Top Ten Energy Leaks

“If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” -Mickey Mantle

10) Smoking – My dad smoked two packs of camel cigarettes per day and died when he was 46. Enough said.

9) Alcohol – Although we’ve heard for years that moderate drinking is good for our hearts, several recent studies have questioned that long-held belief. And earlier this year, the World Health Organization issued a dire warning about cancer and alcohol. No amount of alcohol is safe, the report said.
So, if any alcohol raises our cancer risk, and if it might not offer a real benefit to our hearts, should we be drinking at all? Your choice but it seems obvious.

8) Irregular Sleep – Americans currently average 6.8 hours of sleep at night, down more than an hour from 1942. Medical studies have related a lack of sleep to health problems and cognitive impairment. Therefore, experts typically recommend seven to nine hours sleep for adults.

7) Not Eating 3 meals per day – Eating three meals a day with healthy snacks in-between prevents overeating in a single meal and secures more energy throughout the day. Skipping meals also means missing essential nutrients the body needs to function. Your biggest meal should be breakfast and then it should taper down from there. The older we get the harder it is to overcome poor nutrition with exercise.

6) Inconsistent Exercise – The CDC says adults 18 to 64 should exercise moderately for two-and-a-half hours per week and engage in vigorous activity for an hour and 15 minutes. However, researchers found that adults only do 17 minutes of fitness activities per day. You know the old saying, “move it or lose it”.

5) Skipping Breakfast – Writing in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, researchers from Columbia University said both meal timing and frequency are linked to risk factors for a variety of conditions including heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, blood glucose levels, obesity, and reduced insulin sensitivity.
The researchers reviewed other current scientific studies concerning breakfast and heart disease and found that those who eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, while those who skip breakfast and instead snack and graze throughout the day are more likely to be obese, have poor nutrition, or be diagnosed with diabetes. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

4) Not getting 9-11 servings of Fruit and Vegetables per day – Fruits and vegetables provide health benefits and are important for the prevention of illnesses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is estimated that less than 20% of the US population eats the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

3) Overeating – What used to feed a family of six now feeds a family of four. Overeating actually reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Chronic overeating causes deterioration of the digestive system as well as failure of the overall body. For females, this results in the deterioration of reproductive system and the destruction of moon cycles. For men, overeating causes a reduction of libido and causes chronic fatigue.
Overeating also causes the deterioration of the digestive system and an increase in toxic build up in one’s body. Instant foods, alcohol, salt, sweet, spicy, and oily foods reduce the digestive ability of one’s body and deteriorates the functioning of all other major organs. This results in toxic build up in one’s body, resulting in weight gain and high blood pressure, narrowing of blood vessels, diabetes and cancer.

2) Dehydration – Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight 8 ounces glasses of water per day.

1) Negativity – Behavioral experts agree the more you are upset, stressed and angry, the shorter your life will be. Negativity breeds emotional and mental stress which leads to eventual demise. Statistics show that negative people not only die sooner but they have a negative impact on the people around them. The more negativity you allow into your life the shorter your days will be. It’s your choice.

How to build a great brand: 5 keys that work on any distribution channel

A big thanks to Tracy Leigh Hazzard for including me in her article on Inc.com: Nitty-Gritty Secrets to Being an Amazon Millionaire.

“Rick Cesari’s take on direct response marketing was spot on. He pointed out that in order to get your direct response marketing message right, you need to make it your job to get insider information and learn to model the success and failures of big brands.”

3rd party selling on Amazon is generating a lot of million dollar plus revenue businesses. Both the risks and rewards can be high. Many sellers are nervous and seeking traditional branding and marketing advice to expand beyond Amazon.

My 5 keys to building a great brand work on any distribution channel.

-Develop a strong USP (Unique Selling Position)

-Position your product correctly

-Deliver real value

-Offer world class customer service. Build a relationship with your customers

-Create and use product testimonials

If you are interested in learning more about:

  • how to target a customer base that continually expands and grows
  • how to create a USP that pushes your product ahead of the competition
  • and how to use compelling messaging that speaks to the unique needs of your customers…

…consider reading Buy Now: creative marketing that gets customers to respond to you and your product (ok, you got me, it’s a shameless plug for my book -Rick)

Can You Be All Things to All People?

I have one more Myth to bust in today’s message and it’s a big one.

Myth: Corporations want to sell to anybody anything – just buy!

There was a day and age when that was completely true. Iconic American brands like Coke, Levi’s, Converse, Wonder Bread, and Chevrolet were built on the principle that nearly everybody needed and could use their products.

This is NOT the case anymore – especially for anyone running a small business.

Simply spraying your marketing message and hoping that will translate into sales is going the way of the dinosaur. It is simply too expensive and tool risk to just brand advertise.

Modern intelligent advertisers must measure their budgets and correlate them to actual sales. How?

With Direct Response Advertising that is measurable, quantifiable, and trackable.

Don’t try to be everywhere, everything, to everybody. Instead, find YOUR perfect customers and target them in all forms of media, getting them to take an action toward your product.

The fragmentation of brands has created a confused, complicated marketplace. There used to be a Levi’s customer who represented all denim. But now, the brand who the consumer identifies with inside that “denim category” is the key to market share and success.

With old-style brand advertising, corporations battle to nudge market share lines. Wrangler, Levi’s, Calvin Klein, and more fight this war daily.

Our plan here at CesariIgnite is to provide you the keys to break free from that feeding frenzy for an ever-decreasing slice of the pie, and instead create whole new niches YOU can dominate.

So rather than constantly fighting Goliath for market share, you instead create a niche, a message, and a customer that you can turn into your own private empire.

It’s exactly what we helped do for OxiClean, the George Foreman Grill, and Sonicare.

Direct Response worked for them, it’ll work for you too.

The Myth of the Evil Salesman

It’s an old cliché’ – the pushy door-to-door salesman wedging his foot to keep the hapless homeowner’s door open so he can push his substandard product.

It plays into another myth still out there – and as a business owner, you might be struggling with it yourself…

MYTH 2: People who are selling are doing us a disservice.

In reality, “Salespeople” are generally good. That doesn’t mean you want to have them over for Thanksgiving turkey, but a good salesperson listens and facilitates an even-handed buying decision on your part. They are doing you a service.

Think back to a time you bought something that you really wanted… maybe even today… that made you feel good.

You might feel better about yourself in the right article of clothing; see yourself as a good negotiator because you got a great deal; or believed you finally discovered the perfect electronics item with all the bells and whistles, constructed in a sleek, modern way.

Provided he or she was courteous, the person (or entity) who led you to that proud purchase is likely someone you appreciated at some level.

Sure… there are bad salespeople out there. So what? There’s plenty of bad everything. Sales is just a profession and a skillset like any other.

But the mistaken notion that sales is “in and of itself” not ethical or honorable not only hurts our ability to self-promote, it also fails to make anyone’s life any better.

It you have a quality product, you owe it to your prospective customers to do everything ethically possible to make sure they have the opportunity to benefit!

NOT doing so is the real disservice you should avoid. You can’t create positive transformations if you never give them the chance.

Direct Response Advertising is the tool we recommend to give them those chances. 

Mythbustin’ – Advertising is What?

Over my next several posts, I’m going to do a bit of “mythbustin'” on some of the most common, yet patently false myths that far too many business owners – myself included – believe that hold us back.

Today, we’re going to cover:

Myth 1: Advertising is a method of getting people to purchase things they don’t want or need.

Here’s the truth – humans want and need products and services. It’s a very basic human drive, this instinctive urge to engage in “tool making” and “hunting-gathering.” From our ancestors to today, these instincts ensure we’re always on the lookout for something external to our being that will help us live better, happier lives.

Filtering, assessing, and acquisition are unavoidable human traits, which are good. Being consumers in the prehistoric sense is what preserved us from being consumed in the literal sense.

But there is a grain of truth to this myth – not EVERYONE needs EVERY product.

Most advertisers work diligently to make people aware of their products. And as a result, quite often what jumps to mind when you say the word “advertising” is something that’s highly stylized, oversexed, and packed with fluff. That’s because the powerful imagery often used does a great job of leaving that impression… but with most ads, they do little else and in particular they don’t produce the results YOU as a business owner want.

The fact is, most advertising is ineffective, goes unnoticed, and lacks any depth or creativity. Our prehistoric “gathering” sensors instantly reject it because it’s not speaking “to us.”
Direct Response Advertising takes a totally different approach.

Successful Direct Response has the constant, unique element of always pointing out a problem or a need – which the product or service aims to resolve for YOU personally. Indeed, Direct Response typically poses a question in your mind: “Are they talking to me?”

Compare this to a typical car ad that consists of little more than an empty road and a single auto heading for the sunset. It “might” be for me… I like empty roads and sunsets… but what else is there that meets MY needs?

The very direct nature of this format actually benefits the prospective customer by giving them what they need to self-select an opportunity that’s specific and useful to them. It also helps us as business owners by enabling us to carefully target customers, using specific media, to ask the right question to the right group of customers…

And gets them ENGAGED in the offers you put forward to make their lives better.

The 7 Qualities of Effective Relationships

These qualities hold true for every relationship we have. They impact us whether we are aware of them or not.

Maximize relationships by incorporating these laws:

Laws of the Inner Circle

Priority – all relationships are not of equal value, so exercise great care in choosing the key alliances in your life.

Ask yourself: Are your advisors making you or breaking you?

Law of Attraction

You are a living magnet. Remember, clarity attracts. When you’re clear about what you’re looking for, you’ll attract the right people and the right resources into your life.

Ask yourself: Are you attracting the right people and resources into your life?

Law of Excluded Alternatives

Low-value relationships displace high-value relationships.

Ask yourself: Are the people in my life lifting me up and continually challenging me and helping me grow to be the person I was meant to be?

Law of Association

You naturally take on the habits, values, attitudes, and beliefs of the people with whom you associate.

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.

Ask yourself: Are the people I’m spending most of my time with a reflection of what I want and who I want to be?

Law of Nurturing

Time, effort, and creativity must be summoned constantly and proactively to keep any relationship growing and flourishing.

Ask yourself: Am I paying attention to the right things so they can grow and expand or am I neglecting them and allowing them to atrophy and deteriorate?

Law of Understanding

Learn all you can about your most important relationships.

Ask yourself: Do I know what they want out of life, what motivates them, what gifts they like, what’s relevant to them?

Law of Accountability

Seek relationships and alliances with those who will hold you accountable to ever-higher standards of personal performance (e.g. a Mastermind Group).

Ask yourself: How are my primary associations encouraging me to grow?

You can read more about this in Chapter 7: Respect the Power of Exposures in my book Clarity: How to get it, how to keep it, and how to use it to Balance Your Life.

What To Do When The Will To Win Meets The Will To Prepare

You can face the pain of discipline now or the pain of regret later.

We all have the will to win. But the will to win without the will to prepare to win is nothing. The only place in which ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary. There is no easy, pain-proof route to success. It takes sacrifice and discipline.

Think on this: Discipline + talent + passion = unstoppable force

There are a lot of very talented people who are not performing to their full potential because they avoid rigorous preparation. Discipline – the will to prepare – is the X-factor that will take whatever talent and passion you have to the next level and beyond.

Here are six steps to becoming more disciplined and putting the X-factor to work in your life.

  1. Be a true student of your craft or profession. To continue earning more, you have to keep learning more.
  2. Give more value than you’re paid for… I can’t overemphasize this. When you ‘go the extra mile,’ you won’t find competitors on the road.
  3. Don’t hope to succeed. Expect to succeed. The more you prepare, the more you can expect to achieve the outcome or result that you want. The less you prepare, the more you will hope to achieve the outcome or result that you want.
  4. Become an expert in a field or topic. Stretch out of your comfort zone to perform at a challenging level that forces you to learn and grow – and an important part of that process in many fields is spending time around other people who are performing at an extremely high level.
  5. Do the absolute worst task first. This is a simple, but ruthless concept: do the task that you don’t want to tackle, you know, the one that if you did it, would have the greatest impact on creating the results you’re trying to accomplish.
  6. Find a mentor or a coach. When you take the discipline of preparing every day with your passion, and then you get a coach or a mentor to continually help you get better, it could take you to the elite level.

There is no shortcut to success: it takes time, preparation, and experience. There is no easy path or magic bullet to take you there. You must put in the time and effort to get the results you want, on the way to creating the success you’ve envisioned for yourself.

The content is an excerpt from my book called Clarity: How To Get It, How To Keep It & How To Use It To Balance Your Life. If you want to dig into this topic, I dedicated Chapter 5 to it.

Why should I establish written goals?

I often have this question, and the answer is simple. People who have clearly defined, measurable, written goals in all areas of life outperform the masses combined. So come up with those clearly defined goals in every area of your life.

Top 10 Reasons To Establish Written Goals

Here’s what you gain by clearly defining your goals and writing them down:

  1. You keep your life in better balance, as you proactively and intentionally determine how you will use your time and energy.
  2. Your goals serve as a GPS to guide you through life with intentionality, instead of just letting life happen to you.
  3. Your goals tell your brain what to focus on and what to think about.
  4. You build self-confidence as you take action and begin accomplishing goals. The following is a personal example of a plan that can be used for any goal. First, I decided what I wanted to do and produced a clear, defined WRITTEN goal. Next, I enlisted the help of an expert to develop a plan of action. I then created specific mini-goals, which I wrote down. I tackled each small goal, building up confidence and increasing my ability slowly. I celebrated when I reached my goal. Celebrating is important!
  5. You know with assurance when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” When you don’t have clearly defined, written goals, every opportunity can seem worth taking, or not worth taking. How can you tell? What is the gauge you use to determine whether you want to move toward something or away from something?
  6. You have a powerful source of intrinsic motivation. You won’t need to rely on someone else or something else to get yourself fired up or inspired.
  7. You have a means of correcting your course to arrive at your destination. To get to the heart of this, I always ask clients to answer three questions honestly: – what’s working? – what’s not working? – what are you going to do differently in the next 90 days to help correct what’s not working? Businesses have to do this all the time, though some stubbornly stick to obsolete goals far too long, even when it’s obvious they should change course.
  8. You attract the resources and people you need to achieve your goals. It’s called the law of attraction: The more clarity you have, and the more you can write down and visualize what it is you want to happen, the better able you are to attract the things that you want to attract in your life. My advice? Always go big. Little goals and little visions will attract little thinkers and little resources. Big goals and big visions will attract big thinking people and big resources.
  9. Your goal-building helps you create the future in advance. Here is the way it works: the pictures you create in your head turn into the reality you hold in your hand.
  10. You stay on the offensive. When you play offense, you take control.

For more in-depth information and help writing effective goals, I invite you to check out my book Clarity: How to get it, how to keep it, and how to use it to balance your life.