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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Friday, April 20, 2007

Thresholds: Is it serving or selling?

Most people complain that they don't have enough money.

They look at their bills, they look at their wants and needs, they look at their checkbook, and then they look terrified.

How will they pay their bills?

How will they feed their family?

How will they attract more money?

I'm sure you know the feeling. We've all been there. You may be there right now.

Now what's really curious to me is this:

The movie The Secret and many of the teachers in it offer proven ways to attract money and other material things. This obviously works, given the thousands of testimonials from people who now have money when previously they couldn't find it in a bank with the vault door open.

But some people are complaining that the focus of the movie is only on money or material things. They say it's self-serving. They say it's egotistic.

Do you hear the cultural programming at work?

"Money is bad."

"Taking care of yourself is bad."

"Material things are not spiritual."

Please note the discrepancy: when you want money and at the same time say focusing on it is bad or selfish, you are pushing it away.

Even the fans of the movie are doing this.

Some of the very people who use the Law of Attraction to get out of debt or attract a new car, at a later point only attract so much money before they begin to think they are being selfish. At that point they unconsciously turn off the flow and wonder what happened. They then begin to criticize the movie, too.

It's a strange thing to see.

First, people scramble to find money and worry and fret about it.

Then, they actually learn how to attract it, get some, and begin to complain that money isn't spiritual.

Wait a minute.

Weren't these the same people who wanted money in the first place?

Why was money good when they didn't have it and bad when they finally got it?

All of this is because of people's beliefs.

They hit their threshold of deservingness.

My father plays the lottery. But when the lotto gets to a hundred million dollars, he quits playing. He says that amount is "too much" and "that much money will ruin you."

Winning ninety-nine million is OK but one hundred million isn't?

Again, we're dealing with beliefs.

We're dealing with thresholds of deservingness.

I was at an event once when a fellow called his wife and handed me the phone. He wanted a star of The Secret to surprise her.

I took the call, said my name, and heard her scream.

She was talking to a celebrity. She was giddy with excitement.

But then she started asking me what I was doing to save the world.

This woman had gone from being a fan of The Secret and using what she learned to manifest a few things, to hitting her comfort zone and now not wanting anything else.

What happened?

Another example is this: many of the teachers in the movie The Secret create products and services to help you achieve your goals. When your mindset is open, you thank them for their services. When your mindset is closed, you say they are just "selling."

Well, are they selling or serving?

It's both and it's neither. It depends on your beliefs.

It depends on your threshold of deservingness.

If you think they are taking advantage of you, you call it selling (because you think selling is bad).

If you think they are helping you, you call it serving (because you know serving is good).

Again, it's all about beliefs, and particularly your belief about what you feel you deserve.

That belief creates a threshold that you won't get past without some work.

It reminds me of a question a therapist used to ask patients:

"How good can you stand it?"

Most of us can't stand it really good.

"What will the neighbors think?"

"What will my family think?"

"If it's too good, surely something bad will happen."

"I don't deserve it too good."

"If it's too good, it won't last and I'll be miserable again."

"If I'm happy, I won't do anything to save the planet."

Those are all limiting beliefs.

Your life can be fantastic. Truly amazing. But very often we hit a comfort level and won't go past it. Why? Because of our self-imposed limits.

Because of our threshold of deservingness.

You can deceive yourself with rationalizations and criticisms about The Secret, me, others, the world, etc; but the end result is, you limit your own good.

I keep reminding people that once you get clear, there's not much you can't have, do, or be.

Your goal should always be happiness, what I call spiritual awakening, but the only limits along the way are your own.

How good can you stand it, anyway?

Ao Akua,


PS - In the spirit of serving, here's some news you may like: I gave two talks on "The Missing Secret" last February. Apparently these presentations awakened a lot of people. You can see a two-minute video excerpt and read more over at I think these talks (now available on two DVDs) represent the best work I've done yet. They also include material from my forthcoming books, The Key and Zero Limits. I explain counter-intentions and beliefs in such a way, with a simple illustration you'll never forget, that these may become the most transformative DVDs of your life. Go watch the preview. Hey, it's free. You deserve that, don't you?

If you like the free articles on this blog, let Joe know by buying him his all-time favorite gift - an Amazon gift certificate. His email is Click Here!


Blogger Unknown said...

I think for most of us, thinking BIG about money and wealth in general becomes almost impossible, because we were raised within a limited mindset that prevents us from even considering having more than we cn expect.

I used to feel irritated by your frequent comments about francine, but then I discovered that one of my limiting beliefs was coming to the surface. Now I see that there's nothing wrong with thinking about expensive cars, even If I'm not a big fan of them (but I'd like to have one, that's for sure!).

7:43 AM  
Blogger insincity said...

you're perfectly right.

those limiting beliefs get in your way. they kill your joy of living, and the appreciation for those who serve by selling. and there are many of them.

but to think that selling is serving is as much a limiting belief.

while surfing your marketing links i read the interview of one of these copywriting stars. they call him "the master closer in print".

and he tells the huge success he had in multiplying profits for a financial advisory service.

this service, wich i remember perfectly because i'm a professional stock trader,
was selling a stock option service for $5000 a year!

i remember the marketing lines, screaming content and complete crap - i won't get into the technical details, but any successful trader would have recognized that.

the marketing strategy was to leverage on the emotional turmoils of unexperienced traders in a period when stock markets were going straight down.

it was 2001-2002. and they were selling financial suicide tickets for unexperienced traders,

who not only were going to lose that ridiculous $5000 fee, but sooner or later would end up losing all, and i mean all, their invested capital. (the service was based on put options recommendations).

i'm sure many people got ruined but that copyrighting legend. and by his % royalties.

is it his fault?
no way.

but selling is not serving. selling is basically wanting something in return.

selling is being hungry. and many times somebody gets eaten alive.

PS: i just browsed that financial advisory website, and i found out they were caught by the SEC. thanks god!

PS2:thanks for your blog Joe, you're amazing!

9:29 AM  
Blogger ChristineKane said...

I faced some of these limiting beliefs when I wanted to give money to a blogger whose articles had helped me enormously.

And when I was about to write the check, I thought, "Wait a minute! This guy makes TONS of money! I shouldn't have to pay him any more!" In that moment, I saw my own belief that my money should only go to "need." I wrote the check, and started to get very clear in my life about abundance and giving. My newfound clarity has opened up so many doors to unexpected income.

Final lesson: my well-honed sense of self-righteousness will only get in the way!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Britt Malka said...

Actually, it's bad to be poor.

1) You cannot help others.

2) You live from the means of others.

Money is good. You can use them to help yourself and others.

Think of Schindler. He saved thousands of lives, because he was rich.

I say that it's people who choose powerty who are selfish and egoistic.

3:50 AM  
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10:59 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Joe, you make a lot of negative assumptions here about people in your post that really aren't based in any sort of reality.

I go to a yoga center where the volunteers there have given up their material possessions to focus solely on their spirituality.

Completely in opposition to what Britt wrote above, these volunteers, with no money or personal possessions, absolutely DO help other people. And they seem supremely happy and fulfilled. Peaceful. Serene. Grounded.

People who eschew material wealth are not living by limited beliefs so much as unplugging themselves from the stuff "out there" that is ultimately unnecessary in order to have a fulfilling life.

I am wondering if you would be happy without your wealth, fame, and cars. If you can truly say you would be, then...hmm...

Well, then...I ask you...why do you need them in the first place? Do you really need to have the fancy car to feel good about yourself?

I don't.

I happen to like stuff and gadgets and toys myself, but I just don't think they are necessary to make me happy. In fact, I have too much "stuff" and I am working to get rid of a lot of it. I want to be lighter and freer! :-)

I am not rich according to some people, but I have always been provided for. I have everything I, a home that is more than big enough for myself, transportation, friends, love, and my improving health. Passion, and lots of it. An incredible amount of brains and talent, more, really, than I need. I have been blessed.

Here's the thing, though. The one thing I learned, when I got chronic fatigue syndrome at a young age, is that basing your happiness on how much you "succeed" is a false self-esteem. Basing your happiness on the amount of wealth you have is also false self-esteem. I used to want to show people that I was "successful" and somehow that would make me feel validated.

My illness made me come to terms with the fact that I can't be superwoman all the time. I can't be the star. I'm not necessarily going to be rich or famous, and that's OK. What a BLESSING I got from this. I have learned to love me just for me and not because I "did" something or have something to show for myself. All I have to show for myself

It is a common mistake to judge other people who criticize materialism as people who are just "bitter" about rich people. Nope. I really just feel that there is so much more to feel happy about. I think The Secret is off-base and teaches people to focus on shallow, external things instead of inner well-being.

I understand you are under the gun here and feeling perhaps defensive, and I am one of your biggest and most vocal critics. But I think I'm writing here because I just feel that one of these days you will get it and go "ahhh, that's what all those critics meant when they said it." You'll get it...and understand.

You're well meaning, Joe. Keep on keeping on.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Joe Vitale said...

Thanks, Stephanie, but it appears you are commenting on one post without reading any of the others. I'm the guy who says happiness is what you seek, not the stuff. Again, you might want to look at the whole picture. Blessings. - joe

6:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Joe. I love your newsletter and blog.

This part really hit me like a sledgehammer:

"This woman had gone from being a fan of The Secret and using what she learned to manifest a few things, to hitting her comfort zone and now not wanting anything else"

for the last year I have been stuck in my comfort zone. I intellectually/consciously 'know' that I 'should' be performing at higher level, and I 'want' to do same, but emotionally/subconsciously I feel comfortable the way I am right now. Specifically, I have food, shelter, and entertainment, but I am missing financial freedom, romantic love, and total responsibility for myself (I'm moved home to live with the folks). how do I convince myself to deeply believe in 'doing better'?

7:45 PM  
Blogger Joe Vitale said...

I think the key word is "stuck."

You're not stuck at all. You've simply decided to enjoy the level you're on. No one can blame you for that. You've earned it.

I suggest you simply stretch yourself by going for something you truly want but might be scared to attempt.

Whether you achieve it or not doesn't matter, the stretch will "un-stuck" you.

I know you, and YOU can achieve the impossible.

Go for it.


8:23 PM  

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