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The Golden Rule To Being A Powerful Writer

It’s been a year since I started this blog. I have received lots of feedback. The most consistent has been around one thing that readers like most about “Wrestling Possums.” I was surprised, and have worked damned hard to use this feedback every time I write. It’s the secret to being a powerful writer.

Writing is still a big part of business. Proposals. Emails. Blogs. Whatever. Some people are really effective business writers. The rest are generally terrible. But it is a simple habit that sets great business writers apart from the rest. And this is particularly so with writing emails.

Do yourself a favor. Take this blog post to heart. Grab hold of this tip and make it part of your writing, always. If you want to be a great writer, then you must follow this one Golden Rule:

The Best Advice I Ever Received About Changing Jobs

I’d been CEO of Ogilvy PR for two years having sold my PR firm into the group. I was feeling stale and wanted a change. But I did not have the courage to quit, fearing a life of selling bananas on street corners if I left my current security for the great unknown. And then a wise man gave me some advice. I quit next day. This is what he told me.

I was reminded of this story while having breakfast recently with a dynamic software and gaming industry leader who recently decided to leave that career and start afresh.

He was frenetic in analyzing his recent career, and on what he thought he’d do next. I stopped him after the first coffee. “Focus entirely on the future, but don’t get fixated about having absolute clarity about what you want to do next. Rather, follow this critical piece of advice that was given to me once. It will ensure you make the right decision.”

How To Achieve Outstanding Results- On Time, Every Time

Tony Blair’s autobiography was a dull read. Then – suddenly- as he was detailing the process he drove to bring peace to Northern Ireland (pretty cool), he shared a tip so powerful that I immediately stole it, and now use every day to help myself, our businesses and people, achieve more. This is what he said.

Actually, I learnt a lot from Tony Blair’s autobiography, but only realized its impact some time after I finished it. For example, the power of taking breaks from the office with senior colleagues… of getting away from the pressure cooker, and calming things down so as to talk deeply and resolve – calmly- complex issues. At STW, CEO Mike, CFO Lukas and I call these our ‘Fresh Air Sessions.’

But it was the technique he used to drive complex negotiations around the Northern Ireland peace process that was his most valuable insight. It’s vital for business success, and to create sustainable momentum.

Vidal Sassoon Told Me This Key To Success- Have You Got It?

Hairdressing icon Vidal Sassoon died a couple of days ago. To hairdressers, he was quite simply a rock star. But it was something he told me almost 20 years ago that I want to share with you today. It startled me when he said it, and the truth of it resounds just as powerfully today. See if you agree.

Vidal Sassoon – self-made, highly driven and from a grindingly poor background – revolutionized the hairdressing craft. His obituary in The Sydney Morning Herald read: “ An astute businessman, he made a fortune from his salons and products, and became a household name.”

I was having lunch with him during a promotional tour we were coordinating in the mid-1990s. I asked him about his success and fame. And it was then that he told me a simple truth that not only underpins my approach to my career and life, but is something I have shared with as many people as I can. This is what Vidal told me.

How My SAAB Car Teaches Us A Critical Lesson In Business- And In Life

My car buff mates ridicule me because – in 25 years- I have only ever owned Saab cars. I’ve had seven of them. Now that Saab has gone bust, they laugh even louder. But little do they know that the essence of Saab, and why I buy them, has also taught me the most critical ‘must have’ to survive in business. If you don’t do this, you will fail- guaranteed.

Last night at dinner in a brightly lit Japanese restaurant in Jakarta, my colleague Mike B wept with tears of laughter.

“What are you going to do now that Saab has gone out of business?! No more spare parts for you…hahahaha!” He rubbed it in by telling me the TV car show ‘Top Gear’ had done a great segment on the demise of Saab, and he’d send me the link. Watching it an hour later, I suddenly realized why I always bought Saabs, and why that very same reason had underpinned my ability to keep surviving in business. If you don’t have this in your armory, beware. You WILL come a cropper.

I Am Ashamed Of My Greatest Failing-But At Last I Am Beating It

What do WD-40 ( a type of grease lubricant), an amazingly successful entrepreneur, and my greatest failing in life all have in common? Calm down! This is NOT an R rated story. It’s a story about fear. Maybe it will help you beat yours? Read right to the end – there’s a surprise there for you.

I had breakfast last week with an inspiring and highly successful young entrepreneur, Creel Price. He sold one of his businesses a few years ago for $100 million. (He paid for breakfast.) From his website www.creelprice.com :

“Creel developed his serial entrepreneurial nature from the age of 11 when he started a strawberry business that within two years was employing both his parents. … Creel recently established the Club Kidpreneur Foundation, a social enterprise committed to assisting youths start and grow their own micro-enterprises in order that one day they may choose entrepreneurship as a career.”

“What’s the point of Kidpreneur?” I asked him. And the first sentence of his answer summed up one of my greatest failings, and greatest fears.