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Who is Dan Kennedy?

If you are not familiar with Dan Kennedy, he is a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur, in his 35th year as a sought after, celebrated business and marketing advisor, presently communicating his advice to over 1-million business owners annually. His No B.S. Marketing Letter is the most widely read, paid subscription newsletter of its kind; he is a columnist for and; and author of 14 business books, which have earned spots on Inc. Magazines List of 100 Best Business Books as well as Business Week and Amazon bestseller lists more than a dozen times, as well as praise from Forbes, Success and Entrepreneur. His private clients routinely travel to him and pay upwards from $18,800.00 per day and hundreds of thousands of dollars per project, for his sage advice you can get a concise presentation of the five business strategies he ranks as essential in this new Report, at no cost whatsoever. If you can handle a candid, no-holds-barred analytical assessment of the current and coming marketplace and selling conditions we confront, the risks and hazards as well as the opportunities, and the failures of the majority of entrepreneurs and marketers to respond effectively, then this timely Report is must-reading.

Table of Contents
Five ESSENTIAL Strategies
Aggressive 5 Profit Margin 6 Focus on Quality, not (just) 7 Return to 8 Truly Earning Your 8

BONUS Section: Selected Essays and Articles

How to Sustain Prosperity as an 11 Moving to Higher 12 The Keys to Succeeding in 13 Overcoming One of the Best Excuses 14 Are You Smarter than the Goose? 15 People Love to 16 Dead Man (or Business) 17 Where the Greatest Opportunities are Often 18 Reality Bites, 19 Wretched Excess and 20 Scotch, Water, and 22 The Decline and Fall of American 23 Bowl and Grow Rich? 24 The Importance of Personal 25

Managing the Sales 27


Tough Talk for Tough Times

Dateline: Early 2010 Introduction There is some general lifting of anxiety and malaise, isnt there? An idea that we have seen the economic abyss but backed away, and that there are better times ahead. And its good to feel some of that optimism. But lets not get carried away. There is a NEW ECONOMY with new demands on business slowly developing, which I write about in-depth in my newest books*, but theres a very, very bumpy road leading there. Most of the most critical fundamentals remain poor. Unemployment plus significant under-employment ie. reduced hours, movement to lesser paying jobs, etc. tops 17% nationwide, is as high as 25% in some areas, and will top 20% nationwide this year. This is a stiff wind to be building businesses or selling against, and its negative strength should not be under-estimated. The death by starvation of the weak and wimpy business owners is far from over. This Report is for those determined to do whatever it takes, to step over their rotting corpses, and prosper, no matter what. That requires a particularly tough-minded approach. It has nothing to do with positive (or negative) thinking or optimism (or pessimism), only with doing what is needed.
*My newest books are No B.S. Business Success For The New Economy and No B.S. Sales Success For The New Economy, available at all booksellers or via

Essential Strategy #1: Aggressive Diversity

I have long taught that the worst number in business is One, referring to foolish or lazy or cheapskate over-dependence on any one key account, one product or product line, one marketing method or source of business. This caution continues, and those who ignore it, continue to face sudden slaughter. As example, in December of 2009 and January of 2010, Google suddenly and summarily evicted 30,000 advertisers and banned them from using Google media. Many had let themselves become entirely or almost entirely dependent on traffic to their sites via Google media, and entirely dependent on their web sites for sales; some went from doing very well to extinct overnight, with no advance warning whatsoever. This is illustrative of a negative phenomenon that occurs over and over and over again, that most business owners operate in stubborn denial of as a reality to be managed: the sudden loss of a source of customers and sales or of a means of selling. This has happened in the past, through regulatory action, with infomercials, broadcast fax, cold tele-marketing. E-mail nondelivery and non-readership is an acknowledged, worsening problem. If you are over-dependent on any one media, means of acquiring customers, or source of customers, whatever success you have now is illusion, masking an equivalent vulnerability and, frankly, when disaster strikes, it will have been invited through your door by your own negligence. You will get no sympathy from me; you asked for it. In a recent, lengthy meeting with an on-again, off-again client Ive worked with over 20 years, I was delighted to see that, in recent years, they had transformed their business from being 90% dependent on one media for acquiring customers to bringing in significant numbers of customers via eight major, different media.and within that, had gone from little use of direct-mail (still, THE 5

most reliable media) to having it responsible for nearly 20% of all new customer acquisition. (They now mail 10-million pieces a year). This transformation was prudent, as their original means of acquiring customers stalled, went flat, and has been delivering diminishing returns throughout 2009. They were ahead of the problem instead of having to chase it. The intelligent, responsible entrepreneur, then, will be actively, aggressively engaged with this strategy in three ways: 1: Educating himself, through voracious reading, seeking and processing information, networking, etc. on marketing methods and media that go beyond the one to several he presently relies on, and that he is unfamiliar with. 2: Aggressively diversifying the ways he obtains customers this diversification, his number one priority of this moment, not a back-burnered, well-get-around-to-it C-list item. 3: Escaping single-category dependence. If your marketing is all online, further diversification online does nothing to mitigate your overall vulnerability and weakness; if your marketing is all offline, further diversification offline does nothing to mitigate your overall vulnerability and weakness.

Essential Strategy #2: Profit Margin Protection

There has been a trend in many categories of business, as response to recession, to buy activity at expense of profitability. Mid-range restaurant chains went down this path, as example; keeping traffic up by slashing prices and profitsand a number of these chains now teeter on bankruptcy. You are probably not a slave to Wall Street expectations in your business, so you can operate more sanely, if you will. Rarely does the sacrifice of margin to buy business pay, and it is definitely not a sustainable strategy. If youre doing it, stop. It takes no imagination to slash prices, discount and discount more, and trash profits; any idiot can take this approach, and many do. Prosperity, though, is much more a product of creative imagination that either idiocy or laziness. Get to work on protecting your profits, not sacrificing them. How do your protect profits? It begins with knowing and attending to the correct, critical numbers in your business, for which I would refer you to my book, No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits (Chapter 43). Then, there are many tactics, from altering the source of customers (to get better ie. less price sensitive customers) to new or different products, services; bundling of products and services, and experiences to improved advertising, marketing and sales strategies. Ultimately, you have to elevate the importance of what you offer and do, beyond commoditized or easily compared stuff. In fact, in the New Economy, if you insist on being in the stuff business, youre on your way out of business. Space here does not permit comprehensive advice on what to do that is complex, ongoing, creative process supported by all my newsletters and other communication. But I can, here, tell you what you absolutely cannot afford to do. In recent years, Ive been brought in by two different, significant-sized companies you would know by name, unfortunately late in their 6

deterioration, to attempt rescue via radical changes in their positioning, advertising and marketing. Both were once healthy, thriving leaders in their fields, destroyed from within by yielding to the temptation of quick n easy fix of slumping sales via simplistic discount price/offer advertising. The problem with this path is it leads downhill. It requires better and better and better offers (thus trading away more and more and more profit). Soon, the business is at cliffs edge, needing to give away all the profit to make a sale. Along the way, they abandon one media and means of getting customers after another as too expensive, until they have only one or two means left for their use. They are like the Three Stooges as painters, painting themselves into a smaller and smaller and smaller corner until paralyzed. This, you must not do. And if on this path, you must reverse direction, no matter the short-term pain. And you must take personal responsibility for this. If you blame it on competitors discounting, on the economy, on your clientele, on your geography, on anything but your own lack of creativity, determination, and acquisition and use of superior marketing, you give up all control over your fortunes. Among my No B.S. principles, these: control equals responsibility and responsibility equals control; and anybody adept at making excuses is usually inept at making money.

Essential Strategy #3: Focus On Quality, Not (Just) Quantity

In a recent meeting with a very sophisticated client, a serious flaw in the way they were managing their marketing was drug into harsh spotlight: they were making all their advertising and media decisions based entirely on CPO; Cost Per Order.without calculating the relative and differential worth of different types of customers drawn from different sources. As simplistic, abbreviated illustration, their customers can be loosely divided into three different age/demographic groups, which well call A, B and C. Those in C seem to cost twice as much to get as those in A, and there are fewer of them to be had. Consequently, minimum thought, effort and investment has been going to adding Cs, and almost all thought, effort and investment going to getting As, in a sense, scooping up lowest hanging fruit. But analysis reveals that a C customer is worth 4.5 times as much as an A customer, in total profit. Thus, if there were half as many to get and it cost twice as much to get them, you still reap .5 more net income from the Cs. This has not entered into decision-making, but in current conditions, must. Most businesses, particularly small businesses, are operated with similar disregard for quality of customers vs. quantities of customers. Sin #1: thinking a customer is a customer is a customer, and any customer is as good as another. You can actually go broke acquiring large numbers of low quality customers, especially if the cost of acquiring them creeps up. (Refer to Strategy#2). Sin #2: being unwilling to strategize and invest in acquiring more valuable customers.

Essential Strategy #4: Return To Salesmanship

Roughly, from Reagan through part of Bush IIs second term, the economy boomed to such epic extent that consumers spent and bought with abandon, and the need for exceptionally well organized, disciplined, effective selling by skilled individuals literally disappeared. If you prospered and gave yourself too much credit, it was undeserved. The fish were leaping out of the water into the boat. That is not the case now, and its not going to be the case for quite 7

some time. Now, prosperous businesses require and will revolve around solid salesmanship. That means different things in different businesses. But it is a new reality for every business. You have to decide how it applies to yours. Chapter 30, from my book No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits is reprinted in Appendix A of this Report, as a courtesy. It directly addresses the managing of the sales process within a business. My new book No B.S. Sales Success For The New Economy discusses the actual strategies, tactics and skills of selling.

Essential Strategy #5: Truly Earning Your Success

As I said, up until mid-2008, the fish were jumping into the boat. Then a whole lot of them stopped biting altogether. Suddenly even the much celebrated, much praised Starbucks found itself in serious trouble: over-stored, sagging sales in under-performing locations, cache lost with core customers- in part by resorting to short-term tactics damaging to the brand, etc. Gee, did it really seem rational that there was an ever-expanding population eager to pay $5 for a cup of coffee? More recently, even the giant Wal-Mart eliminated 13,000 jobs. Dominos has actually, finally, quite grudgingly re-engineered its product to actually taste good. It is no longer enough to be there, as a choice; the marketing concept sometimes called category of one is key. It is no longer enough to have the cheapest or most conveniently accessible; the marketing concept of complex value is key. In short, you are no longer going to be rewarded for anything ordinary, let alone mediocre. It is my conviction that a great many businesses deserved death, a great many entrepreneurs deserved pain and suffering, and that the marketplace desperately needed an industrial strength enema to flush out all the crap and by gum, it got one. Its still in progress. There was a lot of crap to flush out. If youve been coasting, going through the motions, selling metoo, same-as-the-other-guy stuff, delivering ordinary service, well, I think you deserve being flushed away. If you would just objectively look around, you would recognize that there is a more abundant supply of everything than we need. Too many brands of cars, too many interchangeable restaurants, too many dentists, too many financial advisors, all peddling the same ordinary stuff with different hood ornaments. Success now demands specific and unique relevance and importance to a target market, and the delivery of an exceptional experience for the buyer, from first contact all the way through the sale and beyond. Provide that or perish. You need profound reason for your existence in this market. You wanting to make a living or grow rich is not a profound reason. Sorry. My wife and I can afford to vacation just about anywhere, and in the past, went to many different cities, resorts, destinations. We have gradually narrowed to nearly every vacation at a Disney resort in Florida (and our kids are all grown). Why? Because we can rely on Disney to deliver an exceptional experience and exceptional service, while every place else is at best a gamble, at worst ordinary. We are not alone. I continuously study the buying behavior of affluent consumers (and report on it monthly in the No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent Letter), and I can tell you that the 8

jettisoning of vendors and providers, and narrowing spending from many in a category to few in a category, is a fast growing trend. If the concepts just mentioned here category of one; complex value; unique relevance are not familiar to you, thats reason to dedicate time, effort and money to acquiring information, direction and advice from bona-fide leaders in progressive marketing (like me!). Income improvement is nearly always preceded by and product of personal and professional development. If you attempt prospering in the present conditions with yesterdays methods and know-how, youre in trouble. The question: what do you know today that you didnt know yesterday? has never been more important.

About the author of this Special Report

Dan Kennedy is a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur who has started, bought, build and sold businesses, and is in his 35th year as a sought after, celebrated direct marketing consultant, strategy advisor and direct-response copywriter. He is the author of 14 business books, including titles appearing on Inc. Magazines 100 Best Business Books List, Business Week Magazine and bestseller lists more than a dozen times, and praised in Forbes, Success and Entrepreneur. (Information at He is also a columnist for and , and the writer/editor of seven business/marketing newsletters, notably including the flagship of Glazer-Kennedy Insiders Circle, the No B.S. Marketing Letter. As a popular business speaker, he spent 9 consecutive years on the #1 public seminar tour in America, addressing audiences of 10,000 to 35,000 on more than 220 occaisons, and sharing the platform with former U.S. Presidents, bestselling authors, sports and Hollywood celebrities and legendary entrepreneurs, as well as other top business speakers including Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins and Jim Rohn. ACCESS TO ALL OF MR. KENNEDYS BEST, CURRENT & TIMELY ADVICE can be facilitated via the special offer on page ___ of this Report.

BONUS Section

Selected Essays & Articles

From Dan Kennedys Weekly Faxes & Blogs
(for Glazer-Kennedy Insiders Circle DIAMOND Members)


How to Sustain Prosperity as an Entrepreneur

Many moons ago, as too many of my good stories now begin, I was part of a project team working on the development of product and a TV infomercial with Nancy Reagans astrologer who became famous overnight thanks to the disclosures that Nancy, in fact, had an astrologer, and may very well have relied on her for advice on everything from the timing of Ronnies trips to the canning of a White House staffer to who knows? The astrologer and her sister, the business manager, were, of course, lets say, a bit strange. I got paid very good money to go to meetings but ultimately nothing came of the project. Too bad, really, because there is a lot of money to be made, and we were working with winning blueprints from the past for the back-end; the one in Ben Suarez book (which Im sure youve read) and the money-by-minute Psychic Friends Network. And I was in for 1-point of gross front and back, with a pre-agreed cap of $1million. I recall having to cancel a video taping, arranged with difficulty, at the Naval Observatory at night when she alerted everybody to the distant plant Funicellio being out of astral alignment with the Freudian star system in the Shatner Galaxy, or some such thing. Anyway. The moral of the story of Mrs. Reagan having an astrologer is that the overwhelming majority of people look, at least some of the time, for somebody or something to hand over their personal responsibilities to in order to escape difficult thought or arduous effort, or feel as if escaping risk, or have a fall guy in place in case things go wrong. Some hire astrologers; some (thankfully) hire consultants. Some pray and blame God. Some arrange colored stones in sand and blame Allah. Some businesspeople even hand over authority to the customers and then blame them. Presently, we are permitting the transfer of personal as well as corporate responsibility to government to expand and extend to every aspect of life at a never before seen pace. Obama very recently spoke of the need for government to provide, quote, cradle to career education for every child. Alert: itll take more than a village. Of course, the king or queen having an astrologer or other seer around for advice is a custom that goes way, way back. A careful seer could literally rule the throne and enrich himself but was always at risk of be-heading, should anything go horribly wrong for his client. A student of history I am, so my consulting contracts have always contained a clause specifically prohibiting be-headings. Every single day, you, I, and everybody else gets up in the morning and makes choices about the acceptance or out-placement or outright evasion of responsibility. Temptation abounds. To cheat there are no shortages of whatshername Hunters or Argentinian mistresses, for those with accumulated frequent flyer miles. Or of places that sell doughnuts. Or of more entertaining busywork to do, in place of pivotal, potentially productive but unappealing tasks. The biggest temptation is to find somebody to hand off responsibility to. Im amazed at seeing seemingly smart entrepreneurs insisting on trying to hand off their marketing, of all things but they do. So, heres a responsibility-laden strategic tip: sustaining prosperity as entrepreneur is about perennially moving to higher ground. It is entirely up to you to juggle making money this minute wherever you are with knowing that place will inevitably sour, its fields go from verdant to brown, its low-hanging fruit eaten and branches bare, its river down to a trickle of brackish water, and with simultaneously charting your course to the next higher ground. Most everybody who has business, sales or money problems has been derelict in this responsibility.


Moving to Higher Ground

Picking up kinda where we left offDisney did an astounding thing a few weeks back: they bought Marvel Entertainment for four billion dollars. By Obama standards, thats cash-for-clunkers pocket change, but then Disney is spending real money and isnt run by crazed lunatics. In talking about the deal, Iger seemed most enthused about the acquisition of 5,000 comic book characters. I heard analysts characterizing that as loony, given that Disney already owns more than enough characters to populate its own planet. Including some barely used. But Iger also talked about Disneys interest in reaching teen boys and post-teen boys, a demo where they have no good franchise or, until now, franchise-making ability. He has also watched Smallville and the entire CW line-up, looked in his character cupboards, and found no one to send into that place to collect money. In short, the Marvel buy is about a move to and taking of higher ground. Everybody has problems. I watched a CNBC documentary, The Business Of Porn, in which the smartest folks in that biz, including the top guy at Vivid, worried over declining revenues despite access to an expanded and expanding range of media, better technology, and more customers than ever created by the internet.because the proliferation of free content had reached such proportions, customers could fulfill their appetites without ever paying for anything. He mused that his business might soon be about giving away the entertainment product and being advertiser supported; being in the media business rather than the product business. This, incidentally, is a discussion Ive been having in earnest with all info-marketers; the meeting of the challenge of merchants of free. He is a visionary, proactive CEO, and his worrying and musing is about finding the higher ground to move to. Ford recently announced investing in a third, state of the art auto factory in China, thanks to the explosive growth of that market. They are closing plants here, and could and should shutter more, faster, and shrink product lines here, were it not for union contracts prohibiting smart management. The higher ground is overseas. In marketing terms, this is all about who and where; person and place. Too many marketers remain land-locked with the same market(s), customers, prospects theyve always had, or in the place ie. media, means of acquiring customers, business model, financial formula or even geographic boundaries theyve always had. Why? Lethargy. Being, to paraphrase Joe Karbo, too busy making a living to make any real money; busyness. Fear. Denial. Ignorance. I was taught to simultaneously work in short-term, medium-term and long-term business development. Definitions change. In my 20s, that meant current year to 3 years; 4 to 7 years; distant future. Now short-term is this year and next; medium-term is only 3 4 years; long-term is only 5 6. But I am working in all three places nearly everyday, certainly every week. In doing so, I know Ill drill some dry holes, but thats the only way you strike oil. And the idea that you only need the well you have is foolish. Fortunately, personally, I can stop altogether anytime I choose and soon will, but until I do, Ill maintain the short-and-medium-and-long work. In consulting, Ive found I can neither push or pull anybody to higher ground, hard as I may try. Almost everybody stays very stubbornly stuck in trying to dig deeper, plow harder, engineer more harvest where they are and will gladly pay me for that, but will run away from me altogether if I insist on a move to higher ground. How YOU think about this is, of course, entirely up to you. As is what you DO about it.


The Keys to Succeeding in Business

I predicted this in writing 3 years ago. I only wish Id gone ahead and gotten in the business. The first internet addiction residency clinic has opened in L.A. (where else), charging $14,500.00 for a 45 day rehab program. For a mere $450.00, Ill stick your I-phone up your butt, beat you to a pulp with your lap-top, and get you cured in 45 minutes. It easy to apply to my bargain rehab online: This will be a booming field. Internet addiction will be officially recognized as a disability, with its incurable victims eligible for disability compensation payments from the already functionally bankrupt Social Security Administration. Mark my words. The other day, I was interviewed on the subject of succeeding in the business of professional, freelance copywriting, and asked for the top 2 or 3 keys. Writing wasnt one of the top 3 requirements. I stated #1 as selfmanagement. Same answer for just about any career or business. Being able to manage yourself for productive output and performance, rational thought, sane and responsible behavior. Many more people could than do. Truth is, by the evermore expanded definition popular with academics, psychologists who need patients, and social services folks who need jobs, everybody is an addict. And heck, they may be right. I happen to have a highly addictive personality, am aware of it, have gotten into trouble because of it in the past, and work at controlling it and channeling it in ways compatible with worthwhile goals. For example, Ive found being addicted to doing productive, profitable work much more beneficial than being addicted to alcohol. And Ive avoided internet addiction or cell-phone addiction altogether. Being addicted to acquiring and processing information by reading books and newsletters and intentionally tuning into informative TV programs seems to serve me better than giving that same few hours a day to tweeting. I happen to be addicted to making money and suffer withdrawal symptoms when Im not. Im serious, Im not kidding. I acknowledge its an addiction that, at some point, Ill probably need and want to reign in, maybe even escape its clutches altogether. For now, though, Ill keep it. And as impolitic and insensitive as this is to voice, it is my opinion that most addicts not all, most choose to keep their addictions. I am a devout believer in choice. It seems we increasingly reward people making bad choices at the expense of those making responsible, selfreliant choices, and I find that repulsive. The opposite should be in place and abundantly clear as our socioeconomic policy, as parenting policy, as business policy, and as self-management policy. I am a libertarian in this regard. I think you should be entirely free to choose and keep your rewards, as meager or as rich as they may be. Some addictions are more benign than others. The one with the worst consequences facilitates many others; it is the addiction to excuse-making. It attracts a lot of enablers. The worst excuse-making addicts are usually surrounded by people readily accepting their excuses, under the excuse of being compassionate and supportive. Interesting question, what addictions youre choosing to continue, what excuses youre making, what addictions and excuses youre enabling others to make. In any case, the Grand Opening of my addiction treatment center is coming soon. And my high school aptitude test did recommend my becoming a social worker, so why not? Send me $14,497.00 and Ill send you a Stop sign and a boot on a long stick.


Overcoming One of the Best Excuses Available

One of the best excuses available to businesspeople is blaming the customers. Oh, we all do it. The temptation is just overwhelming. Its so much more pleasing than the polar opposite: blaming ourselves. This is the refuge of the novelist or playwright soundly rejected by the marketplace: people are just too damned dumb to appreciate my extraordinary genius. To admit there is mass genius displayed by a public able too recognize your pretentious, incomprehensible, totally uninteresting horseshit for what it is, well that is inconceivable. I assure you, there are lots of liberal elitists sitting around decrying the stupidity of the public for failing to grasp the urgent necessity, genius and benevolence of the health care system takeover by government the thought never crossing their minds that the public may be displaying extraordinary judgment, rational thought, and even courageous refusal of promised chicken in every pot, car in every garage largesse in its vocal rejection of these schemes. So we accept as fact that our customers have too tiny of minds, too short of attention spans to sit still for a 30 minute presentation, that all online video must be shorter than 8 minutes. The possibility that we are failing to proffer compelling presentations or failing to reach the right audience, well, thats just ridiculous given how smart we are. Millions, yes, millions of business owners accept as fact that it is the economys adverse impact on their customers ability and willingness to spend doing them in. It couldnt possibly be that the business owner has permitted himself to be boring and irrelevant or worse, and his customers welcome an excuse to rid themselves of him. Facts are funny things. They come about often by mass acceptance. We have met the enemy, cartoon character Pogo announced, and they is us. Sure, customers tastes and preferences and demands change, and not necessarily for the better. The population isnt getting smarter, more studious, more noble. But whatever customers you choose are what they are. If you arent getting satisfactory results from them, complaining about them and blaming them wont change that. Replace them - or fix you. You arent going to fix them. Lots of things go from successful to failure by refusal to recognize that the customer has moved on. Think the once successful, profitable, popular Playboy Clubs. Now gone. Again, the Think And Grow Rich principle least beloved is the requirement for a ccurate thinking. Hill risked killing the book by even mentioning it. No, you cant just surrender to the worst behavior of the worst customers. Good results from that are very short-lived. But you cant long prosper selling what your customers dont want or value, no matter how right you are about what is best for them or how super a super-salesman you may be. Over-turning their pre-determined decision not to come to the ballpark will grind you down and wear you out. Anyway, Ive re-imagined my entry into the practice of therapy and announcing the grand opening of the Kennedy Center for Excuse Addiction Rehabilitation. During a 720-day residency, addicts are treated with in-depth discussion of every single excuse ever imagined for failure of every conceivable kind. At end, you leave either cured, or with a far better, more creative, more comprehensive repertoire of excuses than you came in with, and a nice sun tan to boot. Either way, youre a winner. Fee, just $445,997.97. If it seems a bit pricey, just think of all those reward miles youll get when you plunk this on your credit card. Guest suites are limited. Act fast.


Are You Smarter than the Goose?

This morning, The Million Dollar Dog raced out onto the deck to bark at the large, bushytailed squirrel who inhabits the small woods immediately behind us and is often in the yard and occasionally up on the deck. The squirrel quickly retreated a respectful distance. But not to the woods. He has learned that MDD can only get so far; is bound by the deck; is all bark, no bite. This a dangerous belief should I open the gate on the deck. This is why deer get so easily killed around here. Hunting is only authorized every few years, so a bunch of deer lose their fear of people. They get complacent and casual and secure. They wander right into my backyard and they, too, stand looking at me and the barking dog, and do not run away. We are all guilty of false sense of security. With our businesses and their customers, their assets, their revenues, their staffs; with our personal relationships; with our homes; with our personal safety; with everything. We fail to be eternally vigilant. And almost no matter how many times this bites us in the ass, we repeat the behavior. Earlier this year the not-very-bright Governor of my state gave a long-winded speech ending with the line surely we are smarter than the goose. Maybe not. The Depression put a lasting paranoia into our grandparents, some of our parents. It produced commitment to getting the house paid off and having a mortgage burning party. Husbands gave wives the paid off mortgage as anniversary present, and it was appreciated. Food was canned and stored in cellars, just in case. Even wealthy did not waste. Appliances were actually repaired, not discarded. Money was saved up for holiday shopping in Christmas Club accounts at the bank, instead of running up huge credit card bills that multiplied by 3X before being paid off long after Christmas. All this lasted late into the 1950s, a decade and then some after the end of the Depression. Then the squirrels and the deer and the geese grew to believe that they were safe. Harold Geneen, who made ITT, famously said Only the paranoid survive. Had Eisner taken that CEOs advice to heart, he might still be Disneys CEO. In the October No BS Marketing Letter, I quoted Bezos: dont fear your competitors fear your customers. Fear is too strong a sentiment. Napoleon Hill was right about reigning in the ghosts of fear read LAWS OF SUCCESS. And I always caution that decisions based on fear usually go badly. But the absence of respect for threats, hazards, dangers, risks, change and changing conditions, etc., etc. is just as foolish as is permitting your life to be dominated by fears. As much misery comes from the latter as from the former. We need to get up in the morning knowing our customers have been losing interest in us during the night, and a line of suitors is standing outside their door, and however bumbling they may be, there are a lot of them. That was Bezos point. We need to know that anything that seems secure isnt; that we make things secure day by day. We need to respect gravity, including financial gravity, and know NOTHING ascends continuously. We need to acknowledge that we have enemies in Washington DC, scheming to disrupt our businesses and steal our money; underfoot, in form of a resentful, souring employee sabotaging our efforts; and, yes, in a competitors office just across town. We need to be wary of clinging to old ways but cautious about seduction by fads, distraction by hype. We cant be onedimensional, as the masses are. Militant positive thinkers who deny anything that isnt positive are as dangerous and toxic to themselves and others as are dyed-in-wool skeptics and cynics who see every sunny day only as precursor to tsunami. We must be skeptical and cynical and critical and analytical and optimistic and progressive and creative. We need a level of sophistication in our approach.


People Love to Buy

Smile. Be Happy. As the kid in the Windows 148.0 commercial says: happy words. I recently was sent to the Pet-Smart store with a shopping list from The Million Dollar Dog. If you dont have pets and never set foot in such a place, please go, and very slowly, slowly, slowly walk every aisle. Pay particular attention to the entire back wall of the store devoted to the hundreds or so different brand-lines just of dog food, each product line offering canned, bagged, wet, dry, for big dogs, small dogs, old dogs, young dogs; offering breakfasts like chicken and cheese omelette flavored whatever, dinners, snacks, doggie ice cream treats; faux bacon, beef, turkey, wild boar. Thousands of choices. Imagine what a child from a 3rd world country who gets only rice and water hauled from a well three miles from his home would think of this spectacle. Imagine even what President Obamas halfbrother who lives in a hut and earns $9.00 a year (as I recall) would think. I had dogs when I was a kid. Even worked at family friends pet store. As I recall, there were six, maybe seven brands. Iams. Purina. A local favorite, Bil-Jac. Dry. Canned. Remember Gaines Burgers for dogs? A shelf section. Now a football field. Stunning. That the market can support all this, mind-boggling. Are we crazy? Maybe. But we are certainly RICH. Doubt that? Please park yourself in one of these pet-supermarket-superstores at end of afternoon on a Friday or on Saturday, and take note of the kinds of cars driving up, the diversity of the people streaming in and out, the size of their shopping cart-fulls. Sure, spendings a bit curtailed at the moment overall and personally, I predict itll go backwards again some time very soon. But at its most impaired level, its enormous. In 1960-something, Bill Gove recorded a speech titled PEOPLE LOVE TO BUY. He had no idea. At one time, people shopped once a week. Now they shop every single day of their lives. At stores, from catalogs, online (all day, at work, and at home). At one time, people bought things to replace worn out things. People with perfectly good I-phones now stand in long lines to buy the newest I-phone. And do you know any family with one phone? MONEY IS MOVING ALL AROUND YOU LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY, and if you are where I am, in America, like nowhere else in the world. If you cant get your desired amount, it aint cuz of a shortage. Sorry. The old line was that our streets were paved with gold. Now theyre covered with gold laying around, too. You have to be careful not to trip over piles of it here and there. If thats not what youre seeing and experiencing, you may be walking down the wrong streets or be blind, or insisting on offering what no one wants (an all too common mental disease), or, bluntly, be remarkably inept. The sun is shining. Look up.


Dead Man (or Business) Walking

Less than 1/5th of a second. The difference between me winning or finishing 2nd, as I did, December 1st. Often, thats horseracing. Over the weekend, I lost $500 on a football game by of a 1 point. Often, thats gambling. Football, the clich says, is a game of inches a pass caught or missed by fingertip, a 1st down gained or missed by, literally, an inch. Copywriting, a word may make a statistically significant difference. Wow-ing or just satisfying or losing a customer, one thing done or not done. How early or how late in life my diabetes produces complications serious enough to kill me, determined by cumulative impact of a million teeny-tiny, day to day choices: tuna fish with no crackers, five crackers, seven, one slice of cheese or two. Incrementalism often does a person, a marriage, a business, government, empire in. If they say its only a little dust at the Ritz, before you know it, theyre Holiday Inn, then Howard Johnsons, then gone. Accept tomorrow instead of today and its guaranteed to soon be next weeks acceptable too. An excellent explanation of this is in the book Broken Windows, Broken Business, which I strongly recommended in my Ruthless Management book I wonder how many saw that recommendation but have never read the book? Whatever you accept, you get more of. Dirt becomes filth. A little tardiness apologized for becomes chronic and thoughtless. Delayed follow-up becomes no follow-up. The crass Southern warning to boys by fathers, about women is: dirty pots, dirty bottom. I never forgot it after hearing it just once. These times demand toughness. Theres less margin for error than in a long, long time; compared to recent, extended boom, especially. Yes, I know its hard, and nobodys perfect, and with size and speed come compromise; and that Suzies got a sick, dying grandmother; and that well, theres always a reason for things not being as they should, for things not being done right and on time, for letting a little thing slide. Only you can decide for yourself how much of that to permit with yourself and others. But know this: there are no isolated, incidental items. They link, they breed, they accumulate, they communicate. Tolerance becomes permission, permission becomes encouragement. (I once ran a company bleeding money, with ten crises a day, short-staffed, having to squeeze more productivity out of it than should have been possible. Still, at every shifts end, the warehouse had to be swept clean, work areas around equipment put in order. Yes, dust keeps. It wont spoil. And Disney could paint the fence weekly instead of nightly and get away with it, if they stopped with that. But they dont.) The link between marketing and all this is quite direct. Its ridiculously easy to attach superior positioning and promise-making to an inferior company. But you cant long sustain success that way. I see businesses eroding and am amazed I can see it so clearly while the owners and others are blind to it. The collapse of the American auto industry was brilliantly foreseeable at least 10 years prior, when its recalls kept climbing while foreign car-makers didnt. I can smell a dead man (business) walking, but such sensitive nose is rarely necessary. Its there to see. Many of my clients would be well-advised to put brakes on new, cut present by half, and tighten all the screws but they wont. There are even some busy designing new logos while the cancers of crappy fulfillment, deviation from sales scripts, slow response to customer inquiries metastasize. I see it. They close their eyes and hold their noses. I think the timing for such, extremely poor. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger. And so a new year is standing right outside the door, asking if youre coming out to play. You may be busy, like many, setting goals and projections and aspirations for it. You might also give some thought to just how tough youre going to be, while playing in its game. I dont expect weakness to be rewarded.


Where the Greatest Opportunities are Often Concealed

It doesnt fit with the way we do things. It will require us to do new work, additional work, or to do things differently than we do now. Its too much trouble. Thats not compatible with how weve always done things. Thats really not the business were in. You might be surprised how often I hear such things, from people who should know and behave better. Fortunately, in fact VERY fortunately for Trump, when Burnett came in and pitched him on doing a reality show, he didnt say: thats not the business Im in; its too much trouble, etc. Fortunately, when the opportunity arose to create a new speech, new product, and take on extensive travel, to be one of the three featured speakers on every SUCCESS event, I didnt reject it as a poor fit with what I was already doing; I re-arranged the house to make room. Of course, Saying NO is important. Opportunities have to be carefully assessed, relative merits weighed, synergy considered, and, certainly, some rejected but carefully, thoughtfully rejected; not by knee-jerk reaction, not simply because they are inconvenient. Mike Vance often describes the majority of people as so narrow-minded and inflexible, if it had been left to them, wed be lighting our rooms with bigger candles and still commuting in vehicles requiring pooper-scoopers. The big trouble is, its not easy to judge ourselves guilty of this behavior. Ray Kroc, the brilliant, driving force behind McDonalds,, who was able to look at the original McDonald brothers roadside hamburger stand and see an empire, vehemently insisted that they were in the burger business, not the breakfast business, and fought franchisees for some time before even permitting experimentation he was confident would fail. Im sure he did not judge himself narrow-minded, stuck, obstructionist. To be fair n balanced, its usually a lot easier to get into something than to get out, and quite often, entrepreneurs jump into expansions of their businesses without taking time to do homework and develop real understanding of foreign territory; they let their egos, arrogance and bias for action lead them rather than support them; then they can be too easily disenchanted with what turns out to require deviation from what fits in order to be successful. Admitting mistakes, misjudgments, and wielding the swift sword is often called for, and often, in its own way, difficult, but it is not the right prescription for every problem because, in fact, the greatest opportunities are often concealed in problems. Persistence is vastly over-rated, but it cant be under-valued either. Making good entrepreneurial, opportunity selection and investment decisions isnt easy, doesnt seem to get easier, nor is it simple. Nor should it be, dammit. The temptation to be too quick with red lights or green lights needs consciously controlled. (I confess: I drive with one foot on the gas, the other on the brake.) As you know, I am a champion of decisions that factor in personal and lifestyle preferences, not just profit, and personally, Im an enough-is-enough guy, not an empire-builder. The most important thing is, I think, to be very, very conscious and questioning of why you are deciding about x as you are. When that is revealed to be merely or mostly because it doesnt neatly fit into a space you already have, youve got to question yourself. Hard. 18

Reality Bites, Many

There is the ancient kids joke: little Bobby is sitting on the stoop next to a huge yellow dog when the doorto-door salesman walks up and, attempting to befriend the tyke as precursor to ringing the bell, asks if he can pet the dog. Sure, the kid says with a shrug. When the salesman reaches out, the dog chomps down on his hand. Why didnt you warn me he bites? howls the victim. Not my dog, says Bobby. This is the problem with assuming anything. In this past year, a lot of people have had a lot of assumptions shaken. It has happened before, here, of course. The Depression. The spate of airline bankruptcies in the 80s. I really observed it with Watergate. Regardless of how people felt about Nixon personally, everybody was surprised by his involvement with his petty criminality; wholly unnecessary burglary, bag men ferrying cash to the White House, a campaign Dirty Tricks squad. Our current Prez criminality is much, much more sophisticated, with more distance kept, on a grander scale. His slush fund is billions not a trifle few million, swiped in full view from stimulus funds, not brought in paper sacks in dead of night. Acorn a much larger, better organized interferer in the electoral process than Dicks little gang. For a time, after Watergate, peoples suddenly raised distrust of politicians carried over to just about everything else. There was direct connection to heightened skepticism encountered when selling just about anything to anybody. Over time, weve sadly reached the point where we as a citizenry have no expectation of our elected officials other than them lying, stealing, bribing, taking bribes, wasting our money as if every dog bit, and your skin thickened to leather as evolutionary response. But this is maybe a more insidious factor; a skeptical nature now in place. An acceptance of malfeasance and incompetence and lack of integrity. This is a cancer, because what we accept, we get more of; what we sanction by inaction and resignation, multiplies. Now, with the recent (and yet to come) banking, real estate, Wall Street, main street retail, and manufacturing sector collapses, high unemployment, reductions of income in huge numbers of households, people have witnessed many things they assumed solid disintegrating to dust, and the ones with much intelligence are now anxious and worried and even fearful. Distrustful of every dog. This, I think, is THE area of opportunity most promising to the entrepreneur, professional, marketer, this year: being trusted. Performing as promised in all things large and small will be a new currency more valuable than all others, with any constituency not so adapted to being abused they no longer care. And there is such constituency, and I am in it. My new years resolve is to punish those who prove untrustworthy as never before. And to reward the reliable, competent few as never before. Sell on this as clear, strong and hard as you can, and you wont need to sell on price. Tell people just how fed up you are with empty promises, lousy service, weasel clauses, crooks in low and high places; tell them they can count on you, and why; and (with strong, unequivocal risk-reversal) give them the means to punish you if you fail. Do not assume they accept you at face value either. This is now the elephant in the room shitting on a lot of selling. This the reason leads dont convert. This the reason be-backs dont come back. This the reason for disappointing results from advertising. This the reason they arent at your restaurant or having you manage their investments or bringing you their car to fix or having you remodel their kitchen: you have not secured their trust. To again be political, a commentator recently observed that the new President had echoed the lasts hope of being a uniter not divider, and this one was succeeding in uniting the Right and the Left, the entire nation in disappointment, frustration and rage. This is what unites us now. Dont fear it or hide from it or underestimate it. Speak to it. With courage. If, of course, you will honor your every promise and then some.


Wretched Excess And Thanksgiving

Months back, when, in one of my newsletters, I wrote about dining at Il Molinos, I later got a fax from a Member who I will kindly not name, telling of going there for dinner on my recommendation and he and his wife finding themselves shocked and appalled at the obscene portions and prices, telling me that at least 200 starving orphans in any number of countries could be fed with the price of that one meal of wretched excess. I wrote back, and said that I doubted the hungry orphans could pass the dress code required to even get into Il Molino, let alone navigate the wine list. He wrote back to tell me he didnt think I was funny. I wrote back to explain that there is a profound difference between he not being amused and me not being funny, but that regardless, at least I was well fed. Mercifully that ended my pen pals interest in me. Hopefully, this piece here does not re-kindle it. Well. At Thanksgiving, countless families probably including his will grossly over-indulge and consume such vast quantities of food that a million starving orphans might be fed, including, incidentally, some close to my pen pals home; none of us need go to distant lands to find folks in need. I wonder if he will chastise himself for his own wretched excess? The problems with such self-flagellation or with disdain for me or for the rich are so many, no few paragraphs here can do justice. But. One: should he and others of his philosophical position eschew Thanksgiving dinners in favor of stale bread crusts and tap water, no starving orphans will benefit. If diminishment of prosperity cured poverty, the liberals would have won that war declared by LBJ long before now. Two: absent wretched excess like mine dining at Il Molino, flying private, owning racehorses, buying cars and clothes, the American economy could be reduced to meeting only peoples basic needs, but not for long. As fast as that utopian economic justice system was implemented, it would implode, with a 75% unemployment rate amongst other ills. We could decree that each family needs only an identical 1,000 square foot house, one TV, one very fuel efficient little car; each person, one work uniform, one pair of pajamas to wear at home; only enough groceries to provide 1,000 calories per person per day, no fast food or soda pop or Guitar Hero or Gameboy or IPhone, etc., etc., end ALL the obscene excess, and give ALL the surplus to those with less except thered be no surplus. This asinine, fantastical experiment has been run before. Its results are known. If you need a good parable, read Animal Farm. The trouble with eating the rich is its a last supper. Its rare to find reason to praise Newsweek Magazine. But in the July 20 issue, they reveal something about the high cost of taking much from the rich. Quote: Trickle-down economics is a despised concept to many, but it also embodies a harsh reality. Note the word: reality. Continuing: The rich play a pivotal role in U.S. economic growth, and if they are enfeebled, then the consequences are widespread. The trouble with slowing the engine of the train is that the caboose slows down too. Summarizing from the Newsweek article: (1): Households with more than $200,000.00 in income corral only 3.4% of all income but do 14% of the consumer spending, the only real force that creates and sustains jobs. (2): The rich pay most of the taxes. In 2006 the last year for which complete data is accessible the richest 1% paid 28% of all federal taxes, the richest 10% paid 55%. (3): The wealthy dominate charitable giving. The top 10% in income and wealth account for nearly 50% of all contributions to charities. Oh, and by the way, if youd like to see a big jump in health care costs, get rich people to 20

stop building hospital wings and donating to research groups. Gee, if the top 10% just cut back on their charitable giving a little, how many jobs disappear from the non-profit sector, how many food banks and theaters and zoos and community centers and what-have-yous cut back services and programs? Shuttle buses for seniors stop, food deliveries to shut-ins stop, free medical clinics shutter? (4): Wealthy individuals are an important source of venture capital funds invested in start-up companies. Robust start-up of new businesses is essential just to replace the dying, antiquated industrial businesses, the outsourcing of jobs overseas. If we evil rich stop putting our money at risk, even for a little while, the total number of available jobs shrinks and shrinks and shrinks. Go count up the number of jobs now provided by businesses large and small that didnt even exist.their entire categories didnt exist 10 years ago. Stop that creation and watch the starvation. So it is the season of giving thanks, and Im a very, very thankful guy. Relative, specifically, to prosperity, there is my place of birth, arguably good luck. After that, discoveries Ive made and opportunities that I have chosen; relationships I have fostered; my own initiative, ingenuity and persistence. Thus, my own wealth. But I am also thankful for the wealth of all those far, far richer than I, for were it not for their spending, much on obscenely over-priced indulgences and wretched excess, as well as their investments motivated by their desire to own boats and planes and multi-million dollar beach cottages, the opportunities Ive pursued would likely have dried up and disappeared long before I got to them. There are no publishers who might publish my books, companies who might pay me to speak, clients who might pay me to write owned by po folk. As an entrepreneur willing to risk money, invest years of burning-of-midnight-oil-while-others-sleep, learn high level skills, struggle, work, and ultimately achieve a far-above-par lifestyle, status and security, you, of course, have much to be thankful for. But dont lose sight of the fact that the entire country and even the globe ought to give thanks that you exist and are willing to do all those things the overwhelming majority are not at all willing to do. Without You, Me and Us, They are in big, big, big trouble. And why is this so important to keep in your mind? Because pride is power. Self-respect precedes respect from any marketplace. A sense of worth based on your own exceptionally productive contributions (not a sense of entitlement based on nothing) is pre-requisite for prosperity. Renegade Millionaires are defiantly, unwaveringly proud of who they are, what they do, and what they mean to society. This is their license to go out and collect all that they can by their own creation. You need that license but there is no license bureau to go get it from. You must issue it to yourself.
(Above based in part on one of my political columns published online at REPRINTED FROM: NOV. 09 NO B.S. MARKETING LETTER Renegade Millionaire/Back Page


Scotch, water, and philosophy.

In December, in a 2 day blitz, justifying extending TARP and using its funds differently, President Obama talked about waiving capital gains tax on small business owners (in targeted ways) as economic stimulus seemingly grudging admission that government doesnt create jobs and spending as solution to recession was, as Leno put it, like a drunk trying to drink his way out of alcoholism. But such hope quickly dashed On the second of those days, the House, led by Democrat Nancy Pelosi, hastily passed a new Bill re-classifying gains from investments in various kinds of technology businesses and real estate partnerships as ordinary income, effectively, with swipe of witchs wand, changing the tax rate from 15% to 35% and up (a 230% increase in rate), thus signaling two facts: one, there is no certainty of any investment you make now not suffering the same fate; and two, that the Presidents speeches have no meaning. I immediately backed out of a significant real estate investment Id verbally agreed to the day before. I am, instead, investing in a basement full of light bulbs while I can still buy real ones, and cans of Chunky Soup (because I doubt They can come and remove servings of vegetables from it after I own it). And why have I gone political on you here, thoroughly annoying Democrats, when Im supposed to be keeping such thoughts at other locations than this???? To make this point: Any, any, any wisp of a thought that somehow this government is going to make anything better for you, and that you might wait for that happy occurrence, or that you might rely on such beneficence, is as brain-dead dumb as hiring David Hasselhoff as your nanny or telling your wife you need more golf practice so you can be more like Tiger. (By the way, wasnt Tiger a wonderful Christmas present for us husbands? By comparison, we all look better. And on the 12th day of Tiger, yet another bimbo we did see.) Anyway, again, the point is: not since my distant ancestor Emerson penned his words championing self-reliance as the virtue of virtues and essential of essentials, has it been so vital. And in such rare, small supply. While so many others wait and hope and welcome dependence, youd better not. Youd better go rogue. Only the fiercest independence can save you, protect you, make you prosperous now. There are two fundamental viewpoints of life in total conflict, and I find that Renegade Millionaires hold one; most everybody else holds the other. Under duress, the temptation is to permit some acceptance of the second to creep into your thinking. Such temptation is as evil as evil can be. The first viewpoint is: its ALL my fault meaning I am in control; I can continually re-arrange things to be in control; but to do so I must accept responsibility for every outcome and every experience. The other is a religious belief in circumstances beyond my control. Those who have the latter as their belief tend to excuse both themselves and others from all sorts of bad behavior and outcomes. They often characterize this as tolerance and compassion, but that is disguise or delusion. There is no middle-ground here. You either believe in self-reliance and self-determination or you do not. Take something simple and trivial. Years back, when I was a drinker, I often drank Chivas and water with a twist of lemon, commonly ordered as Chivas n water with a twist. Or, after the 5th one, Chivasnwadderwidtwist. Unfortunately, the attention span and commitment to excellence of cocktail waitresses being what it is, more often than not, drinks came missing twists; twists had to be demanded; waiting and annoyance occurred. After a few months of this, I wised up. I plotted and schemed to get what I wanted and have non-annoying experiences when I went drinking. There had to be a way to wrest control. And there was. I switched to ordering A lemon twist. <pause>. With Chivas and water. And I tied a discreet little string around my finger to remind me to order that way until it became permanently ingrained behavior. Sure, its silly, and seems not much of an example. But consider the process: (A) I refused to accept the unsatisfactory situation as something beyond my control. (B) Therefore, I pondered and plotted and schemed to find some way of altering the outcome to my satisfaction. (C) Because I do not believe in accepting circumstances beyond my control. It is my philosophical belief that fuels the process behavior. Again and again, in things small and big, incidental and important, day by day, year after year. A+B+C or C+A+B. This is why I teach, in the Renegade Millionaire System, the importance of having your own definitive personal philosophy that is congruent with the kind of life experience you want, and then making your behavior congruent with your philosophy. The acceptance of the philosophical/political belief in circumstances beyond your control should be fiercely resisted at every turn.


The Decline and Fall of American Civilization

Im calling this epistle The Decline And Fall Of American Civilization. Its triggered by me seeing the TV ad with Sally Field for the drug Boniva, for women with bone density problems and osteoporosis risk. The ad touts Boniva as better than the competing drug Fomax, not because its more effective or has less side effects, but simply and solely because the other drug requires taking one pill once a week but Boniva requires taking one pill only once a month. Sally talks about how her friend just couldnt manage the stress and strain of setting aside all the time to swallow a pill once a week and how relieved she is that she need only make that enormous personal sacrifice once a month. Sallys friend ought be put out of her misery, along with everybody else so utterly devoid of self-discipline. (By the way, to attempt managing my diabetes and for my general health, I swallow 27 different tablets every morning and again every night. And Ill betcha Im busier and under more stress than Sallys friend.) But this is what weve come to. The fellow in the Lexus, staggered by the thought that he once had to parallel park his own car. This woman who cant take a pill everyday. Morons who need handheld navigational devices that talk, to guide them to the Starbucks. Cash register clerks who cant count, sandwich makers who need cartoon pictures of the sandwiches on the wall in front of them. We are a people unable to think, figure anything out, assume any responsibility, or control our behavior in any way (present company excluded, of course). As I predicted, the lawsuits against have begun, filed by negligent, irresponsible parents whove let their children roam the internet and post at that site unsupervised and had them stalked by sexual predators. It is as foolish as fat folks suing McDonalds. Maybe even more foolish. So, whenever I hear the yakity yak about all the people whose wages have not gone up, who are enslaved as WalMart workers, who cant support a family of eight on minimum wage, etc. I wonder if anybody is ever going to ask: and what responsibility are these people accepting for getting education, getting a better job, starting a business, improving their lot in life? Unfortunately, there are business owners I interact with just as guilty of this one-sided thinking. They complain bitterly about their lousy employees, for example, but cannot show any initiatives invested in or implemented to replace them, train them, compel them to follow directions. And its ALL getting worse. People wont do for themselves. They are overwhelmed by ordinary life. Lazy and undisciplined to the level of farmyard animals. In the midst of this reverse-evolution of our species, what I try to do and what I suggest you do is engage in isolationism and intolerance. Build your own work island and life island as best you can, and isolate yourself as best you can from the herds of human buffalos now wandering around out there. Rise above them by being everything they arent. Reject any and all behaviors they share as common. You need have no reason not to connect yourself to iPods and cellphones for 4 to 10 hours a day than the simple observation that all the dumb animals are. Please, get this absolute principle of success: you cannot be a top athlete like a Jerry Rice by engaging in ANY behavior common to couch potatoes. You cannot be a fabulously successful and wealthy entrepreneur by engaging in ANY behavior common to low wage workers. You must reject out of hand whatever the masses are doing. The more you do so, the more separation and differentiation you create between You and Them, the more successful youll be and the faster your success will multiply. Im really afraid theres little we can do at this point to reverse the gradual collapse of our civilization as we know it. There will be a majority population all sitting as Orwell envisioned, connected to an entertainment tube, a feeding tube, helpless but happy blobs. I am 52 I dont anticipate the U.S. being overrun by them during my lifetime. Maybe not during yours either. Evolution was apparently quite slow. Reverse evolution will be too. But the writing on this wall is unmistakable. Perhaps, eventually, the blobs will all be cooked in the squat by global warming. Whatever. The only thing Im certain that you and I can do is refuse to join in the process, insist on living as higher life forms ourselves. We can be The Resistance.


Bowl and Grow Rich?

Well call this You Cant Bowl To Grow Rich. Lets compare notes what are you doing with your evening? Last night, and tonight, and more than 70% of his evenings, Donald Trump is making appearances at two to three parties, gallery openings, dinners or other events small, very non-public ones for networking purposes; big, public ones to be seen, photographed and reported on; by-invite ones for his guests at condo tower sales receptionsor appearing on one or more TV programs and doing radio interviews.when he is not flying to or from a speaking engagement. If in New York, he says he likes going home for dinner but then suits up and heads back out for the evenings work. Last night I did no work for business after 5:30 PM, took the evening off I raced two horses, finishing at 10:30 PM. I am up and at the computer at 7:00 AM. Tonight, I have a tele-seminar from 5:00 to 6:30 PM, then an accumulated a stack of reading and thinking to do: a business plan to review from Dr. Altadonna, the transcript of Sydney Biddle Barrows SuperConference speech to edit, a bit of C-pile mail from 2 weeks ago to look at, and my weight loss swipe files to review and extract material from for a client project.while I have the TV on, feet up, by the fireplace. (Oh, and rather unglamorously, Ill prepare my own dinner and do several loads of laundry.) If I am diligent, Ill finish by 10:00 PM. An hour left just to relax. Last night Jay Leno taped The Tonight Show around 4:00 or 5:00 PM, then had dinner and worked with his writers until nearly midnight. Tomorrow night, after the taping, hell go perform at a comedy club to try out material for next week. During these days, he has been working on four web sites and businesses for his post-Tonight Show act, including two projects involving his passion, cars. Every night for 6 months, retired General Norm Schwarzkopf finished dinner, said good night to his family and went down the stairs to a small basement office to work for four or five hours on what became known in his household as that damn book. Virtually every night for the next five weeks (and every morning) Ill have to squeeze out an extra hour in order to finish a new book manuscript for Entrepreneur Press. The other day, after on request describing both our most recent and next (admittedly brief) vacationsflying to and from by private plane, no airport security, no hassles; whisked by waiting limo to hotel; staying in the most lavish suites so met at the cars door by a hotel staffperson to escort us to comfortable chairs in the concierge lounge for express check-in, dining in the finest restaurants without thought of cost, prices on menu invisible..the listener said I really ENVY you. You are so FORTUNATE. Where I live, theres a marina near by and I often WISH that I could have a yacht like those rich people do. Its instructive that yachts at marinas are tethered to their docks, covered with tarps more often than they are headed out to sea, a party on board. Many moons ago, in my earliest business life, in the Amway business, a fellow swore on his Bible he desperately wanted to be a success, a leader, and get rich as long as he didnt have to give up his Tuesday night bowling league. At which point I packed up my little briefcase, tore his distributor application into little pieces, and hurried out of his house. Now, some 34 years later, I find myself still, sometimes doing the same thing in my head more than as physical demonstration; just shutting down any thinking on the clients behalf, keeping an apparently interested look pasted on my face, but leaving mentally to go work on something else, until the day is done and I can actually escape. We even hear from some people they dont have time to study the newsletters. You know, 34 years ago I used to hear that about the training tapes. The worlds overflowing with folks who want what others have but are unwilling to give up their bowling (however temporarily), display any initiative, take any risks, take any beatings, heck, work any overtime to get it. They may even be incapable of looking at that yacht they fantasize about having, see through the surface of its hull, to what it is actually constructed of. By the way, its perfectly okay NOT to want a yacht or 20 racehorses or luxury vacations, to value other things and investments of time more. Just dont lie to yourself or others about it. Do not grumble about having to read the right-hand column of the menu before the left or look for bargain airline tickets on the internet and fly with 2 stops rather than non-stop to save money nor begrudge those who do otherwise their choices. Recognize it is all choice. Make yours consciously and honestly and be happy about them.


The Importance of Personal Philosophy

About the importance of personal philosophy. Weve been collecting questions from new Glazer-Kennedy Insiders Circle Members for months now, and Ive waded through well over a thousand of them. One asked a lot, that requires much too long of an answer for anything less than a multi-day seminar or a book of hundreds of pages, is: what do you believe? The question is asked differently by different questioners. Some baldly. Some timidly. Some harshly. Some gently. Some may not even realize that is what they are asking, but it is what they are trying to get to and understand. And its a damn fine question. An even better one to ask yourself than to ask me. But a good one to ask of anyone and everyone you permit entry inside your fortress walls. In a commencement address, the man who would be President, Barack Obama said Our individual salvation is dependent on our collective salvation. The fact that this is a nearly verbatim Chairman Mao quote notwithstanding, its an appealing idea on its surface, and a great many people will hear it as wisdom. Looking more carefully beneath its surface, it is dangerous. And anti-American. It is representation of the failed premise of all socialist and communist nations. Our American premise is the opposite: that our collective salvation depends on our individual salvation. That means that each individual accepts full and complete responsibility for himself as well as his family. A philosophy of self-reliance vs. one of group reliance. Which philosophy is yours? In my Renegade Millionaire System, I explore the little discussed fact that virtually all exceptionally successful people have a well-developed, thoughtful, detailed and firm personal philosophy, which simplifies the many complex and often hurried decisions they must make, the weighing of competing opportunities and priorities, the selection of people they associate with or distance themselves from. I know a few multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, business leaders, and other major contributors to society who give these things little or no thought. But they are rare. Most who lead in any field have a very definite set of core values and beliefs, and continually give considerable thought to them, and use them in practical ways. I also find that the above distinction the belief in individual salvation or collective salvation is a major difference to be found in the belief systems of successful vs. unsuccessful people. The fact is that believing in collective salvation is a selfdefeating, losing proposition. A self-fulfilling prophecy in a way; in admitting the need for collective salvation a person simultaneously abdicates responsibility and opportunity, and accepts dependence. This personal philosophy carries over to day to day business life. Some businesspeople tell me my employees wont let industry rules wont let me. my whatever wont let me and in doing so, they telegraph to me they do not have self-reliance and personal responsibility as cornerstones of their personal philosophy. Some people are quick to accept recession as an unmanageable force that must inevitably damage their business and finances. In doing so, they telegraph to me they do not have self-reliance and personal responsibility as cornerstones of their personal philosophy. Behavior, not talk, reveals personal responsibility. Exceptionally successful people get closer than others to congruency with a positive personal philosophy and their actual behavior. 25

So, not very long ago, I had to rather forcibly end a business relationship, a very profitable business relationship, for a reason that other person could not understand and probably never will: his expressed personal philosophy was compatible with mine but his true personal philosophy revealed by his behavior was not. Part of my personal philosophy is that you have to get away and stay away from people of incompatible and incorrect and harmful personal philosophies, and go out of your way to associate only with people of compatible, correct and constructive personal philosophies. In discussing this with someone recently, he rather contemptuously said, so you think youre right and everybody else is wrong, huh!?! and I said: not everybody. This is why you need a well thought out personal philosophy: because you need to be certain you are right. No, not right about every idea, strategy, tactic, not those sorts of things. That sort of arrogance is married to stupidity and breeds disaster. But right about the underlying foundation on which you build. Otherwise, how can you determine who or what is wrong for you? Ill tell you a little secret. When I listen to people be it a man who would be President of this country or partner in a company of my conception or client Ill have more than a passing relationship with or friend (not acquaintance) or model I might study I listen for clues to their personal philosophy. When I watch people, when I work with people, I watch for clues to their personal behavior. When I read what people write, I search for clues to their personal philosophy. This is the most important thing to discern. Better you could just ask, but you cant trust verbal answers. When I mis-judge this, I suffer, and I do mis-judge, so I work very hard at spotting those clues. I do not treat people equally. In the Ruthless Management book, I tell of coach Jimmy Johnson describing the profound inequality of his management style. Even Jesus did not treat people equally. A woman said: well, I believe in treating all people equally. Really? I asked: Do you sleep with and cook breakfast for your neighbors husband? I asked: When you buy a lottery ticket, do you pray for every one of the ten million ticket buyers to win an equal share of the pot, to each win one dollar? I dont believe in equality. Its not part of my personal philosophy. Nobody else really believes in it either if they are honest about it or think about it, and these days, if you think twice, youre a genius. I believe in equal opportunity to rise above unequal circumstances in order to make yourself a person of superior capabilities and earn extraordinary rewards. I acknowledge the need for a social safety net for those who cant, even to a minimal degree, for those who wont. But I certainly dont believe that our individual salvation will come from collective salvation; quite the opposite. Whats really great about personal philosophy is that you have equal opportunity to choose yours. Not so in every country, by the way. In the countries most committed to collectivism rather than individualism, those enforcing the collectivism and it is such a flawed and failed philosophy it must be enforced prohibit having and punish expressing personal philosophy. But probably where you live, if youre reading this blog, you do have freedom to choose, develop and act out your own personal philosophy. Be grateful you do, dont squander the opportunity, and be very reluctant to permit anyone to take it away from you, however incrementally.



Managing The Sales Process

Reprinted from the book No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits

For more information about this and Dans other No BS Book Titles, visit


CHAPTER #30 Managing The Sales Process

The ultimate disease of our times is vagueness of expectations. - Joe D. Batten, Author of The Classic Tough-Minded Management

In most businesses, sadly, selling is an act, not a process. The mistakes made here are many. Everything is separated and isolated. Advertising. Marketing. They deliver a prospect to Sales, where, typically, the entire outcome is placed in the hands of very fallible Salespeople permitted to freelance at will, committing random acts of Selling. Afterward, the customer is dumped off to Operations, where the promises made may or may not be fulfilled. Examine just about any business with more than one person doing the selling and youll find each salesperson doing things differently than the others. Over in accounting, everybodys using the very same bookkeeping ledgers and 2+2 = 4, period. But in sales, for some crazy rationale, everybodys allowed to wing it. If you want maximum profits, youll figure out what the best sales presentation is and everybody will use it. You need a Program for selling that all your salespeople comply with and use. Wrapped around the human salespersons adhering to your Program, you need a complete system for selling, for moving each prospect neatly along a path or, as the marketing wiz behind Blu-Blockers and author of a terrific sales and marketing book Triggers, Joe Sugarman calls it, a greased chute that connects advertising to marketing to selling, that qualifies and prepares prospects to buy before they consume the time and talent of your salespeople, and that both supports and helps control the efforts of the salespeople. One of the best quotes about all this is from a highly respected sales trainer, David Sandler, founder of the Sandler Selling System now with trainers and offices nationwide. David said: If you dont have a system for selling, you are at the mercy of the customers system for buying. I would add: for not buying. Such a system has to be built macro and micro. The macro parts link all your advertising, marketing, publicity, sales and operations pieces together with common themes, a clearly understood covenant with customers, and, as I said, a process for moving the customer smoothly along the path, from first expression of interest to completed purchase. Think of this as an exercise in control over the prospect and the process. The micro parts have to do with all of the human interaction between the prospect and receptionists, clerks and, most of all, sales people. Think of it as an exercise in control over the actual selling and the people doing the selling. Theres a lot of nonsense spewed about leaving salespeople to their own devices to preserve spontaneity, encourage creativity, and so on. Its all b.s. Selling is a scientific and mechanical process, not something you should make up as you go along. The person widely judged as Americas #1 Sales Trainer, Tom Hopkins, and I are both strong advocates of scripts. As a direct-response copywriter paid upwards from $50,000.00 plus royalties to write advertisements, sales letters and web sites, I can assure you that choices of words, language matters. What I do in writing is salesmanship in print. If it matters there, it matters in salesmanship live too. But live not only do words chosen, scripted and used matter, so does appearance, dress, physical movement and body language, the selling environment, the actual movement of the


prospect from place to place, seating choices, props used and much more. My colleague Sydney Biddle Barrows and I call this Sales Choreography. We believe that everything should be choreographed, from the first step the prospect takes into the selling environment, moment by moment, movement by movement, sentence by sentence. Theres quite a bit of resistance to this idea, of course, because it requires a lot of thought, discipline and practice by the salespeople and other staff members and a lot of supervisory enforcement by management. I can assure you that, for the few who embrace it, the pay-off is enormous. Incidentally, I push my readers, newsletter subscribers, coaching members and clients toward a whole approach. Most of my work has to do with everything leading up to the sale. I devise the systems as well as write the copy and teach business owners how to do it for themselves that gets ideal prospects to raise their hands, step forward and step onto the path constructed to then move them through qualifying and preparation, so by the time they face a salesperson and/or a buying decision, they view the salesperson as an expert and trusted advisor, the company as unique, and are pre-disposed to do business with them. I have consultants and service providers I recommend if intense work on driving traffic online to web sites or renting mailing lists or the handling of inbound calls or software systems to manage lead flow (see next Chapter) is needed. At the point that the prospect begins engaging humans, and will be face to face with staff and salespeople, there are resources and a tele-coaching program on Sales Design that Ive developed with Sydney Biddle Barrows, and Sydney does go on-site as well. Sales Design is about mapping out step-by-step-by-step everything that is to occur with and be said to the prospect, every if-hesays-this, you-say-that movement forward toward purchase.

The Biggest Improvement You Can Make As Manager And As Sales Manager: Stop Accepting Less Than You Should Get
If you get nothing else from this book, do nothing else as a result of this book, you ought to at least take a fresh, analytical, tough-minded look at what you are getting from your people as a whole and individually for the money you are spending. Most business owners accept shockingly poor sales results as if they make sense. In the hearing aid industry, the close rate people who come to the store, get a hearing test, and get a full sales presentation ranges from as poor as 25% to as good as 40%. 60 to 75 out of every 100 people who come in suffering from hearing difficulties and in need of a hearing aid do NOT buy! How can anyone managing this business accept such a thing? In the automobile business, roughly 20% of the people who come into a showroom buy a car there. 80 of the 100 left their homes, got in their cars, drove across town to the car dealership, braved the selling environment, looked at, asked questions about, even test drove cars that interested them but then were not sold a car. To me, incredible. Awful. Embarrassing. Yet car sales managers confronted about this shrug and tell me Thats about right. No. It isnt. In a dental practice, chiropractic practice or the like, patients coming in for consultation and exam are then, subsequently, given a sales presentation. Here I see wildly differing results. One doctor will close 70%, another a pathetic 30%. Why the difference? In the last comparable, completely controlled selling environment I managed myself, we brought doctors into a small meeting of several hours, to group-sell a product. We had one employee doing these meetings in about 25 cities a month and I did them in 5 a month. In three years, his close rate was never never below 85%. Mine hovered at 80%. Most of the time, he closed all but one person, called him the next day and closed him after the fact. I have been told by many others trying to replicate this model or with experience in this type of selling that such numbers are impossible and that he and I must be freaks of nature. Theyre wrong. Not only are such results possible, they should be expected, normal and customary. We achieved them for reasons anyone can replicate in any business: macro, we had a system delivering


interested, qualified, prepared prospects to our selling environment; micro, we had a precision crafted presentation delivered perfectly. If people come to buy, they ALL should buy. If thats not happening, you should be wracking your brain to figure out what you are doing wrong.

The Human Factor: If You Are Going To Have Salespeople In Your Employ. Pick Carefully and Manage Tough
Its not just Can they sell? Its Will they sell?, and Will they sell here?. I learned this from a top sales management consultant, Bill Brooks, and it is profound. Its not just limited to salespeople either it really applies to every type of employee in every type of job. Reality is, somebody who might be a good employee at Company A may be a lousy employee in the same job at Company B. This is what makes hiring by resume so flawed. But how can this be? After all, auto sales is auto sales, so a guy who was successful at the Cadillac dealer in Chicago ought to succeed at the Cadillac dealership in Cleveland, or the guy who was successful at the Cadillac dealership in Chicago should thrive at the Lexus dealership in Chicago. Or the person who was a super receptionist at one financial planners office will surely be just as super at another financial planners office, right? Wrong. Different people flourish or flunk in different environments. Lets start back at the first question. Can he sell? If you are hiring experienced salespeople, then you can answer this question with their experience to date, checking their references, seeing proof of their commissions earned. If you are hiring inexperienced people and making them into salespeople, then you might rely on much more in-depth interviews including discussing what they think is the right thing to do in different selling situations. You might utilize an aptitude test purchased from one of the many companies that provide assessment tests. And youll be looking for non-sales experience that evidences the attitudes necessary for success in selling. For example, one client of mine with a very successful sales organization, who only hires people with no prior selling experience, asks Have you been successful in anything? and have you struggled and found something so difficult you almost quit but then stuck with it and succeeded?. The second question. Will he sell? Again, if recruiting experienced salespeople, you can look into their historical track record. If they had peaks and slumps and inconsistent results where they were, youd need a good reason to believe they arent going to import their inconsistency into your business. If they increased their sales and earnings year to year, you could hope for that same pattern in your employ. If they stagnated, youd need good reason to expect otherwise. Sometimes just the change of scenery will revitalize a bored or complacent experienced pro, but that will usually be brief. If he got complacent there, hell get complacent here. In will he sell?, youre trying to solve the mystery of motivation and thats not easy. But self-motivation leaves clues. The most recent sales book hes read, most recent sales seminar hes been to, most interesting technique hes introduced to his repertoire in the past year. What he can tell you about his goals. If hiring inexperienced people for sales, again, you have no specific history to consider, but you do have non-specific history, basically the persons whole story. Did they work two jobs to get through school or did mommy pay their way? Have they worked in any job dealing with the public, like waiting tables? Are they really interested in a sales career or settling for it because they cant find what they want? if interested, theyll already be reading books, listening to CDs, educating and preparing themselves.


The third question is the trickiest. Just because he can and will sell does not mean hell excel at selling in your employ. Your company culture may be very different than ones hes previously experienced. You may require him to present things in a way he feels is deceptive, dishonest or unethical, or he may feel hamstrung and neutered by the ethical restraints you impose on the way he presents things. You may have a better defined Program you insist be complied with than his prior employers, and he may welcome the organization and discipline, or he may chafe at it. These matters need to be explored in lengthy, frank and detailed discussions once you get serious about a candidate. There is no point in hiring a sales professional without full disclosure of your Program and how tough you are about compliance with it.

Right Sales System + Right Sales People = Outstanding Success

Almost. The other missing link has to do with lost but viable prospects. Most systems controlling everything leading up to the sale give up on prospects too soon and too easily, or leave on-going follow-up to the human salespeople. Doing that can be a huge mistake. Salespeople really adept at selling are usually incredibly inept and irresponsible at follow-up. They are called salespeople, not follow-up people. The next Chapter talks quite a bit about plugging the leaky holes of poor follow-up. Its author is a client of mine, and I also endorse his companys unique software system. Its the one we use at Glazer-Kennedy Insiders Circle, and most of my clients use it as well. In interest of full disclosure, I am a stockholder in this company as well. However you accomplish it, heres whats important: once someone has raised their hand and expressed interest in your products, services, solution or information, and you put them on your path, they should be moved forward toward the sale at a prescribed yet flexible pace, with a lot of nudges by mail, e-mail, fax, drives to different web sites, tele-seminars, webinars; a primary sequence but for those who fail to move at its pace, a continuing, patient sequence. Most businesses waste the lions share of all the money spent on advertising by, first, not using it to create and capture interested prospects, and then by poor or insufficient follow-up. Beyond that, follow-up after the sale shouldnt be left in the hands of salespeople either. They will instinctively focus on their next hunt and kill, the next prospect, the next sale. But, hopefully, you are interested in creating, measuring and maximizing long-term customer value. To do that, you have to wow em after the sale and continually, frequently arrive to keep the relationship alive. So, finally, you have to manage the relationships with your prospects and your customers.