Escaping from The Matrix

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What really changed things for me was escaping from the matrix, so I would like to offer you an opportunity to take the Red Pill in this post.

You might remember the choice that Neo faced in the movie The Matrix. He is offered the option of taking the Red Pill or the Blue Pill. If he chose to take the Blue Pill, he would wake up in his present reality having forgotten all about the experience. If he chooses the Red Pill, he awakens from his slumber, escapes the matrix and experiences reality for the first time.

Because he is seeking truth, Neo takes the Red Pill. The reality he discovers is completely different from his experience within the matrix. It is something for which is entirely unprepared.

There will be some who read this post who will forget all about it, perhaps putting it down to the ramblings of some insane marketer who needs his bumps feeling. That’s really all you need to do to take the Blue Pill. When you refuse to wake up to reality, you condemn yourself to be ever searching for the answer. The answer will never come to you, in the form that you expect, and your search will be an eternal quest for that other pill – the Magic Pill. But there are only two pills available: The Red Pill or The Blue Pill.

So are you ready to take the Red Pill? No. OK, go ahead, hit the Back Button and return to your normality. The thing is, you genuinely may not really be ready for the Red Pill.

When you take the Red Pill, you wake up and you see reality for what it is. You will probably be unprepared for it. It will probably not be what you expect. When you realise that you have been living under an illusion and pursuing a quest that ultimately leads to disappointment, you may also feel angry. But at least you will have your eyes opened.

Reality is that people have needs and the people who are making money on the internet, or anywhere else for that matter, are busy attending to those needs. Did you see the truth there? No? You see how easy it is to miss it? But we are concerned with the Red Pill here, so let me explain a bit more. Let’s look at those needs. We’ll use Maslow. It’s a pretty good statement of the needs of the  human condition. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy, all human being have the following needs:

  • Biological and Physiological needs – Food, Water, Shelter etc
  • Safety Needs – Security, Stability, Protection etc
  • Belongingness and Love needs – Love, Friendship, Companionship etc
  • Esteem Needs – Self Worth, Status, Mastery etc
  • Self-Actualization Needs – Life Purpose, Self Fulfilment, Growth etc

These common human needs drive our behaviour, so we are always looking for some solution that allows us to fulfil our current needs and progress to the next level; the next set of needs.

Let’s take making money as an example. Why do people want to make money? That may sound like a silly question, but it’s not. It is a good question to contemplate if you are selling, or attempting to sell make money type products. The answer is that money is a transferrable resource, so in a well-developed society, money is required in order to attend to those needs. That’s what drives people to search for that Magic Pill. But they never find the Magic Pill, so their quest never ends.

The same is true of many other markets. Take for example weight-loss. Why do people want to lose weight? Because it makes them feel better about themselves (Esteem Need) and it, perhaps, helps to attract other people to them (Belongingness/Love Need). But their lifestyle dictates that they will always be fatter than they want to be, so they will always be in search of the Magic Pill which, as we know, does not exist.

In other markets, the problem may be more of a one-off; for example, the get your ex back niche. Why do people want to get their ex’s back? Because of their need for love and companionship. Why did they drive their partner away? Well, there may be many reasons, but a common one is infidelity; and that’s another way of saying that it was an unexpected consequence of attending to a physiological need. There may be some people who offend repeatedly, but generally, for most people, this is probably a one-off problem. Nevertheless, we can see how understanding human needs is a key to understanding behaviour.

Now, if you want to profit from this post, you need to wake up and stop that search for the Magic Pill if you are still looking. Instead, try to figure out how you can help other people who are engaged in a quest to find a solution to one of their basic human needs. The people making money are those who are doing that. They are providing value in the form of goods or services that specifically address those needs.

There are good and bad products all over the web. The good products provide value by solving a specific problem that is difficult to solve. To understand what these problems are, you generally need to become a part of the market yourself. But when you know what they are, you can make money very easily by solving a particular, difficult to solve problem.

Remember where we started? Red Pill or Blue Pill – right? If you take the Red Pill, you wake up, stop searching for a solution that does not exist and instead, start creating products and/or services that genuinely address specific problems, that provide real value and benefit other people.

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