Meta Narrative Nonfiction

I’m reading Susan Orlean’s Rin Tin Tin biography. The history and trivia is fascinating, as is the biography of Lee Duncan, the rather odd man who found Rinty in a bombed-out German military compound in France during WWI. I’m still not crazy about the structure: interrupting the story periodically with the author’s reflections about the… Read more »

Coaching for Trailblazers

In his New Yorker article Personal Best, physician Atul Gawande makes an off-hand comment about coaching that (I suspect) some professional coaches would not like. Self-improvement has always found a ready market, and most of what’s on offer is simply one-on-one instruction to get amateurs through the essentials. It’s teaching with a trendier name. I… Read more »

Fighting Words

Another day, another sermon to the choir from proponents of positive dog training. If you are not in the dog world, the furious dialogue is probably unfamiliar to you: dog trainers who apply Pavlovian and Skinnerian theory to their craft have harsh criticisms for trainers who rely upon (and teach to their clients) training and… Read more »

Unscrambling Your Small Business

Talk to anyone about starting a business and you’ll hear one, if not all, of the following three warnings. You’ll even hear them from small business owners. #1 – Having clients is like having multiple bosses. #2 – Being self-employed means working 24/7. #3 – Business owners are always scrambling for work. Truth? If these… Read more »

Women of Google+

There’s a lot of speculation but no good answers for why men are overrepresented on Google+ Please join me there, whatever your gender!

Is Resume Speak Killing Your Business Prose?

Many years ago, I hired a personal trainer who operated his own practice within my health club. I had seen him working with his clients, liked his style, and observed that the people he trained got results. After our three trial sessions, he sat me down to discuss the possibility that we’d continue working together…. Read more »

Happy Birthday, Lucy! Built to Last

I don’t have time for the eloquent Lucy tribute piece I hoped to write. So, I’ll share this tidbit. I have spent years of my life watching Lucy. I’m watching the Hallmark Channel’s I Love Lucy marathon right now as I work. The image of her that sticks with me is one I only read…. Read more »

Who Do You Love?

Most marketing gurus will tell you, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” To get more clients, the advice goes, let people get to know you, establish your credibility, and be personable. Why do so many people resist the idea that a business owner should vet customers against the same criteria? Your… Read more »

Project Fee or Hourly Rate? That’s the Wrong Question

Today I read yet another set of blog posts debating whether writers, designers, and other creatives should charge hourly fees or project fees. The debate leads freelancers to focus on the wrong questions. If you’re going to make a living as an independent business owner, first get a good understanding of how your business model… Read more »

Are You Really “Unqualified”?

Some of my resume clients agonize over which jobs they “qualify” for. I encourage people to break down what they mean by qualification. Most people blur four distinct issues: Being uncredentialed. A doctor or lawyer must have a license. In those realms, an individual without a license is unqualified by definition. In most occupations, credentials… Read more »