Operation MoneySuck 2.0

Tuesday, 2:32pm
Reno, NV
And you may ask yourself, where does that highway go?” (Talking Heads)

Howdy.

Quickie post today…

… on a very important topic.

You hear me nattering about “Operation MoneySuck” all the time.  And some folks are confused about what it means.

So let’s do a refresher.

Here’s the story: Early in my career, I was hired by advertising legend Gary Halbert to help him write ads for clients.  The first day I arrived at his offices on Sunset Blvd (in West Hollywood), we were scheduled to slam out copy and plot “next moves” with some current clients.

However, just as my butt hit the chair across from his desk, two (count ‘em, two) secretaries AND his red-headed girlfriend (notorious for getting her way) burst in with bad news.

Lots of bad news, in fact.  The printer had just broken down, and shit needed to get copied NOW.  Some guy was ranting and raving on Line 2, threatening legal action over something.  The landlord was on the way up in the elevator, because there was a problem with the lease.  The bank was on Line 1, and so on.

These women were shaking with panic and consternation, freaked out by the urgent crisis-level emergencies that…

HAD

… to be dealt with…

NOW!

I sighed, and started to gather my stuff, ready to split until Gary had attended to all of this mayhem.

Instead, he held up his hand… shushed everyone… and gently ushered the secretaries AND his red-headed girlfriend (notorious for getting her way) out the door…Continue Reading

Yes, No.

Tuesday, 7:35pm
Reno, NV
No no, no, no no no noooo no, no, no, no, no no no no!” (The Human Beinz, Nobody But Me, circa 1968)

Howdy…

Well, that was a nice virtual brawl in the comments section, wasn’t it.

We do have a winner, whom I shall reveal in a bit here.

First, though, let’s get straight on the answer to the Quiz question:  What is the “Magic Word” that can work wonders for your productivity?

There were a lot of great answers.  Quite a few answers that totally sucked.  And a bunch of awesome critical thinking on the subject, which of course was the goal of the quiz.  I think Lisa Wagner wins the “Most Creative Answer” category, hands down, with her “strong coffee” response.

Damn hard to argue against strong coffee being an productivity enhancer.  But that wasn’t the correct answer.

Those of you who perused the comment threads already know there were a couple of flurries down the “focus”, “clarity” and “movement” rabbit holes.  These are not bad guesses.

But they miss an important rule of being productive:  How does your theory play out in real life?

I have a personal vendetta against success-oriented theories that are, when put to the test, complete bullshit.  This includesContinue Reading

[Quiz] The Magic Word That Solves Productivity Problems

Thursday, 8:54pm
Reno, NV
I’m worth a million in prizes… yeah, I’m through sleeping on the sidewalk…” (Iggy Pop, Lust For Life)

Howdy…

Let’s do a quiz, what d’ya say?

Winner gets a prize.

Here’s the lead-in to the question: Over the past week, I’ve done a number of sizzling teleseminars with such luminous marketing stars as Rich Schefren, Melanie Benson-Strick, Christina Hills, and Lisa Wagner (with another one hosted by Gary Halbert’s sons coming up in a few days)…

… all focused on the “solve your biggest business problem right freakin’ NOW” attitude that saturates the upcoming Action Seminar we’re hosting.  (San Diego, February 25-26, click here for info.)

To get the ball rolling in these teleseminars, everyone emailed their list and requested folks to send in the BIG problems that keep them up at night.

So, you know, we could fix those problems, right then and there on the call.

Speed Hot Seats, we call it.  You bring the mess, we bring the mojo to make it right (and get you back in the saddle, in the right groove to get you moving toward your goals again).

These teleseminars rocked.  Totally awesome, and I hope you had a chance to hear at least one of them.

It’s always a blast to witness how fast, and how thoroughly the toughest problems you believe are holding you back… can quickly be deconstructed, clarified, de-mystified, and solved (with specific actionable steps that can be taken right away).  No theory.  Just hard-core business savvy, applied to the wound directly.

What’s this got to do with our quiz?

Well, I’ll tell you.Continue Reading

The Rest Of Your Freakin’ Life, Redux

Thursday, 2:39pm
Reno, NV
Hey, you bastards, I’m still here!” (Steve McQueen as Papillon, floating away to freedom…)

Howdy…

I’m re-publishing, below, a portion of one of the more influential posts I’ve ever put on this blog.

It’s just a slightly tweaked way of looking at the best way to start your new year… but that tweak makes all the difference in the world.  I’ve heard from many folks that this particular technique finally helped them get a perspective on where they’re at, where they’re going…

… and why they care about getting there.

Most goal-setting tactics, I’ve found, are useless.  Worst among them is the traditional New Year’s resolutions (which seldom last through January).

This is something I’ve used, very successfully, for decades… to reach goals, to clarify the direction of my life, and to change habits.  I first shared it in the old Rant newsletter a few years back, and I’ve hauled it out here in the blog on a regular basis.  It’s timeless shit.

Here’s the relevant part of the post:Continue Reading

How To Create Your Own Damn Turning Point

Sunday, 1:01pm
Tampa, FL
Won’t you get hip to this timely tip, and take that California trip…” (“Route 66″, Bobby Troup)

Howdy…

I asked our old pal Kevin Rogers to guest post here, while I’m off galavanting around the west coast on biz trips.  (First stop: San Francisco, for the quarterly meeting of our super-awesome Platinum Mastermind group.)

I laughed reading this post.  There are excellent lessons for everyone below (especially if you’re struggling to find your footing in this current economic turmoil)…

… and I just want to be clear, up front, about one crucial detail:  There is a HUGE difference between making yourself useful (after doing the necessary preparations)…

… and just being a lazy-ass stalker looking for a handout.  I met my own primary mentor, Gary Halbert, by slowly proving myself through actions.  I never asked for anything, and never pretended to be anything I wasn’t.

Most of the time, the difference between a life frozen in place… and a life that roars along in the fast lane… turns on a single moment where you realize “Hey, I can DO this”.

And that moment usually comes from discovering information, or advice, that you couldn’t quite piece together on your own.

This is where teachers come in.

This is where taking that critical action-step of reaching out and grasping opportunity is the order of the day.

Okay, enough preamble.  Here’s Kevin:

Hi.  Kevin Rogers here.

Since the head honcho is away this week and asked me to fill in (always a humbling honor), I thought I’d share the story of how I was able to “weasel my way” into John’s world…

… all the way from being a guy he’d barely noticed writing about him on marketing forums… to eventually becoming a trusted insider (and even working alongside him as his go-to-writer).

There’s a huge lesson in here anyone can use to skip several rungs up the ladder of marketing hierarchy and claim your seat at the royal feast of the clued-in and well-connected.

This lesson is based on an old philosophy that says: In order to achieve your goals, choose someone who has already achieved those goals and model their thinking.

This story backs up that theory, with two small addendums:

1. Modeling your subject’s thinking isn’t as simple as reading a biography or daydreaming about how they might react in a certain situation… but rather, getting into a room with them to find out what truly makes them tick.  And…

2. When it comes to scoring a meeting with your subject… it’s probably going to require you to swallow your fears to make it happen.

Here’s the story: Continue Reading

Top 10 Secrets To Make 2011 Your Best Year Ever (All Of Which You’re Currently Ignoring Or Screwing Up)

Thursday, 4:51pm
Reno, NV
“I’ll have what she’s having…” (When Harry Met Sally)

Howdy…

I figured I’d end the year in a ball of fire, and just lay it out for you here.

If you tried, really really hard, and weren’t successful last year…

… it was probably mostly your own damn fault.

Yeah, sure, the economy sucked, politicians were mean, your prospects are all screamin’ idiots, and God had it out for you.  All totally excellent excuses for having a crummy bottom line again.

It’s not your fault.  It can’t be your fault.  That… that’s just…

… that’s just completely unacceptable that it might be your fault.

And, hey, maybe you did piss off the universe, and spooky forces beyond your control mucked things up so you had a bad year.

I believe you.  I really do.

However…

After you’ve been around the block a few times in life, you start to notice some very interesting things about success.

And the big realization, I’d have to say, is that the idea that success is somehow magically bestowed on people in a spontaneous burst of luck and being in the right place/right time…

… is just bullshit.Continue Reading

Who Do You Trust?

Friday, 3:33 pm
Reno, NV
When the world is a monster, ’bout to swallow you whole…” (R.E.M., Can’t Get There From Here)

Howdy…

Quick post today (I promise).

It’s about a HUGE freakin’ disaster lurking behind many entrepreneurs right now…

… like a snarly ugly googly-eyed monster sneaking up on your ass with fangs bared and claws clutching.

Some of you, right now, can feel its hot fetid breath on your neck.

Boo!

You know what this beast is?

It’s the Great Unknown Future that most marketers are facing right now, as 2011 comes galloping around the corner.  And there are no fangs sharper, and no evil hunger more devouring than a recession-addled economy (licking its chops as it creeps up on you).

Now, here’s a free piece of advice from a grizzled veteran of 30 years in the biz world:  I’ve successfully navigated at least 3 huge (and at least 3 other less-huge but still extremely painful) recessions since I began my career as a marketing expert.

I’ve done it alone…

… and I’ve done with the help, mentoring, and insight of folks who had been down that road before.

And I gotta tell you:  It SUCKS to do it alone.

And having a little solid, experienced help watching your back can almost immediately transform your progress.

In my consulting practice, I see a lot of lonely cowboys wandering the marketing range, trying to figure everything out on the fly. They have no one to shuck and jive with… no one to bounce ideas off of (so they never get honest feedback)…Continue Reading

How To Murder Your Biz, Redux

Thursday, 7:52pm
Reno, NV
Shake the hand, that shook the hand, of PT Barnum and Charlie Chan” (The Grateful Dead, “US Blues”)

Howdy…

Got something here to help you make your upcoming year the best one ever, business-wise.

That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

Well, it’s a real offer.

And the difference it can make in your life — almost immediately — can easily be a genuine breakthrough to The Good Life (regardless of where you’re at right now with your plans, dreams and income).

So listen up: You know what the first thing many entrepreneurs and small biz owners do on January 1st (right after gagging down Excedrin with a warm dollop of “hair o’ the dog”)?

They despair.

You know why?

It’s because… for all the “promise” a new year holds…Continue Reading

The Envy Cure

Saturday, 3:17pm
Mendocino, CA
Under my thumb is a squirming dog who just had her day…” (Stones)

Friend…

Do you suffer from the heartbreak of envy?

Are you jealous of friends and colleagues who attain success, while you continue to struggle?

Would you like to learn a simple cure for feeling inferior to others?

Well, then step right up…

Here’s the story: I grew up with the definite impression that ambition was a moral failing.  The operative phrase was “Don’t get too big for your britches”…

… which was a cold warning to anyone who dared attempt to rise above their (vaguely defined) place in life.

And one of the greatest joys was to gleefully watch the collapse and humbling of the High & Mighty.  I believe there’s some evolutionary fragment left in our systems that wants a solid check on keeping folks from leaving the pack.

Now, if you risk failing and succeed, that’s great.  We were there for ya the entire time, Bucko.  Rooted for ya.  Got yer back.

I think our innate need for leadership allows for a select few to “make it” without hostility.  And, as long as they provide whatever it is we need from them — protection, entertainment, intellectual stimulation, decisive action, look good in a tight sweater, whatever — they get a pass.

But we seem to have a ceiling of tolerance for others moving up the hierarchy too fast.  Whoa, there, buddy.  Where do you think you’re going?

And when the unworthy grab the brass ring, it can trigger a hormone dump that’ll keep you up all night.  Because, why did HE make it, when he’s clearly not the right dude to Continue Reading

The Notorious “2 Lists” Approach To Life & Biz

Tuesday, 3:59pm
Reno, NV
Of course, some people go both ways…” (Scarecrow to Dorothy, “Wizard of Oz“)

Howdy…

Here’s a quick bit of wisdom ripped from the ongoing coaching in the current Simple Writing System program.

It’s actually a tactic I’ve been sharing with consulting clients and mastermind colleagues for decades.  I haul it out whenever someone expresses frustration on what next decision to make.

Key point: It doesn’t matter what the situation is.  This works for business, love, revenge plans, shopping, starting wars, arguing with idiots, wondering what to do on a nice afternoon…

… any situation at all where you need to make a decision.

It also works even if you’re looking at lots of “gray” area… so you’re not facing an either-or, or a fork in the road, or a choice between two clear options.

In fact, it probably works best when you have no idea whatsoever of the POSSIBLE decisions to make.  You’re clueless.  Frozen.  Absolutely blank on the next step.

(This is, by the way, a common reason serious small biz owners come to me for consultation.)  (In the larger corporate world, another long-observed excuse for hiring a consultant is to have someone to blame for making a decision you either can’t or won’t make.  CYA.  Not the best reason to bring in an expert…)

So here’s the tool… Continue Reading


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