Opening Keynote with Jim Kukral

August 17, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Good morning my studious friends! It’s Day 3 of Affiliate Summit East.  That means by today you’re probably a little sluggish, a little tired and a little fried from information overload. Well, TOO BAD! We still have a whole other day at the show so grab some coffee and stay with us!  To kick things off we have a keynote conversation with Jim Kukral.   Got your coffee in hand?  Let’s go.

Oh boy, people are entering in capes. Like, rainbow colored capes that would get stuck on things and kill their superhero efforts. I mean, I’m just saying. Jim says the superheros are his fault.  He sent out an email to his affiliate super friends last week telling them about the keynote and they all showed up  in capes and masks.  Wow. He has way funnier friends than I do. My friends would never dress up in capes for me.  Now I’m sad.Jim says he’s here to challenge us because he doesn’t think people have done that to us on stage.

Live vs Work

Several years ago he was at his desk having a regular conversation on a regular day and something happened. He got dizzy and he felt the blood rush to his head.  His heart began to beat out of his chest and he thought he was going to die.   He feared he would die alone in his office and his wife would find him dead on his keyboard.   He went to Google and searched for his symptoms (READERS, DON’T DO THIS! GO TO A DOCTOR!) – everything said he was having a heart attack. He went to a doctor (AFTER HE GOOGLED!) and the doctor told him the problem wasn’t physical, it was mental.  He didn’t have a heart attack, he had a panic attack.

At that moment he realized he wanted to build a business around a lifestyle instead of the other way around.  He wasn’t happy building a life around his business.  His clients were, but it was killing him. He needed to change the way that he was doing things.

To help us do the same thing, he asks a few questions:

  • What’s the number in your head for how much money you need to make  a month to live?  Everyone has their number.
  • How many hours do you want to work?  You don’t have to work 40 hours a week. You’re building a business around a lifestyle. What do you want to do with your life? You can build a business and work two hours a week if that’s what you want to do.

Once you have that in your head you can work backwards to build that business to get there.  What is that business going to be? Regular jobs are fine. But they take a lot of time and sometimes you don’t get what you want.

Jim talks about Aaron Wall.  Aaron had an eBook.  At one point his wife asked why he was selling an eBook when they could make it a recurring thing and make a lot more money from it?  So that’s what they did. [Wives are smart]

A lot of people don’t value what they’re really good at or what they’re passionate about.  They think “nobody cares” what they know or that no one wants the information. You’re dead wrong. Everyone knows a lot about something.  But you’re not taking that information and putting it online in a way that lets you make real money.  Blogs are very hard to monetize.  Most people can’t just sit around in their house and blog.  Putting out free information is great…but you can’t live a lifestyle on free.

Is your ego holding you back from making money? The annoying question mark guy is making money. He doesn’t care what people think about him. Are you in business to make money or are you in business to care what people think about you? The question mark guy has made a 25 year career around a lifestyle.  He loves being that guy. He’s a wacky guy and people look at him al the time.


He talks about the 5 Hour Energy Drink.  4.6 million bottles are sold every week.  It makes up 80 percent of a $700 million market.  You can’t do that unless you know what you’re doing. There had to be some real decisions when creating and doing the marketing on this product for it to be so successful.

  • Lesson 1: Say what you do – 5 Hour Energy tells customers immediately what it does. We live in an instant society. It’s no longer okay to not let people know what you do instantly.  If you’re not saying what you do, people are ready to move on.
  • Lesson 2: Solve problems –  If you’re not solving problems for your customers why are they going to give you money? Why would they sign up for your email list?
  • Lesson 3: Know your customers – It’s not 1 Hour Energy, it’s not 3 Hour Energy, it’s 5 Hours. When they created that product, someone decided on the right amount of hours that someone would need. No one would have believed 12 Hour Energy and they wouldn’t have wanted 1 hour of energy. Anticipate what your customers will want from you.
  • Lesson 4: Be the alternative – They are the alternative to coffee.  There’s always someone looking for the other side of the equation.
  • Lesson 5: Make it easy – If you don’t make it easy for people to buy from you, they’re not going to buy from you. Yesterday Frank Luntz said that people under 30 have no problem paying for something as long as they can get it right now. That’s where we’re going with the world. People don’t have time to deal with your fancy PayPal button on your Web site.   Consumers don’t really know PayPal and they don’t trust it. If you’re trying to make the most money you can selling your products, you have to get away from that PayPal thing. SMB owners will never pay you through PayPal. They want a real credit card transaction.

Doers get what they want and everyone else gets what they get. [I’m going to go home and paint that on my wall.] If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to get up and do something. You have to make something happen The problem with this is there are a lot of things that stop us from doing that.

The conception of an idea:

Having it + Taking a shot + Making it happen = Success or failure

Most of us just conceive the idea and never take the shot. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the ability to go out and do something. You have to take that crazy idea, take a shot and make it happen. Every great entrepreneurial idea starts with the conception of an idea, making it happen and having a success or a failure.


There are days he wants to pull his kids out of school because he doesn’t want them to be taught to NOT think creatively. He’s scared that the teachers are telling them that ideas are bad. That kids should do the same thing that everyone else has done. That’s not what he wants them to do.   You have to forget what you’ve been taught.

Here are some ways to generate ideas:

  • Get in the mindset
  • Carry a notebook
  • Forget everything you’ve pre-learned
  • Combine ideas
  • Listen
  • Do the opposite
  • Make a list
  • Free your mind!

If you’re not creating an emotion in someone, it’s really hard to get people to give you their money. You want to get a reaction from people with creative ideas. He talks about Jones Soda.  They make great soda but they’re competing with Coke and Pepsi. To stand out, they decided to make a soda that tastes like turkey and gravy. [As he said that, someone in the audience yelled, “EW!” – there’s your reaction.]

Have you asked your customers why they buy from you? De Beers doesn’t sell diamonds – they sell forever. Nike doesn’t sell shoes — they sell winning.

If you want to be remarkable, you need to do something remarkable. [He’s going to get all Tony Robbins on us now.]  Never show effort or how hard it is. Start hanging out with successful people. He tells the audience to hang out with the people wearing capes. You’re not going to fall into success.  You have to make an effort and do stuff. The good thing is that most of the tools to do it today are free.  You  have to go out there and take it a step further.

And that’s it. Wow, great stuff from Jim!

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