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Fear and Trolling in Las Vegas

This happened last week at the Las Vegas Money Show. I was sat next to a Youtube troll at the Peter Schiff talk on gold. In case you don’t know Peter Schiff, he’s one of the great ‘Doom and Gloom’ pundits on the U.S. economy. And it was a solid talk. He was in full [...]

Wifey and I were browsing houses in Nova Scotia. A quirky Realtor popped up with this comic property description: It seems odd, doesn’t it? Who wants a house with ‘ugly carpets’, ‘cracks in the plaster,’ and ‘a lot of rooms that just don’t fit together’? But you see, it’s actually one of the easiest ways [...]

If you want to persuade somebody to do something, your solution is to find somebody who doesn’t need any persuading at all. I was reminded of this while reading the late Blake Snyder’s excellent book ‘Save the Cat.’ It’s a book about Hollywood screenwriting. The thing about screenwriting is so much of the planning is [...]

One of my favourite screenwriters is Manhattan weirdo Woody Allen. A lot of people quote Woody’s saying: “80% of success is showing up.” What they don’t know is that he found it easy to show up. Because apparently Woody Allen has never suffered the dreaded ‘writer’s block.’ Even when he was caught doing the dirty with [...]

What do you get paid for?

Whatever you get paid for, do it first. And do it for at least 3 hours before you do anything else. Me? I get paid to write. So that’s the first thing I do every morning – from 5 until 7. Then from 8 until 10. Now that’s not a huge amount of time altogether. [...]

Wifey’s been eating her lunch for free – courtesy of a new Tech-bro app called Ritual. The incentive to use it is good. You can walk into most places about town, order something, and they pay the first $5. Wifey has a small appetite, so she ends up paying nothing. But is this a business, [...]

I don’t usually write About pages. They’re too broad. Too fluffy. I’m a direct response man. I like getting specific people to take a specific action. And ‘About’ pages, by nature, tend to break the cardinal sin of direct marketing. Which is: ‘make it about your reader, not you.‘ It’s a bit of a Catch22. [...]

“You can see that I’ve spoiled my children. They talk when they should listen.” – Don Corleone, The Godfather Part 1 Robert Collier, one of history’s greatest copywriters, said that in order to persuade you must ‘join the conversation in your prospect’s mind.’ In other words, you should listen first, then respond. It’s also the [...]

“When did I ever refuse an accommodation?” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather Part 1 The other day I replayed an old audio from Clayton Makepeace. Makepeace is (or at least, was) the world’s highest-paid copywriter – earning Mafia-sized money. 7 figures in a year. He said something which got me thinking: Whenever he gives something [...]

“Luca Brasi put a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would appear on the contract.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part 1 Wifey told me she still hadn’t seen The Godfather – a wrong I put right last weekend. But I soon realised it had also [...]