Eve of Destruction

I was born around the time of the Korean War… had just settled into sixth grade when Kennedy was shot (and learned to “Duck and Cover” to suvive the coming nuclear holocaust the year before)… entered high school just as Vietnam became my generation’s crucible… and yada yada yada.

Been there, felt the fear, lived with anxiety.

If today’s news has you in a tizzy, take at least some comfort in the knowledge that the modern world has ever been thus — crazy, unpredictable, and lethal.

Maybe we’ve really done it this time — broken the fragile threads holding civilization together, and begun the unravelling that will end with chaos and darkness.

Or maybe not. I can’t begin to count the number of times, just in my lifetime, where any logical examination of the worldwide situation led to total angst and depression.

Fortunately, humans aren’t all that logical.

Sometimes, denial comes to our rescue.

As a citizen of the globe, I sincerely hope we can get this mangled train back on the tracks. I clearly remember when things were just as bad, or even worse. Cuba had nukes in our backyard once. Russia had enough munitions aimed at us to obliterate the continent twelve times over… and we would have toasted them even more severely.

The gnarliness of today’s rage and devastation has a long, unbroken history.

As a marketer — and yes, it seems silly to talk about business in the same breath as discussing annilihation — I just have to pass on some advice: Life goes on.

Hope may buckle and hide… but everyone still has deep desires and needs.

I’m not saying you should talk about current events in your sales pitch… but you should at least acknowledge that the rationale behind your prospect’s life philosophy may have gone through some recent alterations.

People need a reason to buy. If they come up with a good reason to put it off, they will. The sturm und drang of the world situation will cause some to hide under the covers as much as possible.

However — illogical, deep-in-denial creatures that we are — we may just as easily decide, what the hell, let’s buy that big-ticket item we’ve been putting off so long.

Or, in between nightmares of Huns at the gate, your prospect may have dreams of change… and finally be in the right space to risk going after his long-suppressed desire to start a biz, or learn to sing, or get a job in a foriegn land.

Recent studies show that Americans are more isolated than ever. A generation ago, the average Joe had several people he confided in about stuff. Today — he’s lucky to have ONE person close to him.

Online, you may have become part of his support structure… even for a short time. You are someone he wants to communicate with, because you share his passions.

If so, get back into the conversation that caught his attention in the first place.

No matter what you’re selling, or what services you offer… it’s up to you to help your prospects understand that you’re part of his “grid”. Someone worth listening to, someone to trust, someone who will share good info and offer genuine insight.

We’re all feeling a little more alone than usual today. The news sucks. Half the world has gone bonkers… and is actively seeking the ability to burn the other half of the world to the ground.

You’re supposed to feel nervous. It’s a nervous time for everybody.

Just don’t give up. It has also been my experience that — when things really heat up — heroes with cooler heads often step forward and take control. The turmoil will not resolve itself overnight… but somewhere in the collective unconscious, the right people are feeling the urge to flex their “let’s cut the crap and solve things” muscles.

That’s how we’ve survived many a disaster so far.

In the meantime… stay frosty.

John Carlton

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  • George Ritacco says:

    Nice one, John.

    Felt the vibe and will make it so.


  • Donovan says:

    I love your reference to ?Duck and Cover?. I’m currently reading The Dirt: Motley Crue and Nikki Stixx remembers how he believed if a hydrogen bomb exploded, his school desk would provide ample cover for him to survive. 🙂

  • Nick Wright says:


    I just got done reading one of Gary Halbert’s archived letters which you contributed on: The 700 Million Dollar Man.

    All of the latest technology you were talking about…I think that comes into play with this post.

    There’s so much real-time media coverage around the world, that everything’s in our faces now more than it’s ever been.

    I may be young at only 26, but I know the world’s always been messed up in one way or another. It’s just that now we’re seeing it all the time.

    Great post!

    Nick Wright

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