Tag Archives: first step in business

Step One Of Your Shiny New Life

Wednesday, 9:04am
Baltimore, MD
Don’t follow leaders, watch the pawking meters…” (Bob Dylan)

Howdy.

Do you like change?

You know that most folks hate and fear change, right?  It’s all so unpredictably messy, and rudely forces you out of your comfort zone.

Bleah.  Yuck.  Keep it away.

Well, guess what?  Successful entrepreneurs love change.

More specifically, they love the opportunity to alter the way things are… both within their market, and in their lifestyles.

If you’re limping along on anemic sales, and suddenly a new tactic or project jacks response through the roof… that’s a good change.

If you roll out a hot, fresh campaign (aimed at demolishing competition and hoarding all the market share to yourself), and it bombs… that’s a bad change.

However, you can’t enjoy the first without risking the second.  Which kinda defines entrepreneurship in a nutshell:  You do something, there’s a reaction, and you deal with the gains or losses.

Maintaining the status quo is never a valid option in biz.  You keep moving and adjusting, like a parade negotiating twisting streets and weather changes.

You set up camp and settle in, though, and you’re like the Donner Party.  I’ve seen many businesses eat themselves alive, trying to avoid change.

There is stress inherent in both situations.  When you resist change, the anxiety and internal turmoil builds and festers.  When you engage with change, you are constantly flushing out the bad ju-ju, keeping your system in good working order.

It’s kinda like early dating.  I viscerally remember staring at the phone with Susie Q’s number in my hand, completely freaked-out over the looming possibilities.  Still, it was better to dial her up, mumble and fumble the conversation and face the consequences…Continue Reading

Congratulations… Now, Stop Being A Wuss

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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

How To Critical Think, Part 1

Saturday, 2:33pm
Reno, NV
When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all…” (Paul Simon, “Kodachrome”)

Howdy.

Someone recently asked me to offer a clue on how to nurture critical thinking.

It’s a fair question.  And while I’m no neuro-scientist, I talk about critical thinking a lot, because it’s the foundation of great writing, killer salesmanship, and engaging the world with your throttle wide open.

However, it’s not an easy subject to grasp if you’ve seldom taken your brain out for a spin around the Deep Thought Track (as most folks have not).

So let’s explore it a little bit here…

Critical Think Point #1: Yes, I know the headline on this article is a grammatical car wreck.  It should be “how to think critically”, or at least “how to critically think”.

But this botched phrasing is actually part of the lesson I’m sharing here.

Consider:  The vast majority of people sleep-walk through their lives and careers, never going beneath the surface of anything.  They process, at most, a small fraction of the information they see, hear or read about.

It’s pretty much GIGO.  Garbage in, garbage out.

So the first job of any good marketer is toContinue 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

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

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

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

Night Of The Living-Dead Sales Letter…

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Thursday, 8:06pm
Reno, NV
Here come Johnny Yen again…” (Iggy Pop, “Lust For Life”)

Howdy…

Oh, my God!

They killed the sales letter again!

Will this horror never stop?

Actually, you can relax.  Just like Kenny in South Park, the traditional sales letter is on some kind of perverse “Permanent Hit List”…

… where every marketer trying to claim he just invented a new fad stands astride the image of a quaking letter…

… and slays it.

Huzzah! Death to you, vile long-copy sales letter!  Take that… and that…

… and that.

This latest round is clever as hell, too.  The new trend is putting your sales letter in a video, and reading along with it.

The irony:  The dude selling you the “Magic Box” product that kills the sales letter forever…

… uses a sales letter to do the killing.

Hey — don’t get me wrong.  I love video.  Been using it in marketing since… well, since it was actual videotape on reels.  (Yeah, shocking, I know.  We were so backward in the last century.)

In fact, the “Magic Box” product I’m talking about is, I’m guessing, an excellent solution for many marketers who can’t figure out how to make a video sales letter work.

And all’s fair in love, war and advertising.  So all the dudes out there telling you the sales letter is dead, and you can sell without selling, and the Web has changed everything…Continue Reading


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