Dan Kennedy Speaks On Laziness
I’m currently going through my August 2009 “Look Over Dan’s Shoulder” newsletter for a client project and I came across a section of it I thought you’d love to read.
See what you think…
“There’s an entire cottage industry of anti-Obama bumper stickers, presumably employing writers. One apropos to us all might be…
“Don’t re-distribute my wealth. Re-distribute my work ethic.”
Writing, even writing bumper stickers, takes work. I’m nearly done with a book about using humor and comedy in public speaking and in speaking to sell and I know it’s revelations about how much work goes into writing even one good humorous story to then use on the platform will be unwelcome.
This world rarely sees all the preparation invested in any sort of exceptional success – business and financial, or other, sports, entertainment, whatever. Audiences tuning into Jay Leno’s nightly monologue on the Tonight Show didn’t know and wouldn’t have cared about the time spent almost every week testing new material on local comedy club audiences before using it on TV, and the long hours invested by Jay and his writers, writing hundreds of jokes vetoed, given up on and never used, to wind up with a dozen or so “Keepers” each night.
Most advertising copywriters are woefully unprepared for success in two ways…
First, they do not have enough on-going, eclectic input feeding their understanding of human behavior, psychology, consumer behavioral trends, politics, finance, pop-culture as well as advertising, marketing and sales, enough supply to their subconscious for it to produce great stuff.
Second, they don’t prepare for each project in sufficient depth.
The outstanding new autobiography of advertising legend David Ogilvy includes a description of all the preparatory work he put in before writing the now iconic ad for Rolls Royce with the headline he ended up swiping, after deciding it was superior to his 100 original attempts.
Halbert used to claim he wrote out at least 100 potential headlines for an ad before choosing one. I never believed him – but I do believe he “wrote” 100 in his mind.
I am in the 2nd month of mountain-sized project for a new client in the health field, but before writing copy for him, I met with him for a day and got our day’s discussion transcribed for my reference, I read three books, a gigantic 3 ring notebook of his previous materials, had somebody fetch about a hundred pages of material for me from websites, raided my archives and “Swipe files”, created piles of raw material sorted by purpose ie, the headlines, the opening, the personal mission story, presenting price and so forth.
Then I started writing.
As a result of my preparation, I am now quite knowledgeable about oxygen therapy, oxygen assisted exercise, anti-oxidant therapy, and a number of other related subjects, and about professionals’ attitudes, concerns, fears and skepticisms about using them. I could certainly hold my own through dinner conversations with a bunch of doctors discussing these topics.
If you were actually here, present, shadowing me in person for days or weeks rather than looking over my shoulder from afar, you might be dis-pleased, maybe discouraged, maybe bored and undoubtedly fatigued with the amount of preparation I invest in each thing I do.
I could certainly get by with less, especially at this point – reputation ironically permits cheating and getting away with it. Most do get by doing a lot less of this work behind whatever copywriting they do – but damn few earn 7-figures a year directly from their copywriting either. I don’t really know what to tell you about this to make it more easily palatable.
If you can buy true top performance at a discount, I’m not the guy to tell you how. I don’t know. I sometimes wish I did.
LOS subscribers are a much more serious and intent lot than readers of all my other newsletters, or they don’t stay around here very long – fortunately, we enjoy a very high, 85%+ a year retention with over 50% as “Lifers.”
These folks, you, are pretty damn serious and seriously committed to “mastery” of copy that sells. Still, I know the temptation is to chest the preparation, rush to the work itself, and hope to get by.
In many case, in many markets, you can get results good enough to get by with, without my level of investment of time and effort and preparation, and in recognition of that, I always hand you shortcuts and quick n’ dirty “pieces” you can lift, tweak and use.
But I want you to know what I devoutly believe about all this – that the work you see here is not the result of haste or ease, nor can any work consistently delivering exceptional results be.
By the time you read this, I will have conducted my 7-FIGURES ACADEMY, discussing the requirements of earning of 7-figures.
There are many requirements to meet and fit together in a matrix, it’s a complex topic deserving the 3 days it was given, and it required monumental investment in preparation. But if you held a gun to my head and demanded I provide the single most important (and probably least understood) requirement for earning 7-figures, I could answer.
I could tell what it isn’t, that most think it is – such as: talent or genius or even extraordinary skill, or the finding or invention of a unique and extraordinary opportunity, or timing or luck. Definitely not luck.
If required to cite but one thing, I would tell you: exceptionally high tolerance for what most view as pain and suffering. There, I said it. What the elite few top copywriters know.
So… what’d you think?
When I read it, I instantly thought of a couple of things. The first, being my sister who lives in a plush condo in New York City. I’m exceptionally proud of her for numerous reasons, but specific to business building, I beam knowing she put herself in a position to run her office from home where she can dote and fawn over her 11 month old daughter.
6-7 years ago she’d have never dreamt this was possible.
Back then times were tough as dry beef jerky. Her little up-start business’s office was in a not so nice section of Brooklyn, an area where she actually had a NYC full deluxe jumbo rat crawl across her foot one time at the threshold of her door to the office. And that office was her home too.
She and her husband slept there, ate out and showered at a local gym.
And during this period while trying to get their business off the ground they were pounding out 16-17 hour workdays.
Finally the work paid off. I won’t go into details about her company but a little conglomerate called Warner Brothers Music Group snatched them off the market and made sure they worked exclusively for them.
Some of my family might look at them today, see or hear about the $650,000.00 cabin they just bought and say they’re lucky. Right place, right time. I say bullshit.
They made their own luck while sleeping on futons, laden with bedbugs, hearing rodents in the walls all night, and then logging brutal hours to produce an outstanding service despite their future being uncertain.
She and her husband have done such a magnificent job for Warner that an English competitor tried to come in and under bid their services after my sister wouldn’t sell to them. Warner told them to shove it and take their ass back across the big pond.
My sister has indirectly been a mentor to me. She’s a business woman who has zero to mild interest in talking business because her life outside of the company is so fascinating. In my eyes, she sees business a necessary evil that allows her to live the lifestyle she wants to.
It seems to me that because she has a life outside of business and she takes pride in her work, she can pour herself into her career while not being burnt to a crisp because she takes the business home with her.
And guess what? She built this multi-million dollar business without the help of any guru’s. No Kennedy, No Abraham, No books, seminars or programs at all.
They wouldn’t even know their names if you brought them up to them.
The biggest contributing factor to she and her husband building a 7-figure income was what Kennedy hammered at above…
“Exceptionally high tolerance for what most view as pain and suffering.”
Is there a situation in your life or business that you’re being a wuss about right now? One you might be whining to others about? If so, you might want to see your challenges as blessings because overcoming them is what separates the boys from the men, the girls from the women.
Defying the odds in your life is what forges pride.
If you’ve got a story like my sisters, please feel free to share it with everyone here by posting below. You’ll be giving a gift of immense value to someone who really resonates with your experience and sees possibility for themselves as a result of your contribution.
Talk to you soon,
Note Taking Nerd #2
P.S. It goes without saying, that if you’re serious about marketing, you should highly consider buying any and all of Dan Kennedy’s newsletters. Today’s post gave you an excellent sample of prolific writing you can’t get just through his books. As well, you get a prime example of how to write to influence. If you look at just the small sample I gave you today you’d find almost every one of the 31 principles he tries to inject into every communication with his list so he can keep them fascinated about hearing from him. CLICK HERE to discover what those 31 principles are and what they can do for you…