What a Way to Live and Make a Living: The Lyman P. Wood Story

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9780964229501: What a Way to Live and Make a Living: The Lyman P. Wood Story

Starting a business? Looking for more satisfaction in life? This biography of mail order genius and visionary Lyman Wood is full of ideas, tips, anecdotes and good advice. Founder of Garden Way, pioneer of socially responsible business practices, mentor to hundreds, Lyman Wood was a unique and fascinating man. This very readable book is generously illustrated with pictures and ads from his 60 year career in mail order advertising.

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From the Back Cover:

How Would You Like To Have...

A business of your own you could start in spare time with very little money, and almost no risk?

A business that could get as big as you want, in time?

A business you could run wherever you wanted to live?

Perhaps a mail order business?

A business that would be good not only for you, but for your customers, your employees, your community and your planet?

If yes, you will love this book Roger Griffith has written about Lyman Wood, the Vermont marketer cited by the Governor for creating $500 million a year of new industry for that state.

It is the fascinating story of how Wood did all of the above and a lot more, and it's loaded with how-to you could use.

Lyman Wood set goals for himself and never forgot them. His goals were simple: He wanted to enjoy life in the country and make money through mail order. He has done both, tells you how he did it, and will make you want to try.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"Lyman began work with the J. Walter Thompson Co. when it was near its peak in the advertising world...He was one of about fifty apprentices who were shuffled around among the many departments in two stories of the agency headquarters in the Graybar Building at Grand Central. For the first three months he was a receptionist in the art department.

(As Lyman tells it) 'The agency subscribed to the Starch Readership Service, a monthly rating of the readership of everybody's ads.I spent hours and hours studying these reports to figure out what made ads work -- headlines, the size of the ad, the position in the paper or the magazine.

'I had a lot of spare time on my hands, so I asked Winnie Best, the librarian, if there was something on research I could read. She gave me the report of a 5,000-sample nationwide survey that won the Bromo Seltzer account for Thompson. That survey must have cost $100,000, even in those days.

'It was supposed to be objective research, but the people at Thompson interpreted the data to show that people bought Bromo Seltzer to cure hangovers. The head of the creative department -- the number one creative man at J. Walter Thompson -- had the market research done only to keep the client sold on what the Thompson copy department wanted to do, push how good the product was for those with hangovers.

'I read the report. I looked at all the figures and saw that they had been misread. Yes, more people use Brom Seltzer for hangovers than anything else. But the people who used it for headaches used it very frequently, much more often than those with hangovers. If they had had as many hangovers as the agency said they bought Bromo Seltzer for, they probably wouldn't last long as customers. The bigger buyers were those with headaches.

'I wrote a memo about this to Thompson's account representative for Bromo Seltzer, a very successful young man. I told him the hangover people weren't the big market for Bromo Seltzer. He read the memo, then said, "Well, very interesting, but let's keep it between us."

'The agency eventually lost the account.'"

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