Tag Archives: Gary Halbert

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

Takin' It Too Far…

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Thursday, 11:49pm
Reno, NV
Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (Talking Heads,”Psycho Killer”, ca. 1979)

Howdy.

Quick lesson today, which should help you understand one of the fundamental truths of kick-ass marketing.

That truth: There is almost always a way to fix or solve a marketing problem.

Actually, that truth is also functional in every-day life…

… but that’s a much longer lesson.

Here’s the quickie version, for marketers: I was just delivering this story in one of the Simple Writing System classrooms, and thought I’d share with you here, too.

As any decent marketer knows, the Prime Directive of a sales process is to discover your best possible prospect… and “reach” him with your sales message.

Seems simple enough.  Sometimes, it is.  If you’re selling hamburgers near a starving crowd, you’re set. Just open your doors and tell folks to line up.

For a while (back in the Good Old Days of Internet marketing), all you had to do was:

Step One: Be the first into a hot niche…Continue Reading

Who’s Watching Your Back?

eye

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


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