If you want to improve your life and your business, choose different thoughts and behavior.

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

–Albert Einstein

Have you heard about the bestseller, “The Secret”? It’s a lovely book, full of inspiring stories illustrating universal truths. “The Secret” is the Law of Attraction. What we think about comes about.

Author Rhonda Byrne shares tips and suggestions for changing your thoughts and your life. What’s floating around in your head? Are your thoughts positive and supportive affirmations of your best life? Or are they a relentless litany of what sucks about you?

Listen to the voice in your head. If those words were spoken aloud to you by someone else…would you stand for it? Does that voice use words your momma used? Your daddy? Your first boss? Sr. Mary Elizabeth? Part of “The Secret” is changing the way you think about things.


Now if you really don’t want something to happen, your thought on it will cause it to manifest. “I better not catch the cold that’s going around the office.” Sure enough, you’ll catch that cold. It takes discipline to catch a negative thought and replace it with a positive one. “I enjoy good health.”

Another part of “The Secret” is the transformative power of gratitude. Byrne suggests that you make your first thoughts and spoken words of each day, “Thank you.” Gratitude is attractive. Wake up and give thanks for your home, enough to eat, family, pets, a gorgeous summer day, peace on earth, funny movies, beautiful music. You’ll feel better and be attractive to more good things.

I read a lot of books. I have read most of what is in “The Secret” in other books.

The message of “The Secret” has been around for thousands of years. Those who ‘get’ it, appreciate this beautiful, affirmative presentation of universal truths. Millions of copies of “The Secret” have been sold. “The Secret” video has been downloaded over 5 million times. What makes “The Secret” such a blockbuster hit?

Marketing. It’s not hype. Hype is the sizzle without the steak. Marketing is presenting a really great steak to a hungry person.

Byrne is marketing this powerful information in such a way that it is resonating with people. She gave it a powerful name, “The Secret.” The name is intriguing. You want to want to know what it is, and how you can get in on it. The logo is a wax stamp with old world script, like the seal on a rare, ancient document. The promise is a healthy, wealthy, wonderful life. Very attractive! And happy readers are telling others about the book.

Imagine if you approached your life and your business this way.


You can choose differently. You can change your thoughts. If you want to improve your life and your business, choose different thoughts and engage in different behaviors.

I found this message on my voice mail the other day: “Ellen, I don’t know if you remember me but we met a few years ago. Just wanted to get caught up.”

She left her name, and you better believe I remembered her. She and her husband own a plumbing company in the Midwest. When we met, they were struggling in every area of their business, and they weren’t making any money.

I called her back. She filled me in on what they have been up to. I was delighted to hear her say, “I just snapped one day. We were working for a builder who just abused us. Why was I putting up with it? I talked to my husband and we agreed, no more! We were going to work for people who would appreciate the kind of great work that we do and not work for the jerks. Since then, we have made more money and grown the company. I am calling because we just added our fourth truck. I have been focused on that since you told me most plumbing companies never add the fourth truck. I thought you’d like to know. And, Ellen, this is a depressed area. Businesses all over town are closing. People are singing the blues, but not us. We are busy, making money and loving life!”

I share lots of meat-and-potatoes, bare-bones advice with folks so that they can make more money. Most people choose not to change their thoughts, beliefs and actions. Those who do change create better results. That’s the secret and the secret is out.

A few minutes later, I got another call, from a fellow about 250 miles away from this woman. “I’d like to make more money. But in my town, all people care about is the lowest price. My cheapskate customers aren’t going to pay more no matter how much sales stuff I lay on ‘em.”

I replied, “You could charge more and make more money. If you charge more, you have to provide more value. And, you would benefit from learning to communicate that value to your customers. That’s marketing. Interested in developing your marketing skills? Or are you committed to attracting more cheapskate customers?”

We’ll see if he calls back.

If everything you think you know makes your life unbearable would you change?
–From “Change” by Tracy Chapman


How about you?

What if you were to change how you think about marketing? What if you thought differently about what you do? What if you used different words to describe it?

You could say: “I’m a walls and ceilings professional. I do some pretty cool things with paint and texture and protection from the great outdoors. The name of my company is The Green Team.

“The work we do is beautiful. The walls and ceilings are the most exposed area of your décor. We work with you–we are good listeners!–to make sure that you love the look, texture and feel of our surfaces. We are pleased with the results only when you are delighted with the finished product.

“Did you know we have a no-risk, no-worry guarantee? If you don’t like what we have done, we will re-do it, or refund your money. You pick. Now, our prices reflect the premium services I provide. If you get more than one bid, we may be the high bidder, at least on the surface. There is no other company in our market that offers what we offer. I know because I check around and make sure we are better, cleaner, greener and nicer than the competition. That’s my promise to you.”

What if you asked your customers what they like or don’t like, want or don’t want, and offered to make it all better.

What if:

• you invited them to watch or hold the flashlight or tell you about their summer vacation?
• you woke up every morning and gave thanks for all the good things in your life, including your customers?
• you used the Law of Attraction to bring wonderful customers into your life?

You just might sell your amazing work to people who really, really want it and are willing to pay the right price.

The best-kept secret is you and what you do. Let people in on it.