There’s this great scene in the film “Moneyball” about a baseball player who doesn’t look like a baseball player.
His name is Jeremy Brown.
He appears in just a single short scene, but what happens in that one scene so perfectly captures a key mistake made by so many email list owners, that I just HAD to tell you about it.
First of all, let’s take a look at Jeremy:
That’s a professional ballplayer. But he looks like a beer league softball dude, right?
Now, you might wonder what he’s doing in a film like “Moneyball,” which is about the fascinating and disruptive sea change pioneered at the sport’s highest level by general manager Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics in the early 2000s.
Let me set the scene for you, and I promise you will like this story and find it useful, even if you couldn’t care less about the “grand old game” …
Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane. As a GM who has bet his entire career on a new strategy everyone else thinks is nuts except for the Yale educated stat nerd who sold him on it (played by Jonah Hill), Billy’s career is suddenly a rather delicate high wire act.
First of all, you need to know that Billy hates losing. He’s such a nervous wreck that he literally cannot even watch the games. After the national anthem is played, he’ll go underneath the stadium and lift weights in the players’ gym and listen to the radio broadcast instead.
If he ever does come up take a look, he only watches from the stadium’s aisles and paces like a cheetah in a maze with no exit.
Now let’s get to the scene I wanted to tell you about…
The season has just finished. And despite an incredible comeback from a horrible start, the Oakland A’s don’t win the championship.
But along the way, they made baseball history by winning 20 games in a row at one point, vindicating the huge bet Billy placed on a new strategy that prioritized statistical data analysis over old-school scouting techniques that had existed for decades.
Just to give you an example, baseball scouts used to favor prospects who were good-looking, saying that so-and-so had “The Face,” and if that player also had a good-looking girlfriend they would literally rank the player higher on their list because it “indicated confidence.”
This type of claptrap logic was used as a legitimate data point in baseball for decades.
Even though the A’s team did not win it all, their over-achievement not only saved Billy Beane’s career, but it created a revolution in all sports that continues to this day.
None of that mattered to Billy. Anything short of winning it all was a failure in his mind.
Now we cut to the scene where a miserable Billy is commiserating over the end of the season in his office while his assistant, Peter Brand (the character played by Jonah Hill) is trying to cheer him up.
“Look at this place,” Billy says. “What a dump. I so wanted to win here.” Peter says, “I think you’ve already won, Billy.” “No, Pete, we lost.” “You haven’t given yourself time to get over it, it’s only been three days.” “I don’t get over these things,” Billy says.
All of a sudden, Peter has an idea …
He grabs a VCR tape and slides it into the player.
“I want you to see this,” he says.
The video is of poor quality, as if it was taken by a hand held camcorder.
On the screen is Jeremy Brown, the doughboy catcher I mentioned earlier.
“Who’s this?” Billy asks.
Peter tells him that’s Jeremy Brown, the 240-pound catcher who plays for their minor league team, the Visalia Oaks.
“Jeremy’s biggest fear is running to second base,” Peter explains. It’s his worst nightmare because he’s afraid that he’s such a butterball he won’t even be able to make it there.
And then something remarkable happens …
Jeremy’s worst fear materializes ….
He ropes a pitch into centerfield that’s surely going to be a double …
So he starts chugging his fat ass to first base with everything he’s got.
Billy Beane watches this on the screen with rapt attention.
“Go pal,” he says quietly under his breath. “Please tell me he’s safe at second.”
Just as Jeremy approaches first, Peter hits the pause button.
“And now he’s gonna do something he never does. He’s gonna round first base. He’s gonna take the turn.”
Peter then resumes by hitting “play” on the remote …
… and we see poor Jeremy round first base …
… and then fall ass over teakettle straight into the dirt.
His worst humiliation has come true.
This is exactly what he’s always been afraid of. It’s all he can do to get himself back to first base.
He’s reduced to desperately crawling back to first like a shipwrecked sailor reaching for a life raft.
Jeremy finally reaches first base safely on his belly to await his next humiliation.
Sure enough, the opposing players are laughing.
And not just the opposing players …
Everyone is laughing at Jeremy.
Jeremy looks around the field. Then looks at his own dugout.
We can’t see what he sees, but he’s clearly confused.
And now Jeremy finds out why everyone is laughing …
It’s because the ball he hit cleared the outfield fence by 60 feet!
He’d hit a home run and didn’t know it.
He had to be informed of this fact by the other team’s first baseman and his own coach. This is the exact moment he learns what happened:
Billy Beane stares at the TV in his office, soaking the scene in.
He takes the remote and backs it up a little so he can see Jeremy’s face again.
He looks hard, and then hits “play” again.
The tape moves forward …
On the field, Jeremy’s face explodes into a smile. He’s been told he just won the game with a 9th inning home run.
He slaps hands with the first base coach and begins his trot around the bases.
“How can anybody not be romantic about baseball?” Billy sighs after watching this one at-bat unfold on the grainy TV screen.
Okay, so obviously I love this story for one obvious human reason: It just feels good.
How could you NOT be happy for Jeremy in that moment, right?
So what does this have to do with sending emails to your list?
And what’s the big mistake I see so many make?
It’s has to do with the fact that I have heard dozens of reasons people why don’t email their lists more often … (or, not at all, sigh.)
And so many of them have to do with …
Fear of falling on your ass in front of everyone. Fear of trying to stretch a single into a double.
Fear of saying the wrong thing to your audience.
Fear of not getting the call-to-action right.
Fear of annoying your subscribers.
Fear you’re emailing too often.
Fear of having not emailed often enough.
Fear that no one cares.
Fear that that you’re sending the wrong kind of sequence.
Look, this might sound too optimistic but I mean it, absolutely:
None of those things are worth worrying about if you simply keep emailing and keep swinging the bat.
If you have an email list, you have already hit a home run.
Seriously! I mean that.
Stop worrying about singles, doubles, triples and home runs.
Stop worrying about how you come across and whether you you will trip on your way to second base.
Just be helpful, be yourself, and put an offer in front of them.
But of course there IS a way to send emails that maximizes your chances of success.
In fact, there’s a very specific process I teach that will give you an immediate revenue haul if you would only write and send it.
It will even work if you haven’t emailed your list in a while.
It’s a simple, must-have sequence that anyone with a list and a product to sell can rinse and repeat for steady profits over and over.
Very soon I’ll be opening the doors to a training that will show you two things:
(1) how to write and send a special sequence of emails to your list to create an instant cash payday for yourself.
(2) how to create an ongoing sequence of emails that will educate, delight and — most importantly — generate steady and consistent sales on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Interested in learning how to do this for your own business … or for the clients you write for?
Then click here to get on the waitlist for early bird notification.
Till next time,