Tag Archives: Gary Halbert

The Lost Art Of Rumination

Wednesday, 12:36pm
Reno, NV
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away…” (Otis Redding)

Howdy…

Mark, a lifelong pal of mine, lived with a girlfriend many years ago who taught us both a very devastating lesson.

At the time, Mark and I were hard-core slackers — lamely cruising through our late twenties, we took jobs without ambition to pay the rent and keep the fridge stocked with beer, and were pretty much maintaining the same lifestyles we’d had in college.

Care-free losers, if you need a label.

Susie, on the other hand, was roiling with ambition. Had a good job, with a plan to either rise quickly in that biz or seek better positions elsewhere. Her friends talked about the future a lot, and openly competed with each other over acquisitions like new cars, new clothes, expensive wine and all the grown-up Yuppie shit that sent shivers down my spine.

Cuz I was still going to clubs to see bands (and who can blame me, since it was that primo era when the Pretenders, the Police, Elvis Costello, the Jam, and Talking Heads were on their first west-coast tours)… still driving a 10-year-old decrepit Datsun truck… still dressing like I’d been shopping drunk at the Goodwill store… and still loathing the idea of “growing up”.

I knew something was wrong, of course. I was just floating on the surface of life, at the mercy of other people’s ambitions and without any goals or dreams or sense of purpose.

And I absorbed a lot of harsh criticism, both from others and from myself, for not doing anything constructive with my life.

However, looking back, I see things very differently now.Continue Reading

Steve, We Hardly Knew Ya…

Wednesday, 11:56pm
Reno, NV
Indeed your dancing days are done…” (Irish folk song)

Howdy.

I hope you’re doing well, and seizing the day.  As we all should, every day we’re alive.

Sometimes, for me, the best way to appreciate life is to, occasionally, also appreciate death. For all the sound and fury and chaos surrounding us on the Big Earthly Stage… for all the urgency of accomplishment and all the troubles of cobbling together a modern lifestyle…

… sometimes you just gotta stop and take a deep breath.

And know that, at some point, there will be one last breath like that… and then no more.

All of us sharing space on the planet have been granted a ticket to ride, and none of us know how long the ride will last.  Or how it ends.

Or, for that matter, what’s going to happen one second from now, let alone tomorrow or next month or next year.

And yet, life goes on.  And goes on well for some of us, and progresses haltingly for others. But it goes on.

For Steve Jobs, the dancing days are done.  I did not suspect his leaving us would affect me this profoundly, but it has.  I never met him.  And yet, our lives are intertwined.  I’m writing this on an iMac, using the friendly interface he championed (and forced the “who cares about fonts” geek-dominated virtual world to adopt), while my iPhone sits nearby (buzzing with incoming texts).

There will be plenty written about Jobs and his effect on how we live today.  I’ve already read a dozen articles online… and even the iHaters have to admit the world has shifted significantly with Steve gone.

For me, he was the Uber-Entrepreneur.  Dropped out of college because his energy and ideas bristled at the shackles of staid academia.  Aimlessly sought out ways to engage with life on a more grand scale, correctly sensing that the world was about toContinue Reading

You Did What? Where? How Many Times? Whoa…

Saturday, 1:29pm
Austin, Republic of Texas
We’re the Free Texican Airforce, and we’re flying tonight…” (Peter Rowan)

Howdy…

Okay, first off, I’m not in Austin yet.

I’m in Reno… but I’m preparing for flying into Austin Monday by keeping the oven on in the kitchen, while boiling four pans of water on the stove.  Cuz it’s hotttttttt down there.

I’m a dry-heat kinda desert rat.  We’re a mile up here in the biggest little city, and the idea of walking out onto the broiling tarmac of Bergstrom International — where it’s rumored to be topping 107 this time o’ year — is not fitting easily into my brain.

Now, I’ve spent months in the Florida Keys, on full-tilt boil, back when Gary Halbert insisted on moving down there (first to Marathon — or “Cleveland in the Keys” — and then to Key West — or “Key West”, which is another concept hard to fathom for anyone who’s never experienced it first-hand).  (Trust me on that.)

But, like childbirth, you forget the details once the ordeal is behind you.  (Or so I hear. Never been pregnant myself.)

So, the closest I’ve been to that kind of super-heat in the past few years… has been during a long, soothing shower.  While it’s snowing outside here in the bosom of the Sierra Nevadas.

Whatever.  I’m going, because I’m speaking at an event alongside the likes of Joe Sugarman, Joe Polish, Bill Phillips, Chris Guerrero and other notables at a very nice event hosted by our pal Josh Bezoni.

And it’s gonna be fun hanging out with those nutballs.

I’ll also collapse and die at some point in the heat, of course, but I’ll have a smile on my mug.

I recall a joke a guy once told me, while we were both sipping Lone Stars:Continue Reading

Get A Room

Sunday, 3:25
Tampa Bay, Florida
So I said to the captain, please bring me my wine… he said we haven’t had that spirit here since 1969…” (Hotel California, of course)

Howdy.

Another guest blog post here (while I’m off to get ready for the totally awesome Action Seminar down in sunny San Diego this coming weekend)…

… by our good friend (and notorious freelance copywriter) Kevin Rogers.

I asked him to share the stories below, because they cracked me up when he first told them to me…

… and I realized the lessons for entrepreneurs here are just as solid as the stuff I picked up (early in my own career) from the street-wise salesmen I hung around.

Those real-world lessons from the dudes who knew how to close a deal face-to-face are critical to any decent sales process… even if you’re completely digital and never actually meet your prospects in the flesh.

This stuff is pure gold.  So listen up.  Here’s Kevin…

Thanks, John.

Okay, let me tell you a story about why bellmen don’t mind wearing those goofy uniforms at busy hotels and resorts… and how the lessons I learned in the job fit so well in the entrepreneurial world.

It’s true.  One of the most eye-opening jobs I held in my previous life — before freelance copywriting — was as a main entrance bellman here in Florida.

I learned more about “street-smart selling” in my short time in that role than from any other gig, including stand-up comic, bartender, or even Marketing VP of an online real estate company.

Here’s why…Continue Reading

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

[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

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

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

The Quiz, Resolved. And Prize Awarded…

Tuesday, 4:06pm
San Francisco, CA
I left my heart…” (Tony Bennett)

Howdy.

By the time you read this, I’ll be back home in Reno… a better man for having spent a week in San Francisco.

Even though it was all business, I still get invigorated just from hanging out in that city by the bay.  It’s one of the few things California did right (though they’re working hard at ruining it).  (Bastards.)

And while I was gone, the last blog post went freaking bonkers.  Nearly 200 comment posts (most of them well-thought-out and elegantly delivered, too).  (With the occasional funny disruptor, of course.  It wouldn’t be a good Quiz without a big healthy dose of irreverence.)

So, a big “thanks” once again to Robert Gibson (SWS veteran teacher and all-around good dude) for being ring-leader while I was off.

And congratulations to the winner.  Who we’ll announce here in a second.

First, though, let’s clarify what the answer is.

The question was: What’s the 4th big observation about money that changed my life so dramatically… that an avalanche of good stuff followed (including the phat opportunities to work with Gary Halbert)?Continue Reading


All testimonials and case studies within this website are, to the best of our ability to determine, true and accurate. They were provided willingly, without any compensation offered in return.

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.

Many people do not implement anything I teach them. I can't make anyone follow my advice, and I obviously can't promise that our advice, as interpreted and implemented by everyone, is going to achieve for everyone the kinds of results it's helped some of the folks you read about and hear from here achieve.

The income statements and examples on this website are not intended to represent or guarantee that everyone will achieve the same results. Each individual's success will be determined by his or her desire, dedication, marketing background, product, effort, and motivation to work and follow recommendations. There is no guarantee you will duplicate results stated here. You recognize any business endeavor has inherent risk for loss of capital.

© 2004-2014 John Carlton. All rights reserved.