I’ve beed reading Pre-Suasion lately, and if you’ve read it too, maybe you had a similar reaction to the intro.
When I read that Robert Cialdini, one of the world’s most respected behavioral psychologists (read: a SCIENTIST) used to be a palm reader, and my face looked like this emoji:😮. Like, he charged people money for this. Him! They guy who’s obsessed with “proving” things about human behavior was not only buying into the woo-woo, but actively profiting from it.
And the even more knife-through-the-heart moment was this:
He didn’t even care if his “readings” were accurate. As long as the customer was happy, and they usually were, he was happy.
Yes, palm reading is a cool party trick. But, morals?!?
Anyway, I’m not trying to hate on him. Because what he reveals after he tells this story is a huge insight into human behavior:
If you read a man’s palm (and he believes palm reading has any kind of merit to it), and you tell him he’s a flexible individual who can roll with the punches, he’ll agree with you 100%.
But you can read the same man’s palm two days later, tell him he’s as stubborn as an ass, and he’ll agree with you on that statement too.
Because when you make any statement about his personality, as long as he’s not trying to prove you wrong, his mind automatically goes to instances that match your statement.
If you tell him he’s flexible, he thinks about how he easily went along with the situation when the bus was running late yesterday.
If you tell him he’s stubborn, he immediately thinks about his last conversation with his sister, when he would not settle for her idea of what would make a good anniversary gift for their parents.
Ahhhhhh…… see what I mean?
IT’S A PLACEBO EFFECT.
And I’m going to preach to you here for a second: the placebo effect, and it’s power to do good (or bad) should not be underestimated.
After I read the knee surgery story in Predictably Irrational, I started believing the placebo effect was even more powerful than most actual, “proven” science.
In case you haven’t read it, here’s the gist: two sets of people with the same knee problem get knee surgery. One group goes under anesthesia and gets the full-blown surgery, while the other group goes under anesthesia and just gets cuts in their knees so they have scars from the “surgery,” but no actual surgery.
And wouldn’t you know it, but there was ZERO DIFFERENCE in the two groups as far as “surgery” effectiveness, recovery time, improved knee performance, and future complications. Zero difference. From a surgery that was medically “proven” to be necessary for this condition.
This was approximately the time when I decided “fuck it” in regards to my doubts about woo-woo stuff and bought my first crystals and started believing in moon cycles.
I fully and 100% believed the crystals only worked as a direct result of the placebo effect. I TOTALLY knew that it was all in my own head, but you know what? It worked anyway.
And they were pretty. So even better, right?
When I needed help speaking up, I bought a crystal for that and held onto it the entire time I was spilling my guts.
When I wanted better business connections, I bought a crystal for that and put it in my pocket when I went to networking events.
This is NOT me telling you to go out and by crystals, by the way. I’ve pretty much stopped buying them for myself after my first few splurge sessions on them, but it is to illustrate a different point:
If you think something will work for you, it will work for you.
If you think something is a load of bullshit, to you, it is a load of bullshit so you shouldn’t bother with it.
I like vision boards and written manifesting exercises, but I hate horoscopes.
Because I think horoscopes are a bunch of bullshit.
Every time I read what’s going on with Capricorn, I might see a few things that sound familiar, but most of it just sounds like utter hogwash and like the paper it’s printed on would be better used to wipe an ass.
But it doesn’t matter. If horoscopes help you plan and organize your life, that’s great. And so is carrying a crystal around for hidden confidence, if that’s something you feel like you need. It doesn’t have to serve everyone to serve you.
And up until this point, I’ve used really out-there examples of crystals and horoscopes, but I want to bring it all back in and make it more practical for us as entrepreneurs, marketers, and business people:
GO AHEAD AND TRUST THE PATH YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO TAKE.
Just because someone you look up to says they used Tony Robbins’ advice to “awaken the giant within” and break through their insecurities and make a million dollars in business doesn’t mean that you have to like Tony Robbins.
If you feel like the “chill-preneur” approach is better for you and your personality, and that that’s the path that will lead you to million-dollar success, then that’s the route you should take.
(Because, remember? It’s what YOU believe in that works for you.)
Because as much as you might want to be as successful as the Tony Robbins people you know, if Tony Robbins rubs you the wrong way, nothing about any of his programs will be helpful to you.
Because you know what?
I’ve met some successful Tony Robbins coaches, and some really unsuccessful Tony Robbins coaches. And to me, every Tony Robbins exercise I try just feels stupid and foolish. Not to pick on Tony though, because I know people who absolutely swear by him and who’ve had incredible results thanks to his help.
But those unsuccessful Tony Robbins coaches? Every time they tell their story, you can tell they’re doing what they’re doing because someone else told them to do it & they were afraid to fail, so they followed suit. Instead of, you know, following their own path that feels good to them.
So if you want to improve your site’s copy and feel like buying my copywriting course is what you need to do for better copywriting, you should do it.
But if you feel like you’d rather focus on funnels before copywriting, you can do that too. Check out Leadpages or something. (AND BOTH APPROACHES WILL WORK!)
Your journey is your journey, and you’re the only one who can create your success.
So latch on like hell to whatever it is you believe in, forget the haters, and watch yourself thrive.
And if you’ve got something that will help other people?
BELIEVE IN IT.
Because if you don’t, no one else will.