Beyond Marketing by Dr. Joe Vitale

Thoughts, news, riffs and reviews by Dr. Joe Vitale ("Mr. Fire!") about marketing, publicity, selling, hypnosis, copywriting, books, fitness, metaphysics, "The Secret" and anything else he cares to comment on, including healing, humor, the Internet and yes, maybe even sex.

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Location: Wimberley, Texas, United States

Author of way too many books to list here

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Story of the Gold Plated Cigar Lighter, or, Your Money Test: Part One

One night after the recent hypnosis convention, my dear friend Mark Ryan drove Nerissa and me out and away from the hypnotic buzz of a few thousand passionate hypnotists all talking at once.

We needed the break. Between the traveling and the socializing, the groupies and the interviews, the buying and the selling, there was not much time to sleep, let alone just relax. My talks were sold-out hits and my booth sold-out of all product by the second day. We were the only table with nothing on it but our elbows and a white cloth.

To celebrate, we went for a drive.

Nerissa and Mark wanted coffee, so we stopped at a Starbucks. I think we passed seven of them during one block in rural Massachusetts. One day, Starbucks will rule the earth.

I wasn't interested in calorie-rich coffees or in sugar-infested desserts, but I was interested in finding a good cigar store.

Mark asked the spacey coffee maker at Starbucks if there were any cigar stores near by. After staring into space for thirty minutes, or so it seemed, he mumbled some directions that seemed to mean there was a cigar store someplace in New England, which gave us six states to cover.

Anyway, we went for a wonderful, relaxing ride, enjoying the tall green trees, the lack of billboards along the highway, the beautiful lakes here and there, and more. It was very relaxing.

After a while, I spotted an actual dedicated cigar store.

Mark turned around and pulled into it.

I'm new to cigar smoking and have never been inside a huge store of cigars and pipes. There were hundreds if not a thousand or more cigars to look at. We asked the manager for some guidance. Turns out the manager, Ernie, was personable and informative.

He told us the truth: All cigars are pretty much the same except for marketing.

The difference between a $50 cigar and a $5 cigar is really $45.

He went on to explain that some companies market themselves as the luxury, never-make-a-bad-cigar brand, such as David Off.

Other companies only make a limited amount of a good cigar, and then advertise the scarcity of their item.

It was all pretty fascinating.

I told Ernie I needed a lighter.

But I added that I didn't want just any lighter.

"Pretend Donald Trump walked in," I said. "What kind of lighter would you show him or any other tycoon?"

Ernie went over to a glass display case and pointed at several lighters inside it. They were all gold and silver. They looked stunning and luxurious. I was pretty sure they would cost $50 or more, at least.

The gold one caught my eye.

"Tell me about that one," I said, pointing to it.

"Ah, the David Off gold plated lighter," he said, savoring the words as he spoke them. "You don't get much better than that."

He pulled it from the display case and flicked the flint. Double blue flames appeared. It was a hypnotic dance of fire.

"It looks like two flames," I noted.

"It is," he said. "This is to light all sides of your cigar at one time."

He then added something interesting.

"What this lighter is known for is something else, though."

He then paused, closed the lighter, and popped it open again.

"You hear that ping?" he asked.

He opened and closed the lighter a few more times.

There was a clear crystal like "ping" that appeared in the air as he flipped the lighter open.

"People who know the brand of David Off can recognize that ping from across the room."

I asked to hold the lighter.

It was heavy, like solid metal should be. It looked like something a King or Queen would have. It felt comfortable in my hand. And when I opened that lid, the "ping" seemed entrancing.

I opened and closed it a few more times, letting Nerissa and Mark hear the "ping."

Mark dug it, smiling every time he heard it. Nerissa didn't say anything one way or the other. She was looking at humidors and imagining them as jewelry boxes.

"How much is it?" I asked Ernie.

By now Ernie was helping someone else. He raised his hand to ask me to wait. While he did that, Mark looked in the display case and saw the price of another lighter.

"Looks like it's over four hundred bucks, Joe."

"No, that's not the price," Ernie interrupted.

He then reached into the case and pulled out the box for the gold plated lighter.

I read the price tag.

It said $612.

Six hundred and twleve dollars.

Six hundred and twelve dollars for a lighter.

I thought about it for maybe one minute, and then said I wanted it.

I bought it, too.

Now let me ask you this:

What do you think of my spending $612 on a lighter?

You don't have to tell me, but you do need to tell yourself.

How do you feel about it?

Stay tuned to Part Two, where we will go deeper into this story and Your Money Test.

Ao Akua,


PS -- I'll be speaking at Pat O'Bryan's next Portable Empire event. The last one took newbies to netrepreneur level. This next one will rock the house with a delightful twist. It's never been done before. Leave it to Pat to take his own innovative program to a whole new level. All the details are at Show up and I'll let you hear my lighter go "ping."

PPS -- UPI (United Press International) picked up my "Happiness Burns More Calories" news release that I told you about last week. UPI is one of the wire services that feeds news to all media. This means the entire world may eventually learn of my news release. This is very, very good. It also demonstrates the power of publicity. You need to be doing this, too. See

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Blogger Britt said...

Well, Dupont lighters have a "ping" too. My husband tells me it's the "A" note.

I like S.T. Dupont lighters. They are expensive, though. For my 25 years birthday (20 years ago) I got on. Gold doublé with black lacque du chine in several coats, hand coated. It looks a little like this one:

That time the lighter costed 600 dollars, which were a lot of money.

I quitted smoking when I was 30, but I still love the lighter, and it's the only reason why sometimes I wish I still smoked :-)

So, yes, I understand. Enjoy your lighter.

P.s. I've got inside information that the Queen of Denmark also has a S.T. Dupont lighter.

Kind regards
Britt Malka

1:17 PM  
Blogger Stock Power! said...

Joe, the ABSOLUTE BEST lighter is the S.T. Dupont as described in the first comment. It is the original "ping" lighter. It really is the Rolls Royce of lighters. Beautiful, great craftsmanship - - and totally impractical! Very French.

I love my gold Dupont, but it is too heavy to carry in a suit jacket pocket. Also they use special fuel cartridges which are hard to find, outside tobacco shops. Just like a good Rolls the Dupont will guzzle a $5 fuel cartridge faster than you can blink.

Of course, it feels great in your hand. Perfectly balanced. The dual flames are quite impressive.

For every day use, I use a $20 chinese-made butane cigar lighter. The blue flame butane does a far better job in lighting a cigar, than the Dupont. Of course, it's not as pretty.

Also, Dupont makes fantastic fountain pens. I've had a black lacquer/palladium pen for about 5 years. These pens are true works of art. Like the lighter it feels incredible in your hand.


p.s. When you're ready for a humidor check out Elie Bleu. Like Dupont they're hand-made in France. The craftsmanship is out of this world. The solid, reassuring "thump" when you close the lid is better than your future Continental GT. Of course they work great. An important consideration for your dry Texas environment.

8:50 PM  
Blogger nn said...

I too love quality. I immediatly get a "feel" about an object and can, in an instant, pick out the most expensive thing in any shop
or store. I too would have bought that lighter, because of the feel, look and the "ping".
My trouble is I can not even buy myself lunch today because I have no money. Yes, I've seen The Secret. I read your book The Atractor Factor.
I have been to Abraham-Hicks workshops. I have been tracking on all this material for years.
The trouble is I am in so much debt
I'm numb. And it all comes down to that impulsive buying of say a $615.00 lighter when a .99 cent lighter would do the job just fine only, without the experience, and the "ping".
BUT I LOVE THE PING!!!!! help.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Joe Vitale said...

I understand. I've been there. I am in no way suggesting you buy something you can't afford. That isn't the point of the story. Feeling GREAT is. You can feel great for someone else having a good lighter. Right now you have to break the preoccupation with debt, as focusing on it will bring more of it. Focus on what you have, if only a roof over your head. The more you focus on appreciation, the more you attract things to appreciate.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Dave Rachford - CPA Marketer said...

Joe -
Congrats on the lighter. Wine tastes better in Reidel glasses, Time is more important on a Patek Phillipe, and miles are enjoyed more in great automobiles like Bentley GTs...(I'm set on the BMW M6 myself)

I appreciate that you said "I am in no way suggesting you buy something you can't afford. That isn't the point of the story. Feeling GREAT is. - Break Preoccupations w/ Debt" etc.

If someone who carries debt drops the $615 on a lighter, or $360 on a cashmere sweater or similar luxury item on a charge card - it will only reinforce the feelings of anxiety, guilt and despair as thier hole just got deeper.

I'd like to hear more on going from "dream -to -do" ... There is a big difference on reading, believing, or tracking this material, and putting it to work.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Nick King said...

Does it matter if you are killing yourself with a $5 cigar or a $500 one?
It really does not.

You can't have great aspirations in your life and destroy your health at the same time. You know that Joe! This is the reason you do fitness, right?

Better get yourself a golden pen, or mouse for your PC covered with Diamonds.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Scheps - Detox Guide said...

Joe, I agree with Mykola. Why put toxins in your body if you value your health?

Here's a list of the constituents of tobacco smoke from

Acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate
Hydrogen cyanide
Methyl chloride
Methylpyrazines and 2,5-dimethylpyrazine
2-, 3- and 4-Methylpyridines
Nitric oxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Vinyl chloride

Do you really want these toxins in your body, many of which are known to be carcinogenic?

Metaphysically, when we have toxic thoughts or feelings, they next show up in our body.

For your health, and those around you, I ask you to please reconsider this new hobby of yours because we care about you too!

Be Well,
Kathleen Scheps
Detox Guide

11:43 PM  

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