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He wouldn’t advertise his copywriting services. You had to find him. And if you did get his attention, you’d stand in a waiting line of clients – ready to pay as much as $20,000 for one of his mailing packs. (This was back in the 70s and 80s – when a dollar was worth 3 times [...]

How a ‘dead’ medium increased sales 47%

There are pundits who’ll tell you print advertising is dead. It’s no surprise. Flick through any magazine today. You’ll be lucky if you spot one print ad which is written by somebody who knows what they’re doing. Quality print advertising is dead, not the medium itself. And I intend to prove it by showing you a [...]

Is this how people talk, Google?! Really excited?!! Like they’re always on the brink of an orgasm?!!! Yesterday I sent a query to a literary agent. ‘Hi, thanks for this,’ he replied. ‘I’ll give it a read and get back to you within a week.’ Gmail presented me with some instant responses: ‘Thank you for [...]

Confessions of a Recovering Nice Guy

Are you too ‘nice’ for your own good? And other peoples’? It’s not easy being so bloody nice. The first problem was believing my niceness was genuine – wondering why I got angry all the time. Suppose I do something nice for you. You would probably say, “Oh that was nice,” then carry on with [...]

Much of your creative success comes down to how you handle anxiety. How long can you live with a creative problem? Can you stare it in the face and toy with it – long enough to find the answer?  Frank Capra came out the theatre squirming: “Oh God, we’re doomed. They’re gonna crush us. We’re all [...]

I lifted weights to stop being skinny. Who knew I needed it to write a novel, start a business, and never leave important work unfinished? Well, here are 5 BIG things weight-lifting taught me. Hopefully they help you too. 1. What you measure you can manage While putting on weight, I found it was a [...]

10 harsh lessons for my 20-year-old self

Are your 30s your best years? I’ve heard they are. So long as I remember these 10 lessons that’ll probably ring true. Oh God it’s happening. This is the week I turn 30. I’ve been dreading this moment since I was 20. And now I’m dreading turning 40. Nevertheless my 20s taught me a lot. [...]

You’re more successful than you think

Who has it all figured out? Whatever your problem, it’s likely one of 3 things – health, wealth or relationships. But those are all big things. You might need longer than your 20s. Who has it all figured out? Here’s what’s funny. Chances are you’ve solved at least some of life’s puzzles. You just haven’t [...]

Could Louis Armstrong, a Russian psychologist and a Hobbit Hole help you get unstuck? Why yes. And there’s more. Read on… Who do I envy most? Car mechanics. A car mechanic can get up in the morning and do his job. It doesn’t matter how shit he feels. I wish to God I was a [...]

Sound far-fetched? Analyse the emotions behind your next illogical decision. Let’s start with emotions. That’ll help you persuade virtually anyone to do what you want. And it explains why I’m playing this ridiculous Tumbling Brick game. It began at a seaside amusements in East Anglia. I was on the whack-a-mole. I got quite a few of [...]