The Power of Being Brief

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I’ve written about this before, but until people get the message, I’ll continue to be a crazy prophet in the wilderness. Keep it short – please. I have a friend who can’t send an email less than 300 words. He feels compelled to add the backstory, all the details, the possible alternatives, and more. Even his simplest email drones on and on and on. I met with a producer recently who kept deviating from the pitch. He rambled on about

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Never Forget the People Who Indirectly Influence Your Journey

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For whatever reason, I’ve always recognized that many people indirectly contribute (or detract) from our mission in life. In high school, I was always amazed at the “bad boys” who ignored their girlfriend’s parents – especially since those parents held the permission for when and how often their daughters could go out on a date. And why make an enemy of a teacher who controlled my grade? At work I learned pretty early that secretaries, assistants, and even janitors often held the

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How to Stop Worrying About “Life-Work Balance”

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There have been hundreds of books, seminars, and consultants focused on helping people negotiate the demands of balancing life and work. Yes, there are workaholics who can’t seem to turn it off – ever. But here’s what I think: Life-work balance is only necessary when you’re doing a job you hate. That could cover a lot of careers obviously, because everyone has their own preferences. So if you hate your career (and plan to stay there) then yes – start working on the balance thing. But if you

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Why Plan B Matters for Creative People

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Every parent, upon hearing that a son or daughter wants to become a filmmaker, writer, musician, dancer, or other artist, feels compelled to encourage them to have a “Plan B.” “Take a business minor.” “Get your real estate license.” “Marry a doctor.” We’ve heard it so often it’s become a joke for creative people. But the truth is,

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How To Deal With An Insecure Boss

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Early in my career, I had a string of insecure bosses.  Guys that would steal your ideas and take credit, criticize you in front of others, and do anything to make themselves look good.  So I learned survival techniques early on.  Perhaps that’s why 10 years ago this commentary by Jeanne Sahadi connected with me.  If you’re trapped in a situation with an insecure boss, this might help transform your outlook:

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Paul Revere and the Power of Networking

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In the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, he tells the story of Paul Revere and the start of the American Revolution.  Everyone knows the story – one day a stable boy overheard a British officer telling another soldier that tomorrow there would be “hell to pay”.   The boy ran with the news to the home of a silversmith named Paul Revere.  It wasn’t the first rumor Revere had heard.  He knew the British were up to something, and was aware of the increasing number of British soldiers and land and ships in the harbor.  At 10:00pm that night, he decided

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My Rules for Attending Meetings

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I hate meetings. I really do. So if I have to attend a meeting, I want it to be productive. Over the years I’ve actually fired employees who couldn’t control themselves during meetings (I’ll explain later). So if you’re on my team and attending a client meeting, branding meeting, project meeting or any other kind of meeting with me, you have to know what I expect. Here’s a list of things I want my people to know during a meeting, and the list might be worth sharing with your team as well:

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