“We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.”  – Billy Graham 

“You guys are nuts,” Josh told me.

Josh is a newsletter publisher. Until recently, he kept his business offline. But declining revenues forced him to step into the 21st century. I invited him to study ETR’s website and our Early to Rise e-zine to see how we do it.

He did. And that’s what made him think we’re crazy. “I can’t believe how much free information you give away,” he said. “That piece by MaryEllen Tribby on how she hires great people shocked me. Your publisher is telling everyone – everyone who is on your e-mail list – exactly how you guys have grown so big so fast.”

“It’s true,” I said. “Isn’t that great?”

“You are nuts,” he repeated.

“Maybe so,” I said. “But maybe not.”

Why We Do It

ETR has benefited greatly by giving away great advice for free. In fact, it is the fastest-growing self-improvement website in the world. If ETR told its secrets only to people who were willing to pay for them, it wouldn’t have grown as fast as it has.

ETR’s growth is a direct result of its willingness to provide extremely valuable information for free.

At least that’s how I look at it. And MaryEllen Tribby does too. And Charlie Byrne and Patrick Coffey and Wendy Montes de Oca and all the people who are contributing their best ideas and industry knowledge to ETR every day.

We believe in the principle of reciprocity. Give first, and you shall receive later.

But Do We Go Too Far?

But I know what Josh means. Sometimes I feel the same way. The other day, I was reading an article in Early to Rise by Alexis Siemon, one of our Internet marketing geniuses. The strategy she wrote about was so great, in fact, that I thought: “Gee – should we be talking about this secret right now? Shouldn’t we keep it to ourselves for a while, to stay ahead of our competitors?”

When I have thoughts like that, I remind myself: It is only the weak and the fearful who want to hide their knowledge. The rest of us benefit from sharing what we know. Shared knowledge creates growth. And growth creates opportunity.

Is Our Free Information Policy Hurting Sales?

This morning, I got a letter from JW, an Early to Rise reader who says that the information she gets from our e-zine has already proven valuable in her wealth-building pursuits.

But she has a problem:

“ETR gives away SO MUCH valuable information. When I see your advertisements for paid programs, I ask myself, ‘Why should I pay for something when I’m getting so much already for free? Could these paid programs really be that much better than the free information I’m already getting?'”

Great question. I’m surprised it has never been put to me before.

Yes, ETR gives away a ton of amazingly good information. And not just information but also wisdom and advice. In any given month, you will get more useful wealth, health, and personal-improvement ideas in our e-zine than you will from most paid services – even those that cost thousands of dollars.

But does that mean you don’t need to buy ETR’s programs?

Let me tell you something interesting. About two years ago, a very successful information publisher offered me $80,000 a month – about a million dollars a year – to spend one day a month with him and his key people. He said he wanted me to help them get his business to the next level – i.e., to break through the $50 million mark in revenues.

Since I had a substantial stake in his business already, I told him that he didn’t have to pay me anything. I said I’d be happy to meet with him and his team for free.

“I don’t want it for free,” he said. “I want to pay for it. I want to be invested in your advice. And I want my people to understand that we are paying a ton of money for it too. That’s the only way your recommendations will be implemented. It’s the only way you can help us break through the $50 million mark.”

He was right. Paying me to help him would have been infinitely more valuable than getting much of the same information for free. Cheapskates won’t understand that, but it’s true.

The key to entrepreneurial success is action. And the key to action is belief. If you invest nothing in a venture, you will treat it cavalierly. If you pay for it, you will treat it with respect.

So that’s one big reason why you should invest in one of our paid programs: because you will care about it more and pay better attention to it and take more action based on it.

But there’s also a much more practical reason.

The free information you get in the Early to Rise e-zine is very valuable, but it is presented randomly and in small units. One issue might contain an essay on search engine optimization plus a few briefs on rare coin investing, cancer prevention, and budget travel. Another issue might feature an essay on investing in mining stocks and have a few briefs on business management, personal productivity, and office politics.

No two issues are ever the same. Every article in every issue is meant to be useful to your long-term goals – but no one article attempts to be complete.

If, after reading Early to Rise for a few months, you decide that you want to get into the commercial real estate business, you could certainly research past articles in our Archives. But it would be much smarter and more efficient to buy our proven program on that subject and get started right away.

The same would be true if you wanted to get into the information-publishing business or the affiliate -marketing business or the freelance-copywriting business.

ETR has developed dozens of proven, comprehensive, experience-based programs that will help you achieve whatever career goal you set – whether that is to become a fast-rising superstar at your job or to operate your own Web-based business from home.

Take the Internet Money Club program, for example. You get a step-by-step guide for starting your own Internet business from the ground up. Each step is practical, proven, and easy to follow.

The Internet Money Club shows you exactly how to launch an Internet business, even if you have minimal start-up capital, no products to sell, and no technical knowledge. It would take you years of puttering around on your own to achieve what you can achieve in months or even weeks by following the Money Club program.

Here are just some of the subjects the Internet Money Club covers:

  • E-mail marketing
  • List building
  • Copywriting
  • Public relations
  • Viral marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay-per-click campaigns
  • Direct mail
  • Front-end and back-end products
  • Teleseminars
  • Generating website traffic
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Event marketing
  • Media buying
  • Creating information products

The program includes printed manuals, twice-monthly teleseminars, instructional videos on DVD, audio CDs, and one very unique component: the Golden Ticket. This entitles the bearer to visit the ETR offices and talk with our in-house experts.

It also comes with a free pass for one of our annual business/wealth-building bootcamps. That’s a $2,000 value.

It took a year for ETR to develop the Internet Money Club, and cost a fortune to produce. It is comprehensive and completely user-friendly. It was designed to be the best program of its kind in the world, and we think it is.

You can’t get that for free – not even at ETR. (In fact, you can’t get it at all. The Club is sold out for this year. Get on the hotlist for next year by clicking here.)

So you can see that when you buy an ETR wealth- or business- or health-building program, you are getting something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Another nice thing to know about ETR programs: They are all fully guaranteed.

If they disappoint you in any way, you get all your money back, promptly and courteously. You can even get your money back if they please you but you fail to use them.

The people at ETR don’t want you to pay for anything you don’t benefit from.

And if all that is not enough, most ETR programs come with continuous updates and refinements. As time goes by, all kinds of additions and improvements are made. But you don’t have to pay anything extra for them. ETR provides them to you… free of charge!

That’s what we are doing right now with ETR’s Total Success Achievement program. We are doubling its value by adding my How to Master Plan Your New Life program to it. My program, alone, is a $200 value. But everyone who has bought the Total Success Achievement program will get it automatically… and for free.

No other personal-achievement programs I know of do all this.

And that’s one more solid reason why you should absolutely invest in each and every ETR program that interests you. You have a whole new life to gain… and nothing at all to lose.

[Ed. Note: You can get valuable ideas for how to start a new business, improve your health, invest wisely, accomplish your goals, and much more… just by reading Early to Rise each day. But if you want a concentrated, comprehensive program for succeeding in any ONE of those areas, you should check out what we have to offer by clicking here.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.