The Importance of Belief

Friday, Oct 17 (2020) / 11 min read

This email is part of our email series for our Fall 2020 enrollment of SOI, ARM, and TTE (October 9-19). If this resonates with you, you can find the rest of the email series here.

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Supplemental: Short story from André

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Happy Friday.

If you've come in late, you'll find a list of all previous emails from this series in the P.P.S. section at the end of this email.

And, a quick reminder — the Fall 2020 enrollment for AutoResponder Madness, Sphere of Influence, and The Traffic Engine closes on Monday, Oct. 19th at midnight PST.

We wanted to share three of our favorite replies from yesterday's email about storytelling that put a smile on our faces:

Email from Mike
Email from Ernie

Email from Fred

Today's email is a bit of a rabbit hole…

It will require you to use your gray matter to internalize some ideas. If you do, the reward could be seismic.


Ready? …

If you spend any time in selling, direct response marketing, and copywriting circles, you'll hear (a lot) about the importance of ‘handling objections'.

The basic idea is to pitch your offer, then plan for all of the ways someone might say ‘no', ‘I'm not sure', ‘let me think about it', or ‘let me talk with my spouse', and have an answer prepared (or, even better, pre-built into your copy).

If you've ever been subject to a hardcore sales experience, especially over the phone (framed as a free coaching call), you know it can feel gross.

Even if the product or service is great, high-pressure selling can leave customers feeling manipulated, bullied and coerced (or worse, tricked).

We believe there's a better way (shocker!).

Instead of focusing on handling objections, we think about establishing beliefs

What does someone need to internalize and believe before s/he can accept an offer as the right solution for him (or her) at that moment in time?

When you focus on objections, you're framing your thinking in the negative. You're assuming someone will say no, and your energy and attention are trying to turn a no into a yes.

The subtext is to try and sell ‘everyone', because pretty much everyone is fair game in this model.

That's exhausting and, let's be honest, it's not a lot of fun.

In contrast, establishing beliefs is inherently positive…

We're assuming the right people will want to say yes because we've taken the time to take them patiently and methodically on a journey where what we have to offer is the obvious, logical choice for their needs.

Maybe not at this precise moment — but at the right moment for them when they're ready to buy.

We'll unpack this idea with a few examples. And, if you already own Sphere of Influence, you'll find the detailed ‘chain of beliefs' modules in the core training.

(Don't miss the lengthy conversation in the comments between us and Gareth Kemp too — that's an in-depth discussion of how we do this work ourselves.)

OK, let's look at the importance of beliefs from three perspectives:

  • Yours.
  • Ours (i.e., André and Shawn).
  • All of ours (i.e., you and us).

In yesterday's email we mentioned that what we're really doing here is awakening possibility in others. To do that effectively, we need you to believe that what you have to share with the world is valuable.

If you don't accept that, nothing we do or say really matters. Sure, you might buy a course (or three), you might take action, and you might even get a few meaningful results.

But you won't go the distance.

You won't push through when it gets hard (and guess what, it always gets hard — don't believe the ‘3 minutes to a $100k funnel' fairy dust nonsense polluting your newsfeed).

Until you believe — deep inside — that you can create real value for an audience, we will not have accomplished our primary objective (which is awakening possibility in you).

The other side of the coin is whether you believe in the version of marketing we do and teach.

Let's unpack this a little more because the distinction is important:

belief — noun: an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

Facts = objectively verifiable.

I'm 5'9″. Shawn is 6'2″. Black and while, easily verifiable. No gray area.

Belief = can't be objectively verified. A level of faith is required. Religion is the obvious example because truth is subjective in that context. It can't be held up in a court of law and defended with empirical facts. It's based on a belief.

And this is the beauty and magic of a belief that requires a leap of faith, a roll of the dice, but (somehow) knowing the outcome will be desirable and (subjectively) inevitable.

The version of marketing we do and teach requires a level of belief you need to accept that it'll work for you, in your unique context, for your audience, and for the product or service you provide.

We can't promise you this.

We've can't objectively guarantee that if you do the work to your best ability, the outcome you get will be an order of magnitude better than what you have now.

Many marketers will dole out guarantees left and right, like cotton candy at a fairground, that if you follow ‘their system', you'll earn whatever promised riches.

But we're not one of these marketers (again, shocker!).

We wholeheartedly believe in our version of marketing because it's what we do ourselves, and, for us, the results are undeniable and verifiably.

Black and while.

We've seen businesses transformed when they follow our lead, not just in the results they see, but in how they feel about the work they do.

Moving from a finite to an infinite mindset requires a belief that (future) downstream results will be desirable and (subjectively) inevitable.

A leaf of faith, yes. But only because you're starting on a new journey that for you is still unproven.

Iterating away from the almost instant results of direct response with its default short time horizon to the longer time horizon when you choose — fortified with belief — to play a very different game and know you're on the right path to where you want to get.

We (André and Shawn) also have to believe in what we're offering. Notice we didn't say what we're selling. That's certainly important, but it's much more than that.

We have to believe, without reservation, that:

  • Every idea we've shared in our free content (emails, articles, manifestos, comments, etc.) is accurate and effective.
  • Every example we've given conveys the truth about the specific example, and is representative of a larger truth (not just a one off, lucky exception).
  • The principles we've built our courses around — like leading with value, playing the infinite game, thinking in probabilities, etc. — are the most effective way for you to get results.
  • And that our actions — how we do what we do — is 100% congruent with what we teach.

And that brings us to the third example — what do we (you and us) need to believe to be successful together?

We need to agree that you're going to do the work — we can't do the push-ups for you.

We need to agree that when you have questions, we're going to be there to help you work through them.

That doesn't mean we're going to hold your hand and do the work for you, but it does mean that we're all on the same team, and we may need to clarify, expand, or better explain an idea occasionally.

We need to believe that the methods we teach are going to be effective for your specific needs. That means saying no to potential customers occasionally when it's clear we're not a good fit (which further reinforces your belief when we say that our methods are a good fit).

When we place our attention on these beliefs, we never have to think about objections. The right people self-select in, and the people for whom we're not a good fit self-select out.

And that's exactly the way it's supposed to be.

One more thing while we have your attention — we generally don't send emails on the weekend, but we will be sending a Q&A email this Sunday.

We've been getting many great questions and want to make sure we've answered everything.

We also have a surprise announcement planned for Monday.

(If you're new to our tribe, this is an opportunity for us to mention that we don't do any last day ‘bonus stacking' or other similar nonsense. Instead, we like to say thanks for your attention by giving away something useful that's also not for sale.)

Until Sunday.

If this connects with you, we welcome you to join us on this journey for the foreseeable future.

Have a great weekend.

— Shawn

Shawn Twing

P.S. Enrollment is open for AutoResponder Madness, Sphere of Influence, and The Traffic Engine through midnight PST, Monday, October 19, 2020.

This will be the last enrollment for these courses in 2020.

If you plan to enroll in multiple courses, you'll receive a 10% discount for two, and a 15% discount for three. You can find enrollment info here.

(Note: You also qualify for these discounts if you're already a customer who owns one or two courses from a previous purchase.)


Here is everything we've sent over the past two+ weeks.

If you have the motivation, there is a masterclass of free education if you pick through the emails below (including those we sent in April for TTE and in summer for SOI/ARM). The reason is simple: we practice what we teach. By just paying attention, you'll see us do things that will show up in our paid courses.

P.P.P.S. — Extra Credits:

For your convenience we've compiled an archive of all our enrollment emails from 2020 in one place:

(Not required reading below this line.)

Short story from André about the magic of beliefs:

Since starting my online business journey, I can remember an early moment of outright belief that was not grounded in reality.

It was a feeling I couldn't explain in words, but I felt in my gut and heart.

A sense of inevitability.

It was the day I lost my job. You may know the story, but if not, here's the refresher…

Some things you never forget. We all have a moment like this.

I will always remember that day and the next.

It was finally my turn to be called into the basement boardroom office. Knowing what was about to come, I strangely felt relaxed.

When I reflect back, I was looking forward to this moment.

Being honest with myself, if this moment hadn't been forced on me that October, I would have pulled the pin myself right after my Christmas paycheck.

I was the only person feeling this way.

The head of HR, Kelly, was already seated, head down, no eye contact. I liked Kelly, she was a friend.

It was October 22, 2003.

Boss Man was there too. He had no problem making eye contact. Water off a duck's back for him. Just another day in corporate London.

He had positioned himself with his back to the brick wall. A position of power. He waved me over to a chair across the boardroom table from him.

“André, take a seat,” he said.

Kelly was to my right. They had me surrounded.

After the deed had been executed with military precision, I stood up, stabbed my hand out, and thanked Boss Man for the past two years.

I was finally free.

I must have caught him off guard. I remember seeing the confusion plastered across his face, as obvious as a flashing neon sign above a Las Vegas Strip Club.

People weren't supposed to be happy when they got fired.

They certainly shouldn't be grateful beaming a ten thousand-watt smile.

It was fun leaving Boss Man in a state of confusion. My little going away gift for him.

One hour later — after I'd been escorted from the building armed with nothing more than two months redundancy pay for two and a half years of service — I trotted across the road to the agreed upon rendezvous point.

That's where the other dozen or so ex-employees were stationed, perched on bar stools, fortifying themselves at 11am with pints of beer.

It was a surreal situation. I remember it fondly.

I was finally free.

The dominant emotion that was flowing as freely as the amber liquid was anger at the powers-that-be, who would probably all be receiving Christmas bonuses for a ‘job well done.'

I wasn't surprised at all, and I wasn't angry either.

I was standing at the beginning the something new. An unknown, but filled with possibility.

Three or four pints of beer later, I was bouncing along on a train heading out of London for the last time wearing a suit and tie, the uniform of the system I had just been untethered from and would never return.

I was finally free.

It felt weird sitting there, knowing that I would never have to go back.

A weight had been lifted.

At that moment, I had felt a strange sense of calmness. A feeling I've never forgotten.

Wrapped within that calmness was a weird belief that this new journey would work out ok.

I was thirty years old and unemployed.

I had absolutely no freakin' idea what the next day would hold, but I knew it would be the start of a journey online that will have no ending.

I was about to go after a dream, a pursuit of fulfillment. I didn't know what that was yet, but was excited and scared to find out.

I could only see the start line. Beyond that was a fog I couldn't see past.

But I was armed with two powerful forces, and it was all I needed:

Possibility. Belief.

That next day was when reality hit me like an out of control freight train. I was scared as hell. Excitement seemed to have left the building. But I had two unmovable forces pulling at me, urging me on, one foot in front of the other, and that's all I needed.