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by Gordon Alexander

Here's how.

It was a chilly January morning and my Uncle Frank, who liked to call himself a "dumb ol dirt farmer", and I were standing out behind the greenhouses.

I said, "Hey Unc, what is this little garden back here going to have in it? What will it look like on say, Aug. 17?"

Ol Unc responded, "Come on in Buzz and I'll draw you a picture."

So we went inside and over a hot cup of coffee Uncle Frank sketched out that plot. In detail. Right down to the size of the pumpkins and watermelons.

He said, "You bring this with you when you come down on Aug. 17, OK?" I said sure, and stuck it in my wallet as a reminder.

Well now, along comes Aug. and the 17th, so I hop in the truck and take a little trip down to Hartville, and head on out to Swamp Road, where my uncle's fruit and vegetable stand was located. First thing I did was head out back to inspect the little garden. Ol Unc came quietly along. I looked at the sketch, and sure enough, this garden was EXACTLY as he had envisioned it several months before. Even the sizes of the plants were dead on accurate.

I was amazed, and my uncle just laughed. He said, "Any dumb dirt farmer in the world can tell what the crop is going to look like, providing all goes well with Nature, and he does his job."

And that of course is true. My Uncle Frank just did his job. And he got some help from Mother Nature. That year. There was the season of floods and even tornadoes that wiped ALL of his gardens out one year. But he just prepared for the next season figuring all would be just fine.

Now of course there were times when he had to help Mom Nature, by watering, or by draining excess rain. By protecting plants from early frosts. By building wind shearing fences. By keeping the birds from eating the seeds. By keeping the critters out his garden. Ol Unc had plenty of work to do.

But he never took the credit. He always said he was just the steward, it was the Man upstairs' garden.

The thing that AMAZED me was how crystal clear his vision of his garden was. How precise his estimates of how the plants would grow. And the certainty of the result, the yield, if he just did what he had to do.

So what about you? How clear is your vision of your future? What will you be doing 7 months from NOW? What HARVESTS will you be reaping?

In case you don't know, this is for you.

Too many times we do not have very SPECIFIC goals. We have not taken the time to write down our goals. BECAUSE, many of us do not know what we want our personal gardens to grow. See, it is relatively easy to plant the seeds that bear the fruit we WANT. Because we KNOW what they will be.

Plant corn, get corn. Plant beans, get beans. Every dirt farmer in the world knows that.

Yet many of you are planting ALL kinds of seeds. And you have a fuzzy idea, like MORE MONEY. Or FINANCIAL FREEDOM, but you lack the clear vision of what that means.

You are putting the cart before the horse.

Let me give you an example. Mail Order. It is the most started business in America. And it is the most QUIT business also. Because the WHY is all wrong. The WHY for most people who start a mail order (or direct marketing) business is to MAKE MONEY, the easy way. AH HA. The easy way.

That is often the WHY behind these doomed start-ups. EASY. But anyone who is HONEST and has achieved any degree of success knows there is a certain amount of LABOR, a certain amount of WORK that takes you to mail order success. It involves effort.

Now my Uncle Frank did not think digging in the hot summer sun for the whole day and sweating like a water falls, well he didn't regard that as work. Yet on more than one occasion that I had to help him out, I SURE THOUGHT IT WAS.

And in mail order, some of the things you must do to be successful may not feel like work to SOME people, yet to many of us, if it looks like work, takes the time that work takes, uses up our energies, then by golly it is work. But to some people, that is akin to my ol Unc plowing up the back 40, pure JOY.

Success begins with knowing the future, at least how you want it to be. You must first KNOW what the crop is going to be, before you plant the seeds.

Everyday I see people who have invested hundreds, even thousands of dollars into various courses, books, seminars, HOW TO's of all kinds. Mostly with the idea of making more money. Some people are not happy with the work they are doing. ARE YOU?

Now you have every bit as much power as my Uncle did to see into YOUR future. Cause if you don't change directions soon, you're going to get where you are going. Don't like that direction. Change it.

Don't want to grow corn, don't plant it.

Now I have many friends who sell all kinds of courses and such. Nothing wrong with any of them, as long as you don't expect someone else to get out in the garden and do the care taking for you. See, there are no free lunches. And easy and simple are RELATIVE terms. What was a piece of cake for my 70+ year old uncle, wore this young pup out. I couldn't keep up in the fields, and I had no desire too either.

But understand this, even as gifted as my uncle was regarding horticulture and gardening, he was ALWAYS learning, exchanging ideas and techniques with other farmers. He knew more than most, but he didn't know everything. Who does?

Which is one reason why I call myself a "STUDENT OF THE MASTERS". I've had the good fortune to learn from and work with some of the biggest and best names in remote direct marketing. BECAUSE I choose that garden to work in.

But I also know that just because Mr. Big over here says do it this way, and Mr. Bigger over there says, NO NO do it this way; I KNOW that none of them are exactly RIGHT, and few of them are wrong.

And YOU should have a program of continuous learning and self-improvement and to be constantly EXPANDING your base of knowledge, but it should be APPLIED in the field, unless you are a librarian or a custodian of knowledge. Nothing wrong with that, if you admit it.

If you enjoy reading and understanding marketing without actually participating in it, that is OK. It is no different than being a sports fan. Many people collect all kinds of sports stuff, and have never played the game, and most certainly have never played it on a professional level. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.

But if you have MORE than one book or course on mail order or direct marketing, or Internet marketing and have not done something with it, and you want to, let me ask you a question...

WHY? WHY do you want to do a mail order business? What do you expect this to do for you? What are the FRUITS that you expect to reap from this effort?

Now I have my critics, many of them in fact. One fellow keeps YELLING, "JUST DO IT". Many people have lost their shirts, let alone their money and confidence by taking the plunge. By buying that course from a TV infomercial. By setting up a web site. By buying this manual, and that system. By BUYING, BUYING, BUYING. And buying a real life education is great, if it is REAL LIFE FOR YOU.

The problem I have with many of my friends, is, they think just because they did it, then you should be able to do it too. And to me, this is just not the case. You may or may NOT be able to emulate, or copycat or model someone else's success. It does work, IF, and this is the whole clue,


you KNOW for certainty you can do whatever is required to get the harvest you want.

And the reason MOST of you fall short of fulfilling your potential, is because, you CAN'T. Or are unwilling. Or just not suited to doing all that work, which for the other guy is a cake walk, but for you it is a walk over broken glass and hot coals. You can do it. But WHY would you?

So for over 6 years out here in Cyberspace, I have been asking the question, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" followed by the question, "WHY?'.

And I've been told that gets annoying. Especially to those that can't answer the question.

They just want to do it. They don't think the why is important. So they throw the money to one of my friends, who spills his/her guts only to find out later that you are on someone's forum telling folks that this and that and so and so, doesn't work.

And the correct thing would be to HONESTLY say, "It didn't work for me."

Probably because you are not suited to doing it. Further examples in Mail Order. One famous Mail Order Millionaire uses classified ads. Has for over 25 years. And they work for him. Yet he had a copywriter, who now is on his own selling an "inside secrets" book. His book claims that ONLY full page ads is where it is at in Mail Order. Which one is right?

Both. Only not completely and totally


Now this same copywriter has examples of ads he created. One shows him posing as a doctor. And selling a product. Now personally, I couldn't do this. If I needed a doctor in one of my ads, I'd hire one. I would never pose as someone else. But for this guy, it works. See?

So when you are studying the various methods and "proven" techniques of success, keep in mind that you may not be suited to doing it the other guy's way.

Now let's get down to what YOU want. Get out a piece of paper. Write today's date on it in the upper left corner. Now figure out 7 months from today, roughly. Write the date approximately 7 months from today down in the lower right corner.

Now draw a line between the two dates. This is the time line. If you do nothing to change, what is the time going to look like. You know. That is the line between NOW and the future. OK?

Now let's start picking out some seeds to plant. And if you are unfamiliar with my writing style, I've been called the metaphor guy. A metaphor is a figure of speech, or a literary device that lets me compare one thing to another. In this case, a garden to your life. And the seeds to your goals. And the harvest to your future. Get it? Of course you do. After all, it ain't rocket science.

So what do you want? Since I can't be there in person to hear the answer, let me work along the lines of educated assumptions. Since you have probably come to this site from a marketing forum you probably have some interest in making more money. If not, just substitute your want for money.

If you do nothing to change anything, how much money are you going to make between NOW and the 7 months in the future? If you work a job you know your salary or income and it is easy to project. You also know your expenses, and assuming these won't change, where does that leave you FINANCIALLY in 7 months? Are you OK? In good shape?

Have a good harvest of buckeroos do you?

Or are your pickins slim? Is the old financial garden a little on the lean side?

Now here is the question. What do you WANT it to be? In dollars. If you were to add dollars to that figure you wrote down, the figure if you do nothing to alter the journey, HOW MANY dollars would you add?

Now here is where ONE of the goal setting problems comes into play. There is no right or wrong answer. You may want to put down 10 thousand dollars, or you might be inclined to put down 100 grand. Or more. But most people put down an amount that would make them totally debt free. Again, and I need to emphasize this, that is OK, but I'm going to explain WHY these large goals do not produce the motivation that is needed to get them.

If you think you NEED to make 50,000 in the next 7 months to achieve your goals, and you have NEVER made more than 25,000 (the American average) then the first OBSTACLE you have placed in your path is the one of belief.

WHY would you believe that you can double your income in 7 months? Because someone, perhaps a friend of mine, told you that YOU could? And you believed her? Lock stock and barrel? Without question?

l'm trying to make a point. We all too often set ourselves up for failure, because we don't begin with a base of understanding OURSELVES! We all too often lack a FOUNDATION on which to build.

Not the systems, not the methods, not the techniques that work for Guru Gordy, but we lack understanding about how WE think and act.

Which is why I ask WHY? WHY do you want that 50 thousand dollars? What are you going to do with it? And all too often I get the blank stares. The looks that say to me, "Gordon, you must be really dumb, if you don't know why I want an additional 25 grand. Who wouldn't want it?"

I confess, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree. But still I insist on an answer. WHY do you want more money? What is it going to be used for? What will you do with it? How is it going to IMPROVE your life? ANSWER all these questions on the back of the piece of paper.

Then answer this most important question. Are you WILLING to do whatever it takes, to make this goal a certain reality? WHATEVER IT TAKES?

Now let me tell you a not so real secret. In mail order, as in most business ventures it takes either MONEY or EFFORT to make money. Often both. But you can start small and grow your business. So if you were to tell me that you wanted to make 100 thousand dollars in the next 7 months, I'd say, "Yes you can that, if you have at least 25 to 50 thousand to invest."

Oh you may get lucky. You may be the one in a million people who hit a home run the first time at bat. It could happen. And so could winning the lottery or having Dick Clark and Ed McMahon paying a visit to your house with a big check. It could happen.

But that is equivalent to saying that you will toss the seeds into the air and pick out the largest of the pumpkins, and get the blue ribbon at the state fair.

Is this making any sense to you?

You must begin with a BELIEVABLE expectation from yourself. Will you put the extra 30 TO 40 hours a week ON TOP OF A FULL TIME JOB, to work in your Internet business? Will you make the phone calls, the in person calls to suppliers, vendors, and the necessary "partners" you will acquire? Like the CPA, or the attorney, or the insurance agent, or the banker?

If you can't spend the time, do you have sufficient capital?

Most new starts are killed because most people UNDERESTIMATE how much it is going to cost to do business. And all businesses have costs, if not of money then of TIME.

So on that piece of paper, along that time line that runs from the upper left to the lower right, put how much money you are going to invest, and how much time you are willing to invest to reach that figure you have written in the lower right corner. Don't have one yet? Why?

Use a pencil you can always erase. But WRITE something down. Make it as big or as small as you want. Maybe you would like to make an extra 7 thousand bucks, just one grand a month, maybe that will be enough to give you a better life. I don't know but write something down.

Ask yourself these questions, and answer them in writing on that sheet of paper you have in front of you.

7 months from today is ____________

If I do nothing to alter my financial course during this time, how much money I will have made is_________________.

How much of that is 'disposable' income, not earmarked for bills, or Christmas, or emergencies or monthly expenses? ___________-

The AMOUNT of money that I would like to have in ADDITION to this is______________.

How much TIME do I have on a weekly basis to devote to making more money?___________________

WHY do I want this money, what will it do for me___________.

Now that isn't everything you need, but it is enough to get you thinking. To think about HOW we all get to plant our own gardens. We do get to pick and choose the kinds of plants we want. We do get to harvest the seeds we have sown, even the weeds.

Spend some time and reflect upon the garden. And your future. What is it that you want? And Why?

And I'll be back soon with some MORE annoying questions, and some more guidelines on figuring out the answers and implementing the strategy that is RIGHT for you.

At Seeds of Wisdom Publishing, we plant seeds of knowledge for a harvest of happiness.


Copyright 2000 Gordon J. Alexander and Seeds of Wisdom Publishing, All Rights Reserved