Founders Video #2: THIS One Question Determines Your Fate Online

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67 thoughts on “Founders Video #2: THIS One Question Determines Your Fate Online”

  1. This is a great take on the concept of “Unique Selling Proposition” or other phrase that means what is different about your business.

    Great Question! Stated in this way it really helps me find the answer 🙂

  2. thanks steve – you see, so many entrepreneurs make the mistake of designing a business where they’re the only one who benefits. and because of it – they’re the ones that have to do all the work.

    one of the secrets to building a business really fast and with less effort is to build into the business benefits for everyone that interacts with the business.

    when done this way – becoming a founder is a whole lot easier.


  3. What happened to Rich’s voice? Why does he sound like a pitchman?

    Reminds me of the old Crazy Eddie commercials.

    Not believable at all.

    • what’s not believable Jesse?

      that designing a business where everyone benefits will grow your business faster than a business where only you benefit?

      and if you read my blog post about billy mays you’d realize that telling me i sound like a pitchmen is a compliment – although i would imagine you didn’t read my blog post on billy mays, nor did you mean it that way.

      but to each his own. believe what you want – just know you are paying a huge price for your own beliefs.

      best of luck,

    • right lalitha – most entrepreneurs make the mistake of not asking or answering this question.

      and this simple oversight – chains them (entrepreneurs) to the business and puts all the pressure of growing their business on their shoulders alone.

      glad you are provoked by the question and that you see its relevance to growing your business.


  4. I think we are talking more than just unique selling proposition here particularly when we include employees into the equation. Regardless of who the business interacts with… words like “culture” and “integrity” should spring to mind and they always leave a lasting impression.

    • thanks warren – but it’s even more than that.

      when clients come to me complaining they can’t get jv partners it never ceases to amaze me that they haven’t thought about the partners they desire and what would make them desperately want to promote their products.

      also, there’s a very good reason why each report i release has more readers than the one prior. because whether a prospect buys or not – they get value out of my report, which makes it much easier to get them to read the next one. this makes each promotion we do – more successful than the one before. i see very few marketers online who can say their earlier efforts are paying them huge dividends today – but i can and the reason why is revealed in this video.

      having said all that i don’t disagree that building your culture and operating with integrity is vital – i just think there’s more pieces to the puzzle.

      i hope that helps,

  5. Rich,
    I know that you’re pitching in this video, but honestly I prefer your calm deep voice. I’m sure that the info behind this is probably incredible, but I twinged at hearing you at such a high pitch. I like the cool calm, confident with a deep voice much better.

    • i appreciate the feedback john.

      and you’re right – this is a different style for me. in fact, i was inspired by the billy mays blog post i recently did.

      the way i look at it is – if i want to get better at this style i have to do it, and with practice will come a better performance.

      even if this approach doesn’t suit you – my hope is that you are inspired by the fact that i am still willing to learn – and practice the concept – “anything worth doing well – is worth doing poorly at first.”

      either way – i hope the different style doesn’t take away from the message and it’s power to improve your business.

      once again john – i appreciate the feedback and the way you delivered it (unlike jesse)


    • I have to agree with John on this one.

      Rich, you have a persona, a relaxed, calm, and cool persona – this is what attracted me to you. Change that and you will alienate a big chunk of people.

      Please, stick to what you do best – be yourself 🙂

      I look forward to your next insightful update.



  6. Rich, it sounds like the answer is for a founder to tailor the value proposition specifically for each unique group of people who interacts with the business rather than the one shoe fits all approach of the “unique selling proposition” concept

  7. Hey Rich,

    I have to say, from the start of hearing about you, I was very skeptical…it is hard for those struggling to believe…no…accept that there is a better way. Hurts the pride. 😉

    Anyways, I have really enjoyed your books, movies, seminars over the internet. They have all inspired me to ask tough questions that will continue to change my business forever.

    This video was no different. Although your voice did sound a bit like a sports announcer…you really helped me to ask yet another hard question…what separates my product (in my case website design, website development, etc.) from the intense competition.

    Thanks again!

    Matt Williams
    TM Design

    • a sports announcer? LOL!

      glad you have gotten value out of everything we provide + that they’ve made a positive difference in your business.

      why not take a page out of my book and begin offering your prospects some information or advice that will get them appreciating your expertise.


  8. that was an interesting video, nice pitch voice. btw, how do you balance pleasing everyone, especially if you are a small startup. do you please, prospects or employees first? JV partners, who is the top priority in terms of giving the best offer possible?

    • Hi Francis

      In terms of who to serve first… if you are a start up I would say customers then jv partners and then the owners of the business

      If you have some momentum, I would say employees first, customers next and then jv partners and then the owners of the business.

      What say you Rich?


  9. Excellent, thought-provoking message…

    and I appreciate that you admire Billy Mays’ marketing talent; not all people will buy his products, though, some just because they can’t stand his yelling…

    I’d rather listen to you being yourself.

  10. Hey Bro…

    I have recommended you and your services to just about everyone I know. I learned a ton from everything I have invested in your company. Thanks for the rich “no pun intended” insight into how businesses can become successful by following a systematic approach and being diligent about time management. It seems obvious, but you provide some practical steps to get there.

    Allow me to challenge you. I know you have passion for Billy Mays that was quite apparent in the book of a blog post you wrote about him. That certainly did him justice so hats off to you for that. However, I not real sure if changing your approach to sort-of mimic his style is going to be beneficial for you since you already built what Seth Godin refers to as “Your Tribe” Rich. I of course with continue to support you, but Billy is NOT Rich. You have different talents and teaching skills that even he didn’t possess. He was instantly marketable from infomercials. Your style is different and is worthy of continuing to develop it. Candidly, I wouldn’t have spent 15 hours listening to you on Ustream if you kept that voice going the whole time. I don’t know if many would either. I know you are testing, but just my thoughts worth what you paid for them.

    Remember… be a servant,

    Cory Boatright
    Loss Mitigation Specialist

  11. Hi Rich,

    Just awesome stuff as usual!

    Steeming from my main core USP, should customize it so it sounds as appealing as possible to each target group my bussiness interacts with? Like customizing a landing page to a specifi demographic of visitors?

    Following this line of thougth, why not even try some sort of A/B tests with them, even without them knowing about it, so I can find out exactly what really rocks their boat?

    Never thougth about it this way, but it does makes more sense now. Thanks a lot for your greate advice, Rich!

    PS: Sorry Rich, I guess am too used to listening to you just coming up with topics and answers at the spot from the top of your head, but this video – where I can see you eyes reading the teleprompt – just does not feel the same way. It sounds a little too “rehearsed” to me. Not the same Rich the stood over 24 hours just boucing off ideas and incredible advice like a mad machine-gun. Please, next time you can just say it naturally, whatever comes to your mind. This is the Rich we all came to know and follow. Just sharing my perception. 😉

    PPS: You guys still rock!

  12. Thanks, Rich, for providing such eye-opening information. I particularly appreciate you asking thought-provoking questions. I am getting a greater sense that becoming a “founder” is far more valuable than being simply a “business owner”.

    You are reminding me that it’s all about being in the right place, at the right time while attracting the right people to help me. However, I sense that I must remove the constraints that may be blocking my success.

    Thanks for expanding my awareness to go beyond entrepreneurship. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  13. Hilarious and Great video!

    You are profitably believable and creatively irresistable! I back both of your ‘faces’ – and perhaps Billy Mays is ‘alive’ and well again…

    Your question is absolutely dead on and brilliant in my view. Why?Because it is most fundamental and so obviuos that we most often forget about it. Many thanks Mr Schefren! You’ve got a tremendous energy! Keep it up!

    Comment: I truly believe in CHANGE as the X-factor, and that people have the right to change, because the truth is that “There is no constant except change”.

    If we don’t embrace that fact, for example in our daily (business-)lives, we might as well be dead in my opinion.

    In relation to business success and change, one solution could be to think of your business as your child. Why? Because, just as your child, you have to let it go eventually for it to take on new fors and shapes to be able to grow and succeed in the world..

    Kind regards
    Inger Nilsson

    Ps. If you are taking on more people at Strategic Profits, please let me know, if possible.

  14. Loved the video!

    I have to say, when I first heard your voice, I thought I had my Enounce set on hi speed, and was surprised to find it was at normal! LOL!

    I give you kudos for having the guts to try the “Billy Mays” style out on the video here (I must confess to having the same thought! 🙂

    Don’t think it quite matches the message in this case – you were asking great thought provoking questions, some dramatic pauses to give us a second to consider them might have been more powerful.

    But still, the content was excellent. I think Warren Cottis above summed it up pretty good.

    Even though the questions you asked are simple, they may not be “easy.” Crafting/discovering/engineering your USP across the different groups can be challenging, but well worth the effort.

    I suspect these could even be “templated” to some extent.

    JVs are concerned about helping their subscribers, their reputation, building relationships and making money. And so on.

    Looking forward to the series. And the next tweak on the “new” Rich Schefren!

    Thanks again for moving the free line.

    with respect

    P.S. Sorry for dropping off the call last week – lightening knocked out my connection!

  15. Great content as always and while I appreciate that you are trying something new, I don’t think the new pitching style suits you.

    Todd does it and I accept that it is just him, even if I don’t like it personally.

    But I know that your authority comes from your deep knowledge and personal integrity and you’ve pitching is a mismatch.

  16. LOL!

    thanks everyone for the feedback – there’s another marketing lesson in there too if you’re paying attention.

    paul, howard, ely, peter, cory and maggie – have no fear, i can assure that my videos from now on won’t all be billy may’s style, in fact – the overwhelming majority won’t be.

    that stated, i still want to get better at this style too – so i can’t promise i won’t be mixing it up from time to time.

    i am going to let your feedback mentally-marinate this morning while i go workout, i might have another surprise a little later today.


  17. This is the eye opener…

    “Why should outsourcers give you their top game and not
    someone else?”

    Thanks for mentioning this…

  18. ATTENTION: Rich and Co.

    Problem: When I post a comment the web page reloads the
    video from start, even though it was already playing half way.

    I was in flow watching the video, then listening to it as I typed,
    when you mentioned an eye-opening insight, I commented
    then…the page reloads the video BACK TO THE

    P.S.: I think Rich is trying to model Billy Mays speech style… cool : )

  19. I appreciate what you were trying to do. I not only read your Billy Mae’s post I printed it out for further study. Plus I ordered the DVD set from the “Pitchman” series because I also believe there is a ton to learn.

    The disconnect is more than the voice issue. And I believe the issue is not unique to what you are trying to do. There will never be another Billy Mae’s. Only Billy Mae’s can be Billy Mae’s. An imitator will always come off as an imitator.

    That means you lose your authenticity. When a potential buyers senses that lack of authenticity it immediately triggers their defenses. Once you trigger a potential buyers defenses it takes a great deal of time and energy to ever overcome their resistance.

    Not only was your voice different, but your face was scrunched up. You didn’t look comfortable trying to be an imitator.

    I think the way to gain from Billy’s tremendous talent is to focus on the way Billy was authentic. He was warm. Billy projected feelings of enthusiasm, warmth, and joy. Plus Billy was able to develop an almost magical cadence in the way he worded his messages.

    You can project those same qualities. You just need to do it the way you would normally do it. In other words you need to be YOU accomplishing the same objectives rather than trying to recreate a personna.

    Billy’s style in combination with the qualities he projected enhanced his message. Unfortunately, your particular take on his style detracted from your message.

    Obviously your readers believe you are authentic. So keep your authenticity and accomplish your objective Rich’s way.

  20. You must maintain a consistent persona that works. When you change it, it’s suspect. As you can see here.

    Can you image your mentor, DK, changing his style?

    Probably not.

    Trying to push yourself into another mold will fail.

    Trying to better your personality and skills will continue work in building your herd, Rich.

    Stick with what has built the massive herd you currently have.


  21. Rich,

    I keep my eye on you from a distance and I’m always listening for something new to learn.

    However, I couldn’t get past the first two minutes of this video.

    Here is a trustworthy saying: “If you don’t make a good YOU, you will make a lousy SOMEONE ELSE”.

    I honestly thought it was a joke and that any second you were going to come out of the routine and explain how you had been possessed by Billy Mays.

    Stay uniquely YOU!
    Michael Chriswell

  22. Multiple selling propositions and multiple pitches.

    There is a huge amount of demographic data that can be determined before a prospect sees a landing page being generated on their behalf, and different pitches will appeal to different segments.

    It would be interesting to see all Rich’s data, but I would think there are quite a high number of subscribers who have remained on his email list, yet not become clients.

    A change in the way content is presented could be the catalyst to doubling the size of even a successful business, just based upon existing products.

  23. I think it’s really interesting seeing the response to this clip.

    I used to do door to door sales.

    I sold different products at different price points and pitch lengths, and what was an appropriate pitch at one price point was not appropriate for others.

    For a $5 product with a 90 second pitch, I would pitch it even bigger, louder, and zanier than Billy Mays.

    For a $40 product with a 4-5 minute pitch, I’d dial it back to right about where Billy was.

    For a $300 product with a 20 minute sales process, you couldn’t really “pitch” it at all, because people wouldn’t trust you.

    It was still a sales process, but you had to be real.

    If it occurred like a pitch, things went downhill fast.

    I also did recruiting and team building that had a pretty fair amount of “selling” the long hours and huge daily rejection as an opportunity.

    In this relationship building process, there was no space for pitching at all.

    And I think that is why you got so much backlash from your regular blog readers. It just isn’t appropriate to the setting.

    That being said, the same way that Jimi Hendrix would do a Bob Dylan song, I think if you just laid out – “Hey today I’m doing the blog post as Billy Mays ’cause it’s fun for me” I think everyone would be on board.

    Just my opinion. I’m new to your blog and I thought it was a fun delivery of great information.

  24. Hi Rich,

    I’ve read your manifesto, but otherwise new to your content.

    After reading some of these posts, I just want to say I don’t know your other style so I cant compare.

    But, I listen for what you say not how you say it.

    looking forward to the upcoming videos


  25. Using another person’s schtick that is so obvious will get you tagged.

    I agree, Rich should said, “I’m going to pay tribute to an idol of mine, Billy Mays… here it goes.

    “Hi Rich Schefren here…”

    Then it would probably went down a lot better.

    Sorry Rich… your horse got stuck at the starting gate this time.

  26. Amen. I’ve been preaching UVP to business for years. Most people haven’t thought past a “tag line” which is hardly adequate for describing a business.

    Rich, I wasn’t crazy about the delivery style but I appreciate your courage in trying something new.

    I always love your materials!

  27. Rich,

    Jesse probably came on a bit thick with the “not believable at all angle”, but it does seem that the volume (pitch? tone? I’m not sure) on this video doesn’t match the “voice” in your written blog posts I’ve been following for maybe 2 years, or the volume on any of your videos that I can remember.

    I think Cory’s also alluding to the same thing. I concur as an admiring member of the “tribe” you’ve established on this blog.

    However, it’s quite likely that if this video was used to market outside this blog, it may prove to be as effective as you want it to be from a response standpoint.

    Just my humble opinion.

  28. Oops…

    Didn’t read all the comments before I posted previous comment. But I think my points still apply.

    I just realized I never got to the really great part of the video above (probably because of my issues with “voice”) and wouldn’t have gone back if I hadn’t gone back and read the comments I didn’t read earlier.

    I understand practicing this type of delivery, but maybe the pitchy part of the videos might be relocated towards the middle and back so as not to create a “switch off” effect.

    On another note, this is an excellent example of a marketer working at continually improving as a marketer.

    Worthy of note.

  29. Rich I was recently introduced to some of your work via Yaro Starak’s blog and have only watched a few videos so I don’t have an ‘old style’ Rich to compare to. As a new viewer/follower I was relieved that you engaged me during the video and had me literally writing stuff down…not many marketers inspire me to that level.

    It’s a brave man/marketer to stand up and say ‘Hey I’m tryin’ something new….’ Hats off to you for seeking to learn and try new ways and admitting it!

    What I’ve seen and read of yours so far is awesome and I don’t think it would matter how you delivered it, I’d still want to hear what you had to say.

    I’m looking forward to what you offer up next. 🙂

  30. Thank you Rich,

    I have been struggling to build my business alone and have come to a standstill on many occassions with now where to turn to.

    This video has given me the catalyst I have needed to grow my business. Thanks once again Rich

  31. Rich,

    Once again you have out done yourself – Creating a different approach to present your message. Thank you!

    Though, I felt I was being lectured to/yelled at..:o) Oh, the hand gesture; I thought of Bill Clinton as he always did this in his speeches.

    You and your staff are never short on information to enhance one’s business results.

    Keep up the great work Rich!



    P.S. The OPT-IN Graphic at the bottom is only half presented on my screen – making it tougher to OPT-IN. I would assume that it needs to be adjusted up a little as my settings for my browser are good for other sites with similar OPT-IN forms. Just thought I would mention it.

  32. Well, good content is what keeps me coming back, so I had no problem with the “pitch” style… and like you say, you learn by experience and make it better. I am opting in, so it worked. By the way, I read and watched all the stuff on your Billy Mays blog post, that was one of the best ever if not the best. So, I guess if you used his pitch style, you need the demo and the rest of his formula to really make it come off the same way… imagine Billy Mays only using the pitch style without the other elements, and it probably wouldn’t work for him either… just my thoughts. Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep paying attention.

  33. Thanks for the perspective on providing a benefit to all stakeholders. This is a somewhat complicated task, but an essential strategy in building a balanced and well developed living business entity.

    As far as people’s interest in your voice change, I am LOL. I appreciate the passion it brings to the product. I also acknowledge that the attention it has received in the blog indicates to me that it is working. This is definitely a useful tool in the communications arsenal.


  34. Lots of comments about the pitch voice. I agree with one of the posts stating that the message is more important to me than anything else. Good for you for trying to experiment and not being afraid try new things, even with all you’ve accomplished.

    Thanks for your advice on your GPS call the other week by the way! I’m committed to sticking with the program!


  35. Rich,

    Speak however you want, man. YOU determine what’s right for you.

    I applaud the changes you’re making.
    Matt H

  36. Wow, seems like everyone’s a critic.

    Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the pitch in this video. It’s the content that matters and Rich *always* gives great content.

    Looking forward to the coming videos, Rich. Thank you for sharing so much of your expertise with us.

  37. Rich,

    This video makes me think about a statement from a training I studied.

    The difference between mediocrity and greatness being the type of questions you ask yourself.

    The questions you posed will truly set a business up for the fastest and simplest path to success that I can imagine.

    If these questions can be answered well by the founder, the business would not be able to help but grow.

    For my own business model, I believe a deep understanding and practice of outstanding customer service will be the cornerstone to the “Why my business” questions.

    Great stuff…

    P.S. The style was fine, it is the message and not the messenger. Your message is both pertinent and deeply imperative to establishing a successful business.

    Thanks again!


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