The world of business is often perceived as a place for sleazy, manipulative sales tactics, especially online. But that same world is made up of everyday people—just like you and me.

There must be a better way to make a buck.

If you want to be different, and build a business of integrity, there is still a place for you online.

The key, I've discovered, is to continuously build trust—trust that comes from consistent generosity, more than anything else.

As Daniel Pink writes in To Sell is Human,

Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and upserve instead.

The minute you switch into salesman mode, people switch off.

They may put up with sales gimmicks for a while, but ‘tolerance' isn't the emotion you're looking for—to achieve success, you will need raving fans.

When spending time on your business products, it can be tricky to balance generosity while still building the revenue streams you need to stay afloat.

That's where this 3-question product formula comes in.

Question #1: Who am I creating for?

This question is key, and it comes first on purpose.

If you want to create trust, you need to know who you're talking to.

It's tempting to try and create products for anybody, but pleasing everyone is a quick recipe for a lackluster response. Jon Acuff calls this “The Vanilla Trap.”

“Trying to please everyone is a quick recipe for a lackluster response.”

Question #2: What would they like to change or improve?

Everyone has something—it could be family life, business, or emotional and physical health.

Since you know who you're talking to (see question #1), you should have a good idea of what this looks like for them.

This is a question you'll need to ask again and again. You may get different answers each time.

What you learn about your audience will help you hone each product piece so people feel as if it was created just for them.

Question #3: What would help them reach that goal?

This is where your final product comes in. If you start with a need and look to fill that, your product will have a market audience already built-in.

Not only are you more likely to make a sale, but each sale is more than dollars—it's a positive impact you are having on somebody's life.

This applies to much more than paid products. You can use this same formula when creating free content, like a podcast or blog.

“Consistent generosity builds a foundation of unshakable trust.”

Free Exclusive Download: Click here to download the Generous Business Product Formula Card. This is the exact formula I use when I create new blog posts, services, or products.

My audience is made up (mostly) of entrepreneurs with a growing online business.

Quite a few of them already blog, and many use Notable Themes Products. They're typically happy with their site, but want to improve the function or design.

This product helps my audience reach a goal of their own, which fits neatly into the Generous Business Product Formula.

Question: What's one piece of content you could create that follows the Generous Business Product Formula?


John Meese is the author of the #1 bestseller Survive and Thrive: How to Build a Profitable Business in Any Economy (Including This One). An entrepreneur himself, John is on a mission to eradicate generational poverty by equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to build thriving businesses from scratch. He is the CEO of Cowork Inc, co-founder of Notable, and regularly publishes interviews and insight at

2 thoughts on “The 3-Question Product Formula You Will Need To Win At Life

  1. Great questions to ask to know who you are writing for and what to make for them that solves their problems.

    I’ve already recommended your Get Noticed course to a client!

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