Cold, Hard Calls: Take the 30-Day Challenge


A defensive entrepreneurship go-to strategy for

increased work, income, exposure, traction


When Diana Schneidman approached me for help producing her book, Real Skills: Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days*, I more than kind of wanted to publish it myself. Sure it was the evergreen topic aimed at a broad, hurting demographic in an easy niche like business/self-help, and sure Diana’s dry humor, direct approach, and natural writing style was fun to read.


But the clincher was her premise. It was insane. And when I read it, I knew she knew what she was talking about and that her knowledge was hard-earned from firsthand experience. This wasn’t recycled and repackaged pap.


Work on making 1,000 phone calls in a month and you’ll land the business you want and need. Yeah, that’s about 50 calls a day for 5 days a week for four weeks. It’s a sort of “Don’t Break the Chain” of phone calling.


Schneidman promises that this system has worked for her every time she needed it to — like really needed it to (she was a single mom raising three kids when she “discovered” her secret) — and that she never actually had to make close to 1,000 calls to get decent work.


How does this apply to you? Well, one very good reason I believed Diana’s system was that I had often used a version of it myself to keep my company going over the years. Phone calls. Lots of them. One after the other until enough sales were made to pay the bills. Day in, day out in the leanest times. Calls to past, current, and potential customers. Targeted cold calls using lists of stores and potential buyers an employee would compile for me. It worked every time for me, too. Playing the game of numbers, persisting through rejection, mustering more gumption and hope than you’d think possible…it works.


This applies to anyone looking for work, selling something, promoting something, or growing a business, because marketing, promotion, sales are numbers games. If you have something of value that deserves to be shared in the world (and your niche is broader than Esperanto-speaking polo players) but you aren’t getting the sales and exposure you want, then working some version of 1,000 calls in 30 days will get you results (freelance work, sales, media exposure, event bookings). 1,000 calls to potential clients, recruiters, retail outlets, volume buyers, program coordinators, media types, etc.


Who do you want to reach? Call them.

Yes, it’s calls and not emails. Calls don’t have to lead anywhere to count, they can end in voice mails or left messages, but a qualifying call means a real shot at a human connection. Yes, there are other ways. Yes, this isn’t the only way. But it is a way that works and should be considered for many reasons, and not just in desperate situations.


This is back-pocket defensive entrepreneurship. Should you ever find yourself needing a new source or additional sources of income unexpectedly, this is the idea you should start with on Day 1. Now you know and now you have at least one Plan B in a defense arsenal.

For you:

  • Tuck the idea away that you now have a proven method for making money off your book, craft, skills, hobby if you ever need it to become a viable income source. Phone calling is unsavory for many, but it works. Even for introverts and amateurs and non-sales types. If you need to, you can do it.

  • Regardless of your situation, consider that more phone calls — you reaching out and touching someone with your voice — may bring more results. How many a day or week are you willing to make?

  • What do you want for your income source, book, art, craft, hobby, project, cause, abilities — and who should be receiving these calls that can help make those things possible?

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