Invert, always invert

I was meditating on the quote from Charles Munger, “Invert, always invert!” I did some research to find the origins of this quote, and found some fascinating info. Here are other people’s research results, I am just reposting them

The German mathematician Carl Jacobi made a number of important contributions to different scientific fields during his career. In particular, he was known for his ability to solve hard problems by following a strategy of man muss immer umkehren or, loosely translated, “invert, always invert.” 

Jacobi believed that one of the best ways to clarify your thinking was to restate math problems in inverse form. He would write down the opposite of the problem he was trying to solve and found that the solution often came to him more easily. Read more @

One of the biggest musical shifts in the last several decades came from Nirvana, a band that legitimized a whole new genre of music—alternative rock—and whose Nevermind album is memorialized in the Library of Congress as one of the most “culturally, historically or aesthetically important” sound recordings of the 20th century. 

Nirvana turned the conventions of mainstream rock and pop music completely upside down. Where hair metal bands like Poison and Def Leppard spent millions to produce and promote each record, Nirvana recorded Nevermind for $65,000. Where hair metal was flashy, Nirvana was stripped-down and raw.

This strategy works equally well for other creative pursuits like writing. Many great headlines and titles use the power of inversion to up-end common assumptions. As a personal example, two of my more popular articles, “Forget About Setting Goals” and “Motivation is Overvalued”, take common notions and turn them on their head.


This article on inversion is so great, I want to make a speech about it at my Toastmasters club

Reposting: 45 creative real estate marketing ideas (from FitSmallBusiness)

This is a truly outstanding list of marketing ideas that could apply to almost any business, although in this case these are ideas for marketing a listing of a property

Stolen from

Market Yourself Using Zillow

This is the most obvious one, obviosuly

Offer Home Valuations to Capture Seller Leads

This is a good one. Many people want to know what their property is worth, and you are offering this service to them for free, and you make it automated, so it won’t suck you into time-consuming projects. So a win-win.

Create Subdivision Website Pages

I am not sure about this one, looks like alot of work, especially if you have to market several subdivisions

Write a Killer Real Estate Newsletter

This one is also alot of work, and only a tiny section of your mailing list will see it, so I am not 100% sure ROI will be as good as on some other initiatives

Employ Google AdWords

This one is another one that I am not sure how it really pays off. So many other people are using the same adwords. I never found adwords to be all that useful in my previous marketing attempts.

Master Your Elevator Pitch

This one seems to be pretty obvious. A 30-sec value statement should be the must on the landing page at the minimum

Host Local Neighborhood Tours

I am not sure about this one, sounds like alot of trouble, and alot of the tour (like traffic congestion, weird things happening, etc) are outside of your control during the tour. But it might be worth trying a time or two.

Livestream Your Agency’s Day to Day

Kind of like a reality show. I am not sure who would have the time to watch an agency day-to-day, most people who are working probably have better things to watch. But it might be worth a month try.

Use Decor to Set Your Listing Apart

The decor has a funky item that is easy to remember even after many houses have been visited. Serves as a memory tool for the buyers.

Optimize Your Facebook Page

Ok, sure. It is almost like saying “Optimize your web page.” Good idea that most people would probably ruin with a bad execution

Use SEO to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Ok, another bland idea, but a good reminder about the basics

Highlight Homes With Professional Photography

People think in pictures, and feel in pictures, and dream in pictures. So yeah, this one should be the basics, I think.

Send Postcards That Are ‘Fridge-worthy’

This is an excellent suggestion about the types of topics to cover in your mass mailing. Make the ad of the company a tiny thing at the bottom, but a big important thing in the body. Do it regularly enough, and they will start looking forward to those postcards, I think

Use Instagram Stories

That is a topic of a whole different discussion, but sure, let’s not forget to get to strategize on this.

Choose Words That Sell

Yes, emotions eat logic for breakfast. Get emotional juices flowing, but how? Another interesting topics of research.

Use Strategic PR to Stay Relevant & Build Authority

They suggest using Help a Reporter Out (RARO) web site. I would need to see a more detailed strategy for that one, as it might be time-consuming and has too wide of an audience

Become a Lifetime Learner

Duh. But it is a good reminder to check out new classes from your local RE associations

Showcase Your Charitable Side

A good idea, I thought about the ways to do it myself, but I think it is such a long-term project that a good base of other cash-generating ideas is needed to execute that one consistently year in and year out. People forget quickly.

Create a Blog That Answers Client Questions

All blogs are pretty time consuming, and are lost in the noise quickly unless they provide serious valie. So, this might be a good add-on, but not the main vehicle.

Elevate Your Listing Photos With

Seems more like a plug-in for a vendor than a real suggestion, but sure. The more images and the different-er and richer the images, the better. I have a feeling there are a ton of other sites that can help with the virtual staging process.

Stand Out With Handwritten Notes

Sure, if your buyers can read your handwriting.

Learn the Best Ways to Engage on Social Media

How is this not a repetition of like 5 previous suggestions? C’mon, FitSmallBusiness! Stop feeding us gruel.

Grow Your Network With Regular Events

Again, good old basics (happy hours), but probably could be worth refreshing on. Do them only if you have a budget and the attendees are pre-qualified. Otherwise – networking not necessarily converts to sales.

Create a Client Testimonial Packet

Probably a good suggestion, with some work, one-time effort can pay off

Make a Personal Connection With Video Emails

I would give it a shot just to see what the engagement is really like, but I would not hold high hopes for that one. How many videos of yours will they want to see? Everyone is busy.

Think Outside the Box

Oh, I LOOOOOOVE this one. Just check it out:

real estate marketing - Tips from the pros

Bring the Open House to Clients

A good idea, if your clients are tech-savvy enough to utilize this technique to the fullest, or to know what an iPad is. I would think of a different prize if I was the realtor. Something all ages and OS-fans could find attractive.

Harness the Power of Cold Calling

Really? Really? This is the ground-breaking thought of the day?

Create Viral Infographics to Share on Social Media

Goes hand-n-hand with the “fridge worthy” suggestion. But – lots of work and research and paying someone for design, for a subliminal message that may or may not hit the target when they ARE ready to buy or sell. This is not an immediate conversion type of idea, so do it only if you have the time and budget to make long term moves like that.

Maximize Lead Generation With Landing Pages

Uh, ok. Sure. If you have a web site at all, I recommend just a good web designer. Let him or her tell you more good tips like that.

Use Retargeting Campaigns to Drive Traffic Back to Your Site

Seems like a full-time web designer will be needed, unless you want to spend your time generating web pages and tracking moves.

Choose the Right Farm Area

I am not 100% sure I understood this advice at all, so I am not going to comment.

Utilize Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

Ok, ok. Can we just make a separate post for all social media strategies and keep everything together in THAT post?

Learn How to Market to Millennials

Good idea, I am sure there is a lot of literature on that online

Start a Direct-to-Door Marketing Campaign With Door Hangers

I would give that one a shot for a quarter or two to see if this leads to real results

Learn Facebook Messenger Marketing

Grrr. More ways to stock poor prospects everywhere they go. A good way to become annoying I think

Invest in Your Community to Generate Strong, Top-of-Mind Referrals

Community events, charity events – I already commented on this. Those are a long term strategy. People forget so quickly. I would go for more immediate and direct approaches first.

Make a Viral Real Estate Video

Making ANYTHING viral is an art and a science in its own. I would not count on any one of your videos becoming truly viral. Plus, viral videos are by definition not targeted. It might be viral, but is it seen by people in my geographics are who are currently looking for THAT type of house?

Set Up Local Community Pages

I would need to see that executed in practice to buy that this is a good investment of time, but ok, anything could be good to try out

Craft a Personalized Message for Your Buyers

Sure, why not. This is more of a small technique rather than a strategy, and hopefully not the only technique in his toolbelt.

Create a New & Eye-catching Logo

I think a logo won’t do much difference if you have no TRAFFIC to your side. Logo is not going to make or break the sale. It might be just a tiny, tiny, tiny grain than tips the scales in your favor.

Create a Video Series to Share With Leads

That is actually a good one, provided that your audience is tech savvy to view them. But it is a time consuming and not targeted, much like the viral video suggestion

Optimize Your Listing Photos

I thought it was already covered by like, 5 other suggestions?

Make Your Website Your Storefront

Jesus Christ, is this the Ground Hog Day? I thought we have been through this already? Get yourself a web designer who knows what to do for modern viewership

Leverage Influencer & Community Marketing

This is actually another good one. Just a few quotes

…..reach out to local bloggers and Instagram influencers — whose followership matches your target buyer — and have them create related content and share it with their followers. 

Also, you can partner with a business in the community to host an event at [a property you’re selling] to gain publicity and get foot traffic. For example, if the space is great for showcasing art, you can partner with a local gallery to host a “gallery night” in the property and invite anyone you can to the property.

Obviously, this is something that requires a ton of planning and collaborations, so it will come with its own costs. But worth a try.

David Ogilvy – philosophy and quotes

David Ogilvy Quotes

I got interested in learning more about David Ogilvy. I found this article to be pretty informative:

"Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating."
David Ogilvy

They summarize Ogilvyan method in 7 commandments

Commandment #1: Your role is to sell, don’t let anything distract you from the sole purpose of advertising.

Commandment #2: Clearly define your positioning: What and for Who?

“I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands, but chose instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry skin. This is still working 25 years later.”

Commandment #3: Do your homework. Study your consumer in detail.

“Advertisers who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore the signs of the enemy.“

Commandment #4: Think of the consumer as a woman, she wants all the information you can give her.

Commandment #5: Talk to them in the language they use every day, the language in which they think.

Commandment #6: Write great headlines and you’ll have successfully invested 80% of your money.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

“Never use tricky or irrelevant headlines… People read too fast to figure out what you are trying to say.”

Commandment #7: Highlight the product by making it the hero.

“I never assign a product to a writer unless I know that he is personally interested in it. Every time I have written a bad campaign, it has been because the product did not interest me.”

Example: Apple’s positioning strategy focuses primarily on emotions and the consumer’s lifestyle, their imagination, passion, dreams, hopes, aspirations, and they promise to make people’s lives easier. When you buy an Apple product, you immediately become part of a generation that believes that the rebels can change the world and have got to fight for what they think.

My own addition to the commandments

Commandment #8: Start with THE BIG IDEA

“It takes a big idea to attract the attention of the consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea”

Quotes by David Ogily:

What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.

Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.

The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.

Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.

Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won’t think you’re going gaga.

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information

When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.

Books by David Ogilvy:

Ogilvy on Advertising

Confessions of an Advertising Man

Brainstorning on how to brainstorm better

Brainstorming by yourself, with no one else’s input

I plan to spend the next 30 days creating one new idea to bring in business per day. Hopefully, at the end of 30 days, I might have one worthwhile idea that will prove practical.

But after coming up with a couple of pretty “low-hanging-fruit” type of ideas, I feel stuck. So, how do I brainstorm for the next 28 days? As usual, YouTube is my first stop (I am very visual).

This is from YT channel Vertical Measures. His suggestions:

  • Mind mapping (relate terms to ideas, correlate ideas to one another)
  • Right-braining with incomplete pictures of related concepts that you are thinking about. Each new concept is incomplete in some way. Incompleteness of the picture will bring out ideas on how to complete them. The take different images and start combining them in several different ways to see if any new original idea might come up
  • Provocative action – do provocative things, change your physical surroundings, like turn the furniture in your office upside down and write upside down
  • Break and build – break down an idea into smaller pieces of info, or, on the opposite, build it up to reach a broader viewpoint; solution usually appears while in this thought process;
  • Pessimist v optimist discussion – have the pessimist bring up problems and the optimist suggest solutions. this helps to bring ideas into focus;
  • Randomness – come us with a random word and describe the object in detail; see if any of the words in the description fit into the general idea
Rumi: Look for the answer inside of your question

Promoting an event on various S-Media platforms

I volunteer as a social media director for a non-profit organization in Dallas called North Texas Information Systems Security Association ( We have an event coming up, and I was asked to start promoting our event on several social media accounts. The event is exactly 1 month away.

My objective is to increase engagement (comments, likes), increase the sign-ups for the event , and increase the number of overall followers on all social media accounts.

I will have several experiments running simultaneously, and it would be a good way to see which experiment provided the best results. I will post the results here at the end of the experiment. 

Gary Vaynerchuk and VaynerMedia

I am adding a name to my reading list:  Gary (Gennadiy) 
Vaynerchuk. I spend all my cooking time listening to different YouTube videos on growing a small business, and one of the videos featured Gary talking about approaches to marketing.

I liked this very straight-up personality. Putting his books on my reading list:

Gary’s bibliography (thank you, Wiki)

  • Getting It: Your Social Media Guide: Learn how to build your personal brand (2018) ISBN 1980592292
  • Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too (2018) ISBN 0062674692
  • #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness Hardcover (2016) ISBN 0062273124
  • Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook (2013) ISBN 1594868824
  • The Thank You Economy (2011) ISBN 0061914185
  • Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (2009) ISBN 0061914177