Do The Work with Steven Pressfield

Marketing podcast with Steven Pressfield (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Do the Work - Steven PressfieldIf you’ve ever felt yourself bumping up against an unseen force destined on holding you back from achieving your life’s work, you’ve probably met a shady villain called Resistance. That’s Resistance with a capital R according to this week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast –  Steven Pressfield.

Pressfield is best known as the author of numerous novels, including The Legend of Bagger Vance, a book that was later turned into a hit movie starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron.

He has also developed a large and loyal following in the creative community with his short non-fiction work titled The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. The purpose of the War of Art was to inspire other writers, artists, musicians, or anyone else attempting to channel his or her creative energies. The focus is on combating resistance and living the destiny that Pressfield believes is gifted to each person.

After writing the War of Art Pressfield encountered numerous entrepreneurs that related to this thing called Resistance and found parallels in what an entrepreneur faces, be they a plumber or attorney, and what a more traditional creative faces.

Pressfield teamed up with Seth Godin’s Domino Project in an effort to help entrepreneurs understand and combat Resistance in its many forms. The Project is titled simply Do the Work and in it readers will learn about:

  • The things that hold them back, including a fear of success
  • How to get out of your own way
  • How to know when you must do something
  • The difference between being a pro and being an amateur

Do the Work will take you all of about two hours to read, but if you’ve had trouble identifying things that are keeping you from living the life you know you must, it may be one of the most profound books you’ll ever encounter. (Currently Do The Work is only available at Amazon)

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How to Take on a Giant

Marketing podcast with Stephen Denny (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Some years ago I wrote a post called the Natural Advantages of Small Business. The topic is one that I’ve also delivered as a presentation for Chambers of Commerce and the like. In this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing I visit with Stephen Denny, author of Killing Giants - 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry.

Denny tackles the question that many small businesses face and that’s “what to do when you’re faced with competition that has more money, name recognition and customers?”

If I were to sum up Killing Giants it would be this – Identify a competitor’s vulnerability and exploiting the heck out of it.

Interestingly Denny’s research showed the speed and nimbleness isn’t the answer because, by itself, it doesn’t scale. Companies that use speed also make better decisions based on fact, not gut.

The book uses case studies to illustrate how successful smaller businesses took on giants in their industry to do just that.

One of my personal favorite case studies is Method’s taking on Proctor and Gamble.

From the book:
Everyone thought Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry were crazy to start Method, a new cleaning products company. The category had long been dominated by P&G, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive. Those giants had so much clout with the retail chains that their soaps had barely needed updating for decades.

But by taking advantage of its underdog position, Method carved out a very profitable niche: environmentally sound products in stylish, innovative packaging. Despite a far smaller marketing budget than their competitors, Method connected with a substantial minority of people who wanted to “buy green” but who also wanted high-quality products.

Some of my favorite strategic approaches from the book include:

  • Win in the last three feet. Leverage someone else’s investment—just be there the moment the customer grabs their wallet.
  • Create “thin ice” arguments. Shift the conversation to places where the competition can’t—or won’t—go.
  • Fight unfairly. Learn how the underdog can turn the tables, pick unfair fights and create awkward mis-matches.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Understanding the Most Fundamental Shift in Marketing

Marketing Hourglass explained by John Jantsch (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

When I want to make marketing extremely easy to understand, I sit small business owners down in front of the above graphic and have them fill in some process, touchpoint, campaign, product of service in each of the seven blanks. The idea behind this graphic I call the Marketing Hourglass is that marketing is no longer a hunt and close business, it’s a be found, build trust, nurture, wow and refer business.

The most fundamental shift of all in marketing is the need to logically and systematically move prospects along the path of know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer – this is the entire game these days. Now, what tools and tactics you bring to this game will certainly differ, but the end game is still the same.

I wrote last week that the Most Powerful Form of Lead Generation is a Happy Customer and the hourglass model put the focus squarely on that idea. While most businesses use a marketing model that tends to lean heavy on the desire to go from know us to buy from us, any business that fills each of these seven touchpoints will be well on their way to finding and keeping customers that become part of the lead generation and conversion team.

I explain a bit more of my thinking on this tool in this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Unapologetic Rules for Entrepreneurs

Marketing podcast with Andy Kessler (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

In this episode of the the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, former hedge-fund manager Andy Kessler gives his “unapologetic” advice and rules for helping entrepreneurs find that next big game changing innovation. The title of his most recent book – Eat People – comes from rule #7 – Find ways to get rid of useless jobs.

Some might be asking what a hedge fund guy knows about rules for entrepreneurs. Well, Kessler built a wildly successful fund by understanding and identifying the 12 rules outlined in this book as his way of picking winners from the losers. It’s a great point of view, unbiased in some ways from the traditional entrepreneurial thinking.

The book rides on the underlying theme that we’re all entrepreneurs and that the days of the traditional job are over – even inside of big companies. In fact, big companies are trying to act more entrepreneurial to stop the onslaught the nimble small biz.

Kessler explains how the world’s greatest entrepreneurs don’t just start successful companies-they overturn entire industries. He offers twelve surprising and controversial rules for these radical entrepreneurs, such as:

  • Eat people: Get rid of worthless jobs to create more wealth for everybody
  • Create artificial scarcity for virtual goods
  • Trust markets to make better decisions than managers

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

How to Get an MBA for Less Than $20

Marketing podcast with Josh Kaufman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Okay, I fully expect that title to tick off a few folks holding real MBA degrees and that’s cool. No you won’t actually get anything close to an MBA degree from listening to this podcast, but you will get some great information and won’t have to take out a $150,000 loan. You can argue the merits of both book and case study learning and in the street, smack you if the face learning done by most small business owners.

My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is entrepreneur and prolific business book reader Josh Kaufman. In an effort to grow his own business, Josh spent five years or so (and continues) reading every business book he could get his hands and compiled that knowledge into a book calls the Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.

One of my favorite things about this book is that I believe he condenses and great deal of knowledge into a small business but also focuses on what’s really important to entrepreneurs. The chapter on value creation if worth the price of the book by itself.

There are useful chapters on finance, marketing and management as well as a great deal of information on systems and systems thinking – something missing from most small businesses. I also like the fact that he slips some information in that might only be found in self help types of books – believe me, this information is so important to the entrepreneur, but gets little mention in most academic environments. I get to speak to a number of MBA classes these days and while they seem to be getting a first class education in the fundamentals of business, few things can make up for the layers of information that come from real world trial and error.

You can check out Josh’s personal reading list of what he calls the 99 best business books ever

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Ideas Are Free, Execution Is Priceless

Marketing podcast with Scott Ginsberg (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Scott Ginsberg, author of 12 books, creator of the legendary nametag franchise. Readers of my book The Referral Engine met Scott and read about his incredible habit of wearing a name tag every single day of his life for over ten years and counting.

Scott is one of my favorite writers, to meet him in person you’ll find a warm, frequently excited and always approachable human being that you’ll enjoy passing the time with. His vibrant personality comes through just as powerfully in his writing as well – even as he produces content at a clip that would make most writers pale.

If you want a daily dose of passion, inspiration and some very useful and practical ideas, go subscribe to his Hello, my name is BLOG!

In this episode we talk about Scott’s latest book Ideas Are Free, Execution is Priceless:366 Actionable Ideas, Challenging Insights and Disturbing Questions to Help You Take Action on What Matters. Scott refers to this book as a business devotional and fittingly the book is designed with daily snack sized messages that are designed to inspire you to action.

You can flip to today’s date, look up some advice for your birthday or just flip to any page and the book will work its magic. I read a lot of books and this style of daily snack sized reading is so easy to work into your daily routine.

Ginsberg’s mantra throughout this book is – “You don’t need another idea – you need an “I did!”

Listen to the entire podcast and you’ll get a feel for just how great each nugget in this book is.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Do You Run a 24 Hour Business?

Marketing podcast with Adrian Ott (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download). You can alsoSubscribe now via iTunes or other RSS device (Google Listen)

You’re short on time and so are your customers. For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing I visit with Adrian Ott, author of the 24 Hour Customer – New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy

In The 24-Hour Customer Ott argues that companies need to strategically harness the ebbs and flows of customer time and attention in order to win in today’s competitive landscape.

Time has become one of your fiercest competitors.

In the 24-Hour Customer Ott outlines something she calls the Time-onomics Framework that helps businesses think in terms of how their customers prioritize and make decisions about the things they buy and pay attention to. Marketers today need to analyze their propositions against the various quadrants of time.

Building offerings that create time habits is one of the most powerful strategies you can employ. Creating subscriptions and memberships that allow people to habitually pay for services creates a time position of strength.

This phrase from Ott is the big payoff – “Time is not money, time is worth more than money.”

zipcarOne of my favorite concepts from the book is the idea of something called time slicing – taking something and breaking it into smaller parts to make it more accessible. Ott explains how San Francisco based Sparked.com created a business out of something called microvolunteering or breaking volunteer assignments into very small commitments shared by many people.

Ott also cites Zipcar as a perfect example of how time sharing, time slicing and convenience can disrupt an entire industry.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Are You Making Evil Plans?

Marketing podcast with Hugh MacLeod (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

The use of the word evil in the title here is in reference to this week’s Duct Tape Marketing Podcast guest Gaping Void cartoonist Hugh MacLeod’s new release Evil Plans To me the book doesn’t really reference anything that evil. It’s more like Brain in Pinky and the Brain, without all the failed attempts at world domination.

“Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN. Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to ACTUALLY start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN that gets them the hell out of the Rat Race, away from lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short.”

Making a big plan for your life and your business is what Evil Plans is about and it starts with the mindset that you are capable of breaking free from what holds you back. MacLeod’s illustration are brutally honest, sometime offensive and always right on target. He seems to have a knack for turning some of the little things that people live with everyday into a punch in the head.

MacLeod is a brilliant artist who has turned his work, largely through social media efforts, into a brand that can swing wildly between poignant to down right cynical, but always truthful.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or