No don't go in there, Daddy's working.
You are listening to the only show in the galaxy for dadpreneurs who want to have it all. Each week, you'll see how you can have harmony in the four pillars of purpose - family, faith, fitness and finances.
Jonathan: Here we go. I don’t know what to say. I just felt like the only show in the galaxy. Have you guys noticed? Every podcast out there is the best podcast on the planet. They're all the best podcast on the planet. How many best podcasts in the planet can you really have? That's why, today, Daddy's Working is now the best podcast in the galaxy. [0:01:01.8]
That's taking it up a notch, thinking bigger, getting infinite, baby. Man, speaking of thinking bigger, I'm stoked to bring you today's show. It's actually part two of an interview I did and if you missed last week's, I would definitely go back and start there. There was a lot of gold in that episode, but when you've got a guy that's done a billion marketing pieces and worked with some of the greatest copywriters in history, you got to think, man, wouldn’t it be great to have that guy as a mentor, and I'm proud to say that even though we're not as close as we could be, I consider Mr. Brian Kurtz a mentor and I'm stoked to bring you today's episode. It's part two of the interview and inside, we're going to talk about how you can become an irresistible mentor magnet. After that, Brian talks about the real way to outwork everyone in sight and here's a little hint - it's not going to be the Gary B method of doing business. Then we'll wrap up with the lazy man's secret to looking like your business is everywhere. Alright? So let's dive back in to part two of the interview. [0:02:14.3]
Jonathan: Let's talk, since you're talking about mentorship, I've had this story before because I had the good fortune of interviewing you before, but can you tell us how you got started in direct marketing?
Brian: I sort of fell into it. I mean, there was a guy, I was working at a publisher in New York. I thought I wanted to be a writer or an editor and there was a headhunter that said, "I got this young company called Boardroom and I think the guy, Marty, would like you." That was how it started and he, nothing came of it and I was working at this other job and finally he got me an interview and the interview was as a list manager at Boardroom. Boardroom was a newsletter, so we didn't have advertising. So the lists were the only way to get to the audience and in direct mail, Boardroom's lists, you wouldn’t, people on the his podcast wouldn’t know that Boardroom had the most amazing lists because they were executives. [0:03:10.1]
They were mail-order buyers. They had it all, and they bought through, we'll call it paranoid fascination approaches in direct mail. So they were just amazing mail order junkies and intelligent and just … it was just a great list. So everybody used the list. So I got this job as the list manager and I started gallivanting around the industry and I started looking around and saying, "You know, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to choose my mentors, but I think your mentors choose you." So my first mentor was Marty, of course, and he, you know, after two years at Boardroom, I wanted to go over to the editorial side and be a writer, and he said, "Nope, you've got a nose for marketing. You stay there." I'm 23 years old, of course I'm going to stay there, you know. And so and that was kind of a turning point and then I just took off in that area. [0:04:02.3]
But then, Boardroom would have all these consultants and awesome people like some of the greats, like Dick Benson and Gordon Grossman, who built the Readers Digest, and Gene Schwartz, who wrote Breakthrough Advertising and is one of the greatest copywriters ever. So I had the privilege of sort of working with them, but I just wanted to like just you know get their wisdom. I was the 20-year-old looking for 50, 60 and 70 years old because they had all the wisdom. Unfortunately now that I'm 61, too many of my mentors are dead, but I basically figured out, once I became such an expert in the lists, that I saw, in the case specifically of Dick Benson and Gene Schwartz, that they needed my expertise. Like they, Gene had a… Gene Schwartz had a little company called Instant Improvement that was renting lists in addition to him doing copy for us and Rodale Press and all these other people. So I would basically look at Gene's mail plans, no charge, and just tell him which lists were good, which lists were bad, you know, his list broker wasn’t that good and neither was Dick Benson's and so, I basically became their ad hoc list broker consultant for free. [0:05:16.7]
And so then, when I worked with them, when I was working with Gene on copy or with Dick Benson on just general Boardroom stuff, they just like gravitated to me - like, I didn't ask them to. They could have said, you know, Brian, thanks for your help, now good-bye, but they didn't. And they became my, you know, amazing mentors that were so important to me. So I guess… I don't know if this was the question you asked, but it was, you know, about mentors and you know, and I get this all the time now, you know, I get people writing to me, "Will you be my mentor?" That's not how it works. Your mentors choose you and there are some people I've helped that haven’t done anything for me and that's fine. You know, it's a 100-0. If they do something for me, fine. If they don’t, fine, but then someone else is going to do something for me out of the blue and that's just the serendipitous mentorship that I get. [0:06:08.4]
So I think that just being genuine, being a contributor, being good to other people, you know, it's like, you know, don’t do anything to others that you wouldn't want to do to yourself. But, just take care of people and mentors are going to come and that's the most important thing in my career. And in fact, you talked about the bonus page from my book, OverdeliverBook.com, so there were two reasons to have that page - one is I have a book called Overdeliver - I better over deliver with these bonuses…
Jonathan: You bet.
Brian: … but the other thing was that I wanted to honor my mentors, both dead and alive. I mean, there are dead mentors there and there are alive mentors there. And I realized after watching the movie Coco, I don’t know if you've seen that, but it's an amazing film about… it's a Mexican film and it's a Pixar. It's a kids' film kind of, but not really and it's all about Dia De Los Muertos, where the Mexican holiday where you celebrate the dead. [0:07:05.1]
You don’t mourn them; you celebrate and one of the key concepts in the movie is that people aren’t really dead until they're no longer remembered and so, that stuck with me as I was putting together that Overdeliver page and then I said, well what about the mentors I have that are still alive? They should be remembered too and then ironically, in April of this year I had a stroke and I almost died and so I could have been the guy that was being remembered, and so I needed to be remembered. So it was fortunate that in April, when I had my stroke, my book was launching. I had the page already built and it was all set. So I felt like oh, alright, you know, and I woke up and I said, oh if I had died, I would have been remembered, I think, for a bit of time. So now, I'm committed to that page and the book because I don’t think… I owe so much to my mentors that I stand on the shoulders of that have just shaped my career and I think that's a wonderful thing, going back to the subject of your podcast, which is being a great dad teaching that alone to your kids is, I don't know, you know, too many other lessons that could be as profound as that. [0:08:16.8]
Jonathan: Absolutely, man. So I want to go to a quote in your book that I really dig - "Everything in life is not a revenue event, but everything is a relationship event." Can you talk on that a bit?
Brian: Yeah, I mean, I came up with that when I did the whole thing in the foreign countries about when I talked about marketing isn't evil, and the beauty of the internet and online marketing is that you don’t have to pay postage and printing. I mean, I had… that's why chapter three of the book, of my book, is How Paying Postage Made Me A Better Marketer. Not because I, you know, walked to school in the snow barefoot everyday for 12 miles, but it's that I had to have the discipline to not mail anything until I had it perfect or close to perfect and on the internet, the beauty of it is that it's really inexpensive, like email, but that's not an excuse to be sloppy. [0:09:08.7]
It's not an excuse to just throw anything out there and take that a step further, you have the opportunity to do this relationship building before you sell anything and it goes back to fishing without bait but it's such a profound quote because it basically says "I'm going to sell sometimes. I'm not going to sell sometimes, but everything I do is going to achieve something." And the relationship can be basically developing a way for someone to stay with you. So say they bought from you - you don’t have to sell them right away. You could, but you don’t have to, but what are you going to do for them? Well, I'm going to send them a free special report based on the first thing I sold them because I just want them to have it. You couldn’t do a lot of that in direct mail because it was expensive to send it and print it. You can do that anytime you want in email for example. [0:10:02.3]
So, what an opportunity. And things like Product Launch Formula was an extension of that. Product Launch Formula says technically, I want to give away my best stuff in the launch and then open the card for a product that I'll say is more of my best stuff, but it might not be as good as the stuff I gave you for free, but it'll be really damn good and it'll be worth paying for it. But if you don’t pay for it, I gave you incredible value and you know what - if you don’t buy from me today, when I come back to you a year later with another launch, and you'll remember me, maybe you'll buy then. And so that's a lot of what's entailed in that quote and it's powerful because then it…when you're sitting behind the desk thinking about what you're going to do to your audience, whether it's your email list, whether it's your direct mail list, whether it's the list of subscribers if you're doing a print ad, if you're doing an online search or Google Ad Words, you'll think about what does that potential customer think of me when they get that, and that's what we had to do in direct mail, why shouldn't you do that when you're doing anything online? So that's probably where the quote comes from and some of the going deeper with it. [0:11:16.0]
Jonathan: So, I want to just talk a little bit about the four pillars of being extraordinary and try to challenge you on one. I don’t know where you're really at with this one, but how it works, everyone, curiosity, knows the right people, helps others first. How it works, everyone. Is this like a Gary B, grind your face off, don’t see your family kind of thing or what do you mean by that?
Brian: Yeah, I don’t, I don’t mean that, but I guess it does seem like that, but I think outworking everyone, and I got this from Bo Eason, it's actually generosity, and maybe I'll change the first pillar when I reprint the book and call it "generosity." And Bo tells a story of Jerry Rice, who was the best football player ever - I mean, he has more touchdowns by a wide margin than anybody and he just tells this story and I won't tell the whole story, but it was basically that later in his career where he was the best and they went to training camp, which was a bitch. [0:12:15.3]
I mean, that was a hard time for football players, that he would outwork everybody, but it was not to grind them into the turf. It wasn’t to show them up. It was to set an example and it was actually generosity because if, for instance, in a drill that he was going out for a pass that he would catch the pass and each guy, each receiver, catches the pass and then comes back, gives the ball to the quarterback, and they keep doing it. Jerry Rice would catch the pass and then he'd run 100 yards to the end zone and run 100 yards back and then hand the ball to the quarterback, and so someone asked him, it's like, you know, why do you do that - this is practice - this is like, you don’t have to do that, and you made the team already - what are you kidding? And he says, "When these hands touch the football, it goes into the end zone." [0:13:04.7]
And it's like… like… you know, and so, I use that and at my Titans event in 2014, I showed the video of Bo acting this out, which is amazing, but it's a really good illustration of what outworking everyone means. Now, you'll tend, when you're outworking everybody, like Marty Edelston - these were the four pillars that make you extraordinary according to Marty Edelston - he didn't make them up, but I made them up for him. I used it in the eulogy at his funeral and the outworking everybody for him entailed, you know, if he was in an office, he'd be the guy who would be sitting next to you or the woman who would be sitting next to you in school that would always get 100 on every exam, outperform everybody and you could look at that with either disdain, envy (and envy is the worst - envy kills - envy is the worst) or you could look at it with gratefulness, like they're showing me how to do it, at no cost and that's generosity. [0:14:04.9]
So that's a different take on it. I think outworking everybody, you still want to do a great job. You still want to be excellent at what you do, but you don’t have to do it by grinding everybody into the ground and you don’t have to necessarily do it for more hours. I'm not a big believer in the 4-hour work week, but I am a believer in talk about family. I worked really hard for my 40 years, but I talked about this with my kids and my wife and I said, "I know I wasn’t like always present, but I don’t think I ever missed a little league game. I only missed one dance recital because I was stuck in an airport for 8 hours and I was…I set the flight up to come home so I could see it. So I was very, very conscious of my kids' schedule and all that, but that's part of working around it. So I think you can outwork everybody and be generous to your kids and to your family and still work your ass off. [0:15:02.1]
Jonathan: Yeah. I…
Brian: Did I defend it okay?
Jonathan: No, yeah. I read it and it rubbed me the wrong way because when people ask me, like when I go to meet people, my wife and I, I call her Cupcake on the show. We, you know, we do mom and dad are always there - mom and dad, the mom and dad team that are always there. Whenever I see another dad there, they're like, oh hey, the usual little conversation piece is, "What do you do" and I'm like, "As little as possible." Like that's my thing is I just want my family time. So yeah, I was wondering about that. Is that missing everything?
Brian: I'm looking at it here. I wanted to see how I phrased it, but I said, "Becoming the best at something is not a question of working the most hours. It's what you do with those hours and your efforts." So I kind of started with that. I probably, you know, celebrate your successes, get right back to the grindstone to try to improve on what you just did, to keep working to the next level. That sounds like a Gary B thing, but it's not…it's not at all costs and it's not at the cost of family. [0:16:01.6]
Brian: You know, it's just not. And…
Jonathan: And I agree with you, too. I mean, anybody that's driven is…really, we're more, and you know this, we're more about the journey. Like if we get that goal, it's like, crap - I got it - now what's next - like it's not as fun as getting to the goal.
Brian: Yeah. I think that's why, you know, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, who I recommend to everybody and a lot of your listeners should take a …
Jonathan: Four years, I'm in.
Brian: Oh you got 4 years? Yeah, I'm like 6 years and you know, as Dan says, we're slow learners with money.
Brian: But the beauty of Strategic Coach is you can't get in the gap as an entrepreneur and the gap is where you are now and the horizon. Now if you walk to the horizon, you never get there. So the key is you get to a goal and that's why Strategic Coach lets you go quarter to quarter, which is really important and you get to the milestone and you achieve something and before you go on to the next quarter, you got to turn around and look at where you were and where you are and celebrate it, and celebration is the key, and celebrate it with your family, you know, for instance. [0:17:09.4]
After my stroke, I mean my kids are out of the house, so I don’t have any guilt that oh, did I spend enough time with my kids - that's why I had a stroke, but I thought about was I celebrating my successes now with my family enough, and that was an interesting introspection because I think with my kids out of the house, my wife and I planning our vacations and stuff around my work, I'm like, oh wait a minute - maybe I'm not including them in my success of Titans Marketing, which has been successful after leaving Boardroom, and maybe I'm not including them enough. And so that was a nice something that I took stock of and it's been helpful.
Jonathan: I talk about Coach on the show all the time, so you're in good company, brother.
Brian: Oh, good. I…
Jonathan: In fact, I just …
Brian: …I’m sorry if I repeated some stuff.
Jonathan: No, no. I just had, last, well I don't know when these are going to air, but I was just talking to Nick Nanton and he's been in Coach for awhile too.
Brian: Yeah, he's in my Coach group. He's in my Coach group. [0:18:07.4]
Jonathan: Yeah, he said he knew you. But yeah, it just…we gravitate to the things that work for us. So I want to talk about, a little bit, and this is what I find is fun about you. You're still young enough to pull this off, but you talk about how paying postage made you a better marketer and you talk about yourself being a bridge between then, the old school of doing things, and now, the newer school. So can you talk a little bit about the difference between then and now and how you're bridging that gap?
Brian: Yeah. Well, it's not easy because most of the people I grew up with in direct mail, most of them have given up and they've given up in one way or another. They've given up because they were old and they died - that's one way to give up - and some retired and then died and because they were just so intimidated by the internet and by online marketing. Some were my age and they gave up because they just didn't want to learn it. [0:19:02.5]
So the key was that I had a really good base of knowledge in the fundamentals of direct response marketing and having worked with the best copywriters, the best consultants. So I had this base of knowledge that was really good, but I didn't have any base of knowledge, and I was living while the new stuff was coming along - I mean, I was alive when the first email came along. I was alive when the first launch came along. So what I have done is, and you know this because you were in Ryan Levesque's mastermind…so a good example was that Ryan invited me to speak at his mastermind and I went there with the purpose of he was inviting me to teach, but I was going there to learn. So I did my teaching, whatever I was teaching - I don't know if it was useful or not - but then I started paying attention to what the younger guys were doing…
Jonathan: The kids were doing…
Brian: …yeah, the younger guys and then see what I can apply and then make some connections, but the last thing I ever want to do is be like grandpa at the picnic saying, get off of my lawn, you young whippersnappers - you don’t know nothing. [0:20:09.9]
That's not my game at all, but some people think that it is dangerous to say how paying postage made me a better marketer, but it's the context of …I'm in Jeff Walker's mastermind group, for example - that's all launch people and people who are doing state of the art stuff online. I don’t do any of that and yet, I need to know it because in my mastermind group, when Jeff comes to speak at my mastermind group or I go back to my mastermind group and tell them about what I learned there, I'm giving my mastermind group - some of them know it, some of them don’t - but my mastermind group is a multichannel marketing group and therefore, I can't do any of that without having been a student. So I guess the bottom line of that whole thing of being a bridge that connects the fundamentals of direct response marketing to everything that's state of the art today is to always be a teacher and a student and without that, you can't do it. [0:21:04.7]
I'm convinced you can't do it. And so, the student part is the tough part because I can get very intimidated. You know, I'm with somebody who's, you know, for good reasons they're running circles around me. Like let's say when I started learning about podcasting, I was talking to you and you started talking about all the benefits of podcasts and but instead of like saying I don’t need to know that, instead of saying I don’t want to know that, instead of saying I can figure that out myself, I was like a sponge. I want to know about it. You're the expert. I'm not. And now, once I learn that, I've got that in my basket, maybe not at your level, but I've got it in my basket and that's the most valuable thing. And so that's why the opposite of one of things I felt after I had my stroke was that I didn't wake up and say, oh now I'm going to live - now I can't believe how much time I've wasted - I can't believe how much, I mean, I have made some mistakes and I'd like to correct a few and I talked about one already, but fortunately, I don’t have that much to correct. I have some stuff and it was very rewarding that I'm going to have more time. I got more time. [0:22:15.0]
Brian: I got like, you know, it's, it's bonus time, you know. I'm in the bonus round, you know. I was almost dead, really close to being dead, and that was exciting. That was special.
Jonathan: That's awesome, man. I love to hear that. I love it. So you just mentioned it and I have it actually here in my notes is the most dangerous thing in marketing and you said that a lot of people are doing single channel and a lot of what you do in Titans and the reason why you're doing all this learning, being a student and being a teacher is because your group is more about multichannel. So can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Brian: Yeah, I mean Dan Kennedy, who is gravely ill right now, but he said the most dangerous number in business is one - one employee, one media channel, one product, one promotion. [0:23:03.8]
You've got to be diversified and I don’t have to tell you that. You've probably heard the horror stories of someone launching a business. They do 100% of the business on Facebook. Facebook says uhp, I don’t like what you did; I'm shutting you off. And then their business is gone. I know of a business, it was a $30 million business, 100% on Amazon and one day, they felt that, you know, one of the ads - I mean, they're Amazon and you're not, and they own the platform and they said that goes beyond our, you know, what we require of our advertisers and they were shut down and then you don’t have a business. Now I'm not saying that if you have a $30 million business on Amazon, that's pretty damn good and you don’t want to give that up, but … and I'm not saying you're going to go, well I want that to be 10% of my business - no. You're going to have, it's a good business on Amazon, but you have to think about what other channels you can at least get a piece of that would expand your business in some way. [0:24:00.4]
And so, I think that… I mean, Perry Marshall has this thing that's brilliant. It's called Maze 2.0, and it's like a grid, it's like online, offline and live and recorded and he puts every medium that's available, every channel in one of those quadrants and he says, you can't be in everything - you don’t want to be in everything, but if you can pick one or two things in each of the quadrants, it'll look like you're everywhere and that just was a fantastic thing to learn and to study and so, what I do in my mastermind groups - I want to bring them as much of the 'what' as I can find. So the 'what' - is it LinkedIn, is it Facebook, is it direct mail, is it search, it is…whatever, and I find the expert and because I've been networking, not networking - I've been contributing in the industry so long that I've been connected to the best people and then I say, would you like to speak at my mastermind, and you know, I don’t like to pay them if I don’t have to, but I pay all their expenses and it's really good for them because the mastermind is very high end and they come and they do a presentation and is that a medium that you want to use? Maybe, maybe not. But I want to give my folks a sense of what the what is and then also, who the who is. So you have a…and that's what Dan is…[0:25:20.8]
Jonathan: Who, not how.
Brian: Yeah, get whoed up, right? So it's like the what and the who and then that's how you get to the how. I even did a blog post about, I was summarizing one of my mastermind meetings with all the speakers and I said the what and the who before the how and that's how I look at masterminds. So if you're doing a multichannel mastermind, you want to get as much of the whats in there, get a discussion, see who can use and who can't. If you can't use it, you put it on the shelf. I had somebody not renew my mastermind because they said that I've got these three things I'm working on, I'll go to your mastermind, I'm a shiny object guy, I'll get so confused that it'll be so much stuff, I won't be able to do it. I said, don’t you have like a garage somewhere that you can store some ideas? [0:26:10.4]
Like you don’t have to put everything on front burner, but you want to know it. You want to know what you could do with LinkedIn even if you're not going to use LinkedIn. So, that is one of my missions, and I didn't mind that he didn't renew, but I thought it was for a terrible reason, and maybe he was just being nice and he hated my group. That's fine, but, tell me that. But don’t tell me that too many ideas. It reminds me, I wrote a blog post, the movie Amadeus, which is one of my favorite movies ever, there's a scene in Amadeus which is about Mozart and Mozart just, on the fly, comes up with this tune that's amazing and the emperor, who's tone deaf basically and doesn’t know anything about music but the emperor doesn’t have any clothes, so you always assume that he's right, and Mozart finishes the piece and Mozart says, what do you think? And the emperor says, it's catchy, but too many notes. [0:27:03.3]
That just was an amazing, amazing line. In fact, in my blog post, I have the whole dialogue from the movie, and then I said, that's the problem - it's like if you think there are too many notes, you're not learning enough. You're not paying attention to what's going on. You don’t know what notes you're going to have to know now and what notes you're going to have to know a year from now or two years from now or what notes are going to change. Then there was the line from …and then the opposite of that is that there was a line from the movie A Star is Born, that in the movie, I won't give away anything although there's been four remakes and they all end the same, so I don't know if there… if I'm giving away too much, but at the end of the movie, Sam Elliot, who is Bradley, oh god I forgot his last name, anyway, the star's brother is Sam Elliot and he's sitting there and he says, you know, every song is the same 12 notes, but every artist tells it differently or something like that. It's the same 12 notes and I thought about that and I said, you read my book and a lot of people who reviewed my book who didn't give it good review said, eh, I knew that already - I knew everything in the book and I knew that… there's nothing new. [0:28:09.3]
And I would readily admit that I didn't invent anything, but if I'm telling you about lifetime value or RFM or the 40-40-20 rule or all these things that I have in my book and I say, and I tell it with a story that was from my career that lets you understand it better, then I've done a good job because everybody needs their messenger. Everybody needs… because like if I hear about RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) from this person and that person, I might not understand it as well from this person because the story they put on it didn't resonate with me, whereas it really resonated with me on this story and then I understand it. And that seems to me the same 12 notes but it's told a different way and that's really important. So, did I answer your question?
Jonathan: Yeah. You know what you've done? You've over delivered. That's what you've done.
Brian: I didn't shut up is what I did do. [0:29:02.2]
Jonathan: That's what you've done…no, and dude, I still have another two pages of notes, but we have got - we're at the end of the show. It's OverdeliverBook.com. Folks, go pick up a copy. OverdeliverBook.com. That's where you…
Brian: Yeah, there's instructions. You go and you hit a button on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you go buy the book, you come back. You put the order number in. You get this whole, the 11 bonuses are just over the top, intentionally. I'm not just hyping this up. I mean, it is amazing. Jay Abraham gave me a course that was phenomenal that he spent $200,000 to create that he doesn’t sell anymore and 21 Key Notes by Jay. There's stuff from Gary Bencivenga, his Bencivenga bullets, best living copywriter. I've got a swipe file from Dan Kennedy. I've got a swipe file from going back to 1900 of direct mail.
Jonathan: That's my favorite.
Brian: Yeah, that's an amazing. That was from Jason Hart and that's an amazing copywriter's toolkit and you don’t understand - you can take the stuff out of this, these direct mail packages going back to 1900 and you'll never be at a loss to find a subject line and a lead and an email and it's not just because it's direct mail. [0:30:13.3]
And then there's two books in there, pdfs of two books by Dick Benson and Gordon Grossman, two of my mentors that they're not…they're hard to find books and I was able to put the pdfs on there. I have a Gene Schwartz interviews, which are amazing. I have videos from my Titans event, 6 of the 12 interviews. It's an amazing package and I really wanted to over deliver there and honor my mentors. So, it's OverdeliverBook.com. It's phenomenal and just a great package.
Jonathan: Brian, you are the man. Thank you so much for being here. Gang, OverdeliverBook.com. That is a wrap for another Daddy's Working. Thank you for tuning in.
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