Art of Igor Part 1

Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” is one of the greatest strategic manuscripts ever written. The core principles apply just as well to combat as they do to life, business and relationships. Here’s how to apply Sun Tzu’s wisdom to your online business for lasting success.

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Igor: Hi, my name is Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, the only podcast
which delivers cutting edge conversion strategies from the online trenches straight to
your earbuds. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at I also invite you to grab a free copy of “The Wealthy
List Builder’s Survival Guide” at and now
once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Welcome back to another edition of The List Building Lifestyle with your host Igor
Kheifets. I'm a big fan of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and I'm not particularly a
warrior or anything like that. In fact, I was always trying to avoid fights in
school and I never liked conflict and I still don't, but The Art of War is
actually ... It can be easily applied to business and to marketing, and what I
want to do is I want to devote a series of episodes showing you how you can take
Sun Tzu's principles, and you haven't read The Art of War, I don't encourage you
to read it. I actually encourage you to get a summary of it and find someone else
who read it who can translate it for you into English because it's been written
... It's thousands of years ago, and it really comes down to a bunch of core
principles. I recommend getting on Google and finding a couple of articles,
probably from or from some other respected information source that
breaks down the principles.

What I want to do is I want to show you how Sun Tzu's principles apply to your
business and to marketing specifically. For example, the first principle of Sun
Tzu's The Art of War is a leader leads by example, not by force. In other words,
you really have to practice what you preach, and you can't expect for people to
follow you and you can't expect for people to listen to you and to see you as a
leader unless you truly practice what you preach and unless you're a living
example of what you're doing. This can be seen online in pretty much everywhere. I
see people selling coaching how to sell on Amazon without owning any Amazon
stores. I see people claiming to be conversion experts, having no understanding of
conversions whatsoever, and having done no testing of any kind, and I'm seeing
people start coaching programs, teaching other people how to [inaudible 00:02:33]
create products, but they never created a product before. I see it all the time
where people want to force others to give them money, but they never practice what
they supposedly are supposed to be preaching.

This is really bad. In my opinion, the industry would have been a much better
place if more people were leaders, leaders in their behavior, leaders in their
mindset by truly practicing what they're preaching and turning whatever they're
doing into a lifestyle.

The successful, the good examples that I'm seeing, as far as this principle, to
lead by example and not by force, are the people who make whatever it is that
they're offering, whatever it is that the problem they're solving, they make that
into a lifestyle.

For example, there's a guy out there who teaches how to buy exotic cars with very
little money down and by using basically credit unions and stuff like that, and
this guy, he runs an exotic car dealership, so naturally, in my opinion, he has
the right to teach stuff like that, but I, for one, wouldn't go out and teach
other people how to own exotic cars because I don't happen to own any because I
don't happen to know how to leverage credit union relationships to get cars. I
don't know how to negotiate with the dealers. In fact, it's one of the least
favorite things for me to do, that is to go to my dealer and try to get a better
deal for a car. In fact, I don't even trust dealers. I think dealers are like
scammy, shady, soloist sellers who shouldn't be trusted at all, and they should be
shot at zero range in the face because car dealers are just disgusting, as far as
I'm concerned. Again, no offense to any car dealers, but my experience with car
dealers, so far, especially since coming to Canada, has been disgusting. As far as
I'm concerned, car dealers ought to revisit their moral and ethical compasses.
This is the first principle. A leader leads by example, not by force.

Two, you have to believe in yourself. That's the second principle of Sun Tzu's Art
of War, and I'm going by the article, by the way, an article on, by
Eric Jackson, who wrote a great article, sharing 30-some principles of The Art of
War. I, myself, am not necessarily familiar with all the principles. I actually
went through a summary study of the book, of the manuscript a while back. I took
the core principles that I needed and I applied them to my life and my business,
and I feel I've done a good job, but you never get a gold star. Like my coach
says, "You never get a gold medal. You never get a gold star." There's no ending
to this. The journey never ends. You're always improving. This episode I'm
recording as much for you as I am for myself.

The second principle is you have to believe in yourself, and this comes down to
the audacity. Here's the amazing thing I learned about the online marketing
industry. In many ways, this industry is about self fulfilling prophecies and your
ability to bind to the idea that you can actually do something. In other words,
when I started my first coaching program and I started offering coaching for $25,
$2,700, and then I went to five grand and I went to six, then I went to eight,
until eventually I went to 12, 15, and even 50 at one point, it really came down
to my audacity to just sit there with a straight face and ask for such money in
exchange for coaching. It really came down to that because my content wasn't
necessarily much different from what other people could offer, but my reputation
and, quite literally, my belief in one's self, my belief in me, that I was worth
that kind of money, allowed me to command those kinds of fees, and that was

As far as I'm concerned, that was critical, and I didn't really get it at the
time. I was just doing it as a marketing test. I wanted to see how far can I go,
and in many ways, I was shaking. I would pitch someone on the phone, and I would
be on Skype, wouldn't be doing any screen sharing, but I would pitch someone on
the phone, and I would be literally ... Inside, I would be shaking, expecting to
get a no, but I got a yes more times than I thought I would ever get a yes. My
ability to believe in myself always dictated my results in this business, and it
dictates the results of the people I see around me are getting our business, and
many times, I can tell you this, it's not always that a person who believes in
themselves succeeds in online marketing. It's not always that a person who
believes in themselves or says they do successfully goes and becomes a full-time
Internet marketer, but it's always, always, without exception, a person who
doesn't believe in themselves, does not become a full-time Internet marketer.

I can tell you that I'm not guaranteeing that just by believing in yourself you're
automatically guaranteed success, but all I'm saying is if you don't believe in
yourself, you're automatically guaranteed failure, and that is 100%. I've seen it
time and time again. People with good skills, with good intentions, but zero
belief in one's self or having one little thought of doubt, one reason why they
can't be fully successful, and that usually dictates pretty much everything.
Belief in one's self on one's self image is absolutely ... It's just insanely

This is a concept that has been proven many times before with one of the most
famous people advocating this concept is actually Dr. Maxwell Schultz in his book,
The Psycho Cybernetics. In fact, the whole books is devoted to that, and this guy
used to be a plastic surgeon where you'd think that self image is exactly what
he's fixing. A person comes in, they don't like their nose or they don't like how
their face looks. He was telling this story about this guy who didn't like his
fingers. He thought his fingers were too fat and clumsy, and instead of going and
fixing the physical feature that that person didn't like, the doctor first worked
on the self image, and he tried to adjust the self image because many, many times,
in his practice, he fixed whatever people were asking for him to fix, but the
people were never able to stop seeing themselves a certain way. If somebody came
in and didn't like their nose and he would fix their nose, they would still hate
their nose even after he fixed it exactly the way that they asked for him to do

Self image, again, we can think of it as a self image of our visual selves, but
the self image also exists in our potential. We all have a self image for what we
think is possible for us.

According to Sun Tzu, and this is where I agree with him wholeheartedly, I think
it's one of the most important principles in self development and success and just
in general, if you want to go places in your life, the self image is so important,
you have to believe in yourself. It may sound like a cliché. It may sound like
something like you've heard in the fourth grade from your math teacher, but it is
truly that. It is deep. It is important. It ties into your self image and what you
feel is possible for you because you will always hit only goals as high as you
think are possible for you.

There's also this same exact concept is actually ever present in horse races. Dan
Kennedy, one of my most favorite marketing gurus always talks about it where he
invests in horses, and he races horses, and he says that horses self have self
image where a horse that competes against another horse that is supposedly
stronger, faster, and is the favorite of the race, the horses feel that somehow
and oftentimes they lose to that particular horse even though they got all the
physical features and qualities, such as younger age or more stamina, better
physical condition, etc. Sometimes, you can see horses losing to the favorite just
because they're competing against the favorite. You can probably see that the same
thing in the Olympics and all the other sports. You can probably see that in all
the group sports, as well.

I'm a big soccer fan, and as I'm recording this, we're right in the middle of the
FIFA World Cup, so you can see. You can see how people treat certain players,
expecting for them to do some things because it's their reputation and allowing
them the room to do so. It's just incredible, especially when you see teams
playing against Brazil. Brazil is historically considered to be this amazing team
that's supposedly going to kick everyone's ass, although they haven't done that in
years, although one may argue, we're not going to get into that, but for the sake
of the argument, I must say that the last World Cup that happened in Brazil, they
were performing pretty well until they hit against the Germans, and the Germans
pretty much just kicked their asses, 7-1. This match went into history as the
biggest defeat Brazil has ever experienced and yada, yada, yada. Nevertheless, any
time you see a ... I don't know how to say that. Basically, a national team that
doesn't have as rich of a pedigree as the Brazilian team has, you see how they
allow the Brazilians to control the ball and just sit out in the defense waiting
for that opening for a counter. They're not dominating the game even though Brazil
is not like ... They're not incredible. They could be playing way better. Yet, the
teams give them that space to dominate the game just because they're Brazil.

You can see the exact same thing happening with Germany. Germany, so it happens
this year, the Germans went home. They couldn't even qualify for the playoffs, but
even in those matches when they lost, you could see that they were the ones
attacking all the time. They were the ones controlling the ball. They were the
ones pressuring the opponent. They were the ones to constantly try and score. The
pressure was on them to score. They conceded the goals encounters, they conceded
the goals that were fast. They didn't expect them, but they were still the
favorites throughout the entire game, and for the most part, the reason they
didn't win is because they didn't score.

I honestly believe that besides perhaps ... Well, besides perhaps Mexico, who did
play really well this year, and I'm actually rooting for Mexico this year. As the
underdog of the tournament, I really want them to win, but besides Mexico this
year, all the other teams, they weren't supposed to win German. The Germans
weren't supposed to lose to them. The last game the Germans played against
Japanese, I believe, Japan won 2-0, and that was a complete accident. That was
just a big mistake on the German's part. They just couldn't score. Whatever
they've done, they played well, but they just could not score. Again, it show it
goes back to the pedigree, the self image that the entire team, the entire German
team came in because they're the world champions, they got one of the best teams
out there. They came with a self image and they are still confused how did that
happen, but they were coming with the right self image.

Anyway, that's the second principle. You have to believe in yourself. You have to
believe in yourself if you want to succeed in this business.

The other principle I really love, I just absolutely ... I think it's one of the
most important principles of the entire Sun Tzu's Art of War, is the supreme art
of war is to subdue the enemy without fight, and this principle is incredibly
important, and if you can understand that principle, you will actually make a lot
of money with very little stress and with lots of good karma from the marketplace.
The principle basically says, "Look, you can go to war and you can win the war,
but you're a truly great warlord if you're not going to war and you're able to
subdue your enemy without even touching your sword."

That is the true ... That is the true mastery of The Art of War because Sun Tzu
claims that war is expensive. The war's expensive in many ways. Time-wise, it's
expensive. It takes up lots of emotional bandwidth. That's why I actually hate
conflict of any kind. Conflict of any kind or on any level, even if it's just the
most mundane thing, such as getting my landlord, because obviously I'm renting
here, getting my landlord to fix the door lock that broke, and then the landlord
giving me shit about it. Even that, as a conflict, takes a lot of bandwidth that
I'm no longer willing to give up because it just becomes this inconvenience that
gets in my way. Any type of conflict or war is always going to be expensive, time,
money, energy, troops, resources, everything.

Think about it this way. Many wars have actually been lost because of
mismanagement of resources. Think Napoleon who went to Russia in 1912. Basically,
the soldiers just froze to death or starved to death. That's what happened in
Russia, and they just left Russia because they couldn't stand it anymore.
Seriously, the entire war was won because of that, because Russians just wouldn't
come out to fight Napoleon because Napoleon was the superior warlord, and they
just sat it out. They sat out the winter. They waited, and the French just starved
and got tired and froze their balls off and had to go back to France, and that was
the end of it.

Same thing with Germany. Germany didn't necessarily just give up like the French
did, but the same issue, the same issue arose. Russians were very well equipped to
survive the winter, and the Germans were not. They didn't expect the winter to be
so difficult, and every year that they were spending in Russia, the winters were
brutal. They had to burn more gas. They had to figure out ways to supply the food
for the troops. They had to figure out a bunch of things, and Russia was so big,
so vast, and the war became so difficult that the resources challenge has become
devastating, was one of the reasons why Hitler could not conquer Russia
eventually, not all of the reason, but one of the reasons, for sure.

War is expensive. How does this translate into marketing and your business? First
off, first off, in business, in general, if you're fighting a war against someone,
you're basically taking away all this time and all these resources away from
creating something that's going to make you more money, from creating new income
stream, from creating a new product, from creating a new partnership, a new joint
venture partnership, from optimizing something, from developing something new. Any
moment that you're thinking about your enemy is the moment you're not thinking
about advancing your business. In and of itself, that alone is so highly
unproductive that we have to be careful not to get carried away.

I've had this happen so many times to me where I've had competitors knocking off
my websites. I had people stealing my customers, including ex-employees. I've had
so many different things come up that I eventually just had to say, "Okay. Is it
worth for me to pursue or will I be better off if I just turn the other cheek and
just went ahead and create stuff that it makes me more money?" Eight times out of
ten, I chose to turn the other cheek, move on, and do better than my competitors,
and I think that was the right decision for the simple fact that most of the
people who basically hurt me in some way, shape, or form, tried to fight with me,
they're no longer around. Many of my competitors that were potent and superior in
some way or another are no longer even in the industry. In that way, I feel that
was the right decision, but, sometimes, I did make the decision of going after my
competitors, and eventually I would regret that. Eventually, almost every time I
got involved in a fight, in a business fight, I would regret that because it
becomes this energy-sucking, money-sucking, time-sucking shit hole, like a black
hole that just sucks everything you've got out of you, and in my opinion, it's
just not worth it. The older I get, the more I realize how little value it
actually holds for me.

Another principle where this applies, where you need to subdue your enemy without
fighting, is in marketing. This is probably the biggest application of this
principle that you can ever make, and that is to understand that if you're making
an offer to your market and all you're getting is resistance or getting a lot of
that resistance, you have to fight lots of objections, you have to convince
people, that means it's like going to war without prepping, without properly
setting your strategy because Sun Tzu never encouraged to go and fight your enemy
straight on. That's not how you win a war. It sounds nice, and that's what we see
in the movies, how people just face their fears head on, but in war, when you're
going one army against the other, never go head to head. That's just not the right
way to go about it.

In marketing, don't just go ahead and pitch. Don't just go ahead and get involved
in the sale. You have to find a way to build up to a sale using your marketing in
a way where by the time you're making the offer, the prospect is not arguing with
you and they're willing and ready to give you money. That is the application of
this principle in marketing where pre-marketing, pre-influence, a preset to the
entire thing actually creates a scenario where you don't have to convince or even
have to "go to war". You just have to collect the money, and that is the
application of that principle in action.

That concludes part one of the Sun Tzu's principles applied to business, real
life, and marketing. All right. Stay tuned for the next episode. This is Igor
Kheifets. Thank you so much for tuning in. Until next time we chat, have a good

Thank you for listening to The List Building Lifestyle. Make sure to subscribe on
iTunes or Google Play to never miss an episode, because who knows? Just one
conversion tactic we share on the show might double your list and double your
business. Download the transcript of today's episode and all future episodes at And don't forget to claim your complimentary copy
of The Wealthy List Builders Survival Guide at .
This is Igor Kheifets, and until next time we talk, have a good one.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the founder and CEO of Igor Solo Ads, world’s largest Solo Ads agency. He’s the guy the gurus call when they need high quality business opportunity leads that convert.

Igor’s passionate about sharing up-to-date traffic & conversion strategies that work with beginners who want to make six figures while traveling the world full time.


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