April 2, 2017

Last week I had the honor of spending three days with 40 of the most heart-centered and highly skilled entrepreneurs, marketers and copywriters on the planet who were all attending Titans Master Class (a one-of-a-kind mastermind).

And there was one word that seemed to describe everyone’s overall philosophy about their business (and their life):


And with entrepreneurs like those in Titans, generosity always seems to go hand-in-hand with gratitude.

Both of these things were apparent as we went around the room at the end of almost three days together sharing and dreaming; and each person was asked to share one of three things (and sharing was optional):

1. A “give” to the group…or…
2. An “ask” of the group…or…
3. A share regarding gratitude

This exercise took way longer than expected since everyone wanted to share…

The gives were amazing: We had folks offering free access to their products and training in the thousands of dollars; and others willing to give their time to coach fellow members using their super powers on their own time and their own dime—also worth thousands of dollars.

The “asks” were also amazing…since they were based on a need for their business yet they were willing to pay top dollar for what they needed…so a reference plus a stamp of approval from someone in the room (who they had bonded with in a profound way during the event) turned those “asks” into “opportunities” for other folks, whether they were in the room or outside the room (i.e. inside the contact lists of fellow Titans).

And no one skipped the opportunity to share what they were grateful for…whether it was their gratefulness to one of our amazing speakers for sharing their expertise; or to one of the members who inspired them by having the courage to sit on a hot seat and allow the room to give constructive criticism without love leaving the room.

That’s the power of masterminding.

And as I sat there listening to all this magic, all I could think about was the concept of “100-0”…


For your consideration:

Eliminate the phrase, “I’ll meet you halfway” from your life.

I would like to make the case for why you should do that…immediately…as I explain “100-0”…


I have a group of ten buddies from high school who are like brothers to me.

However, we all know that no matter how close you are to certain
people, it’s easy to fall out of touch…and if some of those people
are particularly “complacent” (euphemism for “lame” since some of
my buddies are also part of my online family and I really don’t want additional
unsubscribes), it’s even more challenging…

But come to think of it, they probably don’t open this e-mail
anyway so yes, some might be on the lame side…but I know they will always love me and I will always love them no matter what.

For the most part, if I didn’t reach out to them, the odds of
them reaching out to me were slim…although the joke
is that they

are, “always sitting by the phone waiting for my call…”

That could have pissed me off.

“Why did I always have to make the extra effort
to keep in touch?”


“Why did I always have to organize any events
so we could all have some kind of reunion or get together?”

Well…because they didn’t have it in them to do that…more of a “can’t” than a “won’t” (which is a huge distinction).

When you can determine that it is a “can’t” rather than a “won’t,” all of a sudden it gets easier to play bigger.

There was a huge reward from taking this approach:

When we did connect, it was always a blast, a true love-fest
and we actually joked about the lameness and how we overcame the
odds by getting together.

If I waited to be met halfway, I would not have some of the most
important people in my life being a bigger part of my life…and I
could have easily made that choice.

But knowing that if I brought 100% to the relationship, the payoff
to having those brothers in my life was worth the extra effort…with no bitterness or anything that resembles “they owe me.”

This is alsoi a premise I encourage you to follow in your business.

Admittedly, most people I have ever worked with in an organization on the same team consider me a wimp for not holding
out for every dollar on a contract or not walking away when demands
from the other side of a negotiation became unreasonable.

However, all I know is that I sleep well at night…every night (well, there was the
night I was prepping for a colonoscopy…oops…TMI).

This “100-0” concept takes away so much stress…the stress of “keeping score” and calculating how
much they gave you vs. what you gave them is just wasted energy as
far as I can tell.

This mindset has led to two concepts that I would like to leave
with you today that may be a shift as you negotiate deals
in the future…or interact with people who you think are not playing “fair.”

I submit that you can’t do deals like this all the time…but it
might get you thinking differently about true fairness as a priority:


1. Don’t sweat the deal numbers for the test. Share all
results with total transparency…then adjust the deal accordingly for
maximum win-win on rollout.

So many of the deals/agreements I’ve
made over the last 35 years were so unpredictable how they would
work out (the beauty of testing in direct marketing)!

But knowing that I would be a slave to the numbers on that test (can’t believe
this English Major is saying that!)—figuring out the “profit pie”
based on REAL results and then adjusting
to the fairest deal possible for both sides always led to the
biggest long term wins.

And it would always lead to the longevity of the product/project/partnership.


2. Windfalls are good for today but if unfair, you’ve got a
one-hit wonder.

To continue from #1, you may not have been able to
negotiate a “flexible deal” on the test…which leads to one side making a

mint while the other side doesn’t do so well…and if you are on the
windfall side, don’t assume it was a “fair deal.”

It might have
been fair at the time you made the deal…but since we are hopefully not about one-time cash events and all
about business building for the long haul (that is, “everything is not a revenue event but everything is a relationship event”), be the first to fess
up if it’s not a fair deal…

In the words of the great Robert Cialdini:

“Reciprocation [is about] you, then me, then you, then me…be the first to give service, information, concessions”

It’s possible that this definition of “reciprocation” is one that you may have never heard…certainly if you only use that word doing affiliate deals online…


I’m reminded of a mailing list salesperson early in my career who
went to a company that had never previously rented their lists (for direct mail)…and
the lists were comprised of affluent professionals who responded
well to all kinds of business and consumer offers for their own products, and the names were 100% direct mail sold…basically a super-responsive
list that would enable this salesperson to tapinto an untapped gold mine now that there was a decision to make the lists available to other mailers for the first time.

This salesperson negotiated a commission deal the first year
that unexpectedly had her making more money in commissions than the
CEO of the company was making …and it was a pretty large
company with an overpaid CEO to boot.

After the first year, the CEO asked the salesperson to adjust her
commission based on the unexpected windfall…and she refused.

Her position:

”Why should I have to take a pay cut when I did such
a good job?”

She stuck to her guns that a deal is a deal…


But “the deal” was not an “employment contract” (nor was it fair to both parties) and she was let go
from the company a year later.

Note: If she had cut her commission in half in year two with the company, she still would have
made more money in that second year than she ever made in any single year for the rest
of her career.

I know this is extreme…but I think it illustrates the point.

Based on this true but tragic story, you might want to consider eliminating another phrase from your business mindset in addition to the previously mentioned “I’ll meet you halfway.”

There should also be no room for:

“It’s the principle of the thing”

Standing on principle or making the other side pay or however you phrase it (it could even be an “I’ll show them!”), will only cause you stress, take years off your life and not move the ball down the field.

Be in the game for the long run and play fair.

If you do, I guarantee you will be richer for it in the long run.

And you will sleep better too.





P.S. So many of you are asking about when the new editions of the two Gene Schwartz classics, Breakthrough Advertising and The Brilliance Breakthrough, will be available.

Breakthrough Advertising is at the printer and we are expecting inventory mid to late April; The Brilliance Breakthrough is being typeset and we are looking at late May for copies to ship to you.

Thanks for your patience…the wait will be worth it…and don’t get sticker shock when you look the two books up on Amazon…I will be pricing both way below what they are going for online for used copies and even illegal and pirated copies. These new editions will also include some additional content…even a mini-swipe file of some of Gene’s best promotions.

P.P.S. And while you are waiting, I have limited inventory on an incredible 5 disc boxed set…it’s 4 CD’s and a DVD…the CD’s are priceless interviews with 12 greats of direct marketing talking about Breakthrough Advertising which gets into the mind and genius of Gene Schwartz, including Jay Abraham, Ken McCarthy and many others; and the DVD in the boxed set is Gene Schwartz himself presenting “live” at Rodale Press about his methodology for assembling copy and not just writing it…

If you are interested in purchasing this collector’s item, send me an email with “Gene” in the subject line…and if you buy the boxed set, I will also gift you a signed copy of my book, The Advertising Solution; and if by chance you have already purchased the book (thank you!), I would encourage you to give the copy you have to someone who calls YOU a mentor…that’s how we will pay this forward!

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

Comments are closed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Title Goes Here

Get this Free E-Book

Use this bottom section to nudge your visitors.