January 7, 2023

What if I told you I had a video of Socrates, Alexander the Great and Gene Schwartz on stage, presenting live?

I bet you would watch it, right?

Sadly, those three guys are no longer with us (although I really tried to secure them for this week’s blog post). 🙂

Instead, I got three “stand-ins” who I hope you will still like. More on that below.

On our first Titans Xcelerator call of the year, we got into a discussion about “Socrates” and “Alexander the Great,” with 80 of the 250 members present, regarding the differences between business-to-consumer marketing and business-to-business marketing.

That’s how we roll on our calls…purposeful spontaneity.

Or random tangents from me. 🙂

The conclusion: “There is more that unites B-to-C marketing and B-to-B marketing than separates them.”

Sounds like something a politician would say…

People are people…whether they are at home or business…and you must address them as people. Even if it’s a gatekeeper at a business.

That’s why it’s dangerous to only use compiled lists over response lists, consumer or business.

A “resident” or “company with title” is closer to a bot than a person.

This same premise also led to the growth of the largest “consumer” newsletter ever (Bottom Line/Personal, for which I had the privilege of running the marketing, growing it to 1 million paid subscribers…in print).

Note that “consumer” is in quotes. Most of the subscribers received the publication at home but that didn’t tell the entire story.

Before there were online subscribers, in the Jurassic period of subscription marketing, the initial description I used when selling (renting) the subscriber list to outside direct mailers:

“Affluent business people, at home address, who all subscribe by responding to direct mail.”

It was one of the most widely used lists at the time and I think that positioning had a lot to do with it.

Of course, that they responded to just about every offer imaginable helped too. 🙂

There are differences when promoting to a consumer or a business…but you need a “name” either way so you can write to a person rather than an entity.

And you need to write to all people as if they are family, with the goal of them knowing, liking, and trusting you…assuming your family knows, likes, and trusts you (not a slam dunk for some, I know).

But you get the idea.

The discussion on the call went in many different directions from there.

We had breakout rooms with each member declaring their number one goal for 2023…followed by some shares with the entire group where other members built on each other’s goals…followed by guest speaker Robert Skrob, the king of retention and membership marketing (with actionable ways to “Be Unleavable,” which he knows more about than anyone else…and he has even trademarked the term).

That’s just one call, two and a half hours of marketing shares and absolute wisdom.

And we do that two, three or four times every month in Titans Xcelerator.

Totally interactive, whether there are 40, 80 or 100 people on the calls…with everyone being able to contribute what they can from their experiences, including books, seminars, resources, trusted vendors.

It always feels intimate no matter how many Xcelerators log on.

If you want to be part of the action, I’m extending the deadline on the current offer to join…see the P.S. and P.P.S.

Back to Socrates, Alexander the Great and Gene Schwartz walking into that bar…

Those of you who have emailed me over the past three weeks have gotten this out-of-office message:

Subject line: I’m kinda/sorta on a sabbatical…

…beginning on December 14th.

What does that mean?

It means I will be away from my office for the most part from December 14th through January 15th…”working” occasionally…but since my work is my play, nothing changes too much. 🙂

I know that sounds like a wimpy sabbatical…but I guess being wimpy makes me happy.

I still want to share something I dug out of my archives today…inspired by the call with the Titans Xcelerators on January 5th…a video that was recorded in June of 2018.

It’s a panel discussion I participated in with two of my heroes:

The first is Jay Abraham, a modern-day Socrates, and the “inventor” (almost) of the term, “preeminence.”

He’s also the guy who wrote the foreword to my book, Overdeliver, and he’s been my friend and mentor for almost my entire career (close to 40 years).

The second is Mike Agugliaro, a modern-day Alexander the Great, who became a role model to the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) industry by first building (and then selling at a much higher multiple than the average), a $30 million+ company.

He followed that up by teaching everything he learned to a wide range of service companies…with different levels of masterminds and coaching groups…at very high prices because he was worth it…selling that company as well.

But not before he transformed the home services industry and the lives of the entrepreneurs who trusted him with their businesses.

Jay is Socrates based on how he uses The Socratic Method in everything he does, which has made him one of the most critical thinkers of our times…by asking the most probing (and meaningful) questions possible.

Sometimes I think he might have taught Socrates how to do this but the math doesn’t work (he’s not old enough).

Mike is Alexander the Great because when you Google “who is the most dynamic warrior who ever lived,” Alexander is always at the top of the list…and Mike is one of the most dynamic warriors in the business world in any industry.

Mike’s masterminds for HVAC businesses took on an entirely different meaning when he branded the company, CEO Warrior.

Much of what he taught service business owners became universal rules of thumb for all business owners…quite a feat.

I was the third guy on this panel, self-described as “Gene Schwartz,”…but unlike Jay and Mike who personified Socrates and Alexander the Great, I am simply a “Gene Schwartz groupie” …and proud of it.

Actually I am a little more than that…I’ve gone from superfan to becoming his most enthusiastic student, and part teacher too, being the exclusive publisher (with his wife Barbara) of his classics Breakthrough Advertising and The Brilliance Breakthrough.

Knowing him well and learning from him, as one of his prized students, while he was alive, certainly helped.

In the role of teacher, I put much of that study into practice and created (with my marketing partner Chris Mason), Breakthrough Advertising Mastery, a 500+ page companion volume that demystifies Breakthrough Advertising, essentially turning Gene’s masterpiece into a utility. We are very proud of it. I invite you to check it out by clicking on the title above.

All I can say about this trio is that if we walked into a bar, rather than walked up on stage at one of Mike’s masterminds (see video below), I know I would be picking up the tab every time. Gladly.

One thing the three of us have in common, and believe in our bones, was etched in stone (well, wood) by a very talented friend, Jason Gerber:

I have one of these on the wall in my office and I sent one to Mike…thanks to Jason for sending me an extra plaque and allowing me to pay it forward.

However, I couldn’t send one to Jay because Jay says it differently, changing “obligation” to “moral obligation.”

I need to get Jason to carve a different version for Jay. 🙂

That Mike would bring in Jay Abraham to speak to his service professionals shows you his commitment to sharing best practices with his students…and I was so grateful to be along for the ride.

Today I want to share this video/panel discussion with three wise men who care deeply about their life’s work.

Just click on the screen shot of Socrates, Gene Schwartz and Alexander the Great below.

As you can see, the three of us are not at the bar (yet)…that came later. 🙂



P.S. I’ve extended the deadline for the current “membership drive” for Titans Xcelerator because I want to be sure you don’t pass up the most generous offer I have ever made, which includes many catch-up bonuses from past years.

I want to add to that by offering additional bonuses where you can choose what is most applicable to you and your business from some of the greats of direct response marketing and copywriting who have presented previously (which are not part of the catch-up bonuses).

Click here to read about everything about the program, including success stories from members, why it’s the best value in masterminds anywhere, and all of the amazing bonuses.

And here is the skinny on the additional bonus added this week:

You can choose any two (2) previous calls from the “Titans Xcelerator Vault,” calls with some of the most iconic speakers on marketing, copywriting, entrepreneurship, media, building a business…the right way.

The P.P.S. has the complete list, beginning in early 2020 through the end of 2022.

All you need to do is sign up here and then send me an email with your two choices.

I’ll respond even though I am still on a kinda/sorta sabbatical. 🙂

P.P.S. FROM THE VAULT: All the Titans Xcelerator calls with guest speakers from March of 2020 through December of 2022…choose any two once you sign up by sending me an email:

  • Ben Settle and Doberman Dan Gallapoo (offline paid newsletters and email marketing)
  • Perry Marshall (everything marketing)
  • Chad Collins (SMS and text marketing)
  • Kim Krause Schwalm  (copywriting tips from an A-List copywriter)
  • David Deutsch (thinking inside the box from another A-List copywriter)
  • Susan Berkley (voice coaching for webinars, radio, podcasting…anywhere)
  • Nicholas Kusmich (Facebook advertising from one of best teachers and implementers)
  • Kevin Rogers (copywriting coaching…and ultimate hooks)
  • Joel Erway (webinar marketing)
  • Jay Abraham (everything marketing and preeminence)
  • Parris Lampropoulos (lessons learned from turning around a company)
  • Richard Rossi (creating events for 10,000 students and parents at a time…using direct mail)
  • Marcella Allison and Laura Gale (anatomy of writing a book)
  • Bari Baumgardner and Blue Melnick (live events to virtual events to hybrid events…and where we go next)
  • Carline Anglade-Cole (copy secrets from another A-Lister)
  • Mike Capuzzi (creating short books— “Shooks”– for fun and profit)
  • Ryan Lee (the continuity king)
  • Joshua Lee (the LinkedIn king)
  • Alex Charfin (the entrepreneur mindset)
  • Charles Byrd (affiliate and JV marketing from an expert in both)
  • Lee Richter (women in marketing…mentoring…and building businesses)
  • Shelley Brander (making your niche and passion a multi-million-dollar business)
  • Ryan Levesque (the “Ask” man…and Quiz funnels…from one of the best marketers)
  • Pat Corpora (company turnarounds…three different times)
  • Randy Long (positioning your company for sale)
  • Harlan Kilstein (Facebook Groups from a savant)
  • Justin Goff (writing copy for cold traffic)
  • Victoria Labalme (risking forward)
  • David Phelps (evolution of a niche of a niche of a niche…creating millions of dollars through hundreds of followers)
  • Troy Ericson (email deliverability)
  • Robert Skrob (the retention expert…for memberships and subscriptions)
  • Matt Wolfe and Joe Fier (podcasting for everyone)
  • Mike Koenigs (your next move…making it work…from a marketer who makes big moves every day)
  • Jeff Meltzer (TV and infomercial marketing)
  • Chris Haddad (the P.I.G. method from the copywriter everyone wants to follow)
  • Adrian Savage (email deliverability…such an important topic)
  • Craig Simpson (direct mail for everyone)
  • Chris Mercer (rethinking measurement: reading and believing your marketing numbers)
  • Rich Schefren (what is working in online marketing right now…through the most epic examples from his “Steal Our Winners” program)
  • Justin Breen (the entrepreneur’s mindset from a serial entrepreneur…and how he built two global companies in the “Zoom era”)
  • Ari Galper (“Trust Based Selling” …with a one call sale)
  • Jason Korman (creating an office and culture that people will thrive in and never want to leave)
  • Maxwell Finn (how to make your advertising on Tik Tok work)
  • Jason Fladlian  (the ultimate debrief on a $57 million launch…a 2 hour master class)
  • Alex Schlinsky (the paradox of selling with depth…and shortcuts)
  • Jason Swenk (building an agency the right way)
  • Annie Hyman Pratt (building a company “people first” based on her bestselling book, The People Part)
  • Matthew Dicks (storytelling and marketing…based on his book, Storyworthy)
  • Dan Kennedy (“greatest hits” of No B.S. Marketing…live with the guru himself)
  • Rita Shankewitz and Michelle Cohen (offline marketing and media that still works…from their over four decades working at Boardroom Inc.)
  • David Garfinkel (making your prospect read every word you write…from one of the country’s top copywriting coaches)
  • Chris Evans: (from success to failure and back to success from a marketer with conviction)
  • Tracy Childers and Micah Mitchell (membership/subscription models that work…from two guys who built successful programs for hundreds of clients)
  • Mandi Ellefson (being a “Hands Off CEO” …and the size of your company doesn’t matter)
  • Joe Polish (what’s in it for them based on his new book by that title…he spent 2.5 hours with us…sharing his career as the ultimate “connector”)
  • Lori Haller (why design matters…in both marketing and customer service and fulfillment because all of those things are marketing functions…from one of the best designers in the world)

Looking forward to having you join the Titans Xcelerator family.

Click here.

Then email me for your two extra bonus calls from the list above.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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