ASA 53 | Bad Business Karma


Although there’s good karma, the word “karma” itself is mostly associated with something bad. In business, setting up the rules accordingly, along with accountability, are integral factors in avoiding bad karma. In this episode, learn all about the Laws of Karma and how you can apply them in joint ventures and your partners. Alex Mandossian shares his tips on how to play the game of business and life that revolves around your perception and understanding of the rules involved. Know the basics of JV marketing through Alex and his partner’s real-life experiences and how they turned things around by playing to win.

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Avoid Bad Business Karma

In this episode, you’ll learn three key insights that I believe are critical to making you a highly skilled ethical influencer. The keyword being ethical. You’ll discover in this episode how to apply the Four Laws of Karma with your JV partners. You’ll also learn how to play any game in life or business and there are only four ways to play.

Finally, you’ll learn how to find proven JV partners to support whatever movement or marketing campaign you are in. Lean in and read carefully because this episode could have a significant impact on how you can win the hearts of others with total and absolute certainty.

That’s what you want and that’s what others want. If English is your second language, I hope you’ll read this and all the other episodes three times because nothing will empower the fluency to any new language more than learning the art and science of ethical influence.

The century is the 18th century and there’s a small village with 200 winemakers. They’re called vintners in the winemaking business. Back in those days, people would be living in a village and in the center of the village or the village square, would be the church where people would gather during the weekends.

One particular weekend, the mayor of the city decided to plan a feast. The feast was going to be earmarked with wine because they had some of the most skilled winemakers in the world or at least they thought they did. The mayor’s idea was great. He made an announcement to all the vintners. He said, “We know that you make the best wine in Italy, possibly in the world and here’s what I want to do next week. I’d like all of you to bring your best glass of wine to me and I will put it in this barrel.”

He had an empty wine barrel. We’ll then have a feast of 200 glasses of the best wine ever made. That was the plan. The winemakers went back to their homes and one of the spouses of the winemakers walked up to him and she said, “We work hard in making our wines. We don’t make a lot of it. If there is bad weather or we have a bad season, it oftentimes wipes us out for the next season. Who’s going to notice if we bring 1 part water to 199 parts wine, no one will notice?”

Her husband shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess there won’t be any harm done.” There was a feast and all the people had brought glasses with them. The mayor dipped his glass into the barrel and pulled out 100% water. Not just 1 part to 199 parts, but water because everyone had the same idea that one winemaker and his spouse had.

What is the moral of this story? If there’s a crack in the dam, if there’s one karmic crack in any kind of joint venture that you’re doing, which this was. This was a joint venture and it was valuable, even though it was a glass. They made several hundred cases, each one of them. The fact that one person thought of it, all of them did and they didn’t have wine for the feast. They had water.

Many times, when you’re looking for joint venture partners, you could recall this story of village wine. I’ve experienced it over the years when everyone says they’re going to mail their list or they’re going to promote your program, but they don’t. Few often do and it’s not a matter of keeping their word. Many times, they have a lot of stuff to do on their own. They’re running their campaigns.

[bctt tweet=”Life and business are just games, and the JV partnership is another type of game.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

The Four Laws of Karma

When you think that you’re going to get 100% support, many times, you get little support. I want to introduce you to the Four Laws of Karma. We talked about karmic marketing in one of the other episodes, but the Four Laws of Karma are the Law of Expansion, the Law of Likeness, the Law of Cause, and the Law of Effect. The Law of Expansion is anything small always expands to become big. Think of an acorn turning into a giant oak. Think of a watermelon turning into a watermelon or an apple seed turning into an apple.

How about a being that looks like a tadpole and is swimming and fertilizes an egg and becomes a human being? Everything big was once small. That’s the Law of Expansion. If you’re starting any JV campaign, if it’s small, it will get big as it becomes successful because success has 1,000 parents and failure usually has none.

In the Law of Likeness, that’s where like creates like. You can’t have an apple seed turn into a pear tree. You can’t have a watermelon seed turn into a human being. Many times, I know people that go after JV partners because they have a big email list, they have a huge Facebook following or maybe a YouTuber has lots of subscriptions. We call them subs, but there’s nothing that has them like you. Meaning, their audience is not ideal for your audience even though they have a big list.

Remember the Law of Likeness when it comes to the Laws of Karma when you’re looking for great JV partners. The Law of Cause is that every effect has a cause. That means if you have a bad JV launch or if you have a few partners, the effect is they’re not getting the results you want. There’s a cause for that. You may not know what the specific causes, the seeds or roots to that cause, but there is a cause. It didn’t happen out of thin air.

There was a cause to it and it’s good to evaluate it and gather intelligence and find out what happened. I know many JV campaigns that have failed over the years because the cause turned into an effect that didn’t work. The Law of Effect may sound like the Law of Cause, but every effect has a cause and every cause has an effect.

Every cause turns into something. If you’re having a JV launch, if you are looking for JV partners, that’s going to have some an effect, according to the Law of Effect and you don’t know what kind of effect it’s going to have, but it will have an effect. It may be where you lose money. It may be where you make money.

Playing The Game

It may be where you no longer have a relationship because you had unmet expectations or misguided intentions, whatever it may be. The story of village wine applies to JV partners not aligning with the karmic laws. That reminds me of a question I always ask my students and my clients as well.

I have $30,000 clients and $100,000 clients, and I have students who pay less than $5,000 for training and courses. The first question I like to ask them is, “What game are you playing?” Because you see, life and business are just games. The JV partnership game is another type of game.

The first question is, “What game am I playing now?” The JV game is different than the recurring revenue game. The recurring revenue game is different than the funnel marketing game. They may be similar, but they’re different games and they have different rules, which is the second question, “What are the rules to this game?”

ASA 53 | Bad Business Karma


You can’t play backgammon with the rules of chess and you can’t play chess with the rules of Othello. What rules are involved in this game? That’s a very important question to ask. The next question is, what are the boundaries of the game? If you notice, every game has different boundaries, whether it’s badminton, basketball, hockey, or baseball.

Every game has its boundaries and the boundaries differ according to the game. Chess and backgammon have different boundaries because they have different rules. They’re different games. Finally, the fourth question of the ways to play is, how are you playing? That brings me to the four ways you can play a game.

The first way is to refuse to play. Maybe your JV partners refuse to play the game. It’s a good idea to know that in advance when you get a no except it because it’s decisive. The second way to play is to pretend to play. In pretending to play, they’re pretending like they’re supporting you, but for whatever reason, they don’t. That can be disappointing. I’ve seen friendships erode as a result of that.

The third way to play is playing not to lose. In playing not to lose, many times, it is transactional. You don’t want to lose the game, so you’re playing defense all of the time. You may not be going all-in with your promotions or a partner may not be going all-in because they don’t want to suppress the response rate of their list for their campaigns.

The fourth way is the only way to play and that way is playing to win. When you play to win, you’re all in. It’s like poker when all the chips come into the middle of the table and you win everything or you lose everything. It’s decisive. How do you find the right JV partners?

How do you find proven JV partners to support your movement, while you find JV partners who have demonstrated that they know the game they’re playing, they know the rules, they know the boundaries, and they are playing to win? Here’s the way I do it. Rather than guessing and rather than wondering if this JV partnership is going to work, I end up supporting other people as a JV partner to them.

While doing that, many times, if it’s a traditional Product Launch Formula or if it’s a launch that has a competition, which is a way to motivate and inspire joint venture partners to mail their list to promote even by Facebook traffic or Google traffic, if you are part of a launch and it’s in your niche, then what happens is you’ll typically see who are the top 10 or 20 people, these are JVs who got the most email opt-ins.

You’ll also see the top people who got sales when the cart closes. If this is in your niche, then all you got to do is reach out to the people who have already done well. Many times, they’ll ask for you to reciprocate and sometimes they won’t mind not reciprocating if you don’t reciprocate.

That’s the way to find the good JV partners are those who have demonstrated themselves, who know the game they’re playing, know the rules and the boundaries, and know how to play to win. The only way that playing to win as relevant is if you’re playing a winnable game.

[bctt tweet=”When you play to win, you’re all in. It’s like poker – you win everything or you lose everything; it’s very decisive.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

Winnable means that if a joint venture partner wants to have you reciprocate, then if you don’t have a list as big as theirs, or you don’t have the relationship capital that they do, it’s lopsided and that’s not a winnable game from them. It’s a winnable game for you.

That’s win-lose. You’re playing not to lose in that game. You’re hiding or maybe you’re pretending to play. You’re certainly not refusing to play. If it’s a winnable game and maybe they have more relationship capital than you do, but how can you do it?

You can pay them a higher commission when they are promoting you because you acknowledge that they have more reach or more exposure or more visibility than you do. I know I did that in the early days of internet marketing. Many times, I did all of the work and we did 50/50 Many times. I would do an 80/20 in percentage scenario where they got 80% and I got 20%.

I remember with my TeleSeminar Secrets course with my JV partners. I’d have a TeleSeminar that was about 3 hours. This is going back to 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and even 2010 over $14.5 million made from TeleSeminar Secrets, both intuitions and consulting fees. Not to mention all the speaking gigs I got. What would happen is I would payout of a $20 TeleSeminar that was content-rich and sold the course for $2,500.

I would pay the JV partner $18 out of the $20, even if they didn’t get any sales, they won and that was a winnable game. If you play a winnable game, there are only two results you can get. They are you win and you learn. Between the two, winning and learning, I learn a lot more than I win.

The Alexism in this episode is one that is one of my favorites. Most people don’t understand the nuance of it, but “The most important rule in any game is to play by the rules.” If you change the rules or if someone changes the rules in the game, then it’s difficult to play by the rules if you didn’t know that they’re changing.

Handling Agreements

Remember, when you’re looking at the future outcome, but there are only three ways to handle an agreement, and a joint venture partnership or a strategic alliance is an agreement. The first way is to keep your agreement. The second way is to renegotiate your agreement. That can be with timing, that could be with payment, and money, but you renegotiate it before the deadline.

The third way is to unmake that agreement. If you had a long-term agreement and you found that it’s not a win-win, then you can unmake it and hopefully, it’s before the next deadline. Three ways that you can get a future outcome and have predictability and certainty with a JV partner, whether it works out or not handle agreements in three ways.

Personal Experience

I’ll give you some examples of how I have experienced the Four Laws of Karma and the village wine story and playing this game of JV marketing didn’t work. Back in the days of the early internet marketing events, there was an event that I was part of over eight times. My good friend and business partner, Armand Morin was the host of that event. I was the chief marketing officer, even though I wasn’t hired, but I was one of the speakers.

ASA 53 | Bad Business Karma


It was a multi-speaker event. It was one of the first events in internet marketing. Also, he would feed people for lunch and dinner, which people love because that wasn’t the case back in the day. This is 2003 that I’m talking and it went for many years. I remember when Armand asked me, “Would you want to do a teleseminar to get some pre-training into the minds of people who are thinking about attending?”

That way we can get some more people to attend. It was a great strategy and in fact, that is what espoused and launched TeleSeminar Secrets. I thought everyone knew how to do it. I happen to know how to do it because I did it with other people. I agreed and he said, “I’ll get all the speakers to be on and we’ll all promote our list. I’ll pay affiliate commissions to whoever gets new registrants.”

We thought, “That’s great.” What happened, like the village wine, I remember our first TeleSeminar before the first big seminar. There was no one there other than Armand and me. There was no one even listening because I don’t even recall if we mailed our list. We played the village wine gain as well. We were busy preparing and we were going to have some other TeleSeminars in the future.

There was no one there except Armand and me. We went ahead and provided content because we recorded it and then we sent it out to our list. We did get a few registrants. If you get everyone involved and there’s no sense of accountability, many times, village wine and that whole concept will fall into place because of a lack of accountability and a lack of agreement. No one shows up if you invite everyone.

The next event I can remember is a virtual seminar week and who was one of the first virtual seminars I did. I did it with one of my partners, Rick Raddatz. Rick, Armand and I were all partners in Audio Generator, which was the first software as a service to bring audio to the internet and an instant video generator. Before YouTube was even around, we were putting video online.

We decided to use those technologies. We had a virtual seminar week. It was a summit with 42 people. I interviewed everyone. That was my role. I would promote and Rick provided the software, which ended up becoming instant TeleSeminar, which is very successful. I’m one of the top affiliates for him.

Many of the people and many of the speakers did not promote because they were expecting the other people to promote. I didn’t set up those accountabilities and the rules of the game with enough boundaries and firmness without consequences. Many people got sales and we split on a 50/50 basis for that one. It was based on the promotion of my list and a few other lists.

The biggest list of all was my good friend, Dr. Joseph Mercola. You may know him at He was also one of the guests. After the launch, I promised Joe that I would take out all of the opt-ins who did not buy because he didn’t want me to be promoting to them and that was the agreement we had. The clear game, clear boundaries and playing to win.

I could think of many product launches when this has happened. When people promise to email their list or promote and it didn’t happen. It’s usually because everyone doesn’t know the game we’re playing. They don’t know the rules and they don’t know the boundaries or the consequences. Certainly, how they’re playing is not playing to win. They’re pretending to play. If this happens to you, I want you to know, you are not alone, but it happens and it’s always better to prepare to win versus to want to win.

[bctt tweet=”The most important rule in any game is to play by the rules.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

Here’s a review about the insights you and I both discovered in this episode. I want you to apply them in your next business dealing, in your next strategic alliance or joint venture partnership, whatever it may be. The first was how to apply the Four Laws of Karma with your JV partners. Remember the Law of Expansion, the Law of Likeness, the Law of Cause, and the Law of Effect.

You also learned the four ways to play any game of life and business and your future outcomes always are proven by your past agreements. Remember, keep an agreement, renegotiated or unmake an agreement.

Finally, you learned how to find proven joint venture partners to support your next campaign or next marketing movement that you have by contributing and by participating. Engaging and enrolling yourself and other joint ventures so that you can see who the players are, who demonstrate themselves as knowing the game, playing it well with the boundaries set forth and playing to win.

These insights will only work for you if you work them. Please make sure you execute what you’ve learned in this episode. If you do, I believe your future will be bigger, it’ll be brighter and most importantly, it will be created on your terms. If you’ve already given me a review on iTunes, then simply put your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment that you got from this episode on an index card and then hold onto it. I asked you to do that week after week.

If you haven’t given me a review, please go to and instead of writing a review about this show, please focus on this episode or another episode, if you liked another one better and write your specific a-ha or take away as part of the reviews. iTunes doesn’t ask you for that. It says the review, but that’s what I want because specifics are powerful for new people who are about to come in.

It entices them to come in like in sales. The more specific you are, the better. If you have not given me a review, go to iTunes. It will bring me up in the rankings. What that does because after all, this is 25 years of sales and marketing know-how put into 25 minutes every single week. It’s a public service but it will allow more people to see it and I hope that those who don’t like to sell will read it week after week as I know thousands do.

It’ll mean a lot to me and when it comes time to rating it, I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. Will you do that for me? It’ll take 3 minutes out of your day, but what you declare could provide you and others reading your review, a valuable learning lesson.

I do have a final gift to give you the honor of this episode. It’s complimentary access to my four-part video training course that will teach you how to identify your market, create an irresistible message and capitalize on the most lucrative media sources available to you. You can sidestep the $197 tuition, as I mentioned before is

If you’re looking for Clear Path mentoring, that’s what we call it because we provide a clear path. You may be eligible for that, but there was a process and eligibility that you need to go through.

ASA 53 | Bad Business Karma


I do hope our paths cross again. This is the show dedicated to making an ethical influence in your reach, within your reach and bring you more certainty in your life. Does that sound like a fair trade? Please do whatever to join me next time because our topic is going to be starting your business legacy.

Have you thought about that? If you’re going to get a business started, which is hard for many, virtually. Remember, everything big first start small. It could start in a garage-like Steve Jobs. It can start in an office like Bill Gates. It can start on an airplane runway like Sir Richard Branson. If you’re going to start a business, you might as well think about starting your legacy in that business because it’ll give you a bigger why.

As Jim Rohn used to say, “The bigger the why, the easier the how.” I encourage you to invite a friend and maybe bring a study buddy next time. Invite him as well in this episode. If you like this episode, bring them so they can read it because it’s much more fun to study with someone and learn what someone else. I can’t wait to connect with you. It’ll be super fun. I want you to join us with your study buddy.

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