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Note: This is an archive of an email from the release series of The Emotion Engine (Early Adopter Edition).

Welcome to this weekend edition of dailyNLP: The Emotion Engine.

Previous emails in the series:

1. Tue, (Mar 31, 2020) — TEE: KISS (Email 1)

2. Wed, (Apr 1, 2020) — TEE: How should I start? (Email 2)

3. Thu, (Apr 2, 2020) — TEE: Structure + Tip (Email 3)

4. Fri, (Apr 3, 2020) — TEE: The Emotion Halo (Email 4)

There is a meta-lesson in this email that makes its way through emails 2, 3 and 4. I’m not going to reveal it to you explicitly. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll spot it right away.

Today’s email is about questions … including one of my favorite questions (and a quote I love which is — as you can imagine — about questions).

Let’s start with the quote.

“There are no sure answers, only better questions.” — Dick Van Dyke

We’re friends now so I’ll tell you something personal. I love (LOVE!) great questions. I chase them. I collect them.

Questions are the tools that fashion the keys that open the locks of the vault of wisdom, wealth and fulfillment.

(Read that last sentence again, slowly.)

I even play a game with my kids where we engage in a dialogue in which we're not allowed to give any answers, only ask questions — but the dialogue has to make sense.

Here's an example of such a conversation:

Me: What's your favorite car?

My daughter: Sedan or SUV?

Me: Would it make a difference?

My daughter: Have you ever driven a Sedan?

And so forth.

Often times during the game, we'll get stuck as our brains get into a knot. We then have to figure our way out.

If I have a quality, it's the fact that I have completely uncensored my question-asking. This has led me to look at situations in a unique way. I've been doing this so long it's part of my DNA now.

A powerful question I've been considering a lot lately is "what am I optimizing for?"

Said in another way, what's the real end result I'm after, and are my decisions moving me towards those results effectively?

Are there second or third-order impacts that are counterproductive to the end result I'm after?

These seem like simple questions on the surface. However, when you start looking through their lens they take you pretty deep. Let's consider an example from my internal reflection of yesterday.

I've been getting questions about pricing for this first live cohort of the Emotion Engine. There are several ways I could think about this.

There are at least three questions/lenses to summon.

The "perceived client value" question: what do I think is the value of this material to my client from his/her point of view?

Or, the "content creator" question — that's perceiving the value from my perspective: what is the value of my time and energy to create and deliver the program?

Or, the "ego" question: what do I, as the teacher, need the price to be (if I have attached my identity and self-esteem to the course)?

There's no inherently right or wrong way to answer any of these questions. Obviously, value is subjective.

Yet, if we pause for a second and bring up the question "what are we optimizing for?", we get very different answers.

I've built all of my businesses optimizing for happy, long-term clients. Let me look at the pricing question through that lens.

If I'm optimizing for happy, long-term clients I immediately wipe out much of the B.S. that's all too common in our little piece of the planet.

There's no latest-and-greatest persuasion technique, no false sense of urgency (you are not going to get COVID-19 nor are your kids going to starve if you don't enroll) — nothing that could be legitimately perceived as deceitful.

Instead, I would have to choose transparency —being open about my decision-making, authenticity — being truthful about my decision-making, and respect of the people I teach.

To do that, empathy — putting myself in the client's shoes and viewing the world from his/her perspective — becomes the guiding principle.

If I'm true to my desire of optimizing for happy, long-term clients, this means I need to act in a way that is completely contrary to commonly held-beliefs.

For example — I need to discourage people from enrolling who aren't a good fit right now...

Not pressure people who are "on the fence."

Nowadays, I make decisions according to a principle I learned from a guy named Derek Sivers — who founded CDbaby, the largest distributor of independent music on the planet.

He calls it "Hell yeah!" or "Hell no!"

Is it bad perception on my part to discourage people from enrolling now when I can contribute something valuable that can transform their lives for the better?

Only if I'm thinking short-term.

So, back to the question — when you're looking at the decisions you have to make, take a step back and ask yourself: "what am I optimizing for?"

If you don't have a clear answer to this question, it would be worth your while to think deeply about what you're really after. I know, it may seem obvious, but in my experience we can easily miss that step.

Having a clear answer to that question frames your thinking. It enables you to evaluate the course and the actions you take so you know whether you're moving in the right direction.

I've started asking myself this question frequently and I must say I'm quite dazzled with the insights and wisdom it brings forth.

Enrollment for The Emotion Engine opens on April 6 (next Monday) and closes the following Friday (April 10).

Enjoy your weekend!

— Martin

PS: Powerful, right?

I hope you can use this as a framework to make better decisions across all parts of your life.

I just realized I forgot to mention the price of the course. Oops!

Before I share that, let me add a little more to the conversation above. If you're a business owner, this might be useful to you.

Many business owners choose to price on value. Inherently, nothing wrong with that.

However, it can be a trap.

When you make a decision from the standpoint of the business owner (with an objective lens), you get prices that I'm sure you've come across dozens of times...

$4,995... $1,997... $1,497... $997. You know the refrain.

Disclaimer: I don't condemn teachers or business owners who charge thousands of dollars for their material.

There's a subjective approach — I talked about it in Email 2 — that demands empathy. It demands to be able to see and feel the world AS THE CLIENT I seek to serve.

That's an art, not a science.

When I look at this through my "business owner" perspective, I *should* charge at least $1,000 for TEE because the value is there (it teaches a framework that I've used to build a million-dollar business in Brazil, raise my kids, and cultivate a beautiful relationship, among other results.)

I charge around $500 for most of my programs because it's the best price for a client...

From my subjective standpoint, it's a perfect balance of "Hell yeah!" for a client — it feels reachable and uncomfortable in equal measures — and enough that I don't feel robbed.

In terms of value, is UMW or Drivers Underground or TEE worth $495? Hell no! It should be priced a lot higher.

... until I look at the offer through the subjective lens of a happy, long-term client. Someone who will enroll over and over, across many years, and even hire me for coaching every once in a while when (s)he needs help to get over an obstacle.

(Remember: that's what I'm optimizing for.)

I'm only extending this out to be thorough — and so you can use this thinking in your own business).

For this live training, I'll be charging $375 for TEE.

It's ridiculously low, and I'm okay with it.

It's more important for me to serve several happy clients, than one or two at a price 5 or 10 times that — for reasons I've outlined above.

So yeah: $375 for TEE.

Have a good weekend, and keep safe!

Talk on Monday.


There is a lesson arc (the “theme” of these emails) if you study all the emails together.

Lessons you can take away and use right now, lessons that have zero to do with emotions.

Easter eggs.


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