THIS is what happens when we blindly believe others’ stories

“You get an EASY extra 8-figures this year if we do this well. Just tell me what your damn budget is….”

….is what I was THINKING…

but one doesn’t talk like that to the representative of a national *household brand* while negotiating a new partnership…


This fellow was being difficult.

I’d asked about his company’s budget FIVE times in five ways on two calls.

His vague answers included:

1️) “We’re sending HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in traffic to this one page every month and we barely notice it coming out of our budget. Does that give you a sense of how you don’t have to worry about budget with us?”

2) “Look. We just bought a little tool that cost us $1.5M. And we didn’t blink. That should tell you what ballpark we play in.”

3) “Let me put it this way. We needed a copywriter. We found the 7 best copywriters in the world. THEN WE WENT AND HIRED THE PERSON WHO TRAINED THEM. Added a few zeros to our bill, but we were cool with that.”️

4) “Erin, we don’t make decisions based on price. We’re looking for quality. We’re not even reigned in by a set budget here. We will do whatever we need to do.”

5️) “Look, you don’t have to worry about budget. We spare NO EXPENSES. EVER. And if this project is done right it’ll make us MANY MANY MANY millions of dollars.”


Holy shit.

Sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime, yeah?

That’s what I thought, too.

My team spent DAYS diving into diagnostics, determining needs, creating a plan, coordinating with the company.

And then….

Two weeks later this SAME fellow is on the phone telling me we wouldn’t be working together because they found a solo guy to do the entire project for a steal (think high 4-figures).

So… thanks for all the fish, and bye.


The people you listen to tell stories all day.

Stories are an expert form of marketing.

People tell stories that position them in the way they want to be seen.

And those stories massage truths into a picture they believe will serve them.


Here’s what to do with this to get more out of your life:

Go ahead and allow stories to fascinate you (just as I got caught up in this guy’s ongoing stories…..)

BUT: base your decisions and take action on FACTS and data you collect to VERIFY the stories you’re told.

Buying/taking action without validation is a distilled form of laziness.


Not following this advice leads to disappointment after purchases, failed engagements, choosing the wrong partners/mentors/team members, botched expectations, heaps of wasted time, and falling short of your goals.

I see it daily.

And I experience it every time I forget the lesson.

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