The Three Month Vacation Podcast: Online Small Business|Marketing Strategy Plan| Sean D'Souza | Psychotactics







December 2016
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Part 2 of "How To Get Talented" and this part is a bit of a shocker. You realise that talent is only the stuff you can't do. If everyone can do what you can, then it's not really a talent. Ok, so that's the spoiler, but listen anyway.

Direct download: 118b_-_Rapid_Talent_How_To_Get_There_and_What_Holds_Us_Back.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm FJST

Why do others seem more talented than we are? Is talent innate? Is it just practice? Or is there something else. Incredibly the key to talent is in the way you define talent. Change the definition and you see it in a whole new light. In Part 1 of this episode on talent, you'll see how mere definitions change the way you see the world of talent (and how it can get you talented faster than before).

Additional rocket launch audio recordings used in this episode are courtesy of NASA (

Direct download: 118a-Rapid_Talent_How_To_Get_There_and_What_Holds_Us_Back.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm FJST

Which is the most frustrating part of an article?

Yes, it’s the First Fifty Words. We get so stuck at the starting point when writing an article, that it’s almost impossible to go ahead.

But what if there were not just one, but three ways to create drama in your article? That would be cool, wouldn’t it?

Well, here you go. Not one, but three ways to start your article with drama and get attention.


In this episode Sean talks about—Three ways to get your readers attention.

Part 1: The power of story
Part 2: Disagreement with your premise
Part 3: How to create intrigue with lists

You can read it online here: 
3 Ways To Create Instant Drama In Your Articles


In 1974, New York had a problem that didn’t seem to go away.

No matter where you rode the subway in New York, there was graffiti painted both inside and outside the trains. Young men with their spray cans covered the city’s trains with their version of art and soon the subway came to be seen as a symbol of a city on its way to the gutter.

The city put up security fences, razor wire and brought in guard dogs

They even went through one amazingly misguided strategy to paint all the trains white. Sure enough, The Great White Fleet as they called it, was soon covered with a fresh layer of graffiti. The city couldn’t seem to think of any way to solve the graffiti problem.

Then along came David Gunn

In 1984, Gunn was appointed as the president of the New York City (NYC) Transit Authority. Gunn had a track record of cleaning up subways in Boston and Philadelphia. Even so, the city of New York had been battling the graffiti problem for over a decade. What radical idea could Gunn implement that would turn back the clock to better times?

As it turned out Gunn’s solution centered around a single idea

The moment a train was bombed with graffiti, it was to be pulled over and painted. If a train car was being repaired, they’d ensure the car remained graffiti-free.

If they found graffiti on a train overnight, the NYC Transit Authority would sweep in and repaint the train. Even during rush hour if they found a train had been “bombed”, they would pull it back to the yard and clean it up, so that the graffiti was nowhere to be seen.

On May 12, 1989, the city declared victory over the city’s graffiti artists.

Notice what just happened?

You started reading this article to find out how to write the First Fifty Words. But before you knew it, you were transported back to New York, the subway and the graffiti dilemma. And the reason why you got to this point is because of the drama created by the First Fifty Words. When your article, presentation or webinar has a powerful opening, the client gets pulled along happily.

And yet, it’s not always easy to know how to go about creating those First Fifty Words. So today, let’s take a look at three ways to create the drama.

Method 1: The power of story
Method 2: Disagreement with your premise
Method 3: Lists

Method 1: The Power of the Story

In the 1980’s a persistent drought swept through the African Savannah.

Watering holes dried up, food was scarcer than ever. Yet, one animal, the kudu, wasn’t affected as much. This is because the kudu can continue to get its nutrition from the hardy Acacia tree. Most other animals don’t tangle with the Acacia’s thorns, but the kudu navigates its way between the thorns to get at the juicy leaves.

But suddenly dozens of kudu started dropping dead.

When the kudu were examined, there seemed to be no reason for the deaths. They looked perfectly healthy and didn’t appear to be suffering from any malnutrition. However, the number of deaths soon soared into the hundreds, then into the thousands.

Now we may believe that Africa is one vast open area, but in reality a lot of wildlife lives in vast ranches

While it was devastating for the ranchers to see the kudu fall to the ground in heaps, they were also puzzled by the inconsistency of the deaths. On one ranch the kudu continued to thrive. On other ranches, their numbers decreased precipitously. There seemed to be no answer to the question, until they considered the number of kudu on the ranches.

On some ranches there were a lot of kudu

On others there were a lot less. As the drought raged on, the kudu had no other vegetation but Acacia leaves. Once the tree lost all its leaves, it would no longer be able to harness sunlight. In effect, the Acacia trees would die. In an act of self-preservation, the tree started producing more tannin.

Not just more tannin, but lethal amounts of it. Biologist and African herbivore expert, Professor Woutor Van Hoven examined the rumen of the kudu and found the digestive system to be in complete shutdown. Now tannin is a compound can only come from a natural source. It wasn’t hard to point fingers at the Acacia tree.

On the ranches with dense kudu populations the Acacia tree was producing 400% more tannin

The tannin was getting inside the digestive system and killing the kudu. In effect, the Acacia trees were culling the kudu. On the ranches with sparser kudu, the tannin wasn’t anywhere close to these lethal amounts. The plant was clearly going through a stage of self-preservation.

Story, it seems is easily the fastest way to get a client’s attention

And we all know this fact of attention-getting to be true. But we aren’t sure where to find the stories or how to make them work and then how to reconnect them to the article.

Those are three elements in themselves, so let’s start with finding the stories. I tend to find my stories all around me. But if that’s not a good enough answer for you, here are a few links. Go to, or live,, bbcearth or
In effect, what you need to do is to go any of these sites, spend some time reading and then save whatever you need to Evernote.

Of course, as I keep harping on repeatedly, without Evernote, you’re just wasting your time.

I can literally find hundreds of stories in a few minutes, precisely because of Evernote. Finding stories was a bit of a nightmare at first, but I soon realised I could find two or three stories a day that related to history, geology, biology and case studies.

Added to that were my own personal stories, and so the first problem was done and dusted. If I could find three stories a day, I’d have about 21 stories by the following week. And no matter how prolific a writer or speaker I turn out to be, I can’t go through that volume of stories. But how do you know which stories work?

Look for the unfolding ups and downs

The most boring story is one that stays on a single track: either up or down. A good story is like the kudu story. It started out with the drought, went to the fact that kudu didn’t care and neither did the ranchers. Then kudu start dying, yet the next ranch with fewer kudu has no such trouble. The biologist comes in, investigates and we have the killer: the Acacia tree itself.

It was an act of self-preservation. That story has bounce all the way, as do most good stories. You’ll probably have noticed the same bounce for the NY subway story. How the situation went from bad to worse, until David Gunn came in and put an end to the graffiti.

Stories make for a dramatic start

You know how to find the stories and how to store them in Evernote. You can even find the bounce in these stories. What remains is how to connect them to your main content. Notice how I finished the kudu story? The last line was about self-preservation.

So what would the theme of the article be? Sure, self-preservation. But what if the last line was “speedy response”? Well, then the article would head over to “speedy response”. The last line of your story, whatever you happen to choose, is what creates the bridge towards the rest of the article.

The first port of call should always be a story, or analogy

When you go to and read the reviews of The Brain Audit, you’ll find most of the readers seem to agree on one fact. Many of them seem to suggest The Brain Audit is exceedingly easy and refreshing to read. But what makes it refreshing? Or rather what makes content boring? It’s clearly the lack of stories and analogies.

You can’t turn more than two-three pages without running into analogies and stories in The Brain Audit. The Three Month Vacation Podcast has at least three stories or analogies and it could go to as many as six or seven. Articles, webinars, reports—they all have stories and analogies.

To get your article going, you need to start storing stories

You need to start looking for those ups and downs.
And then it’s a matter of reconnecting by inserting the last line into the story, so it reconnects with the article.

But stories are just one way of taking on the First Fifty Words. The second method is to disagree with your headline.

Method 2: Disagreeing with your premise

In 1949, the ad agency DDB had a reasonably big challenge.

They were given the opportunity to sell the Volkswagen Beetle. This wasn’t just another car. It was a post-war German “people’s car”, connected with development plans that went back to Hitler himself. Plus the car was small, slow and considered ugly.

Added to the challenge was the fact that DDB had a paltry advertising budget of just $800,000. So how do you create instant drama when the odds are stacked against you?

You simply disagree with your premise, or in the case of Volkswagen, the prevailing premise

Back in 1949, the war had ended and overblown consumption was the order of the day. American cars were big, bulky and drank tons of fuel. All the advertising pointed to how fast most American cars happened to be. All, except Volkswagen, that is.

One of their earliest ad took almost everyone by surprise. It said: Presenting American’s slowest fastback. And the ads talked about how the cars wouldn’t go over 72 mph (even though the speedometer shows a top speed of 90).

What Volkswagen Beetle advertising did was create intense drama by disagreeing with the status quo.

The very same principle applies to your article writing and gives you the clue as to what you should be doing as well. To snap your audience out of whatever they’re doing, it’s a good idea to disagree with the prevailing situation or idea.

And since you’re the one who wrote the headline, what better way to go than to disagree with your headline?

Let’s take an example.

Let’s say your headline says: How to increase prices (without losing customers)

You’d think the article would continue in the vein of increasing prices, wouldn’t you? But instead, it goes the other way. The first paragraph instructs you to reduce your prices in half. Then down to a quarter of the original price.

And then the text goes on to explain something you’re already quite aware of: that reducing prices is a very bad strategy. However, the technique it uses is what gets your attention. Instead of going in the direction you’d expect, it moves in quite the opposite direction. Disagreement works because of the mild shock, and the consequent curiosity to figure out what’s happening.

But it’s one thing to examine an ad or an existing article. How do you create this disagreement in your own articles?

Let’s start off with a headline: The 3 Keys To A Perfect Ayurvedic Diet. How could you disagree with this headline in your first paragraph? Start off by thinking how you could sabotage the perfect Ayurvedic diet. Got the idea, yet? All you need to do is think up your headline and think of the exact opposite behaviour.

Let’s try another headline, shall we?

How to get your projects done using an unknown system of time management. Now let’s disagree with the headline.
Time management is an erroneous concept, which is why most of us struggle to get anything done. Haven’t you gone through whole days where you’ve had loads of time, but still failed to get anything done? That’s because we don’t really work with time. We work with energy instead.

See what’s happening?

You’re pushing in a headline that seems to talk about one thing but the opening paragraph seems to disagree. But you don’t have to keep the disagreement going.

After you’ve made your point in a paragraph or so, you can go back to the original premise of the article. You’ve completed your mission. You’ve woken up your audience with the disagreement and they’re keen to read more of what you have to say.

So far we’ve looked at stories. We’ve also looked at disagreeing with your premise. But there’s a third way that really helps when you’re feeling blank. And this method is called the “list method”. Let’s find out how we start articles with lists.

Method 3: Lists

Let’s take one type of list:

The Netherlands 70%
USA 30%
UK 30%

Ok, so let’s take another list:

A bucket
A spoon
Two ladles of chocolate ice-cream

Lists get attention and especially when you use it within the First Fifty Words.

And in case you’re wondering, the first list that comprised of the Netherlands, USA and UK, it was a factor of social trust. In the Netherlands, 7 out of 10 people say they trust each other.

In the US and UK, only 3 out of 10 people seem to have social trust. However, we’re not here to debate the issue of social trust. What we’re looking at, is the power of lists when used in the First Fifty Words of your article.

The moment you slide in a list, the reader is intrigued

And rightly so, because a list is a sequence of elements and somehow that sequence needs to end up in a logical place. So if your headline was: “How to get a business up and running in 90 days”, you could start your article with a list.

That list immediately catches the attention of the reader and keeps that attention as you transition over to the main article.

Lists don’t need much preparation

Unlike a story that needs all that bounce and mystery, a list is almost sterile in its approach. You don’t even need any disagreement in a list. If anything, a list seems to take the reader right to where they want to go, just like a recipe.

And that’s why lists are so cool, but there is a downside. Lists are so spartan that they stand out. If you’ve used a list to start up an article recently, you’re probably going to have to wait to use a list again. The very format is so conspicuous that it requires a good deal of time to pass before you can re-use the technique in another article, podcast or presentation.

Nonetheless, they are great starting points and in you’re in a tricky situation, start with a list.



In this very article, we ran into the story of the NY subway, the kudu on the African savanna and the story of the Volkswagen Beetle being introduced to America in 1949. Stories are easily the best tool to get the attention of your readers within the First Fifty Words.

It’s what I use consistently in books from The Brain Audit to Dartboard Pricing. If you find it easy to read the books, yes, it’s because of two elements. The first is the structure of the book, but easily the biggest other factor is the sheer volume of stories and analogies that help you understand the concepts faster and more permanently.

However there’s more than one way to skin a cat

The method we looked at was the factor of disagreement. And the way to go about disagreeing with your headline is to write a headline e.g. How to buy a second hand computer that will last six years—and then go in the opposite direction. Tell the reader a story about computers that failed. Go the opposite way and you do what DDB did with Volkswagen Beetle. And this method sure gets a ton of attention.

Finally we get to the third way: creating lists

This method is the easiest of all. For instance, if I wanted to start this article with a list, I could start with the three points we’ve covered, namely, “The power of the story, disagreeing with your premise and lists”.

And that would get the reader curious enough to want to read more. Then I could continue the article by simply explaining each of the points and fleshing them out in detail.

But where should you start? What’s the ONE thing you can do?

If you’re stuck for time, try the list today. But ideally the best thing you can do for the long run is to fire up your copy of Evernote. Start saving stories.

Go to BBC Earth,,, and start saving stories. There’s nothing more powerful than stories especially when you’re starting up the First Fifty Words.

Next Step: You know how they say "first impressions count?"
Well, they do. Within the first three seconds of reading an article or an email, your client is already making a decision whether to read on. Many of us aren’t restricted to email. We use webinars, video, podcasts and presentations. And all of these media have one thing in common: they all need a great start.

Learning how to really create outstanding openings (whether in articles or any media) is deeply gratifying. And powerful.
More details:



Direct download: 117-The_First_Fifty_Words-How_To_Instantly_Get_Your_Readers_Attention.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am FJST

What links thousand year old organisations with a bike company like Harley Davidson?

What do football teams have in connection with businesses owners that can take time off?

It’s all here in these free set of goodies (yes, 36 audio files) and a PDF. You’ll love how you can implement much of this information right away.

Learn Why Marketing ‘Doesn’t’ Work. And Why You Need Structure In Your Business!


You will learn in The Brain Alchemy MasterClass:

1) The Spider’s Secret: How to get customers to call you instead of you chasing them.

2) The Three Prong System: This tool will change the way you look at your business forever. Ignore at your risk.

3) How to create a huge demand for your product or service: This secret is over 10,000 years old and works every single time. And most businesses don’t use it.

>>Right click here and ‘save as’ to download this episode to your computer.

>>Here is the link to get: The Brain Alchemy MasterClass Free (Yes, all 36 audio files and the PDF)


The difference between you struggling in your business and zooming ahead is understanding the structure of business

Working hard is great, but it’s not the solution to your problems. No matter what business you’re in — a structured marketing system is the best way to exponentially increase your sales.

The Brain Alchemy is about tactics and strategy that will form the very core of your business, no matter whether you’re just starting up, or have been in business ‘forever.’


There are over 253 testimonials for The Brain Alchemy MasterClass


When I heard the Brain Alchemy MasterClass my immediate reaction was, “Damn, I spent so much on going to business school and they never taught us any of these.”

I had a big paradigm shift in the way I was thinking about business and marketing. I also understood that no matter how much I think I might be communicating clearly, the receiver might not be listening right – this revelation came about listening to participants speak. And it is true the other way round also.

Biggest learning was the power of giving. This really stuck with me – and also to give in the right possible packaging.

-If you did implement something, what did you implement?

I have been letting the material sink in and I plan to implement few of it. I will keep you posted about it.

I would definitely recommend this course, because Sean is an amazing teacher. He breaks down complex subjects into simple manageable bites and makes sure that we are able to consume the information.

The course is pure gold !

I would like to add that – I am a big fan of Sean and Renuka – mostly because it showed me that the size of the team doesn’t matter as much as how much power they pack.

Thank you for giving The Brain Alchemy away, Sean.


Here is the link to get: The Brain Alchemy MasterClass Free (Yes, all 36 audio files and the pdf)



Direct download: Episode_116_-_How_To_Get_2500_Worth_of_Goodies_Absolutely_Free.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am FJST

Envy isn’t something we talk about, or even admit to openly.

And yet it’s the one thing that all of us feel. We feel that others are going places and doing more than us. We even feel we need their spot and somehow that spot belongs to us.

So how do we overcome this intense envy before it kills us? Find out how even the superstars of the world have to deal with envy. Yes, even people who seemingly have unimaginable wealth and success.

In this episode Sean talks about

Part 1: Is Envy Good or Bad?
Part 2: How do You Cope With Envy?
Part 3: How To Stay Motivated—And Happy.

Right click here and ‘save as’ to download this episode to your computer.


No one I know is free of envy

We all, at some level, are envious of others and even more so in our field of endeavour.

If you were to look at my inbox every morning, you’ll notice about 60-70 e-mails.
Then as the day progresses, another 60-70 will stream in.
And yet not one of the e-mails is from some one in the same profession as mine.

As you probably know, I’m in the marketing profession

If you want to put a weird tag on me, you could call me an internet marketer. So why don’t I have any marketing-based e-mails in my inbox? It’s not like I don’t want to learn about marketing. It’s not that I don’t want to read what others in my field are up to.

Instead it’s a lot simpler. The e-mails depress me, sometimes.

And I’m using the word, depression, but hey, I’m never depressed. I’m grumbly, upset, maybe even a bit paranoid, but not depressed.

However, I do feel this wave of frustration that takes my day down a few notches. I don’t feel happy and light hearted. And I figured it wasn’t depression after all.

It was envy.

This is my story about how I deal with envy

And I kinda know it’s your story too. I think very few of us are free of this problem of envy. We look around us and we see people doing things that we aren’t doing. We see them earning a lot more, and seemingly with a lot less effort.

And then there are those like me, who come along and talk about taking three months off. And I know that there are others who are working their tails off and there’s this joker who’s talking about the luxury of not just a vacation—but three whole months in a year.

How is it that we can have endless bounty and still feel envy? And how do we deal with such a situation?

Part 1: Is Envy Good or Bad?

On the chilly night of December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman approached John Lennon outside the Dakota Apartments in New York. Chapman opened fire at Lennon with a .38 calibre pistol. He fired five shots in quick succession.

The first shot missed Lennon, passing over Lennon’s head and hitting a window of the Dakota building. Two of the next bullets struck Lennon in the left side of his back, and the other two penetrated his left shoulder. By 11 pm that night, John Lennon was dead.

But what was going through Paul McCartney’s mind as he heard the news?

These are Paul’s exact words related to Esquire magazine 35 years later. “When John got shot, aside from the pure horror, the lingering thing was, ‘Well, now John’s a martyr. A JFK’. I started to get frustrated because people started to say, “Well, he was the Beatles”. And me, George and Ringo would go, ‘Er, hand on. It’s only a year ago we were all equal-ish.

Paul McCartney, now Sir Paul McCartney was horrified. And envious.

Back in the 1500s, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, was going through the same pangs of envy

Michelangelo was no ordinary man, no ordinary painter. He was unique as the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. In fact, two biographies were published during his lifetime.

This is the artist who created the statue of David, the Pietà, the Last Judgement, the statue of Moses and no less than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In his lifetime he was often called Il Divino (“the divine one”). And yet he was openly envious of another older contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci.

So is this factor of envy normal? And is it any good or bad?

In the August 2015 edition of The New Yorker, Richard Smith, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky gives us an insight into envy. Smith who began studying envy in the nineteen-eighties, writes that the feeling typically arises from a combination of two factors.

The first is relevance: an envied advantage must be meaningful to us personally. A ballerina’s beautiful dance is unlikely to cause envy in a lawyer, unless she once had professional dancing aspirations of her own. The second is similarity: an envied person must be comparable to us.

Even though we’re both writers, I’m unlikely to envy Ernest Hemingway. Aristotle, in describing envy, quotes the saying “potter against potter.” When we admire someone, we do so from a distance. When we envy someone, we picture ourselves in their place.

So is this factor of envy normal? And is it any good or bad?

The closer we get to someone’s capability, the less we seem to admire them. Instead, what might pop up is an intense state of envy. I remember being in school, and there was a friend of mine whose father travelled by Swissair.

Back when I was in school, travelling locally by plane was quite the luxury but a trip overseas was almost out of the question. I remember being upset with the little Swissair booklets my friend brought to school.

It wasn’t even like this kid was taking those flights. He just had a few hand me downs from the flight itself, and yet there was this factor of envy that swept through me every time I saw those booklets.

Envy it seems, is mostly bad for you

Admiration is good. Envy is, for the most part, complex and bad. Plus, it’s painful. Which is why my inbox has almost no e-mails from people who are marketers like me. I do read some e-mails, but just a few. I put in long days and I enjoy my work tremendously, yet it’s hard to watch an e-mail pop in about how someone just achieved some goal that you’ve been aspiring for.

Make no mistake. At Psychotactics. we’ve been very successful over the years, and we’ve lived a life that seems unimaginable. And yet, the admiration slips away over time and I feel the weight of envy.

It’s hard to admit it too

But eventually if you were pumped with a truth serum, you’d admit it too. You, I, we’re all envious about others. Some to a large extent, some to a smaller extent. And no matter how fabulously wealthy or well know we are. No matter how far we’ve come in our lives, we still have to deal with that envy.

Part 2: So how do you deal with envy?

I remember the year 2000.
I’d just arrived in Auckland, New Zealand from India.

I’d never been to New Zealand before

And now I was planning to spend the rest of my life on these islands in the Pacific. If someone showed up at the airport, took me to their home, got me a phone, and rented a house for me—well, that would have been beyond my wildest dreams. And that’s what happened.

In Episode #50 of The Three Month Vacation podcast, I talk about our move to New Zealand. And how fellow-cartoonist, Wayne Logue, who I’d only met online, did all of the above for me, and more.

To have such a start when moving to a new country was beyond my wildest imagination
And yet, let’s up the ante a bit. Let’s say someone else showed up at the airport. That person then said that in fewer than two years, I’d be in marketing, not cartooning. Then that person went on to outline how my life would unfold.

And going forward 15 years, that I’d have a membership site, clients, the ability to go where I wanted, when I wanted. What would I make of such a bizarrely rosy prediction the future? I’d think it was wonderful, wouldn’t I?

To understand just how much I have, I have to use the time machine

I get on board and take myself back to Auckland airport. I go to that point when I first got to New Zealand and that kills all kind of envy on the spot.

No matter how many waves of envy surge at me, I realise that I could never have envisioned the life I have now. And this is true for a lot of us today. Most of us have lost some hair, gone rounder at the edges, and possibly have a slightly rough life. Yet, almost none of us would swap our lives for yesteryear.

We can’t really stop ourselves from getting envious

We look at the neighbours and they have a new car. We look at our friends and they are posting photos of themselves in Tahiti.

And it’s probably worst of all in the professional sphere, because we believe we work harder and better than most of our peers. Which brings in that okinami—a rogue wave—of envy.

Envy can’t be avoided

But the time machine trick works. It really works. Go back to the time when you were younger, and for most of us, it represents a time when life was different. And yet, we like the lives we now lead.

We like the gadgets we use today. Our families have grown around us and there are a thousand memories that would vanish in a flash if we went back in time.

I don’t know about you, but this is my trick for envy

I go back to my time machine. My time machine has one dial and it’s set to the year 2000. Just the thought of going back in time brings back pleasant memories. And yet, today is the world I want to live in. In a flash my envy is gone.

But I still have one more mountain to climb. I may not be envious, but I need to stay motivated—and happy. How do I pull that bunny out of the hat?

Part 3: How to stay motivated—and be happy instead

I don’t know if you’ve ever fed seagulls at the beach
On a sunny day as you head to the beach with your fish and chips, the seagulls are waiting. As you throw out a chip, there’s a mighty scramble, but notice who almost never gets the chip.

Yes, it’s the so-called “leader” of the flock. You know the one I’m talking about. This male (and it’s most certainly a male) spends his time chasing away all the rest of the seagulls.

You throw one chip. You throw another. You throw a third. But the leader never seems to get a chip.

So which of the birds get the chips?

The ones that are focused on the chips, not on each other. And this is really the secret of the how stay motivated. When we look around at each other, we’re too focused on the others, and not the chip.

And the chip for most of us is our work. It’s the one thing that brings us the greatest satisfaction in our lives. Whether we run a restaurant, sell strawberry cream, write books or dance for a living, it’s our work that brings us a deep sense of satisfaction. And yet we make a lot of mistakes along the way.

I’ve  made a lot of strategic mistakes in my life

We were on the internet way back in 1997, and while I did catch on to the e-book phenomenon, I missed out on blogs.

I missed out on YouTube as well, I started the podcast before it was immensely popular and then gave up in 2009, just at the point when it started to take off. And so, as I looked on, others took my spot. Yes, my spot!

The way out of that seagull scrap is to look at your own work

At first your work may not seem a lot different from your competition. However, over time you’ll find your own space, your own plum projects. And you’ll get yourself a group of people that love your work. The envy won’t go away, but you’ll stay focused on your chip. And that will keep you motivated.

And that is the real secret of how to sidestep the envy and be happy instead. The envy won’t ever go away. You’ll always be jostling for space in a scrappy flock of gulls. But you’ll know when you get the chip. And you can fly off with your chip, happy as a gull on a sunny day.

Next Step: The Power of Enough—And Why It’s Critical To Your Sanity

When writing headlines, you often get stuck. Can grammar come to the rescue when under pressure? Find out how grammar class helps you write outstanding headlines in a jiffy.

Imagine a client walked through the door and you could give them the power of X-ray vision. Would that client come back for more superpowers? Of course she would. So how do you create superpowers that attract clients? What three elements need to be in place for the superpower to work? Find out in this the third part of this series on "how to stand out even when the competition is outstanding". 

AirBNB was struggling? Was it just start up problems or was it something else? Find out how AirBNB, Zappos and other now-famous brands had to dig, or even stumble upon the biggest problem before they got their business off the ground. And yes, what you've got to do to find the biggest problem as well. It may seem like we know the biggest problem we're solving for our clients, but we're very far from the reality. Find out why this is the case and how to rectify the problem right away. 

If there's little or no competition, it's easy to be top dog. But what if there's oodles of competition? And what if the competition isn't just average, but utterly outstanding? What do you do to stand out in such a situation? Can you even make a mark? The answer is quite surprising

Most of us know of the concept of the “guardian angel”

They come into our lives and they take care of us. The “kicking angel” is quite different. The angel shows up just to push us over the edge and then he/she disappears from our lives.

In this episode Sean talks about

How do we know when we’re being kicked? And what “kicks” do we pay attention to and what do we do.

Right click here and ‘save as’ to download this episode to your computer
#112: How Kicking Angels Help To Jumpstart Your Business


You’ve heard of a guardian angel, haven’t you?

But what on earth is a kicking angel?
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

It’s an angel that does the job of giving you a swiftie on your rear.

We got our first swiftie in the year 2002

We’d just set up Psychotactics. And we were looking to sell our products on the Internet.
Um, did I say products? I meant ‘product.’

But as most of us do, we were waffling.

We’d been busy tweaking our website.
We had been searching for a merchant provider for a month or two.

We’d been thinking of setting up a sales page for about three months.
We’d been yiddling and yodelling, and doing diddly-squat.

Then along came the ‘kicking angel.’

This kicking angel happened to be an Internet Marketer. He was kinda impressed with our first product, and promised to help us market it to his list.

“But here’s what you have to do first,” he said.
“I’ll give you a week to set up everything.
You’ll need to get a merchant account.
And write your sales page.

And set up an affiliate account.
And we’ll start marketing your product in September.
And your product will go to my list that’s well over 25,000 prospects.”

You know what we did next, don’t you?

Yup, in one week we did everything we’d been waffling about for well over a month. And then we went back to the Internet Marketer. And here’s what he said: “I’m a little busy doing promotions in September. How about October instead?”

October turned to November.
November turned to December.
Santa came and Santa went.
Our Internet Marketer was always too busy; too pre-occupied; too whatever.

We felt betrayed, and angry…

And what we didn’t realise, was that this Internet Marketer wasn’t a guardian angel at all. He was a kicking angel. He’d got us moving. And as summer (yes, we have summer in December) rolled around, we started selling our product.

It was a measly 20-page booklet, but hey we were selling…

And doing a jig around the room every time yet another product sold.
Amazingly, our kicking angel never came back. Ever.

And that’s when it dawned on us

A kicking angel isn’t supposed to come back.
That’s what they’re there for.
To give you a kick.
They kicked us into starting workshops .
They kicked us into writing/creating a series of products.
They even came along, and cajoled us into starting the Protege Program–a biggie for us at the time.
There’s one who’s been kicking into starting up the Brain Audit Trainer program.

And here’s the irony of it all…

Kicking angels are classic ditchers.
They promise to help us promote.
They promise to buy into the product.
They promise to join a workshop.
They swear to be there to sign on the dotted line.

But they never ever show up again.

But in our desire to please these angels, we created products

And services.
And courses.
And workshops.
And our business grew.

It took us a while to realise the role of the kicking angel

That they weren’t our friendly neighbourhood volunteer. Not one of them even turned out to be a strategic alliance or customer. Their only job was to get us off our butts. So we could create stuff. And jig. Jig a lot.

The kicking angel is not a guardian angel by a long shot.

Their only job is to land that swiftie.

And the funny thing is that they’ll keep at it, till you listen. If your bum is sore from getting all those swifties, it’s probably time. Time to listen to that kicking angel.

Are you listening?

Next Step: Three Disaster Stories (And How We Recovered and Soldiered On)

Direct download: Episode_112-How-The-Kicking-Angel-Helps-Grow-Your-Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm FJST