There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

I’ve learned a few things in my two-score and 16 years – stuff that some other pretty smart fellas figured out a long, long time ago…

“There’s nothing new under the sun.” – King Solomon

“What is past is prologue.” – William Shakespeare

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Now, keeping those quotes in mind, consider this…

  • Huge expenditures from a massively expensive war are coming home to roost.
  • The U.S. economy and stock market are stalling; unemployment is rising.
  • In an attempt to pull the economy out of its funk, Washington is printing money like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Inflation – our cost of living – has begun rising.
  • Oil and gasoline prices are at all-time highs.
  • Food and raw materials are in increasingly short supply and prices are soaring worldwide.
  • Gold and silver prices are on a tear.
  • Congress is already controlled by the Democrats and voters are set to throw the Republicans out of the White House.

Have I left anything out?

What’s that you say? “Hannah Montana is breaking all box office records?”

What? Wait. You think I’m talking about TODAY’S headlines?

Sorry. No. I was reading the above headlines 30 years ago – in the mid-1970s!

The debt from the Vietnam War was hitting home. The term “stagflation” was being coined to describe the new environment of slow (or negative) economic growth plus inflation. Washington was printing money out of thin air to pay its bills. Inflation was accelerating. And oil, gas, food, and just about everything else under the sun (especially gold and silver) were roaring higher.

And, of course, in 1976 – with both houses of Congress already firmly in Democrat hands – disgusted voters abandoned the hapless and clueless Ford (remember the “WIN” button?) and installed an equally clueless and soon-to-be one-term Democrat peanut farmer in the White House.

So sorry if I misled you. Maybe I also should have mentioned “Disco is all the rage.”

Nevertheless, here’s why I say some of the life experiences I’ve had in my 56 years on this planet are beginning to come in handy:

I know how to make money – a LOT of money – in times like these, because I’ve been there before. All you have to do is hit the history books, figure out who got richest the fastest the last time around, and then do what they did. Only better.

I was there. I remember how the realization that Washington was out of control… that the government was incompetent and incapable of governing the economy… that even harder times were most likely ahead – and that in such times, prudent people take responsibility for their own financial and personal security – made a bunch of us a huge pile of money.

I remember how my old pal Howard Ruff built The Ruff Times into a 180,000-subscriber behemoth telling people to buy gold and guns and stockpile food. I remember Investment Rarities, Security Rare Coin, and Blanchard & Co. exploding sales as much as 43 times over in as little as a year.

I remember how just about everybody and anybody who promoted information or three-dimensional products aimed at helping people become self-sufficient and prepare for hard times raked in huge bucks.

Most of all, I remember how marketers who recognized and then tapped into the public’s widespread and growing disgust with the establishment, fear of the worst-case scenario, and desire to take matters into their own hands created the greatest profit explosion in the history of the financial information business.

And I remember how, years later, those self-sufficient investors turned out to be every bit as distrustful of the medical establishment as they were of the political establishment. And how they went on to create the multi-gazillion-dollar alternative-health publishing and supplement businesses we know today.

And this time around, the smart money is betting that the profit opportunities will be even greater.

Because last time around, there were no food riots around the world. No countries cutting off exports of wheat and other foods and stockpiling agricultural commodities to make sure they could feed their own people.

There was no China with its $1.3 trillion foreign reserve war chest buying up resources and resource companies like there’s no tomorrow. And there certainly weren’t three billion new consumers on the planet in a bidding war for everything that makes middle class living what it is.

Last time around, our home equity – the #1 source of retirement money for the vast majority of Americans – wasn’t evaporating before our very eyes. Nor was there a credit catastrophe hammering and even destroying lending institutions and making it next to impossible to borrow money.

Oh – and we also didn’t have a way to get our message out for free. Today, we have the Internet.

So before you do that next promotion, why not take a moment to crawl inside your prospective customer’s skin a little bit? You don’t have to be writing about investing or health to make this work for you. The fact is… understanding your prospect’s disgust with the establishment – the status quo – and then giving him a way to take control of his own life is likely to pay you huge dividends.

[Ed. Note: As a direct-marketing consultant and copywriter, Clayton Makepeace has helped four major direct-marketing firms at least quadruple sales and profits to well over $100 million per year each. Clayton publishes the highly acclaimed e-zine The Total Package ( to help business owners and copywriters accelerate their sales and profits. Check it out.]

Clayton Makepeace

In many of the 34 years since Clayton Makepeace began his career, his marketing brainstorms and sales copy have generated over 100 million dollars in sales for his clients - all told well over a billion dollars so far! Clayton's copy has generated as many as TWO MILLION NEW CUSTOMERS for a single product in just 36 months and doubled, tripled - and on four specific occasions, quadrupled - the number of paying customers on his clients house files in as little as a year or two.He has increased his client's sales revenues by up to 1,000 percent in a single month, and multiplied monthly sales revenues by up to 4,400 percent in one short year.Clayton's direct response copy has pulled in as much as $3.6 million in sales over a weekend $5 million in a few weeks and $16 MILLION in a single month!