The Opportunities

The people you are talking to are on an island. They are miserable on this island. There is nothing to do, but they don’t know about any other islands so they don’t do anything.

They accept being miserable because what else is there?

One day they receive a message in a bottle from you. It tells them about your island. It has everything. You tell them what they can do there and how their life can be.

But you can’t take them there. There are too many. You can show them how to get there, but they have to build the boat. They happily build the boat because they aspire for something more.

When you’re selling them on the island, you can imagine how they will feel and you find ways to inject those feelings into your descriptions but you give them enough room to imagine it themselves.

I was stuck on an island just like this. I can’t tell you how many times I cried at night looking at the Moon hoping that it would talk back to me.

The loneliness is what haunts me. You don’t realize how important that annoying neighbor is in your life until you’re without them for 37 weeks.

And don’t get me started on the food. How would you like your coconuts served today?

It’s bad enough that fish swims by the same rock at the same time every single day and you can’t catch it, but you also have to deal with the animals stealing your food when you aren’t looking.

One day I had enough and decided to build a boat. I didn’t have any plans with the boat and I didn’t care where it took me as long as it took me away from this island.

It took me a while to build the boat but I was motivated so it didn’t feel like that long. Anything to get off that island.

Then finally, the boat was done. I hopped on it and took off. I wish I could tell you that journey was easy. It wasn’t.

There was even a second or two I wondered if this was worth it. But then I remembered that feeling I had every single day waking up on that island. 

Floating in the middle of the ocean was better than that.

I figured I didn’t have much longer and then that’s when I saw a piece of green.


The opportunity being shown here is escaping from the pain they currently feel. We could continue with the letter and talk about how wonderful the island is, but more importantly, there are other people there.

What opportunities can you bring to the table for your Customer? 

Pain & Pleasure

As you can see in the letter above, opportunity doesn’t always have to be about gaining pleasure. It can also be escaping pain.

What is your Customer sick of? The more you can replay their day in your head, the better your messaging will be over time.

Great, another guru on LinkedIn told you to pick a niche when the last you checked, their niche was simply “money”.

Little observations like this get your Customer to nod their head and by doing so get them on your side. Now you two share the same worldview.

Keep a notebook or digital library of all the frustrations and small joys you come across in your line of work. If you want to attract the people that align with you, then talk about those joys and frustrations and you’ll find the people with similar feelings coming to you.


Not too long ago, social media was flooded with images of people on private planes and exotic locations. It’s quite possible that it’s still flooded with that stuff and the algo doesn’t show me, but there was a time when you couldn’t escape it.

And the people posting these images were making money selling whatever. You’d look at them and wonder how that was even possible. Who would fall for this stuff?

The truth is that nobody really falls for it as there is nothing to fall for. Some people see a life that they desire and so they purchase the offer. What I’m doing here is no different.

I’m telling you that you can create a business that builds Happy Citizens and makes you feel good. That’s my private plane and exotic vacation. 

Why did this tweet get so much engagement? Let’s ignore the size of the audience Justin has because not all of his tweets get this much love.

One of the reasons it received this much attention is that it is aspirational. 

I WANT a business that does $105,000 a month.

Painting a picture of what their life can be like associates you with that result. You might not like the idea of selling yourself or talking about your success, but your story is aspirational.

How can your customers know what they can become if you don’t talk about your own transformation?

Aspirations Attracts the People. Pain Attracts the Money.

Aspirational content is powerful. It’s what can get someone who doesn’t know you to start paying attention to you.

Content that addresses the pain someone has though is the content that will make you money. Why?

Because when someone is experiencing pain that is when they start to look for solutions. If you’re out having a good time drinking with your friends, you don’t look for the pain reliever even though you know a hangover is looming the next day.

When the fun is over and the pain starts to creep in, that’s when you begin to look for solutions.

But here is the important thing to remember. Pain is a feeling, not an experience.

Let’s look at two different messages about the same product.

Inbox Zero! Here’s how to make sure you go to bed without the red number on your email app.

Not terrible, but not great either. It’s focused on the experience of going to bed with inbox zero which very well could trigger an emotion in someone.

Let’s try another one.

I knew I had a problem when I would go to bed feeling guilty because that red number was still there.

We are still talking about going to bed but going to bed isn’t the main part. It’s the guilt of having unread emails that stick out. That’s what the Customer will relate to.

When writing anything, continue to think about what emotions/feelings your customer wants to get rid of. They’ll be able to connect to those a lot better than they can experience.

It happened again. I went downstairs and my wife was making coffee. The moment she saw me she told me how she had been up since 2am. She couldn’t go back to sleep because she dreamt that the repo man came to take our car.

With that much stress, it was impossible to go back to sleep.

There is a good chance that the Customer hasn’t experienced that but they probably have had situations where they were stressed about money that it didn’t let them sleep.

The Spectrum of Emotions

Your Customer isn’t going to be stuck on one emotion forever. Just because you discovered that shame is an emotion they feel doesn’t mean everything you write about should revolve around shame.

Throughout all of the content that you create, tap into the varying emotions that your Customer experiences on their way to the solution.

Your Funnels are like great movies, they pull your Customers in many different directions because they are able to tap into a spectrum of emotions.

The better you get at this, the more effective your messaging will be.

Next Lesson: Posting Signs >>>>>