North of Jewfish Creek

Dear Friend & Subscriber,

I wanted to wait until the last day of the year before I started to write this issue of my newsletter.

I don't know exactly why. I had my subject all picked out and I had plenty of time to write. I was going to write about phone blasts and fax blasts (which I had touched on in my last newsletter). Incidentally, in my last issue, I wrote that most of these calls were made with the idea of leaving a message on your phone answering machine or voicemail... and... these calls were made at night when you were most likely to be sleeping.

Turns out I was wrong about that. These calls are made during the day. I dunno, I guess there's some sort of law against making them at night.

Anyway, the research I've done on this so far turns out to be fascinating and soon, I will be writing about it in a very interesting newsletter.

But, not this one.

I don't know why... except... I just had a feeling. In the back of my mind was the nagging thought there was something more important I should be writing about. And, it turns out, I was right. At least, I think I was  right. We'll get to that in several moments.

But first, I want to make a few observations overall about my newsletter.

I started writing my newsletter way back in 1986. And, in a matter of hours, it will be the year 2002. That means, I am about to enter...

My 17th Year Of
Writing My Newsletter!

Can you believe that? It's actually kind of hard for me to believe. You know, there's probably been more change in those 17-years than any other 17-years in history. Think about it: A first-class stamp cost 22¢ in 1986. Now, it's up to 34¢. That's an increase of 55%.

I remember how, way back when, I wrote everyone should have a fax machine. I wrote something to the effect the time had come that if someone asked for your fax number and you said, "I don't have a fax," that was no longer an acceptable answer.

I remember how I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age. In fact, it was in my 100th issue, after a bunch of brain-numbing research, I wrote a "Gary Halbert Explanation" about how computers work. That issue won me the "Communicator-Of-The-Year" award from the Toastmasters Organization.

There's been so much change in the last 17-years, I could easily fill up this entire issue just by waxing nostalgic.

But, I'm not going to do that.

However, please do allow me just one more observation: If the last 17-years have seen more change than any other 17-years in history, this year (2001) all by itself...

Has Created More "Core" Change
In Our Lives Than All The Rest
Of Those 17-Years Put Together!

Yet, in spite of that, there's something which has warmed my heart. Believe it or not, I received more response from my last newsletter than any other newsletter I've ever written! I got so many replies, so many compliments, so many expressions of appreciation for my work, I was pretty much overwhelmed.

It's had a curious effect on me. It has made me decide to redouble my efforts to make this the most valuable newsletter ever published. I think achieving that goal would be great. But, I think the striving for that goal is what's really important.

I'll tell you a secret: My best newsletters do not result from a calculated attempt to figure what my subscribers would most like to read. No, my best newsletters come instead when I have the courage to write what I feel my subscribers need to read.

Sometimes, that's hard. I almost decided not to write what you are about to read. I'll tell you why after you've read it.

Let's get started. I was reading a recent issue of my friend Dan Kennedy's newsletter when a sentence in his letter jumped right off the page and lodged itself indelibly in my mind. It read:

"Tigers Starve Last In The Jungle!"

Here's why that observation hit me so hard: For an awful lot of people, times are very tough. There are more people out of work now (I think) than there has been since I started publishing this newsletter. Profits from retail sales are down more than most people can ever remember. People are scared. In Argentina, there is a financial panic and people are rioting. And, in this global economy, what happens in one country affects what happens in all countries. Hell, I don't need to dwell on our economic situation. Just read your newspaper. Or watch the news on network TV.

Anyway, it seems to me if you and I want to survive and prosper in this "storm-of-change" we are all experiencing, we better set about developing a "Tiger Mindset." Not only that, if possible, we should endeavor to confine our selling efforts to other people with "Tiger Mindsets." People who are the least likely to "starve" financially. Who are these people? I define them as...

Players With Money!

Look, it is easier to sell something to someone with money. If you've got a $500,000 house for sale, it doesn't matter how appealing the house is if the family you're pitching it to has a pitifully low total income.

But there's another fact you mustn't overlook. Players With Money usually have an important character trait most of the "sheep" out there don't possess. Namely...

They Have The Ability To Make A Decision!

And... without talking it over with their spouse, their lawyer, their CPA, or their mommy. Usually, Players With Money got their loot because their lives are filled with independent thought and movement. These people  also possess another rare commodity. Namely... the ability to recognize value. In other words, yes, it's true these people are easier to sell than Joe Average but... only if you offer true value!

Reflect, for a moment, on what I sell. This would include a high-priced, rather arrogant newsletter, expensive seminars, expensive videos, audios, printed information packages, client services, etc. Who won't buy my material? Basically, stupid, lazy people who relate its value to how much it weighs and how much "bulk" they receive. Who does buy my material? The answer is easy...

Players With Money!

Want some proof? I did a per capita analysis of the readers of my newsletter by State. The ten States       with the highest per capita readership of this newsletter are: (1) Vermont, (2) Texas, (3) Nevada, (4) Colorado, (5) Alaska, (6) Arizona, (7) Utah, (8) Washington, (9) California, and (10) Hawaii.

The ten States with the lowest per capita readership of this newsletter are: (1) West Virginia (by far the  worst of all. [Could this have anything to do with the fact I was born there?]), (2) Kentucky, (3) Nebraska,   (4) Mississippi, (5) South Dakota, (6) Tennessee, (7) South Carolina, (8) Iowa, (9) North Dakota, and         (10) Louisiana.

These two groups of States are separated by a dramatic difference in per capita income. Want to know the difference in the average four-member family income from the highest State (Vermont) to the lowest (West Virginia)? It's a staggering $14,800. And get this: The per capita readership of my newsletter in Vermont as opposed to the readership in West Virginia is...

900% Higher!

Pay attention here. This does have meaning for you. Remember what Willy Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks? "Because that's where the money is!" So, to get to the bottom-line, here's what I'm suggesting: If you haven't done so already...

Start Thinking About Developing
High-Priced, High-Profit Products
And Services With Enormous Value!

And secondly...

Start Thinking About Selling Your
High-Priced, High-Profit Products
And Services With Enormous Value
To Players With Money!

Pretty simple concepts, aren't they? But, simple or not, this kind of thinking can separate you from the poverty of the brain-dead masses and catapult you into the ranks of those lucky folks who enjoy total financial freedom. However, to help you implement these concepts, I feel I need to give you some tips on (A) What to sell to Players With Money, and (B) How to locate them.

First, what are "PWM's" (Players With Money) most likely to buy? Well, for openers, they are extremely willing to shell out money for what they did not get in school. Namely... an education. PWM's learn very early almost nothing taught in school has any commercial value whatsoever. For one thing, our school system teaches absolutely nothing about how to be an entrepreneur. And, of course, almost all PWM's are entrepreneurs. They have to be. After all, being an entrepreneur is almost the only way to make truly serious money either here or in any other country in the world. So, what kind of education does an entrepreneur need? He needs an education on "how-to-sell"... because... none of his high school or college classes even touched on this subject. PWM's make up the largest segment of the market for books, seminars, video tapes, audio tapes, lectures and anything else that can help them become more skilled in the art of selling. They also make up the largest share of the market for information on other money-related matters... such as management, how to invest their profits, international currency fluctuations, stock and commodity speculations, reducing their tax burden and so on.

What else besides education are PWM's eager to purchase? They are also eager to purchase... INSPIRATION! I don't mean phony/baloney types of inspiration like the horseshit sold by televangelists. Nor do I mean stupid tapes with hidden "subliminal" messages (they've been proven not to work) that supposedly bombard your mind with positive "you-can-do-it" rah-rah types of messages. No, the type of inspiration I'm talking about is the kind you get from listening to the experiences of other PWM's who have made it big by overcoming the same types of obstacles all of us have to face with deadening regularity. True inspiration, effective inspiration is more than just a hyper-excitable speaker who is able to froth a room full of people into a frenzy with empty "pump-up" catchy phrases.

For example, I think guys like Zig Ziglar do some good but mostly, they leave people all dressed up with no place to go. They get you all enthused... but... they don't give you any specific blueprint that tells you how to profitably harness that enthusiasm. If you want to get some real inspiration, the best source is listening to a talk by a person who started out with nothing except the handicap of 12 or 16 years of schooling... and then... hearing him explain step-by-step in minute detail how he overcame this deadening handicap and went on to become a PWM in the field of his choice.

By the way, speakers at multi-level rallies give the illusion of doing this but, after they've got you all enthused, they give you a specific plan that makes them (not you) money... and... sends you (not them) off into activities which are often illegal and always stupid. I've said it before and I'll say it again. MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING SUCKS! Not just some of it, all of it. By the way, I heard in a speech by Dan Kennedy the average annual income of an Amway distributor is a whopping $32.00!

Enough of that. Simply said, the kind of real inspiration PWM's are willing to purchase is provided by articulate experts who have become successes in their chosen endeavors and are willing to share their knowledge.

Now you listen! Just because these people have money doesn't mean they are promiscuous with it. They will spend it... but... not frivolously. Take automobiles for instance. You won't find most PWM's driving Fords, Chevy's, VW's, etc. On the other hand, I don't think many of them drive cars like Ferraries, Maseraties and Jaguars either. Those cars represent very poor value. They depreciate faster than a politician can make excuses, they are extremely uncomfortable, they have frequent and enormously expensive breakdowns and there is no place on any American highway where it is legal to drive them at the speeds they were intended to be driven. In other words, instead of value, what they actually are is high-priced toys usually bought by...

The Children Of Players With Money!

My guess as to what most of the real PWM's buy are cars like Cadillacs, Buick Roadmasters, Mercedes and Lexus sedans. These are all automobiles that are safe, comfortable, luxurious and have a very high resale value. In other words, they represent an intelligent choice, not a stupid gesture.

What I'm trying to illustrate here is PWM's will spend... and spend big... but... they won't spend stupidly. Another thing to remember is, PWM's care about substance, not window dressing. When I sell my information, I don't "dress it up" much. My videos, for example, are raw. I don't concern myself with "production values," adding chintzy canned music to the sound track or clever graphics and cute special effects. What I do concern myself with is providing substance and, I hardly ever get a complaint about my materials.

What else will intelligent, hard-working Players With Money buy? Another big category is... services that save time! All truly wise people realize time is the most precious commodity they possess. And, it is this commodity they are least likely to squander. Do you realize many people who pay to have me write copy for them can do it almost as well as I can? So why hire me? Because it frees up their time to get on with the crucial job of running their business.

As a general rule, nobody with wisdom ever does anything business-related he can hire someone else who is honest and competent to do for him. Dumb people (losers) gloat about all the money they save by doing things themselves instead of paying someone else to do that same job. Smart people (winners) are always ready to cheerfully cough up fungolas to buy time. For example, I went to a Rolling Stones concert in Miami. I sat center stage in the second row. My tickets (obtained from a ticket broker) cost me ten times as much as most of the people around me paid because... they were willing to stand in line up to 14-hours to get the seats they wanted. Poor me. I guess I blew around $8.00 per hour. What a sucker I am!

Players value time. If you want to market to them, consider a business providing meals (good meals) delivered to them. Consider a business that sends masseurs to their corporate offices to give executives and employees a tension-reducing shoulder rub. Consider a car wash business that does the job where the Player has his car parked when he is working. Organize an executive typing service where Players can dictate their correspondence into a phone and then have the letters delivered to them for their signature.

The possibilities are endless.

OK, let's say I've convinced you PWM's are your best target for making direct response profits. So, if that's the case, how do we market to them? We've got a lot of options. TV infomercials. Radio. Magazine ads. Newspapers. Even the Internet is now a viable option for savvy entrepreneurs. However, if I could use only one medium amongst all of today's choices to reach PWM's, my choice would be...

Direct Mail

Does that surprise you? Especially after my last newsletter? Hasn't the "Anthrax Scare" eliminated (or drastically diminished) the capacity for direct mail to make big profits?

Not really. I must admit, it scared me. If you have a valuable customer list, I think you would be wise to discover as many alternate ways to communicate with them as possible. Just like I did in last month's issue.

But, pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar, if I were limited to one option... and one option only... (after a lot of thought) I would still chose direct mail. Just for the sake of argument, let's say you suspect I may be right. If that's the case, how should you proceed?

Here we go! You whip out your credit card and dial (847) 375-5000. This will get you through to the corporate headquarters of "Standard Rate and Data Service" (SRDS)... and... when you get them on the phone, tell 'em you want to subscribe to their SRDS Mailing List Catalog. It's updated bi-monthly and it's gonna set you back nearly $500.00.

Just do it. Bite the bullet and spend the money. There's no alternative.

With me? Good! Now, what you will soon receive in the mail (and you'll get a new one every other month) is a big, thick book that describes almost every mailing list on the market. It'll tell you the size of the list, the source of the list, a description of the list, how much the unit of sale was people on the list spent, what they spent it on and how long ago they spent it.

What I want you to do, as soon as you get the book, is take 10 or 20 hours out of your life and start reading those thousands of list descriptions.

You Will Be Amazed!

As you read the descriptions, do the math. Multiply the number of people on the list by the average unit of sales. Right now, I'm reading the masterfile list description of a company called "Select Information Exchange." Here is the description of that list:

"This is a file of individuals with an avid interest in financial topics and investment information. They have purchased (more than half via credit cards) newsletters and/or financial service products from SIE (Select Information Exchange) -- the nation's leading financial subscription agency for over thirty years.

"This proven file has been used by a multiplicity of different types of mailers with a 50% 'continuation' record. Included are banks, insurance firms, gold and silver coin companies, commodity trading firms, stock & discount brokerage firms, tax shelters, oil & gas, business, financial and investment advisory publications, collectibles, fundraisers, catalogers and credit card issues - and others.

"Space ads appear in a variety of media (i.e., Money Magazine, Barrons, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Financial World, Personal Investor, Better Investing). Regarding libraries, this list has the name of the acquisitions manager (the individual in charge of book purchasing)."


Let's see now. This masterfile has 2,495,000 names on it and the average unit of sale is $375.00. Lemme drag out my trusty calculator and see what that comes out to. Let's see... that's 375 x 2,495,000 which comes to uh... wait a minute... can that be right? Lemme check that again. By golly it is right! This is a list of folks who are extremely passionate about investing... and... have demonstrated that passion by spending... uh...

Over 935 Million Dollars!

And looky here! We can select them out by all sorts of ways. The men from the women. The Canadians from the Americans. The stock buyers from the options buyers from the bond buyers, the oil stock investors, the traders who buy low-priced stocks and so on. Hey, and guess what else? We can even select by what ethnic group we want. If we don't won't them all, we can say we only want the Chinese people on the list. Or the French. Or the Germans. Or the Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, Spanish, Greek, Polish, Scottish, English, Russian, Arabic, American... or... whatever.

Amongst the thousands of mailing lists you are going to be reading about are people who bought cookbooks, people who bought model cars, sewing supplies, gourmet food, etc., etc. etc. But, what I want you to be looking for are big lists of Players With Money... the people who have that "Tiger Mindset"... needed to survive and prosper even in today's harsh realities.

Not only do you want Players With Money, you want PWM's who have what I call a "High Passion Index" about something.

Like golfers.

As a general rule, golfers have above-average income and, a certain percentage of them will spend literally any amount of money to take strokes off their game. Hark unto me: As you know, my friend Joe Polish has something he calls the SuperStar Audio Tape Series where each month he interviews some clever person on some aspect of marketing. Well, one of his interviews was with a guy named Jeff Paul... and... you've got to have the tape and transcript of this interview. I think it'll set you back $14.95 or something like that and you can order it by calling (480) 858-0008. Once again, please don't fight me on this. Just do it.

Let me tell you about Jeff Paul. A little more than a decade ago, he was a Certified Financial Planner. He was part of a small team that offered advice and seminars on stuff like estate planning, living trusts and all sorts of other financial wisdom. The only problem he and his team had was, they couldn't get clients. So, Jeff started studying direct marketing. He put what he learned to work... and... he turned around a practice that was doing $5,000 to $10,000 a month into a practice that was doing up to... $150,000 per month. It worked so well, his partners naturally decided to abandon these crass National Enquirer techniques... and... they elected to go back to using the dumb-ass, stale, conventional marketing techniques they were more comfy with.

So, Jeff quit.

He decided to dump his financial planning career altogether and go full time into direct marketing. After a year-and-a-half, he had managed to lose everything he had. He lost his house, he was $100,000 in debt on his credit cards, had no job, no income and no prospects. Jeff and his wife, Peggy, and their three kids ended up in his sister-in-law's basement living on a couch.

Then he made a little discovery.

As soon as he started to use this discovery, his business went from a measly $1,000 per month to $13,000. The second month he went to $26,000. The third month was $49,000. Now, he has a two million dollar-a-year business he runs from a 400 square foot office upstairs over his garage.

What did he discover? He discovered the crucial thing that matters is... your market. Yep, he discovered it's the market that is the key to the whole deal. He says, (and he's right) "You have to have people who are hungry, people who are irrational, and I mean literally irrational, that are passionate, that have money, and they're willing to spend the money. They have to have a dire sense of urgency, even desperation about something... and... they have to be reachable!"


Then he says, "You have to find out what they want and give it to them." He says if you do this, "You don't have to fight. There's no battles. No challenges. There's no mountains and obstacles to overcome. You've made it easy, you've stacked all the deck in your favor."

Amen, again!

Jeff has sold to various markets over the years. But guess where he found a really enormous success?


Just what did he sell them? A set of golf clubs which helped them achieve a lower score. Just how much did he charge for his golf clubs?

$6,000 Per Set!

How did he sell them? With a long copy, direct mail sales letter. That's right... no pictures... no brochures... no nothing except copy.

As he points out, you couldn't do this with a rational market. Golfers are irrational. They'll play in the rain, the snow, they'll buy books, take lessons and, in general, I bet they would jump through hoops of fire if they thought it would take strokes off their game.

So, what you do first is, you get that SRDS Mailing List Catalog and read all those mailing list descriptions... and... you find yourself a moneyed group of people who are nutso enough about something to spend irrational amounts of money on whatever it is. Then...

You Find Or Create A
Very Expensive Product
For These People!

Look, I'm not saying you should ignore the "Anthrax Factor." I'm not saying it's going to go away either. There's a lot of stuff which has changed in the last few months. A lot of stuff which is not going to go away. And, God only knows what "fresh hells" we are going to be plagued with in the next 12-months.

But, we have to face up to every challenge. We can do it too. There are more of us with "Tiger Mindsets" here in the good ol' USofA than anywhere else on earth.

Don't you forget it!


   Gary C. Halbert


P.S.   You want to know why I almost didn't write this newsletter? It's because a lot of it, I had already written in past issues. But, dammit, this is what I thought really needed to be said. I feel these concepts are so important, you need to be reminded of them over and over. These concepts need to be literally pounded into your head. (And, it's my job to be the "hammer" that does this.)

         I hope you agree with me. But, even if you don't, guess what?

I Still Ain't Gonna Change!


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