The Entrepreneur’s Checklist


Friday, 2:15pm
Reno, NV
“I read the news today, oh boy…” (Lennon, “A Day In The Life”)


One of my favorite quotes from Gary Halbert: “There is nothing that cannot be accomplished by a man who refuses to face reality.”

You laugh, but he was dead serious. One of the reasons we became fast friends was our mutual outlook on life – whenever reality was inconvenient to our goals, we just ignored the facts, lowered our head, and bulled forward.

That photo, above, is me in high school (from the yearbook). I loved basketball, and was good enough to become the captain of the “B” squad my junior year…

… however, as should be evident in this photo, I ran into a brick wall trying out for the varsity a year later.

The guy guarding me as I took that jumper is taller than me by a foot. I was the smallest guy on the squad…

… and really, at some point a caring coach probably should have taken me aside and said “John, I know you love the game… but look at your family. No one is taller than 5’10”, and basketball is a sport for tall folks. You’re not going to magically grow into the size they want on the varsity team…”

I wouldn’t have listened, anyway. I’m like a Jack Russell terrier – a big dog trapped in a small dog’s body. Eventually, in sports, my poor eyesight and lack of height stopped me…

… but I had fun for a couple of years in the meantime.

Later on, as I was gathering my courage to try copywriting, an actual professional copywriter earnestly informed me that I should not even try.

“It’s too hard,” she said. “You’ll never be a pro writer.”

That was, of course, the BEST thing she could have ever told me. I doubt I could have survived the first years without that internal motivation of needing to prove her wrong.

I call it “negative motivation”… and it’s actually one of the most powerful forces available for getting stuff done. I never saw her again, and don’t even remember her name…

… so it wasn’t a need to flaunt my success in her face. It was all internal for me – I used her as the “face” of the obstacles in front of me, and I even laughed when I later realized I was in a position to tell her “Fuck you, I made it anyway.”

Yes, my internal ego is an immature twerp sometimes. Chip on the shoulder, snarling underdog attitude, and an almost stupidly-aggressive and irrational refusal to face reality.

I am so grateful for it, too.

(By the way… I nailed that shot in the photo, above… and ended up with 20 points while also hitting the winning basket. Easily my finest moment in a futile, doomed effort to be a “real” basketball player. A has-been at 16.)

You do not need to be a belligerent rebel to be a good entrepreneur…

… but it can help sometimes.

Certainly, given the choice of sitting down to dinner with the business types in suits, who are uber-polite and careful in their conversations…

… or the rowdy crowd of rule-breaking ne’er-do-well whack job entrepreneurs who may easily get kicked OUT of the restaurant….

… well, you know which one I’d pick.

I was Halbert’s sidekick for a very long time, and one of the most enjoyable parts of the gig was wandering into a new client’s offices and creating massive chaos. In a rational world, none of the buttoned-up biz owners we dealt with would have tolerated us for more than a few minutes…

… but, because we brought the “magic” of ads that worked, they HAD to not just tolerate us, but sometimes coddle us and even pay us more than they were going to earn themselves in the project.

We weren’t mean. Perhaps arrogant at times. But both Gary and I had wandered into the entrepreneurial world precisely because we didn’t “fit” in the normal corporate environments. We were outlaws by nature, outrageous by temperament, and adventurers who ate risk for breakfast by choice.

Again – you do not NEED to be a half-crazed rebel to succeed in biz…

… though, I’ve noticed that a great number of the dudes and dudettes at the top of the entrepreneurial game don’t easily fit into nice, tidy molds. They don’t behave themselves in polite company.

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about what you DO need to be a successful entrepreneur. In my mastermind, there have been many members who were unclear on what it “meant” to be an entrepreneur…

… and we’ve helped every one of them get over their fears, stop obsessing on the wrong things, and become much more confident  (and successful) marketers. Mostly, they are stunned by the magnitude of profit that comes from doing things right.

It’s all a matter of hanging out with veterans who can commiserate with your stumbles, help you correct the damage, and reveal the secrets of getting into a solid success-groove, and riding it all the way to wealth and happiness.

My goal is to, eventually, have a comprehensive menu of things you can do at every step of your business life. That’s gonna take a while, though…

… so, for now, I have a starter checklist here you might find helpful.

Let’s just get into it. Here (in no particular order) are the main things you’ll need in your “toolkit” as an entrepreneur:

[] Survival resources. This includes books (both the ones you read for general knowledge and put on your shelf… and the ones that stay on your desk, dog-eared, because they are tools that help in your day-to-day work)…

… an ever-expanding network of experts, mentors, colleagues and go-to-guys (including tech geeks, hosting services, spies, friendly competitors, and helpmates in your quest for animal-level contentment)…

… and whatever courses, seminars, and tutorials you need to attain a mastery of the details of whatever biz you’re in.

[] Goal-setting skills. You need to understand, clearly, where you’re headed and what you want from both your journey and your final destination.

It’s okay, early on, to not be clear on you ultimate goals. Sometimes, you work hard to attain something, and only then realize it wasn’t what you wanted after all. That’s how life works in the active part of the pool. You will constantly re-adjust your long-term goals as you go.

Short-term, however, you need to get good at breaking down the best path to your target, while also learning how to fix problems and deal with unexpected emergencies.

[] Thick skin. You simply need to put your ego aside when entering the entrepreneurial world…

… cuz you’re gonna get stomped, bullied, abused, insulted and assaulted. Often. In new and fascinating ways that your civilian pals will never believe possible.

Your motto must be “eyes on the prize”, at all times. There will be setbacks, disasters and breathtaking failures.

You know you’ve “arrived” as a true entrepreneur when all of this becomes just part of the process, and you even enjoy the constant challenges raining down on you.

[] Risk tolerance. This is what sets most entrepreneurs apart from other civilians. Against the advice of your drinking buddies (who really do not want you to succeed, because that will destroy their own belief that the little guy can’t win)… contrary to the fears of your family (who are terrified that your wild-ass biz plans will bankrupt the joint)… and in utter defiance of your own Red Flag danger alarms…

… you’re going to have to lay your reputation on the line, and climb into a fight with the forces of capitalism armed only with your wit, meager skill sets, and raw determination.

And no one else except other entrepreneurs will even vaguely understand what you’re going through. Working without a net. Daring the universe to slap you down. Going into situations, over and over again, where you’re a complete rookie, apt to make embarrassing mistakes.

In short, living with risk. And the consequences of risk, which can include failure.

Of course, a true entrepreneur regards “failure” as just another step on the rocky path to breakthrough success. It’s a process. Few get it right the first time.

So, you need to assess your capacity to accept, and deal with risk. If the very notion of taking a risk terrifies you into inaction, it’s probably a sign from God that you need to get a job somewhere safe.

[] Your basic bag of tricks. You may have to learn the basics from books at first, or by observation… but no matter how you learn them, you need to understand the fundamentals of a sales funnel (qualified leads are captured and closed)…

… the details of fulfillment and customer management…

… and how to craft a sales message that can be easily communicated to prospects.

It’s not rocket science, but you’re an idiot if you think you can “fake it” as you begin marketing your biz for real.

Fortunately, there are a lot of courses out there to shortcut your efforts…

… or, you can dive into the many books out there on these subjects. In a weekend, you can begin your self-education by reading one on marketing, one on sales, and one on writing copy.

Your first choices may be the wrong ones to read, but that doesn’t matter — because you’ll have started the process, and that’s the critical part of this step. Next weekend, read three different books on the same subjects. Rinse and repeat until you feel you have a toe-hold in each subject, at least.

The longest journey begins with a single step. Just try not to fall on your face immediately, all right? Read critically and intelligently, and continually seek out authors you can trust and identify with.

[] A budget, or war chest. You will need cash in your biz adventures. No getting around that.

I’m not a great role model. I started my freelance career with one tank of gas in a rattle-trap car, one month’s rent paid, and enough spare change to feed myself for a couple of weeks. I had no Plan B.

Much better to have a planned budget, and the money to meet it for at least a few months. If you’re already in business, and you want to expand or get into a new project…

… then have a “war chest” of cash you can invest in the adventure. Don’t go in broke, or clueless about what you may need to pull out of your existing biz.

Most entrepreneurs hate budgets and planning.

Do it anyway. There are plenty of misadventures awaiting you in biz — don’t stumble on stuff like budgets, which you have control over and can figure out easily.

[] Ability to judge what’s worth doing, and what’s going to hold you back.

This is a biggie. You may suck at it right now, but one of your goals must be to get pro-level good at judging client requests, job offers, new projects, partner assessment (in both biz and love), and all the little and big decisions that will cascade upon your head every single day.

One tactic: Use the 1-10 “pain scale” measurement many doctors use in assessing patients. Use it on yourself – what level is the value… the risk… the reward… and the danger of any decision you encounter?

Is it a big deal, or a little deal of no lasting consequence?

Get good at this, as fast as possible. One of the main failure points of unsuccessful biz owners is a lack of prompt, good decisions.

[] Stress management. You’re going to encounter stress as an entrepreneur. That’s a given.

Ignoring this stress is a very, very, very bad idea. It will never leave, it will build up, and in due time it will fry your brain like an egg in a skillet.

You are not a superman. Your body and mind are vulnerable to the ravages of poor diet, lack of exercise, and constant hormone dumps of adrenaline and other bad chemicals.

Massage, meditation, lots of vacations, reading good books (not biz books) to relax, having “safety zones” in your week where you are free from the tentacles of your biz (no phone, no email, no nothing)…

… the tactics for battling stress are easy to find and experiment with. Find what works for you, and give it PRIORITY status in your life.

For example, I began weekly massages early in my career… long before I started buying better clothes, a newer car, or eating out more often. Massage “re-set” my physical stress levels, and I’m convinced it has saved me from ulcers and worse. And kept me mega-productive for decades.

I started out with a “business before pleasure” mindset… but included in “business” was de-stressing and being a good animal (loose, strong, well-fed, lots of restorative sleep, etc).

And finally (for this short “starter list”)…

[] Have an exit plan. Go after your goals like a terrier after a squirrel, with total focus and commitment.

However, realize that sometimes your goals need to adjusted, or even abandoned.

When the facts and circumstances change, your goals change. (This includes sudden changes in technology, like Google slaps… booming new opportunities that didn’t exist earlier… even realizing you no longer crave what motivated you so desperately before.)

I’m not suggesting you have an easy “bail out” plan, that you can take whenever things get dicey. Like Cortez burning his ships upon his conquest of Mexico, a lot of entrepreneurs do better when there is no turning back.

Rather, I’m talking about visualizing your life after success. Many entrepreneurs, right after “making it”, immediately begin to sabotage the biz. Because the fun is in the building up of the thing, the adventures of tackling challenges and working without a net.

Once you’ve been successful, you either need to pivot to management of the biz (yawn)…

… or consider the consequences of cashing out, selling your biz, moving into something else, or just becoming an “intrapreneur” like Steve Jobs did at Apple.

At least consider what your life will be like when you succeed. And consider options for yourself.

Okay. That’s the starter list. Not a bad checklist to have on the wall above your desk as you move forward, either.

One last thought on reality: Yes, I ignored the reality of who I was, and what I brought to the game, as I plowed through life going after unrealistic goals.

However, there is ONE reality I never ignore.

That would be the reality of results. I love seeing how ads and tactics work, or don’t work, through actual sales numbers (and click-through and open rates, and so on).

However, I look at these results CRITICALLY. I don’t accept them blindly. They are tools for moving forward. Where did, or where could the ad have failed? Can we fix it? What other things can be done to navigate a sales problem? Where IS the main problem, anyway?

My stupidly-aggressive and irrational refusal to face certain realities has served me well over the years. If I’d listened to the nay-sayers, or even my own fears, my life would have been much less exciting and happy. And rich, in every respect.

Still, all vices in moderation. That’s my motto.

Find out what works for you.

I hope this list is a good starting point.

Stay frosty,


P.S. Did I leave anything off the list that should have been on there?

Love to hear your take on the matter, in the comments section below…

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  • Will Compton says:

    Nice Chuck Taylors. And great list.

    I’ve been using massage, meditation, relaxation Yoga, hitting the punching bag and shooting pistols in the backyard (I live in the country) for stress management.

    Here’s my survival resources: Kickass Copywriting Secrets, The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Getting Your shit Together, Scientific Advertising, Maximum Money in Minimum Time, Breakthrough Advertising, First Hundred Million, Tested Advertising Methods, and The Robert Collier Letter Book.

    Plus anything from Dan Kennedy, Joe Sugarman, you, Halbert, Ogilvy, etc…

    But, like Joe Karbo, I believe goal setting is of utmost importance to getting what you want and keeping on track. And breaking the goal down into manageable pieces.

    The ability to take the heat is a must.

    Risk management is good but also the ability to view failure from the perspective of, “You learn more from failures.” So yeah, fail forward and disregard reality slapping you around.

    If you want something bad enough the universe is going to make you prove it. That’s why movement beats mediation.

    But I feel like direct response copywriters also have a firm grasp on reality, see the obstacles and plow ahead anyway.

    Side note: I brought up Cortez using an analogy to describe the chasm between general purpose advertisers being like the Aztecs making blood sacrifice to the gods so the corn will grow, and the direct response people showing up, Cortez knowing and telling them the crops will grow even if they don’t cut anymore hearts out.

    Most companies are like the Aztecs sacrificing their company’s blood (cash flow) to the gods of advertising.

  • Stephen says:

    Thanks for that, John, all good stuff.
    At what stage would you advise paying for something approaching ‘top end’ coaching/education/mentoring?
    When you’re new you don’t know what to do.
    When you know a bit, you have a better idea.
    Somewhere, you realise you need really good quality help, not just run-of-the-mill ‘I’m a guru, buy my stuff’ gunk.
    The budget for this is one thing, but sometimes not knowing the subsequent time/effort commitment of coaching has spooked me. They always seem to assume you have endless time and money to live on caffeine and raw energy and their special advice to ‘make it’. That ain’t necessarily so.
    Would appreciate your thoughts

    • John Carlton says:

      Hi Stephen. I’ve made a point of refusing to allow anyone to mortgage the farm to attend one of my events, or to join the mastermind, or even to buy an hour of my time. It’s okay if you need to juggle some stuff around in order to afford the high-end stuff, but I have a specific suggestion for anyone trying to fit an expensive event or group into their life: Earn it. Find a way to save an extra $100 a week (or month), or take on a side job and put every dime into a savings account to be used ONLY for your further education (or networking, which is part of the value of, say, a good mastermind).

      Don’t borrow, don’t sell the jewels, don’t try to weasel your way into the event. Though, you can always try to barter your way in — if you have something or some skill of high value that the host can use, or needs. But those legendary opportunities are rare. And most hosts and consultants have little patience for someone wanting to cut a deal, or wanting to get special treatment without offering anything in return.

      I’ve known some writers to cut deals with their clients, though… and sign away months of writing or a certain number of ads or projects, in exchange for the client sponsoring them to attend an event, or buy a course. The client is “investing” in your education or skill set getting better. There are, now that I think of it, a zillion ways to work around paying full fare for things.

      But the best, and most direct route, is to recognize the value of what you’re after, and just flat out budget the money within your current circumstances, or make the extra effort to bring in extra money. Especially in the entrepreneurial world, where you’re playing at the exciting cutting edge of capitalism.

      On the other hand… if you’re already cooking in biz, but still needing to budget everything closely — meaning you have the money, but need to justify the expense to yourself, a partner, or whoever — then you can actually come up with some realistic options. If your ads work, but don’t work very well… and you’re pretty sure a consult with someone would fix that… then how long will it be before that expensive consultation pays off? In some cases, this kind of calculation makes it a slam dunk.

      If your biz is in trouble, and you don’t understand what the problem(s) is… or how to fix it… then you have to balance out the slow death spiral you’re currently on, against the chances that a mastermind, or a paid consultation will clear things up fast enough to end the pain… and get the profit spigot open again.

      There is almost always a good way to look at your situation, and gauge the value of specific advice you’ll be given in a consult, and figure it all out.

      The value of a veteran pro with tons of experience as the guy you consult with… is that many (often most) of the problems that are completely baffling you can actually be solved easily. The veteran, looking at it with fresh eyes, through the lens of experience and real-world savvy, can sometimes rock your world with just a few minutes of the consult.

      The value, for me, of wise dudes sharing their insight, has always been huge. It’s the key to success, in so many cases. Most biz problems aren’t rocket science, after all. It always comes down to list, sales funnel, back end, and options for new projects.

      • Stephen says:

        Beautiful 🙂 So many insights.

        Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed reply. I really do appreciate it.

        There’s an outside chance I’ll be in SD in Oct having fluked an invite to a big event. Maybe I can drop by, buy you lunch or something?

        • John Carlton says:

          Have fun in SD. I’m a hermit, however, and don’t meet with folks unless it’s a paid consultation or mastermind meeting. I do my work, and then I go do my private life (no biz allowed), and the two do not mix. Appreciate the offer, though.

      • Ray says:

        I enjoyed this comment even more than the post. Imagine that… a teacher that puts the welfare of his students first. Preposterous!

  • Chris says:

    Hey john, think you covered just about everything…

    But on Gary Halbert’s persistence and unwavering belief, that’s the one that holds the most inspiration for me, at the very least.

    Most people won’t need a brick wall to stop them from creating their reality, all they need is just a small little road bump and they’re on their heels.

    On that pathway to the Feast it’s gonna be a twisted and crazy path…

    …but it exists, nonetheless, and I gotta thank you for whipping my ass into shape with your writings and courses and getting me to start taking action in my life.

  • Craig says:

    Not an addition, but more a comment:
    “judging client requests, job offers, new projects, partner assessment ” (which even could include how you structure agreements) is the one that has mostly been responsible for scuppering past success when I think about it. Because even how you apply the number to each option requires a judgement call that seems to require dying and being reborn to get the necessary experience. I am starting to wonder if this is even learnable/teachable…and if I will ever ‘get it’?

    • John Carlton says:

      Oh, hell yes it’s learnable. I was totally clueless about it, Craig, early in my career. And I didn’t start my career until I was 33, disgusted with myself, desperate to find a place in the world where I could thrive, with no mentor, no help besides a handful of books, and the driving need to get busy finding out all the shit I was clueless about.

      If I’d had a hint — like this checklist here — it would have gone much easier for me. But I don’t regret the long learning curve at all. It’s the path I had to take, longer than some, shorter than others. It got me there, is all that mattered…

      Keep after it, man. Recognizing a lesson to be learned is stop one. Most folks never have that realization. You’re already into step two…

  • Dana says:


    One of your best posts ever.

  • Mike Halpern says:

    Hey John, This was a great post. Thank you.

  • Mark says:

    Mr C Thank you sir for providing us mere mortal civilians with yet another stellar post. It certainly is a great starting point.


  • Don Sturgill says:

    Stress is a killer — to both work and body. A bottle and a hooker can help, but most often result in more stress. I’ve found prayer and meditation the most powerful things I seldom do. Thank you for the insight, John. Much appreciated.

  • Bill Jeffels says:

    Life is a journey. Not an event.

    Sometimes we have to take a step back and realize that.

    Bill Jeffels

  • Jon Sollie says:


    What a great post, not only for the wannabe entrepreneur
    but the battle weary as well. Great stuff!

    Along with the wisdom contained in your post, I find that
    a good sense of humor is vital to survival in the world of business, and the saner side of life too.

    Start by confronting yourself in the morning mirror…glare at yourself until you elicit a smile, and if you become downright giddy, that’s okay too. Now you’re ready to take it all on :-)!

    Be well,


    • John Carlton says:

      Hi Jon. Yeah, I kind of assumed the regular readers knew I value humor as an essential in your tool kit. A major advantage for anyone in advertising, and especially for writers…

  • Eddie P says:

    Interesting, I love your check list especially the bag of tricks. Looks like John, you have a bag of tricks especially in copywriting.

    I saw on Bloomberg news months ago when Paul Allen of Microsoft addressed an esteemed group of students at Cambridge University (or Oxford) in England. He said in order for a business to survive, they need more than 1 trick. He went on to describe Microsoft had 2 tricks: MS-DOS and later Windows 95, 2 great tricks. He said Apple had Apple 2 and iPod.

    As entrepreneurs, we have to develop tricks. It’s part of evolution…

  • Chris Scafidi says:


    Thanks for the insights. Super helpful stuff.

    If I could add to(or expand)on one thing it would be to Develop a “Fear-Busting” mechanism.

    From my experience, if a guy(or gal)has everything you’ve suggested but can’t get through his negative self-talk and limiting BS, he’s screwed.

    Fear is a crazy emotion. Fear will own you if you cannot control it.

    And its not about becoming more confident… Its about eliminating fear. An important distinction. There are plenty of confident people who are scared shitless to step outside of their comfort zone.

    As for overcoming fear and taming the dragon… Here are some fear-busting ideas I’ve found helpful are: self-awareness exercises, becoming comfortable with my un-common sense, speed of implementation and simply growing a pair of cajones. Probably the simplest fear-buster of all is Experience.

    When you sense that fear is holding you back, try saying to yourself; “Screw it, I’m ready enough… lets see what happens”. Do that and watch the fear disappear.

    I hope this makes sense and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Take Care,

  • Great stuff Senior Frosty! …as usual.

    Love the biggie:

    “Ability to judge what’s worth doing, and what’s going to hold you back”

    A mega biggie.

  • John Van Epps says:

    John, I truly appeciate you sharing with me (us) all these insights. This was one post that really hit home. I can see the places I’m failing more clearly, and more importantly – a way to learn from those failures and personal failings, and move forward – in so many areas of my life.

    I’m kind of a loner as well, but if you ever get to Phoenix and want to play a little blues, I’m down.

    Thank you for your insights – I’m no kid, but every once in awhile, I need a swift kick in the ass. This post did it…


  • Ron Tester says:

    “The reality of results.” I am astounded how often people confuse activity with results. It’s so easy to get busy and never get substantial work done.

    I love your list, especially the importance of having an exit plan.

    Thank you!


  • Hi John,

    Did you leave anything out?

    Hm. What about

    I’ve got some questions regarding goal-setting:

    –How many goals do you work towards simultaneously? (do you focus on just one area of your life at at a time?)

    –Do you have a preferred time horizon that seems to work best for you? (Perhaps you have short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals?)

    I’m curious.

    Kind regards,

    • John Carlton says:

      Hi Ludvig. I’ve never had a specific number. Often, there’s been just one big goal (like moving up a notch in my pay scale, getting higher fees from clients), with a smattering of supporting goals (short-term things that I needed to, like getting a faster computer or hitting up my network for testimonials, say) to get to the big one.

      No one likes to hear this, but you gotta figure it out for yourself. Over the years, you’ll become a stud at goal setting and achievement, but there’s no magic way to get that studliness except for experience.

  • Larry Gamboa says:

    John, Superb starter checklist. Jives with my creating a checklist for my quarterly LIVE seminars. Today, hit 60 plus participants each paying P5000 or US$123.00 each. Big for the Philippines. With a waiting list to boot. How? By learning how to write value blogs/videos and sales letters AND partnering with an experienced marketeer, Bo Sanchez. So in short, doing what your starter checklist suggests. Only focused on real estate and internet marketing for the Global Filipinos.

    Awesome. You rock. Just need to learn more and steadily how to sharpen my newsletter for paid members and to FREE folks to draw into my Think Rich Pinoy Funnel. Any tips on how to use newsletter (especially real estate and internet marketing) to build an online business. As an entrepreneur of course.

    Oh and I’ve implemented building a “WALL OF WONDER” life saving books in my office available to me and my partner agents. Check out

    Keep rocking and rolling Sir!

  • ken ca|houn says:

    notoriously good checklist… you make a smart point about the need to make decisions quickly; many people are indecisive in a fugue state about biz vs action orientation. i like your point about results focus, i often find surprising split-test results that are counter-intuitive (like caples did in one of his books). taking fast action based on good data is key.

    when comparing my biz’ growth to competitors this last 15 years, one thing I see a big gap in is, i work so much harder than they do, creating/prolific much more… i’m impressed with your prolific golf/defense ads, course work etc.. that’s something i think is key, is hard hard work plus being prolific w/stuff that actually works, like what you teach (thanks!).

    to notoriously big success,


  • Andy says:

    Man John every article from you kickstarts me back on track. Hope I stay there this time. Thank you.

  • James Brine says:

    Gday John

    Cheers for the great checklist. Been doing a lot of thinking lately about what has gotten me to this point in my business and what it’s going to take to move to the next level, and here’s what I come up with…

    Making good decisions fast is critical, and where you have to be very thorough is decisions that eat up your time.

    You can make money and you can spend money.

    A lot of entrepreneurs (I’ve definitely been guilty of this many times) are a lot more careful and reserved when making decisions that will cost them money.

    I think it’s much more important to take great care making decisions that will cost you time.

    Great article mate, really got the juices flowing.

  • Tom says:

    One of the great perspectives (that I stole from Henry Mastz) is to just take “failure” as a raw experience of “if-then responses”. If-then responses that allow you to emerge the success you want!

    If you know clearly enough what you want from life, your subconscious mind will offer you lots of ways to use the responses you’ve collected. (You may not like the response you got from doing this or doing that, but the response you didn’t like are just as any response you did like.)

    I take all responses as the “language of the universe”, whether I like it or hate it. The language you can not only use to create huge success for yourself, but must use… because there’s no other way dude! If you fear responses, then how the hell are you going to get them. All responses can be turned to gold. You got it man!

  • Tom again says:

    Mr. Carlton, this post you wrote here made me think about something you might find very interesting. You know Eben Pagan, right? Look: He eats weird stuff. And I know you’re at your old age right now, and I so much appreciate you and Gary Halbert, and sometimes I think on my own if those old legends would eat like Eben Pagan, they would live a lot longer. I know you’re interested in staying here for a long quality time, and you know Eben, and he is interested of that as well. And he is pretty handsome guy, too. And I think it would be great if you just ask Eben about what he eats. Next time you call, just ask. I promise I don’t know anything.

  • Renat says:

    Loved quote from Gary Halbert

  • […] Read this from The Rant: The Entrepreneur’s Checklist […]

  • Cyprien Rusu says:

    Oh Man… that does resonate with me 😉

    I learned Japanese just to prove my sister than she didn’t have to choose this major at the university to become fluent in Japanese…

    I eventually finished by becoming fluent in Japanese… and then in Chinese, and then in Korean… and even marrying with a Chinese woman…

    Hearing people that tells me they “don’t understand why I am learning all that, because that’s too difficult and I would never need it…” is the supreme motivation for me, haha

    That proves also another important point to me:

    In life there are a lot of things that you start without any well-defined reason or goal, but then it becomes useful afterwards when you start to master the skills.

    Most people start with a goal such as “passing a language exam” or something like that and when they actually get it, they stop learning.

    That’s indeed due to ego… and I found it out few years ago after reading books about psychology

    I liked the book “The Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday. It was really insightful on this aspect. Ego can be a drive but it can also become a problem…

    Amazing read anyway. Thanks a lot!


  • George Gonzo says:

    Hi John…
    Imagine most “Frosty Readers” are familiar with Dan Kennedy’s “Magic Marketing Triangle”…
    – Right Message
    – Right Medium
    – Right Target

    Well you’ve changed that Triangle into a Spinning Propeller in my head and added another Element Dan might have missed…”Right Time.” (stick that into the center of the Triangle).
    You’re still making those “winning shots”…you didn’t make this shot from Center Court…looks to me like this one came from one end of the boards all the way “up-court”…”Set, Shoot and Winner”

  • Great article, John..certainly hit a nerve.

    What “Survival resources” / books do you recommend on Sales, Marketing, Copywriting? In both categories:

    1. ones you read for general knowledge and put on your shelf…
    2. and the ones that stay on your desk, dog-eared, because they are tools that help in your day-to-day work

    What’s on your list?


  • Sebastian says:

    It’s more of a checklist to live by. There are so many good points on it that help not only in business, but also in life. I love it.

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