The Marketing Wisdom of P.T. Barnum

Most people know P.T. Barnum from one of two things: either the circus that bears his name, or a quote incorrectly attributed to him: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” So one of the things he’s most famous for is something he never said, and the other is something he did late in his life. But he was a sharp entrepreneur for his entire career, and the secret I’ll share here is a secret that made him so. It’s one of the greatest secrets to discovering what it takes to succeed in my field, direct mail marketing, and in business in general.

The secret is to study the lives of people who have risen to the top. That’s one of the reasons that I and many of my colleagues like reading business biographies. Studying successful people-including Barnum-is invaluable to your business. It’s one of the reasons we like to coach people at my business, M.O.R.E., Inc., and why we recommend that you have business mentors. The more you can study what other people are doing, the more successful you can be in your business-especially if you study people who have achieved success in the field you’re trying to achieve success in.

P.T. Barnum himself was a brilliant marketer. In the year 1877, which by most accounts was a typical year for him, the cost of advertising and publicity for his circus came to over $100,000-equivalent to about $1.5 million in 2013 dollars. The lesson here is that you need to keep putting more and more of your money back into the marketing that provided your success in the first place. You need to discipline yourself to do this on a regular basis. One of the potential risks of newfound success is that you enjoy the spoils of that success a little too much-something you tend to see most dramatically in athletes.

An athlete might sign a big contract for tens of millions of dollars… and then you find out a few years later that they’re flat broke. They didn’t do anything productive with that money. You can sometimes fall to the same temptation in business; when you have success, you forget to repeat the thing that made you successful in the first place. Don’t let that happen to you. Always plow some of your revenue back into what made you money the first time. Don’t get overexcited by the money flowing in and go splurge, especially if you’re marketing using direct mail. Direct mail is expensive; if you don’t keep feeding the machine, you’ll find yourself without the money you need to keep making more money.

The best strategy is to put a specific percentage of all of the money that comes in back into doing more mailings. Come up with a formula that works best for your model. For example, you might put 20% of gross revenue into an advertising fund. Then every week or every month-whatever your mailing schedule is-take that 20% and spend it on more direct mail. Do that, and your business will consistently grow.

Again, don’t fall for the temptation of blowing all your money as it comes in. It’s a temptation we all face, especially the first time we experience success. The risk is that you’ll want to pay off your car all at once, take a fancy vacation, or build that swimming pool out back with your newfound money. You should take a percentage of it and go have fun with it. You deserve it. You’ve built something successful and are entitled to enjoy it. But invest some of it for the lean times later, and keep a significant percentage aside for continuing and expanding your marketing efforts. That way, you’ll never find yourself without the money you need to continue fueling your business.

Let’s look at a few examples of people who’ve failed to follow that advice. My colleague Russ Von Hoelscher once found himself yielding to the temptation. When he first started to make a lot of money as a young man, in one year he bought a Chrysler Newport, then a Thunderbird, then a Cadillac-one after the other. He also bought a house and a number of other things before he realized he was overdoing it.

Here’s another example: I recently read about a man who played for the Houston Oilers football team and made about $70 million over an eight-year career. In 2012, he was arrested in a 7-11 store in a suburb of Houston, robbing a clerk of $300 at gunpoint. That’s a sad fall. For most people, $70 million would last a lifetime.

Similarly, I had a good friend who got started with the direct response business, hit it big right out of the gate, and soon had thousands of dollars a month pouring in every month. Suddenly, he had more money than he’d ever made in his life. What did he do? He went and rented a huge office, filled it up with office furniture and a phone system, bought all kinds of other stuff-and then didn’t have any money to put back into the business. All of a sudden, he was broke. This is commonplace.

So spend your money, but make it serve you well so you can get more of it. Don’t blow it! Too many of us just don’t know how to handle money when we make a lot of it. If you need help, find a trustworthy financial planner to help you manage it.

If you want to learn how to make a lot of money in the first place, look at people like P.T. Barnum, people who have made careers of promoting big events. These people really have to know what they’re doing to get people to flock in. You can also learn a great deal from evangelists. Recently, I was flipping through channels on the TV when I came across an old Billy Graham Crusade on a show called Billy Graham Classics. Graham was an excellent motivational speaker, and I was struck by just how effective he was when speaking for the glory of Christ. He was at Madison Square Garden, and held 10,000-plus people in the palm of his hand. He was such a great messenger.

Pay attention to those people who know how to motivate, no matter their field, put their methods into action, and you will make lots of money. But again, be sure to set aside seed money for your next campaign before you start spending! It takes self discipline, but you have to do this. Put some of your money back into what made that money in the first place.

5 Kitchen Tips That’ll Make You Want to Redo Yours

In every home, the kitchen is primarily designed for cooking and every aspect of meal preparation. In some homes, the kitchen is the most used room because aside from the living room, it is the next place where everyone converges. For instance, in a home of three occupants with three different bedrooms, it is expected everyone will have their private bedrooms, but having a single kitchen is common in most home designs.

For the New kitchen to look efficient, some appliances must be on the ground. These kitchen appliances include a blender, dishwasher, cabinet, sink, knife, etc. With these appliances and utensils, the art of cooking and meal preparation becomes an easy task. Having all these appliances and utensils is a fantastic idea; however, if your kitchen is not well organized, you may end up not getting the desired result from your kitchen investment.

So, if you are looking for kitchen designer space info, congratulations because you are on the right page. In this piece, we will discuss how you can redesign your existing kitchen setup for greater efficiency.

Start with the tile and kitchen floor

The floor of your kitchen is a critical part of your kitchen redesigning. Sometimes, when visitors or evaluators want to consider the uniqueness of your kitchen, the assessment starts from the floor. To make your kitchen floor look glamorous, you can start by painting the tiles with a catchy color to make them look more attractive.

Work on the kitchen lighting

The last thing you want to ignore when you are redesigning your kitchen is the light setup. If you ignore this essential part, you must be prepared to cook in the dark. Lightening up your kitchen is not necessarily about fixing new bulbs or LEDs. All you need is to make sure the lights are well-positioned.

Position extra chair around areas of the kitchen with low traffic

Although the kitchen setup is quite different from the living room or bedroom in terms of design, having a sofa is expected in the living room or bedroom. But you can make provisions for extra chairs in your kitchen also. Sometimes you or those assisting you may want to rest a bit. Instead of living in the kitchen for the living room or walkway to relax, they can also rest by sitting down comfortably on the chairs in the kitchen. The best way to get the best out of this kitchen design is to ensure the chairs are positioned with less traffic in the kitchen.

Hide ugly sight with stained glass

No matter how neat and organized your kitchen can be, some items should be hidden from sight. Instead of disposing of this item, you can be creative by using stained glass to make it look artistic. For instance, if some of the mirrors of your kitchen door are broken, you can replace the broken segments with stained glasses for a better view instead of replacing the whole door.

Shaken up a bit with storage units

There is a high chance you will run out of storage units in the future. Instead of tearing down some part of your home or disposing of some items, all you need is to repurpose a dresser or armoire. With this method, you will be able to create an additional storage facility.


Your kitchen is that part of your home where the magic of food making takes place. To make your kitchen more productive, you will have to redesign the entire space to experience a breath of fresh air. Some of the areas you need to work on include the kitchen floor, cabinet, and other outlined areas above. In some cases, you can try out doing it yourself, but if you don’t have the time, hiring a professional kitchen designers gold coast that you can share your idea is a perfect idea.

Direct Mail Advertising – It’s Easier Than You Think

If you’ve been thinking about direct mail advertising for your business, but are worried about the complexity or think it will just take up too much time and money then think again. Direct mail can be one of the easiest and yet most powerful tools available for marketing your company and you could find it exactly what you need to take your business to the next level. Even a small home run business can find the budget necessary to utilize direct mail advertising in their marketing plan. Below is a simple step-by-step guide to help you get up and running fast.

Step One: Think about what you want to say

Direct mail is all about communication. In fact all advertising is really about communicating a message to existing and potential customers about something you want them to know. So before you go off and print a ton of flyers, carefully think about what you want to advertise and the best way to do that. You may want to advertise your company as something different from your competition somehow, or maybe you have an exclusive product that nobody else does? You need to draw attention to something that will get you a response or your direct mail campaign will fail.

Step Two: Choose a format and design the ads

Now you know what you want to say, you have to decide how best to say it. Do you need a brochure with lots of images? Maybe a personalized postcard format to talk straight to your customers? Maybe just a text-based flyer is enough to get your message across? What you decide here will have a big impact on how customers will react to your message and how they will subsequently see your business. A brochure can add a real touch of class if that’s what you need, but be careful to stick to a standard shape and size to keep costs as low as possible when printing and mailing them. Flyers are often the cheapest choice, but be sure that this option doesn’t just make your ad look too tacky. You also need to ensure the content is written and designed for your specific target audience, and if you struggle here a freelance writer/designer or a proper design firm can help depending of course on your budget.

Step Three: Get your direct mail material printed and sent

Once you have the design all ready, you should shop around to find a good online printer with low prices and order in bulk to lower the cost further. Choose the highest quality option you can and try not to order fast delivery as this can cost more. Once you receive your order, all that’s left is to get them delivered. For a direct mail campaign you should always use proper first class stamps so you may want to get a machine that aids in the process to speed things up. Now simply send off your direct mail adverts and wait for the response.