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Marketing Success Secrets Of A Homeless Man: Fishing In The Right Pond

Aug 17, 2007
Success speaker Earl Nightingale, who with the revelation gained from the idiom "We become what we think about," wrote and recorded "The Strangest Secret." It helped him to pioneer the personal development industry, and defined success as "the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."

We live in a society where the amount of money a person banks often equals accomplishment. The pinnacle of success for business owners and entrepreneurs rest on what they do rather than what they own.

It may be a stretch to consider someone without a home to call his own as being successful. Yet, I deem a homeless man that I see on a regular basis at an intersection of a major freeway in Humble, Texas as "successful," mainly because underlying marketing efforts result in him getting (progressive realization) a good number of "donations" (his worthy goal)every day.

I dare not make light of the homeless situation. I agree with Sharon Cohen, writing in "A Day in the Life of the Homeless in America" when she states: "From villages to large cities, homelessness has spread like dye through the weave of America's social fabric. A single day in the life of the homeless reveals hundreds of thousands without shelter, and blame goes to everything from the lack of affordable housing and unemployment to drug abuse, mental illness and a flawed foster care system."

However, some enterprising "homeless" people use the system to their advantage and actually earn more money begging, than when they were gainfully employed. You might ask, "How do they do that?"

In two earlier articles, we established the first two tenets of success for any business owner: looking the part, and possessing tenacity in the face of adversity. The third marketing success secret of the homeless man I speak about in this series focuses on, "Fishing in the Right Pond."

Internet marketing legend Marlon Sanders says, "If you want to catch fish, the very thing you have to do is find a pond of hungry fish. That is your target market. A lot of people are racking their brains trying to get fish to bite first. The problem is their fish aren't hungry. Man, you got to have hungry fish."

The intersection where this particular man begs daily makes up the right pond for what he does. Because of its proximity to middle class and upper middle class neighborhoods, I believe he plays the numbers' game, betting that x amount of drivers will show enough compassion for him to spend the extra 30 seconds or so to give him a dollar or two or whatever spare change that might be riding along in their vehicle's console.

Fishing in the right pond also means knowing your niche. The homeless man knows that he stands in the right place (pond) where paying clients (fish) will pass by.

Maybe without fully realizing it, he discovered that the power of niche marketing stands as one of the most underutilized marketing weapons for small businesses. Niche marketing means you market to customer groups that fit the demographic and psychographic profile of your target market.

You see, the homeless man does not try to be everything to everyone. He waits for one specific customer to pass his way; he seeks to cross paths with his ideal customer.

Now to me, although begging works for him, he expends a lot of time on it for the amount of money he gets in return. Yet, if it meets his need (I suspect he makes more money than we think) -- if he achieves his goal for today, consider him a success.

In my book publishing and author services' company, it took me a while to learn the value of fishing in the right pond. Although I am aware of the statistics which state that 81% of people believe they want to write a book inside, clients needing my services became readily available when I started speaking to writer's groups, book clubs and the like instead of waiting for potential clients to find me.
About the Author
Marvin D. Cloud provides a self-publishing alternative at mybestseller.com. For a free writers' workbook and online marketing tips, go to http://mybestseller.com/html/marketing_tips.
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