May 11, 2024

Today’s topic is one that I’ve had decades to think about…which based on the subject line, means this will be a shorter blog post.

I can hear many of you applauding already. 🙂

That is, I get some “complaints” each week that my Sunday posts are too long.

Not to worry…I have thick skin.

And while I hear you, I need to justify my position.

I take all complaints as “constructive criticism and with a grain of salt” …that is, in regard to my posts that drone on, I also receive lots of engagement each week with many of you about a lesson or quote or something meaningful embedded deep inside each post that caused a revelation or an “a-ha moment.”

It’s not too long if it’s useful, I guess.

Since that is the purpose of these posts–they are written for your benefit–I refuse to make them shorter out of convenience.

Well…except when I have more time invested in a topic to make them shorter (like today).

The subject line (“More time means shorter posts…”) is a “version” of a quote (“If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter”) that has been attributed to way too many people, including (and this is only a partial list):

  • Mark Twain
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Voltaire
  • Blaise Pascal
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Winston Churchill
  • Pliny the Younger
  • Cato
  • Cicero
  • Bill Clinton
  • Benjamin Franklin

Now that’s a who’s who of quotable folks!

But there can be only one, original author.

I find that Twain and Churchill show up every time I search for the origin of a pithy quote…and when I research the original source of anything, I go with the one who was born first …and with this quote, it was French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, with a “winning bid” of authoring it in 1657.

That’s far enough back in history for me.

But I’ll still give a nod to Twain and Churchill anyway. 🙂

I’ve written posts in the past stemming from Twain quotes (e.g. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”) and Churchill (“The Titan Who Saved the World”), the latter being strewn with Churchill quotes (both authenticated and not).

Then there was my research of the quote, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room,” which way too many current, so-called thought leaders, were taking credit for…but that one traces back to Confucius (who died in in 470 B.C.E.).

If you’re paying attention, that’s even before 1657…and far back enough for me to stop researching as well.

I also know Confucius is the rightful owner of this quote because of an authentic meme I found on the Internet (created sometime after 470 B.C.E.).

The Internet is never wrong.

Which then caused this meme to adorn a T-shirt that is part of the renewal bonus package members of Titans Xcelerator receive (which many of you are lucky to know about first hand).

Others can consider this information aspirational…or a spoiler alert…should you ever join and renew.

Actually if you join, you will renew. Just sayin’ 🙂

What’s my point?

I love “O.G.’s” …” Original Gangsters” …from Confucius to Blaise Pascal to Mark Twain to Winston Churchill…and from the marketing world, pioneers like Gene Schwartz, David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins, Gary Halbert et al.

Note: I consider being called an O.G. the ultimate compliment…much better than when someone refers to me as a “guru” or a “legend,” both of which are totally inaccurate.

But an O.G.?

You can call me an “Original Gangster” any day of the week…read on why I love the title…but I’m not sure I have earned it…yet.

In Chapter 2 of my book Overdeliver, titled “Original Source,” I emphasized that the topic is not a discussion about “the good old days” or nostalgia.

It’s about core principles being the foundation of everything.

It’s also about another quote from an O.G. in the art world, Pablo Picasso:

“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.”

With no disputes on Google who gets credit either. Picasso owns this one.

And it is at the root of my ongoing search for the best and brightest “N.G’s” (“New Gangsters”).

I have identified many of them through their respect for the past…which is paramount to how they redefine the present and future.

There isn’t one N.G. I can get behind who doesn’t stand on the shoulders of giants…and recognizes that fact often, with humility (and confidence without arrogance).

This then enables us to stand on the N.G.’s shoulders, with confidence that their wisdom is earned and based on only the best sources…and based on their reverence for everyone who came before them.

I’ve found dozens of N.G.’s this way over the past ten years (many of whom have graced a stage where I was the host) …and it’s why I launched and named my podcast, Timeless Marketing.

I love things that are timeless. Which explains my obsession with O.G’s…and now N.G.’s.

And my search has only just begun.

Populating my events and podcast with the best N.G.’s has turned into a passion for me.

One of the N.G.’s I recently had speak to my Titans Xcelerator Mastermind was so good, she made the cut to convert her presentation into an episode of Timeless Marketing.

Liana Ling represents everything that I’ve expressed above.

She is one of many I’ve found…and I am on the hunt for many more (see below).

As the CEO of AdSkills, a premier platform providing media buying training for marketers, known for her rigorous approach to marketing.

“Rigorous” includes learning from the past…and adaptation to the future.

She has become a reliable source for innovative strategies, particularly in the realm of AI integration for paid advertising.

But she also respects “where babies come from” …and because of that, I want to share this podcast episode with you today as a shining example of how someone becomes an N.G., with wisdom and grace.

And here’s an offer for any N.G.’s in my online family (based on how I have defined what it means to be an NG above):

If you would like to be a speaker at Titans Xcelerator…and/or be a guest on the Timeless Marketing podcast…email me and let me know about your journey to becoming an N.G. in the spirit of this blog post.

And…enjoy this episode of Timeless Marketing with Liana Ling, N.G.

Putting “N.G.” after her name is equivalent to “PhD in online marketing.” 🙂

While her presentation focuses on techniques and strategies for how a world class media buyer uses AI with extraordinary results, listen carefully for clues (which are in plain sight) how she got there.

One thing to note is that she’s named her techniques—for example, “The Iron Triangle of Media Buying” and secrets of her “Round Robin Approach for AI Ad Copywriting”—with everything having its roots in eternal truths of direct response marketing.

Dan Sullivan, the top coach for entrepreneurs in the world has a quote (which may not be his originally…but he is an O.G. of the highest order which is good enough for me)…and I will devote an entire post working of it in the near future:

“Whoever names the game, owns the game.”

Liana owns her game.

Like well-known quotes, new marketing tactics, and state-of-the-art copywriting techniques…everything has an original source.

Yes, even AI.

And you don’t need to go back to 470 B.C.E. to find most of them. 🙂



P.S. If you are craving wisdom from N.G.’s and O.G.’s alike, check out all of the Timeless Marketing podcasts that are available right now by clicking here.

Some of the guests you will recognize…some you won’t…but I know you will be impressed with all of them.

And you will learn a lot from each one.

Bookmark the page for future reference too.

P.P.S. And…if you want a mega dose of “O.G.’s,” check out the Titans of Direct Response, which is all of video and other resources from what Dan Kennedy called, “the event of the decade”… albeit it was the last decade (i.e. it was held in 2014).

It’s still timeless.

It’s now available in a digital version here.

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this page for the full story about this epic event.

We no longer have inventory of the “physical version” but you can still buy the digital version here.

Cheers to O.G. ‘s and N.G.’s everywhere!

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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