April 18, 2020

Dan Sullivan (the top coach for entrepreneurs in the world) and Joe Polish (the top connector for marketers in the world) came up with “the five ways we get paid” many years ago–and like many of you, I have tried to live by these principles my entire career.

I will maintain that right now—with the world changed forever as we know it (and we really don’t know what we don’t know about the future)—I think these principles need to be put on overdrive.

While in Italy last month, I spoke for two and a half hours on this topic—and frankly I could have spoken about it all day. Maybe all week.

But here’s a much shorter version:

The five ways we get paid:

1. Utilize

2. Enhance

3. Appreciate

4. Refer

5. Reward (i.e. “cash”)


How do people utilize you?

Are you simply networking rather than enabling them to take true advantage of your unique talents?

Are you contributing to them initially in the spirit of “100-0”—for deeper connection?

Teaching and sharing what you know with no expectation of a return is the best way for folks to utilize you…and in these chaotic times, it’s even more important to teach and share even more.

The advanced course on utilization also includes the notion that your mentors choose you…you don’t choose your mentors.

What do you have to offer to people you want to learn from…again with a 100-0 mindset?

That is the best way for them to utilize you at the deepest level and if you’re lucky, they will become a mentor to you as a bonus.


How do you enhance other people in your world?

First you need to outwork everyone…not to show them up or to prove that you are someone who is looking to step all over everyone else to get to the top.

Actually, it’s the opposite of that: You “show, don’t tell” how hard you are working…and if you do it that way, it’s the ultimate form of generosity.

Others will follow your lead while you are simply setting an example by your hard work…which is the most generous form of enhancement you can show.

Second—while you are outworking everyone else—show insatiable curiosity. Be interested and not interesting. Do it to enhance others, not yourself.

Third—an oldie but a goodie—never be the smartest person in the room (which puts you in the wrong room). Always be a student to enhance others just as you are a teacher for utilization.

And finally, simply put, enhance others by saving lives. Whether literally (e.g.  you are a doctor) or more broadly (e.g.  you are a caretaker).

Whether it’s what you do, how you act or how you show up for people, always think in terms of “how can I contribute to lifesaving.” That’s the ultimate enhancement you can make to others.


You’re probably sick of hearing this one from me…but simply put, be grateful for those in your life all the time and look for random acts of kindness and specific “utilization” and “enhancements” to show up as gifts to represent your appreciation.

Things like “Christmas cards in July,” “Fishing without bait,” treating your list as family and eating with intention (i.e. hosting intentional dinners) are all examples of appreciation in this context.

I think that by now you all know how to appreciate others in many ways unique to your way of giving and you don’t need suggestions from me.


Be the first to refer others (assuming they are solid at what they do and they are referable)—and don’t be a “toll booth” expecting to be reimbursed for everyone you refer or recommend to others.

I know it’s tempting sometimes to try to cash in on setting up deals and partnerships or to take a finder’s fee for an introduction; but if you are playing a long game, your time will come. Resist the temptation to do this (most if not all the time).

Why should you refer first?

Because when others utilize you…and you enhance others…and when you appreciate others…and when you refer others…you have to get paid.

It’s a foregone conclusion…unless you do this all wrong.


You eventually get paid, over time, by utilizing others, being enhanced by others, being appreciated by others and being referred by others.

It actually feels like magic but it’s not.

You have to be patient however…it is not a short term proposition…but if you do everything right under this formula, the rewards are plentiful.

You will never feel like you are making an “ask from nowhere” (i.e. asking for a favor, big or small, that feels anything but genuine).

You will know when you are ready to ask for utilization, enhancement, appreciation or a reference from others–it will seem so natural.

Your credibility and transparency getting to that point on fulfilling on the four ways to get paid–before you actually get paid–will be the key.

A couple of speed bumps on your way to this exalted state:

And please read the P.S. and P.P.S. below which will give you information on two free summits that I am involved with that will help you navigate these crazy times…and whatever will be in the future.

I will keep my eyes open each week for you and bring you even more valuable content from others.

The criterion for anything I bring to you:  You will want you to utilize it and it has to enhance and appreciate you as well.

With both of the cases below, I am also being the first to refer without any expectation of a return.

Just practicing what I preach (or at least I’m trying)! 🙂



P.S.  On Wednesday April 22nd you are invited to a Direct Marketing Success Summit.

Titans Marketing is sponsoring this full day event along with Tom Matzen from the Entrepreneur Empowerment Institute.

This full day summit is focused on helping businesses survive and thrive during this unprecedented time…and it will also include strategies and tactics for your future success once this period is behind us from a wide variety of experts.

During the event you’ll hear from today’s top media buyers, copywriters and strategists.

Including some of the stars from Titans Xcelerator Mastermind.

It’s free to attend but if you want to purchase the recordings here’s what you need to know:

  • All profit goes to charity to help those families impacted hardest by the pandemic—a Food Bank close to my home in Connecticut..
  • When you buy you’re also going to get a copy of my book, Overdeliver.
  • You will also get access to the Overdeliver Collection which includes rare interviews and swipe files with Gene Schwartz, many of the recordings from the Titans of Direct Response event, plus exclusive training from Jay Abraham, Gary Bencivenga, Dan Kennedy and a host of other legends.

    You get all of that included with the price of the recordings…plus all of the money collected goes to charity.

And if you don’t want to buy the recordings, they are still all free on April 22nd.

To sign up click here.

P.P.S. Is TEXT Messaging part of your (or your client’s) marketing plans yet?

I was just interviewed by Chad Evan Collins for his Text Message Marketing Summit.

My topic was “Using Text Marketing Even if You Are The Director of Sales Prevention“, and it was a blast to start diving into the world of SMS.

I don’t even do it yet but I can see the amazing applications.

Chad is covering a wide range of topics at his summit, from beginner to advanced, and I certainly suggest that you register… even if it’s just to learn how Chad is using text to promote and drive traffic using TEXT Marketing.

Other topics and guests include:

  • How Big Brands Are Using Text w/Derek Johnson, CEO Tatango
  • What Every Business Owner Needs to Know w/ Amanda Dobson, Agora
  • Growth Hacking using SMS w/Dan Kuschell, Host Growth to Freedom Podcast
  • Text List Segmentation w/Ryan Levesque, CEO Ask Method Company
  • Innovations using SMS w/Bobby Angilella, Co-founder SlickText
  • and many more

Check it out here.

I’m convinced that if you have a list or are building a list of any kind, texting needs to be part of your marketing and communications plan… from nurture to sale.

Given the times, it’s more important to communicate with your audience NOW, more than ever before. 

The Summit goes live April 29th & 30th, and you can sign up right now to see my full interview (along with over a dozen other experts). Just click on the play button below.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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