Political Lounge Lizards

Monday, 9:38pm
Reno, NV
“We better all hang together, or we’ll all hang separately.” — Ben Franklin


Here’s a question for ya.

What does politics have in common with marketing?

I’ll give you the answer in a moment… but first, a short rant from our sponsor (me):

There’s some stellar TV happening right now, and I’ll bet you’re missing it. HBO is doing a multi-part series on John Adams, the “forgotten” Founding Father of our little experiment in democracy here.

It’s just killer. The executive producer is Tom Hanks, who has become a national treasure by insisting on using his mojo in Hollywood to get “good” stuff made.

If you like history, you’ll go ga-ga over this series. They nailed the late 18th-century down to the nail, literally — showing the exact implements and tools and clothing details of the period. I mean, they researched how grape vines were held upright in gardens, and used real oxen to pull wooden sleds with real canon through real mud.

And if you like this country, you’ll be freakin’ riveted.

The main thing that jumps out, for me, in this bio-epic is how silly — and hurtful to thinking people — the crazy myths about the creation of this nation, hoisted by our current crop of political goons, are.

Splitting from the British crown was a messy, unbelievably dangerous affair back then… and by no means were our founding fathers prepared, or unanimous. These were men of the Enlightenment, mostly — as educated and progressive as anyone on the planet at the time (and more so than most of the clueless mob we live with today)… interested in Big Thoughts about what it meant to be free.

And, yeah, willing to die for a shot at it.

Still, the crap slopped around by today’s “patriots” is a vicious fairy tale. There was nothing simple about declaring independence, and the fight that ensued was a vicious and dirty brawl (“dirty” as in using ungentlemanly tricks, deceit, unfair punches, and psychological warfare). (These guys were filthy fighters.)

But here’s the thing: It’s a fantasy that we started life as a nation “united”. We barely came together for the revolution as 13 sparsely-settled colonies who often despised each other… and any notion our current 50 states could ever “come together” for any length of time remains a fantasy today.

One-third of the colonial populace wanted to remain British subjects. Another third wanted to be left alone, and out of the equation altogether. Only around a third were into the fight… and these men probably wouldn’t get along with any modern day “patriot” very well.

Those rebels were all over the map with their religious beliefs, their ideas about government, and their notions of what “freedom” meant. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin would get thrown out of church today for heresy — they were total scientific progressives and free-thinkers who had no patience with the hard-core believers they shared their commonwealths with. They took the concept of being rebels further than you have been led to believe.

You know what got the revolution going?

Compromise. A dirty word to many politicians today.

And yet, essential to our very existence.

This HBO series makes clear the evolution of John Adams from clueless “listen to me!” blowhard, to skilled master of compromise. (Hint: This is a hint to the answer about what politics and marketing have in common.)

And it was never a clean, surgical compromise, either. The very “agree-to-disagree” agreements that helped Adams and his homeboys cobble together the union… led to the blood-drenched Civil War just a generation later. (The southern colonies wouldn’t come along in the fight against England unless the northern ones agreed to ignore slavery. Which they were appalled by. So it was a pact formed with fingers crossed from the beginning.)

The thing that gets me about our history… is not the way we gave the largest power in the world at the time the finger… nor is it our current flawed system of governance. (And boy, is it ever flawed.)


What gets me, every time I think about it… is the raw concept of freedom that was envisioned (and partially still plays out today) (though we better get hip to the ways it’s being dismantled or lose it forever).

What these white landowners wanted… was what every beat-down, oppressed, thought-controlled poor-ass slouch barely allowed himself to dream of throughout history: The notion that nobody else had a right to tell you how to think, or what to do. And nobody — nobody — was “born” into power. You earned it, dude.

You earned it.

Americans should fall on their knees every freaking day of our lives, and thank those nervous Enlightenment gentlemen who joined hands and dived into a “ready, fire, aim” war against pissed-off royalty who were murderously opposed to the notion that a “regular schlub” could ever think for himself.

America is not special because of geography, or divine guidance (for sure not for divine guidance), or because we are somehow “different”. We’re not. We’re made of the same stock and DNA as every other nationality on earth.

No. What is special about us… is that glimmer in the eye of the slave a thousand years ago, or that desperate wish of the guy with a boot on his neck over in China right now.

It’s all about power — who has it, how it’s used, and what your options are against it.

People wanted George Washington to just be “king”, once the revolution succeeded. The concept of thinking for yourself — so prized among the learned men who started the whole idea of secession — scared the crap out of the average man.

And it still does, today.

But that’s the price of making America work. I’m sorry if I offend anyone here (and you will never guess my true political allegiance — I belong to no party, have never voted for a winning president despite gleefully voting every chance I get, and I despise ideology)… but the very notion of being a “dittohead” is absurd. You can agree with someone in power… but the notion that you agree with him 100% makes you a sheep.

Stop it.

The scenes of the early Continental Congress in this HBO series captures the pure chaos of conflicting ideas and hurt feelings and confused demands that must have dominated every meeting.

These guys didn’t have a single vision for a government.

They all suspected the other guy was gonna have too much power or influence, and most wondered what new kind of tyranny might fill the void after the currrent snobbish, autocratic monarchy was booted out.

That’s where the genius of our government comes in. The checks and balances of the three branches (executive, legislative, and judicial) were not an accident… and they had NEVER been balanced like this before in history.

No one trusted anyone else with too much power. All manner of stop-gap measures and safety valves were installed. A civilian-led Army. No state-sanctioned religion. We became a nation of laws, and not men (meaning, no one was above the law, and no one in power got to make it up as they went — there was a process where laws were created through compromise, and could be changed).

The resulting freedom has always been fragile, and the founding fathers would probably be astonished it’s worked so long as it has.

They would likely be astonished by a lot of other things, too (not even counting the Web, the gas engine, airplanes, and Hollywood).

Has the dream been tarnished?

This seems to be the one thing that thinking people from both sides of the political spectrum can agree on — the jokers now in power have screwed things up. Too many ideologues thought they knew better than the founding fathers, and found clever ways around the rules.

We got punk’d, people.

It’s gonna take a lot of adults, unencumbered with ideology, to clean this mess up.

I wish the prez race wasn’t so much like a high school campaign for Homecoming Queen and King. I wish the freaking media would step up and do their job of asking the tough questions. And I wish people would just stop being so DUMB and easily manipulated.

Wake me up when that happens, would you?


…time to answer the question.

You should have guessed by now, of course. You probably did.

What politics and marketing have in common… is salesmanship.

Again, not to throw political stones (cuz both main parties have a LOT to answer for right now)… but the GOP realized this a long time ago, while the Dems snoozed.

Their message has been pushed for fifty years now… by advertising guys. Specifically, direct marketing experts. Rove (and his sleazeball mentor, Lee Atwater), and his cronies tested slogans, pounded targeted mailing lists (every outgoing letter with the word “Hillary” in it raises money), and countered every possible objection with psychologically pleasing (but totally invented) new “facts” that steered an anesthetized audience off the cliff (so to speak).

However, before anyone gets all puffed up and riled… it’s time to realize that it has ever been thus. It’s not the GOPs fault they discovered the magic of salesmanship. They really believed in what they were pitching… and people bought it, so they kept doing it.

It just got out of hand.

But again — it has always been this way.

From the very beginning of this country, the “people” were slow to understand exactly what this new experiment in democracy was offering them. It’s not about freedom from taxation — it’s about having representation when you’re taxed. It’s not about living without oversight — it’s about having laws that meet the fussy requirements of being sustainable by a majority, without hurting the minority (and that’s what most of the amendments are about).

And it’s not about achieving some bullshit vision of a population marching in lockstep in any single direction. This is what pisses off so many would-be power-grabbing assholes — that damn Bill of Rights, with its annoying protection of free speech (especially the stuff you don’t want to hear) and guarantees against the excesses of power.

Of course, that oft-battered Bill of Rights has taken a pretty gnarly beating lately. Suspension of habeus corpus (which every one of us should cringe in shame over), secret government actions, and childish grabs for power have eaten away at our prestige in the world, and our ability to see past the internal squabbling to do what’s right.

And what the HELL is going on with the privatization of the prison system?

What’s happened here? Have we just reached some point in evolution where we all go batshit insane at once?

John Adams became a salesman, because he had to. He tried to bludgeon his colleagues with his ideas, and failed. He tried to pout and insult his way to dominance, and failed. And he tried to just walk away from the fight… take his ball and go home. And (because he was a true patriot) he failed to stay away.

And so he learned the art of salesmanship. As a force for evil, killer salemanship will trounce good. But as a tool of the good man — as it was with Adams — it becomes a means to create something wonderful and amazing out of chaos and fear and even a dearth of leadership.

We’re not a great nation because we were assigned the job. We kinda earned it, over a very long time, by refusing to let the assholes deconstruct the foundation of our freedoms.

If America is gonna regain its greatness, it has to find its moral bearings again. We don’t have far to look — the Bill of freakin’ Rights is a good place to start. Then the rules for keeping the balance of power intact in the Constitution should be tatooed on every politician’s forehead.

And the jerks in the think tanks need to get a life. Literally — get engaged in real life, and stop pretending that ideology has any business in the reality of running a country. Write your damn book, get on a speaking tour, become a pundit… that’s the extent of the ideologue’s job.

When they get their hands into the government, they screw it up. They always have, and always will.

John Adams may have died almost two centuries ago.

He still had more smarts and vision than the bozo’s running things today.

Being a salesman isn’t inherently bad. In fact, it was and continues to be a REQUIRED tool in any thinking person’s bag of tricks (right next to being well-read and open to new ideas).

Salesmanship is like swordplay was before guns. If you didn’t bother to learn it — and learn it well enough to trust your life to your skill — then you were at the mercy of those who did. The bad guys have never hesitated to arm themselves, and get good at domination.

It often runs against the grain of a clear-headed, generous and well-meaning person to learn the tools of persuasion and influence. Of, essentially, self-defense in the constant war of ideas this world is embroiled in.

We better hope enough good people have been boning up on exactly those skills, however, if we expect this fragile notion of freedom to survive the incessant bleating of the sheep around us, goaded constantly by nasty types who lust for more power than the founding fathers ever trusted anyone to have.

You don’t win just by having the better idea, or the better product.

Learn salesmanship. Learn it well. And do good with it.

Stay frosty,

John Carlton

P.S. Okay… on a much lighter note: If you haven’t bothered to get on my list (and why you haven’t, I cannot understand — go to the notification box at the upper right on this page, and do it now, you knucklehead)… then you probably don’t realize we’ve been posting a whole bunch of cool video clips from the recent Copywriting Sweatshop I hosted.

Actually, you can zip over to this link here and not only start viewing these short-but-viciously-effective video clips (of me at fever pitch, sharing the good stuff about writing kick-ass copy)… but also sign up there to see the NEW clips about to be posted.

Here’s that link:


We hit a thousand sign-ups a long time ago, and while we’re not pushing these clips very hard, buzz has begun in earnest. (I’m on YouTube! I’m so proud…)

Don’t get shut out of the fun. The clips are free. It’s good stuff.

I highly recommend you sign up at this link, and see what’s happening behind the scenes, too. Very interesting — and necessary — for anyone looking to be a survivor in the coming business environment…

Just enter your name and primary email address below and we'll send you the new report right away.

"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."

  • Darwin says:

    Well said John. I hope that HBO series will show here in Thailand. Maybe what needs to happen is American Revolution 2.0. Get our country back to how it all began. I see that politics is like sales, which gives politics the ammo to sugar coat what is being said in order to get the voters to buy a bunch of crap. Why don’t you run for president and use your sales skills to get elected?

  • Kevin Halloran says:

    Damn straight John, all that needs to be said.

  • Well said, John.

    You would have made a great 18th century pamphleteer, in a league with John Paine.

    Best always,

    — Peter

  • I meant THOMAS Paine, of course!

  • IBA says:


    I’ve been a follower of yours for over 4 years now, and have been to 3 of your seminars, bought your copywriting course and read your rant faithfully.

    During my tenure as a fan of yours, you’ve spoken about the imperative need to develop salesmanship skills. It truly is one of your hot buttons.

    But during all this time, I can’t seem to recall hearing or reading your advice on HOW to develop salesmanship skills.

    Do you have a list of books, videos, or articles that you recommend?

    …Sure, there are tons of books on sales, but thats not what I’m asking.

    I’m asking you (since you are always so passionate about the subject) what you would advise your followers to read to shortcut the learning curve.

    You never let your readers off the hook on this issue, so allow me to not let you off the hook either. Obviously I’m a huge fan — proven by the amount of money I’ve spent with you — so offer me (and your readers) your best advice.

    And if your best advice is to go get a job in sales, I’ve been in sales, having had my own brick and mortar business where I had to overcome objections with every customer.

    I’m talking about a service business… not a toy store. Plus, it was a luxury (disposable income) business, where if they don’t have the money, I’m the first place they stopped spending.

    But being in front of a person, looking them straight in the eye, using passionate tones, a caring heart, the ability to use touch, listen to their concerns, and winning their trust is quite a different environment than in a sales letter.

    So again I ask, what are your very best recommendations?

    Thanks in advance,

    — A Fan

    P.S. Since I am a Mac/Apple user, it appears your blog doesn’t like the Safari borwser, because when it came time to add 8 and 6 (which has always equaled 14 in my lifetime) it wouldn’t allow this post because it said I didn’t pass math.

    So I went to my Firefox browser and copied and pasted the post to this browser and now will add 9 and 6.

    You may want ot see if there are issues with the Safari borwser being able to post to your blog.

  • Will H says:

    Well done, well said! I started getting really excited about the John Adams story just watching the previews. Knowing Hanks was involved, I knew it’d be of the highest quality. I think I watched both episodes twice Sunday.

    The scene where Patrick Henry hears Adams learn patience and compromise was absolutely brilliant. It was just his face, no words, nothing but a look of simple pride. You could almost hear his thoughts…”now he’s learning…now he’s learning.”

    The other thing that struck me to the core was how tough a life it was in those days. They really captured the challenges people faced on a daily basis and I really appreciate the advances in medical science.

    In another lifetime I worked in professional football, in public relations. I was telling the head coach how I was so glad to be involved in football, rather than having a sales job.

    You would have thought I suggested he adopt the single wing formation.

    “Everything is selling. Everything. I have to sell the players on the game plan. I sell our coaches on a direction we have for a game. You sell tickets indirectly with publicity and press releases. What do you mean you’re not in sales. Everything’s about selling.”

    I was sold.

    I wasn’t feeling all that well today, but screw it, I can hang tough and get some work done! Thanks!
    Will Hamilton

  • John,
    You brought up a memory here, What you said is right on the mark, My father was in the navy in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I remember as a teenager I was spouting off ideology about the antiwar movement when my father shocked me. He told me before I started talking I should look at what the people were actually saying. This lesson in seeking out the truth from a career military man has stood me in good stead for my entire life. We are on the brink of losing our freedoms today and one reason is that the people are no longer willing to face the hard decicions which need to be made.

    There is one phrase that everyone in this country needs to learn. TANSTAAFL. This stands for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” The founding fathers knew this as they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors. How many of the politicians running today are willing to do this. The only thing politicains desire is POWER. I’ll close this rant now. Stay your course John,

  • Sue says:

    Dear John,

    Thank you for your comments last week. I am doing a rewrite as per your advice.

    You say you are interested in freedom. There is, as you may know, one candidate that stands for freedom. He doesn’t get any media attention– in fact he is actively blackballed because his politics as a strict Consitutionalist are in direct opposition to the status quo. (End foreign entanglements; IMMEDIATELY STOP THE WARS; bring our troops home; abolish the unconstitutionial IRS; end the federal reserve system and reestablish sound money; stop illegal immigration; repeal the illegal so-called PATRIOT Acts…)

    He is still running on the Republican ticket. HE HAS NOT DROPPED OUT. There is only him and McCain. And Hellery. And Obama.

    -He just got reelected to his Congressional seat with a landslide 70%.
    -His biggest national supporters are active military men and women
    -You Tube is filled with enthusiastic ‘unauthorized’ videos made by some of his millions of passionately dedicated grassroots supporters
    -He raised more money in one day than any other presidential candidate in history

    What if some world-class copywriters decided to research him, and if they became excited, to donate their time and write about him ?? Simply as private citizens, not having to go through any official campaign channels or get any approvals– just exercising their First Amendment rights and putting –in effect– a ‘long sales letter’ out on the internet… Posting it in various alt blogs and sites like http://www.rense.com... Actually launching it to go viral?

    Could one letter change the world??

    When people actually hear what Dr. RON PAUL stands for (and has flawlessly stood for over 20 year as a Congressman), they realize (unless they are welfare-state moochers or war-machine investors…)that what he says makes solid-gold sense. A light of HOPE goes on in their hearts and minds. America CAN be great again, instead of continuing the downhill slide.

    The problem is — not enough people know about what he stands for!

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

    Consider this… the person who writes about freedom and helps Ron Paul get elected could become a hero.

    Is it time for some John Adams-style ‘hero-ship’ in your life, John? Something bigger than just the next phone call or fawning seminar admiration?

    Want to offer a tangible gift to the ENTIRE WORLD and to the next generation?

    Write an impassioned long sales letter for the benefit of RON PAUL and start posting it and circulating it on the internet! The time is strictly limited! If you do nothing, you lose the right to complain about your upcoming serfdom in a warmongering, repressive nationstate.

    Warmest Regards,

    Sue Miller

    P.S. I would be willing to donate $2,500 to you towards this copywriting effort. At this point, it would have far more leverage than giving it to the candidate’s campaign. It is NOWHERE near your usual fees, but maybe others would chip in, and maybe your patriotism would help bridge the gap, and your appreciation that American capitalism has been good to you… plus the gut-level realization that YOU, John Carlton, have the skills and the vision and the network, and the ‘squashed idealism’ to really make a difference in the entire world in this brief slice of time before the Republican Convention.

    Plus if you signed it, your name could get spread all over the internet, and you can spawn a ‘next generation’ of political communication copywriting.

    Google RON PAUL, and info here:

  • James Sorick says:


    Long rant; short reply.

    That rant was like candy for my soul! I can feel my whole being smiling from my backbone outward. Thank you for articulating so eloquently what I have felt in my bones for so long.

    James Sorick

  • Tammy says:

    One of the best books I’ve read on salesmanship is INfluence by Robert Cialdini. Great book with great sales tools.

  • James says:

    I thought it best to allow the man to speak for hisself, than to detract from such a wonderful discourse on freedom with my own verbiage…

    James G. Artre
    Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

    Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

    No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

    They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

    It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

    “These were men of the Enlightenment, mostly — as educated and progressive as anyone on the planet at the time (and more so than most of the clueless mob we live with today)… interested in Big Thoughts about what it meant to be free.” – John Carlton

  • Donna says:

    Hey John –

    The myths about this country don’t end at how it was created. If every single voter was told, and understood, how badly we are being ripped off, I believe a new revolution would be underway. How many people think “the Federal Reserve” is part of the government? How many people realize it is actually a private entity where 7 or 8 men actually control our economy?

    It is an infuriating, seemingly helpless situation. It is going to take the media to tell the truth en masse in order for the blinders to be taken off.

    As far as electing someone like Ron Paul as president . . . he would be a sitting duck. Congress controls nearly everything. The president can do almost nothing by himself. It is going to take an angry, fighting back public to make any real change in the status quo.

    Thanks for the early morning blood boil John!

  • matt h says:

    In re: to “IBA”

    I, too, would like to hear your take on salesmanship John.

    You’re previous blogs about (and especially the free videos you;ve released) it DID provide great value. I definitely get pumped up when I hear you speak. But I’m looking for more…

    I’m looking for gut-level understanding, or maybe even “conscious understanding” of what I already know works in real life.

    I’d love to hear you “put into words.”

    I’ve read all the great books you and Halbert have recommended but I STILL CAN’T TEACH IT to someone if they asked me!!!

    IMO, this means I can use more input… and I know you’re the best around.


  • Karen says:

    John Carlton! That Rant ROCKS!

    … and THAT is what makes you one of the worlds best writers!

    (America is very lucky that you are one of the ‘good guys’)

    love it!

  • matt h says:

    One more thing,

    Instead of writing a blog post about salesmanship, have you considered writing a special report on it… giving people THE DIRT on what it REALLY is (and how to use it)?

    Maybe tie it to a high-priced seminar or one of your higher-priced products (like Schefren did with his Attention Doctrine 2.)

    You’ve got it in your blood John.

    How can your specialized knowledge benefit the most people AND get YOU the most return for your time investment?

    What do people NEED to understand about sales that NOBODY else is teaching?

    What’s the next step in your (so far) brilliant marketing legacy?

    I’m dying to find out,
    Matt H

  • David Best says:

    Dear John Carlton,

    Reading your post made me think of copy that begins saying something to the effect: “This may be the most important [information, letter, website, etc.] you’ve ever [discovered, read, visited, etc.]. Rarely, it seems for me, the subsequent content reaches the lofty elevations of those initial assertions.

    But with a clean conscience, I could put such a high claim in front of your post — and sleep very well tonight (without any pharmacological aids!).

    My undergraduate degree was in history. You accomplished what my major prof was constantly hoping he’d get from his students: In a few words, you captured the complexities and nuances of the American “experiment.”

    These messy details of conception and birth are often overlooked, ignored, or avoided today. It doesn’t matter so much if we live in a blue or red state. The more important question is: Are we blissfully residing in the state of deception? There, we citizens risk selling our birth (bill of) rights for a pot of (security) porridge. I hope your thoughts on these critical issues gain a wide reading and discussion.

    Thank you.

  • Kevin says:

    To the guys looking for more info from John on salesmanship:

    What you guys need is a copy of John’s “Strategy School Mini-Tutorials.”

    I got mine a few months back, and it is pure GOLD. I’d pass it on to you guys if you wanted it, but I’m not sure if John would be OK with that or not. It’s his material. It may still be available online on one of his websites.

    Check it out and see if you can find it.

  • john-carlton says:

    You can get those “7 Strategy Lessons” that Kevin mentioned by simply signing in at http://www.marketingrebel.com. They are free, emailed to you over a period of several days (so you aren’t overwhelmed).

    Thanks, Kevin, for reminding me to remind people about that free tutorial on salesmanship.


  • Just testing for the Safari issue another commenter mentioned.

  • Ken Calhoun says:

    Great points as always John. And hey that inner “fire” of a writer inside you sure came out in this post – magnificent writing… eloquent, riveting, captivating prose that had me reading the whole thing as usual. Agree with your points on the politics, too.

    Interesting to see the hbo reference… though I don’t watch it, I remember learning the most ever about history, from the old “The Bastard”/”The Rebels”/”The Seekers” tv miniseries shows from the John Jakes tv adaptations back when I was a teen in the 70s… the tv show is what brought it all to life… oddly enough, reading books never brought history to life for me… but watching tv shows/movies about period pieces does the trick. Sounds like this one may be even better, so I’ll look forward to catching it on dvd in the future.



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