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I can say these ideas are brilliant, with a firm hold on humility, as they aren’t mine.  Not only will these principles transform your business in record time, they will also, more importantly change your life.

A quick side note:

I remember, years ago, when I was 30 – my long time girlfriend, and then fiancee dumped me.  On the phone nonetheless.  We had been together since college – and tasked with owning and running a business 2 hours from our home, we spent increasingly less and time together…..until, as she put it in that fateful call – she feared we had become strangers.

Being newly single for the first time in over a decade – I had absolutely no idea what to do.  I connected with a lot of old friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen since high school and college, and we’d typically get together and lament the strange circumstances and serendipitous events that had brought us back into each others lives, at the current moment.

One of my friends, a best friend from high school who I hadn’t seen, literally since college…..we started hitting the bar scene together, just about every night.  He had been married (twice) and divorced (twice) and was super focused on meeting his next wife 🙂  (who thankfully, is still his current wife!)

For those first few weeks, even months….I felt like a fish out of water in the bar scene.  I didn’t want to be there, and felt awkward and uncomfortable playing that game again.  Every rapacious, aggressive urge I had to meet someone new, was paradoxically,  tempered and toned down by this sense of anxiety and fear about trying to meet someone new.

My friend, however – was a different animal altogether.

He didn’t drink.

He didn’t make a lot of small talk.

He just scoped out who he wanted to meet….and went for it.  He’d pick the best looking girl at the bar – and just make a beeline her way.

9 times out of 10 – he’d be back in 90 seconds or less, and the whole process would begin again.

I always found this so amazing to watch and witness – he wasn’t a great looking guy – not super successful at the time – was living in broken down house in a sort of shitty neighborhood that he’d inherited – and yet, even in these high class, tony bars and clubs, he had no fear.

One night – after planting myself in yet another familiar corner seat at the bar and watching him do his thing, upon his inevitable emptyhanded return, I said – “dude, you are fearless”

He said something I’ve never forgotten – i’m going to get the words a wee bit wrong – but what he said, in principle was this:

“i’m flush full of fear.  I just fear more the idea of letting what I want out of life disappear without letting it know I’m here “

I don’t spend a lot of time at bars these days…….but I still think of this brief exchange, often.

So much of what we miss out on life, the instrument by which we deliver our failures and missed opportunities, has nothing to do with being good enough, or smart enough,or ready enough,  or talented enough.

It’s our willingness to wait.

To sit and stare while others, often less talented, less knowlegeable, less well intentioned folks will step up and seek it out.

Here are 3 brilliant ideas for growing your business, that literally…….CANNOT fail if you do them with a fierce focus and a commitment to share your gifts,  pursue your passions and offer up your skills in the spirit of service.

Rejection Therapy.   All of this stuff, whether it’s being taught and sold my some goofy looking guru or some solid and staid salesperson with a professional pedigree, is a NUMBERS game.  It’s as much about the math, as it is the marketing.  Sure you can (and should) tweak, critique, optimize and improve everything you offer.  You should write better copy,  more persuasive prose and design content and campaigns that are crafted to convert.  But sheer force is enough to make more than enough money in just about any endeavor online.  And Rejection Therapy, especially if you combine it with my “Seeking Set Up’s Strategy” is an absolute brilliant way to ensure you press enough metaphorical flesh to make more sales than you can count.

Here is why:  Rejection Therapy is predicated on the notion that you MUST get rejected 10 times a day (or whatever number you want) to “win” that day.  You actually are SEEKING rejection – that’s how you know you are winning.  If you play it pure – and do it the right way – and in the spirit of truly sharing your BEST offers and opportunities and ideas to folks who need what you know, with a firm focus on getting 10 NO’s a day – you simply can’t help but get a whole mess of yes’s, too.

Comfort Challenge.  This is very similar in some respects to Rejection Therapy, but it’s not about getting rejected, it’s about losing the FEAR of being rejected, through embodying actions and activities that challenge you to care less, to be yourself more, and to put yourself in positions that stretch and stress your mojo muscle.  What creates marketing mojo, in my view, is taking action and getting people “wins” that WOW them, woo them, and that allow you to build buzz for your brand and business, by dint of the results you offer.

The more you get out of your comfort zone and the more ethically aggressive you become when approaching people who would benefit from your skills and expertise, the more clients you will cultivate the more your peers, your ideal audience and the people you CRAVE connections with, will “choose you” over folks who are sitting at the metaphorical bar, waiting for the hot girl to say hi.

Designing the Ideal TOP down User Experience.  This is such an amazing way to build a business, to find your true fans, and to turn those fans into eager and enthusiastic evangelists for your brand, blog, business, product, program, site or service.  There is a great example of this on Reid Hoffman’s excellent podcast, where Brian Chesky,  of AIRBNB describes how they literally would storyboard out, a “1 star” user experience for early AIRBNB users, all the way up to an “11 star” experience, where the user gets the Beatles arrive in the USA experience.

(user gets off the plane, is met by 5000 cheering fans, a TV crew and is whisked away by limo to meet the Mayor)  Of course, this can get pretty silly, pretty quickly.  (and obviously unreasonable to offer as well)

BUT, and this is the key piece, when you start to tier up each level or rating, it becomes increasingly obvious how much MORE you can do, and how much more value you can create, and how much more you can offer to make people excited, inspired and most important…..to SHARE their appreciation with others, at the good fortune of having come across your product, program, site or service.

There is an obvious analog to using this approach in real life – how you approach your wife or boss, your kids or your neighbors, how you interact with strangers at the store, or the guy on the highway in rush hour traffic with the Trump Steaks bumper sticker and the “Vote Ted Nugent 2024” baseball cap.

There is a “1 level” experience of being a human being in everyday life – and there is a 5, and a 7 and a 10 and the more you tweak the dial UP, the more levers you move in the spirit of surprising folks with grace and grit and kindness and compassion over that bovine level of everyday work a day awareness that most of us bring to most of our lives, the more our lives begin to change.  I recommend you check out the podcast here – it’s awesome – and a great reminder at how much all of us can do to turn our clients and customers into true fans.

As a quick last note – this is not a strategy that is unique or original to airbnb.

Tony Robbins, does something that he calls “The Elevation Strategy”, which is very similar in some respects.

(quick funny story:  When I worked for the RMT coaching program as an affiliate – I was repeatedly told I was the #1 affiliate in the country after selling 20K or so worth of courses – and when I finally decided to add that to my affiliate resume, I decided to officially “ask” to make sure –  the person in charge of the program told me, I was actually the ONLY affiliate 🙂


But the spirit of this one strategy is, Tony will methodically, in a step wise fashion, raise the bar on someones sense of connection and contribution to their life and goals and what they value most – and it always struck me as a very powerful exercise to watch.   (and something that really sold me on some of Tony’s strategies as well.  I had been fairly skeptical of him prior to that experience)

There is something very similar in some esoteric buddhist practices as well – specifically something called “Jhana meditation” where the goal is to attain levels of mindfulness, and deep awareness that transcends the body/mind – it’s hard to explain here (and obviously controversial) but it has that same quality of leveling up to reveal the limitations of ordinary experiences, and I’ve had some incredible insights into life, magic and meaning by dint of this one specific set of techniques.

What that has to do with being single at a bar in 2005?  I have no idea.  But I’m glad you read this far anyway.  🙂

Put yourself out there.  Get fearless.  Get focused.  Destroy distractions and imaginary obstacles.  It really is that easy.  And the most important muscle to master is the one that is telling you it’s not.








View all posts by ian

I am an author, artist and entrepreneur. My 2 passions are writing about, and teaching Marketing and Meditation. I like to think I’m a lot like Eckhart Tolle, if only he was taller, and a much better tennis player. (it turns out in person, he’s super short, has a terrible backhand and wears this weird scottish hat thingy that makes it really difficult to concentrate while serving) Plus he refuses to keep score and says ” it’s always NOW” when you ask who is up. Enough about me. We barely know each other. Stop staring. You’re making me nervous.