Author Archives: Tim David

The Problem with Influence

Problem with Influence

In high school, my biggest dream in life was to be a professional magician. I would practice my tricks in my room every single day and imagine what it would be like to be the next David Copperfield. It’s all fun and games until someone drops out of college.

I quickly racked up over $16,000 in credit card debt (which in today’s dollars is roughly $2.9 trillion. Well…it felt like that anyway) and I had to get a side job at the mall to afford my car, gas, insurance, and rent payments. I still lived at home, but my ever-pragmatic father was providing the tough love.

My magic career wasn’t taking off and I couldn’t understand it. By then I was getting pretty good. I mean, I wasn’t teleporting or anything, but I could do some crazy stuff with elastics. I performed at a few little kids’ birthday parties and one of the moms said I was swell.

Why hadn’t I been discovered by a super-famous talent agent? Where were all the television producers? Why wasn’t the world beating a path to my door?

Then a mentor of mine gave it to me straight. Continue reading

Customer Satisfaction is Lame


Magicians have a goal in everything they do.

They want to “WOW” people.

Most businesses want to wow people too, right? They all talk about “exceeding expectations,” but when’s the last time you did something that made a customer or employee’s eyes bug out while they screamed “OH MY GOSH! STOP IT DAVID BLAINE!”?

Customer service? Customer satisfaction? What kind of lame goals are those? If you’re ever going to influence anyone to care about your product, or your company’s vision, or anything else, then you’re going to have to do better than that. You’re going to have to wow them. You’re going to have to do something new, different, or so amazing that they’re forced to sit up, lean forward, and take notice.

That’s why I parted ways with the largest publisher in the world. (Moron this later…) Continue reading

The Influence Troll


Three travelers seeking riches came upon a long bridge.

On the other side was more treasure than they could ever imagine.

When they tried to cross the bridge, however, a troll appeared demanding payment for safe passage.

The first traveler didn’t believe the troll was real, and attempted to make her way across the bridge anyway.

With a flick of his fingers, the troll cast the traveler off the side of the bridge and onto a rock landing below. She was unharmed, but she never reached the treasure.

The second traveler was horrified and ran past the troll to look over the edge of the bridge to his fallen comrade.

“Uh-uh,” warned the troll. “You cannot pass without payment.”

“Have a heart. She’s my friend! You must let me help her!”

The troll softened and granted passage to the second traveler.

“Ha!” cried the second traveler. “You fool!” And he sprinted across the bridge toward the treasure instead. As he neared the end, a second troll appeared. With a disapproving look and a wave of his hand, the hasty traveler was flung of the bridge and into the darkness of the gorge.

The first traveler shows us that influence cannot be ignored. If you want to move mountains, you must be able to move people. We do not have a choice whether we influence, only HOW we influence.

The second traveler shows us that influence is not about manipulation or trickery and it is not something to be used as a tool for selfish gain. The bridge is long. Our actions today will have repercussions down the line.

What the third traveler does is up to you. Every day we have a choice of how we build and use the tool of influence.

What would YOU say or do to create TRUE influence and gain safe passage to the treasure? COMMENT BELOW!


How to Generate Sudden Interest in Old Ideas

Sudden interest.

It’s the stuff of legend.

Van Gogh died a broke and lonely man. Now he’s one of the most famous artists of all time.

By the time he was 35, all of Herman Melville’s books were out of print and he had only earned about $10,000 from writing in his entire lifetime. Moby Dick got its due acclaim about forty years later, after his death.

Similarly, only a small handful of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published during her lifetime.

Many forward-thinking individuals do not live to see their ideas catch on.

Today, I want to give you a way to create sudden interest in your idea. And preferably, BEFORE you die.

For the past few weeks, there has been sudden, unexplained interest in Magic Words. Here’s my recent sales chart:


My book hasn’t sold like this since it first came out…146 WEEKS AGO!

So, what’s the deal…why the sudden interest?

It turns out that another book with “Magic Words” in its subtitle has been selling very well. Online retailers began offering my book as an upsell and buyers are going for it.

There is a powerful lesson hidden in the psychology here. The customer is essentially saying, “Here’s a book that is similar to another book I already want. Therefore, I must want this book too.”

That’s the key for getting an idea to catch on. Make it similar to an idea they already accept.

Quick story to illustrate how you can use this principle of similarity to move your ideas forward.

The Lion King is a classic Disney movie that almost didn’t get made. The powers that be were having a hard time figuring out what to do with the script. They weren’t sure if they even liked it. Finally, someone used the principle of similarity…

“It’s like Hamlet, but with Lions.”


Suddenly, everything made sense. Suddenly, the script fell into place. Suddenly, there was INTEREST in getting the film made sooner rather than later.

Use the following formula to generating sudden interest in your own ideas…

“It’s like ___________, but/with/without/for/of _______________”

A few examples…

Dave and Busters: It’s like Chuck E Cheese for adults.

Sport Clips: They’re like Hooters, but for haircuts.

Instagram: It’s like Facebook, but with pictures.

Comment below with your own statement of similarity! Make me understand your business in one sentence.