Chapter 19


The last great reason the Really Rich got that way

In good times and bad, hundreds and thousands of companies fail, especially young ones. But hundreds of their competitors get rich in exactly the same businesses, because for them a recession is cherry-picking time, and good times mean an endless assembly line of hot fudge sundaes. They do well no matter what the economy dumps on their doorstep. How do they do it? Marketing!

Great entrepreneurs create their own capital through marketing, and the better they are at it, the less capital they need. I should know, because when I started The Ruff Times, I was broke, and successful marketing, along with some gutsy, calculated risk-taking, turned us profitable in short order. When I became rich and famous in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it wasn't because I had a monopoly on good newsletters. There were some very competent competitors. Some were very talented writers, and some had just as good a track record of successful market calls, or even better, but I was a better marketer. Because of that, I dominated the financial newsletter industry for many years.

In the Introduction I told you that in the late 1970s and early 1980s I became rich and famous, but I didn't tell you how I got that way. Then, in Chapter 14, I told you how I lost my fortune—by failure to market aggressively when times turned bad in my industry. Now I'm going to give my failure a postmortem and share the inside story with you.

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