2001-2004 Kelvin P. Ringold Ramblings and Kel-Kwips

Issue# 10 - Features & Benefits September 4, 2004

Hi, guys!  What's up?!

I bet you thought it would be another couple of months before you heard from me, didn't you? SURPRISE! I told you... I get inspired. What I *should* do is just write them, put them in the autoresponder and let them just run on a schedule. I'll probably do that in the not too distant future, but sometimes... I have something I just *need* to say to you, *now* and... you guessed it... this is one of those times. Incidentally... this is a LONG one.

First of all, I know I said that I'd offer you prizes and such "in the next email", but I wasn't planning on the next one being "the next day." So, this is *not* that email -- you still have time to put that list together. When I *do* make the offer, however, there will be a fairly narrow window of acceptance, so... be sure to make your list early so you don't lose any time :-) -- not that the prize will be anything soooo exciting, but you know me. It will at least be thought provoking. But, like many things in life... it's not always the thing, but what you do with the thing that is the real prize. But, back to why I'm here again so quickly..

I think all of you know that I'm a professional photographer. For those of you who *didn't* know, yes... in addition to my talent for being able to talk or write endlessly about nothing in particular, I do have other talents. If you've never been there, check it out at http://www.custom-photogenics.com. My most current images are on my e-commerce site at http://www .customphoto.photoreflect.com, if you want to go there instead (or in addition to). Updating my main web site is on my soon-to-be-done list .

Anyhow, in regard to that, I've felt for some time that I am a bit right brain challenged, which is to say I feel that my creative side could use a little boost, so my images are more artistic. In pursuit of that end, a new friend of mine -- Diane -- (Hi, Di...I wanted to make sure you got public credit for this...) suggested a book to me which she found helpful, which I subsequently acquired. That author recommended certain exercises and in doing one of those exercises at 6:45 this morning, I ended up making a list of things I needed to do or finish, and for a couple of the items on my list I kinda wrote why I needed to do or finish them and what it would mean to me. Then, it hit me... (at 6:45 a.m. on a Saturday something *should* hit me. Those of you who've chastised me for staying up so late and answering emails at 2:00 a.m. will be pleased to know that I went to bed at 9:30 last night... which likely explains why my eyes were WIDE OPEN at 6:20 this morning...sigh)

Okay; we're coming up on the point, here.  My previous pieces covered writing goals (see Goals and Goals2 ) and we wrote down what we were going to accomplish, and when we were going to accomplish it / them. We made the list, and hung it in a conspicuous place so we would see it regularly and keep our goals in view. We sent our list of goals to supportive friends and/or associates who were interested in our success, so we would be publicly committing to them, and the friends / associates would help us, back us up, and encourage us ...


What did I miss?   I missed the WHY of doing all of that! Marketing 101. Features and Benefits. We need to connect with *why* we need to accomplish our goals. If you're in business, you do that for your clients.

"Mrs Jone, you need this thing. It does "all this stuff" (features) . . and you'll love it..."

Note: Scott Vogel (genius) teaches marketing to "thing / stuff" providers -- choosing not to fixate on anyone's particular product, because the basic principles of marketing are universal, regardless of your product / service.

"Mrs Jones, if you use it, your house will be cleaner (benefit), kids will be keener (benefit) your husband will be leaner (could be a feature or a benefit....) , go for longer walks and be healthier (benefit), and you'll have more peace of mind (benefit) knowing your family is better protected (benefit)."

Why don't we do that for ourselves? After all, we are our own first customer, aren't we?... whether we're "selling" anything or not! And, we have to market our goals and ideas to ourselves. "Gosh...I lose this weight I'll be thinner (feature)... it will be easier for me to get around (benefit), my heart won't work as hard (benefit), I'll live longer (benefit). IF I take this class, I'll learn new techniques (feature), my clients will be more impressed with my abilities (benefit), buy more product (benefit), I'll make more money (benefit), pay off that nagging bill (bigger benefit)... have more time to relax, and not work so hard (benefit)... spend more time with my family and friends (*real* benefit)...

Some of us just *do*.   We get the idea, the goal; the features and benefits are readily apparent and we just go for it. I have a friend like that -- Kim Bachstein of Gift Solutions By Kim. Kim is a real go getter. She gets an idea for a project, she does it.  Grass does *not* grow under her feet.   When she formulates her ideas, her motivations are intact, she does what she needs to do, puts them into place and goes.  Her ideas don't always pan out "exactly" like she envisioned them, but she's sharp, she's motivated, she's upbeat and her most recent venture is hugely successful.  Procrastination is *not* one of her strong suits -- but that's another Ramblings.

Most of us, however... need more coaxing.   We convince ourselves that our ideas / needs / goals / wants are good; then we get other people to agree with us and then we tread lightly into maybe making a start of it, and *see* how it goes.  But, that's largely because -- in my opinion -- our goal doesn't have enough weight behind it, because we haven't figured out WHY it's important to us!  As Anthony Robbins says, there's no "compelling reason" to accomplish it.   Kim has compelling reasons, and she just does it (Nike would be proud).

Okay?  So, we want what we want and we write it down, etc. Now, what will we do with the extra time, the extra money, the paid off house...   How will our lives be better when we "get there"?  Will we feel better about ourselves? Will our family be happier? Will we have more respect in the community? or among our peers? Why is that important to us? Will we have more freedom? More peace? More pleasure? Sleep better? Sleep later? Live longer? Jump higher, breathe better .... what? THOSE are the reasons we do what we do. Features and benefits.

So, go back to your list -- or make a new list. And after you put the whats and the whens, and the wheres, put in the whys.   Because there needs to be that compelling reason for you to make whatever change there is.   If nothing will be different, then why the heck spend the energy? Right?

Figure out your reasons, and write them down, too. Features and benefits. I've heard it before... said it before.... wrote and taught it before... but it just sank in...

Okay; I've rambled enough for one day. I have to go mail some packages to my son, Michael -- the one in the Navy? I promised him I'd do it, so he can have some of his old stuff (features) so he can be more "himself: (benefit) instead of just Navy issue. For me, it will get those two boxes of *stuff* out of my living room (feature) so I'll be more comfortable (benefit) and he'll quit bugging me (benefit), so I'll have more peace of mind (benefit) and I'll keep my promise (feature and benefit). Isn't that fun? Michael gets my Ramblings also. Love you, Michael ! My oldest son, Kelvin Jr (Kip) also gets my Ramblings, too. He's stationed in the Army at Fort Carson, CO.  He survived his year in Iraq and re-enlisted in the Army just recently.  He should be moving to Maryland before the end of the year (feature) and it will be easier for me to see him more often (benefit). Love you, Kip!   My eldest child -- Shavon -- doesn't get my Rambllings, so someone will have to *tell* her that I mentioned her :-D. She's in Baltimore with her husband Leroy and my two grandsons, Jordan and Jelani.  She teaches Spanish, and though she's not in the military, with two sons (2 and 9) and teaching full time, she probably feels like she's in a battle zone. Love you, Shavon!

As always... thank you for reading! I continue to look forward to hearing your feedback... If you like what I've had to say, please consider passing it on to someone else (but still don't ask them to subscribe yet) :-)

Until next time, have an AWESOME day! and enjoy the long holiday weekend ! and for my international readers who may not celebrate a Labor Day . . . have a good weekend anyways! even if it is shorter.

Take care!


"Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people
are unwilling to do." (author unknown)

1. Practicing what I preach.
2. Don't ever "settle for" . . . again
Kelvin ( http://www.ringold.net )

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