When Does The College Football Season Start For 2022 Muhammad Ali, Gary Halbert & Me

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Muhammad Ali, Gary Halbert & Me

It was January 1971.

He watched me jump rope. He laughed and shouted, “Hey, white boy! What are you doing here?”

It floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee. He was the Greatest.

me? No floating. No sting. No one.

He was right. What was I doing there?

Oh yes. A frustrated college football player, I decided to be a boxer. So just before Christmas in 1970, I left the University of Oregon and headed to the mecca of boxing… Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach.

The door swung open at noon. Media, microphones. Howard Cosell, Burt Lancaster, Angelo Dundee. Cameras, high rollers, cigars. Plus a few dozen guys with bent noses and fat ears. The scene was surreal.

But I couldn’t help but notice an alarming lack of unreality inside the ring. Ali hit his sparring partner, training seriously for his first fight with Joe Frazier. I’m glad I could make him laugh. Gladder, but I wasn’t there with him.

Three months later, my knee blew out. I retired undefeated, undefeated. “The Greatest” never noticed.

Fast forward 19 years

1990 was my 13th year driving a county bus in Miami and Miami Beach. I’ve started and failed so many businesses, I’ve lost count. I couldn’t sell a single bit. Did one stupid thing after another. Married with 4 kids by then, I was costing us tens of thousands of dollars.

I studied sales letters during my breaks. I wrote a few dozen for other people, with little success.

I sent the samples to the Prince of Press, Gary Halbert, world champion direct mailer and copywriting genius. Could I work at his seminar by the sea in Key West that costs $7,000?

A few days later the phone rang. Halbert didn’t laugh. He didn’t call me “white boy”. He invited me to work for him in a seminar.

Rejected by Ali, but works with Halbert. IESSS!

Key West was bliss…for a day.

On Monday morning I met the other lyricists: John Carlton, Brad Antin, David Deutsch, Gene Dowdle, Loretta Duffy, Brad Peterson. All legends today.

I met some of the speakers: John Egger, Dan Kennedy, Ken Kerr, Phil Kratzer, Carl Galletti, Bill Myers, Ted Nicholas. More legends. I met Halbert. What could be more exciting?

On Monday, Halbert and others shared their genius. It was beautiful. On Tuesday came the main places.

Oops! Back to “white boy!”

Halbert invited the participant to the front with himself and 3 copywriters. The guest described his job. The panel asked questions. Then Halbert exclaimed words that shocked me into instant horror:

“COPYWRITERS! HEADLINES! HEADLINES! COVER, COPYWRITERS! COVER!”

Halbert wanted one title after another, pop pop pop pop pop pop. He wanted quality. He wanted quantity.

Over time (I mean weeks or months later), I realized the purpose: the more viewpoints and ideas, the better chance I have of finding lots of outstanding sales letter copy. Now I accept this as absolute truth, and you should too.

But not then. My routine? Sit down at my word processor with a cup of coffee, think casually, catch a good idea every now and then.

Other copywriters screamed from the headlines. I sucked my thumb.

Tuesday was awful. Wednesday and Thursday weren’t much better. By Friday I started gaining… but the week was over.

When I left, I swore I would never, ever, EVER embarrass myself like that again.

Back home. To the library. I got years of Readers Digest, Forbes, Cosmopolitan and other magazines on microfilm. I wrote down EVERY title … over 1500 of them.

The people who wrote these headlines make millions to get attention, to sell magazines. They are the best. So why not use that brain power? So I created a file with all the titles I pulled from my sources and titled that file Shortheads.

I have been using ShortHeads for over 15 years. It made me a lot of money. I used it to come up with (among others) the most recognizable headline in network marketing history: “Dead doctors don’t lie!”. Your headline is the most important part of any ad or article. If your headline doesn’t grab and hold attention, the rest of your writing is wasted. I strongly encourage you to put together your own “title file” to pull from every time you post a good title.

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