“And you may ask yourself, where does that highway go?” (Talking Heads)
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…
… to be dealt with…
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…
… and locked it.
Returning to his desk, he picked up a pen and said “Okay, let’s get busy.”
I was stunned. What… what… wait a minute… what about all that…
“Operation MoneySuck,” he said, rifling through his Rolodex for the number of a client we needed to call. “Screw all that irrelevant stuff. We’re gonna bring in the bucks.”
And we did. For the next several hours, we finished ads, nailed down deals, and consulted with clients.
When we finally opened the door again, all was calm outside. Line 1 and Line 2 were quiet, the landlord was gone, the printer chattering happily and kicking out dot-matrix copies. (It was a while back, folks.)
All the “emergencies” had been taken care of, without us.
And we had put in a solid session of writing and wrangling with clients. Which generated income, new business, and a good deal of killer brainstorming.
The lesson of Operatin MoneySuck couldn’t have been clearer.
It’s this: If you are the person in charge of bringing in the money, then that is your Number One job — to bring in the money. It’s also your Number Two job, your Number Three job, and so on.
More: ALL problems are “emergencies”, in one way or another. They’re a show-stopper to some, an ulcer-inducing nightmare for others.
However, if your job is to bring in the moolah… and an hour of you doing that can generate, say, a thousand bucks in fees or sales…
… then, when you scurry over to start looking at the printer when it snarls up…
… that means you’re paying someone (you) a thousand bucks an hour to read the manual and pull out jammed paper with uncoiled paperclips.
While NO ONE is picking up your job of bringing home any bacon. So you lose twice. Net loss of two thousand smackeroo’s per hour. (Plus, you’ll most likely just fuck up the printer and have to go buy a new one anyway. What are office printers running nowadays? $150?)
The importance of this attitude kept getting nailed home for me as I noticed how many entrepreneurs and biz owners routinely took their eye off the ball… trying to “save” a few bucks by doing everything themselves.
And, at the same time, I noticed that the really successful dudes had personal assistants, secretaries, and grunt labor at their beck-and-call to do all the “small shit” (as Halbert called it). Which guaranteed that their lives bopped along smoothly (with dishes washed, dry cleaning picked up, bills paid, fridge stuffed, landlords mollified, and so on)…
… and ALL of their main energies went into doing what they did best: Create wealth.
So that’s Operation MoneySuck. For me, it’s a code-word for my colleagues (and my brain) that means we’re gonna focus on the raw green core of business right now. And nothing else.
You are free to interpret it however you like… as long as, when you’re done, you’ve made serious progress toward your goals of feeding the financial monkey in your life. Yes, the emergencies in your life need to be tended to. And you need to pay attention to your health, the rent, your Significant Other’s needs, family obligations, and all the nagging details of being a fine upstanding member of modern civilization.
But you BEGIN with a solid understanding of what your JOB is in life.
Get clear… and be specific… on what it is, exactly, you do that causes cash to be delivered into your bank account. In this “2.0” modern world, you may need to include some things that are, say, one step removed from the actual act of converting a customer. If you have an online biz, for example, then writing the sales message is critical to make sales happen.
However, generating traffic (if you haven’t got any) is a precursor to hauling prospects in front of your wonderful sales pitch. So all the things you may need to do right now to divert leads into your world becomes Operation MoneySuck. Including hiring someone to do it for you. Or hiring someone to find someone to do it for you.
Radical example: This attitude of “get it done”, at the highest professional levels, is something awesome to behold. Let’s say you’re a copywriter, and you have a deadline tomorrow morning at 8am for something you need to write tonight. And you drop your laptop in the toilet at 1am… so it’s not just dead, but it’s Ugly Dead. All files flushed, gone, not backed up.
What do you do?
Less focused folks would punt. Call the client early, apologize profusely, and try to negotiate more time.
Not the “real” pro. He would immediately figure out his options. Borrow a computer, even if it means calling an old girlfriend (who hates your guts). Steal one. Call up pawn shops, all-night stores, anywhere that might have a working computer.
BUT… he would only spend a short time on this side project. As soon as bribing, begging, theft and shopping were ruled out…
… he would pick up a pen, pencil or crayon, and start writing (using notebooks, napkins, paper towels, anything that worked). And FINISH the writing part of the gig. Grab a 20-minute nap, proof-read the scribbling… and be waiting at the most logical place to score a way to get it into a Word document the moment that place was open: The city library, Susie’s apartment, Best Buy, a hotel business center.
So he could finish the rest of what was required to meet his deadline.
So he would get paid.
That’s Operation MoneySuck. Give that man a round of applause. That’s a pro.
And yes, I’ve done (more or less) versions of this kind of insane meet-the-deadline-no-matter-what behavior throughout my career. Because I’ve been the guy whose job it was to bring home the moolah.
If this kind of dedication, determination and raw discipline is not in your toolkit right now… it can be. You start by committing to a goal. And you move forward from there.
You really can astonish yourself with your ability to do things that — yesterday — you would have routinely regarded as “impossible”…
… but you can’t get there by dreaming about it. You may even need guidance, from a mentor or coach to watch your back as you establish your private beach-head in the world of professionalism.
Lemme tell you, though…
… once you get a taste of living life with this kind of verve, awareness and Zen-warrior “get it done” mojo… you will feel and be more alive than you ever believed possible.
And that’s why successful entrepreneurs sometimes seem so cocky. It’s because they’ve experienced Operation MoneySuck (whether they call it that or not)…
… and it rocked their world.
I dunno… are you buying all this? It’s all the dead-solid truth… but I know that most people recoil in horror at the thought of going after a goal like a pitbull after a squirrel. (Pure lethal focus.)
I learned the methods of living this way slowly… because I had to pull myself out of the Slacker Mire, with little guidance or advice. So when I realized what Halbert was doing in that long-ago office on Sunset Blvd, I grasped that lesson close to my heart and kept it there until it became a part of me.
It’s worth it.
Love to hear what you think, in the comments.
P.S. If you’re looking for a little guidance yourself, here’s a good place to start: CarltonCoaching.com. That’s our brand new site explaining all the ways you can score private coaching from me, plus mastermind opportunities and access to our stunning new membership area (crammed with resources that will make your quest for wealth, fame and happiness as easy as going down a greased slide).
P.P.S. There is a fresh story brewing about the Action Seminar (just 10 days away now, in San Diego).
If you crave the company of other hard-core “live with gusto” success-junkies, you need to see the new (and VERY intriguing) way you can now be there with us. No matter what your situation is.
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