10 Things You’ll Learn in “The System Club Letters” by Ken McCarthy

11:17pm Tuesday

Saint Paul, Minnesota


Good day reader, what’s the news?


PRL has been keeping me busy.

‘Busy’ is one thing… but I’m looking for a Big Idea.

Because I don’t know–

What’s my next step with Persuasion Reading List?

"The System Club Letters" by Ken McCarthy. Photo by Jeffrey Thomas
“The System Club Letters” by Ken McCarthy. Photo by Jeffrey Thomas


Lucky me, Ken McCarthy has me covered in chapters 31 to 34 of his book, The System Club Letters: 57 Big Ideas to Transform Your Business and Your Life.

The other 53 chapters are pretty insightful too.

Continue reading “10 Things You’ll Learn in “The System Club Letters” by Ken McCarthy”

10 Things You’ll Learn in “The Boron Letters” by Gary C. Halbert

Good day PRL reader!

I’m at the dining-room table, finishing my licorice tea and wrapping up this week’s post about an excellent book on direct-mail marketing.

If you send email or physical mail to your clients… this book might be just what you need to increase your conversions.

The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert and Bond Halbert. Continue reading “10 Things You’ll Learn in “The Boron Letters” by Gary C. Halbert”

Success Favors Speed: 5 Writing Tips To Create Crazy Amounts of Content

This past weekend, my friend Stephen and I met for some lunch and beers, not in that order.

Maybe you remember Stephen as my first Podcast Guest, check it out here.


Stephen works with his clients to build training materials and feedback systems, helping them become more effective in business. (You can find Stephen on LinkedIn if you’re interested to learn how he can help you.)

We’re both building our futures. It’s great to have someone to talk business with, to bounce ideas and advice. Though to be honest, Stephen has a much better business focus than I do—

he has paying clients!


Stephen asked how I was able to “find my voice” when writing… and how I can email on the (almost) daily.

He’s not the first to ask.

It wasn’t always this way.

We all have some difficulty pounding out the ideas in our heads and getting them on paper.

Some people might like to write, and others… not so much.

Here are a few ideas Stephen and I discussed to help crank out material:

1, Don’t Dismiss Your Inspiration
If you’re thinking about your mission all the time, you’re going to find examples popping up in life. Confirmation Bias guarantees we’ll see things that match our current thought processes, things that are at the front of our mind. Things other people might overlook. When you find those real-life examples, don’t let them go! Spend a moment to write yourself a note or two. Capture that idea immediately. Phone, notebook, whatever. You can expand upon it later in writing. (In fact I came up with 3 things to write about just while writing today’s post!)

2, Record a Video
If you don’t like the effort of writing, maybe you’re more comfortable talking? Expand upon your earlier ideas with a video. Get everything out, just dump your brain into the video. You’re not going to share this video. Instead, watch it and take notes on your brain dump, or even transcribe the video directly. (And if you really hate writing, will transcribe your video for you, for only $1 per minute).

3, Organize Your Data
Sometimes our brains are filled with many loosely-connected ideas. We’re unsure how to structure these to tell a complete story. One great method I’ve really like is to use notecards to organize ideas. (Yes you can copy and paste on a computer…) For me, however, the analog task of writing ideas (from our video, for example) and shuffling the cards can really help flesh out connections that I may have overlooked.

4, Focus
Eugene Schwartz was a well known copywriter of advertisements. His advice, based on Zen principles, was to have a deliberate practice. Start your writing with the same beverage, same location, same environment. Set yourself a timer; Schwartz suggested 33 minutes and 33 seconds. Then, for the duration of that timer, you can either write, or do nothing. Nothing exists outside of you and that page. And once the timer beeps… that’s it, break time, immediately. Get some more coffee.

5, Write Write Write
We get better through practice. Don’t worry too much about being perfect, spend time doing… Schedule your time, sit down, and get something on the page! It can be your own words, or you can practice by writing out successful examples of what you’re trying to create. Reward yourself for the minor victory. And find your next 33 minutes.

Do I do these all the time??

Heck no. But they keep me moving when I need it!

Two Wrongs Make a Right

This morning my kids were arguing about Friday’s plans with Grandma.

The older sister was trying to tell the younger brother Friday’s plan, and he was arguing back with his understanding of the plan.

“No! On Friday you’re going…”


Thing is… neither was correct!

And that didn’t matter, because the plans are still up in the air anyways.

On the way to school I like to discuss ideas of self-improvement with my kids. Continue reading “Two Wrongs Make a Right”

Advice from a World-Renowned Copywriter (Robert Collier Letter Book, Part 1)

I’m sitting at the dining room table, hand writing some of the sales letters from the Robert Collier Letter Book while my licorice tea cools off.

Robert Collier Letter Book, 6th Edition, with the library punch card
Robert Collier Letter Book, 6th Edition, with the library punch card

Collier was a direct mail writer, successfully selling all kinds of products during his career, including jewelry, tires, books, and clothing.

Hand writing successful sales letters like these helps to slow down and focus your brain, while Continue reading “Advice from a World-Renowned Copywriter (Robert Collier Letter Book, Part 1)”

Seeing is Believing

Millennials may think they’re a different breed.

Perhaps, the reasoning goes, because they grew up in a distracting environment… their brains have adapted to the distractions of our fast paced world!

"Brained" by Jose, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
“Brained” by Jose, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

I frequently hear, “Maybe this generation is different!”

Attempts to outlaw competitive sports or bullying rely on that same flawed belief — that somehow humans are reaching a new level of consciousness. Finally.

For all the drum-beating about “Science!” it’s amazing to see how many people Continue reading “Seeing is Believing”