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111 Key Principles for Success

Principle 99 - Because and the Homeless Guy

There's a famous story about a test that scientists did.

The had people wait on line at a copier to make copies and stooge joined the line and said either:

"Can I jump ahead to make a copy?"

"Can I make a copy because I'm in a rush"

"Can I make a copy because I need to."

63% allowed the person to jump the line with the first request. It turns out that the 94% allowed the stooge to jump the line by using because and giving a reason. But 93% allowed the stooge to skip the line with just the word "because" with no additional reason. It was the magic power of the word "because."

I first read this information in Robert Cialdini's "Influence" and later in Scott Adam's "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big."

One day after going out for drinks with a buddy of mine there was a beggar who had a sign that said: "Please spare some change."  I told the guy to add the word "because" to the sign like "Please spare some change because I'm Hungry."

Flash forward to about 3 months later and I see the same guy by the same $1.00 pizza shop where I originally met him. His sign had the word "because" in it. I asked him how the new sign was doing and he shook my hand, smiled and enthusiastically said it was doing great.

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