May 16, 2014

I know you sit and wait for my e-mails on Friday and I hope you are not disappointed about this Sunday delivery…

But there is a method to my madness…

Today is Mother’s Day and this post is consistent with many of the greatest “Mother lessons of all time” such as:

“Treat everyone like you would want to be treated”

“Always give of yourself and don’t be selfish”

“Just be a mensch for crying out loud!”

…and this week’s post is dedicated to my Mom, who turned 89 last week!

Now to the task at hand…:-)

Writing about the “Bencivenga 100” in last week’s post (you can read it here if you missed it), made me think about many other powerful events I’ve attended over the last 33 years…

There was one in particular, hosted by Jay Abraham that came to mind that was also life changing…it took place in January 2000, right after what was supposed to be the end of the world according to many…I remember reading the promotion for it from my bunker…

I came away with two big lessons from that event which I want to share with you this week.

Side note: Now that I think about it some more, that  event probably inspired me to bring together “Titans” just like the great Jay Abraham did back at the beginning of the new Millennium…yes, another tease/open loop for my event in September…and Jay Abraham will be one of the guest speakers! 🙂

Obviously the world didn’t end on January 1st, 2000…my clock and computer still continued to work (miraculously)…and I traveled to Los Angeles later that month for the first “all superstar event” dedicated to this new marketing medium called “The Internet.”

Yes…The Internet did catch on after that in case you hadn’t noticed…

Jay–along with fellow rock stars Audri and Jim Lanford–created an event like no other at the time called the:

“Billion Dollar Internet Strategy Setting Summit”

Not a very big promise but sounds kind of interesting, doesn’t it?

A friend was able to find the link to the promotion and you can take a look at the end of this e-mail.

I made some lifelong friends at that event…who also became important people that I’ve followed and learned a ton from including Audri Lanford, Paul Hartunian, Dana Blankenhorn and Jim Sterne…and of course Jay Abraham was one of my earliest mentors from the 1980’s and I still consider him one today.

And unbeknownst to me, there were people watching me back then I wasn’t even aware of–future superstars–who became life changing to me much later…

But before I get to that part of story (and lesson #2), lesson #1 from that event was a quote from Paul Hartunian which I must share since it’s timeless:

“Money doesn’t buy you happiness; money buys you freedom and freedom buys you happiness.”

Just to show you how early in the online game we were then, Paul delivered this quote in a speech about how to make a living as a seller on eBay from your RV traveling the country…just giving some context to some of my younger readers…:-)

Lesson #2 came almost 13 years later…in the form of a LinkedIn request, out of the blue, from Jeff Walker.

If you don’t know Jeff you may know his product, “Product Launch Formula”–which is responsible for over half a billion dollars in internet sales of products and services since he launched it (not that long ago). He’s on version 4.0 and he’s a marketing genius.

He’s also publishing his first book very soon and it’s awesome.

Jeff is a not only a hero to thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide, he’s also one of the most genuine and giving people in my life today.

But if not for the “Abraham-Lanford event” (and my philosophy for how I respond to LinkedIn requests–also part of last week’s post), Jeff would have simply remained just one more icon I looked up to in this fantastic industry…

On the LinkedIn request from Jeff, my response was easy:

“Is this THE Jeff Walker?”

And I got a response back saying he had followed my career for many years and he was a fan…imagine that…

Who knew?

I surely didn’t…

And where did Jeff initially meet me?

I had known of him for many years but can’t say we ever truly connected …so when I asked him, he told me the story:

He scraped and clawed his way (and doesn’t remember how he ever paid for it) to Los Angeles to that fantastic event to learn for himself  how to “set a billion dollar Internet strategy”–I guess he’s only about halfway there today. What a slacker.

He said he watched me chair a roundtable discussion on something…and was impressed.

He couldn’t believe how much I was sharing without any expectation of anything in return.

When he said that, it certainly “sounded like something I’d do” but it had to have been ad hoc since I was not there as a speaker…just as an attendee.

I also told him that he clearly must not have known much at the time if he was so impressed!

This re-connection on LinkedIn (yes, social media being used for good and not evil!) led to Jeff inviting me as a guest to his highest end Platinum Mastermind Group in January of 2013 where I met and interacted (and shared tons of stuff) with 30 of the most successful, heart based entrepreneurs on the planet…and I fell in love with all of them.

They all just gave and gave too.

In addition, despite most of them being a lot younger than me, they knew as much about direct response marketing (and how it drives all marketing regardless of channel) than I did…and I probably have 20+ years more “experience” than most of them.

So much for me being the fast learner/high achiever in that group!

In addition, I am by far NEVER the smartest person in THAT room which means it is ALWAYS the right room to be in…

That led to me joining Jeff’s group and I have never looked back.

 I’ve been getting a PhD in online marketing (and entrepreneurship) ever since.

The lesson is obvious:

I decided way before the year 2000 that my life was 100% about contribution and connection…and by staying consistent to that philosophy then (and now), people noticed then (and now).

I’m reminded of a wonderful quote from Winston Churchill:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Tip of the week (and for the rest of your life):

Keep giving. Never stop giving.



P.S. Here’s the archive link my friend dug up to Jay’s event from 2000.

P.P.S. Save the date: September 11 – 13. If you stay on this list, you will be among the first to hear about that epic event I mentioned which is entitled “The Titans of Direct Response.”

I’m working on finalizing the speakers (Jay Abraham is confirmed as is Dan Kennedy and I can’t wait to tell you about all of the other “Titans” I have lined up).

I hope to meet many of you there.

I’ll send a dedicated e-mail about it in the next few weeks.

Those dates again are September 11-13; and it will be in the direct marketing capital of the world, Stamford, Connecticut…:-)

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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