Long before I got into marketing and business, I studied psychology…
And very early on, in my studies of psychology, I started studying a special kind of psychology.
Not the psychology that many of us think about. Where the psychologist investigates all the ways we are mentally unfit to live a normal life.
But rather, lesser-known offshoots of mainstream psychology that fall under the categories of positive psychology and transpersonal psychology. Abraham Maslow — who many know because of his Hierarchy of Needs — was an early pioneer in this work. So were many others.
In short, these fields of psychology study the further reaches of human nature.
— When someone cultivates greatness in themselves, and works on developing their mind, what happens then?
— What do the regular practices of meditation and contemplation do to your mind?
— How are the universal, cross-cultural spiritual experiences to be explained in the context of scientific study of the mind?
That’s the kind of questions positive psychology, transpersonal psychology, and related fields ask. And it’s what totally enthralled me in three intensive years of studying psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska.
Along the way, I started studying “enlightenment…”
This term is commonly associated with Eastern spirituality, and especially Buddhism. But it’s not that far off from what’s experienced in Christian mysticism. And in fact, some very notable scientists including Einstein spoke in ways that were consistent with describing enlightenment.
But the unique thing about Buddhism is they’ve essentially been practicing the scientific study of enlightenment for millennia.
Since meditation and contemplation are such a core part of the Buddhist tradition, they’ve been learning and passing on knowledge for generations of the effects of meditation on the mind.
Specifically, I learned a lot about Tibetan Buddhism. Many of the writers whose work I was reading were practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices.
And there’s one particular item that stood out to me, that I think is especially relevant to what I share here in my daily essays at Breakthrough Marketing Secrets…
How my “pointing out instructions” can help you achieve marketing enlightenment…
In Tibetan Buddhism, there’s a practice called “pointing out instructions.”
This is where the teacher makes a statement or tells a story that is meant to point to the “nature of mind” — which is, in their teachings, enlightenment itself.
You don’t have to understand or believe that to get my point here. Rather, it’s important to understand the process.
The teacher is regularly passing on these “pointing out instructions” to their students.
Each one says something about enlightenment. Maybe it approaches it in a new context. Maybe it presents it from a fresh light.
They always make sense to the teacher. They don’t always make sense to the student.
The student wants a shortcut.
“What mantra can I meditate on to become enlightened?”
“What god can I pray to that will give me enlightenment?”
“Which meditation practice will make enlightenment come quickest?”
The teacher — the master — knows these shortcuts don’t work. They’re false idols and distractions. They’re easy to sell, because they’re what the student wants.
But they won’t actually lead the student to enlightenment — only to fleeting happiness, then ultimate disappointment.
Rather, the teacher often frustrates with statements that seem to carry little relevance — and often make no sense at all!
“Any enlightenment you might find by using those tools will be false enlightenment. Real enlightenment can never be found, and yet it is always right here.”
The teacher refuses to give the student what they want, but continues to give them what they need…
And so it goes.
Until one day, suddenly one of these pointing out instructions clicks.
It’s never the same for each student. It’s the unique collection of their total experience and study up until that point, and the relevance of that pointing out instruction in that moment.
Suddenly, not only does that one pointing out instruction make total sense, but every other is seen in a new light.
Suddenly every other lesson is seen for the power it contained.
Not only is it relevant, but it’s immediately applicable, and has more power than the student ever imagined.
The student who was frustrated yesterday that the instructions were vague and seemingly irrelevant is suddenly thankful for the deeper wisdom they’ve been accumulating all along…
They were blind, now they see. They were deaf, now they hear.
Once they experience enlightenment, suddenly the world is given a new glow, a new life, a new energy. But they realize it was there all along — even if they couldn’t see it.
“What’s this got to do with marketing, Roy?” I hear the chorus call…
Alright, let’s bring it back around.
Sometimes, I’m really specific about tactical, actionable items that I believe will help you move your business forward.
Frequently, I spend a lot MORE time diving into the deep thinking behind effective marketing, sharing lessons that you can’t immediately go apply because they don’t come with 1, 2, 3 instructions.
Sharing tricks and hacks and techniques usually appeals to more readers. And if I was strictly interested in short-term gain, that’s what I’d focus on.
But I’m in it for the long haul. I want to truly make you an “enlightened” marketer. I want you to truly understand — at a deep level — the thinking that it takes to create great marketing.
For that reason, I spend a lot of time focusing on the “pointing out instructions.”
These will help you achieve the mindset of a great marketer. These will shift your perception in such a way that you won’t just be able to follow the directions to create great marketing… You’ll be able to WRITE the instructions to creating great marketing.
And yes, along the way, you’ll get a lot of tactical value, too. But the value you get in your thinking and strategies will be exponentially more valuable.
Speaking of value — using story to sell may be THE most valuable marketing, selling, or business skill you ever develop — the equivalent of becoming the “teacher” yourself…
In fact, think of the most famous teachers in history.
What were they, but story tellers?
Jesus was known because of his stories — and through the stories his followers told.
In fact, ALL religion is built on stories. What they teach. And what they tell us about ourselves.
Great businesses have also been built on stories…
Tesla has been built on the story of Elon Musk, the inventor, and YOU, the electric car driver.
Apple was built on the Steve Jobs “rebel” narrative (don’t believe me — watch their Nineteen Eighty-Four commercial). As well as the story it told about YOU, being a hip outsider because you used their products.
Every single one of my biggest winners — in terms of copywriting — was built around a compelling story.
Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on a Breakthrough Story Selling Master Class.
It’s still not ready to see the light of day.
And while I was NOT going to focus it on copywriters, I realized the other day that it would be incredibly valuable for copywriters to go through it. And so I’m shifting gears and will be offering it to the copywriters on my list FIRST.
If you were hooked in above, and have read this far, you’ve definitely seen its power.
In fact, if you’re a regular reader of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets at all… If you feel like you already know me… If you like to follow my life and business (even if you’re not totally sure why)… These are all signs that story selling works!
And so I’m going to deliver this Story Selling Master Class the first time with a focus on how copywriters can use Story Selling to help their clients.
Later on, I’ll also deliver similar content focused on business owners and founders.
If you’d like to be the FIRST to know (plus get a bunch of FREE valuable Story Selling content), all I ask right now is that you join my wait list.
You’ll have to enter your name and email address again — but in exchange you’ll get a free downloadable PDF of The #1 Best Selling Story template.
This is, by far, the MOST valuable copywriting skill out there. And the good news is, almost any level of copywriter can get better at it — to produce better results — almost immediately.
I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it in the coming weeks, and no doubt you’ll hear a lot more about it. But in the mean time, the best thing you can do to show me you’re interested is to sign up for the wait list here.
More breakthroughs to come!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,