."

I wonder: do I have to finish the entire book before buying my winning ticket?

I wish it was that easy. In the absence of competition you can easily set your price higher and higher until the market pushes back. You can even do some analysis and figure out an optimum price but that takes real effort and fooling around with prices can alienate customers.

With competition people have the option of shopping around. In my case I have competitors with an obviously inferior service and with a much lower price. So what can I do, offer an inferior service as well and play the me-too game, or find a way to effectively sell a premium service and demonstrate to the customer why it is worth the money.

Some customers still won't get it and will go for the inferior product again and again (and get burned whether they realize it or not). The customers that do get it are the ones that I want to cultivate and hang on to.

Read you. Bought it. Hope for it.

Sometimes the obvious escapes us.
I've given away over 3 dozen copies of Al Ries and Jack Trout's "The Twenty Two Immutable Laws of Marketing" to some of the clueless marketing types I've met.
I always tell people to pay particular attention to Law 4, The Law of Perception (Reality is nothing, perception is everything) and Law 20, The Law of Hype. (Real revolutions don't get announced at a press conference timed for the evening news, but instead sneaks in in the middle of the night and takes over.)

You "almost" had me. For an instant. Then I went to the Amazon link and started to read the example pages. The "pearl of wisdom" that bothered me most was that "poor people is not spiritual",in fact all the speaking about the positive essence of Money and not having it as not being in tune with the universe is the most appalling praise of Capitalism and Consumerism. Perhaps the book get better (I doubt it), but in this case these few pages are the baddest form of publicity that I have ever read...

Mike, did you forget the "SA" warning?

There is a documentary I saw on NetFlix "The Secret". Once I got past the production values - a bit ickey for my tastes, there was some really interesting stuff being explored - "the law of attraction" which seems to be the theme of your money book.

I would love to hear what you think a year after ;-)

I have read many of these books before. I think there's a real pragmatic set of things that works but the more new agey aspect ends up being more materially based than the theory would suggest. A easy example: be more positive and you will attract more positive.

Sure, if you are more positive many people may like hanging around you which gives you contacts etc. nothing metaphysical about it.

On the price of services- A possible non agey reason - if you price something too low (for its market) people may think its not very good,etc. There's indeed a balance. Price über high (think Leica s2 ;-)) and see how many clients you get.

Either way, its good to reevaluate what you are selling and price to what you deserve. In the end, whatever works, just don't join a cult ;-)

If you think Stuart Wilde's "The Trick to Money is Having Some!" is weird you should not read his other books. A self-styled guru of the New Age he wrote many little books (more like glorified pamphlets). I "discovered" him in Taos. They all ended in the trash.

I'm glad to hear some money is flowing your way, your blog is the best part of my morning's read. I took a look at Eolake Stobblehouse's blog and found this touching story about the power of photography:

.........Indeed Mike. Years ago a lady friend of mine said, " You want
more money? Make more money ". It did not take me long to figure out what she meant. I raised my prices and WAHLA....more money
for the same thing I did the week before. Of course I then worried
the clients would find someone else who was not yet using the
instant riches method.

Mike, after reading this post, I got the book (despite having a very bad feeling about it). And started reading it, and I feel the same as you: this smells goofy as hell. But I will continue reading, ONLY because it has been advised by someone like you.

Hopefully it will be worth the time, but still I don't get where it is going, and honestly I'm tempted to not believe a single word.

But hey, will read in full, and we will see.

Well hey!
May be you will be able to buy that perfect house you wrote about a few weeks ago.

I've just downloaded the book as a Kindle thing and haven't begun to read it yet. Two things that strike me.

1. There's a lot of good, simple truth in this piece.
2. Some people will get angry and defensive about it.

Wow. Cue the sceptics: "Mike has finally flipped his lid," etc.
(Oh, congrats on saying this publicly.)

But many years ago, when the only big numbers I knew appeared in red, I stumbled over that book in a dime bin outside a used-book store. And while it took a while to turn my mess around, when it did, it was big.
(Warning: many people, including me, think that this is the only book of Wilde's which is not just *too* Wilde.)

It's amazing so *many* people suffer from that syndrome: too much work, but they can't get themselves to raise their prices! It is self-sabotage.

Wow... I'm sure the comments for this post will be ALL over the place.

Mike, I am very happy that my gift had such a good effect.

Oh, I almost forgot: I used the title of the book as title for one of my most successful articles ever.

It's a mix of the "goofy" with the highly practical. :-)

OK, I bought the book, in part because what you say about higher prices is something I have been thinking about lately.

In return you have to answer a question for me: How the heck to you pronounce Eolake Stobblehouse? This has been bothering me for years since I first discovered his site -- I think even before TOP existed.

Leica has read this book

So are you going to let us know how much richer you are now, through sales of this book? - well at least how many copies sold through the link?


Well, I bought it, and I'm about 11 percent through on my Kindle. Not sure I will be able to finish, as it is likely the worst book I have ever read, written by someone who sounds like a cross between Ayn Rand, Rush Limbaugh and Mr. Rogers. Not only does he write off the poor as apathetic and lazy, he says that those who died in WW2 were "souls who had metaphysically finished their current evolution on the earth plane. The rest who died were those who, not being particularly strong, or who being particularly thick when it came to reading circumstances, got sucked into the national karma and were overwhelmed by events."

This is gross individualism at its lowest form.

[Yes, it's loads of "cant and nonsense" in Dr. Johnson's apt phrase. But the damn thing worked, was my point. --Mike]

Gato, "Eolake Stobblehouse" is simply pronounced in English. If you let a computer read it aloud, it's pretty close (A new Mac actually does it nigh perfect).
Accent on E. Short O-sound. "Lake" like Lake Michigan.

Stobble like stubble, house like haus.

It's not my given name, it's an affectation. A friend, a musician, has a pseudonym, and I discovered many of his friends and colleagues call him by that, and I thought that was kewl, so I got myself one.


Okay, Okay... I'll give it another 10 or 20 percent, but I better start finding lost purses or at least more loose change around the house. :)

His later books sadly do away with the workable bits, and just talk about things like UFOs not being vehicles, but spirits, which are "located just behind you and to the left"... very far out.
But this is an early book from when he was still a highly successful businessman.

Mike- now, when are you going to start advocating the sale of snake oil or the Brooklyn Bridge? I do know some people who can get you in on the ground floor.

Actually, I read a similar book a number of years ago called "How To Solve All Your Money Problems Forever" by Victor Boc. It's simple, straightforward and the author lives his formula.

"it is likely the worst book I have ever read, written by someone who sounds like a cross between Ayn Rand, Rush Limbaugh and Mr. Rogers."
Ha! I'll second that, difficult not tossing the kindle across the room at times. But I'm sticking it out to see what the usable parts are about - nothing so far.

That book is WAAAAYYYY too cheap for me to buy it.

Coming in late as usual.

And for (kinda) the flip-side, street photographer Eric Kim, at times featured on DPReview, has this to say in a blog piece called "5 Lessons for Living in Street Photography (and Life)"


Not saying I buy into either one, just sayin'...

Take care.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007