Neighbors - Your Email List

When I was a kid, my family was really close with the family that lived next door. I played with their kids, our parents hung out together, and we generally spent a lot of time together. We were friends.

I remember being young and seeing a key on a hook in our house that had their last name written on it and I asked my mom if it was a key to their house. It was, and she explained that we needed it in case there was ever an emergency and that they had a key to our house too.

There was never an emergency that required that we go into their house like that, but the point was that we had mutual permission.

That’s how email marketing works.

We each had permission to go into the other’s space, and that’s what you have if someone subscribes to your email list. They’re in essence telling you, “If you need me, here’s the key. Come on in.”

Now, just like anything, we could have abused it in two opposite ways. We could have walked in uninvited every single day asking for stuff. After a few days of that, they’re going to ask for their key back.

Or we could have completely dropped off the face of the earth, stopped hanging out with them, and then barged in one day asking them to do something for us. Also probably not going to happen.

But by treating your email subscribers the way you treat the other important relationships in your life (and make no mistake, those subscribers are important relationships), you can gain, grow, and leverage the trust you’ve built.

Show up regularly to add value to their lives. Tell them about what’s going on in your world, share things that can help them, encourage them when they’re feeling down, check in on them when you haven’t heard from them in a while, and when you need something, you’ll have the capital built up in your relationship to ask for it and get it. That includes selling your new product, inviting them to come to your show, or asking them to introduce you to someone they’re connected with.

It works with neighbors and it works with your email list.

If you’re ready to start building your list or building your relationship with them, let’s schedule a call.

the RUCKUS framework

Hey you beautiful little unicorn. Here’s how to turn strangers into friends and friends into customers and customers into raving fans. This is the path to growing your business. To making a ruckus. And because I want to really hammer that point home, I give you...

the RUCKUS framework.


R - Reach

Customer Avatar, Branding, channels, etc.

This is how you introduce yourself to potential customers who don’t know anything about you. It’s the first impression - on both sides. It’s who you are and it’s who they are. What kinds of people are you trying to serve, and how would they describe you when they encounter you? When those questions have been answered, this phase is complete.

U - Understanding

Content, Before/After, Offers, Grunt Test, etc.

This is the phase where you demonstrate your expertise, or you entertain, or you inspire. It’s all the content that you put out on your social channels, your blog, your email series, your YouTube. In your customer’s mind, it answers the question, “how can this product or service fix my problem?” It lets them know what you do and what you offer them to take them where they want to go.

C - Conversion

Value Ladder, Offers, Sales Processes, Pricing, etc.

At this point, the customer is spending time or money with you. A fully fleshed out conversion plan will feature entry level offers that allow you to receive micro-commitments from your customers - from collecting their phone number and email address to small purchases that fundamentally change the relationship between you and your customer. In fact, this is when they move from just a friend (after engaging with your content in the last stage) to a customer. They’re making a commitment and investing in you.

K - Knockout Service

Connection Steps, Follow Up Processes, Service Deliverability, Customer Service, etc.

Price is the story we tell about how much value someone will receive from what we do. Basic pricing is simple - if people feel like they’re getting more out of a deal than they’re paying for it, they’ll take the deal. McDonalds would rather have the $3 than the hamburger because they create it for less than $3. You’d rather have the hamburger than the $3 because of what it provides in convenience, flavor, and overall experience. So they happily sell it and you happily buy it.

This is the phase where you actually deliver that value. You follow up, you deliver awesome customer service, you treat people the right way, you act with integrity, you follow through on your promises and your customers’ expectations, and you let them know that their business is important to you. When you do that consistently, the value you provide goes up, the price they’re willing to pay goes up, and everyone is happy about it.

U - Upgrades

Value Ladder, Sales Processes, Pricing (Basically Conversion 2.0)

You have permission to present someone a higher level offer when you’ve successfully converted them on a lower ticket offer and exceeded their expectations. The phrase to remember here is “if you liked that, you’re going to love this.” This could be a complementary product or service that enhances their experience with what they’ve already bought, it could be a higher level service that allows them to reach their desired end result faster or more easily or more reliably, or it could be a service that does the thing for them rather than just empowering them to do it. There are an almost infinite number of ways to add value to your service that makes you more money and makes your customers happier.

S - Spread the Word

Referrals, Affiliates, Surveys, Reviews, etc.

This part can happen naturally - when you provide an awesome service and people love you, they’re naturally going to talk about it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t speed things along. Giving people incentives for telling their friends, affiliate programs to help your customers help you grow your business, and surveys to let them talk about your service and also help you refine what you do - all that stuff makes a big difference for starting this process all over. Because it very well may be that your customers talking about you is exactly the way you REACH the next customer whose life you’ll change. So make sure to make this part smooth.

Look. When it comes to building a plan for your business that turns strangers into raving fans, there’s no one size fits all solution. But if you’d like to talk a little more about your specific needs so we can customize a plan for your business to predictably and consistently bring you more customers and allow you to serve them better, schedule a call.

Share it All

They don’t give a shit about your resume. They want to see what you’ve created with your own little fingers.

To share your work with the world, even the stuff you don’t think anyone wants to see, (pro tip: they do. Someone does.) you have to take the scraps and the residue of your process and

Make something.

This is the number one question I get asked by people trying to launch, trying to get their thing in front of eyes - “what do I say? What do I put out there?”

You are your own documentarian. Share something every day.













Share it all.

Flow and Stock

Flow is the feed. The posts, the tweets, the stories, the stream of constant content that lets people know you’re still alive and happen to be having a panini for lunch and went to Target today and didn’t NEED a new cutting board but it’s teak and you used your RED card, so really, how could you say no? And you’re working on this thing but you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out so what does everyone think? Comment below.

That’s flow.

Stock is more durable. It’s the stuff you’re proud of. The stuff with a shelf life. The stuff that’s your real work. Your masterpieces. It spreads slowly but surely, and builds your audience over time.

You have to have both.

And one of the best ways to build your stock is by curating and developing and expanding on your flow.

Use your platforms to think out loud and go stream of consciousness and be more free form. Flow.

But when something hits, grab it and love on it. Turn it to stock.

That means editing - cutting and adding and twisting and turning and tweaking until it’s something you want people to keep coming back to, not just something that you’re fine with them running into. 

Make something meaningful off of it.

Because when it’s a hit, that’s your people saying, “Wait, tell me more about that. What do you mean?”

It’s your chance to go deeper.

Tweets and insta stories become posts become articles become chapters in books.

Flow —-> Stock 🦉


Trolls don’t give feedback.

Trolls aren’t interested in helping you improve your work.

They don’t want to engage and start meaningful conversations.

They just want to provoke you.

The first step in evaluating what’s being said about your work is taking a good look at whose mouth is moving.

Do they care about you? About the work you’re doing? About the topic you’re talking about? Sure, give them a listen.

But if not, if they’re outside that circle, then they don’t have any right to take up space in your head.

Especially if they’re just being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole.

You're Invited

I want to invite you into a story…

The hero of this story wants something. Wants it really badly, actually.

The hero isn’t sure how to get it, because the world they live in seems to have stacked the deck against them.

They have their safe place, and the hero isn’t aware yet of the adventure that’s waiting for them.

Then one day, they’re called to action. It’s a threat to their safety, their family, their way of life. It may be dramatic or mundane, a gunshot or a phone call.

But they’re not ready.

They hate things the way they are, but they like things the way they are. They’re comfortable. Familiar.

So they refuse the call.

But still, they’re at this crucial turning point where they’re torn between what’s always been done and what needs to be done, paralyzed to inaction by the fear and doubt.

Until they meet a guide. Someone who understands then, has a plan for them, has walked this path before.

Someone with empathy and authority.

The guide gives the hero everything they need to start the journey and gives them the push or pull they need to take the first step, make the first move.

And the story begins...

Now, finally out of the comfort zone, the hero is confronted with an ever more difficult series of challenges, obstacles, and hurdles. Physical struggles, emotional pain, people bent on thwarting the hero’s progress.

They find out who can be trusted, allies and enemies who, each in their own way, prepare the hero for the greater ordeals yet to come.

They lean on the guide. The plan the guide gave them. It helps the hero avoid failure. It gives them the road map to success.

It doesn’t mean the road will be easy, but they know the way.

And the hero makes it. On their own, but not alone. Because they’ve grown and learned and fought tooth and nail.

And because they had a plan.

I want to invite you to a story.

It’s your story.

Your business, your mission, your project to launch - the one that keeps you up at night, staring at the ceiling churning out ideas.

Your comfort zone that’s keeping you from taking the first step.

You’re the hero.

And I can be your guide.

Let’s do this.

What to Post Every Day

Your daily dispatch - putting something out every day:

If it’s early in your process, talk about your inspirations.

  • Who is doing work that matters? What does it look like?

  • What do you like about it? What don’t you like?

If you’re in the middle, share your methods or the work that’s in progress.

  • How’d you get here?

  • What’s been harder than you thought?

  • How have you changed it?

  • How has it changed you?

If you’re done, share the final product and all the things you had to shave off to make it just right.

  • What did you learn?

  • What will you do next?

You’re inviting them into the story of how what you’re building will make things better for them.

After all, that’s why you did it in the first place, right?



In 2019, I’m going to finish 50 books. This is number 1 (Tribe by Sebastian Junger).


I’m going to write a post this week about it. But for now, this:


“Amateur” is a French word. It means ‘lover’ or ‘enthusiast.’

Somewhere along the way, we changed that meaning to ‘beginner.’

And that’s kind of a shame.

Because the amateurs pursue the work in the spirit of love. And like anyone in love, they don’t hesitate to do things that other people think are silly or stupid.

They don’t have anything to lose, so they’ll try whatever. They take chances and experiment and mess up.

And they share their work.

They share their painting 🖼 (the noun) and their painting 🎨 (the verb).

They learn out loud, and take us along for the ride. They might only be mediocre, but you can move from mediocre to good. At least you’re on the spectrum.

The gap isn’t from bad to good. The gap is from doing nothing to doing something.

There’s a real advantage when you don’t know what you don’t know.

Most of the people who contribute the most aren’t the geniuses - they’re the regular people who spend more time and pay closer attention to that one thing than anyone else. Then they talk about what they see and what they find.

And when you love it, it’s compelling. Raw enthusiasm is contagious.

Experts don’t innovate. They’re too good at what they do already - too set in their ways. It’s the amateurs, the enthusiasts, the lovers.

That’s who can change things.

The best way to get started is to decide what you want to learn and then make a commitment to learn it out loud, learn it in public, learn it in front of people.

Forget about how you’ll make money off of it, how you’ll go pro, it doesn’t matter.

Wear your amateurism (your love) on your sleeve. Share it, and the people who love the same things will find you.

Where You Gonna Put That Flag?

The ones who are going to get out of this thing alive are the ones who make a mad dash to the edges.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The ones who plant a flag on a certain part of the map and say, “here’s what I do, and here’s who it’s for.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I have a friend who also does marketing. We believe a lot of the same things about the tactical aspects of building businesses and we probably attract a lot of the same people. He even sells marketing coaching like I do.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Except he doesn’t.

His thing is “All In.” That’s the rallying cry he uses to find the people who want to do things that way. And people find him, love him, and rally around him.

My thing is that business should blur the lines between work and play. That what you do for a living should enrich your life.

I don’t disagree with him that going all in and diving headfirst is a great strategy for building a business.

It’s just not me. That’s not where I’ve planted my flag. He doesn’t disagree that business should be fun. It’s just not his thing. He’s just not that guy.

But for the people who want what we do, by planting ourselves at the edges, we aren’t ultimately in competition with each other. We’re just playing the same game on the same board.

And we’ve each become the coach you’ve got to have, if you’re the kind of person who’s gotta have that kind of coach.

His people aren’t for me. Mine aren’t for him. But for the ones trying to have some fun and build a business that they can’t tell where work starts and play stops, I’m their guy.

And now I have my work cut out for me. Because I do, in fact, have to show people what that looks like and how to build it. How to have that fun, blur those lines, and build a successful business while they make their beautiful little ruckus.

And a few blocks down the road, he can do his thing.

Because there’s room for all of us if we’re at the edges, generously serving the people who want to hear from us.

8 Steps to a Successful Project (via Seth Godin)

1) Start with empathy to see a real need. Not an invented one. Not, "How can I start a business?" but, "What would matter here?"

2) Focus on the smallest viable market: "How few people could find this indispensable and still make it worth doing?"

3) Match the worldview of the people being served: Show up with a story they want to hear, told in a language they're eager to understand.

4) Make it easy to spread. If every person brings one more member, within a few years, you'll have more than you can count.

5) Earn and keep the attention and trust of those you serve.

6) Offer ways to go deeper. Instead of looking for members for your work, look for ways to do work for your members.

7) At every step along the way, create and relieve tension as people progress in their journey toward their goals.

8) Show up, often. Do it with humility, and focus on the parts that work.