Somewhere in my attic there is a box or two of DVD's.
It's not a hidden porn stash.
It's a box of internet marketing training programs and conferences.
Yanik Silver. Jeff Walker. Andy Jenkins.
These are not names most people know.
There are dozens of DVD's, CD's, and three ring binders in that box (or two or three boxes, maybe even four boxes...) that were the foundation of my entrepreneurial journey.
When I first got started in sales as a career in 2003 I knew that I didn't always want to be driving to appointments, knocking on doors, and speaking to leads that weren't interested or weren't qualified. So I invested in my education to find "a better way".
I wanted an automated sales system. An online business that would supplement all of the ground work I was putting in offline.
It was hard to sort through the real "gurus" from the fake "gurus" even back then. - And in 2017 it's nearly impossible unless you personally know who is really practicing what they preach in their business! - But one day in late October 2005 I got an email from Mike Filsaime.
Again, this is a name most of you will never know.
Mike, along with about a dozen other gurus, was offering a LIMITED TIME ONLY DVD of a closed door meeting with the world's top internet marketers.
His email was compelling.
The sales page was emotion inducing.
By the time I had read the 20 minutes worth of sales copy I was hooked.
I wanted to buy this $997 DVD.
I wanted to learn how to "earn riches online".
But the DVD was only available for the next three days, and copies were limited.
What was a young sales professional to do?
I worried all weekend about it, and as Sunday night and the deadline to purchase approached I thought an ulcer in my stomach was forming.
"What if I miss out?!" I thought to myself.
It didn't occur to me then that within 30 days people would be selling bootlegged copies on eBay for $20 a piece.
I didn't want to miss out though.
It was the most I had ever spent on my professional development and business education in my life. And I fretted my decision.
"What if it doesn't work?" I worried to myself.
But what was really going through my mind was, "What if I fail?"
When the DVD came just a few days later via Priority Mail I was elated. I called my girlfriend at the time and cancelled our plans. And that night I shut off all the lights in my den except one lamp, sat down with a pen and a piece of paper, and I inserted that $997 DVD into my cheap DVD player from Walmart.
Over the next 45 minutes or so I watched, listened, and was a bit underwhelmed.
The video quality was poor. No HD even by 2005 standards. The audio quality was poorer.
It was literally a dozen guys sitting around talking about websites, building email lists, affiliate programs, and using terms I didn't understand.
And after about 45 minutes it was over.
Not even any good background music to build me up to the fact that this "closed door meeting of the world's most elite marketers ever" was over.
As I sat in my den that night I remember the DVD stopping, the blue screen popping back up on my TV screen, and dropping my pen on my notepad with my mouth agape in shock.
"I've been had! It was as scam!"
I was angry.
I was disappointed.
How could I have spent $997 on a DVD and been fooled by fake gurus?!
"Perhaps I missed something though?" I thought to myself. "Damn that Frank Kern!" I yelled shaking my first at the sky. Cursing a marketer most of you have never heard of, but someone who has revolutionized the way things are sold online over the past two decades.
And so I watched the DVD again.
And I realized that these gurus were actually laying out a solid plan for a solid business system.
An automated sales system.
And I just wasn't getting it.
In reality I thought it was too simple.
And I didn't take action.
I did however take just one little piece of information from a 30 second clip of that DVD, and despite the fact I had a full-time management position at the time I committed myself to a little side hustle doing sales for myself for website services, and within six months a was making a six figure a year income just from working 2-3 hours a night 3 or 4 days a week.
In 2007 I went to a conference and heard the legendary Jack Canfield speak and he talked about buying a $997 DVD a couple of years before and how it had changed his entire life and business, and I almost swallowed my own tongue.
Jack Canfield, author, speaker, thought leader had bought the same DVD I had.
It had changed his life and business and earned him many many millions.
He had applied what the "gurus" had taught.
However, me, Stan Way, had not taken action, had thought it was too simple, but applied just one tiny bit of information and had created a meaningful side business that helped me through good times and bad.
I could tell you a lot more about that $997 DVD.
I now know a handful of people that got a similar email as me on an October day in 2005 and purchased it.
Those who took action and applied the simple things that were taught have made meaningful integrity filled businesses that have changed the world and marketing in many profound ways.
Some of us are the non-action-takers though.
I admit that.
I'm accountable to the fact that I didn't follow through and years behind in my life goals in many ways because of that.
But that doesn't mean that I cannot change things today.
And every day.
Now that I work as a sales coach myself, and work with many other integrity based business coaching programs it amazes me that the differences between the people who succeed in life and business and those who don't aren't really all that huge.
If I could sum it up the difference between massive winners and massive losers I would say it's really just one thing:
The winners take action and are coachable.
The losers keep finding excuses to get started, take too long to do tasks, procrastinate all of the important things, and then never fully follow through.
They don't commit.
I see this in sales professionals and businesses all the time now.
"We want to be able to increase our closing ratios by just 5% on the phone," they'll say.
"Okay great! I can do that no problem!"
I then teach to do just a couple of small things, little tweaks on the radars of life, and they'll look at me and say, "No. That cannot really be the answer. What's the secret?"
There are no secrets in sales. If you find a good program, training, coach or mentor with proven results, there is no secret.
Unless you want to call doing the right things a secret.
The problem is that most sales professionals and businesses are doing the wrong things.
And when they do invest they do not fully commit and they do not follow through to make things work.
Imagine if I told you I could increase your revenue by 10% each year if you made a few small changes, but by 20% if you made some big changes?
Would you do it?
You might say you would...
But would you really?
$997 for a DVD made me rethink my life and business a dozen years ago. And it still makes me rethink it nearly every day.
$997 for me in 2005 was a big deal. (Perhaps for you in 2017 it's a big deal now!)
But it was an investment in education. And it's paid off in ways untold.
When was the last time you invested in your education? In your training? When was the last time you committed yourself to learn from a master in an industry or hobby that you're interested in?
If it hasn't been recently then I recommend you go and invest somewhere.
There are a lot of gurus now days, but you'll always be able to spot the fakers from the makers if you're looking for the right things.
I want everyone to have a $997 DVD Moment in their life. A moment when they can look back and say, "I learned something that will change my life forever for the better."
You may not need to invest money. Perhaps you'll need to just invest time. Or, even simpler, your attention (instead of wasting time on Facebook and Instagram).
But if you don't invest in your future and your life then you're investing in your failure.
Energy goes where attention flows.
So what are you paying attention to?
And are you investing in the right things?
If you're not, it's not too late to make today the day when you'll start taking action and being accountable to yourself.