I appeared on the Livecast I told you about in last week’s post to support marketing superstar, Kim Walsh Phillips, launch her new book, The Shift: Scale Your Business and Multiply Your Wealth Without Sacrificing You.
And while I knew the one question she would be asking me in advance of the call-– “What is one shift you made in your business that allowed you to multiply your wealth without sacrificing you?”—I wasn’t sure of my answer(s) until I was on the spot…live.
I knew I wanted to share TWO shifts…one from each of my careers…at Boardroom Inc, for 34 years, and Titans Marketing, for 8 years.
They were different shifts, as you might imagine.
Boardroom was a $100 million plus company for most of the time I was there, running all the marketing and also being involved with all aspects of running a company with 80+ employees.
Titans Marketing has never been more than a $2 million company with a staff of 2…with everything else outsourced.
But with all the differences, there is also some overlap with these two shifts, especially when it comes to people:
How I look for them, find them, and treat them in the context of work…and play. There are always positive results when you surround yourself with greatness; and there will be many more pitfalls when you settle for mediocrity or do things you aren’t equipped to do yourself.
Below, in written form, is what I shared on the Livecast.
I talked without taking a breath, almost keeping to time constraints, kind of like accepting an Academy Award while music played in the background, telling me to get off the stage (i.e., screen) …without receiving an award, of course 🙂
My biggest shift at Boardroom
This one happened early on…and got more developed as the years went on…and it relates to how I hired marketing people to fill all positions.
They had to have the ability to be “doublers” (and looking back, I was really looking for “triplers” or “quadruplers,” those two latter terms I think I have I made up).
The formal definition of a “doubler” (“an electronic device that doubles the voltage or the frequency of an input signal”) is not what I had in mind when I looked at my future staff.
But it’s close.
What I had in mind was another definition I heard for a “doubler” …that is, someone who could play two instruments (or more) in the pit of an orchestra for a Broadway musical, due to space limitations…while still being world’s best on all of the instruments they play.
Digging into The Google I found my preferred definition of doublers, sourced to orchestras in 16th century Vienna…which was good enough for me.
And what I had in mind during the interview process for new members of the Boardroom orchestra/marketing team was whether they could pivot easily (“pivot” being the word of the year for marketers and other workers during the pandemic…I was ahead of my time). 🙂
Pivot defined in this case is how they could move seamlessly and be able to market, oversee creative, buy media, in completely different arenas…with different kinds of copy and design, based on all of that media, online and offline.
Before there was an Internet, “doubling” was satisfactory…but as advertising opportunities went from finite to infinite, just having two skill sets was not enough…and I was looking for skill sets that didn’t even exist yet.
Plus it enabled me to invent the words triplers and quadruplers…although I probably didn’t invent them after all (and if you know who did, speak up please)…but invention is overrated anyway…while attribution is not.
But I digress (for a change). 🙂
Looking back, I didn’t even realize what I was doing would be as big a shift as it became. Or maybe I just didn’t know what I was doing. But it worked.
By using the 7 things to look for when hiring a copywriter—which I realized were also the 7 things to look for when hiring a marketer (who could be a doubler, tripler, quadrupler), doubled our revenue and tripled our profit once we began marketing online and on TV with infomercials.
Click on any of the links above for the backstory on infinite advertising opportunities/the dangers of one-stop shopping, the “7 traits,” and the story of how we mastered infomercials (for 3 glorious years).
Here is how the concept of hiring for quadruplers paid off when we got into the informercial business:
- Our direct mail planners moved to buying TV media easily and quickly
- Our creative team (and copywriters) figured out the most efficient ways to convert printed content into scripts
- Our analytic (and finance) teams learned the language of infomercials faster than you can say M.E.R. (Media Efficiency Ratio). ROI and ROAS are the same thing…only different. 🙂
It wasn’t a simple pivot but the orchestra pit we built was ready for anything, anytime…and the company more than doubled at that time in terms of revenue…with no additions to staff.
Gotta love those doublers, triplers and quadruplers.
My biggest shift with Titans Marketing
As I began my second career…to follow Jay Abraham’s sage advice and begin teaching what I had done for 34 years…I shifted into “retirement mode while working full time,” working smarter rather than harder…and using additional sage advice from Dan Sullivan, the top coach for entrepreneurs in the world.
The shift was not only about going from a company with lots of staff and complexities to one with little staff and simplicity.
Nor was the key shift going from a business-to-consumer model (i.e., Boardroom sold to and reached tens of millions of consumers with its products) to a Business-to-Business model (i.e., Titans Marketing coaches and educates companies who are run by blue chip marketing and copywriting entrepreneurs).
Those are both key shifts…but the umbrella was, “creating non-negotiables” which I have talked about before.
The first thing I did when I incorporated Titans Marketing LLC, was to make three columns on a piece of paper…actually it was on a white board at a WeWork location in New York City, with a brilliant and trusted confidant of mine at the time, Clay Hebert.
- Column One: What are the things I don’t like to do when I am “working?”
- Column Two: What are the things that I am not good at? (i.e., “Things I suck at” if you want to add some enthusiasm to this one) 🙂
- Column Three: Who do I not want to hang around with in my new business? This included specific people (sorry…no names mentioned here); and types of people (e.g., those who cross over my red line, moving from confidence to arrogance).
Basically, these three columns mirror Dan Sullivan’s definition of retirement…while working as a full-time entrepreneur.
While I am not 100% “free” of everything covered in those three columns, I am most of the time.
And having a copy of that whiteboard in my office staring me in the face every day, I know when I am out of integrity on any one of my non-negotiables…I have to then think about it…with the goal of getting out of jail quickly.
That’s what I have defined as, “Giving a shi(f)t about my shifts.”
Note: Give a Shift is the title of a book written by a friend, Megan Smith Gill.
One thing I will never shift from is giving attribution rather than taking credit.
Reminder: I’m still looking for who I can attribute “triplers” and “quadruplers” to… 🙂
P.S. Talking about making big shifts…
…one of my heroes, Perry Marshall, is holding an event that he is calling, “a printing-press-level world changer.”
A bold statement…and bigger than any shift I can think of.
Knowing Perry like I know him, it is not hyperbole either.
Note: After you read this P.S., make sure you read the P.P.S…. which is a normal way to read P.S.’s, correct? 🙂
There’s an exclusive offer to receive a $1,000 discount for this game changing shift/event; and the ability to make a donation for almost half of what you will pay, just by attending, to one of the most wonderful causes on the planet…and I mean planet.
Because I believe in everything Perry produces (he will be at my Titans Mastermind this week making Titans believers too), I am endorsing this event which is slated for May 23-25 in Chicago, combining an area I am very familiar with, traffic and media…with one I am learning more about every day, artificial intelligence (AI).
Whether you think ChatGPT can destroy Google or not… the mere fact that it’s a candidate for toppling Google is a revolution.
Google’s had NO serious rival since 1999.
Not even Microsoft or Apple or Facebook or the Feds.
Nobody was a candidate for challenging Google’s ascendency even three months ago!
And Perry knows what he’s talking about having written the encyclopedia on Google AdWords.
In Perry’s own words:
“ChatGPT kicked down the door like terrorists raiding a foreign embassy. Fastest adoption curve of any product in history. This technology and its cousins are taking a wrecking ball to prior notions of not only advertising, but knowledge and communication. This is a very very big deal.”
Which is why Perry Marshall – the guy who cracked the code on Google PPC – is hosting this urgent summit:
The Artificial Intelligence Traffic Blowout
May 23-25, Chicago area
Perry’s friend Tom Meloche sounded a new alarm only weeks ago:
“ChatGPT is an amazing co-author for copywriting, it is also a plague...which will wipe out poor content marketing, and poor content businesses.As big as social media, this tool is about to dramatically impact our world.THIS INVENTION MAY BE AS BIG AS THE PRINTING PRESS”
Tom’s not a clickbait headline guy. He’s an engineer. He intends every word.
Natural Language Processing will upend the world as dramatically as social media did the last 15 years.
If you are selling anything online, the name of the game is harnessing AI.
Make the AI work FOR you, not against you.
Be its boss and not its slave.
Here’s where you’ll learn the difference…
The Artificial Intelligence Traffic Blowout
May 23-25, Chicago area
P.P.S. Because Perry and I are buddies, he is offering a $1,000 discount to my online family.
PLUS, He agreed to allow me to give my affiliate commission to my favorite charity, charity:water.
This is a cause I believe in as much as any…because without water, life cannot exist…and charity:water’s mission is to bring clean drinking water to everyone in the world.
Beginning on April 16 and ending at 11:59PM ET on April 21, when you enter the promo code “kurtz” on the order form, you’ll get a $1,000 discount on seminar registration.
And I will be donating almost half of your registration fee to charity:water.
Lots of reasons to sign up before midnight on April 21st,with the most important being the education.
The discount and the donation are icing on the cake. 🙂