2b. Business Theme Example : Part 2 – “Cool Business” Series

In an earlier article in the “Cool Business” Series we showed you a method to add a central theme to your business in order to create captivating, engaging, audience-holding identity for your business. Here’s an example of how to use that method. It was contributed by one of our loyal readers, Tammy Morton:

“I started with – “What I know for sure is….” Then I wrote for 10 minutes letting everything spill out of my head.

“I ended up with 21 core beliefs.

“Then I condensed them down to categories. Example below:

“This category of beliefs stemmed from my personal experience of seeing my mom being abused by her first husband. The end result was a belief to never be a victim and fight for yourself.

  • “Be Foxy Brown (handle your business and always be able to provide for yourself = Education)
  • “Love yourself more than you do anyone else (Self-Love, no tolerance for abuse = Fight)
  • “Momma said always stick together (she said that 3 can defeat a predator better than 1 = Fight)

“I had other beliefs that I was able to categorize. It was boiled down to:

  • “Empowerment (Grow)
  • “Education (Grow)
  • “Use Unconventional Methods (Grow)
  • “Challenge the Status Quo (Fight)
  • “Out of The Box Thinking/Creative Thinking (Grow)
  • “Rebellion Against Tradition (Fight)
  • “Be aware of Abuse in any form (Fight)
  • “Fight for What You Believe In (Determination versus Defeat = Fight)
  • “Life is Too Short, Go Experience it (Grow)
  • “That Which Doesn’t Kill Me Only Makes Me Stronger (Grow)

“So my values are the ones above in condense form.

“Your tutorial helped me to clarify my mission for my clients and to be sure to weave my life experiences into my story and my business because I learned a great deal from them (experiences). This will make my articles a bit more interesting and fun… just the way I like it.”

This is a perfect example of how you can translate your own personal values and beliefs into business values. You must write these down like Tammy has done. Once you’ve written them, you will refer to them often and they will form a basis for every business decision, marketing decision, growth decision that you make.

Don’t worry if the language is not perfect, nobody’s going to check on these. This is for your own reference only. By keeping this theme handy, you will be able to have a consistent identity as you build, grow, and promote your business.

Thank you to Tammy Morton for contributing this wonderful example and for taking such quick action with the information!

Check out Tammy’s journal to keep up with how she’s using her new business theme.

2a. Standing Up To Bullies : Part 2 – “Cool Business” Series

Nobody likes being weak.

No body.

Bullies prey on the weak. Even in business.

In an earlier “Cool Business” Series article we learned that attracting audience and attention requires Drama before advertising could even begin. Drama has not changed too drastically over the ages; its core elements remain essentially the same, particularly the element of Theme.

Theme is at the heart of every successful drama.

A Theme is a universal message; a lesson that we learn about life or about people.

Bullies tend to do well in Business opportunities; they look for the weak and take their money from them. You can tell because Business opportunity has taken on a theme of disempowerment: Franchise this, Pre-built that, Proven System here, Automatic Money there.

The central message or theme is that those who do least get paid most or that success comes to those who duplicate and imitate.

But not all themes are created equal.

Some make better drama than others. Like victory over adversity, for example.

Which reminds me of my childhood friend, Danny—Actually, he might be upset to hear me call him that because we were much closer; more like brothers.


We were 10 or so. Danny was often patronised by a child from our neighbourhood.

Danny was a small child. Paki, his bully was a large Oafish child.

I think I was on the swing near the Spin-About when Paki showed up on day. I never liked him, he was mean.

Paki walked over to Danny and had a few words with him. I was tuned out. Moments later, Danny walked over to the Spin-About with his bully and glanced my way pleadingly. With his slow eyes, Paki kept Danny in his sights. Meanwhile, I froze up and watched them both mount the Spin-About.

Danny’s face was beet red with a mixture of terror and shame. He sat opposite Paki.

Paki began to pull at the central disc to spin the ride. He made them both spin. He spun faster and faster and faster still!

Danny screamed, “Please…enough…!”

But Paki wouldn’t stop.

Vivid is the expression of slight-retardation on Paki’s face as he drooled and shouted in excitement. Danny tried to pull himself in with his little arms, holding on for dear life to resist the spin force.

By now, the other kids in the playground were watching the blur and cheering for more speed.

Danny’s screams were blood-curdling. I couldn’t bear to watch! But my eyes were glued on the dumb look on Paki’s face, hoping against hope that he’d run out of stamina soon, before little Danny flew off to his doom.

I was frozen.

Finally, Paki’s breath became strained. He ran out of power and began to slow, and slow…and slow to a halt.

Danny got off sluggishly.

Paki yelled after him, “WHERE THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”

But Danny did not turn.

Suddenly, I saw him; he took off down the hill.

In that instant, I knew the game was over for Paki. He wouldn’t catch up. Danny was a trained sprint-runner, the top in our school. He was a bolt of lightning down that hill…and Paki looked a fool far behind.

Soon, the playground children began to cheer. This time they called Danny’s name.

Danny got away.


You see how I made use of my theme of Victory over Adversity?

It creates a reward for the audience. A reason to stay tuned.

What did we learn from the story?

Perhaps, that one should not pick on others.

Perhaps, that people are fickle and they side with the strong.

Perhaps, that appearance can be deceiving.

To get audience, a business needs to do the same thing. Not with stories, necessarily, but through the company’s MISSION, VISION, and VALUES. These stand in place of a central theme.

They are statements that embody what the business stands for.

For example, Apple’s values include: Empathy for customers/users, hard work and aggressive achievement, positive social contribution, team work to reach big worthwhile goals, and so on. These values dictate every aspect of their business and its dealings with employees, customers, and the general public.

Themes can be very private or very public. They are recurring and consistent patterns in all business decisions, all products released, all advertising messages, everything.  Theme or the lesson behind a theme gives reward and inspiration to anybody who comes in contact with the business.

Boring businesses either have no theme at all, or when they do, the theme has no admirable quality.

Tell me, what is admirable about attributing money and success to people who lack creativity, lack intelligence, lack education, and shy away from work?


What is good about firing one’s boss or quitting their job, when their job and their boss are what currently provide security for their family?


Think about the qualities in the examples above:

  • “taking the easy road” and
  • “ingratitude”

Are those not the lessons behind the typical Business Opportunity message?

In your typical drama, these two qualities in a character usually bring eventual unhappiness to characters. Story characters almost always end up having to pay a price of hardship for redemption. Something we usually refer to as karma.

Karma tends to be a central theme in many stories and movies.

Let me tell you another quick story about Danny to illustrate.


Danny was picked on by more than one bully, and in different ways.

One such instance was another kid named Liam who always happened to be in trouble for something or other. Liam was a bit of a show-off and that was his problem.

It was during a Metal Work class while the teacher’s back was turned to help some children when Liam approached Danny’s bench. Danny and I were working together on our project.

“Whatcha doin’?” Liam inquired annoyingly.

Liam was a little more intelligent and somewhat more popular than was Paki. But still, a bully is a bully.

Danny, always trusting, thought Liam wanted help, so he gave him his attention.

I watched, almost expecting whatever came next from Liam to be cruel.

Sure enough…

Liam grabs Danny from the shoulders and painfully slams his knee into his groin.


The mere recollection hurts.

Danny’s face went red. He cursed a couple of times while Liam walked away laughing, pleased with his “prank”.

I shook my head and we continued to work.

A few minutes later, Liam was back. This time, he snuck up on Danny and grabbed him in the same way as he did before.

Then …SLAM!!…went Liam’s knee, right in Danny’s groin.

Again, Danny did not respond.

This happened at least one more time before class was over and we broke for lunch.

Later, when we returned to class Liam was not there. I did not miss him, and neither did Danny. But it was not until the next day when we saw Liam again.

Liam turned up to class with bruised eyes and cuts. Apparently he’d been humiliated in front of Rowena, his girlfriend when he was beaten in a lunch-time fight. Worse yet, Liam spent the next MONTH in detention for fighting in school.


Timeless Business Themes

Karmic justice is a special kind of theme; one that recurs in drama over and over and never really gets old. It’s a universal experience most people have had: “What goes around comes around.” No matter where you’re born or where you live, you grow up with the belief that people get what they deserve or that the justice is served eventually by the world’s natural order.

Similarly, in business, a TIMELESS theme means the business’ philosophy and ideals can be identified with by everyone regardless of their age, gender, class, culture, or religion.

At the heart of the most classical stories are many examples of timeless themes. Stories like MacBeth, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights; each of them conveys universal messages about love, about friendship, about equality, about karma, about self-reliance, about the dangers of ignorance, about the emptiness of attaining false dreams, and so on.

Ideas and ideals we all share, understand, and feel as human beings.

Look at how many spin off books, movie adaptations, television series, and games have all been marketed and sold from the same stories.

How about some timeless theme examples from business then?

Avon…founded in 1886 generates over 10 billion in revenue.  Avon has a theme of helping women in business become independent and successful, regardless of educational or economic background.

This theme of equality is derived from the karmic justice theme. It draws on several common dramatic themes such as:

  • empowerment,
  • oppression of women,
  • overcoming weakness,
  • the will to survive,
  • change versus tradition,
  • And more

Mary Kay uses a similar theme that is seen consistently in their values, vision, and mission.

Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are big businesses that are centred on the idea that women can discover their inner beauty through proper nutrition and exercise.

The discovery of Inner beauty, or inner vs outer beauty are other timeless theme.

In fact, if you ever did read the novel Jane Eyre, you’ll also notice many of the themes I attributed to Avon, Mary Kay, and Jenny Craig earlier are central in that story too.  Jane Eyre was published in 1874 and was adapted into at least 70 popular musicals, films, retellings, television shows, and other derivative works since.

Good themes are magnets for audience. They reward people for interacting, for tuning in, for listening, for paying attention. They reinforce life-lessons we are all familiar with.

Back to Danny and his various bullies…


Now you can imagine, with Danny, his bullies didn’t all just bother him once and disappear. He was subjected to years of torment from many of these people.

Like Paki, for example, the oafish bully who spun Danny too fast…he stalked Danny outside his home and he threatened to burn down his house…once, Paki even cut Danny up with a broken bottle of glass while he was walking home from school!

Liam, the Metal Working groin-smashing bully destroyed Danny’s science fair submission, he humiliated him in school assembly and subjected him to many horrible acts of cruelty.

Poor, poor Danny.

I often spoke with Danny and gave him advice on how to handle these horrid boys.

Danny was not weak, however.

Like I said earlier, he was just a little smaller and a little younger and a little more trusting. But he was a trained sprint-runner, very fast. He also competed in cross-country and had incredible endurance. He studied martial arts and fought fiercely in tournaments and brought home gold medals for his team. Danny was no weakling.

When I asked him to fight back, he would say, “I would get in trouble for defending myself and end up in detention with these guys.”

Many times he’d speak compassionately about Paki, who he believed to be lonely and a little troubled at home. He would say to me, “He just needs some friends and doesn’t know a better way than to force them.”

Perhaps you thought me a horrible friend for not intervening when Danny was picked on. But I did not stand idly by and do nothing.

Paki was permanently expelled from school because of a wicked plot I constructed. I don’t know what happened to Paki after his expulsion, but there were rumours he ended up in an institution for the criminally insane.

Most of Danny’s bullies met similarly fitting fates due to my intervention.

Liam was not beaten by chance. I found him after Metal Work class and beat him in the quad till his nose was bloody and his eyes were cut and bruised. Rowena happened to be standing at the canteen lunch queue and made to witness how weak her silly friend was.

The children jeered and laughed at his disgraced, hunched over frame. Rowena watched in humiliation while her “man” wiped blood from his eyes. I gave him one last kick to the groin, cursed him and turned my back to him. The children became silent. I walked away.

Later, I told Danny, “Go straight back to class, turn on the tears and CRY in front of the teacher. When he asks what’s wrong, you tell him that Liam beat you, then you and I paid back the favour. This way, we won’t get in trouble.”

It worked.  Liam was appropriately punished, the teacher sympathised with us and we were spared.

Karmic justice? I think not.


Creating Your Own Business Theme

So we’ve spoken about themes in stories and themes in business. How important a theme is and why it is best to make it timeless.

What we have yet to speak of, is how to create one for your own business and apply it. Here is how:

Begin by evaluating your own beliefs. Which are the top 5 beliefs that have so far guided your life and all your decisions? Ask yourself, are they based on true experiences in your life or are they ones you heard about?

Use your values to create your vision and mission statements. Translate your personal values into values for your business. Refer to them often as you build and grow, protect them, and hold them dear.

For many business opportunists, their beliefs about wealth and success come from books like Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and The Secret, amongst others. Although these borrowed beliefs may be true, they are not experiences that you have lived—so there is very little emotion and passion and drama in operating with those belief systems.

Instead, draw on the experiences you lived and the things you do believe and know to be true.

Here are some of the general threads of experience you’ll see shared with you here and in other posts of mine:

  • appearances – deception and reality
  • knowledge versus ignorance
  • what goes around comes around
  • change versus tradition
  • convention and rebellion
  • the dangers of ignorance
  • the emptiness of attaining false dream
  • and self-reliance

These are my experiences. They are both universally shared with others and yet uniquely mine.

You cannot pinpoint them in one place in particular, but I draw on them in every business I create. They are written eloquently in my vision and mission statements and in my business’ values.

At the start of this tutorial, I told you that nobody liked to be weak. Least of all me.

Remember my friend Danny who appeared weak because he liked to see good in others and empathised with his bullies?

Remember how I, on the other hand, did not believe he should stand by and be weak and instead must stand up for himself, be self-reliant, and be strong?

Well, despite us having opposite beliefs, Danny was much closer than a friend. Much, much closer.

He was…


If you’d like the Yaghi Labs crew to help you come up with a central theme for your business then click here.

Traffic Is Not Your Problem

I don’t care about history.

Actually…I did like a series that aired on Showtime about a historic family; The Tudors. Have you seen it?

It gave a dramatised account of the life of King Henry VIII. Apparently, I’m the last person to learn his story. All the same, I admit…the show captivated me.

If you haven’t seen “The Tudors”, you should.

So like I was saying, history is dull. I bring this up because if one thing bores me more than history, it’s the online businesses I see.

They’re based on selling ready-made products and “easy” systems that are duplicatable. (is that even a real word? my spell-checker says, “NO!”).

Yeah, let’s encourage unimaginative people to be even LESS imaginative. A mish-mash of predictable faceless marketing businesses from affiliate-, to attraction-, to information-, to network-marketing is all I’ve dealt with for the past 4 years. I’m so bored I might slit my wrists the right way and end it all.

To make matters worse, the “leaders” who sell the “let’s show you how to get traffic and make lots of money” bullshit keep asking ME to help them get traffic.

ME, help them!?

Fuck off. Like traffic is their problem!

Between you and me, you’re better off marketing your own stuff than wasting your money sending traffic into their shitty copy and even shittier products. I actually did a test last year to prove a point with one supposedly popular system that has THOUSANDS of affiliates. I wanted to see how it converts without any help from me…and guess what?

After 15,000 dollars worth of traffic, the system got FIVE measly $20 sales.

Big whoop! SO WHAT if you sent a lot of traffic to one of those things? The product sucks! Nobody wants to buy it.

Cool Traffic Monster

Now in case you don’t know my reputation, I’m no dummy with traffic; I make my clients millions of dollars when they have a cool product. Otherwise, I don’t waste my time.

You, on the other hand, might be wasting your time if you are an affiliate for one of those businesses.

Trust me, traffic is NOT your problem.

Being boring is.

38-Hour Documentary

Boring businesses don’t make money…

Like, for example, imagine if Showtime were to air at prime-time, a four-season, 38-hour historical documentary about the life of King Henry VIII…instead of the series they actually did air.

I wouldn’t tune in. Would you?

Viewership would plummet. They’d lose a crap load of money.

See what I mean?

Casualties, Sacrificed

Those affiliate programs and network marketing systems are boring as heck. It’s bad enough that you’re losing opportunity just trying to make them work. Even if you haven’t spent 15,000 bucks yet.

The problem?

They have one nerdy-ass personality going on about how cool it is. It’s the same personality, regardless of which marketer is running the business in question.

Personal branding, my foot!

That term has become synonymous with arrogant, self-glorified dicks convincing themselves they’re celebrities, gurus, and advisors. In reality, the biggest of them knows a lot about

Their products are mediocre. Their copy has no substance. And their personality is as deep as an egg-shell.

And I’m not even talking about the affiliates here! They’re just the poor casualties that have to be sacrificed for SOMEONE to make a profit.

May as well replace affiliates with Spam Bots—the system owners would get the same effect; maybe they’d like it too since they wouldn’t need to pay out commissions.

Now I didn’t write this to say, “Hey, you’re totally screwed!”…Since there’s a very simple solution. If you’re bored too and you agree that you’ve got a dull, faceless, boring marketing business, then all you need to do is…


I’ll explain; but you’ve got to promise to listen.

Think about what traffic means. Isn’t traffic a kind of audience?

A show like The Tudors gets audience, not because of advertising (although it helps)…but because it dramatises reality.

It takes boring information found in history books, plain-jane facts, and dull dates and weaves them into a dramatic account that engages the masses.

It makes a person tune in EVERY WEEK. It makes audiences anticipate the start of the new season. It stirs the emotions.

Consider if you’re a fan of the Tudors, a person like King Henry who historically was described as a tyrant, how he was explored and portrayed in the TV show. The character was brought to life and you started to empathise with him and side with him.

To the audience, he was more than a man who married many women and beheaded his wives and executed his friends. He did more than just oppose the Roman Catholic Church. He was a real human being who had moments of weakness, moments of strength, moments of extreme sadness. He had friends, he had enemies. He had frustrations. He had people he loved, and people who loved him.

Depth is missing in the online marketing world. Everything is so didactic… “click here to get traffic” … “20 leads per day” and “30,000 dollars in one day” they’re just so BORING. Like there are no words left, no other ways to get across a benefit than to … just …. state it.

Are we all that illiterate?

One character who stood out in the Tudors, probably for everyone who watched was Charles Brandon. Do you remember him?

He was portrayed as a very loyal and good friend to Henry—one of few friends who was not executed.

Brandon was also a historic figure and had indeed been a supporter of Henry’s. Many say his life was spared because he sided with Henry regardless of what he did. He was rewarded for his “loyalty” with land and titles and ultimately…

Brandon died a natural death.

However, what I did not find a historic account of is a final meeting between him and Henry before Brandon’s death.

Since it was one of the final scenes of the finale episode, I would venture to say that it required more drama than any other scene. Some dramatic liberties must have been taken.

In this scene, an old and worn Henry asks to see Brandon who is ill and near death. The heart-wrenching dialogue that follows is brief but packed with dramatic effect.
Henry becomes aware of his friend nearing his final days, which deeply saddens him.

Henry asks Brandon to kneel.

Brandon complies.

With passion and feigned power Henry implores:


As if he were some God that could command anything he wished to be true.

Is this history? Or is it drama…. to tantalise the audience and make the scene memorable?

Perhaps it’s a marketing ploy to get the audience to buy the DVD box set or tell their friends to watch it next?

Drama turned into profit. A powerful thing.

Marketing is a business of drawing audience.

And Drama is the best tool for getting interest and attention.

Use drama in your marketing.

Make it Memorable.

To show you how, I’m working on a series right now that demonstrates a technique I’ve been using with clients. I actually borrowed it from Aristotle who identified six core elements that make up Drama.

I’ll be posting the series to my blog as I complete each lesson and you can follow along and ask your questions.

Otherwise, if you’d like someone to personally analyse your business and advise you how to proceed in a live consult, you can request a consultation with us at Yaghi Labs here.