Always doubt what you want to believe

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Good morning. I trust you slept well and soundly last night. As I write this, no serious news organization has declared the winner of the US presidential election. Based on current vote counts (9:15am) and the likelihood of remaining Democratic-skewing mail ballots being counted, Joe Biden is more likely than not to win the presidency, … Continued

How to blog for influence (if you’re not a freak)

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A friend who is a highly effective PR person sent me this note regarding challenges she has with her clients: I wanted to let you know that I’m a daily reader of your blog.  . . .  I have introduced several of my clients and prospective clients to it.  They are learning a lot, especially … Continued

The Smartass Manifesto

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I’m a smartass. That’s my brand. I might as well admit it. What does that mean? It means that in any given situation — meeting, client interaction, blog post, reaction to news, Facebook post, romantic date — my mind immediately tries to find a unique, snarky, counterintuitive take. The ultimate smartass remark, intended to get … Continued

How to talk to a reporter and get quoted

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If you’re an expert, reporters may call you — especially if your opinions on a topic rank on Google. What a great opportunity to spread your knowledge and reputation! Don’t blow it. Today, I drafted an op-ed for the Boston Globe with a hook in today’s news. I emailed three authors whose opinions I knew … Continued

Not an expert

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I know a lot about a lot of topics — I’ve spent hundreds of hours on these topics. And yet, I wouldn’t call myself an expert. And the reason for that is the reason you should be skeptical of experts you see online or on TV. Take artificial intelligence. I ghost wrote a book on … Continued

How to make bold predictions in a terrifying time

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The world is changing rapidly before our eyes. If you advise decision-makers, they crave your leadership right now. But it’s a terrifying moment — you can’t just charge blithely ahead, fast forwarding past a crisis that has affected all of us. Whether you call yourself an analyst, a thought leader, a public speaker, or an … Continued

The 2 questions every business author must answer

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If you want to write a book, ask these two questions before you start — and every day as you work on it. How will my reader see the world differently? What are they going to do about it? If your book is not going to help your reader to see the world differently, why … Continued

Beyond meaningless platitudes

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Experts build their business on an idea. If the idea is a platitude, they don’t deserve respect — and they won’t get clients. I am so sick of the aspiring thought leaders on social media sharing platitudes and imagining they are insights. “You must put the customer first.” Oh, now I see. I was putting … Continued