Tag Archives: Carlton

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

[Quiz] The Life-Changing Secret Behind “Operation Money$uck”

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Wednesday, 8:40pm
Reno, NV
Money, money, money, money, money, money…” (Cabaret)

Howdy…

Hope you enjoyed the last post, where I offered up 3 observations about moolah.

For this current post, I promised to reveal the 4th observation…

… which is so powerful, it can instantly change the way you move and get things done in the world.

However…

… I’ve just had a sudden urge to get all Socratic here, and ask readers to do some critical thinking before I reveal that 4th observation.

It’s too easy to just toss the really hot wisdom in your lap… and the retention level when you don’t have to think about it first is abysmally low.  I do you a grave disservice by not using the most powerful teaching methods available when I’m sharing the good stuff…

… and the Socratic method — which ignites critical thinking skills by asking questions (and never, ever just gives anything away) — is a proven way to juice up the ol’ brain cells, while being able to see what other folks come up with from their perspective.

In fact, let’s make it a real Quiz.

The first person to chime into the comments section here with the answer I’m looking for… Continue Reading

Buzz And Awe

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Friday, 3 a.m.
Reno, NV
Is there gas in the car? Yeah, there’s gas in the car…” (Steely Dan, “Kid Charlemagne”)

Howdy…

First…

… what are you doing up this early?  Or late?

You need your beauty snooze, don’t you?

I know why I’m up, though.

It’s from excitement.  I just cannot sleep.

Why?

Here’s why: Those of you in the loop know we’re launching the coaching program of the Simple Writing System again.

This is Number 7.  We only offer this hand-holding, personalized, one-on-one mentoring rarely.  The 6th one was all the way back in the Fall of last year.  (They’ve all sold out, too, quick.)

No idea when Number 8 will come around… if it even does.

We take this one program at a time.

It’s extremely interactive.  Perfect for anyone who knows that hands-on mentoring is the best way to learn the simplest possible system (crammed with short-cuts) for creating all the sales messages needed for a profitable business…

… including all your ads, websites, video scripts, emails, AdWords, blogs and other social media broadsides…Continue Reading

Who’s Watching Your Back?

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Thursday, 7:41pm
Reno, NV
Please allow me to introduce myself…” (Stones, Sympathy For The Devil)

Howdy…

This is one of those lessons that arrived accidentally…

… and I had to stop and ruminate about it for a while before it made sense.

I’m lucky I learned it early, too.

It’s provided me with a home base of sanity when the chaos has reached shuddering crescendos and it was hard to think straight (let alone make snap decisions when crisis loomed).

You may find it obvious.

That’s fine.  Just don’t go thinking it’s obvious to the rest of the mean ol’ world out there… cuz it ain’t.

Here’s the story: One of my first jobs working for Gary Halbert was to fly to Detroit… and interview a guy who’d just lost 750 pounds.

Yeah, you read that right.Continue Reading

More Free Goodies Than You Probably Deserve…

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Sunday, 7:57pm
Reno, NV
It’s alive!” (Baron Von Frankenstein, kickstarting the Monster)

Howdy…

We’ve just fired up the Simple Writing System blog (www.simplewritingsystem.com/blog)…

… which means a stunning (and unprecedented) pile of free tools, tactics, advice and insight can be yours…

… just for the grabbing.

This is an all-out assault on reason and logic.  We’re just GIVING AWAY stuff that — not too long ago — would have cost you a pretty penny just to get a quick glimpse of.

We’ve created a beast here, and it’s name is FREE.

Here’s just a small taste of what’s piling up over there (that you’re missing out on if you haven’t signed in):

  • A free swipe file of “home run” ads I’ve written (which few folks outside the target markets have ever seen)… can be in your tool kit tonight.  This swipe file, alone, is causing hearts to skip a beat among marketers and freelance writers who love to rip juicy headlines and sales angles from proven ads.  (Removes any guesswork on who/what to rip.)
  • A short (but frightenly powerful) series of special reports channeling the best “how to make the sale” secrets I’ve ever used.  (I used to keep this stuff classified, only bringing it out during high-paid consultations… and here we are giving it away.)
  • The actual video (torn directly from the masters hidden in Frank’s inner sanctum) of my “How to persuade, influence and sell the shit out of anything… using the simplest stories you can create” presentation at Mass Control.

What?  You didn’t see that presentation?

It’s marketing theater at its finest… Continue Reading

Thieving Bastards

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Sunday, 7:36pm
Reno, NV
A thief believes everybody steals.” (E.W. Howe)

Howdy…

For those of you bugging me about the next Quiz…

… it’s coming, it’s coming.

Soon.

Tonight, though, I’ve gotta get something off my chest.

And so, a Rant.  By little Johnny Carlton:

Ahem.

There seems to be a parasite bug infecting the brains of many marketers out there.

Let’s call this bug… “Theft“.

It’s not going away anytime soon.

In fact, the very word has been mutating for a long time now… so that what would have easily been labeled “stealing” in the bad-old pre-Web days…Continue Reading

The Secret To Real Success

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Friday, 1:04pm
San Diego, CA
“First, learn your craft.  It won’t stop you from being a genius later.”

Howdy.

Quick little note today, to take you through the weekend (while I’m down here in Baja La-La Land speaking at the star-studded “Paid For Life” seminar).

If you — like me in my mis-spent youth, and like the vast majority of folks out there who “can’t get started” — feel a sense of satisfaction over your ability to Think Deep on Big Thoughts…

… you’d be doing yourself a favor by murdering that satisfaction right now.

The best quote I’ve ever seen on this was by biz legend Peter Drucker:

“Brilliant men are often strikingly ineffectual.  They fail to realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement.  They never have learned that insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work.”

In other words…

… you will never get shit done — no matter how smart you are (or think you are) — until you get MOVING on your ideas.

I, too, was a lost and wandering soul… until I discovered (by accident) the concept of goal-setting and — just as important — the trick to actually putting your goal-achievement plans into action.

That trick?Continue Reading

How To Lose Friends & Persuade People To Hate You

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Tuesday, 8:54pm
Reno, NV
“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave…” (Eagles, “Hotel California”)

Howdy…

Today, let’s explore a little-discussed part of running a biz…

… using a couple of enlightening (and very brief) anecdotes from my recent (and continuing) “Adventures With Hotels”.

Let’s call this lesson: The Faded Lady and the Trump.

With all due apologies to Disney’s classic dog-romance movie, of course.

See if you can spot how the following short story applies to YOUR business…

Ahem.

Each of the last two weekends found me in different cities, staying in hotels I booked online, sight-unseen.

In Sin City, it was the splendiferous Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.

In San Francisco, the once-famous, now-infamous Cathedral Hill Hotel.

Now, the Trump joint was built with luxury in mind.  Shiny, tall, imposing building with huge well-apportioned rooms and super-modern equipment like elevators and art.

As a “product”, the building was great. (Though it seems idiotic not to have any gambling on the premises, as a wanna-be “player” in the Las Vegas scene.  I heard that Trump got skunked on getting his gambling license, but that’s not the spin the staff offered.  “We just didn’t want gambling here,” is what they said, unconvincingly.)

Great price for the rooms, too.  (Most likely because of the lack of casino amenities and dearth of unit sales, which turned it from condo to hotel.)

I have complaints about the joint… but not because of the room, the rate, or the basic delivery of stuff like air conditioning, clean water, nice beds, etc.  (In fact, their pillow-top beds are amazing to sleep in.  Like being cuddled by angels.)

Now, back in SF, it was a completely different situation.

We hosted a gathering of writers, affiliates, and other mucky-mucks at the Cathedral Hill Hotel because we wanted to treat everyone to an evening with the world-renown “Beer Chef“, who puts on fabulous dinners there once a month.  (You can read more about Bruce Paton’s unique meals at www.beer-chef.com. )

You want the “Beer Chef”, you deal with Cathedral Hill. (And yes, we very much wanted his magic.  He creates these shockingly-tasty gourmet meals there, with each course matched by a local micro-brew beer instead of boring old wine.  It’ll knock your socks off, even if you aren’t well-versed in pilsners, ales and lagers.)

We also started the day off with an afternoon-long brainstorm session in the hotel’s main meeting room.  (I’m sure you caught some of the updates on Twitter from the luminaries and stars in attendance.)

However…

… none of us had ever stayed at the hotel.

And while it has a storied past (well-chronicled in San Francisco lore), it has, alas,  fallen on hard times.

Culminating in being bought out a short time ago and scheduled for the wrecking ball.

Ouch.

We made the most of it.  The stories and jokes we all shared about our rooms and experiences in the hotel are howlingly funny…

… but still, as a “product”, there’s no getting around the fact that the building was in serious disrepair.

Sort of like a once-beautiful lady who has fallen on hard times, and ended up sacked-out in a filthy alley, soused with cheap booze and a reputation heading south at light speed.

The price was actually a red flag: You cannot stay in the city, in a decent room, for anywhere near the rate Cathedral Hill was asking.

Kind of like seeing an ad for a luxury Caribbean Cruise in the paper for five bucks.  It sort of sets off your early-warning alarm.  (Five bucks and your kidney, maybe.)

So… while no one got robbed, or found a dead hooker in their room… Continue Reading

Avoid The Void

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Monday, 11am
Reno, NV
Facts are stupid things.” (Ronald Reagan, ’88 GOP convention)

Howdy…

Well, that was fun.

Over 650 comments on that last quiz so far (with a bullet).  Some really good responses, too.

Also some really out-there ones, which always makes for giddy reading.

The main thing, of course, is that so many folks put on their Thinking Caps and went for it.  As I’ve said before: You win just by trying with this kind of brain stumper.

Anyway…

… we have a winner.  I’ll let you know who it was in a minute.

First, let’s relieve the tension and reveal the answer already.

Or at least head in that direction.  It’s probably worth noting that only a tiny handful of the comments were on the right path.

The question was vague, on purpose.  This is high-end street-level psychology…

… and one of the main features of this kind of advanced salesmanship is that it is NOT easily understood by most people.

In fact, you’ve likely encountered the answer to this quiz before in your life… but because it didn’t “fit” with your intuition and belief about “how things work”, it didn’t stick.

Most of what classic salesmen know about people runs counter to what the majority calls  “common sense”.

This is startling to rookie marketers.  Confusing.  Disorienting.  Challenges long-held beliefs about the nobility of human endeavor and the lofty inclinations of the human brain.

Thus, we saw long sub-threads in the comments that ignored the entire concept of a “glitch” in people’s thinking…

… and instead dove into all kinds of elaborate explanations of how a successful sales pitch might smoothly proceed with dignity and logic.

It’s good to have these discussions, if you desire to get anywhere in marketing.

I, too, had trouble getting into the minds of my prospects at first.

This is why I jumped on every opportunity that arose, early in my career, to hang out and grill every “street wise” marketer I ran into.

Cuz those guys knew how to SELL.

No theory.  Just experience (and the bank accounts to prove it).

This group included:

… Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert (both of whom had door-to-door selling experience where, if they didn’t make the sale, they didn’t eat that day)…Continue Reading

Quiz #7. Hot New Prize, Too…

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Thursday, 10:11pm
Reno, NV
“Ain’t it hard when you discover that he wasn’t really where it’s at… after he took from you everything he could steal?” (Bob Dylan, “Like A Rollin’ Stone”)

Howdy…

This is gonna be good.

And a whole lot tougher than any previous quiz I’ve given.

I’ll explain the prize in just a sec.

First, the set-up for the question:

I find it shocking that so many wanna-be-rich marketers out there still think the question of “short copy vs. long copy” is unsettled online.

I can tell you this: For the top guys — the ones sloughing off the vast majority of the moolah being made by entrepreneurs on the Web — it’s settled.

Whether you’re primarily using video, or email, or websites, or social media…

… the Main Big Damn Rule for getting people to part with their hard-earned money in trade for what you offer hasn’t changed since the first caveman traded up to a new cave with a view for a slab of mastodon meat:

The more you tell…

… the more you sell.

Hey — I love a good argument.  Don’t get me wrong.

And I’m always open to hearing someone out on this subject.

I realize that — for many people unsullied by actual experience in the biz world — it’s just plain tempting to believe that the rules of the universe have suddenly changed.

And you no longer have to be so… vulgar… to make a sale anymore.

Because, you know… the Web has changed everything.  Social networking has somehow mysteriously short-circuited the old skepticism, doubt, and fear of getting “taken” that has marred the smooth exchange of money in the past.

Now, hey, we’re all buddies on Twitter and Facebook!

Mi casa es su casa.

How much do you need?  Here, take my wallet…

Naw.

For anyone paying attention to what the entrepreneurs actually making money online are doing…Continue Reading


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These testimonials and case studies do not represent typical or average results. Most customers do not contact me or offer share to their results, nor are they required or expected to. Therefore, I have no way to determine what typical or average results might have been.

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