[Originally posted August, 2004. Some of it is a bit dated but there’s still a lot there worth chewing on etc.]
How to have smarter conversations.
Somewhere along the the line I decided that embracing “Smarter Conversations” was preferable to prematurely consigning my career to the dustbin of history. I just wrote down some random thoughts:
1. Understand why what you’re offering to do for other people is interesting, important, meaningful etc then start telling people about it.
Think about this one. Hard. If you don’t know, then how will other people know? Exactly. They won’t.
2. Live like you know the difference between remarkable and unremarkable, like it matters to you.
The more “remarkable” matters to you, the more likely that it will appear in the product you’re selling. The more likely other people will notice it.
3. Seek out the exceptional minds.
This is my basic mantra. It’s a good one to have. Not everybody gets it. Their loss.
4. Start a blog.
Blogs are funny things. Say something smart, people pay attention. Say something dumb, you’re ignored. We big media folk just can’t seem to get our heads around that concept, for some reason. Regular blogging can help train you to better discern between smart and dumb. Makes it easier to extend this to the rest of one’s business.
5. Ruthlessly avoid working for companies that “don’t get it”.
Yeah, you may have to turn down a few gigs, and that can really hurt when the rent is due. Still, anything that’s easy to get isn’t worth having.
6. Ruthlessly avoid working for companies that think they know better than you.
Luckily, if you get the whole “smarter conversations” thing, their “Yes, Buts” will just seem rather empty. Making them easier to “toss out like old furniture”.
7. Be nice.
Smarter conversations are fuelled by goodwill. Lose it and die.
8. Be honest.
Again, smarter conversations are fuelled by goodwill etc.
9. Karma is key.
But you already know that. Or you’re stupid. No middle ground on this one, sorry.
Tongues are dumber than brains, brains are dumber than ears etc.