Are You a Direct Response

Do you have what it takes to make millions
as a direct response entrepreneur?
Take this simple 5-question test and see …

Dear Business-Builder,

Have you ever thought about winning millions of dollars in the lottery?

I think about the freedom that kind of money would bring with it … the choices it would give my family … the adventures we could have.

And then I think, "Hey, hold on just a minute …

"This doesn't have to be just a fantasy!"

The truth is, there are more ways to get rich today than any of us can possibly imagine. And you don't have to accept lottery odds (one in 175 million against you) to do it!

  • Every time you turn on the TV and see a direct response commercial or infomercial for the gazillionth time …
  • Every time you see a direct mail package or email blast that you've seen many times before …
  • Every time you crack open a favorite magazine only to see an ad you can almost recite from memory …
  •  … You're watching someone win the direct response lottery – and getting rich!

And I don't mean "copywriter" rich – a measly one, two or three million a year. I mean filthy, stinking, obnoxiously rich. The kind of rich that gets you your own custom Boeing 767, 120-foot yacht and your own Caribbean island!

It's happening all around us. Ron Popeil, Billy Mays, Tony Little and scores of other folks – none of whom is a single IQ point smarter or works one bit harder than you – are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars through the Internet, direct mail, print ads, TV and radio. And they're living lives that you and I can only dream about!

A few years ago, Jay "The Juiceman" Kordich visited me in Florida. Over lunch, he said he'd sold more than $120 million-worth of his juicers in a single year.

120 MILLION buckeroonies!

Subtract, say, 50% for marketing costs, 25% for product costs, and you'd still have THIRTY MILLION SMACKERS left over every year – just for promoting a contraption that turns apples into apple juice!

Gawd I love this country!

What's even better is that all these amazing entrepreneurs had to do was, 1) Find a product that brings value to people's lives, and 2) Offer it to them!

OK, OK … so there's slightly more to it than that. Like finding and negotiating a fair price for the product … perfecting your sales pitch and offer … creating and testing your ads, blasts or TV and radio spots … and making sure order-taking and delivery of the product goes smoothly for customers.

But the simple fact is …

This is not rocket surgery or brain science:
Anyone can do it!

A few years ago, I heard a story about a poor inner-city family that inspired and shamed me at the same time …

Nobody in the family was even close to being qualified to be an entrepreneur. There wasn't a single sheepskin from Harvard Business School hanging over the mantle.

All they had was a passel of kids, precious little closet space and a boatload of common sense.

To make more room in each closet, Mom simply connected three coat hangers with twine, and – Voila! – she had instantly TRIPLED the family's closet space!

Next thing you know, that family wasn't poor anymore. They found a manufacturer who'd chain coat hangers together and ran a small ad in their local paper. Then, they ran more.

Before long, they had a national infomercial – and sold more than $100 million-worth of Mom's brainstorm in a single year!

Now, when I first heard this amazing true story, I was feeling sorry for myself. My main client had just been bought out by a bunch of nitwits … I told them where they could shove it … and my income had fallen to zero.

But this story humbled me. After all: If a poor family with no understanding of direct marketing and zero ad writing experience could make $100 million in a year, what in the hell was I moping about?

I was a direct marketing guy … a copywriter with years of successful promotions under my belt … living in the freest country on the planet!

My only limitations were the ones I had placed on myself. My future could be just as rich and rewarding as I wanted it to be!

And so I picked myself up, dusted myself off, went to work, and in no time at all, I was earning MUCH more than my former client had ever dreamed of paying me!

Do you know what money is?

If you answer, "A medium of exchange" or "The root of all evil," I beg to differ.

Money is nothing less than life itself.

I know – that sounds terribly materialistic – but please hear me out …

See, when you first came into this world, you were naked and flat broke. Your parents may have been as rich as Rockefellers, but you personally had no possessions whatsoever. All you had was time – a strictly LIMITED amount of it.

The average baby being born today comes into the world with a life expectancy of about 76 years. Since a third of that time – nearly 220,000 hours – is for sleeping, that leaves somewhere around 445,000 hours to spend any way it likes.

You can choose to spend each one of those hours playing, loafing, learning, loving, hanging out with family and friends or just experiencing life. Or, you can can chose to spend some of those precious hours working.

If you choose to work, you are choosing to trade chunks of your life in return for money. That money represents your life.

When I got my first job, I agreed to sell each one of my 445,000 available hours for $1.60 (the minimum wage at the time). For the princely sum of $64, the company bought the single most valuable limited resource I had: A week of my life; time that I would never recover.

At this moment, you are doing the very same thing. If you work, you are selling time that can never be reclaimed – every working day of your life.

The only question that matters is: Are you getting a fair price for the precious chunks of your life you're selling?

… Or could you – should you – be getting much MUCH more for that precious time than you are now?

Do you have what it takes to become
a direct response millionaire?

You may think of yourself as a marketing exec, copywriter, designer – whatever. But what if you're wrong? What if you're really a direct response tycoon waiting to happen?

What if just making one slight change in how you think about yourself could open the door to freedom and possibilities beyond your wildest dreams?

Granted: Direct response entrepreneurship is NOT for everybody. It may not be for you. But how can you know?

Here are 5 quick questions that could help you find out …

1. Do you believe you're worthy?

I'm often amazed at how many folks are convinced that they don't deserve anything better in life. Somehow, somebody along the line made them believe that success is for "other people" – not them.

How about you?

I'm lucky: Early on, Mom convinced me that I was the smartest, handsomest, best-hearted kid on the planet … that God Himself put me on Earth to fulfill a great purpose … and that not only could I accomplish anything I set my mind to, I had an obligation to do great things.

Mom's appraisal of me became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Not because she was right – but because she made be believe she was right. And so I set out expecting to be wildly successful in all that I did.

What about you? What do you believe about yourself? Are you worthy? Do your belief filters tell you that you're not worthy of the kind of success others achieve?

Or do you believe with all your heart that it's only a matter of time before you hit the big time – until your entrepreneurial brilliance is revealed for all to see?

If you said, "I DESERVE to be just as successful as those guys on TV," – and if you believe it with all your heart – congratulations: You've taken the first step towards making it happen!

2. Do you have a dream?

Bad question. Everybody has dreams. Heck. I dream about talking Catherine Zeta-Jones into a hot tub. Think it's ever going to happen? HAH!

A better question would be …

"Do you have a dream that so excites and motivates you that you're willing to invest the energy and the time necessary to make it a reality?"

I'm not talking about just the dream of building a successful business here. I'm talking about a healthy obsession with all the rewards that come along with success: The prestige … the money … the possessions … the freedom … and most importantly, the exciting, rewarding life experiences that all those things will put within your grasp.

If the thought of these things keeps you up nights … if you feel a little tingle inside when you envision yourself enjoying them … if your heart skips a beat when you imagine yourself having accomplished all this and more …

… And if you're convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that your obsession is powerful enough to keep you going when things get tough – there is an excellent chance that you have what it takes!

3. Are you willing to learn what must be learned
to succeed?

Every successful entrepreneur I've ever known shared one stand-out trait: They were willing, even eager to learn new things.

Now, my guess is, you already know a lot about direct response marketing. The question is, are you willing to recognize that you don't know it all – and eager to do the legwork necessary to fill in the gaps?

Unless you're already rich and can afford top people to do the work for you, you're going to have to know how to create a business plan and a marketing plan …

You'll need to figure out what you're going to sell, how to get it produced or where to get it wholesale …

You'll need to know which media is most promising for your product, sales message and offer – and how to buy it …

You'll need to know how to construct an effective ad for your products (or how to improve the copy hired guns produced for you) …

You'll need to learn the best ways to process orders and deliver your product …

And of course, much, much more.

The great news is, the Internet gives you hundreds of ways to learn all this and more.

If the thought of going to school – learning as you grow your business and growing personally as you learn – excites you, you just may have what it takes!

4. Are you willing to take a risk?

Sure it takes money to make money. But that doesn't mean you have to have a million to make a million!

Promoting a product on the Internet takes next to nothing. You can get an html editor like 123 WysiWyg for under a hundred bucks and then create as many web pages as you like for nothing. You can drive prospects to your web pages using search engine optimization, pay-per-click campaigns and affiliate arrangements. And you can use or to collect money from customers

Or if you prefer, you can do it all on eBay for just a couple hundred bucks per listing!

Or if you prefer, you can test local newspaper ads  … TV spots on local cable systems … and radio spots in local markets for a song.

However you do it, you're going to have to invest – and risk – some time and some money to get started.

How does that make you feel? Terrified? Timid? Discouraged? If so, do yourself a favor: Do NOT give up your day job!

But if your heart races at the thought of risking a few hundred or a few thousand bucks to make tens of thousands or even millions, you just may have what it takes!

5. Are you willing to be patient and persistent?

Somewhere in the Bible, some guy wrote something like, "Despise not the day of small beginnings." Now, I'm no theologian, but I'm pretty sure that means, "Don't be too proud to start small."

With great advice like that, it's no wonder the Good Book's been on the best-seller lists for 2,000 years!

A few years ago, I spent a day at Bill Guthy's home in Los Angeles. Bill and his partner Greg Renker are the geniuses behind Guthy-Renker – one of the world's most successful infomercial companies.

But they haven't always been rich and successful. Once upon a time they were poor college students, trying to figure out what to do with a cassette tape duplicating machine one of them had inherited.

At first, they produced a series of "how-to" tapes and advertised them locally. Soon, they were advertising them on TV from coast to coast – and being so successful at it, they decided to begin promoting other products on TV.

Today, they sell hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of stuff on TV every year … they're married to movie stars and live next door to rock stars.

But they wouldn't have a dime to their names if they hadn't made the decision to take a risk those many years ago.

Direct response marketing is the BEST when it takes to starting small. You invest, say, $2,500 to run an ad. You plow 100% of your profits into running two ads … then 100% into four ads … and pretty soon, your $2,500 is generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

So how did you do?

If you answered "YES" to all five questions above, maybe you should rethink your career …

 … Or at least augment it!

As a direct response marketer, you have an advantage that few of today's TV, Internet and direct mail millionaires had.

You have the tools to make yourself rich!

Instead of thinking of yourself as a copywriter or marketing exec, try thinking like an entrepreneur. It could make all the difference between dreaming about that big lottery win – and actually living like a lottery winner!

Food for thought …

Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Clayton Makepeace Signature
Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor

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12 Responses to Are You a Direct Response

  1. Jeremy Reeves says:


    I like #4 and #5 the best… because it’s something most people don’t think about. People believe all the “get rich overnight” stuff that’s out there – and expect to jump into business with $100 and come out a millionaire the next week.

    It doesn’t work that way!

    Although I have to say – I’m GLAD it doesn’t work that way because it allows the “cream” to rise to the top. Everything is more fair that way :)

    Jeremy Reeves

  2. Absolutely love this article.

    Happy Independence Day!

    – Caleb

  3. Sid says:

    Hey Clayton,

    I could not agree more. I’m in the beginning phases of just what you described.

    I’m very self motivated but it’s great to hear an old pro such as you inspire an old guy like me to go for it… or in my case to continue to go for it.


  4. Steve says:

    Thanks Clayton. Time for me to get my butt into gear.


  5. walter daniels says:

    Many of these points are critical to making money. Including #5, “Start Small.” Yes, it can take a lot of money to create a big dream, but it can also get there from a small beginning. Even the biggest tree, came from a little seed.
    Two of the biggest secrets to success are indeed to believe in yourself, and to be willing to bet everything. If you do not believe in what you are doing, why should anyone else. People buy from a belief in the honesty of the person selling, and the belief the salesperson has in the value of the solution.
    The second part is simple. If you are not willing to bet everything, you are preparing to fail. You cannot succeed, with a half-hearted effort.

  6. Becky Rider says:

    “You cannot succeed with a half-hearted effort.”

    Words to live and work by, Mr. Daniels.

    And Clayton . . . thanks. You inspire me every time I read your blog.

  7. Alphonso says:

    Greetings Clayton;

    Informative, Inspiring, Motivational.

    Words of blessings, respect and appreciation
    to *One* with great insight, foresight, wisdom,
    fortitude, a drive of positive moral interpretude
    and selfesteem, possessing the wealth aquiring DNA,
    from which great legacies are inherited.

    Forgive my futile attempt at that which
    mere words has never truly been able to express.
    The scincere appreciation for the love of *A Mother*.
    Thanks A Billion For Sharing.

    =>Stay Frosty!

  8. Nizom says:

    One more inspiration!
    And once again you think you are on the right track in learning direct response marketing.

    Thank you, Clayton, for keeping us going!

  9. R.Stevens says:

    Great stuff Clayton. Reading between the lines the big key is passion, tenacity and a willingness to take risks. Education has little to do with it. How many of you remember the pet rock? There must be another pet rock out there somewhere!


  10. Bill says:

    Great article as usual, got me thinking.

    I read somewhere that to be rich you have to believe you deserve to be rich. Its a mental thing, a way of thinking. Most of us were raised to believe that getting a job and working hard to pay the bills and go on a little vacation every year is the best that it gets. I was one of those people. I never viewed myself as filthy rich. My programming didn’t allow it.

    I think this is the biggest obstacle we all face. Believing we deserve to be rich!

  11. I can see how this motivates some people into doing what they want with their lives. Thanks for posting.

  12. Pingback: Copywriting Blogs Roundup | Copywriting | Direct Response Marketing | "Maximum Results Copywriting"

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