Hey You,

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

I’m back with Part 2 of the renegade blogging marketing and small business strategies I picked up while watching the documentary “6 Days To Air” and was amazed at seeing how fast Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and their team get shit done in their office. (If you missed Part 1, go here to see it)

Now let’s finish off where we left off . . .

SP---Matt-fixing-glasses

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #9: When “No”, means “Next” to you, you’re on the path to success

The picture above is from a video shot even before South Park ever aired and is showing how Matt fixed his glasses with a paper clip and people thought it was a fashion statement.

Trey: “I was renting a studio apartment and I had a little futon on the floor and Matt would get all his dirty clothes together at the end of the day and sleep on those.”

Matt: Any money we had was to live or get our own thing going. We created this thing called “The Spirit of Christmas” on VHS and people started copying it and it became this viral video before the internet.”

Trey: It’s crazy looking back at 1995 and ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ and thinking, ‘What the fuck is that piece of shit!?!’ It’s crazy.”

Matt: “People would call us saying, ‘Dude, you gotta see this,’ and we’d be like, ‘That’s OURS.’ (Matt & Trey didn’t even put their names on it and that was another thing that drove people nuts.) We found out people were getting jobs saying they did it.Dudes were getting directing jobs, commercial jobs, and we still had no job.”

Trey: We pitched the show to Fox and made these big cut outs with construction paper on them and I was so proud of it. It was like a school project. The woman at Fox at the time was like, ‘Yeaaaah, no. You know what people want to see in animation, they don’t want to see kids, they want to see families.’ And we said we could get into the families, each boy can have their family and she was like, “No, yeah, it’s just not gonna work.”

Matt: “We went to Comedy Central with it.”

220 episodes and few movies later, and still going strong . . . the rest is history.

What Can You Learn From This?

“No” doesn’t mean “never.”

It usually just means “Not right now. Not right here.”

Anyone who set out to do anything great, has met with a shit-ton of resistance. Welcome it. Expect it. Walk through it.

Walt Disney was told by bankers and amusement park experts, yes plural, that Disney Land would never work. He didn’t listen to the experts and decade after decade it continues to be the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% quit when things aren’t going easy and people are rejecting and resisting your forward progress.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #10: Good is good enough

SP---Original-work

They still have all the paper cut outs they used in the beginning before they started using digital animation. At the beginning it took the guys 2-3 hours to do one shot. It took them ALL FUCKING SUMMER to shoot their pilot, “Cartman Get’s an Anal Probe”.

The style they use is Trey’s from high school and came from his passion with Monty Python and the style they used in that movie. It was animated but you didn’t have to draw every frame. You just have to draw the characters and some of the comedy comes from the crudeness of the animation.

And now the show is still stop-motion animation. It’s just digital and people can do it really fast now.

What Can You Learn From This?

Good enough is good enough.

Their show actually thrives on the fact that they’re only ‘good’ in a world of amazing technology where animation can be almost life-like.

SP---Sit-down-and-shut-up

The other day I was talking with a local business woman who was trying to raise money for her 5013c organization.

She was talking about fundraising and brought up the idea that they needed to get more donors on board and that they had $5,000 budgeted for a pitch video.

One of her main concerns was finding a local professional crew who could do it for her with the meager? $5,000 budget they had. The one thing that struck me was the idea that a video that was too professional might send the wrong message to potential donors. Unconsciously or consciously people might think, “Shit, if you’ve got the money to have this snazzy video made, it seems like you’re doing pretty good.”

But if it was shot with a homey feel to it, with a solid $1,500 dollar camera (that would continue to serve and serve and serve), and edited professionally that would send a whole different message. To me it sends the message of, “Hey, we’re doing our best to make ends meet and being responsible with the little budget we have, but we have enough sense to not hurt your eyes with some choppy Blair Witch Project, out of sequence video that doesn’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end to it.”

In this instance, good enough can be good enough.

And the same thing goes for most small businesses. You don’t need the Frank Kern, Eben Pagan, Mike Koenigs professionally shot launch videos. Shane Melaugh is a beast when it comes to proving this. He has a great course that tells you how to rock the shit out of your videos with just Camtasia and power point.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% always wait for your product or your marketing to be perfect. You’ll wait and embarrass yourself into the poor house because you waited and waited and waited till everything was perfect.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #11: The most expensive tool/resource isn’t usually necessary to get the job done satisfactorily

Interviewer: Was there ever a decision made about turning shows around in a week?

Matt: “No. It just started happening where we would do it in two weeks, then it was ‘Oh my god we just did a show in ten days, I can’t believe that.’ then it was like ‘Seven days, oh my god.’ and that led to turning into us doing a show in a week. Technology got us to the place that we could do that. 15 years ago we were using $30,000 desk top boxes that were really specialized and they were creeping slow compared to now where we just have Macs off the shelf. So now the show can keep up with as fast as we can go.”

SP---Macs-off-the-shelf

What Can You Learn From This?

The most expensive option for anything in your business isn’t always the best option. Especially if your ass is on a budget.

There’s tons of free and inexpensive tools out there that allow you to get the job done.

And in reference to finding answers for how to solve problems in your business that have anything to do with technical, marketing stuff, or personal development stuff, you’d be surprised at how much kick ass information you can find for free on blogs, forums and other sites that rivals or is better than the stuff the mega guru’s are wanting to sell to you.

One of the keys you’ll also find is that when you email the B and C team, guys/gals who aren’t in the spot light but who are in the trenches with you and are killing it, you can get an answer from them when you email them.

Of course, you don’t want to be annoying, sucking up all their time trying to bum everything they know for free but just know but just remember that these people like Pat Flynn over SmartPasssiveIncome.com have their finger on the pulse of what works now and are very cool about responding to your blog comment questions and emails.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, always insist on having the shiniest tools and most expensive resources to accomplish what free or inexpensive tools will do just as well or better.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #12: Don’t cower to authority figures in your market

Vernon Chatman – Producer: “They fuck with all the celebrities, which they were doing before the show. They would fart on celebrities at parties and now they do it on the air where everyone can smell it.”

Here’s an example of Paris Hilton making an appearance at the mall and showing up drunk and puking . . .

Paris-Hilton-puking-at-the-mall

One of the writers who appears on Saturday Night Live said the guys there would be like, ‘We might want that person to host, do we want to pick on that person? Or, “that person is really mad at us because of,’ and there’s all these political reasons behind what they’ll do. What these guys (Matt and Trey), being funny is what goes. Being funny is the priority. They don’t worry about anything else.”

As you can tell from how the made the hyper-influential, billionaire Oprah’s vagina rob a bank and shoot a cop in the episode below . . .

SP---Oprahs-vagina-killing-a-police-[1]

What Can You Learn From This?

Don’t cower to authority figures in your market.

Matt and Trey didn’t bow to industry standards when they started and they’ve become even more defiant as the years have gone by. They didn’t try to be the Simpsons and they don’t mute themselves when it comes to putting ideas out there based on what mega-famous people will think of them.

While your strategy may not be to poke fun at the gurus in your industry in public like these guys do, you shouldn’t feel or behave like you’re beneath them.

This isn’t easy when you’re a nobody.

But if you’re ever gonna be a somebody, you’ve gotta believe in what you know and in your future. I can’t remember where I heard it, but someone once told me that women who could date any man they wanted fall in love with ambition. This is why they’ll date the fledgling bum musician or artist as long as they can feel he’s knocking on the door of success with intensity raring to fuck the world open with his gift. And will quickly bail on him if he behaves as a victim who can’t catch a break.

That makes sense to me.

I remember Tony Robbins talking about part of how he convinced his first wife to marry him when he was just a spark of the flame he is now was by telling her, “I may not have a present, but I do have a future.”

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, always doubt yourself. Because people tend to discredit the underdog, you might feel tempted to try to be someone you’re not. Someone your audience already reveres and respects. Resist this urge. Be the best and most valuable version of you that you can be. Even if it means pissing some people off and upsetting the norm.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #13: Take Betty White’s advice and grow a vagina

What’s your normal response at crunch time? Does stress put you in a choke hold or do you want the ball?

Trey: “It’s Monday at 6:10 P.M. (show airs on Wednesday night). I’m pretty scared right now because I’m up to 28 pages and I still have 5 scenes to write and each scene is about a minute long. So this is gonna end being about a 40 page script which means it becomes brutal because you have to go back in tomorrow and start as if you were coming up with new stuff and you’ve gotta start taking scenes that are there and figuring out ‘How can we make this same thing happen in half the time and re-write it?’ And I sort of always call it the rule of replacing ‘ands’ with either ‘buts’ or ‘therefores’. So it’s always like ‘This happens and then this happens and then this happens’ and whenever I can go back in the writing and change that to ‘this happens, therefore this happens, BUT this happens’ and whatever you can replace your ‘ands’ with ‘buts’ or ‘therefores’ makes for better writing.”

What Can You Learn From This?

“Why do people always say, “Grow a set of balls?” Balls are weak and sensitive. They should be saying needs to be changed to “Grow a vagina”. Those things can really take a pounding.”

Betty White

Do you see how Trey found a solution to being pressed against the wall? I think part of what helps him be resourceful in these moments is that he’s honest with what he’s feeling right now.

Like a vagina, his self esteem is strong enough to take an honest reality pounding.

Notice how he didn’t say he was “stressed”. He said he was “scared,” which is what actually causes stress. Most people are too chicken shit to say this though and they end up using softeners to mask what they’re really experiencing.

This same softening habit doesn’t just affect one area of your life. It leads a person to saying, “I’m a little overweight,” when in reality, they’re a fat ass who won’t control their habit of shoveling slow and painful death (processed foods) into the mouth.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, don’t grow a vagina. You’ve got to be willing to admit what you’re really feeling experiencing. Stressed = Scared. Angst = Fright. Lying to yourself is defeating yourself. No outside interference required. Toughen up and tell it to yourself like it is, but not worse than it is.

The extra credit lesson on this was the awesome story telling writing tip, “The rule of replacing ‘ands’ with either ‘buts’ or ‘therefores’.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #14: Evolve or die

“Bigger, faster, stronger, better, lighter than a pillow feather.”

That’s one of my favorite rap lyrics and what I feel you need to aspire towards if you want o make it and any endeavor you choose to pursue. You’re either moving forwards or backwards. There is no neutral.

Here’s an example of how the creators of South Park are plowing full steam ahead . . . 

Interviewer: If this was season two, do you think you could of done this episode the same way you’re doing it now? (They’re alluding to the fact that Cartman, one of the little boys on the show is telling off god for being in the group of people who’re fucking him out of getting an ipad.)

Matt: No. Go look at season 1 or 2 and they’re so tame by comparison to what we do now. We do shit now on the show that we could’ve never done in the second season.

Below is a picture of of one of the kid’s dad, Randy, wanking it to elephants boning on the Discovery Channel –  When a room full of people bust in on him, he says, “Uhhh, it was a ghost! This is ectoplasm!”

And below is from a segment they did were Martha Stewart quiefing festivity in the form of stars and moons on her TV show . . .

Trey: “We’re always surprised too thinking, “Dude, can we really do this? Then we say ‘We’ll see what happens,’’ and nothing happens. And everyone’s like, “Oh it’s just South Park. Anyway,’ and then they change the subject. That’s because of the way South Park was brought into the world and the way it all started even it’s very first season. That’s just what it is. 15 years now, for anyone to go up and go “Did you see this thing on South Park? That was really offensive,” people are like, “Shut up, it’s South Park!”

What Can You Learn From This?

Keep evolving. Keep pushing your comfort zone. Stay at your edge.

These guys haven’t been hauling in millions of dollars a year for 15 years now fighting off a whole slew of competitors who followed them into the shock animation genre by resting on their laurels.

These guys are constantly asking, “How can we do this better?”

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, just sit there and hope that people will stay riveted to last years version of you that you’re wishing stays evergreen because you’re too lazy and scared to innovate.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #15: Activate Different Parts Of Your Mind And Give Yourself Small Rewards For Reaching Milestones

Trey: “I’ve got this massive Death Star (Star Wars) Lego set up that I haven’t even taken out of the box yet because it’s gonna be a beast. Sometimes to get my brain working a different way, I sit here and put Legos together because you’ve got an instruction book and you just sit there and do exactly what something else tells you to do instead of you having to tell everybody what to do. It’s just therapeutic.”

(In enters the office are his order of Chicken McNuggets, large fries, and Big Mac from McDonald’s.)

Interviewer: “How does McDonalds affect your creativity?”

Trey: “It doesn’t. It just makes me happy for like 5 minutes because I hate writing so much cuz the writing part of it is actually like so lonely and sad. I know everyone is waiting for me to get it done and there’s that little battle of fighting over lines and trying to figure out what the best way to say certain things are. I just hate it so much that the McDonalds is just a little sunshine.”

What Can You Learn From This?

Creativity asks you use one side of your brain. Doing things that require you to get physical and get into your body ask you to use the other part of your mind.

A quick example from my life is this morning I’m sitting here writing this and I’ve structured a time that I’m going to disengage from writing to do anything but writing.

So today, I went down to go cut up a honey dew and eat. No creativity involved. Just mechanical motions. 30 minutes later when I come back to the keyboard, I can actually feel the creative part of my mind eager to get back to it because it’s been rested.

Either way, if you’ve been doing imaginative work for a long stretch or doing accounting – number crunching work for a while, switch it up for your break and do nothing but the opposite for a stretch of time and I’m sure you’ll notice your mind sighing in relief and being grateful to you for doing so.

And if you can swing it, make the activity you go to do on the break a healthy reward. My mind works for breaks at a higher level when I know there’s a reward waiting for me.

McDonalds as a reward everyday might not be the best long term option. But one thing I’ve done before is given myself the treat of watching an episode of one of my favorite shows on my breaks. Your reward doesn’t have to cost money. It just has to leave you in a better place than where you were before you got it.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, ram your mind into the red by asking too much of it, for too long. (If this is a subject of great interest to you, go here to see a kick ass post I devoted to this whole topic)


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #16: Surround yourself with a team who springs into massive action at go time

36 Hours To Air:

 Interviewer: How you feeling about the episode?

Trey: Terrible. I’m embarrassed that we’re putting this piece of shit on the air. A lot of funny stuff is going to have to be cut out because you can’t have a show were A to B doesn’t make sense. And I’m bummed because based on what I’ve handed over it’s not gonna be a 5 A.M day. It’s gonna be a 9-10 A.M. day.

Trey does a lot of wandering around the facility – alone not talking to anyone he passes. He’s just in his own world and I imagine he’s rolling ideas around in his head.

Wednesday Morning 4:38 AM (Day the show is supposed to air), people who are waiting on Trey to finish are sleeping under or at their desks. Shortly after this Trey nails everything down and gets the script done and it’s get distributed and everyone goes into massive action mode doing their individual part to get the show ready for the air. 

What Can You Learn From This?

This could be people you’ve hired to work with you or a virtual assistant.

Even if you’re a one man show you can have a massive action team. And maybe this team consists of a couple of good guys/gals you found on fiveer to do certain things for you but whoever they are, make sure that they understand that speed is the name of the game.

I think I mentioned it in the previous post but it’s worth mentioning again as the lesson ended up rearing it’s head again in this show because it’s such a vital component to kicking some ass. You want to surround yourself with and be a person who’s both fast and good.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, go ahead and try to do everything yourself or settle for people who have no sense of urgency.


Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #17: Deadlines are a gift from god

Wednesday morning – 7:38 – Episode complete

Trey: “I always feel like I wish I had one more day for this show. The reason that we’re able to get so many episodes of South Park done is because there just is a deadline and you can’t keep going. There would be so many shows were I’d keep saying, ‘No it’s not ready yet, it’s not ready yet,’ and I would’ve spent 4 weeks on one show. All you do is start second guessing yourself and re-writing stuff all to make it 5% better.”

Executive Producer: “After finishing an episode, he never likes it.”

Trey: “I feel like it’s the worst episode we’ve ever done. That’s how I feel about it now. It was a little bit sloppy and reckless but sometimes, especially after coming off of Book of Mormon we just gotta get back in that way and hopefully the process will get a little tighter as we go.”

What Can You Learn From This?

Impose deadlines on yourself.

This isn’t easy to do. Especially if you’re coming from the world of being employed for a 2, 3, or 4 decades and you had someone else telling you what to do and by when. But out in the wild you’re dead in the water if you don’t push yourself to meet self-imposed, tough to reach deadlines.

John Carlton, the famed copywriter taught me years ago that nothing gets done without deadlines. Like Trey pointed out above, work expands to the time given.

These guys who write South Park don’t have to work to this crazy of a deadline. Other studios take a month to do what they do in a 6 days. If you’re on your own, you can’t afford to be like these fat cat studios or salaried government employee  and stretch the work out as long as you can and because you know you’re getting paid by the hour, not paid by the project and you’re getting paid even if you just produce an O.K. result and serve it up late.

As an entrepreneur running lean and mean either by yourself or with a small team, you don’t have that luxury. You eat what you kill and if it’s taking you too long to kill, you’re not only gonna starve but you’re lose your cave and your pride.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90%, just keep saying to yourself “you’re going to get around to it one of these days.” One commonality you’re gonna find in successful people over and over and over again is that they get shit done. And one of the most effective and free ways to get yourself to get shit done is to impose deadlines on you and every one you work with.


Overall Lesson Learned For Bloggers or Information Marketers . . .

Work consistently towards becoming bigger, stronger, faster and better on each of these 17 lessons and you’ll become a beast to be reckoned with in your market for many a year.

I’m gonna let you go now as we’ve spent a ton of time together. Please let me know if you have any questions about what we’ve talked about today in the comments below. I ‘d love to hear what you have to say.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd

PS. If you like how I’ve woven these blogging marketing/small business marketing strategies into this post, you definitely want to click here and see this guideline that showed me some ultra ninja ways to do this.