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Posts Tagged ‘writing

Words of Wisdom and Magic Words

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Today I am preparing for a writing test, the only clue that I have is an article they suggested to read carefully. My first inclination–after taking a deep breath–is to Google ‘writing test’, and one of the search results brings a quote by Seth Godin to my attention.

“If you’re trying to hire someone who presents well to strangers, creates documents without typos, is good at seeking out interesting new opportunities, can think on her feet in an interview and can network with strangers in search of a goal, your current hiring system is probably perfect.

Unfortunately, those skills don’t apply to most jobs.

As a result, we end up hiring people who are good at self-marketing, not at what we need them to do.”

When I read the first sentence, I felt a surge of energy going trough my spine, “that is me!” The following two sentences got me several points to ponder about the hiring process I am currently involved in. The first one being rather obvious: “is this the right time to write a blog posting about it?”

I am very much aware of the fact that English is not my native tongue, I landed here in the US ten years ago, and the English we studied in The Netherlands is the British “version” of this fascinating language.

The next step is to go back to the job description, and ask myself for each item, “Can I do that?” and “How well can I do that?” I still feel confident–sigh, another deep breath–“What else is there to consider?” How about my writing style, does it go with their services, industry, and lingo?

I am even more grateful for attending that three-day training in Utah last year (Book Publishing 2.0), where we learned how to write for different audiences and wrote the same piece of text to the four main Myers-Briggs types, and exercise I highly recommend.

Grammar, syntax, and split infinitives are creating a word cocktail in my left hemisphere, or is it my frontal lobe? I need another Google! What part of my brain controls writing and spelling? Herschell Gordon Lewis told me–during a Copy Writing Master Class–to “delete 3 of the 4 words you write”, is it time for that?

“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

(Linguist Noam Chomsky created this sentence–which is grammatically correct but incomprehensible–to demonstrate that the rules governing syntax are distinct from the meanings words convey.)

Wait…Let’s go back to Seth’s observation, the skills he describes do apply to this position, and they are skills I possess! I write for 4 blogs, I can express myself in 140, 420, and an infinite amount of characters. I read (books, blogs, news, and social media) and write every day, and I love it!

Which reminds me of a recent cartoon by Hugh McLeod showing a perpetual circle with the words: “I am good at what I do, because I love what I do, because I am good at what I do, because I love what I do.” When you love what you do, you are the best and most authentic you can be, which inspires and provides a natural attraction of quality and creativity.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
Mark Twain

“I am comfortable to approve myself, period.”

Very excited to update this post with this genius video!


Written by Monique DiCarlo

November 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

They’re not buying what you sell, they buy who you are!

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Last year I had the privilege to attend a 3 day workshop called Book Publishing 2.o lead by Michel Drew and his knowledgeable, fun team (Anthony Garcia, Chris Maddock, Mark Effinger, Ron Porter, Jeff Sexton, Garrett Gunderson, Larry Benet, and others).

“From his early days helping publicize books for Bard Press, Entrepreneur Magazine, Longstreet Press, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael Drew has shown a gift for promoting the written word. He went on to found Promote A Book in 2003 which, under his leadership, has helped launch more than 65 books onto national bestseller lists.

Beyond merely helping books to sell well, however, Michael Drew works with authors to expand their reach and build their platforms to become even more effective entrepreneurs and thought leaders for today’s idea-hungry marketplace.

Michael has observed up-close the shifting dynamics of the publishing industry and how content reaches today’s varied audiences. As a result, he has expanded Promote A Book’s services to include consulting and planning on everything from Internet distribution and website building, to video creation, to book trailers, podcasting and more. ”

Michel served his Pendulum presentation.

“Michael Drew takes us into the world of 40-year cycles in our society, and the implications of “quantum media” and the way we’ll need to think about leadership in the current cycle.”

We entered our current “CIVIC” cycle in 2003. It is important to build your platform for this civic cycle and be aware of the features the civic generation* has adapted. Observe the ” Alpha”, a person who takes the lead to a future change and inspires the mass, in this time it means you have to look at the youth.

CIVIC is all about community (see the growth of new/social media). More civic and how it translates in a business environment:

  • Avoid hype and pretence. Go for reality+truth!
  • Don’t we-we all over yourself, it’s about your audience
  • You must deliver on all you promise in your marketing materials.
  • Keep a balance between your own and your customers’ benefit.

Check: The Cluetrain Manifesto

Today’s customers aren’t just buying what you’re selling, they’re buying who you are!

*Definition of a generation = predominant world view

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