These days, I hardly read or watch any news from the newspaper, radio and television.
This might seem strange from someone who spent 20 years as a journalist. But the reason is, I’ve come to realise just how negative and counter-productive most of the news is. Furthermore, it does nothing to inspire confidence and entrepreneurship, which is the foundation of economic and personal success.
Apart from keeping up with major world issues and a few national ones, and reading the business pages of the newspaper, I really don’t need to know any of the trivial local news, which is mainly people’s tragedies, misfortune and whole procession of other bad news.
I would rather start my day by reading something inspriational that puts me in a positive frame of mind. In fact, it was what I have just read this morning that prompted me to write this post. It is an article by the late Gary Halbert, who was regarded as one of the world’s best copywriters for direct mail selling. Gary was a controversial character and I always loved his newsletters, which have inspired me enormously.
The Halbert Index
I’ve just been reading about what he calls the “Halbert Index” – which is a way of classifying people. To be at the top of the Index you must have the following:
(1) You must have a life, and
(2) You must have a sense of humor, and
(3) You must have intelligence and be an independent thinker, and
(4) You must be a generous and giving person but… at the same time…
(5) You must refuse to take shit from anyone who doesn’t have a gun to your head, and
(6) You must be willing to take chances and cheerfully accept losses, and
(7) You must have the capacity and courage for true intimacy with your loved ones, friends… and sometimes… even your associates and strangers, and
(8) You must be wealthy always in your mind… and therefore… very often… in your pocket, and
(9) You must be honest and have integrity not defined by laws but rather, by the inner-core of your being, and finally
(10) You must have a relationship with a higher power (nicknamed “God”) that does not necessarily include and/or often transcends any association with an organized religion.
What have I described here? Simply this:
As a general rule, it is always easier to do business with and market stuff to people very high on the Halbert Index (Players) and this is especially true in an economic slump. Why? Simply because, no matter how bad the economy gets… these people will never succumb to a “depression mindset.”
A depression mindset is a sales killer. People who have it (more than 90% of our population) are running scared and have totally lost the belief (if they ever had it) they have the ability to fashion their own futures. They believe their fate is up to the economy… or… whatever politician gets elected… or… whether or not they can get a “good enough grade” from some employer or educational institution.
Almost everyone high on the Halbert Index is a reader and virtually none of them are heavy TV viewers. You see, almost all real wisdom comes from printed material and the streets; practically never does even a smidgen of it come from TV broadcasts.”
You can read Gary Halbert’s newsletters here – www.thegaryhalbertletter.com
It’s a great way to get your day started off right.