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Joe Karbo – The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches (Original Version)

The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches
[Audiobook + Original Ad (1 MP3, 1 PDF)]

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Please note that this is the audio version of the original book, not the ‘souped-up’ 30th anniversary edition that has been posted here before.

In other words, THIS IS NOT A DUPE!

Short (~30 min) and to the point. A classic self-help book.
The original advert for the book (itself a classic in copywriting) is included as a PDF.

Joe Karbo – The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches (Original Version)

Joe Karbo was renting a ramshackle house in a bad neighborhood along with his wife and eight children. He was $50,000 in debt and had had to refinance his car. In such a predicament, he notes, he was willing to try anything, ‘even if it seemed foolish and ridiculously easy’.

A friend told him about a system of mental conditioning that had amazing results when tried out on corporate executives. With nothing to lose, Karbo began implementing its principles. First, he wrote out his goals, which included ‘I own a $75,000 house on the water’, ‘My bills are paid’, and ‘I earn $100,000 a year.’ Using the system these became his reality remarkably quickly, and he resolved to write a simple book describing what he had discovered.

Self-published, The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches claimed to give readers ‘everything in the world you really want,’ and went on to sell over three million copies, assisted by Karbo’s now-famous advertisements and sales letters. These made some people think it was all a lot of hype, but did the book contain something of real value?

A scientific success system

Karbo spent 12 years running an advertising agency for the television industry. He did well, but lost a bundle when he tried to produce his own BizLearning show. The failure, he says, was ‘the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me desperate enough to try anything—and I found Dyna/Psyc.’ Dyna/Psyc was his made-up term (dynamic + psychology/mind) for the goal-setting system he discovered. He defines it as: These laws are like electricity, a neutral force that can be used or misused, but through conscious development of the force you can usher in tremendous changes to your life.

The first element in the system is to identify exactly what you want.

State your destination

Karbo makes you ask youself: ‘What do I want?’ When you have to answer this in the specific it can be daunting, for while it is one thing to say to yourself ‘That would be nice to have’ or ‘I wish I could…,’ it is quite another to sit down and write out what you want in life. This is surprising, since it has been shown that people who do have written goals tend to live up to them. Those who don’t, drift.

Get there

An interesting effect of this process is you find that some things you thought you really wanted, in fact you don’t. Working through your goals in this way tends to isolate and highlight what really matters to you.

Most people work too hard and have no real goals, never knowing that if they have very clear aims things will fall into place for them with less effort. This is the essence of the ‘lazy way.’ But you still have to do some work. You have to RSVP – read, study, visualize, perform – and with some time and effort you can reap huge dividends.

Form a new self-picture

Most people suffer from an inadequate self-image, Karbo observes, and yet the way you see yourself is probably the single greatest determinant of your failure or success in life. Fear is ingrained into people from a very early age, and helps to create the person you are. A vital part of the Dyna/Psyc system is to create new beliefs about yourself as confident, effective, and energetic. Karbo shows you how to do this.

People conform to expectations about themselves. Karbo once worked at an advertising agency where he had a Ford car dealership as a client. Its manager told him that each salesperson earned about the same amount in commissions from month to month, and that what they earned from year to year did not vary much either. What they earned invariably matched their expectations. The lesson: Expectations drive results, but expectations can easily be changed.

How to make decisions

Karbo includes an extremely useful chapter on getting your unconscious mind to help you make important decisions. The process, he says, works in a seemingly magical way, and has been used by many of the great minds in history. It involves three steps:

1 Write down the problem as concisely as you can on a piece of paper.

2 Try to obtain an answer by listing in one column the reasons for taking a particular action, and in another the reasons against. Often, just doing these two steps will solve the problem with no further effort.

3 If you don’t arrive at a satisfactory answer, ask your ‘unconscious computer’ to solve it for you. Give it a definite timeframe, eg, ‘By 4 o’clock tomorrow I will know exactly what to do about…’ If it’s a really big issue, give the computer more time. Then, just forget about the problem altogether. How do you know when you have the answer? You will just ‘know – it will pop into your head while driving or gardening or when you wake up. But Karbo gives a word of warning: When you get the answer, act on it! Otherwise, you will find that your unconscious computer is less willing to help next time.

Create a living

The first half of covers the themes above. Then it takes a surprising direction. In the second part, Karbo relates his hard-won secrets for running a successful direct-response marketing company and how to write great advertisements. For the reader it seems like a strange transition to make, until you remember the title of the book. His ‘lazy way’ relates not just to conditioning your mind for success, but providing the reader with a practical way to make money that does not involve a regular job tied to a set wage and location. He promotes direct-response marketing as a career because ‘it’s one of the last areas where a little guy can get a start, live where he pleases, work where he wants.’

A fair amount of the material in these chapters is dated, as it was written over 20 years before the advent of the internet. Today’s equivalent to going into traditional mail-order or direct-response sales is to start an online store. And yet, much of what Karbo says in relation to starting your own business and getting people to buy your products is timeless, and copywriters still pay homage to the power of his thinking on what attracts people to your product and what doesn’t.

Final comments

As a strange combination of a self-development/goal-setting manual and an instruction book for how to run a mail-order business and write magnetic advertisements, is now a classic in two domains: prosperity and self-development, but also marketing and copywriting.

It was a self-published work sold through advertisements; the book looks very amateurish and can easily be dismissed as a marketing scam. It is said that Karbo wrote it only after he had received $50,000 in orders. If true, what a good way to write a book! And yet, wherever it came from, and despite its laid-back, conversational style, many have found the Dyna/Psyc system very powerful in helping them achieve their goals, financial or otherwise.


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