February 12, 2020

I am currently in Italy speaking at a conference where Dan Kennedy was supposed to be appearing…and due to his illness (he’s getting better every day!), the organizers thought they would get five speakers to replace him…and I am one of them.

A tall order even for five experienced marketers…

It will take all five of us to share as much as Dan would have shared…and we will give it our best effort.

And I will report back to you how we filled Dan’s shoes…well, maybe one of them…:)

Therefore, for the next two weeks, I want to share posts I wrote after speaking in France (twice) and Hungary (Budapest is beautiful!)–which were among the most amazing experiences of my career.

I’ve also spoken in The Netherlands and Germany as well. I love speaking internationally.

I recommend that you never pass up an opportunity to speak abroad because what you have to share from your own country, whether you are from the U.S. or not, is always appreciated in other countries. Wherever you are from you have a completely different perspective on marketing (and life)…and it’s also fun to share with new friends.

And of course it’s an opportunity to teach…and learn.

I’ve updated those posts from France and included some neat videos in the P.S.

Hungary is coming next week.

Come for the information…stay for the inspiration

I had the honor of spending a week in Paris a few years ago (that’s Paris, France, not Paris, Texas)…and I was even asked back two years later.

It was an event hosted by my good friend Sebastien Night, “The French Marketer,” who has done some of the largest events in France in recent years and is a true result leader.

As a reminder, here is the definition of a “result leader” from my interview with Joe Polish:

Thought leaders vs result leaders:

Any moron can have a thought; not everyone gets results.

I will stop using the term “thought leader” from now on because of this discussion.

We should describe the key mentors in our lives as “result leaders.”

I like the idea of being a “result leader” too…it excites me…and it’s what I am going to do with Titans Xcelerator to make it successful. And it will be what I’m all about in the futureAchieve results for members and clients no matter how small or how large.

Back to France: The audience was a group of up-and-coming French entrepreneurs…and as I took the stage with a translator at my side, 400 people waiting for this “Ugly American” to say something of substance, I asked the group three questions:

1) “How many of you have a huge mission or vision you want to fulfill in your life?”

Most of the folks in the room raised their hands.

2) “How many of you never raise your hands at a seminar?”

I think those who didn’t raise their hand to the first question raised it here…well, most of them.

My thought: Why would they be at a conference called “Entrepreneur Libre” (“Free Entrepreneur”) without a big vision?

3) “How many of you would like to reach millions with that mission or vision rather than dozens?”

I think I got everyone in the audience to raise their hands…finally.

I then told them when I was planning my speech I didn’t know whether I should speak about “personal development” in addition to talking about direct marketing.

I realized I needed to talk about both…because no matter how big their mission is and how much passion they have for that mission, if they don’t spend time focusing on their mindset in addition to marketing strategies and tactics, they won’t be able to make the same impact.

I think most of these French entrepreneurs knew this…but I would be doing them a disservice if I didn’t focus on both.

This seems fairly obvious…but unfortunately there are heart-centered entrepreneurs everywhere who believe that their mission is so pure and so important, it’s only a matter of time before everyone will hear about it…and them.

And some of those same entrepreneurs see marketing as “evil” or something that can never be consistent with their pure mission.

I never want anyone to sell or position their product or service in a way that makes them uncomfortable or makes them feel they are marketing without integrity.

But I also don’t want them waiting around for something to happen when I know it’s up to them to make it happen.

Since I have many people in my online family who may not have heard about my adventures in Paris, they also probably never heard about my adventures before Paris–so I want to share the key elements from an earlier post from a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs who are NOT experienced marketers (like those in Paris). Many of these items were also part of that speech in France.

I titled the post, Graduating Last at Harvard Medical School and it goes into detail regarding why marketing is critical to every mission even if you don’t want to do the marketing yourself. I also included these 9 principles in the introduction to Overdeliver:

1. Be involved in all of your marketing efforts even if you outsource everything 2. Marketing is not evil

3. Advertising opportunities are now infinite

4. SingleChannelMarketingIsSoBoring.com (this URL actually goes to my home page!)

5. No one spends enough time on lists

6. If applicable, use your personal brand in your marketing

7. Customers refund transactions…not relationships

8. Credibility and transparency trumps all

9. Always think “direct (measureable) marketing”

If you want the details on these 9 core principles read Graduating Last…or read the introduction to Overdeliver

Knowing that I receive a lot more feedback on these posts when they are about softer topics other than marketing, I intentionally merge the “woo-woo stuff” with more hands-on marketing advice  to make sure we never lose sight of the fact that without marketing, nothing happens…and also that personal development is part of marketing.

However, I am no expert in personal development.

But I can’t help getting into certain issues I’ve learned from others in this area when I am talking about marketing. It seems pretty natural to me.

I am sure that most of you sign up for blogs like mine for the information; but I’m also pretty sure that you stay for the inspiration.

I hope I inspired you today.



P.S. Before speaking in France I filmed three videos with Sebastien and I want to share them with you here.

The first covers my “must read” books.

And in Overdeliver I have a more complete reading list which covers 40 years of reading—I didn’t read many of those books cover-to-cover–but I’ve opened and read parts of all of them. That is, the important parts…which is a blog for another day.

That “Further Reading” section In Overdeliver is a gateway into my library…and my twisted brain too…with inclusions from Dr. Suess and Hans Christian Anderson alongside Gene Schwartz and Dan Kennedy. 🙂

The second video is about the two biggest mistakes from my 40 year career which taught me never to read my press clippings after successful marketing campaigns… and to always check my premise and don’t be seduced by money.

While they are both a little embarrassing, they are instructional.

And the third video is an explanation of the simplest and easiest continuous improvement program you could ever implement in your business.

All three videos are available on one page by clicking my silly face here:

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

  1. Yes, Brian… You did inspire, and I’d like to help you inspire my people too (the Hispanic / Ibero – American market). You have the opportunity to do something no other direct response marketer has done and leave a legacy that will bring good fruits in the future.

    It will be an honor to be a part of that legacy.

    If you believe on my people and the impact you can have on them, I’d love to translate “Overdeliver” into Spanish.

    In either case, thank you, and please keep inspiring.

    All the best,


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