The Affiliate Thermostat

December 17, 2008 Posted by Paul Piotrowski

This is a guest post written by Paul Piotrowski over at and who runs two Blogs that focus on teaching people how to make money doing what they love and beginner affiliate marketing techniques.

Have you ever wondered what separates an affiliate who generates $50,000/month in revenues and one who only generates $50/month in revenues?

Although I am still very much working towards the $50,000/month level in affiliate marketing myself, I’ve run several businesses over the last 13 years which have easily done between $50,000 – $100,000/month in revenues so I have a deeper understanding of what’s required to be able to achieve those kinds of levels of revenues than most affiliates just starting out.

The biggest factor that I’ve seen in business that will influence what kinds of revenues you’ll be able to generate as an affiliate is what I call the "Affiliate Thermostat".  All affiliates have one, but most of us are largely unaware of it.

The Affiliate Thermostat

What is an Affiliate Thermostat?

Well, basically when it comes to earning money or generating revenues we all have these built in "thermostats" in our brains which affect our thinking and our actions subconsciously.  Remember, subconsciously means that it happens without your conscious awareness of it.  The thermostat turns on and off without your conscious knowledge of it.  An "Affiliate Thermostat" is a mechanism which throttles your behavior to create a match between your current earnings beliefs and your current actual earnings.

For example, an affiliate marketer who has their Affiliate Thermostat set at $2,000/month in revenues will behave and think totally different from an affiliate who has their thermostat set at $50,000/month.  The $2,000/month affiliate is comfortable with generating that $2,000/month in revenues.  They may have a desire to do more, but their brain feels comfortable with the $2,000/month level so they will subconsciously arrange their behavior to only do around $2,000/month in revenues.

Let me give you some examples of how this works.  When I started getting into Affiliate Marketing full force just a few months ago, the first thing I did before anything else is I called a lawyer and got a company incorporated and setup to handle my affilaite revenues.  Then I went to see my banker and I opened up a bank account to do my business through.  Then, when I signed up with the Affiliate Networks, I set everything up under that corporation.  When I did this, my revenues in affiliate marketing were exactly $0.00/month.

Why would I incorporate a company, which costs more than $1,000 in legal fees and a lot of hassle, if I’m not even making any money yet in affiliate marketing?  Wouldn’t it be smarter to first try it out and make my first $1,000 in profit and THEN go and incorporate?  Nope.  See, my thermostat is set to do $50,000-$100,000/month in revenues.  I truly believe I can reach those levels in less than a year.  So if I truly believe that, why wouldn’t I go and incorporate a company?  The tax benefits of doing that are tremendous, not to mention the liability protection of running a corporation vs. a sole propriotorship.

Most people wouldn’t do this, because their thinking is too small.  Most people think that they will start thinking and behaving like a $50,000/month affiliate WHEN they start making $50,000/month.  That’s backwards thinking.  You need to start thinking and behaving like a $50,000/month affiliate FIRST, and only THEN you will make the $50,000/month, not the other way around.

Now, the "Affiliate Thermostat" is not just about getting a company incorporated.  That’s just a single example, but it goes far beyond that.  I know affiliates who sign up with affiliate networks and then they don’t answer their phones when the networks call to approve their applications.  They say something like "Oh, I don’t like talking to people on the phone.  Can’t they just email me?" Are you kidding me?  You want to make $50,000/month in revenues but you’re afraid to answer the phone?

The reason this happens is because most new affiliates don’t really believe that they will be able to ever make that kind of money.  If subconsciously my brain thought that AT MOST I’m going to make $10/month with affiliate marketing, I wouldn’t answer the phone either.  I’d be too lazy to do it.

The "Affiliate Thermostat" works like this:  Right now, buried deep within your subconscious mind is a number.  A monthly earnings number such as $10, or $100, or $2,000 or $50,000 or whatever it is for you.  That number is there, in your mind, forming a belief system of how much you truly believe you can and deserve to make per month.  Everyone has a number.  I have a number, you have a number, everyone has a number.  You may not be aware of what it is, but we all have one.

That number is what your "Affiliate Thermostat" is set to.  So, if your "Affiliate Thermostat" is set to $2,000/month for example, you will wake up every morning and check your stats, and if you’re on track to make that $2,000/month in revenues, you’ll be happy.  If all of a sudden a couple of your campaigns begin to crap out on you, and the $60-$70 average/day in revenues you need drops to $0, your Thermostat will turn on the heaters and start a fire under your ass to get some new campaigns going or you won’t reach that $2,000/month in revenue.

When that "Affiliate Thermostat" kicks in and lights that fire, all of a sudden all the distractions in your life fall to the wayside and you get focused.  Your wife wants you to put up the Christmas lights?  Sorry, it’ll have to wait until you get your campaigns back on track.  The phone rings?  Take a message.  You’re focused, because there is a fire under your ass and it doesn’t feel very comfortable.

However, as soon as you reach that $60-$70 in revenues per day or ~$500/week, your Thermostat falls into your comfort zone range and the heaters turn off.  Now you’re toasty and comfortable.  Now you run off to call that person back who’s been waiting for your call, you run out to put the Christmas lights on, and get "busy" with a bunch of other distractions because you’re comfortable now.

Now, lets say that you decide to focus and you get your campaigns really rocking and your revenues start to jump up to $100-$200/day for a few days.  All of a sudden, you’re on track to making $3,000 – $6,000/month which is way above what your "Affiliate Thermostat" is set to.  Guess what happens?  You start to subconsciously self-sabatage yourself to bring things down within your comfort range.  The "Affiliate Thermostat" is impartial.  It doesn’t care what level you set it at, but it does care if you go outside of it’s comfort range.  You’re on track to making $6,000 for example, and all of a sudden you begin to sabotage yourself.

You start to come up with lame excuses as to why you need to cut some of your campaigns.  For example you start thinking "Wait!  If I’m doing $200/day in revenues, that means my credit card is going to be full with PPC charges in a matter of days, not weeks and I won’t be able to make a payment until the 15th of next month, so I can’t allow that to happen.  I better cut out some of my least profitable campaigns to make sure I don’t get charged too much on my credit card!"  What a lame excuse!

Having managed employees for many years, I have seen some amazing things that their Thermostats have been able to create.  Each employee had a Thermostat set at a different level.  The guy who’s comfortable at making $10k/month always makes $10k/month.  As soon as his numbers begin to go above that, amazing things happen.  People get sick, people injure themselves, people lose customers, people make mistakes, it’s crazy.  It’s like an invisible force descends upon them and they can’t get past their limitations.  I’ve seen it dozens and dozens of times, and I *know* I am as guilty of it as anyone else.

The good news is that the "Affiliate Thermostat" that you have in your brain is resettable.  You can set it to whatever level you desire.  After all, you were the one who set it in the first place, you just probably weren’t conscious of it.  Here are a few tips you can use to re-set your "Affiliate Thermostat" to whatever level you want:

  1. Visualization – One of the most powerful tools that your Thermostat responds to is visualization.  The reason for this is that the Thermostat is part of your subconscious mind, not your conscious mind.  Your conscious mind thinks logically, but your subconscious mind does not.  Your subconscious mind works in images and emotions, not logic.  So, one way to re-setting your thermostat is to actually visualize making a higher amount per month.  If you vividly imagine making that much, your subconscious mind won’t actually know the difference between something you imagine and something that really happened.  So if in your imagination you start making $10,000/month in revenues over and over again, pretty soon your subconscious gets used to that number and you reset your Affiliate Thermostat to that number.
  2. Vision Boards – In addition to visualization, another powerful tool you can use is a vision board.  For example, you can login to your affiliate network accounts and take a screen shot of the main earnings page which shows how much you’ve made so far this month.  Then use a photo-editing software to edit the numbers to show a higher figure.  For example, you can login to your affiliat account and photo-edit the income for the month to show $10,388.99 or whatever number you like.  Then post it somewhere in your field of view so that you can see it all the time.  Do this for all of your accounts, and pretty soon your subconscious mind will expect to see that number in your accounts.
  3. Affirmations – Another great tool you can use to re-program your Thermostat is affirmations.  For example, if you want to set your Thermostat to $10k/month in revenues, you would write an affirmation that may go like this: "I am now making more than $10,000/month in revenues in my affiliate marketing business."  I typically repeat an affirmation 20-100 times before going to bed at night or when I’m driving alone in my car.  I try to do it daily for at least 2-3 weeks in a row until the subconcious mind really gets the picture.
  4. Get Around Successful People – Another great way to increase your Thermostat is to get around other affililiates who are already making that kind of money.  Hanging around affilaites who make $50,000/month is a great way to re-set your Thermostat.  You can ask them questions and share your concerns about how they overcome some of the challenges that you have.  If you ask an affiliate who does $50k/month in revenues "How do you manage your cashflow?" for example, and they give you an answer to that which makes sense to you, you may have just automatically increased your Thermostat without even realizing it.
  5. Have Goals – Set goals for yourself.  If you’re just starting out, maybe your first goal should be to make your first $100 in revenues.  Once you reach that goal, reset it to the next level.  Maybe now you want to set a goal for $1000 in revenues in one month.  Once you reach that, increase it again until you reach the levels you truly want.
  6. Reward Your Accomplishments – Once you hit a goal that you’ve set, remember to take some time out to celebrate and reward yourself for your accomplishments.  Whatever gets rewarded, gets repeated.  If you hit a goal and just immediately jump ahead towards the next goal without taking the time to reward yourself, you’ll eventually start to self-sabatage yourself.  When you do that to yourself, it’s the equivelant of having a parent that is never satisfied with anything you do, because as soon as you meet their expectations they raise them again on you.  Eventually you will rebel against yourself.  You must reward yourself.  It doesn’t have to be anything major either.  Tyler Cruz has done everything from baking himself some cookies to buying himself a new bed to reward himself for reaching certain RSS goals.  Get creative.

I hope this helps you guys to increase your revenues, and to break through some of the self-imposed limitations we all have in this game.  Just don’t set your "Affiliate Thermostats" too high, because I want to be able to compete in the competitions as well. 🙂

Best of luck guys, and Happy Holidays!


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Posted: December 17th, 2008 under Guest Posts  

37 Responses to “The Affiliate Thermostat”

  1. Your Mom's Favorite Blogger says:

    Yet another EPIC post Paul. Well done, sir.

  2. Evander says:

    Truly great post. Right on the spot, thinking about it now I have mine set way to low.
    Everything you wrote makes perfect sense for a reason I am being held back.

  3. says:

    But isn’t incorporation is a waste of funds for affiliates who have just started?

    • Like I said. I want my thermostat set to $50k/month, so I have to think and behave as if that’s going to happen BEFORE it happens.

      If you knew FOR SURE, 100% that you will make $600,000 in revenue in the next 12 months, would you incorporate? Of course you would. It would be silly not to.

      So, if you don’t incorporate, what are you telling yourself? You’re telling yourself that you probably won’t make $600,000 in revenue in the next 12 months, right?

      Like I said, the incorporation thing is just an example. It will be different depending on what you want your thermostat to be set to. If you want your Thermostat set to $50/month for now, then yeah I wouldn’t bother incorporating.

      Go take a look through the archives and check out Tyler’s average monthly income before and after he incorporated his company. You can totally see that his Thermostat went up in his head at some point and incorporating was a no-brainer. It all starts in the mind first though.

  4. MLDina says:

    You make one of the best arguments out there. THINK BIG! If you doubt yourself, you’ll never reach your goals- no matter how high or low. This is a great post, I hope new affiliates and those at the $50k mark take something from it.

  5. Vincent says:

    Hi Paul,

    This is a great post. The level of acceptance that we set for ourselves will determine our reality. This is to say, what we set for ourselves in our brain is our reality. Thank you for this wonderful information.

    Personal Development Blogger

  6. SEO blog says:

    Great concept there. If all of us have it in our brains, then it’s like a constant motivator.

  7. BusinessX says:

    I appreciate Paul giving us the how to change our thermostat. In my case it is most needed and will get started tonight.

  8. WoW says:

    Amazing post.You are who you want to be.

  9. Great post that translates into a lot more than just making money online.

  10. While Boston is about to get hit with up to 12 inches of snow tommorow. I’ll still try to help my affiliates to crank up there “Affiliate Thermostat” for Great post

  11. I KNEW it wasn’t a bad idea for me to incorporate. And just so you know , in some US States you can do it quite cheaply ($150 in mine). That’s a really good idea , and every affiliate should have one anyway.

    Great post Paul , you’re right on the money. It’s like that old saying “Shoot for the stars, because you’ll at least hit the moon”. That’s why I figured that I would set the thermostat as high as possible (A Billion Dollar net worth) and then work towards it.

    Sure my income isn’t there, but I’ve been working on this for 3 weeks, and my outlook is infinitely better.

  12. uGuX SEO says:

    Excellent post — and likely helpful for many.

    This post is good to get people passionate about affiliate marketing, but emotion and “hype” only gets people so far.

    Knowledge and creativity are definitely at least as important.

  13. LogoNerds says:

    Great post.

    Staying focused and being persistent go hand in hand with everything you just mentioned. To often I see people jumping from idea to idea and not staying focused.

  14. Pheak Tol says:

    basically, go big or go home awesome post!

  15. I agree with this post, you won’t get very far in affiliate marketing or any entrepreneurial endeavor unless you have the enthusiasm and excitement to make it happen.

    Motivation can come from many sources: excitement about the topic you’re writing about, the prospect of making money from it, or an eagerness to learn a lot along the way.

    I think it comes down to setting goals, and coming up with new and creative ideas on how to reach them.

  16. […] there was a great post on TylerCruz’s […]

  17. Man…awesome post. This is so true in every since of the word. thanks for the post and the info. So, helpful. Especially for newbies or people who are trying to make it to a new level to stop putting preset limits on themselves.

  18. Problogineer says:

    wow, nice long post there.
    That will give me boost to my affiliate marketing now..

    Gr8 post, thanks for sharing. 😀

  19. That was a great read. I must say that is the truth to the core. I am going to have to rethink my next project.

  20. You have done a very good article on the thermostat. I read about the personal thermostat about 13 years ago in a book called the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. A very good book if you have not read it.

  21. WayneDog says:

    Excellent post. It’s amazing how when I talk to my friends no working in AM and they hear my monthly revenue it blows their mind yet when I’m talking to other large affiliate buddies it’s accepted as the norm. It really is all about mindset.

    One thing that helped me was using one of my whiteboards and making a bar graph on it for the next 6 months and what amount of revenue I plan to hit each month. As I hit or come close to it at the end of each month I use a different color to mark how close I have come to my goal. I haven’t missed one yet since using it and the goals are set VERY high. If I jump ahead and look to month 6 I might get easily intimidated but if I just finish one month of hitting my goal and see I only need to do 20-30% more to meet the next months goals I think to myslf that’s not hard. That strategy alone has done wonders for my business.

  22. Will says:

    A very timely post. I’ve been pretty happy making what I do in IT consulting. I just raised my goal to $1 million per year. Not sure how I’m going to do that at this point but I’ve figured out a variety of ways to do it by selling affiliate products and my own products, combined with some consulting. I’ve taken a lot of action and have a few sales here and there so far.

    With regards to selling products online, is it simply a matter of trial and error to find the right market and sales technique, or is there something specific that can be done? I always wonder if the ‘gurus’ are doing something that I’m not.

  23. Thanks for all the positive feedback guys. Makes me want to write more guest posts. 🙂

  24. Sorry man…that’s just a load of bull in my opinion. Affiliate thermostat helps nobody when they’re losing their shirt in the affiliate market business because there’s nobody to show how to do it and they’re not clever enough to figure it out for themselves. The only thing you’re going to do by “resetting” your AT to a higher number is lose more of your money if you suck at the whole affiliate business.

    It’s good to give people hope. But telling me they’re going to be millionaires if they just tell themselves they’re going to be is a lot of hippie talk that’s worth absolutely $0

  25. I agree with setting goals, but incorporating immediately? That is unnecessary. You’ll have time to incorporate later. You have other higher priority tasks that need attention first. Ask yourself if a task is high payoff or low payoff and you’ll find that an easy way to prioritize. So at the start of your online venture, was incorporating high payoff or low payoff? Maybe it helped motivate you, but at the time you did it — low payoff.

  26. […] Do you need to bump up your Affiliate Thermostat??? Check this and see. The Affiliate Thermostat […]

  27. Jeff says:

    Wow! Excellent post Paul! All of the things you wrote about are essential to being successful in whatever you do.. Keep up the great posts.

  28. Luke says:

    Great post. I’m logging into my ing savings account now, with intent to photoshop the heck out of it. I’ll be worth millions by the end of the night.

    I also do mantras in my car. Mostly buddhist stuff, but I’ve had a non-buddhist favorite I read in a yoga book, but which is from a French psychologist: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Has a nice rhythm to it.

  29. Tarik says:

    I really needed to read something like this. I’m planning a big venture with a friend, and this is exactly what we need to succeed.

  30. […] For those trying to figure out what separates an affiliate who generates $50,000/month in revenues and one who only generates $50/month in revenues, here check it out. […]

  31. Lon says:

    Wow. Time to set my thermostat to a higher degree.

  32. […] Tyler Cruz- Affiliate Thermometer (one of my fav’s) […]

  33. […] as to what separates you from the high-earning affiliates. Paul explains that we all have an affiliate thermostat, which is a mechanism that influences our behavior to create a match between our current earnings […]


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