October 1, 2023

“Recovery” is a powerful but sometimes off-putting word.

Powerful when we talk about recovering from an accident, a setback, something negative…that we turn into a positive.

Off-putting when we refer to recovery as something that is necessary to do…a “should” …especially when we are not doing it.

One of the clicks on my dial (you can read more about that concept here)—something that is a go-to when I am coaching marketers and copywriters—is the idea that you often need to shed previous notions of your persona and career… “recover” from what was/is expected of you…to morph into what you really want to be (and do) when you grow up.

That goes for me too. We all need this kind of coaching. And I seek it out and get it regularly.

Becoming a “recovering _______” (fill in the blank with how we label ourselves or how we are labelled by others) is a big step towards reframing who we are and what we want to create in the world.

That’s a fancy way of saying we continually need to reinvent who we are every day, in every way, not only to alleviate boredom…but to be true to the life we want to live.

That was still too fancy. 🙂

Let me give you some concrete examples that I’ve experienced throughout my career:

Recovering attorneys

I use this one a lot…and for good reason.

In my experience, more attorneys than not are generally unhappy with their career choice.

If you are a happy attorney, I stand corrected. 🙂

Not because they are unhappy with how they perform their duties as lawyers…or that it is not a noble profession…but more about the hassles and the grind of being adversarial in every aspect of what they do.

Plus, many went to law school to do “something” after graduating college…without proper vetting of the career choice.

That was almost me…but when I realized that working towards getting a law degree with no clear direction why I was getting one, I decided against it…and got a three year head start on my career…and never looked back.

But that was me…this is always a very personal decision…and I am all for individual choices and freedom. Some of the most successful people I know not only passed on law school, they passed on college as well.

I also know many lawyers who went to law school with no intention of becoming a lawyer…as a means to some other end…which I admired (there is discipline to study hard for three years for an indirect goal) …but I also find it a little perplexing too.

I know…not my life…and not my place to judge.

There are many who are content…but many more seem to be counting the days until retirement. And others who parlayed their law degree into something much more than simply practicing law.

This is not a phenomenon relegated to attorneys…but I am using them as an example to open this discussion about “recovering from your job.”

One big way attorneys recover (which leads to much more than simple contentment): when they see what they do as “serving” (themselves and their clients) rather than being a slave to themselves, their clients…and a system/bureaucracy.

It can be a tough reframe but when lawyers do this simple flip, recovery turns into a magical career.

Sounds easy…it’s not…but I’ve seen this transformation happen…and when it does, it is magnificent.

For example, I know a bankruptcy attorney who realized his true calling was his creativity…and changed his definition of being a lawyer to “creative entrepreneur who helps clients through bankruptcy” …leading with innovation and imagination to achieve this change.

In fact, I encouraged him to join attorney coaching groups (ones that emphasize marketing…no surprise coming from me) to use his creativity to create videos, books, live events and new ways to “sell” his services that were as much about his creativity as the content of what he was selling.

The content was solid; the formats he distributed the content became his purpose.

There are also lawyers who “recover” by coaching and teaching rather than doing…after they have done it for a decade or two…because serving other lawyers to enable them to recover from the grind…to make their work fun again…is how they recover.

This transition from “doing” to “coaching” happens to recovering dentists, real estate agents, home service professionals, financial planners…and many other occupations.

Another interesting through line I’ve observed and hinted at above, among recovering attorneys is that by embracing marketing in some way…marketing that fits with who they are at the most profound level…tends to attract clients they might even like to work with.

This is true for most professions…and especially among entrepreneurs.

“Who you are looking for is you” …no matter who you are or what you do.

Recovering headhunters

The example I have for this is beautiful…from a member of my Titans Xcelerator Mastermindand he expressed his metamorphosis like this, after a lengthy discussion on a Titans Xcelerator call related to the subject of building one’s career through “recovery”:

What I failed to realize or recognize was the “special sauce” I developed along the way…the people I helped attain jobs also led to them staying and thriving more often than not…my brand as a headhunter was built on hiring for the long term (i.e., the people I found for my clients actually stuck around for a while).

Since the Titans Xcelerator call, which was a revelation, I have one new client and am in the process of gaining two others on an “attain and retain” talent model…defining and building the culture of my clients…being paid on a recurring basis to make it happen, (not just the traditional one off, one fee, “wham bam, thank you ma’am” headhunter approach).

Not only have I found a new hiring model but it has led to a new compensation model.

Filling jobs is blah…helping to build winning cultures on the other hand is highly enriching (to me anyway) and a business model I hadn’t considered.

He recovered from being a “people collector” to become a “culture builder.”

Now that is a serious recovery. 🙂

I also attribute this, as I usually do, to his love of marketing and understanding the concept of lifetime value and playing the long game…two topics which have led to my own recovery. And topics we emphasize inside Titans Xcelerator regularly.

I am a recovering “list guy,” becoming a passionate direct response marketer, who loves my “work” more and more every day, even after over 40 years doing it.

In fact, I devote the last chapter of Overdeliver to this core principle of “playing the long game” …with many examples…which can all be sourced back to marketing.

While we are talking about “new compensation models,” check out the P.S. for a one-time opportunity for you to explore new ways of getting paid through “profit partnering” …exclusively for you, my online family. Don’t wait though because this opportunity ends today!

Recovering thought leaders

My buddy Joe Polish has gotten me to hate the title “thought leader,” whether self-described or described that way by others.

Joe says (and I am paraphrasing):

“Anyone can have a thought; a leader gets results.”

It made me think about the specific recovery “thought leaders” must go through as being quite difficult…but doable.

It seems simple: All they need to do is have their audiences get results from what they are thinking and teaching and they are on easy street.

But in the world of “personal improvement thought leaders,” there are more imposters than real deals.

Part of it is that they are teaching borrowed thoughts without hard won experience—the slings and arrows (and scars) to prove why they are prepared to share their thoughts as gospel.

And not surprisingly, they can’t produce results either.

However, when they can put their “package” together, with substance as opposed to fluff, you’ve got results leaders worth following.

I search for those leaders every day…and found many to follow…once I can prove their legitimacy.

Recovering CFO’s

This one was an easy one to correct through experience…but it took me some time to get there.

And lo and behold, it relates to marketing. 🙂

In the days I ran Boardroom’s marketing, with my mentor Marty Edelston, discovering that an early string of Chief Financial Officers were bookkeepers (closer to bean-counters) …not even competent accountants…was a revelation.

Our bad…because we needed to fire many of them before getting religion around the fact that we needed a “CFO Marketer,” a unicorn worth finding.

We became a recovering company once we stopped relying on status quo financial data…from the same old financial people.

It wasn’t until we hired a CFO with an appreciation of marketing…a person who understood deeply that nothing happens until we sell aggressively within the confines of compliance, budgets and respect for the customer…that the company really took off.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t appreciate their skill as a “guardrail” which would prevent bankruptcy (and perhaps prison) …but marketing isn’t everything, it’s the only thing…and without a CFO (and lawyers too for that matter) …who kept us in line without stifling our creativity and marketing prowess…was the formula for success.

We needed to recover from the traditional model of what a CFO should be…to something very different…and the CFO’s we hired after our recovery needed to recover as well (from old and nasty habits) in order to give us the counsel we needed, not the counsel that was expected.

Recovering copywriters

I’ve been through this many times before in these weekly missives…you can read this for some additional color …but the bottom line is that if you are writing copy for food (and shelter), rather than being “the total package” (a shout out to the great Clayton Makepeace), you will be less fulfilled, possibly miserable, and definitely not as rich.

Not just in terms of money…” not as rich” by not realizing all you have to give and being the best version of yourself.

Being the total package in copywriting involves studying things beyond writing hooks and killer offers—which are important—but just as important are studying and experiencing things beyond writing (e.g., modern culture, current events, behavioral psychology, understanding how to calculate lifetime value to name a few) …with the goal of becoming a trusted advisor rather than a hired hand to write emails (probably using ChatGPT).

The recovered copywriters are always the best-of-the best.

This post could have been a lot shorter …I could have just said something like, “when you reframe what you are doing, by creating new dimensions of any ‘job,’ you begin a process of reinvention that should be part of every career.”

Even for used car salesmen and personal injury attorneys.

However, without examples, it wouldn’t have been as much fun. 🙂

To summarize further:

Overdelivering to the world…while overdelivering to ourselves…is what makes recovery deliciously fulfilling.



P.S. When my recovering headhunter above talked about creating a new way to get paid based on the exceptional work he does, I realized that tied into the live training I am doing tomorrow, Monday October 2nd, with my marketing partner, Chris Mason.

While I often talk about intentionally “leaving money on the table,” that doesn’t mean I am a non-profit company.

This live, two-hour training/workshop, which we call “Profit Partner Consulting,” will include many of the compensation deals I’ve done over four decades that made me and the companies I’ve owned and worked for millions of dollars in profits.

It’s not bragging if you did it. 🙂

And Chris has done many lucrative partnerships which he will share as well.

He’s a smart marketer who has primarily worked with clients on a profit-sharing basis.

He’s done nine different profit-sharing deals in niches like survival, alternative health, eCommerce software…and of course with yours truly. 🙂

If you’d like to understand how you can start putting these kinds of profit-sharing deals together with new and existing clients, based on time tested results and not just thoughts, you don’t want to miss this call on Monday, October 2nd.

You can get all the details and what will be covered right here.

As Chris shared on a recent Titans Xcelerator call with enthusiastic members, this is a path that more freelancers and consultants would probably choose if they knew how to do it.

You will read about some of that enthusiasm if you click on that page.

Personally, I’ve lost count of how many royalty and profit sharing deals I’ve done with copywriters and other vendors during my career.

I can tell you that these types of deals are still out there…they just look a little different than they used to.

“Profit Partner Consulting” on October 2nd will show you how to find them, put them together, and execute on them for fun and profit…for you and your partner.

It’s not a free call. Nor should it be.

It will pay for itself many times over if you test any one of the profit partnering models we will share with you…and there will be more than one.

And everyone who registers will receive a complimentary recording whether you are on the call live the entire time or not.

With conversation and interaction mixed in. We want to hear the deals you’ve done in the context of what we will be teaching.

I am committed to being a recovering thought leader …not that I ever considered myself one…by being a “results leader” every chance I get. 🙂

All the information on getting those results is right here.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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