September 5, 2014

The Titans of Direct Response” event begins in less than a week…and when people ask me how the final stages of our planning is going, I have come up with one line that sums it up:“I am completely stressed…but totally blessed”

First, on the stress:

I certainly bit off a lot here…no, NOT more than I can chew…but certainly something bigger and more challenging than I ever would have done without the encouragement of my mentors, peers and readers like you.

No regrets, that’s for sure.

And for me, this is a great lesson in throwing my hat over the fence and then figuring out how I will climb over the fence to fetch it.

I think the stress now is more about delivering something super special for all the people that believed in me, and my vision, for this event…

Knowing that I’ve spent more than $50,000 alone on the giveaways for “Titans” is a good start.

But then it’s about the content…and spending one-on-one time with every speaker and mapping out their sessions with them…whether I will be participating directly with them or not…also needed to be part of the plan.

I have to tell you that hearing all of their stories and their wisdom–with humility and grace no matter how “famous” they are–has been incredibly inspirational.

And finally, it’s about those of you who are coming…and those of you who can’t come but will hopefully want the phenomenal DVD’s of the event…to make sure you are all contributing fully yourselves whether you are here or not…connecting powerfully…and making friends for life in all of your interactions.

Based on the outpouring of e-mail I have gotten to my recent posts on all of those issues, I feel like I am contributing to you…and all I want to do is contribute even more.

So all of that has made me a little stressed, I admit…

However, as soon as I fall into “there’s too much on my plate” mode, I take a deep breath, think about all the things I am grateful for (see last week’s post “Rejecting people is a lot of work“), and “stressed” quickly becomes “blessed.”

I am blessed because I have been given an opportunity (and the responsibility) to bring these speakers and this audience together…something I don’t take lightly and something I am very proud to do.

And based on the feedback I’ve received from many of you, I know I have made a difference with these e-mail posts already. And I’m just getting started.

Many people have asked me during this process of creating “Titans”:

“How did you get all of those guys to say yes to speak?”

I can admit to you here that making those requests was completely painless (and incredibly gratifying).

How did that happen?

I think I’m a nice guy, always appreciative and respectful.

But I knew it had to be more than that.

Of course Marty’s stature in the industry and his incredible contributions didn’t hurt…and I actually chalked it up mostly to that…which I am fine with since being on his coattails is something I’ve been blessed with since the day I met him, over 33 years ago.

But then I started thinking about a term that was given to me by one of our “Titan speakers,” Jay Abraham:

Relationship Capital

It’s way more valuable than Bitcoin…and relationship capital is accepted everywhere, not just among drug dealers and online gambling sites…OK, I’m a bit cynical about Bitcoin…:-)

I am anything BUT cynical about relationship capital…but how does it really get deposited into your personal account and then accumulate compound interest?

Why did all of these icons in direct response marketing say “yes” so quickly to speak at “Titans?”

And why was the “ask” not really that difficult or out of place?

As I said, politeness and Marty had a lot to do with it…but building my “capital” was a long time in the making…

I can tell you that it doesn’t happen by having the biggest Linked In or Facebook account…it doesn’t happen by contacting people only when you want something or need something…and it doesn’t happen by accident.

If you are not committed to consistent communication…and always thinking about contributing to the other person first (I know–I’m a broken record on that one!)…and true caring about the other person, “new deposits” into your account might as well be Bitcoin…even Monopoly money…and stuff that’s not worth anything doesn’t accrue much “interest” (pun intended).

That’s less “interest” in terms of your relationship capital gaining value; and it also leads to less “interest” in YOU as someone people want to be with, contribute to and contribute with…

That reminds me of a great expression:

“It is far more gratifying to be interested than interesting”

Now that doesn’t mean you should sit on your butt all day and not create stuff that others find interesting…but try to notice when the conversation starts being all about you and think about turning that conversation to the other person.

It’s hard sometimes I know…the voices in our heads often tell us how interesting we are…the old “legends in our own mind” thing…

And that’s why I make sure I have people around me all the time (part of that investing in relationship capital) who will make me accountable…and tell me to shut up when “it’s all about me.”

My requests for accountability from my closest friends, advisors and coaches usually center around two other things beyond just being quet once in a while…two things that must be eliminated as I interact with others and work to be the best I can be:

Complacency and Arrogance.

If I am complacent or arrogant, I need to be slapped around…hard…because you can’t invest in relationship capital if either of those things are getting in the way of how you contribute to everyone around you.

I know from experience that these two things (and I’m sure you can think of others for yourself…see #7 below), will stop you from creating a bigger future for yourself.

And since I don’t trust myself 100% to be aware all the time if either of those two things are creeping in, I surround myself with people who have permission to kick my butt if I am becoming complacent and/or arrogant…with love never leaving the room while they are beating me to a pulp…:-)

So the quick prescription for building your “relationship capital account” which automatically includes compound interest:

1) Whenever you are stressed, go to “blessed”…and always start from a place of gratitude, not envy (and the “envy” concept will need more development in a future post)

2) It’s always about what you can contribute first, not what you can attain first

3) Be appreciative and respectful always…I guess that’s pretty obvious…but good manners never go out of style

4) Don’t “come out of the blue” with your communications to anyone…and certainly don’t come out of the blue with an “ask”

5) Have people around you to let you know when you are being complacent…firmly and without beating around the bush

6) Have people around you to let you know when you are being arrogant…firmly…and with this one, a kick in the head might also be in order

7) And your homework (and feel free to share in an e-mail with me): What do you need accountability on (your “version” of “eliminating complacency and arrogance”) and do you have the right people in an inner circle who can make you accountable on those things that will hold you back from having a “relationship capital account” with long term, compound interest?

I’ve got a lot more to say about this topic…wanted to get some stuff out there in-between all I have going on with “Titans”…

I also wanted to share that all of the “relationship capital” that I seem to have in the bank didn’t come to me easily and without a lot of time and effort…and I value it not like an “asset” but as a privilege.

I cherish it…and I am constantly thinking about how to make additional “deposits” every day…

I think that is the important distinction I just discovered writing this post…and why “Titans” is more than just the place to be for all direct response marketers next week.

I’ll repeat it:

“Your relationship capital is not an asset but a privilege”

And the big share is that in the midst of feeling as stressed as I’ve ever felt in my life, I am also feeling as blessed as I’ve ever felt in my life.

I didn’t know why that was and hopefully this post expressed some of that…and gave you some things to think about as well.

I’m sure that after “Titans” I will be sharing  lots of lessons from the event…direct response marketing lessons and many more life lessons…and I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Those of you who are coming and know me or don’t know me:

Thank you for your confidence in me to deliver on the promises I made in the sales letter…and for making the sacrifices you are making to be here…and please be sure to introduce yourself to me at the event if we have never met before.

Those of you who can’t join us for one reason or another:

Please stay on this list…I will be sure to share highlights from “Titans”…DVD’s will be available…and you are as important to me as those who are coming.

You have all given me the confidence to make the event happen…but more importantly, with all of your feedback and sharing from these weekly posts, you have pushed me to share more and more…no complacency here…and yell at me if you smell arrogance! 🙂

I doubt I will post anything next week…I’ll be a little preoccupied (but not complacent)!

And I may be a little slow on returning e-mails too…

Until next time,


P.S. I’m serious about the homework. Hit reply right now and let me know where (and on what) you need accountability in your life. I will not be able to respond right away but I will look for themes to write about in the future from what you send to me. And do you have the right people in an inner circle who hold you accountable? I encourage you to look at that very closely…and it will be a topic I plan to cover in the closing session at “Titans.”

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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