What Scrooge McDuck Taught Me About Internet Marketing

by Mike on February 5, 2009
in Mindset, Productivity

When I was a kid there was a string of hit Disney cartoons that aired in the after-school hours on weekday afternoons. There was the Gummi Bears, Tale Spin, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, and Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers.

As a cartoon-loving kid, I was in my glory. I loved all those shows, but my favorite was Ducktales.

image source: http://sharetv.org/shows/ducktales

Ducktales revolved around Donald Duck’s nephews and his Uncle Scrooge McDuck. It was a classic cartoon and I still enjoy it today with my own kids thanks to DVD.

So what does watching Ducktales have to do with internet marketing strategies?

Let me explain.

Your feelings about money and work (and everything else for that matter) are the result of many different experiences and influences. Your parents and siblings. Your friends and their families. What you read in a book or saw on tv. All of these influences intermingle and come together to form your opinions and feelings.

And sometimes the littlest of things can have a big influence on your life. I had one such moment while watching an episode of Ducktales as a child.

The episode revolved around Uncle Scrooge in a series of flashbacks to his childhood. (I’m going on memory with this so forgive me if I get some of the details wrong).

One flashback shows Scrooge as a young duck without a lot of money (he would later go on to be the richest duck in the world so you can suspect these flashbacks will show a hint of how that happened). Scrooge found himself a job shining shoes, and wouldn’t you know a customer comes in who looks like he just walked through a patch of wet cement and let it dry.  I mean these shoes were so bad poor Scrooge’s heart must have missed a beat when he saw them!

Well good old Scrooge takes a chisel and starts chipping away at them.  He spends his entire day cleaning this guy’s shoes until you could see your face in them. By the time he’s done he’s out of breath, his back is killing him, and the store is closing.

He proudly stands up and holds out his hand expecting a mighty tip for performing such an amazing service. But instead the man simply thanks him, hands him a single coin and strolls right out the door.

Scrooge is seriously pissed! He busted his ass shining those shoes and he got paid chump change!

He stomps his way all the way home, slams the door on his way in and sulks around until his father asks him what is wrong. Scrooge tells him the story and his wise, old father simply tells him, “Scrooge my boy…you have to learn to work smarter, not harder.”

The next day Scrooge goes back to work with a brilliant idea. He creates a simple machine that allows him to use power he generates by riding a bicycle to polish shoes for several customers at a time.  He’s able to polish many more shoes while doing only a fraction of the work…and his income absolutely explodes!

Scrooge learned a valuable lesson. If you want to make enough money to achieve financial freedom, working hard isn’t enough.  There are millions of people who work themselves to the bone their whole lives and still have nothing to show for it.

Working hard is important, but working smart is more so. You see, there’s a limit to how much any one person can accomplish no matter how hard they work. And working yourself ragged will only leave you frustrated and burnt out.

If you want to take the next step toward financial freedom, you have to learn to delegate or outsource tedious tasks to others.  Automate time-consuming processes and leverage the work of others wherever possible.

Automation and Outsourcing

Let’s brainstorm a few ways you can automate/outsource tasks so you can concentrate your time on other projects that are more profitable (or have more time to spend with your family).

Autoresponders help you build a mailing list of targeted customers and prospects so you can keep in touch with them.  Once someone signs up for your list you can send them helpful tips and articles and build a relationship with them.  When you have a responsive list at your command all you have to do is send out an email promotion and wait for the money to come rolling in.

There are plenty of autoresponders to choose from but I recommend Aweber.  They’ve got a great track record and their delivery rates are the best.  I use Aweber myself so I have no problem recommending them.

What else can we automate or outsource? 

How about graphic design?  I don’t know a thing about designing and creating logos or ecovers and my attempts have always looked rather amateurish.  But why spend hours tinkering with a logo that’s just going to look like crap anyway…instead ask around the Warrior Forum and you’ll find graphic wizards who can do a smashing job for around $50. 

Have trouble writing?  You’re not alone…the demand for private label rights content is booming.  When you buy plr articles you can edit them as much or as little as you want and then add your name is author.  You can post them to your blog, create your own info-product, and more. 

If you don’t want to do any writing at all, just outsource the work.  Its not that hard to find ghost writers who will write quality content for as little as $5 an article.

I know what you’re thinking…I can hear it now…

“Mike, all those ideas for automating and outsourcing cost money and I’m on a budget!”

Yes, unfortunately if you want to build your business the smart way you’re going to have to open up your wallet and spend a few dollars.  That doesn’t mean you have to drop $1000 a month…start slowly and then increase your budget as your revenue increases.  Build slowly and you’ll see that your increased revenue more than makes up for the added expenses.

Be a Scrooge…Scrooge McDuck that is.  ;)


21 Responses to “What Scrooge McDuck Taught Me About Internet Marketing”
  1. Webkinz (15 comments.) says:

    I love the cartoon so much when I was a kid but hadn’t seen this series. At least don’t remember it.
    Thanks for the story =)

    Webkinzs last blog post..Webkinz Jr. Releases by Ganz

  2. Steve Booth (10 comments.) says:

    hey Mike,
    Hope I’m not commenting too much, but I read this post last and it is your best… heck, the best I have read this week.
    1. “Scrooge my boy…you have to learn to work smarter, not harder.”
    2. Working hard is important, but working smart is more so. You see, there’s a limit to how much any one person can accomplish no matter how hard they work. And working yourself ragged will only leave you frustrated and burnt out.
    3. If you want to build your business the smart way you’re going to have to open up your wallet and spend a few dollars.
    Brilliant writing!
    I wonder if I can get this cartoon on Netflix to show to my kids? ~ Steve Booth
    PS. I just did a Netflix search and there are three volumes (DVDs) for DuckTales… any idea which one this story is on?

  3. Funny Stuff (15 comments.) says:

    Ducktales was awesome, the theme song of it was catchy.

    Anyways it does teach a good lesson. Working hard isn’t going to do much if you’re not working smart also.

    Funny Stuffs last blog post..Mountain Climber

  4. Mike Collins says:

    @Steve, No way dude…comment as much as you like.

    I think the Ducktales episode is called “Once Upon a Dime” and its on Volume 3 which you can get from Amazon. One of my kids cracked the disc that episode is on so I have to get a replacement one of these days!

  5. personal injury lawyers (1 comments.) says:

    Mike this post really blow my mind. its fantastic example. yes its episode is “Once Upon a dime”. I love it.

  6. Jason Fulton (19 comments.) says:

    I hearing you about working smarter. I have just recently started to automate some of my marketing, in my early stages of IM i was doing everything, this doesn’t allow you to get a lot done. Automate as much as possible….


    p.s i also loved all those cartoons you mentioned but Astro Boy was still my favorite :)

  7. Reg (1 comments.) says:

    Duck tales brings back memories had forgotten about the cartoon. I used to think Launchpad McQuack was great flying around on all those adventures.

    Its very true what you say about working smart and not hard, its very easy to find yourself doing the latter though especially is you are a small outfit or one man band.

  8. Robby G (5 comments.) says:

    Love the cartoon, re-watched all the episodes on Youtube. Taught me a lot about money as well. I added you to my RSS Reader, nice post. In my opinion I hate automating a few things (especially Auto-responders for Twitter) just because it kills the whole idea of being social on net, but I guess it’s gotta be done sometimes. I think I’ll automate more once my blog gets bigger over time. Cheers!

    Robby Gs last blog post..Cologne Mix and Match

  9. Webkinz (15 comments.) says:

    Thanks for remembering the episode’s name. I definitely will get and watch it again. Just like in old times =)

    Webkinzs last blog post..Webkinz Jr. Releases by Ganz

  10. Christopher Ross (15 comments.) says:

    LOL, sadly Mike I remember that episode :) It’s sometimes funny how we learn to run a business (or blog), everything I know about business I learnt from playing Warcraft (the original).

    Christopher Rosss last blog post..WordPress 2.7.1 Released

  11. trading (3 comments.) says:

    Duck Tales is an awesome cartoon. My son watches it now (I have the whole DVD set). IMHO, there’s an important lesson on running a business in every second part of it.

    Automation and outsourcing are the kings now, and online business resembles offline business stronger and stronger. Without them, you will have to fight hard and you’ll probably lose.

    p.s. Are you from the former Soviet Union? When I was a child the cartoons you mentioned were the hits here and they ran on weekends as well :)

  12. Mike Collins says:

    Nope, I’m from New Jersey dude. :)

  13. Pheak Tol (1 comments.) says:

    i remember that esisode! those were the good old days when the cartoons actually was something to watch. nowadays, saturday mornings don’t have much of a line up and the kids these days is deprived from them good cartoons

    i always had that tip growing up to work smarter not harder, any chance i get even through high school working at the grocery store i would find ways to do things, take shortcuts or talk someone else to doing my job if im lazy.

    but taking back to your post the metaphor is excellent with use of ducktales.

  14. anonymous says:

    Great Post! Lord knows that old adage of working smarter and not harder is crucial, especially online these days. That is the crux of the web, especially these days.
    People expect the web to do miracles today and it can, but because it has reached new heights…we must strive daily to simplify life and business. Doing this creates demand for that which provides the simplification.
    Where there’s demand…there’s success in filling that need.

  15. Classifieds (3 comments.) says:

    Ducktales was a great show, I loved watching it. I never realized that you could apply what you learned from the show to internet marketing. Its a great learning method. Automating and outsourcing are both great ways to get things done quicker and cheaper and they can help you greatly with marketing.

  16. Brad Callen (4 comments.) says:

    No matter where you are right now, you have goals and aspirations… and you are ready to grow your online business to the next level! It doesn’t matter if you make $1 a day, $100 a day or $1,000 a day. People who are motivated and passionate about life and business always aspire to do more… to BE more.

  17. Mike Collins says:

    @Brad, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I agree that you have to have an inner fire to motivate you and keep you focused on your goals.

  18. Custom T-Shirts Guy (1 comments.) says:

    Those type of children show were awesome too bad they are not still around they taught me a lot about everything. Now days it is all flashy nonsense that don’t really teach a lesson. Bring back GI JOE’s public service Announcements.

  19. michelle (2 comments.) says:

    I am very big fan of Uncle Scrooge McDuck and like his style of swimming in money. May be everyone will get any affiliate program to earn the huge commission to make ourselves like Uncle Scrooge :) . Thanks. Michelle.

  20. Scott5430 (9 comments.) says:

    i nominate you for best use of a duck cartoon to illustrate a point. seriously though, great way to get your “work smarter not harder” point across.

    Scott5430s last blog post..CDL Test

  21. Mike Collins says:

    Thanks Scott! I like to search for inspiration in unusual places.

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