nervous young business woman at the desk with a laptop“It’s Not About You!”

The first time I heard that statement, I thought, “wait!” What do you mean, “It’s not about me?” Maybe this is the first time you have heard that statement with respect to running your own business. You might wonder if I have lost my mind since your quest for success is so much about what you do and how you do it.

Allow me to challenge your perspective for a couple of minutes.


My first couple of products were not all that great, but they sold. I quickly learned that people will buy something that fills a need. That was surprising because I thought that my content would create sales. Products that meet a need for real people will sell with much less effort than you can imagine. As you consider your products, look around for the needs. Questions that people ask will reveal what your potential customers need from you.

Your product is not about you. Every ounce of value that you pack into your product starts with giving so much more perceived value to your customer than you take in payment. Think less about money and more about people and delivering value. Your experiences as a customer will guide you in creating products that stand out in the marketplace. Special touches might include the weak areas in the products you have purchased in the past. Have you ever thought ‘I can do better than that?’ If so then do it.


Value inside the package you create cannot be measured in any currency. Every person who buys your product will do so for a different reason. Your real objective is to exceed your customer’s original expectations. You will meet needs for your customers when you consider these five ways to add value:

  • Excellence – Customers will learn to trust the way you create value through every action you take. Your favorite restaurants, hotels and stores strive to provide excellent products and services in unique ways. We all notice the ways employees at our favorite businesses meet our needs. How can you add excellence in your business?
  • Consistency – You will become known in the marketplace for your consistent value inside every feature in your offerings. You might know of a restaurant that misses the mark every time your favorite chef is gone for a day. Customers do not like unpleasant surprises. Outsourcing might be the best way for you to offer consistent results in some areas of your business but in other areas it could hurt, remember that there are some tasks you can get others to do but some tasks should only be handled by you.
  • Attention – Customers flock to businesses where they feel special. I have learned many different ways to connect with other people. I enjoy talking to people in many different settings to hear their questions and concerns. I love to listen to their stories and find needs that I can fill. The Internet can provide places for your fans to congregate, be it via online forums, Facebook groups or interactive training sessions.
  • Empathy – Identifying an existing need challenges you to put yourself in the other person’s place. We all want people to go that extra mile and really solve the problem. You might have a great solution to a problem because you have been in the same position. Your questions from early in your journey might guide you to add specific features to your own products.
  • Appreciation – Do you know the last time someone said “thank you” to you? I know that those two words are very powerful with people. Your effort to stand out in the marketplace might begin with a special way of thanking the people who take you closer to your dream.


I used to wonder how I could give enough to make a difference to others. My thinking had to change from the common beliefs about giving. Resources do not run out when I remember to give what people need to move along their pathway to success. The old formulas create a scoreboard where someone has to win and others lose. I have discovered that giving creates value in ways that will never fall into a predictable pattern. I cannot explain it, but I know giving works better than worrying about the money. For example do you know I read every response I receive when I send out a broadcast email? If someone has the decency to reply to your emails you should have the decency to read them.

Relationships and Generosity

Great stories usually have a surprise factor, right? We all love those stories where some guy receives a new car, or a house, or a job. Have you ever wanted to be the person who does the giving? Imagine what that would be like. Maybe your version of giving will start smaller and work up to filling needs in ways that you cannot imagine at this point. Your journey to success really is not about you! Look around at the people in your life and listen for the questions that will guide you to create amazing digital products that answer those questions.

If you forget about ‘making money’ and concentrate on ‘helping others’ and I promise the money will come all on it’s own. Never forget that.

    7 replies to "It’s Not About You!"

    • Trevor

      Hi john another great article I do agree about customer service sometimes when you go into a resturant you do feel like another number

    • Keith Avis

      Yes someone said to me early on in my career “write for your audience and they will be responsive to what you have to say”. It’s not rocket science, but it’s amazing how many of those online miss the point.

    • Steve Thomas

      Great post again John and I for one can vouch just how much you care and listen to the people that you work with. You’ve been very inspirational and walked the walk with everything we’ve talked about.

      It’s great to know that I can reach out you regularly and get solid advice and guidance about where I can improve on things personally as well as professionally.

    • German Calvo

      Wow! What a great post John. Indeed, ‘giving’ must not fall into a predictable pattern simply because you are always ahead in ways to maximize it when it is your most precious quality. And in every section of your post there are golden areas of wisdom that I learn from and implement because I agree with all of them specially the ending.

    • Tasleem Khan

      Great post again, John. “Think less about money and more about people and delivering value” really hits home. When I first started my online journey all I would think about was me but over the years you have taught me to deliver value and think about the customer and because of it my business has grown. 🙂

    • Glenn Shepherd

      Hi John,

      Those are important reminders. I especially like the one about people buying something that fills a need.

      It’s especially important to think about other people and how to help them. I think that this is vital to remember no matter what we do and what we’re aiming for. Whether it be sales, visitors, comments to out blog, subscribers, social media shares or whatever, if we put ourselves out there and think about how we can best help others then the things we ultimately want will largely take care of themselves. 🙂


    • Donna Merrill

      Hi John,

      Money will always follow if one gives in an altruistic manner. Also over delivering. When someone wants an answer to a problem and we over deliver we build the know,like trust factor.

      I have had an offline service business for decades..still do and find that when we really listen to people and give to them, that word of mouth is golden. I never advertised in that business, but people have spread the word.

      So when I came online, I applied the same principles. It is never about me, rather it is all about the people I can serve. With that mindset, money always follows.

      I just wish more marketers would take this advice!

      Well done…Thanks!


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