How to Go From Making $32 an Hour to $115,000 an Hour

This is a guest post by Wayne Mullins. He is the founder of Ugly Mug Marketing, and he blogs about business at Marketing Confessions.

joshua bell

There are hundreds of companies that sell computers, but what is it that makes Apple so successful?

There are thousands of chocolatiers around the world, but what is it that makes Godiva stand out?

There are thousands of coffee shops around the world, but what allowed Starbucks to dominate the coffee world?

Every day you likely face hundreds (maybe thousands) of competitors, so what can you possibly do to stand out from the crowd? And, more importantly, how can you become the success story in your field?

I’d like to share a principle that works every time, but yet I can only remember once in my life hearing someone talk about this principle. I’m going to give you six specific steps you can easily take today to implement this principle.

But first, here is a story for you…

The Joshua Bell story

It was 7:51 am on a brisk January morning in downtown Washington, D.C. The L’Enfant Plaza Station was bustling with mid-level managers getting on and off the metro, heading to yet another day at the office.

A man dressed in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a baseball cap exited the metro, entered the main lobby of the station and quietly opened a violin case. Opening the case, he gently removed the violin and slid the open case in front of him. He appeared ready to play, but then he reached into his pocket, pulled out a couple of crumpled dollars and dropped them into the case as seed money.

To the people passing by, his setup went unnoticed. After all, this is D.C., where street musicians are the norm.

The musician began with “Chaconne” from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor. Most classical music aficionados believe it to be one of the greatest violin pieces ever written. But that did not seem to help the street musician attract a crowd.

Sixty-three people passed before anyone even seemed to notice there was a street musician playing a violin. For a full 43 minutes, this musician masterfully played some of the greatest classical pieces of all time. After the last note was played, the musician, Josh Bell, stooped down to count his earnings.

After 43 minutes of work and over 1,000 people passing by, Josh had earned $32.17. This doesn’t seem too bad until you consider that just three nights before, he brought in over $115,000.00 per hour.

You see, Joshua Bell is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso, who three nights before had sold out all 2,300+ seats at Boston’s Symphony Hall. The tickets at Boston’s Symphony Hall were $100.00 for an average seat. The “best” seats sold for far more.

So, how is it possible that this highly acclaimed virtuoso can go from bringing in over $115,000.00 to less than $33.00 in one hour? More importantly, why is it that some businesses enjoy remarkable success, ridiculous profit margins, and tremendous accolades, while their competitors with the same quality of product struggle to survive?

The experiment with Josh Bell was conducted a few years back by the Washington Post, and what it revealed was the power of having a “frame.” With a “frame,” Josh is worth over $100,000.00 per hour. Same musician with the same $3.5 million violin, same songs and similar audience size, but without the “frame,” he’s only worth $33.00 per hour.

So, what exactly is the frame, and how can you create one?

A frame is the underlying structure and/or beliefs that shape and form others’ perceptions about you or your organization.

The reason the “frame” is often overlooked is because most people don’t believe they can control what others think. I disagree. I believe that most successful people and businesses are masters at using a frame.

So let’s look at a few examples:

Building a frame with Godiva

When you think about Godiva Chocolate, what comes to mind? Expensive, decadent, delicious, the best chocolate? Godiva has spent the past 85 years building a frame that helps shape perception, and they built it successfully without ever airing a single television commercial.

They’ve constructed their “frame” by carefully designing stores, elegant packaging, great sales associate training, premium ingredients, and great product presentation. Each of their “frame” ingredients compliments the others and builds onto the perception people have about Godiva products.

Look at each of their “frame” components, and you’ll discover that none of them are proprietary. All chocolatiers have control over these same “frame” building ingredients, and all chocolatiers use them to build a “frame” for themselves. However, only a few have spent this much time, money, and effort to ensure that each part of their “frame” complements the next and helps control people’s perception.

I’m a Mac. And I’m a PC.

When you think about the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” commercials, what’s your perception of Apple? Creative, clean lines, iPhone, iPod, iPad, cool products, and the best technology, right? Apple, and particularly the recently deceased Steve Jobs, are masters at controlling others’ perceptions. Because of their skillful use of the “frame,” they have built a cult-like following.

There are hundreds of other computer, mp3 player, and cell phone companies, yet most look to Apple and only dream of having such a loyal following. So, how in the world did Apple become the envy of its industry, with over $70 billion in cash reserves?

Sure, there are a lot of factors involved. But they skillfully used these factors to build a strong “frame,” while most of their competitors sat by and watched them do it.

I made the switch from PC to Mac about a year ago. There are two things I remember about the day my Mac arrived via UPS. First, I remember the amazing packaging. I felt like I was opening an exquisite treasure. Second, I remember how quickly the computer started. Don’t for a second believe that these two factors aren’t part of Apple’s carefully crafted “frame.”

So, now that you know why a frame is important, here is how you can build a better one.

6 Steps to Building a Better “Frame”

  1. Admit It! – the first step is that you have to admit that you have access to the same “frame” building materials as your competitors. Unfortunately, most who read this are likely thinking at this point, “Yeah, but I don’t blah, blah, blah….” If you’re going to make radical transitions in your life or organization, you first have to stop making excuses and admit you control the same ingredients as others.
  2. Vision It! – once you admit you can control, and build, a better frame, next you have to have a clear vision of what it will look like. The best way to do this is to look from the perspective of your prospects or clients. What perception do you want them to have?
  3. Draw It! – if you can see the “frame” in your mind, now it’s time to draw the blueprints. These blueprints will serve as a trusted reference as you begin constructing your “frame.”
  4. Build It! – with detailed blueprints in hand, it’s now time to start construction. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the individual pieces involved in the process. Refer back to your blueprints regularly to keep you on track.
  5. Live It! – once you’ve completed building your frame, it’s time to start living it. Embrace it! Allow your frame to work. Stay within your frame.
  6. Review It! – set aside time each month to review your “frame” and each of its components. You want to review it to be sure that each of the components are still working together and helping shape others’ perceptions of you and your organization.

Want to see what happened when Josh Bell removed his “frame”?


Don’t become overwhelmed, trying to figure out how to create your “frame”. A great starting place could be as simple as dressing to impress. It’s also important to continually learn from others who’ve mastered the art of creating “frames” and personal brands.

What else can you do to start creating your own “frame” and controlling others’ perceptions of you and your brand?

P.S. Want to increase the hourly wage you make from your website? click here.


  1. :

    Heard the josh bell story a few times, love it though. Great post neil

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it even after you have already heard it.

    • Is this a joke? This offers almost zero insight other than to have a unique value proposition. Frame, purple cow, brand – whatever, this is rhetoric that does nothing to help the would be entrepreneur. Hindsight is 20/20 and Apple and Godiva stayed true to a vision, persevered and with timing were successes.

      • sell textbooks :

        James, my reaction is different than your’s. I was extremely inspired by this post. I like the concept, and I totally “get” the point the author is making in Step #6. Maybe because I realize it’s not up to others to build that “frame” for me; it’s up to me. Mr. Mullens’s post is excellent, and I’m definitely going to check out his marketing blog.

        • I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. Not everyone will have the same reaction, but if you can get some use from it then great.

      • What I took away from the post was that you can frame a customers mindset and how they see value in your product or service. Look at products that tout fat free or low fat. A lot of products that say that are still not good for you because of various ingredients but people will be in the ‘frame’ that it is better and buy religiously, so you focus on creating that narrative.

        Apple and Godiva created their ‘frame’ by focusing on simple but expensive products which led to immense profit. But as you said this post is about having a ‘unique value proposition’.

        • Definitely, I agree with the way you see it. You certainly are attempting to “Frame” your product. So by framing your business you are also framing yourself because you represent you business. Thank you fro you added input.

      • James, I agree with the others – we may have heard the story numerous times, and we may know that this stuff is a given, however it’s always good to be reminded of it.
        I get a little boost every time I read stuff like this, so thanks Neil and thanks Wayne.

        • I am happy to hear you enjoyed it and were able to gather some inspiration from it. A great motivator is inspiration and it takes motivation to succeed.

      • i agree with james, mullen didn’t provide anything concrete. it’s just pointing out the obvious, then providing no real direction. of course j. bell didn’t make the same money without “frame” or whatever you want to call it. i thought mullen would break down what it is about “frame” that is most important or anything else that’s useful other than: Admit it, Vision it, Draw it, etc. etc. mullen’s basically like “OK, everybody, what we need is to frame our product in a great way that people will see value in it. now go do it!”
        maybe he could have point out something like: “frame” has a lot of “sponsors.” lincoln center doesn’t let just anyone hold a concert there (carnegie hall, that’s another story!). so visible support is a key ingredient in proper “frame.” applying some hermeneutics to this bad boy, you might be able to come away with: “OK, i need some clearly visible, reputable support for my product…” then at least you’re on your way to the next step… pay for some sponsored posts? solicit a good review from a reputable site? at least then the reader can walk away with some next steps, something concrete. neil’s posts almost always have that. in this case, i have to agree with james’s comment.

        • I understand the points you made. I am sorry you feel you didn’t receive enough out of this post. In a way I feel that the reason there was no concrete steps was because the steps have to be your own to create and follow. Each business and person who runs it is so unique that there can’t be any simple genetic steps to follow. Rather you have to think about what works best for you and the work you are promoting and develop the frame from their.

      • I am sorry you feel that way. Each person has their own opinion and are welcome to it.

      • Top Smartphones :

        No insights for you – good for the rest of us 🙂
        No, really – the takeaway from this post can be golden. First impressions count and finding out that something is popular (e.g. a website) results in a different behaviour towards that site as if it were not popular. Look at this site (especially this post). Most posts have more than 100 comments which is a sign of popularity and probably trust. Who yould you trust more when it comes to product recommendations? A blogger with no or just few comments or one with a large following like our host here?
        My takeaway is to work on the frameworks of my sites to become even more trusted (and valued money wise).

        • Yep, you have got it. It is all about building an impression and hopefully a powerful and lasting one. I appreciate your added insight. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Reiki Bedfordshire :

    What a brilliant post. Those 6 points are so accurate, and need to be followed. Thank you.

    • Much appreciated. I hope you try following them and they are of help to you.

    • Great post indeed. I never saw thought that something like the Josh Bell story can happen. Maybe the right people weren’t in the vicinity then 🙂 Anyway, convincing people that what you sell is the best and making them believe that is the right way to sell your product, but in order to do that you also have to be convinced about what you say.

      • Yes, you certainly want to be confident in what you say and what you do. Confidence is an important aspect in getting others to buy what you sell.

  3. :

    What I noticed was that only one lady was like “I saw you play before” Even when he was out of his “frame” he still got recognized which is amazing. Thanks for the post neil

  4. Jacques van Heerden :

    Really great post Wayne. The importance of focusing on your frame can’t really be put into perspective if you’re a small minded thinker. You have to think big, think outside the box and focus on different aspects as mentioned to make it.

    Your six specific steps is a good starting point for any person looking to build a frame for their company or brand.

    Thanks for the interesting read and using Josh as an example. It will just help people understand how important it is to focus on appearance and delivery.

  5. Anthony van der Hoorn :

    Great post. The thing I find is that once you start having confidence in your self, other people will start having confidence in you. I think the “frame” is a great way of envisioning this and bring it to life.

    • Very true, when you are confident in yourself others will respond to that confidence.

    • Without confidence in yourself and in your product you can’t sell anything. But the “frame” seems to have also a very large impact. Sometimes it also requires the correct environment in order to sell something.

      • I agree, you have made some good points. It takes not only confidence in yourself and your product but also the right type of market to sell it in.

  6. Courtney Ramirez :

    As always, terrific and inspiring post Neil! Although you may want to edit to “recently deceased Steve Jobs.”

    The great thing about the Internet is that there are plenty of platforms to create and show off your frame. It’s easier than ever to position yourself in a way that showcases what you can do in a way that will make people want it. Even the smallest microbusiness can benefit from branding and framing as you’ve described above.

  7. Eric Siegfried - TangoSource :

    It’s surprising how much NLP is referred in marketing education nowadays. Neil himself is no exception, whether or not he’s aware of it. A few years ago, I used Josh Bell as an example of creating a state of intrigue in my audience, since the people around Bell simply aren’t paying attention, and look at what they missed out on. Curiosity is a good state to start with when trying to influence.

    • I like your point on curiosity. Everyone is drawn to something that makes them curious. Which leave them open to being influenced like you said.

  8. Webanalyse - Arve Kvaløy :

    This inspired me to start looking for a designer that could create a more modern, fresher, inspiring and clean looking design on my blog…in other words a better frame.

    And off course to update more frequently and focus even more on creating high quality content.

  9. Awesome post!!! Frame a simple word but yet so powerful.

    thanks sharing

  10. Excellent points, and the tactical list is tremendously valuable. I do have a question, however, and that is to the point of level playing ground. I get that within any given segment, the companies are tasked with building frames that have the same basic elements (e.g., packaging, POP, customer service, social media presence, advertising, etc). In our case, for example, we know our frame, we have strategy and tactics built around each component, but we are doing it with significantly less financing that some of our competitors that are not startups, rather are owned by huge, well financed, historically relevant brands. They can build better packaging, bigger POP, more strategically placed advertising, etc. What is the suggestion for a company that can’t compete on the cost-driven frame elements? Is it to be better at the intangibles? Is it to actively pursue more funding in order to put bigger dollars in the cost-driven buckets? Presuming the playing ground isn’t level, how does the aspiring violinist compete with Joshua Bell?

    • It really depends on what you have to offer that makes the difference in my opinion. If you find something to make your business or performance stand out then you will have your advantage. Find a way to make what you do unique and have it stand out.

  11. Morgan Bagshaw :

    This post exposes the secret sauce behind every great company, no matter the industry. Build the vision you see for yourself or your brand and execute off of it. Awesome post!

  12. Lior Weinstein :

    Nice post, reminds me of what Oren Klaff talks about in his book – Pitch Anything.

  13. Sumiti Malhotra :

    Great post Neil!! Those 6 points are definitely to be followed.. One must have the self confidence.. Awesome post..

  14. Phenomenal post that inspires and teaches at the same time. The reality is that a company’s personality is similar to a humans – it is complex and takes years to build. Look at Google – when they started, they were like rebellious teenagers, now they are like peppy twenty-somethings that like martinis and jazz :-). That’s my perception anyway…..

    • That is a clever way to see it. Seeing that companies are developed by people, their personalities must surely show through their business.

  15. Neil this is just excellent. I remember when we started on WagePoint and talked about how we could bring payroll out of the stone ages, or at least the middle ages 🙂 in the end what we were talking about was indeed “framing”. Again, well done on this!!

  16. Hi Neil: I love this post and realize while reading it I am starting to re-do my frames. I started a website a year ago and uploaded all my pictures of all my product-jewelry. With the suggestion from Erin-Made you look, I changed my font to look more professional and also started to take the photos of Jewelry on slate. What a difference in the look of my site. The pictures made my Jewelry look so much beautiful-which my jewelry is!! I still have old photos but am slowly changing them as I go along.

  17. When it comes to making you’re frame looking beautiful. Why is it that marketing e-mails from top bloggers, yourself included, have rather plain e-mail newsletters?

    I feel as though to complete you’re frame. Everything should look nice, like a Godiva or Apple store. Even’ Apple’s e-mails are made beautifully.

    I’ve always wondered why this is, and if there’s something that I missing.

    • It is easier for me to keep my e-mails simple and I like it better. However I see the point you are making though and it is definitely something to consider doing.

  18. Sandeep Narang :

    Nice article Wayne, Joshua Bell story is great. It’s all about branding and maintaining it. I read and appreciate this blog because of it’s awesome ‘frame’.

  19. I Love It!

    Thanks for shring… it sounds like so much of crafting the perfect frame is all in the mind, “It’s a mindset” you either believe it and take the steps to make it happen or you don’t.



    • True, everything is dependent on your mindset. That is why you must always be confident and persistent, if you want to get something accomplished.

  20. ‘Recently resigned Steve Jobs’? Seems the article has been in the QuickSprout queue for way too long!

  21. Tito Philips, Jnr. :

    This is a great read, thanks for this post.
    Brian Clark of Copyblogger calls this frame, a compelling story. I think great brands are great because they tell a compelling story. They give their target market a set of values that they represent and constantly strive to live up to this values with every customer experience.

    From experience, I would say, creating your “frame” starts from your the purpose of your business. Why did you start that business in the first place? What greater reason beyond survival led you to create the products or services you offer? The purpose is the ultimate end you want to help the customers reach through their interaction with your products and services, and the “frame” you create are the means of helping them reach their.

  22. Inspiring post Wayne. I read few comments above and saw most of them missed it is a guest post by Wayne Mullins and not by Neil.
    People are looking at frame(Neil) and not the picture(Wayne)
    Thanks 🙂

    • It seems a few people missed that it was a guest post, but for the most part I think people got it. Thanks for clarifying it to others who may have missed it.

  23. Great post, thank you. Inspiring. Where so many people and small businesses fail with this concept is that they don’t integrate all the compononents of their business/image to make sure they are working consistently and in harmony. Consequently, marketing, customer service and how they position themselves in the marketplace becomes disjointed and disconnected.

  24. David | The Growth Company :

    Hi Neil,

    A ‘frame’ is possibly one of the most tangible ways to describe a brand.

    Thanks for sharing Wayne’s post and the Josh Bell example is clear as day. Possibly a case study for Grad school!


  25. Carlin Stanton :

    Amazing how big the payoff difference is in being very good and being the best, isn’t it? And it’s all in the way you are perceived by your customers / fans / friends. Kind of like the racehorse who “wins by a nose” and his owner collects 10 times the paycheck that the owner of the second place horse receives.

    Great post. Thanks, Neil.

    • You’re right. It’s often in the fraction of an inch (the nose) that makes the difference. When constructed correctly, your frame can give you the “nose” you need to succeed.

    • That is an interesting way of seeing it. It is true being the best, or at least better then the majority can create a huge difference in the results you see. However it doesn’t matter how good you are at something unless you work hard.

  26. That’s quite an interesting blogpost and thanks to it, I got to know about Joshua Bell story. I have seen this at work in my niche as well as at various other junctures, but never really paid much attention to it, believing that if you have a good enough product, people will flock to it.

    Guess that is one aspect of business I really do need to work on (which sadly I had been avoiding), if I really wish to ensure better profitability and thereby, better chance of my websites becoming more popular than they already are.

    • It took me many years to realize the importance of creating and building a frame (and I still have to be reminded often).

      What caused me to start exploring the use of a frame was hearing the story of Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe. (If you aren’t familiar with his story it’s worth reading.)

    • Having a good product is important, but even more important is the effort you put into making it work. Your success will be based off the work you do to make what you have a success.

  27. Kristian Pettyjohn :

    Fascinating post Wayne, and how true. I will definitely start working on creating a “frame” around my business. Thanks for all the great tips.


  28. Matt Saunders :

    My favorite part; “Don’t become overwhelmed trying to figure out how to create your “frame”. A great starting place could be as simple as dressing to impress. ”

    A.K.A. – Just Do It.

  29. Chetan Rajani :

    As much as I hate to cater to this aspect of human nature (optics), unfortunately, we are all influenced by frames, especially ones that somehow “legitimize” our personal of business brands. Just the way life is. Having spent much of my life disregarding “the facts of business life,” I admire your acceptance of it. (At such an early age! 🙂 Thanks for another thought-provoking post, Neil.

    • I try and keep an open mind, even on things I don’t care for. I just do what I can to increase my business. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

  30. ah, yes. build the image of my product/s, and be consistent/persistent in doing it… thank you Neil (and Wayne). Im still excited I found your blog. Thank you Neil!!

  31. Aliosha Kasin :

    Yes I remember watching the Joshua Bell video on youtube. The frame thing is just your reputation to others. Reputation, marketing or promotion are the differences between earning $32.17 and $150,000 per hour.

    • Robert Collings :

      @Aliosha, Joshua Bell’s reputation is exactly the same whether he is playing Boston’s Symphony Hall or the metro.

      I’m not saying reputation isn’t significant, and I’d guess it is part of the “frame” Mr Mullins talks about, but not the frame itself.

      The Joshua Bell analogy is actually about *context*. Give a Macbook Pro to a caveman and he’ll probably use it as a hammer …

      And thanks Wayne. A wonderful, thought provoking post. Cheers!

      • Aliosha Kasin :

        yes I know what you mean, I didn’t phrase my comment properly, I know his reputation is the same wether he plays at the Symphony hall or the metro. What I meant is that part of the frame is an established view of your organisation or the person, in this case Joshua. Its how people see you and what they associate with you. If he’d put up a sign telling passers by who he was I bet he would have attracted a lot more attention. PS I’d hate to be pointing this out Neil but the title of this article is quite misleading. But the article itself is very good.

      • Interesting, I know the skill and talent would be the same, but reputation is something you have to build. I am not sure if playing at a metro would build as much compared to the Symphony hall.

    • Definitely, huge factors in becoming well know and successful.

  32. This is a great story and an even greater lesson. You know I have a business friend who will not read books but will listen to audio books. It would be great if there was an app that could turn this post into audio that I could send him to listen to on his way to work. Thanks for a lesson that will stick with me.

  33. sell textbooks :

    Mr. Mullins, great post! I have not heard the violinist story before. And your reference to Neil’s blog post about dressing to impress is perfect and very appropriate. Thank you for your writing!!

  34. Thanks for sharing, Neil. I have to admit that Wayne is a personal friend of mine and he lives these truths very well in his business. One advantage of a good frame is that it gives you the ability to focus people’s attention on what is worth seeing. Your blog is a fantastic frame for stellar business ideas. Keep up the great work, Wayne and Neil!

  35. Amazing read Neil, now its time for me to create a frame, somehow, it takes me back in time to the websites that used to employ them. Frame(sets).

  36. Well, these principles might be true.

    However the exact strategy to build the frame is the difficult part.

  37. Track Your Bucks :

    An interesting post, which points out that customers don’t necessarily buy the product; instead, they buy the “experience”. Even if those who paid for the expensive seats to listen to Josh Bell perform, would they also choose to listen to him perform at a subway for free? Not all of them, to be sure. Some of those ticket buyers were willing to pay for the bragging rights of relating their experience of attending the sophisticated show, some were trying to impress a date, some wanted a nice evening out complete with fine attire and beautiful surroundings: the “frame”.

  38. Shilpi Singha Roy :

    Hi Neil,
    Great post and this is really an awesome thing to do and really motivating post.

  39. Interesting post. Kind of makes me think how to position from the start. Similar to Coca Cola sold at a hotel vs on the street corner. Same can but many times price difference.

    I think BMW also managed to do so with their brand as well. Point No 5 is most pertinent. Unless the entreprenuer Live It & it affects all decision, it won’t be congruent.

    Also like to add, while the money is in high end, it also depends on who your business want to serve? Mom & pop or fatcat

  40. A well said post which brings in a true life situation to a person from rags to riches and riches to ragsss. inspring 6 points for a person to analazye or bulit frames to his dreamsss ! LOVED the post!

  41. Alison Engelbrecht :

    Brilliant. Have circulated your link to my Women In Business members.

  42. I’m always amazed at how a lot of the posts I come across here are so very relevant to my film and television business. In an industry where art and commerce straddle each other in a delicate balance, I’m constantly reminded by the wise words I read here that whether the product is a movie or a bar of soap, the secrets to successfully getting the attention of your potential audience/customer lie in their perceptions of you brand. “Frame”, now there is a powerful concept. Thanks for sharing.

    • That is cool that they are. Happy to hear it has beneficial information to you even though you are in a different field of work.

  43. TheWorldOrBust :

    very interesting. You gotta “fake it until you make it”. If you portray yourself as confident in your product or services, people are going to think the same thing. Start by “framing” yourself, as you will see people can buy w/e you have to offer from anywhere, but if you don’t have the capital to create brand new packaging, huge ad campaigns, then get out there and convince people they like you, and then they will buy w/e you have.

    Take Neil for example, (I’m sure he will agree), he was a nobody until he started convincing people he was an expert in his field. After time he actually became one and therefore was truly a valuable resource in the world of SEO and blogging. I mean, think about it, his LLC is called “I’m kind of a big deal” for christ sake! And guess what, now he is…frame yourself, then your business.

    • Neil is definitely a master at creating (and successfully) using a frame. I’ve learned a lot by watching what Neil does – and what he doesn’t do.

    • There is definitely a lot I learned on the way to making my business work. However I had confidence and myself and didn’t give up. If you don’t believe in yourself why should anyone else.

  44. Small Business :

    Nice piece of writing and really interesting post. I suppose “faking it until you make it” is one way of looking at it. Personally I’m a big fan of education – whether it’s through self or other people. Everyone has to start somewhere – whether they’re really “faking it” or simply learning as they go along…

    • Continual education is a critical component to success. Josh is a great example of it. He didn’t become a virtuoso without countless hours of practice/education.

    • I agree, it is key. Learning along the way is a great way to get a real world, first hand education. It is also important to learn as much as you can on your own. “Faking it” is just a way to stay confident even if you aren’t, until you actually are.

  45. Alex @ Easy ways to make money :

    Having the “Frame” advantage in your brand or business is a reputation you build through the years, it’s not acquired over night. In my opinion, in order for you to attain such status – it entails a lot of hard work and a considerable investment in building that advantage.

  46. So isn’t constructing the frame also called ‘branding’ (esp personal branding)?

    • Although constructing a frame and branding are very similar, I believe there is one subtle difference. Constructing the frame is more focused on the internal components; while branding includes some of the external components. (Branding often encompasses some marketing and advertising.)

      Think of your frame as the box (or frame) that all of your branding must fit in.

  47. Rajnish Anand :

    First of all I am sorry if I have offended you in any way. I love your posts and this too is one out of the box. I love your blog. I was just asking as it seems you have blocked my comments. Sorry if I have hurt you.

    • I don’t believe you have offended me in anyway that I am aware of. I am sorry if your comment is gone, it may have originally been considered as spam and deleted.

  48. Frame, Frame and Reframe it , if your current Frame is not working properly. try to Build Your Frame. I like the story and blog post very much and inspiring. Thanks Neil Once more for allowing such guest post. This is as inspiring as your own blog post.

  49. Great Article,

    The 6 points you listed at the end make a lot of sence. We all should strive to create our own fame if not of others but for our selves.


  50. The video really underlines the importance of FRAME in Joshua’s case… same guy, same violin, yet just over $30 bucks! Anyway I’d like to see a more detailed process of building up a Frame.. thanks for the post!

    • sell textbooks :

      I, too, thought a more detailed process for building the frame would have been good. But I realized that each frame is unique to the person/company, i.e. what is a good frame for one might not be suitable for another. And since each frame is unique, the building processes would likely be different. That’s why I’ve always enjoyed reading biographies of successful people; seeing how each built their own unique frame.

    • How you build a frame in completely up to you. Every person is different therefore every frame should be as well.You have to build one that works for you and your business.

  51. thanks for introducing us to this concept of frame.

  52. Web Design Florida :

    These are nice 6 steps which are useful to create a successful frame for business, thanks for share it

  53. Apple now has $ 81.47 billion cash reserve ;p

  54. If followed all the tips I definitely say It will gives a great success

  55. Mitch Mitchell :

    Nice job Wayne, and a superlative guest post. I like the concept of “framing” oneself against their competition. It could be seen as USP but I think it takes it a step further by using the comparison model.

    For instance, I’m a PC guy and will always remain so, but I realized during my latest purchase that there was no excitement in it, only the realization that I needed to replace a business machine. Yet after I bought it I walked over to Cold Stone Creamery with longing and a big smile on my face because, in my mind, that was an event.

    Being able to figure out how to inspire potential customers to reach out to them is an event worth searching for.

    • Your story about purchasing a computer and then ice cream is a great way to explain the difference between a USP and a Frame. A frame involves the experience, and the USP is about what makes you different.

  56. Great post neil! I’ve heard this story before but not put into the context of a “frame”. Very interesting take on branding. Keep up the great information!


  57. Heard the Joshua Bell story couple of times. But you have used it so dramatically and it was interesting. You are very good with the language.

  58. Tony bordonaro :

    To really know who you and your company are. …than to really know what you are creating is what “they” want …my biggest roadblock is finding the confidence that I know these answers…anyone else find this to be true? Btw. Great post …thanks!

    • TheWorldOrBust :

      Ask your customers what they are looking for in a great product or service (don’t know what you do exactly). Guessing, or just acting on what you think they want can only work to a certain level…

    • Even if you are lost don’t let anyone else know it “Fake it, until you make it.” Take a quick break, step back look at what you do, what you want to accomplish and what your customers need. When you do that it will be easier to then re-group and set answer the rest.

  59. Inspirational … but $100k is way too much.

  60. motivating article! i do have access to the same frame!

  61. Web Design Resource :

    Good to see that you have enable the guest blogging option for other blogger. It is a great way to pick blogging/writing talent.

  62. Neil, A special thanks to Wayne for this awesome post.

    After reading it half, I made a B-Plan for my startup.

    So everyone, you may just think “how inspiring it is”!

    The 6 steps are cool and the best part is that you have to review your blueprints and keep them in mind when you are building it. It makes you right on the track and reminds you about WHAT YOU’R GOING TO DO.

    Truly, I am now moving forward to read the other article,

    Hope it inspires me too like this one!


    • Thanks for the kind words Darshan. I’m excited to hear you’re taking action, and building your frame. Let me know if I can help.

    • I am glad you enjoyed it. Definitely check out some of the other post I am sure you will find plenty of information and inspiration. 🙂

  63. For building frame you need some patience and calm in your nature but right now most of the people want to be on top in a seconds that is way they loose there frame and lost there track what ever they want to achieve…

    • Definitely, make sure you stick with it and keep your composer. If you are to impatient and don’t take your time then your frame is more likely to fall apart.

  64. AR @ make money online :

    Kudos to you Wayne for such an informative post. This is my first time to encounter this frame principle, it open up good ideas that I might incorporate in my business.

  65. I am reading the Josh bell story for the first time. Thank you for sharing. It is also important to continuously learn from others.

  66. Fashion Editorials :

    I just love this story. Thanks for reminding me of it.
    Honestly, i like to hear a success story or a life story once in a while, i feel that i can do more, i can work more with my blogs.

  67. I never thought about putting it as you did “building your frame”.
    I have heard other analogies but I agree with you %100. Building your foundation is the most important part of any business online or off.

  68. 10 Minute Travel :

    I read a lot of posts (yours, of course) and it has been awhile since one resonated so quickly with me. It was as though a light bulb went on. I am starting to gather information and ideas for a new project, but what I lacked was a clear idea of how the new website would be presented. I have most of the pieces in my head and on paper, but until I read this post, I wasn’t sure how to make it all come together.

    Thanks for this post. It put me in exactly the right mind frame to move forward.

  69. Awesome concept! Understanding that you have the same materials as your competitors is one of the best ways to make sure you do it even better than them! Because of the fact they’ve already constructed their frame, you have the advantage of picking out what they did wrong to perfect your own.

    Thanks Neil!

    P.S. That’s freakin awesome that you manage to respond to so many of your commentors. There’s no gain of you doing so, but you still do it. That’s why you’re successful; you’ve got class.

    • Yep, having seen what others have done before you even start is a great way to get ahead and improve beyond them. Thanks, I try to respond to all my readers, sometimes it can take a few days though.

  70. San Jose Jumpers :

    Excellent!Excellent!Excellent! This article is very inspirational to what I am doing for my business. After reading this article, now I know what to change about my business and myself.

  71. Kathleen@Legitimate Work From Home Jobs :

    I look at it like this: Your frame is the basic structure to your success. Much like the construction of a home, you need the frame within which the contents reside.

    Very inspirational.

    • Definitely, you have an excellent point of view. You need to have a sturdy frame to be able to build a successful house upon as well as a business.

  72. I had not heard this sorry and thank you for providing it. This is something i have known in my heart but never realized how easy it was to start down that road. We may not all go from $30 to $100,000, but even $30 to $300 will shift your world.

    • Anyone can improve and become more successful and that is what this story is about. No matter how little you have or how difficult your situation is there is always hope. You just have to work hard to create the change you need.

  73. Yes a frame will help….but what really sells is giving someone what they want…as in the josh story…in the subway he was playing to an audience that were more interested in something other then listening to music…whereas at the concert he catered to the right audience… the “market’ is very important….you can sell anything that “you can make the buyer believe he or she needs…so the decision to buy is made by the buyer…what the seller must do is present this product in a manner that makes the seller thinks they need it…..faham kah….

  74. India Price Buzz :

    This was inspiring article for me. I don’t believe one can develope ownself with such a speed. Great Neil. Actually I was reading your article from few weeks and I must say your writing is influential one.

  75. colorado family law attorney :

    I heard about the Washington post experiment on Joshua Bell and had considered it in bad taste to undermine a great musician, but after this post I have a different view of the entire thing. Neil keep bringing great guests on your blog.

  76. Great post Neil! Actually I already had little concept about the success of any organisation due to perception of the customers and this post made it crystal-clear to me. I do think that providing good quality product(obviously), nice packaging and SETTING HIGH PRICES lays major impact on our(consumer’s) perception and makes a deep impression of ”Quality”. Later, if they provide a cheaper product, we middle-class people(like me) run for it blindly because of the previously set image of the brand. Hope i’m right.

  77. It means every business or brand need to create own blueprint for success. can I ask you something if our “FRAME” is good our result also good, right?. Is RESULT is depend on “FRAME” ?
    Anyway 6 Step was good, it is better way to success of any brand.

  78. letter credit :

    I totally agree… i think it is all about vision and sticking with your goals on a focus way. Work hard and focused and success comes next.

  79. Work hard and love is everything in this life. Adding strength and will for sure success will come.

  80. This post should inspire everyone. Thanks Neil.

  81. hey Wayne,
    It’s a motivational article. great to read it.
    you have given us a direction to put our efforts.



  82. The importance of focusing on your frame can’t really be put into perspective if you’re a small minded thinker. You have to think big, think outside the box and focus on different aspects as mentioned to make it.

  83. Hello!,,,,,The 6 points you listed at the end make a lot of sence. We all should strive to create our own fame if not of others but for our selves.Thank you for sharing,,,,,,,,,,,,!

  84. Apple, Godiva & Starbucks hope wonder full unique selling point & user attract + friendly concepts and usages we can’t avoid in terms. Hope this remind will help me to make myself too. thanks Neil.

    • Raju, it’s all a bout finding your target audience and pitching them on the value of your product (like these big brands do).

  85. Such a wonderful stuff that you’d given it to me. Building frame is not quiet easy thing to do it.The struggle behind the scenes will never come out until , Frame has been successfully built , Isn’t ?.

    But some time Its really frustrating for me, to built.
    These 6 tips and Joshua Belly story I admire it.

    Thanks for giving this post, I admire , vision, draw, built, live and review it. Cool 🙂


  86. I knew the story, but Wayne connected the dots in a way so clearly conveyed a lesson. Thanks for having him guestpost here, Neil 🙂

  87. Irvin Cavaness :

    Whats up! I simply want to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you might have right here on this post.

  88. I see what Wayne was trying to achieve but I also see why so many people are unhappy about this post. If you are a newbie, this may seem like gold but a developed entrepreneur won’t find much value in it(especially the steps part) This is the danger in guest posts for someone like Neil. I say someone like Neil because a lot of his readers are used to more developed principles and not the basics. Principles and basics are not the same.
    Thanks for the story Wayne and Neil.

    • Thanks for the feedback Jeff. I try to produce content for all levels of readers, I think it’s something I’ll better distinguish in the future.

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