You’re about to discover an incredible secret about the innermost functioning of the human mind!
Bold claim, I know. But hear me out.
You know you’ve hit on something good when you can make immediate parallels in multiple unrelated fields… And they ALL serve as perfect applications of the principle.
What the heck am I talking about?
Well, it’s all captured in “moving toward versus moving away.”
It’s often said that humans are driven by the opposing force of fear and greed.
… That we move away from pain and suffering, and move toward pleasure.
There are nuances that this massive generalization misses — but I think as a massive generalization, it’s generally right.
In the investment world, where I do a lot of marketing, CNN Money has gone so far as to create a Fear & Greed Index. They use seven separate data points to determine what the market’s overall state is, and how far that swings toward fear or greed.
The idea is that these two opposites will drive behavior.
And there are certainly applications of this in investing that go beyond the scope of this particular essay.
What I wanted to talk about instead is how you can use fear and greed — or, more accurately, moving toward and moving away — in your own life, to get the best possible results…
Moving toward vs moving away in copywriting…
Last week, I did a presentation for Clayton Makepeace’s Mastermind Alliance, where I shared my preferred copywriting formula for some of the “darker” topics I’m asked to write about.
It’s the formula I use when the product itself clearly solves a problem in the prospect’s life.
Now, I don’t want to go into all the details here, but I’ll tell you this.
It’s the most effective ways I’ve come up with to use BOTH moving toward AND moving away together in marketing.
And it works like gangbusters.
The ideas is that both fear and greed can be strong motivators. But too much of either will actually create paralysis. Too much fear, and you’ll drive someone toward inaction, like a deer in headlights. And too much greed, and you’ll elicit their “too good to be true” response, which means you ain’t gettin’ any dineros outta their wallet.
That’s a real danger to the fear vs greed, moving toward vs moving away approach. When you see yourself as having to do one or the other, you risk ending up in a situation where you’ve whipped your prospect into such a frenzy that they’re scared to move.
So the fine line you must walk is to show them both what they want to move away from, but also give them an alternate scenario (your offer) that they can move toward.
You’re making it crystal clear why they need to take action, to get away from what they fear. But then, you’re giving them the best action to take, to make that happen.
The secret is that in leveraging both internal and instinctual drives, you’re generating even more pull toward the desired response.
But this applies well beyond marketing…
Moving toward vs moving away in productivity and performance…
I’ve heard this come through in goal setting and productivity a few times recently, and realized the crossover of this idea.
A lot of people imagine what they want in life. A nice, new car. A nice, new house. A nice, new spouse. Whatever.
They create this picture of all the things they want in life.
And as a target to move towards, it’s good enough.
But let’s say, for example, that you want to become a billionaire investor. Well, last week I was on the phone with a guy who hangs out with billionaire investors. The money, he said, is nice. But there’s a bit of a problem that most folks who want that life from the outside never realize.
To be a billionaire investor, you have to be totally nuts. You have to be willing to bet EVERYTHING on a long shot, and be right, to double your money. Then, you have to do it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.
In fact, billionaire investors and traders are always making disproportionately huge bets on the market going their way. Do it right, enough times in a row, and you’ve made your fortune.
But every single time you place another bet, there’s a very distinct possibility you’re going to lose it all. That you’ll have to start back at square one. Or worse — because you’re known as the person who lost it all.
This gentleman who was telling me this knew multiple people who’d been through the extreme stress of that situation. It’s horrendous. You don’t want that — as nice as having the money would be.
And so in productivity, it pays to ALSO set moving away goals.
Direct marketing legend Jeff Paul once decided he wanted to never wear a tie another day in his life. That’s a moving away goal. And I think he chose to break that once or twice, on purpose, for reasons other than work. But that defined his work life from then on out.
Or there’s the story of the guy who said he wanted a new car. Then, he got in an accident, forcing the issue. He wanted the new car, but it would’ve been nice to get it on better terms!
So, in your goals, what do you want? But also, what don’t you want?
By being crystal clear on both, you’re able to shape a life that will truly make you happy.
So: how are YOU going to use moving toward and moving away?
This can apply all over the place.
You simply need to decide how you’re going to make it work for you.
Do you want to create the ideal life for yourself? Decide both what you want it to be, and what you don’t want it to be.
Do you want the maximum number of prospects to respond to your marketing message? Tell them both what the need to move away from, and what you can offer to them to move toward.
There are applications far beyond this, too.
Great investors see opportunities to move toward, when others are moving away — and away, when others move toward.
I believe there are applications in sports and other high performance activities.
When you get down to the innermost workings of the human mind, the potential for working things for your favor can lead to some rather extraordinary results!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,