October 23, 2017

Your friends are your friends because they tell you the truth.

Based on that premise, I want to ask you this question:


“If you have spinach in your teeth (or even worse, something hanging from your nose), do you have people in your life who, if they are present, will tell you about it?”


Not that this the only measure of friendship…but it’s one way to illustrate how important it is to have people around you all the time who will let you know what you need to know…without love ever leaving the room.


And this is also true for your mentors (and not just your friends).

So taking that a step further:


“Do you have people in your life who have broader and more significant experience than yourself who you can trust to always tell you the truth rather than simply tell you what you want to hear?”


If you do, congrats; and if you don’t, I encourage you to make this part of your game plan going forward.


Unfortunately you can’t simply “buy” a person like this…you need to cultivate your relationships over time and find the right people who you can trust.


This is also why masterminding in safe rooms with people you are in the same group with over a number of years can be the most powerful way to have this critical feedback loop in your life.


I used to think that if TWO people you know and love tell you something, take it in as truth.


But I have revised that now a little.


If only ONE person who knows you and loves you (and respects you), and it’s someone who has been telling you the truth for a while as a mentor, tells you something that you might not enjoy hearing, take it in….don’t dismiss it…ant thank your lucky stars you have someone in your life like that.



I’m currently working on my new book which is still tentatively titled:


Overdelivery: How Life Imitates Direct Marketing.


I’m trying my best to make it a marketing book but the longer I do this direct response stuff, the more I realize that I am at my best when I have the right mindset (which is not always directly related to having the most marketing knowledge).


And making sure I have that right mindset includes getting feedback and advice I can trust from people way smarter than I am.


So the book will have its share of “marketing personal development” whether I like it or not.


And this week’s session with my editor got me thinking about this concept of feedback loops and seeking the truth regardless of how tough it can be to hear.


I thought of this in the context of a discussion about some of my biggest successes in marketing and  many of my most colossal failures…and most importantly, the failures I avoided because I surrounded myself with people who beat me up before I made a huge mistake (with love).


My editor, who has endless patience (no surprise there!), told me she listened to the lengthy interview I did last year with one of the guys who always tells me when I have spinach in my teeth, Jay Abraham.


She began rattling off some things from that interview that she said must go in the book (which I had forgotten Jay had squeezed out of me, inspired by Jay’s probing interview style).


I told her I thought I should share it again with my online family and get their feedback and insights too.


So that’s what I am going to do with you today.


I called the interview, “Riffing with Socrates”and while it began as a way for Jay and me to talk about my book, The Advertising Solution, it ended up being about lessons learned over 30 years with Jay as a mentor.


Jay wanted to make sure that whatever we did together on this interview was far more than just me talking about the book…he always looks for maximum learning with anything he does.

That is why Jay is one of my most influential teachers and mentors…and I am far from his only student. He has hundreds.


What he does as well as anyone is push his students to always expand their minds…and he wasn’t going to let me get away simply “pitching my book.”


So here is the interview…and buckle up…which is what I had to do once we got going.


And you may know that Jay is the modern master of The Socratic Method so I think you will find this interview educational in terms of the content and the format.







P.S. Click here for the interview and let me know what you think.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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