May 2, 2020

I often tell people, and I have told you before, that I haven’t invented anything…rather, I am a good messenger for concepts, knowledge and eternal truths of direct response marketing to my online family (and those in my masterminds) who might not be aware of what came before…and how it can impact the future.

And I’m also a messenger who can share through experience and story.

When I share I hope it’s not just a stroll down memory lane either (because that is never my primary intention).

For example, when I do a tribute to someone who has passed away, which I have done most recently for Clayton Makepeace (and in the past for such legends as Jim RutzLester Wunderman, Fred Catona, Gordon Grossman and many others),  I try to share their “inventions” and contributions in order to make us all better.

Those guys are much closer to being the true inventors…I am simply a faithful interpreter who can connect the dots in a unique way.

Click on any of those names above to read what I wrote about those monumental innovators.

I read this today:

May Is National Inventors Month
Started in 2011 by the Academy of Applied Science and Inventors’ Digest magazine, it recognizes the curiosity and imagination of those who innovate and create.

I love all of those words: Curiosity, imagination, innovate and create. And they take invention so much further.

Being an inventor, therefore, must include both original inventions and the expansion of an invention.

Aren’t both equally good?

I talked about this last year in a post titled “Another take on Edison” which referenced another previous post from 2018, “12 Notes”—a post within a post–all of which came back to one question:

“Aren’t we all on reruns?”

Yet it’s how you re-frame those reruns that makes the difference.

Below are five videos of various lengths –from one minute to one hour–all “previous inventions in search of another angle or explanation.”

I went down a rabbit hole on YouTube recently and to my surprise I found lots of videos I’ve recorded  in the past that I didn’t know were there…or I didn’t remember recording them.

They are proof that nothing gets lost on the Internet–so be careful what you say to anyone because it will be recorded or documented for all time.

I’m just glad that wasn’t the case when I was in high school (and there’s no need to tell you why!)–and all I can say is good luck to our youth.

And while watching these videos, I realized that none of them contain an original invention but every one of them is an expansion of an invention, or what I call in my book, an “Original Source.”

It’s chapter 2 of Overdeliver. It could have been called, “Where babies come from” too.

I am still confident that I can be the messenger for you on all of these topics if you are unaware (or uneducated) on any of them. That’s what 4 decades in direct response marketing has bought me.

Here they are:

I didn’t invent direct mail (not by a long shot) but talking about it with Joe Polish regarding its application to online marketing was an evergreen discussion (and this one is the longest of the five videos—it’s a little over an hour):

I didn’t invent the attributes that were present in every A-List copywriter I ever worked with…but I was able to come up with these seven…and also come up with this 9 minute YouTube from the archives:

I certainly didn’t invent anything Jay Abraham ever talks about (he is a “first generation inventor”) but in this interview I was able to add on to much of his philosophy (this one is 45 minutes and we are interviewed by an amazing entrepreneur and business builder, Mike Agugliaro):

And here’s a minute and a half on a principle I definitely didn’t invent…but I bet most of you don’t do it on a regular basis and might want to consider it:

And finally, here’s a one minute video (even shorter that the last one!) which is an adaption from Jay Abraham’s “Socratic Method” or “asking good questions” or “getting everything you can out of all you’ve got.”

 I phrased it so I could get my head around it—in a more tangible way perhaps–and it’s worked for many of my clients and people who follow it (but for whatever reason they have not been exposed to it through Jay):

I would love it if you could watch at least some of these videos–and email me back whether there was a tidbit you could apply to your business or if you had any “a-ha moments.”

Or anything else you would like to share.

I’m fine if you simply write back to tell me, “I knew this already but your reminders made me think about things I would like to apply to my business.” That would be satisfaction alone.

And of course you can tell me that there was, “Nothing new/I’ve heard it all before.”

I’m still convinced that I haven’t invented anything—ever– but YouTube reminded me that I’ve got a storehouse of knowledge (all begged, borrowed or stolen from someone else) that’s useful to many, maybe some of you.

I’ve also been able to re-package it for those who didn’t get a chance to absorb it previously…or weren’t alive when some of these concepts were invented.

Or maybe it was articulated here in a way that you finally got it. That would be as awesome as anything.

One final note on your relationship to being an “inventor”:

Give credit where credit is due…it will only make you bigger and stronger.



P.S. I have had the privilege to work directly with many “inventors” in my life…none of which was more impactful than Gene Schwartz.

Calling Gene a “copywriter” doesn’t do him justice…because while he was as curious as any writer ever, and he was also an innovator (and as curious as anyone) in areas as diverse as human behavior and modern art.

In honor of “National Inventors Month” I am making available Gene’s two masterpieces, Breakthrough Advertising and The Brilliance Breakthrough at one special low price.

$305 for both books with free shipping anywhere in the world (that is, where “COVID-safe postal workers” can deliver them!).

Click here for this special offer—only during the month of May.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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