By The Book: Perspective for Your Business Opportunities

Who and what you allow into your head matters.  Reading a book gives an author plenty of time to wrestle with your assumptions and state their case, and much of the opportunities I see for businesses in 2012 are framed by the authors I've invited into my head in the last year.

Derek Sivers is best known as the founder of CD Baby, but you may know him as the narrator in the viral YouTube video "Leadership Lessons from a Dancing Guy."  Sivers asserts that the most important role in starting a movement is not the leader.  It is the first follower, because the first follower teaches other followers how to follow.

In his book, Anything You Want (Domino Project, 2011), Sivers, a musician at heart, describes taking a new song to his voice coach.  Sivers would sing it, then his voice coach had him sing it an octave high, an octave lower, now twice as fast, now half, now like Bob Dylan, then Tom Waits.  It became hard to remember the original idea of the song.

Read more: By The Book: Perspective for Your Business Opportunities

Lumachi: [loo MAWK ee] to move the unmovable with ease and compassion

Shaun Lumachi's star shined so bright that, on Saturday December 3, 2011, God decided Shaun would best serve Him by His side.  Damnit.

I think it was February, 2004, when I first met this young guy from the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.  He was walking up to the stage to receive an incredible honor - Chamber Staff Person of the Year from the Western Association of Chamber Executives.  I took note because based on the introduction, I expected someone much older.

Here was this Italian kid with a perfectly round noggin shaved bald.  Lumachi?  How do you spell that?  He was the Tasmanian Devil of the chamber of commerce industry.  He doesn't look like a chamber guy... maybe a mobster?

Read more: Lumachi: [loo MAWK ee] to move the unmovable with ease and compassion

Books about how to write books

Over the last 2 years, I've been writing 2 books.  REMEMBERSHIP is at the printer and I just signed the proof this morning (May 13, 2011).  It should be done by the end of May.

I'm particularly excited about my next project.  The working title, for now, is Business Tips from Experts You've Never Heard Of.

I've been reflecting on what it took to get to this point - a lot - especially as so many friends and colleagues have inquired about the process.  While most of them are curious to know how it is that I have enough to say to fill a whole book, I find that my favorite questions are about the business side of self-publishing.

Read more: Books about how to write books

The problem with being obvious

Back in the early 70's, the world's strongest shoe brand was born. Rather than calling it "The World's Best Shoes," Phil Knight called it Nike.

If Facebook was named "Another Social Network," it wouldn't be the world's largest.

There's more market power in being less obvious. I bet "The Human Bean," the coffee drive-thru near my home, does more business than one called "Coffee, Espresso & Stuff."

Read more: The problem with being obvious

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