WARNING: Last Call

I was going to write a cleverly spun blog post today. I was going to provide a ton of value upfront before I asked you for anything. I was going to try to get you excited to join me at copyhour.com this weekend… but I’ve decided against that.

I’ll just come out and say it: Join CopyHour.

If you read my blog you’re likely interested in self-improvement and/or men’s lifestyle topics.

And, you likely want to start a small business of your own.

Don’t be one of those people who wants something but then wont do anything about it. That’ll just lead to EXTREME unhappiness.

Copywriting is a needed skill. If you can’t understand that… you’re beyond hope.

CopyHour Is Closed For A Few Weeks – Get On The Wait-List Here.


The Biggest ‘Thing’ That’s Enabled (& Ironically Stalled) My Freedom Over The Past 4 Years…

  • What’s the ‘thing’ that’s enabled me to build a couple successful businesses and travel the world in the process?
  • What’s the ‘thing’ that’s also held me back from taking my businesses, income, and subsequently, my freedom, to the next level?


Sales letters.


When I returned from 8 months of traveling through South America a few years back I was faced with a choice. Get a job, or leverage the skills I’d developed and create a small business.

I decided to write an eBook for James Bond fans and build a small business around it.

I put a lot of effort into that ebook it and it was pretty damn good.

But the best products don’t market themselves in the beginning… especially when you don’t have an established audience.

So what I’d do?

I wrote a sales letter.

I spent weeks on that first letter. I studied all the copywriting resources I could, and forced out a sales letter.

And you know what? It converted at right about 1% to ‘cold traffic’.

I started making sales and overtime, I built up enough customers, and a big enough back-end of product offerings, to have a tiny but profitable business.

Obviously, there were many factors that determine the success of a business venture… but none are more immediately impactful than a converting sales letter in my opinion.

Nothing else can enable your freedom more quickly.

A good sales letter works for you 24/7/365.

A good sales letter lets focus on other things — developing other products or traveling if you want.

I believe one of the greatest skills a business owner can posses is the ability to communicate effectively. To communicate the value of their products or services. And this is exactly what a well written sales letter does.

Now, I also believe that sales letters have held me back from achieving my goals.

How so?

Since writing that first letter I’ve gone on to write other sales messages that have pulled in over 10k in a few hours. Another did 25k over the course of a few days. I’ve written single blog posts that have pulled in 1-2k a month consistently for years.

BUT, I’ve never actually taken my writing abilities to the NEXT LEVEL. AND, I certainly don’t write enough of them!

I haven’t gone deep and really spent the time I know I need to spend. I’ve simply procrastinated. My copywriting skills have stalled & stagnated. And it’s no surprise that my freedom has been limited because of it.

I want to write more. I want to write better. I want more freedom. I want more money and abundance in my life.

That’s why I’m taking the time to go deep an hour a day and work on honing my copywriting skills.

If you want to join me on this journey, visit my site www.CopyHour.com and signup.

– Derek


ANNOUNCING: The 8 Week Million Dollar Copywriting Challenge

I recently posted a quick survey to LU.com readers asking them what challenge they’d like to see next, and more importantly, PARTICIPATE in.

It’s time to get off our asses, change, and grow (& make more money if you’re in to that).

Well, the responses kind of shocked me a little. Many people wanted to participate in a copywriting challenge. The goal to wake up every morning and write for 1 hour.

My buddy Clay and I have literally been procrastinating on doing this challenge ourselves for close to a year now.

Instead of twiddling my thumbs about whether or not it was a good idea to faciliate this challenge… I took action, and in under 30 hours, CopyHour.com was born.

I’m going to call this challenge “The 8 Week Million Dollar Copywriting Challenge”.

There’s pretty much zero excuse NOT to participate in this if you’re at all interested in business. Copywriting is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. You’ll be writing emails, scripts, sales letters, blog posts, ads, etc. Or you’ll at least be judging a copywriter and hiring someone to do it.

You can get the full details at the site:

The page is designed to look simple & like an actual letter because the focus should be on the words & copy.


Want To Participate In A Group Challenge & Achieve One Of Your Goals In 8 Weeks?

The time has come for another challenge. This time around, I want YOU to participate right alongside me.

I’ve provided a form below. Fill out what kind of challenge you’d like to see AND participate in. I want to get a group together and have all of us achieve something awesome.

My challenges are centered around not only just becoming a better person but also developing skills that can be leveraged in some capacity.

We’re going to use the principles behind these posts:
1. Anatomy of a successful physique transformation
2. 5 self-improvement ideas

I really believe that I’m developing a can’t fail goal setting system here.


– The challenge is going to last 8 weeks. Hopefully we can get started next week or the week after.
– Time commitment will probably average out to 30 mins to 1hr per day.
– We’ll have a private member’s only forum setup.
– We’ll ALL pay to take part in the challenge. No free-seeking loafers who bring the group down. My payment will be infrastructure setup, some coaching/my time.

There are 4 challenges that I’d be interested in doing:

1. New online business income stream: we’ll start from scratch & produce a small biz that brings in its first sales & profit in 8 weeks.
2. A summer six pack – this could mean different things for different people, but the focus will be on losing the gut/fat for summer. For me, this will mean taking my fat loss to the next level. As you might know, I’m currently coaching a group of people through the Hollywood Physique right now.
3. Copywriting challenge: I’d like to wake up and write for an hour every morning. We’ll do this together and critique/help each other.
4. Learn a language: we each pick a NEW language we haven’t studied before, and tackle it. I’d probably use Benny Lewis’ program.
5. Other: have a cool idea? Respond to the email you’ll get from me.

Interested in achieving one of your goals by the beginning of June? Give me your input by filling out this form:

End Of Powerful Speaking Voice Challenge

Today marks the end of my Powerful Speaking Voice Challenge using Bob Corff’s Speaker’s Voice Method program (30 minutes every day).

Listen to the audio below to hear my thoughts on the challenge and I’ll tell you how I failed to complete many of the challenge’s specifications.

I’m a bit disappointed in my follow-through on this challenge, especially considering how much easier it should have been to complete than the Hollywood Physique challenge. I have plenty of excuses for failing on this challenge – my Mexico & Cuba vacation for one – but the reality is, I HAVE to be better.

I do believe that my speaking voice has improved during these past 2 months… but I also know that the results could have been much more dramatic.

Listen to the audio to hear more:


In the audio I mention this post on improving your speaking voice for sales.

Announcing The Hollywood Physique Contest: Win $1,000

Hey, do you want to get into the best shape of your life AND win $1,000?

That should be a rhetorical question.

Here’s the scoop: I’m going to host a Hollywood Physique contest: the most **dramatic** 13 week transformation is going to take home $1,000. There are a few catches here, so read below to make sure you understand the rules and how this will work.

First, read about the Hollywood Physique here if you haven’t already: Hollywood Physique Review
Second, read more about my THP group mentoring here: THP Group Mentoring.

The Contest:

(Read carefully so we’re all on the same page)

1. This contest will be limited to those who signup for the Hollywood Physique mentoring group I’m putting together. So yes, you must pay to enter the contest (there’s a reason I’m doing it like this… see below).
2. I’m going to make this contest kind of like a Groupon deal. I need to fill my 10 group mentoring spots. If we hit 10, the contest is on. We already have 4 people signed up, so we need 6 more. I’ll update this page as signups come in.
3. If we don’t hit 10, then I’ll work out something with group members where they compete directly against me for cash prizes (so there’s nothing to lose by joining). And heck, if we don’t hit 10, I’ll refund your purchase if you want.
4. You must submit a photo to me this Monday February 20th.
5. You must submit a photo every Monday for 13 weeks. But, we will only judge the first photo against the last.
6. As a group we’ll judge the most **dramatic** transformation. It can be the most dramatic fat loss, or muscle shape change, or a combo of both. This way, everyone has an equal shot of winning.

If you win:

You’ll get $500 plus a refund for your group mentoring fee – for a possible $1,000 total value. Plus, you’ll be in crazy good shape! Win or lose you’re getting the value of the mentoring sessions coupled with the extreme effectiveness of THP.

Hollywood Physique Contest Purpose:

A. I’d like to fill all my group mentoring spots.
B. It’s simple human psychology: the more you pay for something the more likely you are to value and believe in it. This creates more commitment, and in our case, more dramatic results.

I think holding this contest is going to take the group mentoring benefits to the next level and create INSANE transformations. I believe as a group we’ll be hitting on a lot of important psychological triggers:

Paying, plus an accountability group, plus competition = powerful results.

To Join:

Simply signup below, submit your photos to me on Monday, and you’re in.

This is for serious applicants only. Please read the group mentoring post to see the requirements.

Included in the price, is access to the Hollywood Physique ($120). So that’s $38 per week ($500)


If you’ve already purchased the Hollywood Physique and want to join, use this button (must have proof of purchase). $29 per week ($380).


There are 10 0 more spots left until the contest is on.

The cut-off to sign up is on Sunday night, February 19th.

Why not join me for the contest, the mentoring group, and to get in phenomenal shape!?

Let’s do this.

How To Improve Your Speaking Voice For Sales

Having a strong, powerful voice is something I’ve always wanted but never worked towards achieving.

My articulation is sometimes sloppy. I often stutter over certain words, especially those with ‘R’s’ in them. I sometimes whistle my ‘sh’s’.

At the moment, I’m 2 weeks into my Powerful Speaking Voice Challenge using Bob Corff Speaker’s Voice Method as my guide. I’m coming away with a lot of interesting lessons, especially related to the voice and selling.

If you’re selling via spoken words in some capactiy, it would benefit you to work on your voice. A sure and steady voice is more believable and people buy from believable people. People buy from confident people. If your voice is shaky, you can still sell… just not as well.

I wanted to share a few take-aways from what I’m learning that you can begin using immediately to speak better and hopefully selling more.

Here Are The 3 Rules Of Good Vocal Production:

1. Bring your vocal chords together: You’ll know you’re doing this when your voice doesn’t sound breathy or raspy.
2. Placement: Most of the time your voice should be right in the ‘middle’. Not too high or nasly, and not too much from the chest. Add in chest speaking for emotional impact. If there’s a portion of your sales message that is emotional, speak lower, slower, and from the chest. This will give your voice a soft, warm, and ‘sensual’ tone.
3. Breath consistently through your diaphragm: You probably already know this one but it’s worth repeating – breath through your diaphragm. When breathing in, keep your upperchest high and still. Keep your shoulders down. And breath quietly and easily from the rib cage down. Your stomach should pooch out when you breath in.

* 5-10 minutes of deep breathing through the diapraghm before you record or speak with a prospect, will have a significant calming effect.

Authoritative Melody (or the Standard American Melody)

The proper way to speak with authority is to have your voice raise up for the first part of a sentence. The middle goes down, and the end is the furtherest down. So if you speak 5 words, your voice would go UP, DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, FURTHEST DOWN.

Going down in tone at the end of a sentence gives it a strong conclusion. Even questions can end going down. Listen to Barack speak for a good example of this.

Elongate The Vowel Sounds

People like elongated vowel speaking. Aim to hit quickly and clearly on the conisents, and lean on the vowels.

“Beauty of voice is in the vowel sound,” according to Corff.

photo credit: Matt Biddulph via photopin cc

Powerful Speaking Voice Challenge

Picture by Tait Campbell

Alright, the direction of LU.com over the next few months is going to shift towards reporting on the various experiments and challenges I’m conducting.

Note: I’m officially finished with round one of the Hollywood Physique Challenge that was going on over at ManChallenges.com. I’ll write a round-up next week and explain what I’ll be doing related to my physique goals for the future.

I mentioned what the Powerful Speaking Voice Challenge was in my LU.com 2012 plans post. I filmed a short video update you can watch below:

Here’s a recap:

I’ll be working my speaking voice for the next 2 months. The goal tagline: A better, clearer, and more powerful speaking voice in 60 days.

Here’s what the challenge entails:

  • Using Bob Corff’s Speaker’s Voice Method program every day (30 minutes).
  • 1 Optimized Man podcast a week. The first podcast should be out by the end of this week.
  • 4 webinars.
  • 4 sales videos for my different businesses.

Announcement: ManChallenges.com Launch

Hey guys,

This is just a quick post to announce a website I’ve been working on: ManChallenges.com.

Man Challenges is essentially a way for me to a) document some of the goals & experiments I’m working on and b) inspire (& hopefully push) guys to take action towards achieving their own goals.

A bit more about the site:

Over the past several years I’ve seen myself and others achieve goals insanely FAST. You’d be really surprised what can be accomplished with 1-3 months of dedicated effort.

But the problem I’ve seen countless times in friends, colleagues, customers, and really any guy I meet in life is that they have all these goals for themselves and their lives but they fail to follow through.

I’m extremely interested in how to get, not only myself, but other people like you to take action. To achieve. Why some people get everything they want and others fall short.

At Man Challenges I want to help push you along and motivate you. And sometimes the best way to do that is to show you what’s possible.

So follow along as I achieve my goals and take part. Get involved. Achieve what you want. That’s what I’m about and that’s what ManChallenges.com is about.

As you might know, I’m currently on another round of the Hollywood Physique. For the last 50 days I’ve been taking pictures and monitoring my progress over on the Man Challenges site. The ‘Hollywood Physique Challenge’ is my first challenge on the site. Hopefully you can help me pick what the next one is going to be and ideally, you’ll join in as well.

Go check it out and let me know what you think.

>> Click here for ManChallenges.com