I received an inquiry from a prospective Titans Xcelerator member this past week which threw me for a loop…and it was one that I needed to think long and hard to give him a proper answer.
It wasn’t typical of the inquiries I receive, which I do have answers for…things like:
- “Is Titans Xcelerator the right fit for me” (Answer: “I need more information” and I will often spend the time exploring…despite many online marketing gurus saying that I shouldn’t bother for such a low-ticket offer)
- “I can’t afford it right now…do you have an installment plan?” (Answer: “Yes”)
- “I’m broke but I want to join…can you please give me advice on how to earn some money fast so I can enroll soon?” (Answer: “I can’t and I won’t…because I teach ‘getting rich slowly’ through fundamental multichannel direct response marketing…but I’m here whenever you are ready for coaching to do it this way…and you are no longer broke of course”)
- “Is it only for copywriters?” (Answer: “An emphatic no…it’s a group of close to 300 copywriters, marketers, entrepreneurs and inventors, funnel builders, marketing agencies, media buyers…all committed to multi-channel marketing…and all committed to contribute fully to the group”)
- “What if I can’t use the monthly USB with my laptop?” (Answer: “Titans Xcelerator membership includes a password protected portal with all of the content readily accessible 24/7”)
Those are some of the easy questions to answer.
What was the stumper question that I couldn’t easily answer?
Here it is:
“What have you done that is great since your days at Boardroom?”
This one got personal…and the underlying question seemed to be, “What qualifies you to lead such a group in today’s rapidly changing marketing landscape?”
At least that’s how I interpreted it in the context of someone looking at me as “old school.”
I know that interpretation sounds a bit paranoid…but paranoia is not a psychosis…it’s survival. 🙂
I thought my career pre-Boardroom (34 years) and post-Boardroom (7 years) was a unified whole, completely synergistic, and self-explanatory.
And now I needed to play a game called “justifying my existence since leaving Boardroom.”
Not simply to land a membership (as you will see as you read on).
Note that I could have chosen to pass rather than play this game…but I got sucked in…and now that I did it, I highly recommend you play it as well, relative to your own career journey.
It is a game worth playing because it will create an anchor for your entire career—from your first job to the present…and into the future.
So, here’s how I answered the question, “What have you been doing lately (that is great) Brian?”
Boldface italics below is what I wrote to him…in-between is what I was thinking while I was writing…
“I do great things every day, overdelivering for my mastermind members in ways that are incalculable.”
I KNOW this was not the answer he was looking for…so I continued free typing at my keyboard not knowing what I would say next.
I went on:
This was (what I thought) my easy way out…because I’ve learned during my four decades of doing, teaching, learning and coaching…that it’s much better for others to tell your story than you telling it yourself.
Plus, I have trouble when I think what I’m saying comes off like a brag.
In fact, someone just posted in the Titans Xcelerator Facebook group that I use too many “I’s” in these blog posts…which I am aware of and very sensitive to…and I always try to turn it back on you, the reader, once I make my points.
And those that find it offensive–or they think I’m an egomaniac–can simply unsubscribe. Many have over the years which is fine.
Those of you who remain can hopefully excuse every “I” in the name of “you” 🙂
Going through this exercise, the phrase that kept coming up in my head, attributed to Dizzy Dean (baseball great) or John Wayne (acting great) and probably many other greats:
“It’s not bragging if you did it.”
So, I continued:
My 34 years of being in the trenches in the most intense and competitive marketing environment while at Boardroom prepared me for the last 7 years of teaching what I have learned…and applying everything I did to everything that is state-of-the-art today.
I invest (in a non-COVID year, that is) over $100,000 in my “education” (i.e., by being a member of the most elite mastermind groups and traveling to events where the best teaching is taking place).
That’s how I apply what I learned in multichannel direct response to online launches, all sorts of funnels, challenges and the like…and it’s how I stay connected with the best and the brightest in the industry who know more about their expertise than I will ever know…and I bring them in as guest speakers to my groups based on the built-up relationship capital I have established with them.
At this point, I still felt like I was floundering, since his question was about separating my years at Boardroom from my years since leaving.
And that’s where I had the epiphany that all of our careers are unified, with one thing leading to another, and everything is cumulative.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Do you agree?
But I still wanted to answer his question so I went on to list some “post Boardroom accomplishments”:
- I’ve written two books and each sold with a bonus package that highlights my influence (and how I’ve been influenced) by the direct response industry (and legends I have worked with) for over 40 years. You can see the sites for my books which speak for themselves: www.TheLegendsBook.com and www.OverdeliverBook.com
- I have taken the baton to teach Gene Schwartz’s principles from Breakthrough Advertising (by having the exclusive rights to the book) …and Gene’s other classic, The Brilliance Breakthrough…and creating the “Breakthrough Advertising QuickStart Bootcamp” which has made the book actionable to every buyer who attends the Bootcamp
- My blog (which I write every Sunday morning) represents 7 years of marketing since leaving Boardroom and the posts are indicative of how I use my past education and apply it to the present… and the future. I can’t think of a better way to show you what I’ve been up to since leaving Boardroom. You can take a look here.
- I have a huge “dial” (with “dials” being a Gary Halbert/John Carlton concept)…defined as your accumulated wisdom ready to share on a moment’s notice) …I wrote about it here. We all have dials, some bigger than others…and how we share our dial with other’s dials in a group format creates magic…in the form of epic hot seats and epiphanies of all kinds. Having a big dial goes a long way in leading and maintaining a group like Titans. And recognizing the big dials of others.
- If you go to the Titans Xcelerator page here, you will see some “case histories” as to how my experience at Boardroom–and consulting since leaving Boardroom–has changed the lives of many Titans Xcelerator members, copywriters and marketers
- You should also watch some of the videos on this page…it’s always better to have others talk about your impact than trying to write about it in an email. 🙂
- It’s not what I’ve done since leaving Boardroom that qualifies me to lead this group…it’s the fact that I’ve attained over 40 years of cumulative wisdom rather than one year’s experience for 40 years
- Titans Xcelerator, with close to 300 members and a 75% average renewal rate over 2+ years, tells you that we are doing something right
I didn’t expect to write so much to him…but with a question that implied “what have you done for me lately,” I needed to answer it with context…and I admit, with a little defensiveness.
I’m human after all. 🙂
I ended with this…which despite all of my “justifyin,”…is central to all I do for everyone I come in contact with in my career…both at Boardroom and the 7 years since:
I know this might have been more than you bargained for (but your question reminded me of the Albert Brooks film “Defending Your Life” …I know I turned this into something closer to that than actually answering your question.
The bottom line: Writing this to you has little to do with the money you might spend with me…I’m not “selling”…but it has everything to do with making sure you are a right fit member by showing you why this group exists and how you might be able to contribute.
And there was an unintended by-product as a result of your question:
My answer became an exercise in defending my life (and career) …hopefully without getting too defensive…which I will now share with my online family and encourage them to go through this process themselves.
I found it to be a very rich experience…and I will be curious if my readers will have the same experience.
So thank you…whether you join Titans Xcelerator or not. I am very appreciative that you asked that question! 🙂
There it is, submitted for your approval.
And I encourage you to “defend your career” this way…by merging your past with your present…and looking at the future and your entire career as an unfinished masterpiece (that will never be completed).
P.S. The annual launch for Titans Xcelerator is winding down and will close very soon.
Specifically, at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Pacific Time) on Sunday, January 2nd.
Whether you are a member…or if you have already joined during this launch…or if you are on the fence about joining…I want to invite you to a special live “Ask Me (Almost) Anything” live Zoom call, on Wednesday night, December 29th, at 7:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.
I will field questions about Titans Xcelerator (TXL), talk about any topic related to direct response marketing…or anything else you want to start a discussion about (even about your specific business opportunities or challenges–time permitting we will do some mini-hot seats–merging all of our “dials”).
This live call will be similar to how we do our weekly live calls “inside” Titans Xcelerator.
And if you are on the fence about joining, you can consider this live event a “try it before you buy it.”
Hang out with me on December 29th and feel what it’s like to be in Titans Xcelerator.
There will be no obligation to join…but free gifts will be coming your way just for attending.
Hope to see you on Wednesday night.