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The Corners We Don't Mind Cutting

Aug 17, 2007
It happens fairly often. About one customer in 50 steals from me.

But I'm not alone. Virtually every person I know who sells information products says they have the same experience.

No matter how good your product, no matter how much value you pile on, about two percent of your customers will order your product, download it, then immediately request a refund. And usually there's only a delay of a few minutes between download and refund demand.

"Sorry this isn't what I expected."
"I didn't find anything new in your book."
"I was curious, but it didn't meet my expectations."
"It wasn't worth the money."

And my all-time favorite:

"Give me a refund, then eat **** and die."

I think of them as "professional refunders." But some of my friends aren't that polite -- thieves they call 'em.

Now I'm not talking about the occasional person who reads a book thoughtfully and truly does find it lacking. This happens; nobody's writing style is a perfect fit for every reader, not even mine. But these cases account for only about half my refunds, and most other info marketers find the proportion is about the same.

Do I resent these thieves? I used to. When I first began selling online, the first few refunds were a slap in the face to me.

Now, however, I just feel sorry for these people. They're so poor, so utterly impoverished in spirit, that they have to resort to stealing just to try and keep up with the world around them.

They're telling the entire world: "I'm such I loser that I can't compete on fair terms. I need an edge. I have to take unfair advantage just to try and stay even with others. Without cheating, I'd have no hope at all. I'm pitiful."

So what's my point here? It's about cutting corners.

That's what my "professional refunders" -- my thieves -- are doing. They're just cutting corners. And to them it's nothing more than a slick little shortcut. An edge.

"After all, it doesn't hurt anybody. Those guys in business, have plenty of money, so it's okay if I lift a bit of value for nothing. That's why they offer guarantees -- I say I'm not satisfied, and I get my money back. That's the way the game is played."

But refunding isn't the only shortcut.

How many items in your garage or on your bookshelf have been borrowed and never returned?

How many times have you flattered a boss you can't stand just to make life easier?

A friend of mine once complained that his wife would get all lovey and romantic till she got him "inspired" then she'd switch gears and start the hard sell for something she wanted him to buy. It didn't take my friend long to figure out what was happening, but it took him years before he finally walked away from that game. He got tired of his wife's shortcut to persuasion.

It's possible that you lecture your kids about honesty and integrity, but you cheat on your diet, your income taxes and your spouse.

Or maybe you want to build a business, but you spend all your spare time at the television rather than the textbooks.

Whatever you're claiming you want to accomplish... those are your words. Do your actions match?

It's still true that actions speak louder than words.

I used to believe that absolutely anybody could become a success. I've changed my mind.

The fact is, you probably don't have what it takes.

Statistics show that 94% to 97% of the population won't ever accumulate much success in life. So the deck is stacked against you from the start.

Statistically, failure is normal.

That means one thing: you WILL fail.... unless you do something abnormal.

Normal people are all busy taking shortcuts, cutting corners, trying to find an edge that'll make up for their being losers. And as long as you think cutting a corner is okay for you, then you're proclaiming to your inner mind that you truly are a loser.

Look around you. What's your situation? Are you coasting along in the slow lane? Are you taking shortcuts?

For most people, the biggest, most common shortcut of all is this: working for someone else.

Are you letting another person:

- Make the decisions...
- Find the opportunities...
- Reap the lion's share of the profits...
- Decide how you'll spend YOUR time...
- Set limits on what home you'll live in...
- Dictate the size of your life...
- Decide how long you'll work; when you'll retire...
- Decide who you'll be...

Shortcuts all.

Are you cutting these corners? Letting somebody else make all the important decisions about your life and how you'll live it?

If so, be sure you know what it means.

It means you're telling the world you're poor, impoverished and lacking in confidence. You're saying you're so sure you're incompetent, that you're ready to let just anybody tell you where to stand, what to do, where to live, how much to earn, what vacations you can take, and how little you value your own life.

So the next time you're driving like a maniac, speeding to get to work on time, here are three questions you can turn over in your mind:
- Am I trying to crowd both work and home activities into the same time slot? If so, does that mean I'm too lazy to make a realistic choice between them?
- If what I was doing before leaving the house was important enough to delay me, why didn't I just keep doing that and skip work?
- If work is so important that I must put lives at risk by driving this way, why didn't I leave early enough to get there safely?

Cutting corners. It's trying to get something we want without having to pay the full price... because we think we're too poor.

Cutting corners -- we all do it. But successful people do it less because they're NOT poor.

And that's THEIR edge.
About the Author
Charles Burke says that "luck" doesn't work the way you've always been told. Not even close. Read "The Synchronicity Report" - a free PDF download - http://www.2-be.com/synchro
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