All of the truly important battles are waged within the self. I know that though the patient learns, I do not teach.
The seeker comes in hope of finding something definite, something permanent, something unchanging upon which to depend. He is offered instead the reflection that life is just what it seems to be, a changing, ambiguous, ephemeral mixed bag. It may often be discouraging, but it is ultimately worth it, because that’s all there is.
He may only get to keep that which he is willing to let go of. The cool water of the running stream may be scooped up with open, overflowing palms. It cannot be grasped up to the mouth with clenching fists, no matter what thirst motivates our desperate grab.
The pilgrim, whether psychotherapy patient or earlier wayfarer, is at war with himself, in a struggle with his own nature.
All of the truly important battles are waged within the self.
I know that though the patient learns, I do not teach. Furthermore, what is to be learned is too elusively simple to be grasped without struggle, surrender, and experiencing of how it is. As one Zen Master said to his now-enlightened pupil: If I did not make you fight in every way possible in order to find the meaning [of Zen] and lead you finally to a state of non-fighting and of no-effort from which you can see with your own eyes, I am sure that you would lose every chance of discovering yourself.
Furthermore, what is to be learned is too elusively simple to be grasped without struggle, surrender, and experiencing of how it is. As one Zen Master said to his now-enlightened pupil: If I did not make you fight in every way possible in order to find the meaning [of Zen] and lead you finally to a state of non-fighting and of no-effort from which you can see with your own eyes, I am sure that you would lose every chance of discovering yourself.
Whatever the initial motives, such a journey often gave the pilgrims new perspective on the meaning of their lives, made them “converts to better lives, [at least] for a time.”15 The metaphor of his journey is a bridge, and as the pilgrim crosses it, “a fiend clutches at him from behind; and Death awaits him at the farther end.”16 But there are companions and helpers along the way as well. One pilgrim may help another as when a blind man carries one who is lame upon his back, so that together they may make a pilgrimage that neither could make alone.
If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients
Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing: Build a Million Dollar Business Within 12 Months by Robert Skrob
This book, that I am still reading, is more interesting than I thought it would be. It had a forward by Dan Kennedy, and I thought the book was by him. Once I started reading I understood it was not him, but the author is very knowledgeable, and the book is interesting, and as you can see below, I found many things to capture.
The point is this: You make the rules. You bend this business to your preferences. You need sacrifice nothing for enormous financial success. How did that quote go? The world is made by unreasonable people. Make it the way you want it. It does take work.
You won’t become successful or wealthy without work, but success is not a result of working harder than everyone else. It’s about building a business with specific attributes that enable you to accumulate wealth.
People all around you are getting rich. Within your neighborhood. Why are they getting rich? Because they are doing things that generate more money than they spend, allowing them to accumulate wealth. Wealth isn’t produced by thinking, dreaming, or imagining what you want. Money doesn’t care what you think about most. Money is attracted to you when you create a business that produces value for paying customers.
Before you launch a new business, you need to ask yourself these five questions:
1. Is it formulaic? Has the business been proven to generate wealth for others in the past? For instance, if you don’t see anyone getting rich as a plumbing contractor or by running a sandwich shop, it’s a good guess that you won’t get wealthy that way either. Instead, look for a consistent pattern of a good percentage of business owners getting rich within the industry; technology, real estate, and publishing are proven winners from the past.
2. Does it have a large business scope? Businesses dedicated to one community or one county can get destroyed with one flood or one plant closing. Instead, serve customers nationwide or even internationally to diversify and expand your marketplace.
3. Are there high margins? Selling products at higher prices with a low production cost allows you to do much more marketing. I had a client who sold frozen yogurt. With new customers spending only $5.00 to $10.00, it took a lot of them to pay for any advertising. Instead, get into businesses with high margins to make it easier for you to generate a healthy profit.
4. Is there a low startup investment? Too many business owners invest their entire life savings into a venture only to discover there is no market for their new products. Instead, keep your investments low, to $10,000.00 or even less. This way, even if you make a mistake, it won’t be financially devastating to you. Plus, it will allow you to start multiple businesses over time to generate more wealth as your skills improve.
5. Are there any professional licenses? Government-issued licenses are one way competitors control each other. Industry lobbyists conspire with politicians to “protect consumers” by passing new restrictions and threatening to take your license away. These laws do nothing for consumers. They are designed to protect your competitors. Stay away from professions that require a professional license, such as insurance, financial advising, law, or medicine. That license is used to control what you say in your marketing and to restrict your ability to generate wealth.
There are six advantages of an information marketing business: 1. Replaces manual labor by “multiplying yourself” and leveraging what you know. 2. Buyers of your information products will buy more. 3. A small amount of interaction with buyers is possible. 4. Few staff members are necessary. 5. Little investment is needed to get started. 6. Large profit potential exists.
People who buy your information products are much more likely to hire you to perform services than other customers you market to. Quite simply, having your own published information product makes you the obvious expert.
You just need to leverage the information you already know. How? By 1) identifying a market of people who are excited about the information you have, 2) creating a product those people want, and 3) offering it to them in a persuasive way.
That’s why you can get into the information marketing business with a relatively low startup budget. One word of caution: Many info-marketers do not invest enough in their marketing and end up with a very slow start. Investing money in marketing when you are launching your business increases revenue more quickly. You can take a “stair-step” approach by investing a small amount in your first campaign and reinvesting your sales revenues into the next campaign. You can increase your marketing investments as you continue to have success in selling your product. That way you can start with a very modest investment, but by continuing to reinvest profits into making new sales and getting new customers, you can build your business.
This is a business with a lot of profitability, but you will not create a business that generates more than $1 million a year by investing nothing. You must be willing to test a marketing strategy to find new customers (known in the business as a front-end marketing funnel) and test it until it produces positive results. When you get positive results, you must invest in expanding that marketing campaign and growing your customer base.
Many info-marketers are making million-dollar incomes through their information marketing businesses. Each one started out like you, with no products and no customers, and they gave it a shot.
Information marketing is responsive to and fueled by the ever-increasing pressure on people’s time. For me, information marketing is providing solutions to problems in a convenient and useful format. When I create an information product, I spend a lot of time studying a market, examining the problems its members face, and designing my offering as the solution to that problem. Information marketing is providing solutions to problems in a convenient and useful format.
..... you have the free content you offer to attract new customers to you. Your free content could be articles you publish, videos you make available on your website, or an e-mail auto responder series that provides ongoing free content. You’ll have your largest number of users at this level. It’s free, so there is a low barrier to entry.
Your next step of your Information marketing .......is an introductory product. For some info-marketing businesses, this is a $199.00 product consisting of six CDs and a binder of materials. For others, it could be a book that’s available in bookstores. This book provides customers with an easy first step to try out your products to see if your information is right for them. Here is also where e-books fit in. You’ve seen a lot of online marketers marketing e-books on their websites.
To maximize the number of e-books you can sell, you must invest in marketing. When you build the rest of your pyramid, you increase the revenue you generate from each customer, allowing you to invest more in marketing to get a new customer than you could with an e-book as your only product.
Once your customers experience your product, you offer them the opportunity to receive ongoing information through a monthly continuity program. These continuity programs are monthly subscription programs where you provide interviews, newsletters, and/or access to a membership site where your customers can get more of the information they loved in your introductory product. The pricing for these programs can be from $9.95 a month for a membership site to $199.00 a month for a program that includes newsletters, group coaching calls, and expert interviews on CD.
The next step is high-priced specialty products shown in Figure 3-4. It’s impossible to build one product that provides all the information any of your customers could want or need about a particular topic. Instead, you provide a high-quality introductory product that outlines your strategies and provides useful examples to follow. Then for different areas of expertise, you provide additional products that provide additional details about that particular aspect. You will be able to sell these specialty products for much higher prices, from $495.00 to $1,995.00 or more.
Large info-marketing business includes seminars. There’s nothing as powerful as being face to face with your members.
The next area is seminars, shown in Figure 3-5. Many info-marketers choose not to offer seminars, and that’s fine. But for those who do offer them, it can be a lucrative part of their business. Info-Marketing seminars are usually priced between $750.00 and $1,995.00 per person or more.
The next section is a coaching program. I talk a lot about moving your customers up your pyramid into group coaching and seminars in Chapter 10, but for now, recognize this is an important level of your pyramid. Group coaching gives your customers the opportunity to receive personal help implementing your teaching in their own lives.
At the top you’ll find personal coaching. Some customers will invest in all your products and still want to sit down with you for one-on-one, personal assistance. And the best part for you is they will be willing to pay you for that privilege.
So you need to keep these three factors in the forefront of your mind as you begin your business:
Marketing Systems to Generate New Customers.
The single most common reason information marketing businesses fail is inadequate market research.
Many of us get caught up in creating just the right marketing strategy, writing the perfect sales letter, or building the perfect product, but in fact, very few of those things can have as much impact on your business as thorough market research. Researching your market and interviewing potential customers is the shortcut to launching a profitable business quickly.
Continuity income is revenue you receive from your members on an ongoing basis Start every month of the year with customers already buying products from you with monthly continuity programs. Just think about this: If only 5 percent of your new customers participate in your continuity program, then every month your monthly continuity income continues to grow.
The power of these programs is in providing monthly cash flow for your business. So when you have a big promotion or a seminar and make a large amount of money, you can pull it out in profit because your monthly continuity income is paying your monthly bills. You start each month billing customers’ credit cards so you can provide the newsletters, products, or services you’ve committed to those subscribers. It’s a great way to start in business every month—with revenue already in the bank.
The real secret to the information marketing business is to build a marketing process, a funnel if you will, that generates new customers over and over again. This process generates leads, and those leads go into a sales system that helps potential customers learn about you and how you can solve their problems before inviting them to make a purchase.
Once they’ve made a purchase, the sales system invites them to make other purchases based on their interests. That helps increase the value of every customer. And in addition to their purchases, you invite these new customers to participate in your monthly continuity programs so you can grow your monthly income as well.
Every new business needs new customers to grow. Information marketers unlock the “business owner” lifestyle by creating an automated process to generate new customers every month from a variety of sources.
New customer generation is one of the most difficult parts of any business and often can be the most expensive as well. This is why so many new info-marketers move on to other areas of their businesses once they get their businesses going. They become focused on product creation or putting on a new seminar, for example. However, as an information marketer, it’s crucial that you set up ongoing systems and processes to help you generate new customers. You need to have a marketing funnel that helps put new customers into your business on a continual basis
Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing: Build a Million Dollar Business Within 12 Months
Even in a set-it-and-forget-it situation, you still are going to have to innovate; you still need to replace, update, correct, improve, monitor, and build new processes as you go.
Internet marketing provides a lot of great tools information marketers can use to create, sell, and deliver products. However, internet marketing tools do not create a business. Instead, your focus has to be on creating a business first and then using internet marketing tools to allow you to grow more quickly.
Membership websites can be an important part of an info-business. Plus, they can be a useful forum for members to exchange ideas. However, you may have seen marketers promoting how to create membership sites where everybody interacts and communicates, with members contributing all the content so you don’t have to do any of the work. Those membership sites are very rare, making up less than 1 percent of the sites that are created. Most membership sites are a great tool to help facilitate a membership program that also provides printed content and monthly teleseminars, and they also serve as forums for delivering content for coaching programs. The membership site that stands alone, generates new customers by itself, and generates content by itself because all the participants are communicating with each other on message boards and uploading samples? That site is a very rare beast.
First of all, in the information marketing business, the customers who love you are going to want to invest in more products and services from you. If you have a business that is simply selling a particular product over a website, you’re not maximizing the marketing investment you made in generating new customers by selling them additional products and services. You need a way of providing those customers additional products, additional programs, and additional systems so they are able to solve additional problems in their lives and you are able to make more money from your business. Any business that doesn’t have that element is not generating as much profit as it should be.
Well, the reason they’re doing it that way is because customers often prefer seminars to digital downloads. And the internet marketer can make a lot more money by having those seminars. For you, it’s better to go ahead and get into business with the expectation that you’re going to be interacting with your people because eventually you are—if you want to generate the real money you want and unlock the lifestyle you desire.
Finally, there’s the issue of human interaction. I know one of the elements that really attracted me to the information marketing business was limited interaction. And it actually is a benefit, as mentioned in Chapter 1, but my picture of limited human interaction was that I never had to interact with customers at all. They would consult my frequently asked questions if they needed something; otherwise, they’d go to the site, buy, receive the product, and I would never have to interact with them. Well, the fact is many of the people who buy your products will want additional help and support from you or your team. While many customers go to the website to buy, many others browse the website and then pick up the phone to place their orders with live operators. If I didn’t have someone there ready to take their orders, I would lose those sales.
It’s not important for you to become the foremost expert in all topics; instead, become an expert in one topic that’s useful to your target market. They’ll become your customers even though they may know more than you in other areas of expertise.
You’ve got to find the market that is excitedly expecting what you have to offer, or you have to offer what your target market is already excitedly expecting.
The most important factor in a successful info-business is finding a market with customers who eagerly desire information.
“Everyone says to go find a target market and research it, but not too many people go into as much detail as I did. But it’s so beneficial.”
As you plan your information marketing venture, be sure you start with the market first. Find out what the market desperately wants before you create a product and a marketing campaign to sell it.
Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing: Build a Million Dollar Business Within 12 Months
In other words, discipline at Eiheiji has nothing to do with attaining supernatural powers or doing special meditation, nor does it entail harsh penance or mortification of the flesh. Rather, it is to be found in the everyday practice of Zen rules. There is no differentiation between means and end. Monastic discipline is not something done in order to gain enlightenment; rather, the faithful observance of monastic discipline is enlightenment, in and of itself. It cannot therefore be left to others, but must be performed with one’s own body and mind.
Zen discipline is not a staircase or a means of getting somewhere; it is rather about the successive moments of life—of existence itself. It means being fully aware in body and spirit of the fact of your life, and continuing to cultivate and practice the best way to live as a human being. This is the meaning of Dogen’s words, “Dignity is itself the Dharma. Propriety is itself the essence of the house.”
There is a Buddhist term “fragrance learning,” which means a kind of unintentional absorption. Just as passing by an incense burner can imbue clothing with fragrance, so we are affected unconsciously by the atmosphere of a place, just by happening to be there.
But for Zen practitioners, work has inherent spiritual value and is integral to the life of discipline.
Before my eyes, time moved in a way I used to know well. In a scene that might have played out anywhere, people were freely crossing the street or lingering to chat and exchange a laugh. All around them time flowed, so clear and transparent that its very existence was forgotten, just as it had once flowed around me. Like air, it had been pervasive and invisible, so natural a part of life that I never gave it a thought. But now from the time I got up till the time I went to bed—no, even while I was in bed—I had not a moment to call my own.Eat Sleep Sit : My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple by Kaoru Nonomura, Juliet Winters Carpenter
The ceiling is high and so are the windows. There, in the soft light streaming down from above, I too washed my face in the clear, knife-cold water of early spring that flowed from the mountains. Seeing the small amount of water in the basin made me feel it was extremely precious. Bending over, I scooped some of it up in my hands, which promptly went numb with cold, and washed my face all at once. It felt as if my skin were being sliced away. Taking in the harshness of the shock, I splashed myself again. The cold, clear water trickled over the contours of my head, quickly evaporating into white steam that rose into the cold air.
Eat Sleep Sit : My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple by Kaoru Nonomura, Juliet Winters Carpenter
Dogen wrote out the method of practicing sitting, the heart of Zen discipline, in the “Rules for Sitting” essay in Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. The rules are still strictly adhered to at Eiheiji, just as he set them out. The study of Zen means the practice of sitting.
First, to practice sitting, you need a quiet place. Use a thick mat, and do not let in smoke or drafts. Keep out the damp.
The place for sitting should be carefully and properly maintained. It should be warm, and not too dark in day or night. In winter it should be heated, and in summer it should be pleasantly cool. Leave behind all attachments and bonds, and keep yourself entirely at rest.
Do not dwell on thoughts of good things or bad. Sitting is neither contemplation nor meditation. Do not think of it as a means for attaining enlightenment. Rid yourself of superficial notions of sitting and lying down. Eat and drink in moderation. Use your time well, and do not waste it. Like one whose hair is on fire, make use of every moment, sitting down quickly and devoting yourself to the practice. When you practice sitting, wear a mantle and use a cushion. Don’t sit on the entire cushion but only on the front, placing it under your buttocks.
This is the way of sitting that has been passed down from buddha to buddha and from ancestor to ancestor.
There are two ways of sitting, the full lotus and the half lotus position. In the full lotus, the right foot is placed on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. The soles of the feet should be laid horizontally on the thighs, in perfect symmetry. In the half lotus only the left foot is placed on the right thigh.
Wear your robes loosely and sit up straight. Next, put your right hand on your left foot, your left hand in your right palm. The tips of your thumbs should be touching. Hold your hands close to your body. Hold yourself erect as you sit. Do not lean to the left or right, and do not bend forward or backward. The ears should stay even with the shoulders, and the nose and the navel should be aligned. Hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Breathe through the nose and keep your teeth and lips together. The eyes should be open, neither too wide nor too narrow. When you are ready to begin, take a deep breath. Sitting this way, you become immovable. Surpassing existence and nonexistence, you free yourself from constrictions of thought. This is the way of Zen sitting.
Early morning sitting lasts normally for a single session of forty minutes, the length of time it takes for one stick of incense to burn down.
Eat Sleep Sit : My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple by Kaoru Nonomura, Juliet Winters Carpenter
"We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment."
— Alan Wilson Watts
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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