My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend – No, But Seriously

You know that corny joke: ‘My best friend ran off with my wife. I miss him a lot.’
Maybe it’s funny when you read it, but not so much if it happens to you.
And yes, it happened to me.
To be fair, she and I have been separated for 4 years now.
The two of them got together last year.
It’s not like he stole her away from me.
But still.

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Pet-Peeve Time: Sneaky, Conniving, Pseudo-Ethical Marketing Creeps

I’m pretty annoyed today.
Some bigshot marketer dude, one I thought I could trust, did something really sneaky yesterday.

Here’s what happened:
‘Read my blog post’.
Click, read post. Popup appears: “Want to read this too?”
Click yes, I read the second page.
Another popup: “Say, I have a 75% discount on this – want to read the details?”
I didn’t want to read the details – I wasn’t in a buying mood, and besides, I was enjoying my read.
So logically, I clicked the little cross in the corner, thinking the popup would disappear.
It did disappear, but instead of showing me the same page I had been reading… I was taken to the 75% discount page anyway.

Hang on a minute.

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Take Action, Wake UP! And If You'r Already Awake, How About We Wake Up Some of Your Friends and Neighbours?

As much as I love Spain and the quaint little town I live in, there’s one thing about this local culture that I dislike enormously, to put it mildly.
What’s this thing I’m so against?
It’s the sheer resignation with which people just let troubles and problems wash over them.
People here – not everyone, but many – just resign to the status quo.
(I know – the problems and the resignation are not just present in Spain. But it sure hurts to see so much of it concentrated, each time I step out my front door.
I see so much of it, and it’s the thing that guarantees (take that literally) problems and failure.

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Presenting: Your Inner Stoic. I Suggest You Two Become Good Friends

A wise man I know once said: “Life is about learning how to be at ease with things that aren’t easy”.
That line by itself has kept me going through some very difficult phases in my life.
I’ve discovered the truth in it, which is that ‘easy’ is a matter of perception.
And you as well as I, we can choose how we perceive things.
When we change our perception, that what is difficult becomes different: easy, bearable, temporary, a nuisance, or a fact of life – it changes.

I want to share my own best shift of perception, hoping it’ll help you too when times are tough.
Because perception or not, life tends to throw obstacles at us.
How we deal with them, that’s what matters.
Here’s how I deal with things in my own life: I talk to my inner stoic.
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Christmas Music on the Beach and Rat-piss Wine (I Didn't Drink it)

Went to have dinner at a beach-side restaurant the other day.
It was fun, the food was good, the staff were friendly.
The wine was terrible, but the waiter tasted it, muttered something in Spanish that roughly translates as ‘rat’s piss’, and swiftly uncorked a new, good bottle.
Food arrived, and a good time was about to be had by all.

Except for the music.
Oh god, the music…

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The Insider 'Secret' That Gives Copywriters Magical Powers

Copywriting is an intimate process.
Thing is, a copywriter can’t do anything to generate a sale until he knows who the buyer is.
But I mean: he has to REALLY know the buyer. Intimately.
We do tons – entire days or even weeks – of research. We routinely submerge ourselves in the world of the ideal buyer.
If you tell me to write copy for midwives – Give me a week and I’ll be a qualification and a license away from being able to assist a delivery. (Metaphorically speaking – do NOT send me any soon-to-be mothers).
Ask me to write about the building industry, and by the time I’ve done enough research to start writing, I could technically start a building company and make it succeed.
We do so much research, that by the end of it we practically ARE your customer.
And only then do we start writing.

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Why You Should Hang Out With People You Look Up To

Don’t you just love being the smartest kid in the class?
I sure do.
Question is: smartest compared to what?
See, we all like to have our ego stroked.
I sure do.

One of the easiest ways to do that is hanging out with people who look up to you.
They’re impressed, they’re grateful, they challenge your knowledge – and you end up feeling good, helpful, smart.
Not wrong in itself, but it has bad consequences.
If you spend a lot of time – online or offline – with people who look up to you, you miss out on something important: challenge.

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How to Test Your Copywriter With Tough Questions

Client got on the phone yesterday, ordered a 3-piece email series.

We had a constructive talk and he asked me to send an invoice.

In the morning, there was no money but a question instead:

Martin, since I run a charity, margins are really very thin. Every dollar really counts with us. Do you feel confident that my investment with you will get sufficient response?


I just LOVE that question.

For one thing, because this person appeals to my honesty.

He wants to be confident his money will be spent well.

And he’s looking to see whether or not that matters to me.

Dude… Of course it matters. A lot.

In fact, I wouldn’t even take a job if I don’t feel it’s going to be a worthwhile investment for my client.

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When You See a Good Thing… Grab That Sucker. No, Really

A few years ago when I ran my fancy-pantsy tailoring company, I was visiting my then-girlfriend in Poland.

One of her parents’ friends was a retired tailor, and when he heard that a young enthusiast was doing the thing he loved so much, his daughter called to say he wanted to meet me.

I don’t remember why, but we didn’t set up a meeting that week. I figured I’d be back next month, better to meet him then.

When I returned a month later, he had sadly passed away.

And I had lost the chance to meet a true nestor of my trade.

Who had reached out, wanting to meet me.

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I Bet You're Not Doing This – But Really You Ought To

Here’s something you’re probably not doing.

Which is a pity because it could get you a lot more business.

I’m talking about testimonials, and specifically: asking for them.


Doesn’t have to be.

Shouldn’t be.

Not if you time it right.

What’s the best time to ask a client for a testimonial?

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