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Episode 046 - Monster Creativity

Published by: David Garfinkel on 03-04-2018

Story about recent critique client: a couple good ideas; 20.

Mandy’s question about my creativity, from her podcast interview:

Question 2: One other thing I noticed about reading your testimonials… your clients are impressed with how fast you come up with great ideas.

He also has this ridiculous talent for coming up with copy, like, effortlessly. It would take me at least 30 minutes to come up with what he comes up with in 30 seconds.

—Fran Rengel, CEO, Enrich Marketing, Inc., Austin, TX

After WEEKS of struggling to find the perfect lead for a promotion I was working on, David nailed it in only 37 seconds flat. Doberman Dan

Where did it come from?

I actually eat my own cooking.

Today I’ll share some of the recipes with you.

Before we get started on Monster Creativity, a reminder:

Copy is powerful. You’re responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims… and/or if you’re writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity… you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.

Monster Creativity

- What it is: the ability to generate consistently good ideas – and a lot of them.

- Where does it come from?

- Research and stored knowledge

- Experience: successful and unsuccessful, and reflection to be able to quickly spot what’s good and what sucks

- Flexibility and release of fear of looking stupid

- How do you develop it yourself – that’s what we’ll cover

John Cleese’s breakthrough observation

- It’s a skill

- Skill beats talent in the long run – and it’s much more reliable in the marketplace

- What are the skills and how do they fit together?

Resilience beats Perfection, every time

- What I learned from Richard Armstrong

- What resilience is, and why it’s so important

- Deliberate practice and mental representations (created by smart repetition)

- How resilience and smart repetition LEADS to perfection

Where Math Fits In

How many combinations of six elements can you make, where you use all six?

The answer comes from a branch of mathematics called combinatorics and is used in algebra, calculus and mathematical analysis.

It’s really a simple thing. It’s called “factorial”

Six factorial is: 6 times 5 times 4 times 3 times 2 times one.

Six factorial is 720. 720 different combinations.

And all you need is five or 10 good combinations for monster creativity.

The Power of Negative Thinking

Sometimes you need to do something conceptually similar to what’s called “an acid test” in accounting – that is, if all hell broke loose, how long would this business last?

With ideas, the question is different: In what situations would this claim NOT be true?

You want to then either toss or fix the idea so it’s true enough of the time to make it valid.


Recipe #1: Read widely, talk to people, take notes, learn to mindmap, put ideas or segments of ideas down on paper

Recipe #2: Let resilience overcome your perfectionism. Develop mental models of what successful practical creativity looks like.

Recipe #3: Respect the mathematical concept of factorials. Make more combinations of ideas than you need. Then sift through them to find the best ones. Then, acid-test them to see how strong your finalist ideas actually are.

Keywords: creative copywriting

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