Abundance vs. Scarcity, “Fun Shopping Cart Messages” Edition


Greetings from Frankfurt airport… or actually the skies between Europe and Africa, as I should be southbound to Equatorial Guinea when this goes out.

Let the record show I’m in the back of the Lufthansa aircraft on this trip, with a bonus “wait-on-the-plane-an-extra-two-hours” stopover in Abuja. Sometimes even travel ninjas go long-haul Economy Class, when no upgrades are available.


This is the Sunday Store Update, where I look at some brief news about the business side of AONC.

Last week saw the one-day partner launch of the Empire Building Kit. It’s now closed down again, but for the 24 hours it was live, it made quite a splash. With the 30+ partners we had, plus coverage in Business Week, major blogs, etc., someone told me they heard about the launch “from every blog in my Google Reader.” My apologies for taking over the internet on Tuesday—it’s now back to normal.

In the store shopping cart, we have a field that asks, “Where did you hear about us?” Some people wonder… do we actually read those messages? Well yes—indeed we do. One of my favorites of all time came from Matthew in Auckland:

How did you hear about us?

“From a Google search, and by God, what a fortuitous one!”

That made me laugh… and this week I read a few other fun ones:

How did you hear about us?

“Who hasn’t?”

“The Empire Building fairy sent it to me”

“Google search for ‘kick ass nicely.’”

“Searching on Facebook for ‘take over the world.’”

This week’s winner, though, comes from Eric here in Portland, who said he heard about the launch from “The entire population of Twitter.”

With that in mind, my thanks to the entire population of Twitter—and so many of you—for supporting the launch one way or another. I really appreciate it.

Abundance and Scarcity

My biggest concern this time was to make sure my partners were paid well. As I watched orders come in, I was relieved to see that it worked. Some of them did very well—Nathan Hangen made $1500 just by Tweeting about it a couple of times. Jonathan Fields set up a brilliant 22-minute screen-capture overview of the launch messaging. Guest posts on Copyblogger and Zen Habits helped to establish some good momentum early in the day.

Of course, not every affiliate made a ton of money, and you never know what’s going to happen with a big launch like this. But nevertheless, this was a big step in the business development of Unconventional Guides.

Some sales were as much as $600, which means that $306 goes to the partner with my 51% commission structure. The scarcity approach to paying people $306 for one sale would be to think, wow, that’s a lot of money to pay them just for referring a customer. I’m the one who has to fulfill the order, handle customer service, provide all the value, etc.

The abundance approach is to say, wow, this partner brought me a great customer I wouldn’t have reached without their referral. Buying online is all about trust and value—the partner trusted me with the referral, the customer trusted the partner who referred them, and therefore the partner deserves to be paid well.

It sounds simple, but if we don’t actively take the abundance outlook, it’s easy to let scarcity thinking overtake us. I try to focus on abundance as much as possible, but it’s something you have to be intentional about.

As I watched the orders come in, I was actually more excited about the ones that were affiliate sales (about two-thirds of them were, which was good) than the ones that came directly from me. It showed me that this kind of launch process can work well, when you take the time to build strong relationships with partners and create a strong offer for them to promote.


Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and a big step for the business. Now I’m on the road again, working every day but also trying to remember to breathe, as a couple of close friends are good at advising me about. I’ll be in real Africa for the rest of the week, and I’m looking forward to it.

Wherever you are: Have a great week, and keep rocking the universe.



Image: Ed

Subscribe now and you’ll get the best posts of all time.