May 11, 2018

I grew up in a family of teachers…my dad, grandfather, sister and many aunts and uncles all chose teaching as their profession (and my Dad eventually became an elementary school Principal to boot).I guess that is why teaching is in my blood despite not making it my ultimate career choice.

But maybe I did choose it after all.

I recall that after I had only been in direct marketing for a couple of years, something drew me to the “Direct Marketing Educational Foundation” even back then…and I sat on panels and spoke regularly to college students about careers in direct marketing…and eventually I became a Board Member of that organization which I am still involved with today, almost 40 years later.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had multiple conversations with a variety of people around the topic, “we learn so much when we teach”—which inspired this post today (and the interview I want to share with you today as well).

It’s fascinating that all of the “teachers” I encounter—family and non-family–are all students of the highest order as well.

Teaching from a place of arrogance or “knowing it all” might land you a job (or even a career)…but I dare say it won’t be as fulfilling as toggling between teacher and student in every aspect of your life.

I may play “teacher” when I am in front of college students or those new to direct marketing or groups of younger entrepreneurs…but I also look for every opportunity to participate in groups or masterminds where I am closer to the dumbest person in the room than the smartest.

Those college students, newbie marketers and business people teach me so much.

And even when we pat ourselves on the back that we were the smartest person in the room about something…remember, we are all experts about something…not letting it go to our heads is the key.

I hope you agree that staying open to the possibility that something we don’t know might be coming on the heels of us delivering our brilliance…which makes life so much more fulfilling and always full of surprises.

I have even joined mastermind groups only to be a student…so I can bring back the expertise of other experts in areas where I consider myself a novice.

And I take my new knowledge to my own mastermind groups, something that would be impossible if I didn’t allow myself to be “100% student” in those other groups.

I am sure you have all had the experience of being in front of an audience where you were presumably teaching something where you are the expert; yet what you learn about yourself and others through that experience is far more than simply giving a lecture.

I also see this phenomenon during all of the mastermind meetings I attend and facilitate.

This was accentuated at the Titans Master Class I hosted a few weeks ago in Cleveland.

We orchestrated 15 “Hot Seats” with the ultimate teacher of direct marketing, Dan Kennedy, who was commenting and giving advice on all of them.

It was apparent that the 80 people in the room who were not on the Hot Seat at any given time (and therefore acting as teachers/counselors to those who were) were all learning and taching at the same time.

And I believe that even someone as experienced as Dan Kennedy picked up an idea or two from folks who had one-tenth of his experience and knowledge.

It was apparent how all of the issues that were discussed on those Hot Seats applied to everyone in some way; and seeing how open everyone was to learning and teaching at the same time was pretty awesome.

I would like to share a podcast where I was the guest with a wonderful interviewer and thought leader, Don Hutcheson, where we probed this issue together.

Don hosts, “Discover Your Talent-Do What You Love” which I highly recommend.

He releases at least three interviews a week with people from all industries and specialties…people who all subscribe to this idea of “learning by teaching.”

I was honored to be included and I loved Don’s theme of always doing what you love …and his line of questioning led to a lively discussion. I hope you agree.

Don and I explored this topic of “teaching” in the interview (among other topics)…please give it a listen when you have some time. 

It’s about 36 minutes long and there are also notes on the interview here if you want a shortcut.

Let me know what you think.





P.S. The Titans Master Class I referred to above in Cleveland a few weeks ago was one for the ages…and having Dan Kennedy giving his best thinking and advice on those 15 Hot Seats was an education for a lifetime.

I am thinking of taking this special group back to Cleveland again next year and having Dan come for an encore…with all new guests and another series of Hot Seats.

If you are interested in interviewing for a seat in Titans Master Class (our next live event in October is in the New York area and Perry Marshall will be one of many special guests), please fill out a short application form at:

Titans Master Class members are marketers, copywriters and entrepreneurs who all subscribe to this philosophy: 

 “If they are the smartest person in the room they are in the wrong room.” 

And not only are they all committed to “learning by teaching,” they are also all committed to world class, multi-channel direct response marketing.

If you think Titans Master Class could be a fit for you, we can set up a one-on-one Zoom interview.


P.P.S.  Happy Mother’s Day!


I am not only celebrating with my Mom today but a little over a week ago we celebrated her birthday on “Star Wars Day”…you know…”May The 4th be with you!”

She got a year younger…she’s a spry 93…and she can be very helpful to me (and you) in terms of your marketing:

“If you send any promotion in any medium that your Mom would disapprove of, don’t send it!” 

And if you have any great products or services for my Mom, she’s ready to hear from you.

Note: She loves those mailings with free address labels and calendars in particular…

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Here’s my Mom eating some New York cheesecake on her 93rd – I asked the waiter for some upsell bonuses for her which led to him not charging us for the cake…I’ll be going back to that restaurant!

Customer service is a marketing function indeed.

Happy birthday (and Mother’s Day) Mom!



About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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