Ecommerce Tech-"What I Learned From my Good Friend and Colleague, Corey Rudl- Genius Internet Marketer- Inspirational Leader- and Mentor to Thousands"
By Derek Gehl
Since the announcement of Corey's tragic car-racing accident, our office has received over 16,000 e-mails of support and condolence... and easily over 1,000 phone calls.
The entire Team has been working overtime, responding to every e-mail and phone message, one at a time, so we don't miss any of your questions or comments. In fact, I've had to throw some of the gang out of the office late at night and send them home... We've all found it hard to stop reading your e-mails.
"Thanks" doesn't seem an adequate response to the overwhelming support and caring you've shown us. (It's been rather humbling, really...) So I hope you don't mind, but I've decided to write this article -- and dedicate it to my good friend and mentor...
You see, over the last couple of weeks, a question that keeps appearing in e-mails from everyone is, "How can I be like Corey?"..."How can I think like Corey?" It seems many of you are interested in learning MORE than his secrets to Internet marketing -- you want to learn how to be "like" him.
So I'm going to give you a bit of insight into Corey's philosophies for business, success, and life.
These are a collection of the five ecommerce tech lessons I learned from Corey over the last eight years, some of which he loudly expressed to me (Corey talked loud and fast when he got excited)... and some he quietly but effectively shared through living example.
Ecommerce Tech Lesson #1:
In Corey's mind, there were only two ways you could "fail." You could give up and quit. Or you could decide not to learn from your mistakes. Corey believed failure was a choice. So Corey never failed.
Failure Doesn't "Happen; It's a Choice.
He tested new ideas. He learned from what worked, and what didn't. Then he applied those lessons to his next test or idea, and he kept doing this until he got results he was satisfied with.
Sure Corey made mistakes... Yeesh, I still cringe when I think of a $90,000 mistake we made two years ago. And sure, Corey would get really ticked off when stuff went wrong. But Corey was also always the first person to seek out the positive in every bad situation and say:
"Well, what did we learn from this?" ... And, more important, "Will we do it again?"
Corey firmly believed every costly lesson was going to result in exponentially greater success in the long term. And he was right.
Ecommerce Tech Lesson #2:
Corey had zero respect for people who were content to assume. To him, it was a mark of laziness. So something everyone quickly learned when working with him was to deal in nothing but the facts.
Assume Nothing, Test Everything.
If Corey asked a question, and you didn't know the answer, it was one thousand times better to say, "I'll look into it and get back to you," than "I think this might be the answer,"or "I assume this is right."
Theories, assumptions, and guesses were the enemies of success as far as Corey was concerned. He believed you should either go straight to the source for the answers (even if that means paying thousands of dollars in consulting fees) or test it yourself.
And as Corey taught me, sometimes you even need to test the "facts."
- A marketing strategy that you tested and proved to work as little as
a month ago may be a complete dud today. (Retesting is ALWAYS worth
The customer demographics you collected through a survey last year may
have drastically changed. (Are they buying your products for DIFFERENT
- And some of the most interesting statistics may be based on flawed data. (Always read the "fine print," and if there isn't any, ask for it!)
Before you make ecommerce tech decisions, ask questions. Assume nothing. Test everything. And don't be afraid of offending someone- even an "expert"- by questioning their logic. The true experts will applaud you for this. And your questions will expose the imposters for who they really are- wannabes.
Ecommerce Tech Lesson #3:
It would be difficult to calculate exactly how much Corey spent on educational materials each year... but I've done the math and know it was roughly in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Make Opportunities To Learn, And Take Notes.
Corey was constantly reading... On airplanes, on holidays, in between meetings -- he was absolutely relentless. He would read every business book, article, course, and marketing campaign he could get his hands on.
And Corey didn't just read material related to Internet marketing; he made a point of studying OTHER industries, too- both online AND offline. He was always looking for new strategies and marketing ideas that he could pluck from other industries and apply to his businesses.
It was all this reading that would frequently spark his "genius" ideas...
But I think the key to this secret is that Corey made TONS of notes about everything he read and kept all his thoughts in a couple of "master project documents" that he'd refer back to every month, looking for new ideas (they were literally hundreds of pages long).
That way, even if an idea didn't work today, he had record of it so he could refer back to it sometime in the future.
Corey knew that "genius" doesn't just happen- you need to look for opportunities to learn, and keep track of your thoughts. Your best ideas will frequently be sparked by new information, or new approaches to old information.
Ecommerce Tech Lesson #4:
Corey firmly believed that if you want to fast-track your success, it's critical to learn from those who have gone before you... even if you just have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
Seek Out Great Teachers, And Be a Great Listener
So Corey made a point of seeking out teachers and mentors, and asking for their advice whenever he had the opportunity- even if that meant paying hefty consulting fees for their guidance.
As far as Corey was concerned, you should always learn from the best. Find people who are getting the ecommerce tech results YOU want to achieve, and ask them to mentor you.
And Corey was never afraid to ask "great people" for advice... He was never concerned about looking dumb. And he never needed to be the smartest guy in the room. Corey was always focused on learning. So he was a student of everything... and almost everyone.
Corey was always asking people around him for feedback... What mistakes was he making? How could he improve as a leader? As a marketer?
How could he be a better public speaker?
It takes guts to ask the people around you for feedback. But it takes wisdom to openly listen and learn from it.
Ecommerce Tech Lesson #5:
Corey's biggest frustration was that so many of his clients and subscribers just let life "happen" to them. I can't tell you how many times I heard him rant over the years, "They have dreams... but they don't set GOALS! Why don't they set goals and take action???"
Define Your Own Success And Live With Passion.
One of the most inspirational things about being around Corey was his belief that absolutely anyone can be successful.
You just had to meet Corey once to know he wasn't just spouting the "anybody can start a profitable ecommerce tech business" line because it sounded good. His enthusiasm... his actions... every word he spoke demonstrated his core belief that absolutely anyone can be successful.
You can learn anything... be anything... do anything.
If you decide that your age, background, and education limit your potential, they will. But if you decide that you can do anything, you will...
Corey really believed that you just need to set goals that you're excited about, and then take persistent action.
It's absolutely shocking what ONE step a day- just 10 minutes a day- one hour a day- can accomplish over one month- three months- six months. Just imagine where YOU would be in six months if you dedicated even 20 minutes a day to working on your ecommerce tech business- learning new strategies- or building a "swipe file" of marketing ideas!
Success isn't determined by genetics. It's about persistent, consistent action.
And Corey really got that.
Final Thoughts about Ecommerce Tech:
Honestly, I could write a book about what it was like teaming up with Corey for the last eight years- and perhaps one day I will. It was one helluva ride!
Today, though, I wanted to give you at least SOME insight into Corey's personal philosophies for business success because I'm hoping they will inspire you to:
- Choose success.
- Test something new today.
- Make opportunities to learn.
- Seek out great teachers.
- Define your goals, and take action to reach them.
These are the philosophies that Corey inspired the entire Team to run his company with... and these are the philosophies that we are continuing to move forward with.
Corey's legacy wasn't just cutting-edge marketing strategies or industry leading software- it was the inspiration he shared with thousands of "real people." And that's the legacy I personally plan to continue.
We're going to be releasing a mind-blowing interview recorded between genius offline direct marketer Dan Kennedy and Corey...
I wish you success.