The Boron Letters

book: The Boron Letters
author: Gary C. Halbert, Bond Halbert

general overview

The Boron Letters is a series of letters written in the 1980s by world-renowned copywriter Gary Halbert to his son Bond Halbert. Gary sent the letters while serving a sentence in federal prison.

the purpose of the letters were for Gary to communicate important things he had learned in his life thus far to his son Bond. Gary spoke at length about selling by mail, getting and staying healthy, relationships with people and life in general.

my notes, let’s jump into it:

chapter 1

  • improve and maintain health and physical fitness
    • Gary refers to his daily physical activities as “road work”
  • positive addiction is good. a positive addiction is simply being addicted to something that improves the quality of your life.
  • how you feel affects how you think
  • try things at least twice
    • the second attempt at anything hard will be much easier
    • “show up tomorrow to give it one more shot”

chapter 2

  • reiterates the importance of “road work” as being the number one most valuable habit you can cultivate.
    • it will: drain off a lot of tension and anxiety, help clear your mind and enable you to think better
  • no need to tell other people what you are doing
    • most won’t understand it
  • must learn to deal with unnecessary grief from other people
  • “nothing is impossible for a man who refuses to listen to reason”
  • most people in the world are nay-sayers
    • most people fail to even try

chapter 3

  • develop a tough independent attitude
    • don’t give yourself an excuse for failure
  • avoid people with a “can’t do” attitude
  • “going over and over plans is a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page”
    • review goals daily, not just once a year

chapter 4

  • defensive behavior invites aggressive action
  • “rely on your own strength instead of somebody else’s compassion”
  • avoid fights without losing your dignity
  • carry yourself with confidence – not arrogance – in everything you do and people will respond in a good way

chapter 5

  • in regards to moneymaking, attitude is the most importance thing of all
  • become a student of markets
    • study what people buy and not what they claim to prefer

chapter 6

  • having something to up sell customers is a great way to quick revenue

chapter 7

  • a list of buyers will outperform any list of non-buyers

chapter 8

  • self-discipline is an extremely important trait
    • don’t halt your forward progress if you are feeling tired or irritable in any way
  • “most of the world’s work is done by people who didn’t feel much like getting out of bed”
  • we often try to convince others and ourselves that we are something we  are not – in other words, something we “should” be.

chapter 9

  • ideas breed other ideas

chapter 10

  • if you’re stuck or jammed up, just keep moving on. don’t sit around waiting for something to happen on its own because it won’t.

chapter 12

  • as a business owner you should ask yourself how you can make it so that ordering from you/your business is even easier

chapter 13

  • keep two task lists. the first list is for every important thing you should do while at your best. the second list is for all the important tasks which can be done equally well regardless of mood.

chapter 16

  • get the reader interested in your story by telling your story with the problem your solution solves. the example Bond uses in his notes from the book:

“My teenage kids were acting out and it felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to be a good parent. Then I discovered a 40-page book which changed everything.

This book shows you how to benefit, benefit, benefit.”

chapter 17

  • the importance of “word pictures” which will help your reader experience the benefits of owning the thing that you’re selling.

chapter 19

  • “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”