Tag Archives: business

The Reality Check Mom Never Gave You

Monday, 3:32pm
Visalia, CA
“Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” (Sicilian proverb)

Howdy…

I’m handing the blog over to our good buddy Jimbo Curley again this week.  He’s done several guest posts, all hilarious, all excellent insight and info for marketers, writers and anyone in biz.

Jim and I go back a looooooooong time.  And my favorite story of how we became brawling colleagues is included here — this tale sends grown men into gasping fits of laughter whenever Jimbo re-tells it in the bar (where, during seminars, all the REAL networking and professional bonding takes place).  Last week, it was the Phoenix Hilton, for Joe Polish’s and Dean Jackson’s shockingly-good “I Love Marketing” event.

So this is fresh stuff.

Jim’s the real thing.  A top, consistently smokin’ hot copywriter and a keen observer of human behavior (and buying psychology).  He’s an original teacher in the Simple Writing System, and one of the very few writers I’ve personally asked to write FOR me.

This post is must-reading for anyone wondering how their latest and greatest ad is gonna do in the real world.

Warning: Do NOT drink coffee while reading this.  Or you’ll snort it through your nose during the funny parts.  Which is funny in itself, the image of hundreds of readers all over the globe spitting up coffee at their desks at the same time, courtesy of a master storyteller.

Okay, you’ve been warned.

Here’s Jimbo:

Thanks for the intro John.

I’ll dive right in.

Today I want to talk about a Street-Marketing lesson I call “How to take it in the shorts… and love it”.

It’s about how to get qualified critiques for your writing.

First, I’ll hit you with the big setup statement.

Here it is: Continue Reading

Dude, Your Fly’s Open

Wednesday, 8:47pm
Reno, NV
Et tu, Brutus?” (Caesar, goin’ down)

Howdy…

Let’s have a nice chat about betrayal.

Not the big kind, like Shakespeare grooved on (with people dropping like flies, slain by their best pals)…

… but rather the small kind that happens way too often in business.

As in, between you and your colleagues.

Here’s what happened to spur this line of thought: I was just in Austin (Republic of Texas) to speak at an event packed with marketers.

Now, a lot of things happened while I was down there… including a few stories full of intrigue and dramatic plot twists…

… but one little thing happened that could easily harbor the most serious consequences for anyone trying to learn something about being a savvy, successful biz owner.

Let me set the story up for you: Often, when I speak to new audiences, I like to cajole and browbeat the crowd as I put them through some exercises.

It’s all in good fun, and it’s a rare marketer who doesn’t appreciate this kind of old-school learning tactic — essentially School O’ Hard Knocks training, where you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, which wakes up your brain and makes the exercises memorable.

It’s really the only way to learn and have it stick that ever worked with a stubborn, anti-authority kinda rebel like me.

So I return the favor when I teach.  (To mitigate the verbal thrashing and jive-talk, I also like to give out bottles of beer during Continue Reading

How To Murder Stress, Part 1

Tuesday, 3:29pm
Reno, NV
I can’t seem to face up to the facts, I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax…” (Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer”)

Howdy…

What’s the matter, Bunky?

The news got you down?  The economy keeping you up at night?  Are sales in the toilet, creditors stalking you, clients not returning calls, the sheer angst of living in a modern tech-drenched world chewing holes in your gut?

Would you like to hear how grizzled veterans handle the evils of stress?

It’s good stuff… because, as everyone should realize, you don’t get to BE a grizzled veteran if you can’t handle stress.  Cuz that shit will eat your ass alive and send you to an early grave.

In fact, this is easily one of the fundamental tools for surviving the Bidness Never-Ending Cage Fight.  I noticed, in the first years of my freelance career (when I was searching semi-desperately for clues on how to become successful), that there were biz owners who were having fun… and there were other owners not having any fun at all.

Age had nothing to do with it.  Nor health (though the fun-havers consistently were in better shape).  Nor gender, nor — and this is important — how successful they were.

The difference was simply how they handled stress.Continue Reading

Congratulations… Now, Stop Being A Wuss

iPhone09-2 225

Monday, 7:55pm
Reno, NV
But it’s all right… in fact it’s a gas…” (The Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“)

Howdy…

It’s time for another orgy of graduation rites across the land…

… and, in honor of it all, I am re-posting last year’s rant on the subject.  It was one of the more popular posts I’ve written, so it deserves an annual rediscovery.

So, without further ado… here’s the post:

Nobody’s ever asked me to give the commencement speech for a graduating class.

That’s probably a good thing.  I’m pretty pissed off at the education system these days, and I might cause a small riot with the rant I’d surely deliver.

See, I have a university “education”.  A BA in psychology.  (The BA stands for, I believe, “bullshit amassed”.)  I earned it several decades ago…

… and while I had a good time in college (height of the sex revolution, you know, with a soundtrack that is now called “classic rock”), made some lifelong friends, and got a good look at higher learning from the inside…

… that degree provided zilch preparation for the real world.  Didn’t beef me up for any job, didn’t give me insight to how things worked, didn’t do squat for me as an adult.

I waltzed off-campus and straight into the teeth of the Continue Reading

Watch, Learn, Make Your Move.

Saturday, 4:43pm
San Diego, CA
Arriba y arriba, por ti seré, por ti seré…” (La Bamba!)

Howdy…

Important alert today.

If you know, in your heart, you shoulda been there with us for the Action Seminar last week…

… and you just couldn’t make it…

… we’ve now got the Primo Solution for you.

It’s this: We filmed the whole darn thing — every thrilling, shocking, life-altering moment on stage, with a pro camera crew — and have decided to uncork the video immediately.

It’s now available, online, and ready for you to dive into with gusto.

To gain instant access to the professionally-shot video of this already-legendary Action Seminar, go here now.

What you’re about to witness is a seminar different than any other you’ve ever heard about, attended, or caught rumors of.  We called it the “Action Seminar” because it was all ABOUT action…

… meaning, finally getting your plan together to make 2011 your best year ever…

… and kick that puppy into high gear, right freakin’ NOW.

The joint was crawling with Rockstar marketers, like Perry Marshall, Mike Koenigs, Jason Moffatt…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 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

Intelligent, Educated Savvy

Wednesday, 11:56am
New York, New York
Truckin’, like the Doo Dah man…” (Grateful Dead)

Howdy…

Sorry for the little vacation here from the blog.  I’ve been hunkered down in “launch mode”, on the road, and ministering to various biz projects…

… all of which have messed with my “sit down and write, dammit” time.

I’m actually handwriting the first part of this post in a hotel room, just before heading to La Guardia to fly home after a week in the Big Apple.  (Those of you following me on Facebook may have seen pics of the dispicable weather display we braved to watch the Jets b-slap the Vikings on Monday Night Football.  We spent 4 solid days in meetings, while the city basked in perfect Fall splendor… and the one time we ventured outside, thunder and lightning and a deluge of biblical size dumped on our sorry asses.)

(Still, it was worth the drenching.  Great story to tell whenever anyone needs one-upping on weather disasters…)

By the time you read this, I’ll be back in exciting Reno, catching my breath.

I am one bone-tired road dog, I’ll tell you what.

And I can’t wait to be sitting back at my cluttered desk, writing.  Dammit.

So…

… quick post here, just to get the blood moving again.

I was thinking about this subject while reading up on the gossip whirling around the online entrepreneurial community.  It’s starting to jive with the blistering political attacks dominating the mainstream news cycles…

… and it’s scary.

The details of the gossip don’t really matter.  Rumors come, rumors go… same as political movements and all other fads and moments of temporary insanity.

But there is an overriding theme here that will never go away:  Continue Reading

Full Tilt Boogie

poker misha

Sunday, 9:08pm
Reno, NV
Hit me.  Hit me again.  Again.  Arrrgh…” (Blackjack dude going down…)

Howdy.

One of the truly fun parts of being in business are the Life Lessons you get to learn.

Or, rather, you’re forced to learn (if you don’t want to spend your career blundering down the same blind alleys time after time).

Early on, I took notice of the various quirks people exhibited running a business… especially the entrepreneurs, who were unencumbered with the rule books that franchise owners and traditional corporations worked under.

Now, you’ll see startling examples of strangeness in any group of humans, doing anything, anywhere.  So the first lesson is probably to acknowledge that reality…

… and stop pretending we’re a race of logical, rational, functional beings going about the business of running a civilization efficiently and sanely.

We’re not.

And savvy, experienced biz veterans survive by learning to work within the limitations that come with dealing with other humans.

It’s actually one of the more fun parts of entering the biz world, once you get a handle on the basics of how spectacularly humans can screw something up.

Don’t get me wrong — I love people.  But I love them in spite of their near-consistent tendencies to botch things completely.  (I’m by no means above the fray).  (No one is.  Scratch the surface of the most “together” person you now, and you’ll find evidence of shocking weirdness.)

The reason little insights like these are so awesome, is that they can help you stay balanced… Continue Reading


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