How to brainstorm the future

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Every strategy book I’ve ever written includes a final chapter about the future. Here’s how I do the brainstorms that turn into those chapters — and how you can run your own brainstorms about the future, whether you’re writing a book or just planning for scenarios. The objective of a brainstorm like this is to … Continued

The ideal business book (with examples from Talk Triggers)

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I work on a certain kind of business book. It’s about a shift in the world, and the shift in strategy that companies and people need to make in response. There is a best way to write a book like that, and Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin’s Talk Triggers is the best example I’ve seen in … Continued

You need Jay Baer’s “Talk Triggers” to make your business spread and grow

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There’s this book called Talk Triggers by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin. It has alpacas on the cover. And you should buy it, because it’s really useful. If you’re in an agency, or in marketing, you’ve probably heard clients say “We want to create something viral.” It’s practically a meme. And it’s insipid. You cannot … Continued

Doing work that matters

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The best life for a writer is to spend your days writing and editing prose that matters. This is not easy, but it is rewarding. And that attitude should apply to whatever work you do. This year I am getting to enjoy, shall we say, a wide variety of work. For example: The ghostwriting project … Continued

Straight talk about how to come up with a book title

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It’s time to come up with a title for your book. “I want something iconic,” you’re thinking. “Like Lean In. Or The Tipping Point. Or Made to Stick.” You are deluded. And your delusion is leading you astray. These books sold because of huge promotion (Lean In) and incredible ideas and writing. You think they are great titles … Continued

About your book idea: do you need an editor, a ghostwriter, or therapy?

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Last night, I was talking to an established author who is helping out a couple friends who want to write a book. “They have a great story but they aren’t sure if they need an editor or a ghostwriter,” he said. That’s a pretty good question. If you’re an emerging thought leader and think you … Continued

9 reasons why thought leaders must embrace their competitors

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It’s a nasty, noisy world out there. It’s easy for your own ideas to get lost in the cacophony. I’m here to tell you what you don’t want to hear: make friends with your competitors, quote them, and give them credit for their great ideas. I came to this realization after collaborating with people who … Continued

My problem with books

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I have a books problem. My parents read Dr. Seuss books to me when I was a child, and that was where it started. Every weekend they would take me to the library. It started with the books on science and astronomy. Once I had read them all, they introduced me to the grownup side … Continued