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You wouldn’t think a finance magazine would have me on pins and needles… but that’s exactly what they did. This week’s video is about the clever little trick they used that instantly made me a big fan (and how you can use it in your own business).

The big takeaways:

  • How to craft a message that resonates with your tribe and creates raving fans
  • Why people not liking your content can be a GOOD thing

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83 Replies to “Runnin’ Down a Dream”

  1. Ivana Hodak


    I used to read a lot of magazines and some informations were useful but a lot them were also a waste of time.Now I read good books instead.

    • Rhiannon Skye Walker


      The same with movies. Mostly all CGI rubbish. I prefer to watch a movie with a decent story. If a movie is made of a book I would rather read the book.

  2. Wow. Jeff, I bought your PLF product about 2 months ago, and haven’t started yet because I’ve had to put my attention on other priorities. This video is a reminder of why I purchased your program. I’ve been in sales for about 20 years, and I do realize people are often evaluating a product even after they’ve purchased it, validating the purchase they made. Your authenticity and sincerity continues to shine through. I can’t tell you how important it is to me to deal with people who are honest with their customers and clients. I am the same way, and perhaps this is why your style resonates with me. Thank you again, and please keep posting things like this. Messages like this help me realize that I made the right decision when I invested in both myself and you.

    • Vanessa Haycock


      HI Tammy! I read your message to Jeff and it resonated with me because i felt the same way and i am still at module 1 – life happened as soon as i purchased PLF and only now am i picking it up again. Thanks for YOUR comment! Its good to know there are a few of us “slacking” ( or doing it at our own pace due to other priorities!)
      Good luck out there

      • Hi Tammy and Vanessa,
        I’m so glad to see I’m not alone with the pace I’m going The the program at.
        I was disheartened, thinking I had fallen so behind everyone. So thanks for your postings.

        • Also, thanks Jeff. Your story and insight is great.
          The best part of your story to me, however, is the completely serendipitous way it happened. Very cool!!!

  3. I LOVE Economist mag….but haven’t bought it in awhile. . That is very cool what they did for Tom Petty as a memoriam. I didn’t know his music – or not that I have on my radar – but I can understand your feelings, Jeff. Tonight, I am sidetracked in thoughts and memories of my distant cousin, singer rocker David Cassidy, who is in a Florida hospital with organ failure. I’m fighting back tears even typing this…and I always loved his bubblegum music, the music he disliked singing and playing but became so known for. I love what Economist did, and it would / will be so easy for me to do the same for David. I know most of his songs by heart. (like: “Why has the music stopped? Where did all the happy people go? I know they were there, songs everywhere, only a moment ago…”) It may have been written in the 1970s but it seems so fitting today.

    Thank you for sharing… ( “thumbs up” on t-shirts! I’m into Disney-esque bright colors and not a fan of suits. )

  4. Allen D’Angelo


    Like you, I’ve always found the Economist Magazine to be quite heady. But every now and then I find an article I just love, or something in it that catches my attention. Reminds me of the Dan Kennedy dual relationship path that leads the reader though the message if they only read the subheadlines throughout a letter or article. The Economist’s got something here. We both know it. We don’t talk too much about it.

  5. That’s brilliant! I’m not sure I would have noticed that. I love that you are “real” and share your personality – you inspire me.

  6. Jeff thanks for the video and sharing your thoughts . Your brand is very strong because you are authentic – i Think too if we are authentic some people will Love that and some won’t but it means you naturally select people to work with who you are likely to work well with. I also know that your customer service team are second to none. Great values – well done

    I’m building an online business just now and very much hope it will be authentic to my values too- I am sure it Wilk as that is how I like to work too and how I run my current business.

  7. This is so funny!! I started watching and tried to guess what was written on your Tshirt that could have been so bad, like a political slogan or something? hahaha. Reminds me of my friend who changed her mac hard drive name to, “REALLY hard drive.” Hilarious interpretation.

    so I just took this advice and edited my next group email to put in more stories from my own life and my own point of view, to make it more personal. Thanks Jeff!

  8. I focus on being authentic in my blog posts and videos. It is easy to be yourself and hopefully people are able to see that and connect with what I have to say and share. 🙂

  9. Cate O'Rorke


    You are the best example of your message! Charming!! Apart from the fact that you know your stuff!! : )

  10. This is awesome! What a clever and very cool idea, thanks for sharing! Recently, while I was writing a marketing email for a client, I had a popular song stuck in my head… So, I incorporated a few of the lyrics into the email copy… and the client loved it! I don’t know if they caught on to what my inspiration was, but it went over very well!

  11. I knew Tom Petty back in Gainesville FL long ago. What a talent! We were all so stunned to see his meteoric rise to the very top of rock music, and so excited for them all.
    Thanks for this video.

    • @Chuck: that’s awesome… after I shot the video I got to thinking – I actually first saw Tom play in the summer on 1980.

  12. Hi Jeff,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this video. I used to be an avid reader of the Economist magazine (I had to cancel my subscription for financial reasons some years back), and their writers are stellar! You’ll probably find as you continue to receive issues from them that they are really good at being relevant. This is just one way that they manage to separate themselves from a lot of the mindless chatter that’s out there, and still remind us that they, too, share this planet with “normal folk” — and not just dry, finance types.
    So, I have no idea how I ended up subscribing to your emails, but your header that led me to this blog post tickled my curiosity somehow. Maybe I was more of a Tom Petty fan than I thought… I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more of their interesting headlines.
    Thanks again for sharing!

  13. Good advice in a couple of ways
    Showing our personalities can be scary. What if they don’t like me?!! Aren’t I supposed to be super- professional? But it’s worth the risk. Thanks

    And you’re recording in your kitchen. We don’t need to make the tech scary, any more than our personalities. I’m going to do a video in my dining room. Now


  14. Think you’re not doing the Economist justice when you say it is just a dry magazine about finance. It is great if you want to keep up with what is going on in the world (and only dry visually), has a global readership and a growing paid circulation! Think most people only read 4 or 5 articles and alone for that it is well worth it. I subscribe to the economist (and love Tom Petty) but had missed these stealth messages.
    Thanks for sharing…Love watching your posts…
    Stefan (a rebel without a clue?)

  15. I feel a whole lot better knowing there are people in this world who have a mind with a heart of it’s own. I am depending on you to teach others when it is time to move on. If I can summarize your message in this video in one sentence, it would be: “If you don’t like me or what I am offering, don’t come around here no more”. I feel a whole lot better knowing you are not just a face in the crowd. By the way, I thought I saw a honey bee buzzing around the wildflowers in your video which made me feel alright for now. Yer so bad!

  16. “The Economist” is one of the best and most trusted news-magazines in the English language! There is also an audio subscription – you can listen to all the articles.

  17. Jeff, thanks so much for this discovery. I will read the Economist with new eyes. I’m hoping that my love of people and my call to service trump the dryness of my financial advice. Got to let that light shine and good to know that it won’t with some people and that that’s okay.

  18. Tom Petty has been haunting me (in a very good way) ever since he passed away.

    I’ve always liked what little I had heard of Tom and what I heard of The Heartbreakers music, and the Traveling Willburys, along with hundreds and maybe even thousands of other musicians and groups. Really, I only knew the major hits that I heard on the radio, and I did have Tom’s first solo album, Full Moon Fever in my record collection that I got when it first came out in 1989. But I never really knew how much I loved his music until he passed away.

    On the day he died, in fact, before he had actually passed and the rumors were flying that he had died or was about to, I really felt Tom’s presence telling me “Hey man, you and I are connected more than you realize. I really think you ought to take some time and listen to my work because we have a bond, you and I.

    Well, I’d love to go into detail because it’s such a powerful feeling, but it’s just impossible to express in words something that is such a strong emotion. I’m sure it makes me seem really strange, like “I see dead people.” I’m really not that way!

    But suffice it to say, that now, a month later, I’ve been listening almost exclusively to Tom Pettys music. 25 albums and well over 24 hours of Tom Petty music, and he is one of my favorite, if not my very favorite musician. I really feel a connection to him like he’s my lifelong best friend.

    I figure thousands and maybe millions of others feel that amazing close connection to Tom. That’s just the way he was and the way he affected people. He was a lot of people’s best friend. I’m just sorry he had to die to become one of my best friends.

    But I really do feel his presence now. Tom Petty has not died. Tom Petty can’t die. Tom Petty is immortal.

  19. For me, today’s video really shows how intuitive and bright a guy Jeff Walker is as he draws insight from an academic trade magazine from the financial world and applies it to the development of our authentic personality online. Kudos!

  20. Great video, Jeff! I appreciate how real you are in your videos and also your consistency. Every Sunday morning when I wake up, I know there will be a new video in my inbox. I always look forward to it. I’ve seen other people online who’ve changed as their businesses have grown. They’ve stopped doing the very things that attracted to me to them in the first place. I know that no business stays exactly the same, but I’m so grateful that week after week, you continue to put out these videos. Thank you!!

  21. Jeff, thanks for sharing. This is completely true that people should resonate with what they read or connect some way or another. I probably wouldn’t notice where the headlines came from but certainly this brought a little connection and interesting twist. Please keep posting.

  22. Kate Culver


    I’m a Tom Petty fan, too. So cool that you caught the subtlety! Sounds like an interesting way to evoke emotions subconsciously. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Hi Jeff. Great post and well spotted! Two of my great friends have been challenging each other to include famous book titles in their writing (without the audience spotting these), for years.

    Not so easy when you are writing about the shipping and cargo industry.

    Great fun though!

    All the best


  24. Paul O Olson


    Thank you for those videos. Right message at the right time. I’m serving professional clients and have been struggling to match my personal interest with my business helping companies with their organisational development, which is pretty general. When you cited Dan Sullivan “Who do you want to be a hero for?” Bam! It connected the two and removed the apparent contradiction. It simply shifted my avatar. Thank you!

    P.S: You were absolutely hilarious and authentic in your response to Ron – as Frank Kern also says – we must dare to be repulsive.

  25. Jeff, my wife is jealous. I wake up to you every Sunday morning, eager to watch your latest video. Truth be told, we both enjoy watching!
    Your “guy next door” persona is really compelling. This is what led me to join Launch Club. What’s really cool is that you have built a community of real people eager to fulfill their passion and support others in the community.
    Keep up the great work!

  26. Nice share of a peraonal wowd experience & stealth subhead usage. Awesome reminder. Jeff, I loved the follow-up satirical vidwo w/ the suit… I’m still laughing so hard. That is classic ( & classy). Too funny.

  27. Jeff: This is a great video, excellent analysis of sharing your personality with your writing! Love it – and Tom Petty was an awesome musician.

  28. Awesome stealth concept that can be utilize in any publishing, really! It can make content very fun to create and create an instant bond with audience. Thanks, Jeff!

  29. Michael Walker


    This was probably my biggest takeaway from LaunchCon: success in business all comes back to your connection with your people.

    Everyone on stage had different tools, strategies, and shiny objects – but what they all had in common was their ability to listen to their market and serve them.

  30. Loved your post. Funny how accountants and finance folks come off as so dry when they really have great personalities hidden below. Thanks for pointing that out with the “stealth tribute”

  31. Great catch, man.

    We do, absolutely, need to be personalities in our market. This is becoming more and more important every single day. The good news about having a personality is two-fold – it attracts those who want more and turns away those who want less. The latter occasionally call it off with a nasty-gram but so be it 🙂

    You often remind me to double down on who I am, Jeff. Thank you.

  32. Thank you for the video. Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee and quiet in my office allows me to recharge and THINK through my business. I have my own law firm and things have been good but recently someone asked me why i wrap my credit cards and money up in a rubber band and put it in my front pocket rather than getting a wallet or some other nicer way to carry money credit cards etc. I told them it allows me to always remember where i come from and who i really am. A son never forgets. I couldn’t agree more that it is all about being genuine. Thanks

  33. Found that a few others found it and wrote into the editor about it.

    It reminds me of how this person cooks
    He brings together tastes that people know but brings them to a new experience.
    He calls it “Unified Theory of Deliciousness”

  34. @allen – I love your stealth Tom Petty tribute. Very clever 🙂
    I, too, find the Economist Magazine to be quite heady – great articles if I can get through them.
    Thank you, Jeff, for another very-you video. And thank you for pointing out the Tom Petty tribute in The Economist. Like you, I was hit very hard by Tom Petty’s death. So very sad.

  35. I LOVED this video- from the beginning to the end where I had a big guffaw when the camera panned back to show exactly what you were wearing!
    And, I totally agree- you cannot please anyone. And the people you don’t please are not your ideal customer! And you DO impress by your personality- and how you speak from the heart!
    I love your PLF program- and much of that is because of the way you present it. You are a very authentic person- and I respect that totally!

  36. I love who you are and how you are and even though I haven’t had the money to join in on one of your trainings I always learn from you and am gradually gaining understanding and insights from you so thank you so much for what you give. I am so deeply grateful to you and what I am getting from you. Thank you Jeff

    Donald Theiss

  37. Very cool post! I love that you spotted that Tom Petty tribute—love that they did it the way they did it too! Your words confirm what I believe but what I fight against. It was drilled into me to try to appear “perfect”. Always. What a recipe to make a person feel ‘less than’, right? But when I’ve just gone, “What the Hell”, and let it rip, some magical things have happened for me. I needed to hear this again from you, especially as I prepare to shoot some videos. I think the thing I may have loved the most in this video of yours is that the cupboard door behind you was left open. Because of your message I was left wondering, did he do that on purpose so that he seemed even more real and genuine—in the moment. Or is he just completely genuine and hadn’t noticed—focused on the message and not the window dressing. Spices on the cupboard door and talk of secret sauce. Deliberate or not, pretty cool. Thanks again Jeff.

  38. I used to work on a magazine where we have ourselves the challenge of sneaking certain words or phrases into each story or issue. It was a game, to see if readers noticed. Glad you enjoyed the Economist 🎩

  39. Dreams are not make of silk roads, but of mud and dust that stings the eyes and teaches us how to stay clean.
    You are the future that will cause reality to awaken on beautiful summers morning that your earned to enjoy.

  40. Another interesting message Jeff. I hope you continue sharing gems like this. Have a great week.

  41. My subject matter in fitness and health posts can be quite dry but I try to write like it was from me and from my own personal experiences. Now that I have also started selling my art on line I have never thought of selling it in the same way as you advocate Jeff…so now will be thinking more carefully about now I put it across. So thanks, great idea!

  42. Jeff, you don’t need to read a particular kind of magazine to be ‘smart’. You already are.

    I also liked the subtle tribute to the singer (even though I am not familiar with his work). Its a nice touch for a subject matter that is often considered ‘dry’ for many people. It gives the reader something else to look for, apart from the official content. Whether we ourselves speak about inherently dry or exciting material, this magazine highlights how we can make our content more interesting for our own listeners.

    I love what you do. I love your videos. Keep em coming.

    Best wishes from the land down under

  43. Jeff, thank a bunch for sharing this–I too am a huge Tom Petty fan and have been listening to Tom Petty almost constantly since seeing him in June this year in Hartford, CT, an amazing show. He left everything on the stage. Listening every day to his Buried Treasure and Tom Petty channels on Sirius XM. The names and themes of his songs are so evocative. His knowledge of music and desire to share it are still there for all of us to hear. And the band just got better and better over the years. Glad we share the love and the pain of the loss.

  44. Not only is this a great concept, Jeff, but I love how the proof of what you’re saying is also right there in your video. I’ve never seen someone so genuinely excited about the Economist! This is an awesome video!

  45. Carmen Cook


    Hi Jeff

    I find this an interesting comment, but it raises a question for me. You mention being personable, and letting people experience your personality. But where I find this a bit confusing is that my website and my content needs to be about my clients. So perhaps I’m answering my own question here, but isn’t there a potential conflict? I guess it’s all about the extent: of either being friendly and sharing your own anecdote, or talking about yourself too much. And I suppose it’s also about how you present your own stuff – like the power of sharing a good story, or rambling on too long about something that’s important to you, but may not be to others. Your thoughts? Oh, and I can’t imagine you doing videos in anything other than T-shirts (and shorts/jeans) – it’s so you, and the relaxed way you are! I’d love it if women could get away with videoing in such a casual look! But somehow I feel generally it’s not the case…

  46. aww Tom Petty – brilliant stuff, I’m a huge fan too Jeff, I sang Free Fallin at my gig on Friday 🎶😎. Great article and very timely – I’m recording my PLC videos this week – gonna keep em real! Rock n Roll!

  47. The Economist have been doing this type of thing for years. The subheads often represent a little subversion and humour in otherwise very authoritative articles. As Jeff says, the magazine has very few photos. However, when they do include photos, the captions are often hilarious.

    Its a great private joke between the editors and those who are long-time readers.

    Kinda makes you feel part of an inner circle.

    Great idea for building trust and the feeling of inclusion in a mass audience.

  48. It is a bit British to use this level of subtlety in high brow, professional publication. To not take yourself too seriously when you share that you think Tom Petty rocked. Not disturbing those who do not care while delivering a surprise to those who like a puzzle. Easter eggs in software come to mind for those who know about such things. Wikipedia will explain more.

    An American living in London

  49. So Jeff let me suggest a rather different idea that is was not by chance that you would pick up a magazine on a plane flight and find in it a connection to someone out of your past that meant a lot to you years ago and brought back what you realized at that time. What you found in the magazine was not either the value of The Economist or the wonder of the music of Tom Petty. It was that Tom Petty’s music brought back the realization of the value of being and sharing yourself in what you put out there. It was that being authentic always in the way you live life is the most important thing you can do with your life. We will all die at some point but I want to be able to say about my life that I authentically shared myself and that I allowed people around me to know who I am.
    I follow you all the time Jeff because I find you authentic and have something to say to me. Yes you have discovered and perfected a way to use the internet to make an impressive income but you then do it with authenticity and humility and that for me is most important now that I am traveling through the later years of my life. Keep it up. You are on a roll.

  50. I love what you say about being real and authentic and NOT sterile and corporate. Corporate has come to mean so many things and most of them are bad. Great advice!

  51. Jeff, You have just won a new fan! I love your blog, I am a big TP fan too and I love your blog about what you are wearing a t-shirt which followed on….. It’s all about ‘Free falling’ 😉

  52. I love The Economist but I read about two issues a year. 🙂 They often use song lyrics or titles as headlines or subheads, that’s lovely to weave Tom Petty throughout the issue.

    I like song titles or lyric fragments a lot for headlines, because they tend to make a bit of an “earworm” that captures and keeps attention. 🙂

  53. I trained staff of The Economist in writing skills for ten years, so I know all about writing with personality. They have it in spades, but most business writing sounds like the corporate drones Jeff refers to. (BTW, I’ve just joined Launch Club).

  54. Peter Schneider


    Sharing yourself is the biggest asset you have, thanks for the reminder, Pete

  55. I love “ridiculous mitigation strategies”. I love you kayaking down a river, on your deck or in your living room. Just like me! I love nature and the outdoors! Yay Jeff, yay me!

  56. Now that was way cool what they did! I’m not motivated to subscribe to the magazine, but I like the idea to incorporate in my correspondence somehow!

  57. Great blog and such an amazing example of how tuned in and connected you are to your intuition to pick up on the stealth tribute to Tom Petty. It IS all about staying connected. That’s the phrase I use in closing one of my weekly astrology blogs, “stay connected.” Stay connected to yourself, to life and to everyone you meet because in truth you are connected and just need to tune in to your being connected like you are, Jeff!! You’re evidence we all need to see of someone living true to themselves. Thank you!! 🙂

  58. That made me smile. You wouldn’t expect a journal like “The Economist” to do that type of thing. Really takes me back too – the first thing I bought with my very first pay from my very first job when I was sixteen was the “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” album.

    Also, great tips on using your own voice when writing. I always mean to do that but end up playing it safe by writing the way everyone else does. Must try harder… 😀

  59. Thank you for your message – I enjoy learning from you because you ARE down to earth and real. Thank you! I want to reach others the same way, that they feel they can connect with me. Thank you!

  60. LOL…..I couldn’t stop laughing after I saw your shorts with that suit. You make an excellent point and I always learn so much from you.

    One of your tribe,

  61. Hey Jeff,

    I love Tom Petty, grew up listening to his music for many, many years, so this really resonated with me. Thanks mate 🙂

    So very, very cool.

    Sean Drayton

  62. Love your message to Ron. I have a wardrobe of bathrobes…summer, winter, transitional. I would never make a video in a bathrobe, but I coach and write my book in such. God bless diversity!!!

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