• jay-conrad-levinson-booksI’m reflecting on the past 10 years in business, those who have greatly influenced  me and considering what’s next.

    • Do you ever assess how far you’ve come?
    • Celebrate your successes?
    • Have any regrets?

    I’m reflecting deeply on the loss of one of the greatest marketing minds ever. Earlier this week I learned via Facebook that Jay Conrad Levinson has passed. It was via an early morning post from his daughter Amy. I stopped in my tracks and the tears flowed. You see, I will never forget Jay’s kindness. Early in the life span of my business he was a great support. Hearing his life here on earth has ended impacted me greatly.

    What I’m going to share with you next correlates with #8 of my Top 10 Tips from Being in Biz for 10 Years blog post (I’ll give you a link to the full post later).

    In 2006 I registered for a marketing event because Jay was billed as the keynote. Being a big fan, I was excited to meet him and immediately invested in a ticket and travel to the event (not a huge investment but pretty significant for me during year 3 of business when I was still trying to figure it all out and pay the bills). Fast forward to the event date… I arrive in Las Vegas and check into my hotel. The next morning I discover the event has been cancelled and much worse… the entire thing was a scam (Jay was never contracted to keynote–the same was true of the other speakers). I was shocked, upset, ticked off and thoroughly blown away…

    Turning challenges into opportunities is one of my strong suits and that’s exactly what I did. I’ll share all of those details in a minute. First I want to share about Jay’s kindness.

    After discovering the entire thing was sham (feeling embarrassed, duped and a little humiliated) I reached out to Jay to let him know what happened. Jay was beyond kind. We exchanged email messages… I still have them and we even spoke on the phone. He had no knowledge of this event or that someone had been showcasing him as a keynote without permission or contract. He offered me a free ticket to any of his events in the future so that we could meet in person. One of my biggest regrets is NOT taking him up on that offer. Sadly, now it’s too late.

    I’m sharing this because it’s important to turn challenges into opportunities and it’s even more important to make sure you engage in the opportunities you create before it’s too late.

    You can read more about the entire experience in my original post “Things Aren’t Always What They Seem” from 2006 (back in the day when I was still trying to figure it all out). Although I didn’t get to meet Jay in person, I cherish our email exchange, our phone conversation and the testimonial he gave me. It’s also how I was introduced to his daughter Amy (she helped coordinate the testimonial and photo).

    “Manyon’s ability to creatively turn a disappointment into an opportunity to help others is commendable. She did a superb job chronicling a non-event in her article 7 Surefire Signs of a Virtual Violation and 5 Ways to Avoid It. Cleverly coining the term “Virtual Violation” is further evidence of her abilities as a wordsmith. Based on her talent, I wouldn’t hesitate to consider Manyon for future copywriting projects.”

    ~ Jay Conrad Levinson
    The Father of Guerrilla Marketing
    Author of “Guerrilla Marketing” series of books

    My heart goes out to the Levinson family. One of my biggest regrets will always be that I didn’t get to meet Jay in person. Rest in peace, Jay. Thanks for all you did for the marketing world and for your kindness.

    My advice to you, don’t let opportunities slip away.

    As you continue to grow your business and build relationships take into consideration my Top 10 Tips From Being in Biz for 10 Years (feel free to comment or share via social media).

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog


    17 responses to “A Tribute to Jay Conrad Levinson”

    1. Jessica says:

      I hate those moments that you regret. Not going to see someone you wish you had. I remember being at a funeral for a family member and seeing family I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years and I wondered why we make the time for a funeral but not “just because.” I made a change based on that… years later but none-the-less, I see my family more now and I’m grateful for it.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. Regret is not fun and there are very few things in life I regret. Inaction and missed opportunities are at the top of that list. Thank you for your kind words.
        Write on!~
        Lisa Manyon

    2. Wow you turned lemons into lemonade. Congratulations Lisa. And I am sorry for the loss of your mentor/friend.

    3. Sue Painter says:

      I also admire Jay very much and have been a student of his books for years. Didn’t know the “virtual violation” story. RIP Jay.

    4. I am sorry for the loss of your mentor/hero and am so impressed at his kindness!

      I can’t believe your non-event story! good to know and it’ll certainly make me smarter when I sign up for events in the future. Well done for putting a positive spin on it and getting such a glowing testimonial from Jay

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Thanks you so much. Loss is never easy.

        Yes, the “virtual violation” was quite and eye-opener for me and why I always choose events and mentors wisely.

        Write on!~

        Lisa Manyon

    5. Mitch Tublin says:

      A fine tribute and story. Appreciate your open sharing of this event.

    6. It sounds like he was very important to you. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend and mentor.

    7. Wow what an experience with the event and so great that you have given such a fitting tribute to a true leader

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Yes, the was an interesting twist and one of the reasons I’m so adamant about choosing mentors and events wisely. I learned a great lesson, though and I received such amazing support from many people including Jay. I will never forget his kindness.
        Write on!~
        Lisa Manyon

    8. I try to live a life that I won’t regret. I follow my dreams. I have to keep creating new “Bucket Lists” because I DO the things I long to do. (Surfing is still dangling out there… NEXT summer!)

      It is good to take a moment and do an audit on a regular basis to make sure there aren’t major things slipping through the cracks that could cause regret some day. Thanks for the reminder, it helped me bump surfing back to the top of my list!!

      With love,


      Katherine C. H. E.
      Author Be True Rich

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        I love that you’ve shifted priorities to ensure you’re living your “bucket list” now. That’s one of the things I try to do ALWAYS and I’m mapping out some FUN plans for the New Year.
        Write on!~
        Lisa Manyon

    9. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Jay Conrad Levinson. His Guerilla Marketing books were the first marketing books I ever read when I first started out in business.

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