In April of 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt confiscated all gold coins, ingots and notes owned by Americans. Anyone caught with more than $100-worth of non-jewelry gold would be slammed with a $10,000 fine – about $143,000 in today’s dollars.
Fast forward to the early 1970s: Huge federal deficits from the Vietnam War were coming home to roost and inflation was raising its ugly head. The value of the U.S. dollar was plunging. Our cost of living was beginning to soar.
And because owning gold – the world’s most time-honored store of value and inflation hedge – was still a crime, American consumers, savers, investors and retirees had little choice but to watch helplessly as inflation robbed them blind.
That’s when an obscure Louisiana school teacher decided to force the mighty U.S. government to legalize gold ownership.
He didn’t care that he was “just one man” and that he’d be challenging America’s mightiest financial institutions and most powerful politicians.
Nor did his lack of funds to mount such a daunting national campaign faze him.
The fact that a horrendous automobile accident had left him paralyzed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair didn’t even begin to enter into his thinking.
Americans desperately needed a way to defend themselves against Washington’s wasteful ways. Only gold could give the common man the protection he needed against inflation.
Legalizing gold ownership and investment was the right thing to do … rising inflation made this the right time to do it … and this obscure Louisiana teacher believed he was just the guy to get it done.
And so James Ulysses Blanchard III – “Jim” to his friends – headed off to Canada, purchased a ten-ounce gold ingot and smuggled it back into the United States.
Ballsy – right? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet …
Jim’s next step was to buy full-page ads in newspapers from coast-to-coast – each one featuring a large photograph in which he proudly displayed his contraband, confessed to his crime and defied the federal authorities to do one damned thing about it.
Oh – and in each of those ads, he invited America’s inflation-ravaged citizens to a meeting where they could see and touch the banned substance for themselves.
Tens of thousands did. And at those meetings, Jim spoke eloquently about how gold and ONLY gold could protect their purchasing power and preserve their quality of life.
And he collected tens of thousands of signatures on petitions demanding that Washington legalize gold, then delivered every one of them to key members of Congress.
Brazen – right? It gets better …
When Gerald R. Ford was inaugurated as the 38th President of the United States on August 9, 1974, and with every TV news camera on the East Coast focused squarely on the Capitol steps …
… Jim hired a bi-plane to buzz the Capitol steps pulling a huge banner demanding that the new president … “LEGALIZE GOLD!”
And less than two weeks later, President Ford signed a bill doing just that.
Now, Jim could have found plenty of excuses – plenty of reasons NOT to mount his campaign. He had no credibility: Nobody had ever heard of him. He had no money to speak of. He could have been slapped with a huge fine. He might have even wound up in jail. He could have lost everything. Oh yeah – and he was in a wheelchair.
Instead, Jim just did the right thing.
And in the end, Jim did well by doing good: When it finally became legal to buy and sell gold coins and ingots on January 1, 1975, Jim began offering everyone who had signed his petitions the opportunity to buy some … from him.
By the time I met him in 1982, he was a millionaire many times over. And by the time we parted company a few years later, we had quadrupled his sales to more than $115 million per year and had sold his company to a subsidiary of General Electric for a king’s ransom.
I could tell Jim Blanchard stories for days.
Like the time at a Costa Rican fishing camp when Jim rolled up to the table where his CFO and I were playing chess … casually pulled a live, four-foot croc from beneath his shirt … and tossed it at us. (Given the choice between attacking a copywriter or an accountant, the croc promptly attacked the bean-counter, thus demonstrating that crocs, while hideously ugly, do, indeed, have excellent judgment.) …
Or how we crashed the Soviet Trade Mission in Washington DC – ostensibly to discuss sponsoring an investment conference behind the Iron Curtain – and how Jim looked the official (obviously a KGB agent) squarely in the eye and told him communism was dead as a doornail and that capitalism would rule in the Soviet Union within the year (he was right) …
Or how Jim had his picture taken atop a camel beside the Great Wall of China sporting a bright red tee-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle and proclaiming “F@#! Communism!” in big yellow letters – and how that picture ran in dozens of newspapers before any Chinese official who could read English saw them …
Or how Jim smuggled himself across mosquito-infested rivers into Mozambique and brought blankets and medicine to the freedom fighters who were opposing the Soviet-backed government there …
Or my personal favorite – how Jim decided to get his son Anthem into The Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest person ever to visit the North Pole: When the weather made it too dangerous for their plane to land on the ice, Jim bribed the pilot to land illegally on an airstrip at a Soviet spy outpost.
Jim then promised the enraged KGB colonel who met their plane $2,000 in gold for the use of a nearby Soviet Army helicopter … then stiffed him … and then had me write a nice letter to Gorbachev thanking him for the use of his chopper …
The point is, in business and in life, Jim was the most fearless man I have ever met.
And in Jim’s life as in yours and mine …
Courage Is Everything.
I figure that by now, the folks who are reading this should have at least doubled America’s gross domestic product. And those of you in the 60 or so other nations where The Total Package is consumed daily should have done the same thing in your countries.
It’s all here for you: Proven direct response and copywriting principles that magically transform advertising from a cost center into a profit center … that produce huge leaps in response and average sale … that multiply sales revenues and profits – and that can make you filthy, stinking rich in the process.
Just take a few days to study the nearly 700 articles in our archive, and you’ll know a heckuva lot more than I did when I began writing winners and quadrupling my clients’ companies.
The good news is, I know you’re learning. I read the e-mails you send us. I see what you’re writing on our forum and on other message boards. You know your stuff.
Thousands of you could get up tomorrow morning, walk down Main Street, pick up two, three or more new clients, create sales-doubling campaigns in a week or three, and get the money rolling in.
But quarter after quarter, I check the government’s GDP numbers – and you know what? It’s not happening!
Sure – we get plenty of “Thank-You” notes from folks who are multiplying sales and profits using what they’ve learned in these pages. But not nearly enough.
So my message to you this week is a simple one. Look …
- You want to make a better living … six figures, seven figures, maybe even more …
- You know that mastering the principles of direct response marketing gives you the power to make that kind of money – even to go from zero to big bucks in a matter of months …
- You know there are 25 MILLION small businesses in America that desperately want more customers and to sell more to each one of those customers – and there are millions more in just about every country on the planet …
- And if you’ve been paying attention, you know precisely what each one of them needs to do NOW to help those business owners get what they want.
So what’s stopping you?
My guess? For many good folks reading this, it’s fear.
See if this sounds familiar …
You’ve told everyone you know that you’ve decided to become a freelance marketing consultant or a copywriter or to start your own direct response business …
You’ve spent a bundle on books, courses and live events and you’ve acquired the tools you need to succeed …
… Now, it’s time to go to work.
But what if nobody wants to hire you? Or worse: You create the best campaign you know how to create – and it flops?
How are you going to explain that to your friends? Your parents? Your significant other? How are you going to deal with that yourself?
Look. Let me tell you something that all the gurus out there probably won’t.
All the free e-zines … all the $100 books … all the $1,000 courses … all the $5,000 seminars in the world won’t do you one freaking bit of good if you don’t put them to WORK.
Because it’s not until you begin applying this stuff in the real world that you REALLY begin to learn!
I don’t care if you can quote Hopkins, Schwab and Caples chapter and verse. Or that you can debate the finer points of copywriting with the best of them. Or that your spec copy reads as compellingly as a Bencivenga masterpiece.
Unless and until you persevere through the rejection that’s required prior to bagging your first real clients … and until you suffer the humiliation of getting your butt kicked – repeatedly and publicly – by real prospects when there’s real money on the line … you’re still just a student.
Students have to pay to learn. Once you begin doing, others PAY YOU to learn.
That’s why I just told you Jim Blanchard’s story. In the ‘60s, he was a nobody. He was broke. He was in a wheelchair. And he could have been fined within an inch of his financial life or even imprisoned for doing what needed to be done.
He did it anyway. And by doing it, he changed the world … and provided a way for us common folk to protect our income, savings and investments from the drooling morons in Washington who insist on gutting the value of our money.
And he became a very, VERY wealthy man.
Sure – you’re going to have to bang the phones for hours every day until you get a client – and those first few clients may not be worth a bucket of warm spit.
You’re going to have to create five, ten, twenty or even more promotions before you get your first huge winner.
But nobody’s going to arrest you and nobody’s going to fine you $143,000 for giving it your best.
Courage – true courage – means being scared to death and then doing what needs to be done anyway.
You can do this. I know you can. We’ll help any way we can. Just do me this one favor this week:
Think about what scares you most – what’s holding you back or limiting the amount of money you could be making … SHOULD be making right now.
Write those fears down on a scrap of paper. Then make a point of taking on those fears one by one this week.
When I was beginning my career, my biggest fear was approaching prospective clients. So I forced myself to do it for two hours every morning. I dialed the phone until my fingers bled – and before long, I got pretty good at selling myself. Next thing I knew, I actually looked forward to the times I set aside to fill my writing schedule.
My prediction: You’ll be shocked to discover that the very things you’ve feared … the very things that have stood between you and the success you dream of … become the things you love doing the most.
Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Publisher & Editor
THE TOTAL PACKAGE
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