About Having a Purpose and Changing Lives

By Lee Collins •  Updated: 08/29/16 •  5 min read
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One of the things I’ve discovered is that most folks who make it big, who really figure it out online, tend to have a “purpose,” something other than money that really drives them. At least the ones who last have a purpose.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to behonorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

When I’m speaking on stage I often ask the audience “why are you here?” and (sure they want to make more money but) without fail the most frequent answer is they tend to want to make a difference – and let the money follow, instead of chasing the money.

The answer is always something about changing lives, wanting to change the world, or to change the way things are done in their industry.

According to Psychology Today, “Having a mission to which you’re committed will make you strong. By keeping your eye focused on the long-term ball of your life’s purpose short-term set backs will have far less impact on your life-condition.”

The question is: What drives you?

When you figure out whose lives you are going to change this year, you probably will know where the money will come from. And once you know whose lives you are going to change, it becomes easy to ask, “ok, how am I going to change their lives”

And then it becomes really easy to think of “what to sell” – you simply sell whatever will change their lives!

As an example: when I started selling Mini Racers in 2002 (and eventually became the largest seller on the East Coast) I had no idea what these things were. But I knew Diane Sawyer said “everybody wants one” and I was determined to sell it to them!

Those little RC Cars made me a FORTUNE – because I used my One Page Money Makers strategy, listened to my customer’s feedback and sold people exactly what they wanted, instead of trying to force something on them that they didn’t want.

The mistake most people make…

If you’ve ever seen the movie Field of Dreams you know what they say: “If you build it, they will come.”

This is the mistake they make in teaching you in business school. They tell you to create a product then go out and create a market for it. And this is completely backward (and probably why 90-95% of businesses are dead in the first 5 years).

Wouldn’t it be better to flip that around? Find a market then sell them what they want.

Following my One Page Money Makers strategy, I started out with one basic web page selling the little cars. That’s it. Most people build these megalithic eCommerce websites with dozens or hundreds of pages then when it fails a little piece of them has died because they put so much work into it.

But I start with ONE page.

And if nobody cares about that one page I move on to something else. With one page I am committed, but not married, to the idea.

But with the Mini Racers they DID care about that one page. And in a BIG way. And I built out from there.

I took returns from people who never even bought from me, just to earn their business. (I always included a discount coupon toward their next purchase.) I created stickers and made customization videos and comparison charts of the different types of cars.

Heck, I was even the first to bring “LED light upgrades” to the little cars.

And everything I did, I did because because people told me they wanted it. I only added it to the site when people asked for it.

Why is this better for you? You don’t waste time. What else? Now, you got clients, you know your target audience. What else? You don’t have to commit. You’re only building it for people who actually want it.

And this strategy works for ANY business.

I’ve used this same 1PMM strategy when I was VP in charge of Global Network Performance at EDS, all the way to any and all my client businesses and even in all my own businesses. Why? Because it works.

Is this making sense?

I’ve been doing this Internet Marketing thing for almost 20 years now – and I can tell you when lives change, people are willing to pay you for changing their lives.

Did those Mini Racers change lives? Well, you try being the parent in 2002 who didn’t buy one for your son or daughter and you tell me. I believe they did, in their own little way.

But if you aren’t changing lives, it’s pretty hard to make a living online!

“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”
– Robert F. Kennedy

My question to you is this:

Whose lives are you going to change today?

Lee Collins

Lee Collins is a former Air Force Network Systems Engineer and Fortune 500 Corporate VP - who is best known as an early pioneer of Direct Response Marketing on the Internet. He has over 24+ years experience running operations for multiple multi-million dollar marketing, software, SEO, financial, and business coaching companies. When Lee isn't helping his private clients solve big (and small) marketing and operations problems, Lee is most likely heading up into the mountains in his fully-equipped Jeep Gladiator. Or just gone fishing.