February 7, 2020

A year ago I wrote “The view from above ground” shortly before my stroke…little did I know I would be in that position myself a couple of months later.

I’m glad I am still here…but I have thought a lot about the difference between living and dying this past year…and specifically what we leave while we are still here vs. what we leave when we are gone.

The difference with the view from below ground is that you are dead and we don’t have reliable data on how you might be dealing with that…specifically how you will be feeling…and how you will eventually be remembered.

Put another way, “legacy” is not necessarily a reason in itself for living.

Your “living legacy” (i.e. how you are thought about/remembered while you are still alive) is much more important…and you have to keep on keeping on until you’re done.

My virtual assistant from the Philippines (Macy), who prepares this blog for me (and you) every week, let me know that she lost her “Papa” (her loving Grandfather) last week.

I also lost one of my mentors Gordon Grossman recently (“The real O.G.”) so my thoughts are back to death and dying (in the spirit of life and living).

There are many customs in our country (and Macy’s) that involve reverence for our elders–which also reminded me of the Mexican tradition of Dia de Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and the movie Coco.

If you have not seen Coco, it is a must watch. On the surface you might think it’s just another animated Pixar film for kids…but don’t be fooled. This is one of the most poignant and meaningful films I have seen in a very long time.

Why is Coco such an important film?

Because at its core, it covers the most important issues for those of us who are still above ground…and below ground…

From a review I found online:

The film’s main theme, loving and supporting your family, and remembering those you’ve lost, comes through in every scene. 

As I mentioned, the movie centers on Dia de Muertos which, according to Wikipedia, is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico which is a “…multi-day holiday focusing on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.”

The film is profound in its simplicity and it is way more inspiring than it is sad.

It hit home for me in a bigger way because my book came out on April 9th and I had a near fatal stroke on April 10th.

And while I was almost below ground, I thankfully ended up above ground.

There were no huge epiphanies from the experience…however, what I learned from Coco gave me all the lessons I need.

First, regarding the love and support of family, this was the dedication to my wife and kids in Overdeliver :

“No one can do anything in life without a loving and supportive family.” 

That was never more evident than after my stroke.

On the issue of remembrance, I share a lot in Overdeliver about my journey through all sorts of marketing wars which were not won on my own (even when I was able to claim victory). I had a ton off help along the way.

The story would be incomplete if I did not honor the greats of direct marketing on whose shoulders I stand.

Therefore the importance of family and remembering those we’ve lost is not lost on me…nor should it be lost on you. 

In particular, Coco asserts that when we die we are not really “dead” as long as we are thought about and referred to often by those we leave behind.

I realized in the spirit of Coco I need to keep telling you about all the amazing marketers you might have missed out on who are rarely talked about anymore.

Both dead and alive.

As I laid in bed in the hospital after my stroke, knowing I was going to make it, I thought about what I would have left had I died; but also what I am working on today that I am continuing to leave (while being alive).

And the thing that was most important was the resource page for Overdeliver (www.OverdeliverBook.com)…much more than the book itself…because of the tribute to my mentors on that page.

No longer with us but featured in the bonuses (in alphabetical order):  Dick Benson, Fred Catona, Wilt Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Marty Edelston, Gordon Grossman, Gary Halbert, Claude Hopkins, Mel Martin, David Ogilvy, Jim Rutz, Gene Schwartz, Jerry Weintraub, Lester Wunderman…and Macy’s Papa (who is represented by Macy with this email).

But there are also many mentors on that page who remain with us, continuing to create  their living legacy still, including: Jay Abraham, Gary Bencivenga, Eric Betuel, Bob Bly, Bill Bonner, Todd Brown, Bob Burg, David Deutsch, Mark Ford, Denny Hatch, Dean Jackson, Arthur Johnson, Dan Kennedy, Harlan Kilstein, Nicholas Kusmich, Parris Lampropoulos, Perry Marshall, Ken McCarthy, Eben Pagan, Greg Renker, Ed Sheeran, Yanik Silver, Joe Sugarman.

Why do I feel the need to mention all of these great humans both dead and alive?

To make sure those looking from below ground (or better yet looking from “on high” in heaven) are feeling good that they are being remembered and according to Coco are not really dead; and to also make sure that those of us looking from above ground are creating every day while still remembering.

When I celebrate Dia de Muertos later this year (which I will do every year after seeing Coco), I will remember fondly all who have passed…and maybe I can invite some of those who are still around to hang out with me and do the same.

This is not a depressing activity.

I recommend honoring your mentors as well (who you have lost)–even if we can’t do it together.

They will really appreciate it.



P.S.  And did I say that you should watch Coco? I think I did… 🙂

You can even watch it on YouTube for $3.99…

P.P.S. And if you haven’t gotten the priceless “Overdeliver Collection,” bonuses honoring mentors of marketing both dead and alive, do it now at www.OverdeliverBook.com.

And you don’t have to wait until Dia de Muertos to receive them—it’s an immediate download.

Click here.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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