6 Reasons I Think Cold Calling Is My ‘ONE Thing’

After years of fighting it, I’ve come around to ‘Cold Calling’ as the answer to my ONE Thing Question.

(i.e. “What’s the One Thing I can do / such that by doing it / everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”)

Here are 6 reasons why I think it’s Cold Calling:

→ Most people are terrified of it (including me)

Yet 82% of buyers report accepting meetings following cold calls.

And 62% of buyers have accepted cold calls in the last year (aka not THAT scary)

I’ve also noticed my happiness correlates with doing hard things.

“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.”

Nassim Taleb, Antifragile

→ Rejection Therapy

Jason Comely coined the term ‘rejection therapy’ which turns rejection into the pursuit of a game.

By seeking rejection, you overcome your fear of it.

→ Fastest way to cut through

Everyone’s out here fussing over landing pages and conversion pixels (guilty 🙋🏼‍♂️), meanwhile I’ll be picking up the phone.

When was the last time someone called you and asked about your business problems (with the earnest intention of finding ways to solve them)?

Cuts through!

→ Hyper Efficient

My main objection to cold calling used to be that it isn’t efficient (it’s the only thing I can do at one time + low success rate + low enjoyment).

Now I value focus. Especially when it’s the most needle-moving activity (i.e. revenue generating) I can do.

‘Low success rate’ was a vague excuse for not knowing the math.

Turning it into …

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6 Thinking Hats: How to Think in the Same Direction

Ever heard of a ‘clearing process’?

It’s one of those things that should be taught in school.

Two people have a ‘charge’ between them: resentment, conflict, different points of view, etc.

And in comes the ‘clearing process’ 👉 a systematic ‘clearing’ of the charge between them.

They start with the data, free of emotion, and move through the process to the point where the person who has the charge, owns the charge.

They own that their charge is a reflection of themselves — some unmet need or past trauma.


Ed de Bono created a simple thinking process that prevents charges from coming up in the first place.

It’s called 6 Thinking Hats.

Each of the 6 hats makes space for different types of thinking.

Like a game, everyone puts on 6 hats and thinks in parallel:

6 thinking hats: white hat

🎩 White Hat 🎩

White hat is like a blank piece of paper. You use it to collect information, data, facts, rumours, and opinion.

6 thinking hats: red hat

🎩 Red Hat 🎩

Now that you have the information, each person can imbue it with emotion 👉 Feelings, hunches, and intuition.

6 thinking hats: black hat

🎩 Black Hat 🎩

The black hat is what many people default to (and overuse): criticism and judgment.

(Black for the judge’s robe)

Think risk assessment and caution.

6 thinking hats: yellow hat

🎩 Yellow Hat 🎩

With criticism out of the way, everyone can look for the upside: benefits and values.

It’s harder than the black hat. Pointing out what’s difficult is easy.

Finding values takes more effort.

6 thinking hats: green hat


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Brainstorming vs. Listening

In 2017, we launched Nimble Bar Co and decided to go galivanting across Canada with it.

We had no idea what we were doing or selling.

We thought we knew what people wanted.

We got together and ‘brainstormed’.

We figured…

  • Restaurants need videos! We’ll make ‘em cool videos…
  • People want fancy cocktails! We’ll go do parties and make ‘em cool drinks…
  • People want drink content! We’ll create weird videos of cocktails in the wilderness…
  • People want to see ‘behind the scenes’’! So I’ll do a jog every day and share what we’re up to (I still have PTSD from this)…

While that was all *a bit* true. None of it was true enough to build a business.

(+ the combination of all those ‘services’ was confusing AF)

And as Donald Miller says, “If you confuse, you lose.”

So how did we figure out what our market actually wanted?

Well we went through this epic 14-step market research proce—-

Just kidding.

We asked lol.

  • Folks wanted to know how we learned to bartend
  • They wanted to know how we got our first bartending job
  • They were looking for ways to learn to make drinks

In other words, they wanted to do what we had already done.

We were blind to that.

We figured, “What’s the big deal? We’re just bartenders.”

So we made a bartending school. Simple.

As for the cross-Canada trek? Let’s just say It was an expensive lesson that..

  1. The best ideas don’t come from your brain. They come
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Brick by Written Brick

Brick by written brick.

That’s how Seth Godin built this book.

Since January 15th, 2002, Seth has written one blog post every day.

He’s admitted that not every post is a homerun (and that’s okay).

His first post is what you’d expect to see in someone’s diary. He wrote about how boring his experience was at the mall.

But over 2 decades, he’s curated many of the posts and turned them into published books like this one.

Some are even bestsellers.

On my bookshelf, this book takes ‘center stage’ to remind me that daily writing can turn into a masterpiece.

And I assert that it’s in the very act of writing that ideas come to bear.

Most people think it’s already in their head. But it’s actually under the surface.

Words are like seeds you plant.

And as you write, ideas get nurtured, they grow, and finally bloom.

Once they’ve bloomed you can turn them into anything you want…

👉 A book…

👉 A movie…

👉 A speech…

👉 A podcast…

👉 A newsletter…

👉 A screenplay…

👉 A YouTube series…

👉 A little desktop daily calendar…

(You get the idea)

But the point is words have power. And most of us take that for granted.

GoodReads.com gets 120 million viewers every month. The average visit duration is over 4 minutes.

That is not normal.

People are hungry for insights, stories, tools, entertainment — all stem from words.

I’m beginning to collect some of my writing here on this blog.

And if you’d …

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Who’s On Your Bus?


Most founders / entrepreneurs think obsessively about where their company is going — the final destination — the exit strategy — the vivid vision, etc.

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins identifies *subtle* distinctions between companies that were able to go from just ‘good’ to ‘great’… and those that weren’t.

One difference that surprised me about ‘good to great’ companies is that — counter to what most do — they don’t start by worrying about where the bus is going… Or where it is right now… Or even what the bus is doing.

Before they worry about any of that stuff, they first get the right WHOs on the bus.

They know that with the right whos, they can go anywhere and do anything.…

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2021 Themes

🐢 Go slow to go fast: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

🎬 Intention to counter reactivity (the scourge of being ‘hyper-connected’)

🎨 Exercise creativity because I’ve noticed this is when I’m happiest.

🏗 Build assets that I own or can leverage…

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51.2 / 0.8

51.2% of results can come from 0.8% of the inputs / effort 🤯

(80/20 of 80/20 is 64/4.

80/20 of that is 51.2/0.8.

And so on.)

The discipline is figuring out what those inputs are. And only doing those.

(Something I’ve ALWAYS struggled with)

Here are a few rules I find help (straight from Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle):

  1. Specialize in a very small niche; develop a core skill
  2. Choose a niche that you enjoy, where you can excel and stand a chance of becoming an acknowledged leader
  3. Realize that knowledge is power
  4. Identify your market and your core customers and serve them best
  5. Identify where 20 percent of effort gives 80 percent of returns
  6. Learn from the best
  7. Become self-employed early in your career
  8. Employ as many net value creators as possible
  9. Use outside contractors for everything but your core skill
  10. Exploit capital leverage”
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Eat Your Customer’s Complexity

Complexity is the enemy of progress. And since most people are addicted to progress, the question is, “How do I eat my customer’s complexity?”

If people aren’t buying a product / service it’s because they don’t understand how it helps them survive / thrive — in the simplest way possible.

The more complicated, connected, advanced, etc the world becomes, the more value we place on products and solutions that are simple.…

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Slow Strategy. Fast Strategy.

When building a marketing strategy, I have one slow focus, and one fast focus.

Slow = Anything organic. SEO, cold outreach, email, organic Instagram growth, etc

Fast = Paid media. Advertising. Could be Facebook. Could be Google. Any online platform, really.

The ROI and results of ‘Slow Strategies’ take longer (but are usually far greater). They’re assets that have a compound effect.

The ROI and results of ‘Fast Strategies’ can be faster, but you’ll always need to feed the ‘vending machine’ for them to work.

(BTW, so long as the ‘vending machine’ is making more on the other end — whether in new learnings OR profit — than what’s being put in, that’s fine.)

💸 Money is the most renewable resource in the world.

⏳ Time is the least renewable resource.

Finally, the fast strategy and the slow strategy usually feed each other.

So it’s not one or the other. It’s one of each working together 🏋️‍♀️…

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How Course Creators Can Turn Every $1 Into $11 Using The Facebook Ads 3x3x3 Method

Today I’m going to show you a simple process to build a Facebook ad campaign for your course that can get 1-10 new students within 30 days, and point you in the direction you need to become profitable (aka ‘Ready-to-Scale’).

Here’s what it looks like:


This is the same process I used to generate 57 conversations that turned $188.10 in ad spend into $2,340 in sales in 1 month.

Most of the revenue was generated through direct invoicing. Here’s a more complete picture of the results of this campaign:

Total Ad SpendCost per Conversation# of CustomersCost per CustomerRevenue Generated (Front End)Revenue Generated (Back End)

Because this was a new workshop and funnel that I wanted to test, many of the sales happened simply through Facebook Messenger conversations like this:

In the end, this 3x3x3 Method campaign led to 19 x $47 workshop participants and 2 x $747 bar school students = $2,387 in 1 month.

(Plus this was local and in-person which is a harder sell than online courses because of time and location limitations)

Is this crazy revenue? No. But it’s a stark contrast to how many course creators step into the world of online advertising — at a huge loss.

It also proves that this particular funnel WORKS (weekly live workshops that teach a specific discipline with a pitch to sell our higher ticket course at the end of each session).

In other words, this campaign has …

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