Ray Edwards is a Communications Strategist, Copywriter, and author. Ray’s marketing expertise and persuasive writing has helped generate an estimated $400-million in revenue for clients like Tony Robbins, Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller, Jeff Goins, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jeff Walker, and many more.
Read This or Die! – Turn around your finances, your health, and your relationships. Check out Ray’s book!
3 Value Bombs
1) Pain is what gets us to do things. We might aspire to certain things in our life, but it’s the pain that gets us to get off the couch and get something done.
2) You can be in control of what happens in your own head. How you think about it, how you approach it.
3) Set up a system that makes transformation stick, that reinforces what you’ve determined, that helps you actually change.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Persuade Yourself To a Better Life
[1:26] – Ray shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- Wishing doesn’t make it so. People believe in the power of the law of attraction. But the law of attraction has to be made with action.
- So many people just wish things would happen. They visualize it, they fantasize about it, and it doesn’t happen the way they want it to. And then they blame something else outside themselves.
[2:20] – Read This Or Die! …How did Ray came up with the title for his book?
- He met Jim Rutz, one of the best copywriters on the planet., who gets paid $100,000 for his copyright campaigns.
- He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 46.
- He turned to the only thing he knew how to do: persuasion. He wrote himself a sales letter and the headline of that sales letter was, “To Ray Edwards, read this or die.”
[5:44] – Ray talks about being saved by his sales letter.
- Parkinson’s disease is bad, but it’s not the worst thing that could happen to somebody. Whatever problems people are facing in their own lives, those are the biggest problems they’ve ever faced.
- Start with what was hurting.
- Pain is what gets us to do things. We might aspire to certain things in our life, but it’s the pain that gets us to get off the couch and get something done.
[8:29] – A timeout to thank our sponsor!
- HubSpot: HubSpot CRM’s powerful tools will help marketers WOW prospects, sales teams lock in deals, and service teams improve response times and overall service. Get started for free at HubSpot.com!
[11:27] – Using persuasion for a better life.
- The PASTOR process is about persuasion. It is the shepherd who cares for the flock, protects them, keeps them safe from predators, leaves them with still waters and the peaceful grass so they can rest and be easy – be at ease.
- Identify what hurts.
- Know how much worse could it get before it could get better.
- You could be in control of what happened in your own head. How you thought about it, how you approached it, was your attitude.
- Set up a system that makes transformation stick, that reinforces what you’ve determined, that helps you actually change.
[17:54] – Ray talks about the final chapter.
- His first decision was that if it doesn’t work, he has to stay positive – maintain freedom to choose to have joy
- The second decision was for it to work – to do everything he could to make it work
- It was a miracle when the device got turned on. He could suddenly walk again, speak, feed himself, dress himself, drive again, things he took for granted before…
[20:45] – Ray’s key takeaway and call to action.
- Read this or Die! – Turn around your finances, your health, and your relationships. Check out Ray’s book!
[21:06] – Thank you to our Sponsor!
- HubSpot: HubSpot CRM’s powerful tools will help marketers WOW prospects, sales teams lock in deals, and service teams improve response times and overall service. Get started for free at HubSpot.com!
Light that Spark Fire Nation. JLD here in Welcome to Entrepreneurs on Fire, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. With great shows like Finding Founders. Today we'll be breaking down how to persuade yourself to a better life to drop these value bombs. I brought Ray Edwards into EOFire Studios. Ray is a communications strategist, copywriter, and author Ray's marketing expertise and persuasive writing has helped generate an estimated 400 million in revenue for clients like Tony Robbins, Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller, Jeff Goins, Jack Canfield, mark Victor Hansen, Jeff Walker, and many more. And today our nation will talk about being saved by a sales letter.
We'll talk about Read This or Die. We'll talk about how to use Persuasion for a better life and so much more. And we have so much great stuff to talk about as soon as we get back from thanking ours sponsors. Business Made Simple hosted by Donald Miller is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. The audio destination for business professionals, business made simple takes the mystery out of growing your business with episodes like how to get out of your day-to-day operations without crashing your business. Listen to Business Made Simple. Wherever you get your podcasts, Ray, say What's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
1 (1m 24s):
Hey, what's up Fire Nation? And I'll tell you something I believe that I think most people disagree with. I know they do because I've watched their behavior that is wishing doesn't make it so people believe in the power of the law of attraction. I do too. But I think the Law of Attraction has to be married with action. And I think so many people just wish things would happen. They visualize it, they fantasize about it. That's what they're really doing, fantasizing. And it doesn't happen the way they want it to. And then they blame something else outside themselves. I think that wishing is a good place to start, but you gotta, you gotta marry that together with Action
0 (1m 55s):
Fire Nation. We're action takers. Let's live that truth. And we're talking today about persuading yourself to a better life. And Ray, you may not say this yourself because you're a very humble individual, but you're a copywriting genius. But this title is Next Level. Read This or Die. Tell us more about how you came up with the title for this book and what it means to you.
1 (2m 25s):
Well, I'll tell you the story of the title of the book is kind of funny cuz it came very late in the game. I am a copywriting nerd. I don't know if I'm a genius, but I'm definitely a nerd. And I was at a Jeff Walker conference many years ago and I met a guy in the back of the room. He was being ignored by everybody. He was an older gentleman and I may be in his age range. Now think about it. At the time I met him, his name was Jim Rutz and he was, was one of the best copywriters on the planet. He did missionary work and he'd go to New, new, he'd go back home to New York City every once in a while, get paid a hundred thousand dollars or more to write a copywriting campaign. Then you take the money and go back to the field and do mission work again.
1 (3m 7s):
And one of the pieces he wrote was for a health newsletter about how to heal yourself and get better naturally. And the title of that newsletter was Read This or Die. And so I had that title stuck in my head and I was, I was at a point in my life where I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 46. And I became, as the disease progressed and I became more and more disabled by it, I became more and more depressed about it. And I reached a point where I was, I didn't even wanna live. So I thought till I came face to face with the Grim Reaper and came very close to death and considered how easy it would be for me to just slide into that.
1 (3m 48s):
And I realized, I do wanna live. I've got other people I want to live for. I thought about my wife, about my son, about my employees, about my customers, about all the people who would be affected if I let myself slip away like that. And I didn't realize I had to live or else I had to die. A failure failing to meet my most important values in my entire life. So I sat down, I, I tried everything, John. I, I tried self-help rallies. I I have many self-help gurus who are clients of mine. People like Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield. I revere them. I honor them for what they've brought to my life and to the lives of others. But those things didn't help me with this particular problem cuz Parkinson's is incurable.
1 (4m 30s):
So they say it's irreversible, it's degenerative, it just gets worse and has a predictable outcome, very predictable outcome, which is not very pleasant for most people. And so I was faced with that and I had to either figure out how to live regardless of what happened to me in terms of the disease and what kind of person I was gonna be, or else I was just gonna have to go ahead and give up and die of failure. So I decided to live and I, I did what I knew how to do. It wasn't self-help rally. It wasn't a miracle healing service. I tried those things too. And I, you know, I'm a spiritual guy, but I tried every spiritual thing I could attempt to get cured of this disease. And it just wasn't happening. So I turned to the only thing I knew how to do, which was persuasion.
1 (5m 13s):
And I spent decades persuading people to buy things that made their life better, whether they knew it or not. And I had perfected that skillset. So I decided to, per I decided, I decided to persuade myself. So I wrote myself a sales letter and the, the headline of that sales letter to me, to one person, Dre Edwards, was Read This or Die.
0 (5m 33s):
I wanna dive more into that story because in your own words, you were saved by a sales letter and you, for years and years and years, I mean, you know, decades in fact, you know, have been helping people with copy. Like you said, you're a copyrighting nerd. I call you a copyrighting genius. I mean, you've helped people like Tony Robbins, Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller, Jeff Goins, Jack Canfield, mark Victor Hansen, Jeff Walker. I mean over 4 million, 400 million in revenue for those individuals and others. You've written sales letters, you've written copy you, you've persuaded other people for so long. And now you had to persuade yourself. And you again, by your own words, by your own admission, were saved by a sales letter.
0 (6m 17s):
Let's dive deeper into that story.
1 (6m 19s):
Parkinson's disease is bad. I, I don't wanna paint a light picture of it, but it's not the worst thing that could happen to somebody. And whatever problems people are facing in their own lives, those are the the biggest problems they've ever faced. Whatever the biggest problem is, it's the biggest one you've ever faced. So I don't mean to make, mine's not special, that's what I'm trying to say. But it was special to me as it is to each of us. And I realized if I was going to live and, and have any joy in life and have any respect for myself, I had to persuade myself life was worth living to start with. So I had to start with what was hurting. What was hurting was all the unle un unfinished business. I was leaving behind unpaid bills, unaccomplished goals, unhonoured promises.
1 (7m 2s):
I promised certain things to my wife when she married me, that I, some of which I still have not delivered on. One of those is, is a trip to the Netherlands, which is the homeland of her family. And we're taking that trip, this coming February. We're going to the Netherlands together with her sisters. It's gonna be a great trip, a trip of her lifetime as she describes it. There were these things I wanted to honor and it was hurting me that I was gonna leave. I could leave my pain behind, but I would leave those people, my wife, my son, people that work for me, people who are my clients. I lead them with the pain of having to figure out what to do with the promises I had not kept. So that was, that was what motivated me. Cuz what motivates us. I believe John is first and foremost pain. It's what gets us to do things.
1 (7m 43s):
We might, we might aspire to certain things in our life, but it's the pain that gets us to get off the couch and get something done. So that's where it started for me, was writing myself that letter, just like I'd written sales letters to people to sell them vitamins or books or seminars or travel or hair replacement systems. All the things I've sold to people. This was the most important sale I ever had to make, which is selling myself on living and living in a certain way.
0 (8m 6s):
I love this story and that's why just about a week ago when you and I were having a one-on-one phone call, I asked you to come on and talk about this because I think this is a message that a lot of people need to hear. And if you're not one of those people, fire your nation that needs to hear this message right now, I bet somebody you know is this is important. Help spread the word. We have more to talk about all about persuasion when we get back from thanking our sponsors. I remember back in 2013 when Entrepreneurs on Fire was scaling fast. And in those early days of our business, we sometimes found ourselves struggling to keep up because we couldn't find software solutions that were easy to use and that would grow with us wasting time, worrying about software that's complicated, a pain to use and that doesn't do what you need it to do is not fun or productive.
0 (8m 53s):
So what do we wish we knew back then that we know now that a powerful all-in-one CRM platform that will accelerate your business growth is a HubSpot CRM. Unlike a lot of solutions we were using back in 2013, HubSpot's CRM grows with your business. Whether you have an MVP or you just iPod. HubSpot CRM is built for scale because your tech stack should work for you, not against you. And with over 1300 flexible apps and integrations, you can customize HubSpot's CRM to the way you do business. Get started for email@example.com. That's hubspot.com. Ray, we're back. And I wanna talk specifically now about persuasion.
0 (9m 36s):
You've used persuasion for a better life. You've actually used persuasion to save your life. You've used persuasion to help other people's lives help better their lives. Let's talk about how we fire nation. Our listeners right now can use persuasion for a better life.
1 (9m 54s):
Love to, it's my favorite thing to talk about right now and probably going forward because I've got a surprise ending the missing chapter from the book that I'll share with you. Ooh, towards the end. But there's a formula I created for writing sales copy to sell stuff to people, whatever stuff you sell to whomever, it's called the Pastor Processor method. And it's not about being a preacher, it's about persuasion that the letters P A S T O R stand for these faith phases or components of persuasion. And I chose the word pastor because originally what it meant was not preacher, it meant shepherd. And I think what does a shepherd do? Shepherd cares for the flock, protects them, keeps 'em safe from predators, leads them to beside, to distill waters to the peaceful grass so they can rest and, and be easy and be at ease.
1 (10m 40s):
So that's what, that's how I think of us dealing with our customers as a copywriter, as a marketer, I want us to take care of people leading 'em to good decisions for themselves, even if the decision is not to buy from us, maybe in some cases. So I had to pastor myself, if you will. So the real quickly, the formulate goes like this. P A S T O R P stands for pain. You have to start with what hurts. So that's what I did for myself. I identified what hurts for Ray, what motivates me to wanna do something different with my life. What, what motivates you wanna keep living and what what motivates me to wanna live in a certain way? Then I go to the A, which is amplify, which is how How much worse could it get before it gets better? It doesn't get much worse, John, than violating your own values and leaving unfinished business behind.
1 (11m 22s):
And I and unkept promises to the people you love most. That hurts a lot. So then after you amplify the pain, you look at what's, how bad could it get? What's the worst case scenario? You have to find a different story of a better future because I was depressed and somebody wants to find depression as the inability to construct in your mind a hopeful future. And that's where I was. I was, I was, I became so disabled at one point that I could hardly walk across a room by myself. I couldn't eat my own food. I had to have somebody cut my food up for me. I stopped traveling because I wasn't able to travel. Even with help, I traveled for a long time with an assistant who helped me with things. He got so bad I couldn't do that.
1 (12m 2s):
There is a happier ending in the story. So I'll get to that in just a bit. But I had to find a different story. And then the story was, I looked to, okay, who's had a worse problem than I've had? Well, Christopher Reeve had a worse problem that I had. He was paralyzed from the neck down. He was superman one day, the next day. He was a man who could only function with total dependence on other people. I don't know if a machine to help him breathe. I looked to Beethoven, who most people don't realize this most all the symphonies we know of Beethoven were written after he was completely deaf. Couldn't hear a note, wrote it in his head. The greatest symphony ever written, most people will, will acknowledge is the ode to Joy and his ninth symphony.
1 (12m 44s):
And he couldn't hear a word. He couldn't hear a word, he couldn't hear a note, he couldn't hear any of that symphony, which is his greatest work, most complex symphonic piece ever devised, orchestrated. So then after, to find a different story to tell myself, which the story was, if these people can overcome those things, I can surely overcome minor by comparison challenges that I face. So once the transformation, I had to find evidence of that. So began looking for stories of people who'd overcome Parkinson's. And worse, of course, Michael J. Fox comes to mind. He's, he's managed to maintain an acting career and win acting credits despite, and maybe even because of the battle he had to fight with Parkinson's. He could be argued, he maybe got his best performances because of the challenges he faced and continues to face.
1 (13m 25s):
And there's the opportunity as P A S T O R. The O is opportunity. Where can change happen? Well, it had to happen in the place. It's the hardest place to make a change, which is in our own brains. I had to examine my own beliefs. One of my beliefs was I thought wishing did make it. So this is why I don't believe that anymore. I tried that. I put that to the test my friend, it didn't work. Wishing did not change the situation I was in. What I could change was maybe not the external effects of the disease or the problem I faced. Like when we all got locked down a few years ago, we, we didn't have a choice. It happened. It was external to us, it was enforced upon us. Whatever you believe about any of what happened, you had to follow the rules cuz you were forced to.
1 (14m 9s):
But you could be in control of what happened in your own head, how you thought about it, how you approached it, what your attitude was. It's like in that book, man, search for Meaning where Victor Frankl says, the last choice we have to make last freedom that cannot be taken away from us is how we respond to things that happened to us. And that's the final piece of the puzzle response. Set up a system that makes transformation stick, that reinforces what you've determined will help you actually change. That's what the book is all about. I walk you through the process. I went through, I tell the story of the progression of my disease and how I dealt with it. I had to examine all my different beliefs in life. The ones that were working, the ones that weren't like the wishing makes it still the thing. I had to finally face up to the facts that, you know, you have to do something, you can't just wish it away.
1 (14m 50s):
And it helped me turn my life around. And I believe anybody who reads the book, there's, at the end of each chapter, I walk you through how to write your own letter to yourself, your own sales letter to yourself to sell you on whatever change you need to make. Whether it's, it might not be as anything as big or as small as Parkinson's depending on what you're facing. You might think that is a bigger small challenge. But whatever the change is you wanna make, maybe it's you wanna stop smoking or maybe you want to eat better or maybe stop just having, stop just having Pop-Tarts for breakfast. Maybe that's, I mean, that's for somebody who's challenges, that's, that may be the biggest thing they're having a problem with is what they eat. That's the biggest challenge they have. And this is how you change it. It it's, it's all based on psychological principles that I've used to sell things for decades. But does this sale I was making was the most important one I'd ever make was was just to myself.
1 (15m 32s):
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. I'll tell you the final missing chapter from the book.
0 (15m 36s):
Oh yes, we are in pins and needles for that. I just wanna kind of go backfire nation and just re amplify what Ray was just sharing specifically pain, amplify story transformation. How can you go through that process in whatever you're struggling with right now? And just like Ray went through that process, and again, now he is where he is today and we're gonna be talking about this final chapter right now, which as he alluded, it's kind of a good ending.
1 (16m 7s):
It's, it's pretty, pretty darn good ending. And the best part is it's not the end, it's the beginning. Mm. Here's what happened. I became so disabled, I could not take care of myself at all. And I finally began to consider something that had been proposed to me a few years ago. But I completely flat denied I would ever do it. It was brain surgery. There's a surgery called deep brain stimulation where they insert these electrodes into your brain and you have a little power pack that's under the skin, just blow your shoulder. It's kind of like a pacemaker for your brain. And the theory is it cancels out the bad signals that get sent to your body by your brain, which cause the symptoms. Most of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, the shaking, the inability to walk, the in inability to speak and so forth.
1 (16m 50s):
And I just thought it was barberry when I first heard about it. But when you become desperate, you consider all sorts of things, even the barberry things. And once I decided, okay, I'm gonna give this a try cuz it's the only thing I have left to possibly change the physical problem I'm facing. And I, I made two decisions when I made that decision. Followed up with two more decisions. One decision was if it doesn't work, I'm still gonna stay positive. I'm still gonna maintain that. I can have the freedom to choose to have joy and whatever. I'm able to have joy about whatever the symptoms are, whatever the ending may be for me, I was gonna face up to it with courage and with gratitude. The second decision I made was it was gonna work. I was gonna do everything I could to make it work, including I was gonna eradicate all negative thinking about the possibility of it not working from my mind.
1 (17m 34s):
So I refused to watch any videos that criticized the procedure. I refused to hear any stories of people who had it and didn't get the result they wanted. I only listened to positive success stories and watched them every day on YouTube leading up to the surgery. I had them scheduled the surgery as quickly as possible so I wouldn't have time to think about it it anymore. Once the decision was made, it was gonna happen. That was it. I wanna do it as fast as possible. So we did it and I'm happy to report. There's a viral video on TikTok of me the day they turn the, the first day install it, two surgeries are required, they install it, then you have to heal up, wait 30 days, that's all healed up and they turn it on. I have video on TikTok when they turn it on and it's, it's, I can only describe it this way.
1 (18m 14s):
It was a miracle they turned it on. I could suddenly walk again. I could speak, I could feed myself. I could dress myself. I could drive again, drive my own car. Things I took for granted before things. I'm grateful for every single day of my life now because I persuaded myself it was possible.
0 (18m 31s):
Fire Nation, I hope that you are hearing these words, that Ray's sharing and understanding that these type of transformations are absolutely possible. Again, I love the process. He talked about pain, amplify, story, transformation and focusing on that. And Ray, you've written, which may very well be your masterpiece. Tell Fire Nation a little bit more about the book and where they can go to pick it up and learn more.
1 (18m 59s):
Thank you, John. It's called Read This or Die - Persuading Yourself to A Better Life. It's the book that chronicles the story of how this all happened, of the things I had to question. I I, I ended up questioning everything in my life. Now. I didn't throw away everything in my life. Many of the beliefs I questioned I found to be useful and true and I stuck with them. Some I didn't. You can read about that in the book and you can also read the process. And I went through to write the sales letter to myself that changed everything. I write one of these every year now to myself, depending on what I wanna change next. And I give you the outline of how you can do the same for yourself. And I even share the letter I wrote for myself in the book so you can read it and see exactly what I said to myself. It was kind of brutal things I said, right? It was, it was me facing up to the truth for once, for the first time really in my life about certain things I had done and not done.
1 (19m 45s):
So I think it's powerful. I think it's a lot of people who've read it have said that they helped them make changes in their own life. You can find it, readthisordiebook.com. And if you order a copy, whether you, depending on where you, when you listen to this, me be listening to during pre-order time or even afterwards, we have a free six part video mini course that goes along with the book that teaches you how to do this process for yourself in addition to what's in the book. So let's readthisordiebook.com.
0 (20m 12s):
Fire nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with r e and JLD today. So keep up that heat. For links to everything we talked about here today, visit eofire.com type ray in the search bar, the show notes page will pop right up. And one more time. Fire Nation readthisordiebook.com. Ray, thank you for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side. Fire Nation, do you wanna master productivity, discipline, and focus? Well, how about using My Mastery Journal?
0 (20m 55s):
The Mastery Journal will help you master productivity, master discipline, master focus in a hundred days. That's what we do. Visit the masteryjournal.com and I'll catch you there. Or on the flip side, business Made Simple hosted by Donald Miller is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. The audio destination for business professionals business made simple takes the mystery out of growing your business with episodes like how to get out of your day-to-day operations without crashing your business. Listen to business made simple wherever you get your podcasts.
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