Category Archives: Inspiration

The Silliest Entrepreneur I Know

Mrs. Stephanie Padovani has got to be the silliest entrepreneur I know.  She showed up in the Alpha Wolf Den in September last year giggling her way to profitable advice on all our webinars, and has ever since been impressing me with her expertise, fortitude, and emotional sensitivity.

Since y’all hadn’t heard from me for a little while I thought it might be fun to do a biographical interview with Stephanie all about her Entrepreneurial Journey… all the way from her lowly beginnings as a struggling disc jockey… to her humble position now as the premier marketing advisor for businesses in the wedding industry at BookMoreBrides.com

Enjoy!

Ode to a Very Special Soul


I was trying very hard to keep this private, but it’s now spread around, so I feel it’s best to share it with you all…

After fifteen years of loyal company, my Zachary passed on New Year’s morning. After seeming perfectly fine on New Year’s Eve (which ironically is when I thought to use his picture to illustrate my point yesterday), Zach woke up retching, dizzy, and with very labored breathing.
By the time we got to the emergency room it was too late 🙁

Which is the saddest way I could possibly have imagined starting the New Year.
But then, of all things, my housekeeper came to me crying at the news. She told me a long story about how she was terrified of dogs for her whole life until she worked for us… but there was just no way she could remain afraid after having Zachary’s company.

Which brought back a flood of memories…

You see, Zachary was with me when I was in the midst of my busy 65 person practice on Long Island…

  • When I worked with children, I’d often bring him in. It was astounding how nothing I learned in five years of graduate (and post graduate) training could get these kids to open up, but the moment he was in the room many of these kids would tell all
  • There were also several adult patients and coaching clients who requested he join us for their sessions. Rape victims, PTSD sufferers… and even just some “desperate housewives” who found it so much easier to delve into their goals, obstacles, and fears with Zachary by their side
  • One time I forget to leave the door to the upstairs closed so he couldn’t come down to my session room unplanned… at which time he promptly came down and knocked on the door. My client asked who it was, and I said “I think it’s my dog who’d like to join us.” She was utterly convinced I had planned this and broke down crying to thank me. (Followed by some very serious progress given her new level of trust… so I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t dissuade her from that notion)

Of course, Zachary also made it possible for ME to do things I never thought possible. Like an 18 mile hike in the wilderness where I didn’t see another soul, but only heard his little chain dangling and his little doggy breath faithfully behind me for hours on end. I think without him I might have gone mad. (And this is, of course, a metaphor for other things I’ve had to face alone which I’d not have had the courage to face without my little companion)

In any case, it so happens I’m working with a ghost writer to develop a book about how to coach well when you’ve got trauma in your own life. Perhaps this is an opportunity to show you.
I’ve always done best when I focus on my clients and/or students needs at these times. It takes me out of myself and helps me process the loss in small doses. And paradoxically, I often find at these times I’m actually at my best… perhaps because it reminds me how very precious life is.

This is one of the very few things I’m likely to have difficulty talking about in public sessions, or responding to in private emails and messages. So if you REALLY want to help it’s not really your condolences and personal messages which would be most effective. Instead here’s the best way:  TAKE A STEP FORWARD TODAY IN YOUR OWN LIFE IN HIS MEMORY

Whatever that means to you, and whatever Sharon and I may mean to you… what would mean the most to us would be to know that this day, this very sad day, was the day YOU had the courage to step beyond your own internal struggles and move your OWN life forward in some small way…

And, if you’re so inclined, let us know what you did below.

This way you’ll always remember our dear dog Zachary as a positive force which started your train moving further than you thought it ever could… and even though you two may never have met he may indeed wind up meaning to you even a fraction of what he meant to me.
Goodbye my boy… if there is a dog heaven God knows you belong there.

You will be dearly missed.

The Paradox of Joint Ventures


Know what’s really weird about joint ventures?   If you go after them the right way, you actually won’t need them.

Think about it for a minute…

Let’s say you control a 100,000 person mailing list.  Maybe you’ve generated through paid advertising.  Perhaps the leads cost you $15 each.  And to maintain that list, you’ve got to KEEP paying for new leads.  (One thing a lot of new marketers don’t realize is that once you get to a certain size with a list, you actually can’t keep growing it with the same lead source.  Because at some point, even with a very low unsubscribe rate, the number of leads dropping out exceeds the volume you can attract each month.  It’s just a byproduct of the math)

The “bandwidth” (mailing slots) on that list are therefore NOT really cost-free, despite what most people who’ll be pitching you joint ventures seem to assume.  You actually HAVE TO earn substantially on every mailing to “keep the lights on” for that particular list.  Plus, especially with a list that size, every mailing has it’s own costs…mostly in unsubscribes, but also in managing complaints, customer service inquiries, and the like.

The upshot of this is, before you’re going to agree to mail for someone, you really want some kind of proof their system is going to profitably convert your visitors into customers.  You’re going to ask to see evidence of previous mailings… or even better, paid advertising tests to a similar audience.

This is why it’s difficult to get major list holders to mail for your new offer.  What you really need to do before you approach a major mailer is develop PROOF that your system works. Which means, oddly enough, to get really solid joint venture partners you usually need to spend some money on advertising and conversion optimization.

Now, here’s the paradox…

If you develop your paid advertising funnel correctly (so it converts!) you actually may not need the joint venture partners at all.  Or rather, you may only desire them for extra volume… but most likely you’ll be able to buy all the traffic you need.

In fact, you should be able to approach the joint venture partners and just BUY traffic from them directly, rather than asking for a joint venture.  (For example, if you’ve got a proven list of 2,000+ responsive coaches, consultants, authors or speakers I would consider paying you $2 per visitor you send to my site via a specific email I’ve tested… contact me via www.PsyTechSupport.com if you’re interested)…

Of course you’d need to test this out slowly in order to protect yourself.  But if you CAN do it–and the fastest way to get there is by conversion optimizing your site on paid advertising–you’ll be in an incredibly powerful position…

Because it’s unlikely your “JV Partners” will want to reciprocate.  (Thanks to Bill Harrison for pointing this out to me originally)

On the other hand, if you have a brand new site with no proven conversion statistics, but you approach a power JV player to mail for you, what you’re really doing is asking THEM to take all the risk.

In a rational world, they won’t play ball…

Hence the JV Paradox.

However, we don’t live in a completely rational world.  Not even close!  And because of this, there ARE ways to convince power players to joint venture with you:

  • Perhaps they’re really in love with your idea…
  • Or maybe you’ve built the relationship in such a way as to imbue a feeling of reciprocity or obligation…
  • They could love YOU…
  • Or they really feel your free promotional series is valuable for their list and they’d like to use it to educate their own customers (Perry Marshall once told me I made his customers smarter, and that made it possible for them to buy more from him)
  • Or maybe you offer them a ridiculous commission to compensate them for the risk you’re asking them to take.  (But remember, 100% of zero is still zero if the system doesn’t convert.  And no matter how much of the work you do for your partner they STILL are spending their credibility and mailing-list-bandwidth on your promotion)

There are actually about 101 different ways you can compensate for asking a JV partner to take more risk for you… but before you can use them effectively you really need to understand and accept the magnitude of what you’re asking.

Asking for a serious joint venture is kind of on the level of asking to stay at someone’s house for the evening.  You kind of have to prove you’re trustworthy, have something to offer, and invest a little time in the relationship first.

If you’d like to learn more about using joint ventures to put cash in your bank account and visitors on your list year after year, please opt in to the JV Fast Track Sublist here.

What Are Your Three Power Skills?

Back when I was a first setting out to make my mark in the business world (you know, like when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we’d just barely given up 8-track tapes) I had a serious conversation with myself…

“Self”, I said, “You can’t know everything in this world.  What are the three areas which are truly the source of your power?”  Not power in a “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” sense of the word, but the kind of real-world, practical power upon which I could build my foundation.

At the time the answer was psychology, computers, and statistics. I’d been raised in a family of psychologists and “worked” in my Dad’s practice.  (I put worked in quotes because I didn’t get paid…and I also got SO much more out of it than my peers who worked at McDonalds or the ice cream store!)

So there was no psychology book I didn’t want to read, no seminar I didn’t want to go to, and no psychotherapist who’s brain I didn’t want to pick for at least an hour… So psychology definitely was one leg of the triangle.

In both college my professors noticed and rewarded me for my quantitative abilities.  They trained me to hone this into an ability to INFER causality in human behavior rather than asking it directly…

I therefore attended a “Scientist-Practitioner” oriented graduate school where experimentation and research methods were emphasized…

They taught me how to “get the soul in the machine”…these days what we would call “Thin Slicing” life and analyzing it with numbers.  We did esoteric things like code the mother-infant bond microsecond by microsecond. At the time I actually thought it was stupid…

Until the computers analyzed the numbers and lit them up like a firefly in July.  They told a story no human eye could reveal in no uncertain terms. Hence, computers and statistics entered my power fields.

So, at an early age I was convinced the place I’d get a real edge over my peers in the business world was by making a serious, lifelong study of psychology, computers, and statistics.

Looking back on it, this was an incredibly valuable decision. Having this filter from which to view the world…

Knowing the skills and knowledge base I personally wanted to expand…

They all provided me with a tremendous focal point that truly has given me an edge over the competition. Moreover, the three are so much more powerful when combined…

Computer Geeks rule the world (and yes, I AM a Geek trapped in a Jock’s body!)  But they’re becoming progressively more plentiful.  And as most of the literally thousands of stellar programmers on my lists will tell you, it’s not enough to be talented with code. Inferential statistics is a very powerful science.  Yet there aren’t too many millionaire stat professors coming out of even our most prestigious universities.

And don’t even get me started on the financial rewards of psychology.  A good psychologist STILL only gets a salary of about $80,000…and maybe only 10% of them become entrepreneurial enough to develop their private practices into the multiple six figure range twenty or thirty years into their careers.

But when you COMBINE these three power skills, magic starts to happen. Nobody expects someone who’s good with computers and statistics to also have the sensitivity, insight, and psychological fortitude to see what’s going on inter-personally at the highest level. It’s at the intersection of these skills (and knowledge bases) that the real power lies.

And I’m so happy I made the decision to focus on and develop them early in my life.

Now, I’ve got to tell you I did NOT develop all of them in the exact direction I imagined starting out… I originally thought I’d be designing inferential human studies for large corporations for the rest of my life…and anyone who knows me knows I got burned out of that in 1998 when Bausch and Lomb made me fly back and forth to Tokyo for a one hour meeting in a 36 hour time frame.  (At least I got to eat the world’s best sushi!) And I’d never have guessed my study of psychology would lead to doing so much copywriting and product development… but it did.

But that question I asked myself sitting all alone in my room 25 years ago still turned out to be one of the most important questions anyone ever posed to me…

So now I’m asking YOU…

What are your three power skills? I’d really like to know!

Upwards and Onwards…

The Very Good Dr. Glenn 🙂

PS – I know modesty isn’t one of my power skills.  But honestly, screw modesty…I’ll take success over it any day! PPS – Enrollment in the Coaching Academy is open this week.  If you’d like to meet some very special people and get help to identify your own power skills (including the opportunity to work with me personally in live webinars once a week…and my darling wife twice a week), maybe you should consider taking the $25 trial?

Are You a Marketing Junkie Without a Home?

Are you a marketing junkie in search of a home?

I’ve been teaching this stuff for almost 10 years now, and I’ve run into a lot of people who are utterly intoxicated with marketing… and I don’t blame them!  For people with a certain personality (including myself) the first taste of the idea you can create a tribe-building-money-making machine is enough to make you sell all your belongings, forget your old life, and dedicate yourself full time to its pursuit.

You mean I can build SYSTEMS which genuinely help people, connect them to each other, create appreciation for my own thoughts, opinions, and philosophies of life…and get paid for it separate and apart from the time I put in?    Why didn’t anyone send ME the memo sooner!!!???

But here’s the problem…

You’ve gotta have something to sell.  And that “something” requires systems of it’s own.  It turns out if you want to indulge your passion for marketing to its fullest, you might actually have to run a whole business…

Which means you need to keep track of finances, customer service, branding, legal issues, government regulations, managing team members, operational and delivery systems, technology, accounting and tax compliance, research and development, banking and cash flow management, and the opinions and needs of partners, spouses, and family.

Kind of ruins the mood, doesn’t it?

This is the reason I run into SOOOO many “marketing junkies without a home” in my line of work:  Genuinely proficient people who really DO know how to sell, but lack the time, energy, and resources to put the whole package together and run a business of their own.

It can be a little demoralizing… and at first these people start to think that perhaps what they’re learning about marketing is wrong.  Or that there’s some “secret sauce” they’re really missing.  Or that there’s “something wrong with them” and they’ll never get it…but inevitably it’s just that they fell in love with the sexy side of marketing and didn’t understand the size of the mountain they were signing up to climb as a full business owner.

Marketing is a sexy siren indeed!

Thankfully there’s a solution…and that solution is letting other people run their businesses while you coach them through their marketing.

Despite all the bad jokes about coaches, the truth is when it’s done right EVERYBODY wins.  That’s because a great business and marketing coach has the luxury of focusing all their efforts on THINKING about another person’s business.  They not distracted by the necessity of executing the work, managing the people, or spending the resources to accomplish the goals…

Sure the coach is accountable.  There’s nothing which makes a client leave faster than bad advice…but that’s much different than the natural disincentive which exists for a business owner to see what actually needs to be done.  When you’re the one who’s gotta lift the heavy weights, you tend to want to leave the gym.  There’s a reason people do better when they work with trainers… if you’ll permit the metaphor.

A great business coach is always in the business of showing clients “the next right thing” to do, regardless of how painful it might be.  And because “the next right thing” improves profits when you get it right, the owner’s all too happy to keep going.

Now here’s the best thing…

When you know how to identify and attract the right kinds of clients (established businesses–and there are millions of them–which meet a certain set of criteria) you’ll find EIGHT hidden profit opportunities just waiting for you “the business coach” to come in and create explosive growth. They’re almost always just sitting there waiting to be discovered.  Point them out and look like a genius.

All you have to do is pull one of these ideas out of your bag of tricks to immediately multiply the profits of your clients in your first couple of sessions.  Once your client has earned this kind of immediate return on investment—often even before they’ve paid your first month’s bill!—it becomes simple for them to justify paying your premium fees for years on end.

In fact, the marketing-junkies-turned-business-coaches who specialize in a particular niche, channel, etc are probably the people who go from zero to six figures fastest.

Which is why we’ve been hard at work creating a program to help YOU take your passion for marketing and turn it into a lucrative, fun, and rewarding career.  Just a peak at what you’ll get…

  • You’ll get to use OUR systems for attracting dream clients…
  • You’ll get to use OUR systems for multiplying their profits so they’ll be interested in paying your premium fees…
  • You’ll get to use OUR extensive training library to educate YOUR clients.  (Save a tremendous amount of time establishing trust and buy-in for your coaching process and business advice by simply pointing clients to the right link and letting them watch a video or read a cheat sheet)…
  • You’ll get to work with us personally each week to develop your own niche, marketing materials, and plan of attack…
  • And if you’re one of the 30 people to join us this fall, you’ll get a VERY significant Founder’s discount!

If you think you MIGHT be interested you should do two things right away:

Even if you don’t plan to work with us, I’d encourage you to watch the videos or listen to the MP3s.  Especially #2 about attracting dream clients.  You’ll be glad you did!

Onwards and Upwards (even if sometimes a little sideways)…

The Very Good Dr. G 🙂

 

 

Bob Serling and Glenn Livingston Go Head to Head Without a Referee

Bob Serling may have been the very first direct response marketer to whom I was ever exposed.  I think it was in the year 2,000… or maybe even in the 90s I bought one of his early set of tapes on copywriting.

So I was totally honored to get an email from him (through Perry Marshall) wanting to debate me about something I put in my auto-responder sequence several years back!   What ensued was a very intriguing 40 minute conversation in which we actually did NOT need a referee 🙂
(Even though we had somewhat dissimilar points of view going into it)

I hope you enjoy it, I know I did!

Why Do Readers Earn More?

You know it and I know it… readers earn more.  But why, specifically?

Listen to this full length interview with Dan Pfister (or read the transcript) to find out fast!

Enjoy,

Glenn 🙂

PS – If you’re interested in Dan’s book summaries at the discounted price he mentioned at the end of the interview please click here.

Laser Focused Productivity and Accomplishment

If you’re not getting the results you’ve dreamed of in business, weight loss, writing your book, getting that campaign/salesletter/product done…or ANY other important area because there never seems to be enough time, you lose your motivation, get distracted, or just plain keep getting in your own way, then you absolutely need to listen to and/or read the transcript of this interview:

John Chancellor’s helped me immensely with his six step philosophy on productivity and laser focused accomplishment. I actually hired him as yet ANOTHER coach when I’d sworn three coaches at a time was my absolute limit! In fact, his coaching was SO helpful, I set up a specialty coaching service with him at the helm…and made the ballsy guarantee that if this service doesn’t actually double your progress toward ANY goal you choose (measured in any way you choose) in 30 days or less, you not only get your money back, but I’ll write you an extra check to double what you paid!

www.DoubleYourProgress.com

Psychology, Science, and Profitable Education

Here’s a very interesting interview I was asked to do for an entrepreneur (Jay Cross) in the education space.  It was ostensibly about whether one could profit in today’s day and age with a liberal arts degree… but, since both of us were education AND marketing geeks, the conversation took some very intriguing turns.

Hope you enjoy it,

Dr. G 🙂

Partner UP, Joint Venture SIDEWAYS, and Outsource DOWN

Know what hardly anyone talks about in the IM space?  How to decide when to partner, when to joint venture, and when to outsource to a simple vendor.  I think people don’t talk about this much because there are complex factors involved in making each particular decision.  But I’ve got a simple-though-less-than-perfect rule which is enormously helpful:

PARTNER UP, JV SIDEWAYS, OUTSOURCE DOWN

PARTNER UP:  If I’m going to form a corporation, share equity, and “get in bed with” a partner these days, I want them to be a level or two further along than I am.  Perhaps that means they’ve got an extra zero in their income.  Or maybe they know how to manage dozens, or even hundreds of employees (definitely still not my forte’)…

Partners are people you have a LOT to do with on a regular basis.  You’re going to make a lot of sacrifices for them.  You’re going to butt heads on at least a few significant issues… and, for goodness sake, you’re going to share a checkbook!

So if you’re going to partner, try to partner UPWARDS so the other guy is more likely to bring MORE to the table to compensate for the sacrifice.  Plus, you’re going to pick up some of their personality traits, skills, and core competencies as a result…

Or at minimum you’ll see opportunities to use their resources synergistic-ally…

So they might as well be valuable resources and competencies you WANT in your arsenal! Because even if the partnership doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you’ll still have learned a LOT and accumulated skills and resources you can use going forward.  (The Rocket Clicks PPC agency is one such partnership in my own history, for example)

OUTSOURCE DOWN:  I’m going out of order because this one’s easier to explain.  In almost all cases where someone is below your level, it’s cheaper, less complicated, and less aggravating to buy their products, labor, and other resources than to give them a piece of the pie.  

By definition outsourcing “down” means they haven’t accomplished what you have, so they can’t charge what you can.  When you cut them in–especially on a 50/50 basis–you’re elevating the value of their time and resources to an approximately equal value as yours.

In some cases you might actually want to do this… for example if you want the person to have an exceptionally strong incentive to do the bulk of the work with ultra high quality.   Or perhaps even though they might not have achieved at your level, they’re really the only person you would trust to do the job.

Always ask yourself: “Could I just straight out purchase this product or service with the extra hassle and expense of a JV or equity partner?  If the answer is yes and I still want to JV or PARTNER, do I have a strong enough reason?”  (Skip this question at your own risk.  I know I have!)

JOINT VENTURE SIDEWAYS:  There are definitely a million and one exceptions to this so it’s NOT a hard and fast rule, but ideally, successful joint ventures are executed by two parties at approximately the same level.  I think the reason for this is that it takes a sophisticated person to understand and accept an other-than-50/50 joint venture, but that’s often what would be required to make an unequal level joint venture pay off.

I’ll give you an example of how UNEQUAL level JVs can be trouble…

I’ve previously worked with many experts to record their product and bring it to market.  From their perspective, they feel like 50/50 is a very fair deal.  After all, they spent years developing their expertise, and I’ve spent years learning how to market.  This should be a win-win, shouldn’t it?

Except a seasoned marketer knows it’s NOT a fair deal for several reasons:

  • The marketing party has to record, edit, transcribe, and package the product.  Then they have to write, edit, and publish a sales-letter, program a shopping cart, handle merchant processing, fulfillment, customer service, finance, and more.  Which is to say nothing of the financial risk of advertising…
  • The expert only has to show up prepared to do the recording…

This is why publishing houses, for example, pay authors a pittance for their books unless they’re already super famous.

A more reasonable deal would be an 80/20 split in favor of the marketer/publisher…

Moreover, marketing skills are more valuable than publishing skills.  It’s relatively easy to find another expert… it’s pretty damn hard to find a skilled direct response marketer willing to take on the project.

But… subject matter experts don’t know what we know.  To them, we come across as greedy savages trying to take food out of their children’s mouths.

And because I’m a nice guy and only approach experts I really want to work with, I used to suffer tremendously from offering 50% in these situations.  The problem is, you really box yourself in, because you quickly realize you can’t afford to give the project the time, attention, and money it requires to be successful.  That time, money and attention belongs on a project with a more equitable reward profile.

This is why I’ve recently moved–for the most part–from joint venturing with experts to simply outsourcing to them…

What this looks like is paying a flat fee for their time to help me make the product, and possibly letting them throw a bounce back offer in it so buyers can contact them.   (This also gives me more flexibility to use the product at a discount in upsells and cross sells, include it as a bonus elsewhere, etc. without having to negotiate with a JV partner every time I want to make a change)

But partners at approximately the same level as you have a better understanding of what it takes to make something successful.  They’re less likely to get their feelings hurt and know how to equalize the resources to rewards ratio on both sides.

Take, for example, Yoav Ezer, my JV partner on Joint Venture Fast Track itself.   

Yoav is a sophisticated marketer and former CEO of a seven figure business.  (Which, coincidentally was built on the backbone of one massive JV entirely outside of the Internet Marketing space!)

He knows what it takes to bring a product to market and satisfy the customer.  Yoav understands the value of my list, network, and experience.   And Yoav was willing to compensate with virtually all the work involved in packaging up my (and Terry Dean’s) interviews, tools, and tips into a powerful treatise on EVERGREEN JOINT VENTURES…

Yoav even wrote 80% of the copy with my supervision.

He would tell you otherwise because I’m more “famous” with a following and lots of press logos on all my sites, but I evaluate us as being at approximately the same level.  We’ve both run 7 figure a year businesses, but not yet 8 figure ones.  (I’m planning to get there by 12/31/2016 or die trying!)…

And our JV has gone swimmingly…

For me…

But more importantly for YOU…

Get Joint Venture Fast Track Here.

Anyway, like I said “Partner UP, Joint Venture SIDEWAYS, and Outsource DOWN” isn’t a hard and fast rule.  It’s more like a good INITIAL TEST when you’re considering a deal.  If you’re gonna break it, you should be able to clearly articulate WHY.

Hope that makes sense!

Talk soon,

The Good Dr. Glenn 🙂

Get Joint Venture Fast Track Here.