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I was recently checking out the reviews of my book on Amazon – and I found something really interesting.

One person gave the book five stars and talked about using what she learned from it to start an 8-figure business. Meanwhile, the next reviewer gave the book one star and called it a “zero”. 

How can two people have such a different experience with the same book? 

Here’s what I think is happening… and how to keep this common issue from preventing your own progress.

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34 Replies to “When You Read Your Own Reviews…”

  1. If “It won’t work for me” isn’t enough you could go for “It won’t work in my market.” You don’t need more excuses. One excuse will serve as good as another if you just don’t want to do it.

  2. Darlene Atkinson

    Reply

    Hi Jeff, I think people unware how much effect it takes to do home business, it read easy but a person must commit in order for the courses to work correctly. I think you give people great free information that so good but if a person do not apply it they get zero results so it not you it usually the people who buy your book, or just do your free videos You give enough great videos it show a person what need to be done. That my personal opinion, great videos thank you for sharing.

  3. Building a business on the WWW is a very difficult, demanding project; I think those of us who are at least functionally ‘digital literate’ often forget how many people just don’t get it, how many people have a teenage reading age, how many people cannot visualize what it is required to get these remarkable web-based operations up and running! A lot of people resent you if you are ‘smart’ if you have developed skills and abilities, many people are simply not capable of doing this stuff, and they hate you for what you can do. A sad reality.

    • 100% agree. It takes huge focus on ‘the- self in totality’ to be dedicated to ones own cause. It takes consistent persistence and heaps of personal responsibility and frankly almost all people are incapable of not only actioning on that, but getting above their own ignorance of how much they know/understand about their personal responsibility – or lack thereof. Oh the irony of ignorance. We’re educated mostly to focus outwards of the self (away from our own needs and requirements) when indeed our sole job here is to be constantly developing our own faculties to live an amazing life is it not.
      And less we forget negative feedback is merely a reflection of a crappy, unresolved part of that person that you’ve just somehow reminded them of.
      So my guess is that the person who left the ‘zero comment’ translates as “You’ve just highlighted to me exactly everything I want yet due to my personal (hidden in ignorance usually) reasons I’m telling myself I can’t have/achieve. Therefore your book is crap. I feel like crap now so your book is crap. And to make myself feel better I’m going to tell the Internet and project my anger onto others so I don’t feel so bad after this outing of my lack of personal responsibility”. Something like that ☺️

  4. Incredible juxtaposition of reviews! There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle and it takes a capacity to break the whole process into smaller bits. It’s interesting what makes it work for one and not another. As you say, Jeff, it may come down to belief.

  5. Narrative makes the difference. Identity as a life-long learner helps. Belief about whether it is a good world or a bad world. Gotta enroll yourself first in YOU before ANYTHING will work. Nice video, Jeff.

  6. Good point about people not believing in you reflecting a lack of belief in themselves. In 10 years of work in online education and marketing, I have found that the people who succeed in using these methods (which really do require an investment of time and patience even when they can be done without a lot of money) are people who have someone who loves and supports them. Whether they’re primary partner (or, in some cases, a sibling or parent) who, and a minimum, supports the entrepreneur emotionally (and sometimes financially) while they’re getting started and working through the long process of finding and getting to know their Market, launching and putting their heart and soul into delivering for their beta, reworking their program and launching again, and again … It can be exhausting and emotionally debilitating. Having a primary partner (spouse, significant other) or other family support – someone who believes in you even on the day your can’t believe in yourself – is a hugely undervalued and critical component in the success of online businesses, where most online entrepreneurs are working completely alone (especially now during covid).

    There are, of course, “mentorship” programs – essentially high dollar coaching programs – for which part of the promise is to have the support of your coach and community to get you through this process. Many online mentors, however, are more fixated on how they can sell more and more and more to their high ticket clients, focusing only on those clients who make the most money and have the earliest success – and spending as little time with their clients as possible so they can focus on building their lifestyle and hanging out with their JV partners.

    In many cases, the most financially successful business coaches actually work on making their clients feel LESS confident in their own ability – reminding them constantly of the risk of failure and pointing out their weaknesses incessantly – ensuring that their clients believe in themselves less and depending on their coach more (and buying more from them and recruiting more students for them). These are off in the coaches whose students use the hashtag #dowhat[name]says – which is just another way of saying don’t believe in yourself and don’t trust your own judgment.

    I have spent over $100,000 on coaches and mentors and courses and events over the years (enduring bankruptcy and homelessness and illness without the benefit of healthcare in the process – and yet I have been able to keep going). I’m just now starting to get some success with my Beta.

    I would give anything for a coach who both can teach me what I need to learn AND who believes in my ability to succeed – someone who isn’t going to try to “fix” me or “break me” of behaviors they don’t like in me – but help me find that vision of my destination and guide me up the mountain, believing in me even on the days I can’t believe in myself.

  7. The subconscious programming drives 90-95% of a person’s thinking and behavioural patterns. 70% of that programming is survival and fear-based. How they react is nothing to do with anyone but them. People have all sorts of issues going on in their subconscious programming that it is difficult to take most people seriously.

    Thank you for the video and reminder that feedback can be uplifting and it can be toxic.

  8. Other than air and water, nothing on earth is for everybody. If we reach and help a somewhat sizable number of people who benefit from what we deliver, then that’s perfect. If there are too many negative reviews, we’re either ‘inviting’ too many who can’t use our service or the product itself needs some work. In either care, both fixable. The key for me is to not take negative reviews personally. Good or not good, it’s helpful feedback. Great success with your latest edition Jeff. Thanks for all you do!

  9. Laura Holland

    Reply

    Every individuals barrier to success is different.

    I didn’t sign up with Jeff , and maybe some other people’s reasons are the same as mine. I don’t doubt Jeff’s method works, but my business is making bespoke clothes and costumes- it’s not something I can easily teach, even if people wanted to learn. I was introduced to Jeff by Cathy Hay. Cathy on the surface is similar to myself with historical couture dressmaking skills. Cathy’s launch was Foundations Revealed, and she makes a good living from running a community of costume makers- but she openly acknowledges that she has no time to actually sew- she runs a business on the edge of costume making- but that’s the point I WANT to make costumes as a business – not talk about it , doing a few projects to make videos for her YouTube channel. However I emphasise she is not a costume maker she runs a business and makes an occasional costume in order to keep her audience interested. I gave up a career in business to make costume- if I launched with Jeff I would be going back to a career in business with costume making as a minor sideline.

  10. Interesting contrasting reviews. Belief for sure is essential plus I would say engagement at the front end, with an open and curious mind. One of my favourite sayings is:

    The mind leads the way!

    Get this part right and everything else flows.

    I am looking forward to July 2021!

  11. Thank YOU so much Jeff. I always learn from your videos. I bought your book many months ago, and read the first 2 chapters. I have just spoken to my 13 year old daughter about the book, and why she needs to read it! Meantime, I am busy telling myself I must find time to really dig into the book and genuinely believe it will help me in marketing a physical product I am developing in my current (takeaway) business.
    Ultimately however, I think that on top of belief, there is also a state of readiness, when one decides, this is it! Am gonna sort it out, no matter what it takes… ( just as you did many years ago as a stay at home dad). The ‘zero’ reviewer is not ready yet. Thank you once more for your great service to all of us.

  12. Hi, Jeff!
    I read your book before doing a masterclass with you. I never bought the course because earning in Brazil’s currency I am not able to afford it. But when I read your book, I launched, and after the masterclass, I did it again. I did not build a 8 digit business, but I’m building something much bigger than I ever thought I could. Almost 5000 people have taken my courses (they are very accessible financially for social reasons) and now I’m able to live from them, and during pandemics we were able to help so many people because of the revenues of the courses I launched following your method. I just want to thank you very much. This journey has been much better because of you and your work.

  13. Language is an issue. Plus subconscious self-sabotage conditioning. For some it is too big a stretch and more handholding, coaching and support is needed. Marketing is a skill. A great skill and for those of us who do not have it it is like studying a foreign language. The rhetoric of it alone is alienating with all these amorphous nebulous concepts. And it is super uncomfortable. About as fun as going to the dentist. I have purchased plf.. I have been working for a few years with the concepts but it still hasn’t landed in my psyche. I struggle with the steps and I am probably fighting internal resistance but I persist trusting a breakthrough will happen. Ideally I should be doing launch club because of my mindsets but I don’t feel financially able with the responsibilities I hold right now caring for aging parents and they are my priority plus my present clients. This is what I can hold right now. But I have compassion for myself. It will change. Still you must be wounded to say it is not useful. It would be more honest perhaps to say I am hurting and its too painful to act upon it. Or the concepts are beyond my reach.

  14. No way to know what the negative reviewer may have meant unless you seek her out and ask her, but she may have meant that the book didn’t connect with her learning style or “I have questions the book doesn’t address.”

    I’ve heard from others that most valuable feedback you can get from these reviews is to read the 3’s. That’s where the gold is. For example, I might say, “There’s much talk about multiple launches but it’s never clear what that means. Does that mean to be successful, you need to be launching a series of new products/programs or repackaging an existing program/product in new creative ways? But I just give knitting lessons!”

  15. Surround yourself with individuals who are as hungry as you are. That is why clubs and masterclasses work. I have a group of friends that I go out to breakfast with. While I enjoy their company, I don’t run any of my ideas by them. They are old school, set in their ways, want to collect their pension and watch a lot of television. As I write this, I am now wondering why I waste my Sunday mornings with them at all :).
    “Launch” is a classic. I will be one of the first ones to buy the revised one. We need positivity in this country right now. The energy I get from speaking with people who are excited as I am about projects that we are all working is outstanding.
    Keep going Jeff. Ignore the negativity, run with the folks who are entrepreneurs and thought leaders. They are the ones who appreciate and need you.

  16. To me, it just shows that reviews are not about you, the author, or your message. It’s all about the person writing the review, their filter on life, their life experience, their expectation and beliefs for their future.
    It’s actually a revelation to me as an author – that no matter what content I put in (so long as it is of value), some people will find it valuable and do something with the material whilst others will discard it or even diss it and that has nothing to do with me!!
    Thanks for sharing, Jeff. A real eye-opener and a good lesson in humility!!

  17. I definitely think she didn’t want to do the work. In fact I’m not sure she even read the whole book. Her review was too short. (I see this a lot in Yelp reviews). And I do think that connects with her self-confidence. She read, saw it was work instead of a magic wand, and put the book down & said “it must be useless”

    I rejected a lot of advice for years since I was terrified of selling. Then I grew up. I hope she figures it out too. I’m sure she has a song in her that should be sung.

  18. Patricia Casello-Maddox

    Reply

    Jeff, I am a newbie in the Product Launch family. I have your last version on Kindle. I have also started the process with the January launch group,

    I appreciate this video because I find my biggest hurdle pushing through the mindset issues or “maybe I am not …” I am glad I have taken the step on this journey with you and your team. I have tried some things on my own and it is a slog through thick mud without a process and support.

    I am looking forward to your next version. Thanks for sharing so honestly and reminding us that what some see as failure (poor reviews of their work), might be missing that it can be simply feedback for us to reflect, evaluate and take action. Thanks for modeling this.

  19. Thanks Jeff for this comparison and discussion. It’s all about perspective. Certainly one size doesn’t fit all! In addition, when the student is ready, the teacher appears so my guess is that the Zero review was written by someone who isn’t ready or can’t see the opportunity.

  20. She is on the sidelines watching, not participating. Her opinion is of Zero value, speaking of Zero 🙂 Thanks for your work Jeff…

  21. Belief is core for legitimate reviews. But Amazon trolls like to spoil things. No way that person read your book & found it a zero. They never read it.

  22. Chandra Dhopatkar

    Reply

    I recently bought the audio version and print version of your book and enjoyed it. I am a professional content writer and write books on the side for freelance clients. My thought when I was reading your book was that you have a nice voice in how you explain and present information and narratives, but if you want clear quick instructions your book isn’t that. For a quick read ebooks or content on the web is the way to go. Longer books, 10,000 words or more, usually have a lot of filler, redundancy, too many stories/case studies, etc. With so much free content available online, easy to digest, a lot of people prefer to read a book they will actually finish in a couple hours or less that’s actionable. Too much and you lose a lot of people. Then they say comments like you ramble etc. In the past more was more. I don’t think it matters as much these days, may even hurt you value proposition. I personally enjoyed the book and like your PLF and sideways sales funnel approach, etc. And, Jeff, I am not writing this review to hurt you or to influence you… I am just being honest without any hidden agenda. Let me know if you need and help on your team. I liked your video on the Pomodora Method. I even wrote a quick book on it after following your instructions. Eye opening. Good luck on the 2nd edition.

  23. Hi Jeff
    First of all, I think you and the book are fantastic. But…
    I’ve been working on my first launch for a little less than three months now.
    It really is hard work. Specially if this is not the only thing you do for a living.
    The point is, at some stage I felt discouraged, because when you read the book – even though it is said that it takes hard work – you dont have any reference or benchmark in order to know if you are doing fine or not.
    We tend to compare to the super succesful one who do the 6 figure launches, but it would help me (I don’t know if other people felt the same way) to know that, during the day by day progress, I’m fine.
    I know that “everyone has its own pace” and “speed is not important, only making progress” and so, but, it would be great to know: For a coaching service, the average first launch takes 3 months or 5 months… or, for an online 5 session workshop, our students took an average of 4 months to prepare the launch…
    I know it can vary a lot, but, it would be great for me to have a benchmark, to know that I’m doing fine…
    Thank you!

  24. Hi Jeff, I agree it has to do with the belief indeed. It has to do with a change in mindset and letting go of limiting beliefs about ones-self. That is believing that you can achieve something and then any method you learn will help you get one step further.

  25. Regarding things like 1-star reviews, and all random, impersonal assaults, I think the problem lies with the reviewer. I haven’t read your book, but have followed you for years, and would guess that even the first three pages reveal that you know what you’re talking about and have heartfelt intentions. I could see someone taking issue with some aspect of a book, maybe disapproving of the writing style or a text fraught with typos…..okay, then give it 3 stars, but 1 star? Dead giveaway the problem lies with the reader.

    Another possibility, it could be some disenchanted neighbor who resents the new fence you put up. Or a jealous relative. The faceless internet is a cowardly hide-out for malcontents. Even at my level of success, nowhere close to yours, I’m learning to dismiss haters with a shrug.

    One suggestion might be to add a disclaimer to the front of the book, specifying who the book is ‘not’ for. And maybe, too, a brief summary of what kind of time, attention, and money might be required to do the work. Some people freak out when things seem harder than they expected.

  26. Peggy Riordan

    Reply

    I have not read the book, but did take the class and loved it. I too think you ramble, but that isn’t the important part for me. It’s the sound informational nugget that you are speaking about that is important. I concentrate on that. I wish that some of the case studies were with people who have made a living, not necessarily at 6 figures, but maybe somewhere in the middle. I am thinking that not all of your successful students, clients, are making 6 figures each time, but make 5 figures sometimes, 4 figures sometimes and I’d like to here from them as well. Anyway, I love the material and I am plugging away at getting launched. It’s scary, but I am doing it and for me, that’s the important part! Thank you for all you do to help people lead fulfilling lives.

  27. From what I’ve learned from a friend who was running an internet business selling sunglasses, the competition will pay for bad reviews and complaints to Amazon or Ebay or other sites on which a business may be present, in order to take down legit businesses. Well, after a while and multiple problems associated with this type of devious schemes, he just gave up. All a malevolent business owner needs, is enough money to buy bad reviews and complaints from a specialized organisation, in order to screw competing businesses. I wish I had definitive proofs of this. At least, knowing how bad some people can be to others, it’s certainly a possibility. Maybe it’s what happened to you. I’ve been following you for a few years and from the qualities that I can figure about you and your system, legitimate, honest, effective and sensible are all in.

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