“Every time they were sure you were caught, you were quicker than they thought…” (Bob Seger, “Still The Same”)
Well, we do have a couple of winners to announce here.
It was a hell of a quiz, wasn’t it. Over 400 responses (and still climbing)… and, as several posters noted, just reading the thread was an enlightening experience (with dozens of great stories and insight shared).
Crowd-sourcing at its finest.
Before I give the two winners their moment in the sun, however (and ship out their signed copies of “The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Getting Your Shit Together“)…
… let’s get straight on the answer to this one-question quiz.
Recall: I asked what — in my 30 years consulting with biz owners, freelancers, entrepreneurs, inventors and dreamers — was the Number One problem I saw folks encountering in their quest for wealth and happiness.
There may indeed be many other problems troubling folks…
… but in my experience, there is only one Big Kahuna problem.
And solving this big one also solves vast chunks of other problems in your life and career. Just like that.
The last great clue (no, I’m not gonna just roll over and tell you the answer without preamble) is in the photo up top here: That’s (from left) Joe Polish, the marketing whiz-kid who wrote the forward to my book…
… Gary Halbert, my uber-infamous mentor, biz partner and close pal…
… Gary Bencivenga, whose controls I stalked and whose teaser copy inspired me to rewrite my own bullets 30 times for every ad I penned (and who I actually wrote some stuff for in the late 80s)…
… and me.
Bencivenga loved this photo. We’d all known each other and worked in the same part of the direct response world for years… but we’d never all been in the same room together. (This was in NYC, at Gary’s legendary “Bencivenga 100” seminar.)
Think you have the answer yet?
Consider: Just from these four guys, you’ve got generations of successful copywriters and marketers who owe their “breakthrough moment” to one of us. Ads that brought in gazillions, and created empires. Advice that transformed a moribund business plan, or a headline, or a career. An entire revolution in biz attitudes, success strategies and persuasion methods…
… all emanating out like rocket-fire from just these guys.
Got the answer now?
We leaned on each other, borrowed from each other, learned from each other, watched each other’s back, traded war stories and admired each other’s skills…
… and, in general, shared often large parts of our professional lives in the thin, rarefied air of world-class movin’-and-shakin’.
In short… Read more…
In The Bosom Of The Sierras Below Lake Tahoe, NV
“I got your number on the wall…” (Tommy TuTone “Jenny/867-5309”)
I’ve got an idea: Let’s give out a couple of hot prizes. What d’ya think about that?
Like… how about a bitchin’ hot-off-the-presses copy of my book “The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Getting Your Shit Together“…
… signed by me, to you.
Free. I’ll even pick up the shipping, that’s what a mensch I am.
And all you gotta do is be either the first to deliver (in the comment section below) the correct answer to the question I’m about to reveal here… or write up the best response. I’ll be the judge and jury here.
So there will be two winners. We’ll let this quiz percolate for a week, and then I’ll announce the two winners here.
I haven’t hosted a quiz in a long time. Shame on me. The last few quizzes pulled in hundreds and hundreds of replies, which kind of freaked me out… but they were also evil fun. I’ll be in the comments myself, sifting and searching for the two winners (and tossing out the trolls).
I’ll announce the lucky victors in the comments section on Friday, November 22.
Free signed copy of the one book all serious entrepreneurs should have on their shelf. Might be worth something, you know, when I kick the bucket (or get embroiled in a scandal or something).
First correct answer, and best response (as judged by me).
Here’s the set-up for the question: I’ve been counseling and advising entrepreneurs for over 30 years now…
… on just about every detail of creating a solid biz model, and cramming all marketing materials with the kind of persuasive voodoo that brings in the Big Bucks. I’ve helped transform a small army of formerly-clueless entrepreneurs into scary-good monsters of profit.
And, in almost every long-term relationship I’ve had advising a client…
… we’ve covered every aspect of running a business — dealing with details, solving problems, finding happiness and managing wealth (or lack thereof).
If you haven’t enjoyed a mentoring relationship like this (or even an extended round of consulting with an expert), you might be astonished at what, precisely, pops up as the biggest (and baddest) obstacle to getting filthy rich and deliriously happy as an entrepreneur.
You might even be shocked.
So, here’s the question: Based on what you suspect I’ve discovered in my 30 years of consulting…Read more…
San Francisco, CA
“I left my heart…” (Tony Bennett)
By the time you read this, I’ll be back home in Reno… a better man for having spent a week in San Francisco.
Even though it was all business, I still get invigorated just from hanging out in that city by the bay. It’s one of the few things California did right (though they’re working hard at ruining it). (Bastards.)
And while I was gone, the last blog post went freaking bonkers. Nearly 200 comment posts (most of them well-thought-out and elegantly delivered, too). (With the occasional funny disruptor, of course. It wouldn’t be a good Quiz without a big healthy dose of irreverence.)
So, a big “thanks” once again to Robert Gibson (SWS veteran teacher and all-around good dude) for being ring-leader while I was off.
And congratulations to the winner. Who we’ll announce here in a second.
First, though, let’s clarify what the answer is.
The question was: What’s the 4th big observation about money that changed my life so dramatically… that an avalanche of good stuff followed (including the phat opportunities to work with Gary Halbert)?Read more…
“Money, money, money, money, money, money…” (Cabaret)
Hope you enjoyed the last post, where I offered up 3 observations about moolah.
For this current post, I promised to reveal the 4th observation…
… which is so powerful, it can instantly change the way you move and get things done in the world.
… I’ve just had a sudden urge to get all Socratic here, and ask readers to do some critical thinking before I reveal that 4th observation.
It’s too easy to just toss the really hot wisdom in your lap… and the retention level when you don’t have to think about it first is abysmally low. I do you a grave disservice by not using the most powerful teaching methods available when I’m sharing the good stuff…
… and the Socratic method — which ignites critical thinking skills by asking questions (and never, ever just gives anything away) — is a proven way to juice up the ol’ brain cells, while being able to see what other folks come up with from their perspective.
In fact, let’s make it a real Quiz.
The first person to chime into the comments section here with the answer I’m looking for… Read more…
“So what?” (Miles Davis)
Okay, I know I’m a few hours late delivering the answer to the very excellent Quiz #8.
I had writer’s block. Just couldn’t think of what to write…
Kidding! I’m joshing with you.
I apologize for the delay. Simple matter of being abducted by friends and whisked off to an enjoyable Friday adventure. I earned it, and knew you’d forgive me for being a tad late with the solution to the Quiz. (You know it takes me several hours to concoct these posts, right?)
Let’s get down to it, then.
First: I want to thank, and congratulate, everyone who posted for the Quiz. The threads on this blog are always energizing mini-riots of good critical thinking…
… along with a smattering of cleverness, sheer brilliance, pontificating idiocy, and (always) one or two utterly outraged comments from folks who wandered into the fray by accident.
I love it all.
As many have noted… the comment threads at this blog rival the actual posts for being fascinating reading.
There’s some smokin’-hot wisdom out there, for anyone paying attention.
Second: Here is the answer to the Quiz question…
“Writer’s block is…Read more…
“Ain’t it hard when you discover that he wasn’t really where it’s at… after he took from you everything he could steal?” (Bob Dylan, “Like A Rollin’ Stone”)
This is gonna be good.
And a whole lot tougher than any previous quiz I’ve given.
I’ll explain the prize in just a sec.
First, the set-up for the question:
I find it shocking that so many wanna-be-rich marketers out there still think the question of “short copy vs. long copy” is unsettled online.
I can tell you this: For the top guys — the ones sloughing off the vast majority of the moolah being made by entrepreneurs on the Web — it’s settled.
Whether you’re primarily using video, or email, or websites, or social media…
… the Main Big Damn Rule for getting people to part with their hard-earned money in trade for what you offer hasn’t changed since the first caveman traded up to a new cave with a view for a slab of mastodon meat:
The more you tell…
… the more you sell.
Hey — I love a good argument. Don’t get me wrong.
And I’m always open to hearing someone out on this subject.
I realize that — for many people unsullied by actual experience in the biz world — it’s just plain tempting to believe that the rules of the universe have suddenly changed.
And you no longer have to be so… vulgar… to make a sale anymore.
Because, you know… the Web has changed everything. Social networking has somehow mysteriously short-circuited the old skepticism, doubt, and fear of getting “taken” that has marred the smooth exchange of money in the past.
Now, hey, we’re all buddies on Twitter and Facebook!
Mi casa es su casa.
How much do you need? Here, take my wallet…
For anyone paying attention to what the entrepreneurs actually making money online are doing…Read more…
“Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.“ (HAL to astronaut Dave in “2001”)
Okay, let’s do a quickie quiz, what d’ya say?
It’s Saturday evening, after all… and I just got my ass whupped by Michele at Scrabble (her first win, ever, in 10 years of trying) (and I don’t expect to ever hear the last of it anytime soon).
(What’s the time limit on doing the “Ass Whup” dance, mocking your partner, anyway?)
So, to keep my mind off the misery of such a wrenching loss (she accidentally used all 7 letters in her third turn, and that bonus 50 points is what beat me), I’m hiding in my office.
I’ve got maybe 10 minutes before I have to come out and face more taunting and jublilation.
Thus, a quick blog post. (“Get out of here! I gotta work…”)
I’m giving a prize away, of course.
Let’s se… how about a fresh copy of “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel” to the first right answer.
I’ve got a nice new one burning a hole on the shelf across from my desk. It’s got your name on it, Mr/Ms Winner. I’ll sign it, and have Diane ship it out asap.
Okay. Here’s the quiz:
The most common question I get from entrepreneurs who are stuck on some part of their marketing…Read more…