February 11, 2024

Dan Kennedy has gotten it right…unless you’re not Dan Kennedy.

What he has gotten right:

How to create maximum impact and influence by practicing one word.


Become a scarce resource, produce value, and you will never be at a loss for clients.

That’s the short version.

Dan has 10 more ways to do it…if not more.

It’s not as easy as it sounds…others can do it…and Dan is the gold standard for creating ultimate authority.

But for me, and many others, we take the “Kennedy Rules” under advisement, not as gospel.

And if Dan was reading this, which he won’t unless someone prints and faxes this to him, he would say something like:

“Brian, you will never maximize your value because of the way you look at creating your authority.”

My response?

I’m OK with that.

While money drives everything we do, and with more authority (perceived or real) comes more money (based on the value of what you deliver), I am intentionally more wishy-washy about how I create my authority…which, I assume, has led to less money in my bank account.

I’m OK with that too.

I have enough, while not registering Titans Marketing as a non-profit.

And the most valuable “account” in my portfolio is my “relationship capital” (which converts nicely to money, over time, when you play a long game).

That’s a rerun with a purpose.

I had the privilege of attending a “Day with Kennedy” in Cleveland last year…and I wrote about it in “Being nobody to become somebody” …and it’s a topic that recurs in my life and career often…like it did this past week.

One of my Titans Xcelerator Mastermind members reached out to me with a “Do you know…” email, looking for an intro to someone he wanted to interview for his newsletter and he assumed I knew the guy.

Being around for a long time means when I receive a “Do you know” email, I usually know of them at a minimum…and the person in question was someone who I had interactions with in the past…not as a friend…but more as an acquaintance/colleague…enough to make an intro at least.

I love to “contribute to connect” (a much better term than “networking”)…and I also love sharing those connections.

I look inside my mastermind for expertise for my own business and everyone else’s in the group; and I also share my relationships freely if you are on the “inside.”

I eat my own dog food and then serve it up to the outside world only if it’s of the highest quality.

You should consider joining Titans Xcelerator just for that reason. 🙂

While making the intro, I was careful not to come off as this guy’s best friend—I am always sensitive to never make an “ask from nowhere”—but my request had some basis behind it…or so I thought.

I also did not presume he remembered me.

I am memorable…but not that memorable.

Also: When I commit to an intro, I go big.

That is, I tout both people I am introducing, sharing everything I know that makes each of them great (common practice among the best connectors) …give them both a concrete “why” for the intro …making the connection as deep as possible.

A half-assed intro isn’t worth anyone’s time.

The guy is in a very tight niche, the same niche as the Xcelerator.

And I consider both top shelf in the niche.

I thought this person would be enthusiastic about the intro…but I was wrong.

My carefully crafted intro was met with skepticism in the way of questions, suspicion…and frankly not appropriate to the warm request.

All handled by the guy’s assistant with no acknowledgment of our previous relationship.

His loss. 🙂

One of the questions was legitimate but off base given the facts of the request:

“What’s the reach of the newsletter?”

When I hear “reach” I think of terms like “eyeballs,” “podcast downloads,” “Facebook friends,” and other metrics that often lead to very little.

I prefer small but mighty circulation…quality over quantity…or…what kind of influence are we talking about (of any size)?

This was further evidence that this request was going nowhere fast, especially because the newsletter he’d be interviewing for had a small and mighty circulation…a number in the hundreds, not thousands.

Now I can chalk up his tepid (cold?) response to not recognizing my vast influence in this niche… (did I mention that I have been a player in this niche for 40+ years and now you can probably guess what it is?) …or not caring…or both.

I try to live into my humility every day…even to a fault.

But I can feel hurt or neglected like anyone else.

I can tell you the response was not fulfilling (understatement).

In my opinion, he should have jumped at this opportunity to connect with a fellow expert (not me, the newsletter publisher) …and his cautiousness caught me by surprise.

He’s not the pope…or a celebrity with many gatekeepers…hell, he’s not even Dan Kennedy.

Taking 15 minutes to acknowledge the opportunity rather than hiding in his castle (with a moat and a secretary) is a missed opportunity rather than a protection of his privacy.

I know that’s my opinion and not fact.

However, I think it’s important to know how famous you really are…not to read your press clippings…and when something appears in your Inbox, online or offline, and it smells legitimate, you might just want to take a chance once in a while.

And that doesn’t include clicking on pictures from an AOL email address or cashing in on an inheritance from our old friend the Nigerian prince.

Maybe he’s too busy making millions to be bothered…a choice that I won’t contest…but I know he’s missing out on connecting with a human who can help him, one he can learn from…and one who can learn from him.

A simple Google search would have told him that.

And he could have (re) checked me out too, since our initial encounter was initiated by him.

He could have at least said, “Hi.” 🙂

Where’s the downside in person-to-person, heart-to-heart communication, with this amount of positive anecdotal evidence in advance?

Keeping your “procedures for engagement” firm is not necessarily bad policy.

But…when there are no exceptions to that policy—ever—you leave powerful relationships on the table.

Even money.

This guy had a policy to get lots of information before getting involved in any way with anyone (it seems)…even with many clues that this was worth a shot.

Did I say he’s not the pope or a celebrity?

Simply put, being militant about your “policies” may not serve you best.

I would suggest strategic absolutes and strategic non-negotiables are a better way to live…but of course that defies the notion of having absolutes and non-negotiables in the first place.

Oh well.

The scarcity/accessibility scale should be graded on a curve…they are both states of being…not rules.

And Kennedy would disagree with that statement 100%. 🙂

I will counter Kennedy’s presumed disappointment in me with a well known quote from philosopher/hockey player Wayne Gretsky…although another philosopher/basketball player, Michael Jordan, always seems to get credit for it:

“You miss all of the shots you don’t take”



P.S. Speaking of shots you might want to take, why not take a shot with Titans Xcelerator?

While you shouldn’t join to get new business or clients…or to tap into my extensive list of people and resources who can help you with any aspect of your marketing…those are additional benefits of membership whether you like it or not. 🙂

The most important benefit, however, is the contribution you can make to this group of givers…and when you contribute with no expectation of a “return” on your contribution, to fellow givers, the miracle is that you receive so much more than you expect.

That’s the way it’s been for the 250+ members over five years.

Being on the “inside” has its privileges.

And there is no letting up.

Included in the list of benefits are two to four live calls a month (two and a half hours each), which create the ultimate contribution and connection experience…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Check out everything Titans Xcelerator has to offer here.

And…I’d love to be able to address a “Do You Know” email from you someday…but with much better results than the one above. 🙂

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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