Archive Monthly Archives: May 2006

One Of Those Days

I was awakened this morning by the phone.

Big damn crisis in a project I’m involved in.

Before my first cup of coffee — another call, another emergency.

Then I spilled my energy drink on my desk — one way to get it clean in a hurry, but I did it while fielding my third “the joint’s on fire!” phone call of the morning.

Spread out to dry the forty or so pages of important notes now drenced in selected vitamins and minerals and blended yogurt. Another call. Another disaster. My ear’s going numb.

Finally, a call from a friend. Who is having serious health problems. Major bummer. I let two incoming calls go to voice mail while sympathizing with my pal, trying to find a bright spot to focus on.

Yeah, it was a day from Hell. (I’m pretty sure Satan left several voice messages for me I haven’t picked up yet.)

People were mad, upset, argumentative, full of bad advice and eager to toss more gasoline on the various fires licking at the the edges of my life.

But you know what?

I never got riled up. Didn’t get upset. Had not even a vague pain of anxiety.

Because it’s summer, man. The garden is a riot of color and activity. I saw a deer munching a neighbor’s tree during my afternoon walk. Gorgeous animal. Rabbits and jays and all sorts of furry critters were running around like they were auditioning for a Disney movie.

And, I’m over a ten-day bout with bronchitis. Carpet-bombed the lungs with natural and pharmeceutical antibiotics. I feel normal again.

Heck — the twists and dead-ends of business can be fixed. Or ignored. Or dealt with. Or not.

But really… it’s summer.

Quick self test: Can you take your laptop and cell phone outside, and do some work while enjoying the early summer breezes and cacophony of life in the bushes around you… without asking permission from someone?

If you can, congratulations. That’s a good place to be.

And if you can’t… well, summer, for me, has alwasy been a time of lazy contemplation. Just think about things, about where you are, where you want to be, why you think being there might be a good thing. Get some solid pictures into your head of the lifestyle you want to enjoy when you’re successful. And can finally call your own shots.

Fall is a great time to get changes implemented. But you need some dreamy time first, to get centered, and to air out your fantasies.

Sit outside more. No radio, no magazine, no distractions at all — just you and cool drink.

Think about stuff.

When you become truly successful, you get to have moments like that all the time. Even in the middle of a day from Hell.

Life is great. Not perfect, but great nonetheless.

It’s good to be alive and healthy and involved in projects you enjoy (regardless of the occasional disaster), isn’t it?

Yeah. It is.

Stay frosty.

John Carlton

Cool Free Stuff

The Tactic7 calls were some of most solidly informative — and pure fun — teleseminar-type calls I’ve ever participated in . It was a short, and incredibly intense series of calls. Just five, total.

Like a meteor shower of info. Blazing bright, then gone.

Yet, there were nearly 4,000 people signed up to listen in. Judging from my email, the joint was packed with players and hotly-motivated marketers.

The whole concept was brilliant. My colleagues and I were sitting around one day, and realized that we agreed on the 7 basic tactics behind the most successful entrepreneurs and marketers we knew. Thus: Tactic7 was born.

You can still catch replays of the calls here:


I seriously am not sure how much longer they’ll be posted, for free, like this. There are four of us involved in this endeavor, and we’re all headstrong in our opinions. Okay, stubborn as mules.

And some of us feel those free calls have been available long enough. We’re giving away the store here.

The calls were all free.

However, there was demand for more hands-on instruction. And we’ve decided to provide it.

I realize this is insanely short notice… but we’re offering a few (and only a few) spots at a nearly-sold-out workshop this coming June 9th. At this exciting event, we’re gonna go into the Tactic7 material in depth. As specific and detailed as we were on the calls… at this workshop, we’ll be able to do more than simply describe the tactics.

Heck. We’re gonna show ’em to you. All the inside secrets we’ve used to help paying clients burst through all resistance and problems, and finally hit the big paydays.

These are the tactics behind building a million-dollar-plus biz… in the shortest time possible.

And this is the kind of hard-core mentoring you can only get when a group of recognized and respected experts finally agree to get down-and-dirty with sharing the goods.

But I don’t want to get you too excited about it… because there simply isn’t room for everyone. The hotel is nearly sold-out of rooms, and we’ve just about packed the meeting room we reserved.

I’m talking “squeeze in the last few” here.

The short notice was necessary because of the difficulty in finding an open weekend in all our schedules. We simply had to take the weekend of June 9th… or wait until months and months and months down the road.

And the need was now.

If you care to check it out, visit:

I’m not pushing anyone to attend. If you’re ready… and if this is the right crew of mentors for you… then you’ll know it when you read the letter on this site.

That old saying — “when you’re ready, the teacher will appear” — has served me well from the very beginning of my career. You cannot always expect the true opportunities to present themselves to you with fireworks bursting and a clear invitiation.

Most of the time, you have check it out, and look to your gut to see if it’s right for you or not.

But at the very least, you need to get the details.

If you’re one of the few who attend, I’ll see you there.

Gonna be fun. And life-changing.

Stay frosty.

John Carlton

Boldly Wired

Great article in the May 15th issue of the New Yorker on, the “everybody’s on it” connective site where the majority of kids at top colleges post biographical info and interact with friends.

There are many amazing points of interest in the story for savvy online marketers… especially if the 18-to-26 age group is in your target range.

What struck me most vividly, however, was the sudden realization — sudden for me, anyway, as a privacy-obsessed Boomer — that the new generation coming up the ranks has almost zero fear of posting very personal information online.

They’re comfy with it. They grew up online. When they say they just “talked” to someone, they actually mean they just instant-messaged her or texted her on their cell-phone. No actual “verbal” skills were required or used.

How this virtual social interaction plays out as these kids mature and enter the workforce will be fascinating. Friday, I attended a big awards banquet for local business (not generally my idea of a hot evening out)… and the guest speaker, a very funny and with-it guy, trashed the work ethics and social skills of younger workers. What he said was witty, and thought-provoking… but eeriily similar to what my generation heard thirty years ago from disapproving elders. Only, back then, it was feared that too much television-watching was stunting our ability to play nice with others.

For the generation before mine, it was comic books. (Congress actually held hearings on the danger that Mad magazine posed for youth, and passed laws. That’s why every comic book you’ve ever looked at has that lame “seal of approval” on it.)

For the WWII gen, it was swing music. Before that, women’s sufferage. And on and on.

Personally, having a nephew in college right now gives me a little honest insight to how this fresh generation is faring. And they’re just fine.

But, yes, their comfort with online life is changing their behavior, in subtle ways. And not all of these changes are good — this generation, at least in the States, has been starved of some much-needed info about certain aspects of living in the real world — like competition, the facts of life, and, apparently, the reasons our forefathers tried so hard to protect everyone’s privacy.

Call me naive… but I’m a little nervous about the so-what attitude so many people have about privacy issues lately. It’s more than a little alarming how readily people are willing to just shrug off the domestic wire-tapping bullshit now going on, for example.

I mean… you’re going to trust the government to do the right thing with all this info?

Sometimes I think the rest of the place has gone bonkers.

Makes me feel lonely.

Still, it’s important to stay on top of insights like this. As go the ethics and morals and ideas about privacy of the college generation… so goes business, in a few years.

So, just put this little tidbit — about the huge new up-and-coming (and totally wired) market being comfy sharing personal info — into your “Hmmm” file.

After all, that simple observation was enough to make — something created in a friggin’ dorm room over a couple of long weekends — worth around $150million right now. With buy-out offers from Google, Microsoft, and Rupert Murdock.

And on that note… I’m gonna sign off and go do something very, very private.

While I still can.

Stay frosty.

John Carlton

Last Call Is Tonight…

The fifth and final call in the Tactic7 series is tonight, Thursday, May 18th, at 6 pm Pacific Time. (That’s 9 pm on the east coast, for the time-zone challenged.)

The entire crew will be on the phone — Perry Marshall, David Garfinkel, Harlan Kilstein and me. To date, over 4,000 people have signed up for the series, and news of this event has sent shock waves throughout the entrepreneurial world.

The call is free, but you must sign in first at There will not be a recording of the call posted afterward — you gotta make it, or lose out.

In previous calls, we went over, in detail, the first 6 of the 7 tactics used by smart marketers to turn their biz into a 7-figure profit monster (that’s a million bucks-plus). Tonight, we hit the last tactic. It is, to my mind, the most critical and important of the lot. Every single successful person I’ve met in my career has made full use of this 7th tactic. Every single unsuccessful person I’ve met refuses to acknowledge this tactic even exists.

This is where the hard-core reality of getting rich meets the stubborn resistance of the average person’s mind. If you have any real entrepreneurial blood running in your veins, you won’t miss this call.

Talk to you tonight.

John Carlton

What Are 4,000 Marketers Learning Right Now That You Aren’t?

My little band of rogue cohorts and I just completed three of the scheduled five tele-seminar chats concerning the Tactic7 secrets.

If you caught thfirst three calls, then you understand why they’re causing such a fuss. If you missed the calls… then you should know that nearly 4,000 people have signed up to listen in already. And word is still spreading fast.

We had to use new technology, in fact, just to allow everyone to be able to eavesdrop. Very cool stuff.

What are we talking about on these calls?

Oh, nothing much.

Just the seven simple ingredients of taking almost any business from zero to a staggering fortune in the fastest time possible. These are the exact, specific seven tactics we teach our high-paying clients (and use in our own businesses). Included are the astonishing new tactics we’ve discovered the best marketers out there are exploiting right now.

And, if you’re ready… you can discover these secrets for yourself.

We decided to make the calls available, online, for free. No hassle involved. Just bop over to and sign in. You’ll be notified where to find the free downloads of the calls. The next two are this Tuesday and Thursday… so don’t screw around.

Do it now, while you’re thinking about it.

I was featured on last Tuesday’s call, along with my client behind all the notorious golf advertising. We gave away the store on that call, too. People were stunned.

Then, David Garfinkel and a certain “Mr. X” brought the house down on Thursday with some wicked-good revelations about going from a complete (and nearly broke) rookie… to a multi-million dollar marketing honcho in less than a year. (You’ll understand why this client refused to identify himself when you hear the amazing call.)

This Tuesday, it’s Perry Marshall, laying out the “inside” tactics of Adwords marketing. Not the surface stuff — the cutting-edge pro-level tactics that bring in the big moolah. Things change fast online, and if your pay-per-click traffic mongering model is even a little out-of-date, then you’re leaving vast sums on the table.

Worse, if you’ve never been initiated into the secrets of creating massive qualified traffic, then you’re just a lost puppy online.

You’d have to be nuts not to get your hands on these calls… for free… and to make a date to hear the final two.


Time’s a wastin’…

Stay frosty,

John Carlton

Justifiable Arrogance

In the half-century I’ve been around, I’ve seen arrogance be variously acceptable and unacceptable in mainstream culture.

I grew up in a post-WWII family that prized humility and distrusted showboating. One of the biggest putdowns was to be told you were “too big for your britches” — a metaphor akin to a swelled head. The fifties were as close as America ever got to a kind of quasi-cooperative equality — rich people kept pretty quiet about their wealth (CEOs earned a modest mulitple of the average worker)… brainiacs played their cards close to their vest to avoid suspicion (and girls played dumb so as not to threaten the boys)… and athletes were expected to be uncomplaining models of sporting gentlemen.

My, how things have changed.

Cassius Clay rocked the sports world in the mid-sixties by coming out and brazenly calling himself “The Greatest”. Which he then proved, over and over again. Greed was good by the eighties. And the ladies now outnumber the guys in grad school (and do better).

It gets confusing sometimes. I have to brag, a bit, in order to properly introduce myself at a seminar. It’s not easy for me, because it cuts against my grain. But it must be done. And I have helped several colleagues overcome their reticence to step into the limelight and stake their place there.

When I got good enough on guitar to play solos, I next had to learn to be ballsy about it. Keith Richards of the Stones said: “It’s not that I’m a better guitarist than anyone else… it’s that I have the guts to walk out in front of 50,000 people and do it with a little flair.” I’ve known dozens of guitarists who put me to shame with their skill… but who couldn’t bring themself to step up and assault the crowd with a loud, brash solo.

There’s a difference — a big difference — between raw skill, and risking embarrassment by putting that skill on display.

What I never suspected, after finally learning how to handle the stage as a speaker at marketing seminars… was to be called “arrogant”. I had to do some soul-searching, because it stung. I’m not arrogant.

But sometimes I have to “play” at being arrogant to make my point.

There are several layers to arrogance. Long ago, a good friend admitted that his parents had raised him to be arrogant… but never gave him the chops to back it up. He was off-the-charts smart, but unless you were engaged in a game of trivia, he didn’t actually have any accomplishments to BE arrogant about. So his arrogance (which he got over, after some therapy) was hollow and isolating.

A disturbingly large part of the population uses what I call “simmering arrogance” to get their way. They walk around looking like they’re ready to burst into a dangerous rage, and glower when challenged. It’s a form of bullying, because most people loath confrontation, and automatically try to appease the arrogant beast. (Donald Trump is an excellent example here.)

Then, there is a “protective” kind of arrogance… which I actually teach clients to adopt. I learned this doing seminars, after being hounded during breaks by attendees who wouldn’t let me pee in private. They followed me to the restroom, literally cornered me and interupted my phone calls in the hall, and behaved like papparazzi going after a “money shot”.

Anyone who has known the exhaustion of being “on” for several days during a seminar knows you have to conserve your energy. And even if someone’s private question requires “just a minute or two”, you still have to fire up your brain and pay attention. (And there’s no such thing as a question that takes “a minute or two” — at minimum, you’re talking about a ten minute conversation anytime you broach a marketing question.)

So I tell attendees upfront, at my seminars, that during breaks, I am “invisible”. I’m not being rude, I’m just recharging and taking care of basic needs. I lay it out bluntly, too, because you have to be serious to be taken seriously.

Arrogance? A few have seen it thus. At the last seminar I was at, I got cornered outside the hotel while hailing a cab to the airport. I was late, and needed to focus on grabbing that ride to the airport… and a woman came up and announced “You’re Gary, aren’t you!” “No,” I said, “I’m not Gary.” I think she was confusing me with Halbert (a scary thought). Just had my name wrong. I didn’t elaborate, because I needed to get moving. But she persisted — she’d seen me at the seminar, was certain my name was Gary, and started to get angry when I insisted I was not. If she had approached me with at least the minimum knowledge of my real name, I would have politely shook her hand, and taken the time to explain I was in a hurry. As it was… well, screw her.

I had a plane to catch. It’s not my job to manually adjust other people’s reality when it gets skewed.

I’m sure she tells the story differently, and I’m equally sure I come out in her version as arrogant and mean-spirited. I had been a nice guy a thousand times over during the event, shaking hands like a politician and listening politely even to personal stories that had no point whatsoever. And I helped numerous people get a handle on some very important problems, when I could.

But there’s a limit.

There is a limit.

Finally, there is “The Arrogance Bomb“. I have used it just once in my entire career. After writing my first piece for one of the largest mailers in the world, I encountered stunning opposition to the copy. I was on the phone for hours with high ranking bosses at the corporate office, fighting off their attempts to water down the ad.

It was a battle. And I wasn’t giving in, like they obviously expected. People were getting riled up.

Finally, in desperation, after one marketing honcho challenged yet another sales point I’d written, I just snapped. “How many controls do you have?” I asked her. A slap in her face — she of course had none, because the honchos don’t write. They hire freelancers for that.

But I drove home my point. I had numerous controls for other mailers at that time. I knew what I was frigging doing as a copywriter, and I knew in my gut that giving in to their demands to tone down the copy would KILL the piece. So I fought back.

With The Arrogance Bomb. “You don’t have any controls, do you. In fact, you’ve never written any copy whatsoever. When you have a control… when you have written copy that works… then come back and tell me to tone my sales pitch down. Until then, you do what I tell you to do.” I left out “God damn it”, but it was implied.

Arrogant? You bet. I had to take a shower after that call, because being arrogant feels slimy to me. It’s not a good fit.

But that Bomb needed to be hauled out.

(Actually, I was blacklisted at that joint after my little rant, and it was only by accident that my piece even got mailed. When it beat the current control, the honchos meekly called me back and apologized. When it continuted to mail profitably for the next five years, I had the wicked satisfaction of having a control that outlasted many of the managers who had tried to sink the piece. Still, I never again had the energy to force another piece of copy through like that — and I never used The Bomb again.)

Until today.

Last night, we had the first Tactic 7 call. This was a FREE mini-tele-seminar that included me, Perry Marshall, David Garfinkel, and Harlan Kilstein. We talked for THREE HOURS about the seven fundamental elements we knew to be the keys to taking a business into seven figures (a million plus).

It was the most exhausting… and most energizing call I’d ever been on.

Over 3,000 people were listening in, from every corner of the globe.

It was an event.

And yet… we received a handfull of emails afterward berating us for being “too basic”. I at first found this confusing — what is “basic” about the specific fundamentals behind making the big bucks? Yes, you may have come across these very points in a book, or heard someone talk about them at a seminar… but, to my knowledge, this was the FIRST TIME that proven marketing experts had actually laid out how these secrets actually WORK to create million-dollar “sales funnels”.

If reading a book about a tactic is all you need, then everyone who read Trump’s last “how I got richy-rich” book should be rolling in dough right now.

Of course, that doesn’t happen. Just hearing about something… and actually learning how to put it to USE in your life and business… are two very, very, VERY different things.

And so we asked the complainers a simple question: “If this is so ‘basic’ to you… then you must already be a millionaire. Right?”


And, of course, none were.

Arrogant of us? You bet. A challenge like that is The Bomb at full power.

Needed? I’d say so. The real arrogance was in the complainers… who scoffed at our sincere sharing of proven, tested tactics. Tactics we USE, and KNOW to work like crazy.

Some people want magic. Real voodoo — and it has to be something they’ve never heard about before. They are quick to say “I already know all that” when, in truth, they “know” nothing at all.

They have merely glanced off the concept at some point. It meant nothing to them then, and means nothing to them now.

Their loss.

If you’re not already wealthy… then, really, be quiet and sit still. If you can’t, then leave quietly… and let the people who will soon be your betters absorb the wisdom here.

I hope I never have to drop The Bomb again for the rest of my life. It doesn’t feel good doing it.

But sometimes, it’s just gotta be done.

Stay frosty.

John Carlton

P.S. Almost forgot… if you want to hear that amazing 3-hour call, it’s been posted. For free, at least for now. To get to it, go to and register. No cost, no strings, no nonense.

Check it out.

And stop being so damned arrogant all the time.