Category: Communication Skills

How to Stop Writing With a Stick Up Your Rump: A Foolproof Way to Add More Personality Without Being Unprofessional

One of the things I get asked about forty hundred times a day (besides whether or not I know there’s a hair sprouting from my chin) is this: “I’m not as boring as I seem on paper, but from all those years in corporate America / Catholic school / working as a mad scientist, my writing is feeling a little…constipated.” You might even commit the crime of talking in the third person (“Jane Doe has extensive experience in creating high-level

Does Your Writing Suffer from Overthinking? 3 Signs You Need to Trust Your Voice More—And Outside Opinions Less

You know when you sit down to write and your brain sort of feels kind of…constipated? (I’m all about that classy imagery.) You finally manage to put a sentence on the screen, but then you backspace over the word “fucking”—because if you say “fucking,” no one will take you seriously—but then you retype the same word, wondering if you were to use such a word, whether it would come across as self-assured and bold, or lowball and crass? You decide to leave

3 Mistakes EVERYONE Makes With Their Homepage Headline (That Can Seriously Flatline Your Messaging)

Things that are hard: opening literally any package of scissors, planks, death, restraining yourself around a person who’s sniffling (my biggest pet peeve), realizing you are too fat to go indoor skydiving (legit just happened to me), and scrubbing the water rings off of your glass cooktop stove. Things that are harder: Writing your homepage headline when you have zero clarity about your brand promise, your brand positioning, and your value proposition. ? Ugh, did you just groan?? Was that

How to Nail Your Friggin’ Message, Once and For All, Using This Trick

If there were a richter scale of “OH F**K,” you know which two questions top the charts for creators? So, what do you do? Can you send over your professional bio? kisssssesssss LAWDY, LAWD. The two worst questions in the history of working for yourself. (That and “how much money did you make last year?” which, for the record, only entitled d-bags ask.) These are the kinds of questions that can make a person do terrible, horrible things—like give up

16 Words That’ll Help You Defeat Refund Bullies Over the Phone ? ?

I hate phone calls. In fact, there are fewer things I hate than when my phone rings. The first thought: WHO DARES…HAVE THE NERVE…TO CALL…UNINVITED?!? It’s basically the modern equivalent of dropping in on someone unannounced—especially if it’s a video call. Quick, hide the mannequin! Hide the hamburgers! Hide MY ENTIRE FACE! (Oh, you don’t have mannequins and hamburgers lying around? I’M SORRY.) I know I’m not alone—at least with the phone call bit. ? This is hilariously one of

Should You Talk Politics in Business? Or Stay Neutral and Keep Your Mouth Shut?

THIS WEEK, am I right? I literally didn’t sleep on Tuesday. Then I finally get to sleep, and wake up to this morning. How can you be talking about anything else right now? *cue the person who’s definitely sending out emails right now about making the perfect pumpkin spiced latte* Is that jarring to you? It’s a bit jarring to me—like someone running in the room and shouting, “There’s an active shooter outside and he’s coming for us all!” and

Talking Trash: How It Helped Elect the World’s Most Dangerous President

“There’s your dad.” It was ~the line~ growing up. We’d race to see who could whisper it first: an elderly man jogging by with a wedgie; a New Yorker passing through with a gold medallion necklace; a guy down at the gas station missing too many front teeth; the bank teller who was just a little too stern. My go-to response was always: “Probably—want me to ask him out for ya?” This kind of banter was par for the course;

Can Americans Ever Like Each Other Again?

72.14% That’s a good chunk, right? Say, if I were to eat 72.14% of a Domino’s pizza, we’d all be like, “WHOA, ASH IS MURDERING THAT THING.” Similarly, if you were to drink 72.14% of the wine, I might murder you. This is an equal opportunity kitchen, thank you very much. Because 72.14% is pretty basically three-fourths of a whole, which is otherwise known as “most of it!” And in the year 2016, most of the people! in the rural

A Note on Writing, Politics & What the Hell We’re Doing Now

Hey. I really wanted to send you a personal note (wait, who am I kidding, they’re all my personal notes) to say thank you. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here. Thanks for sticking with me through a launch like we just completed. (I know sometimes my emails are…a lot. You should see how excitable I am in person.) I’m going to work even harder moving forward to get you what you need—whether it’s finding your voice, inspiration & ideas

Taking Time Off for the Holidays but HAVEN’T TOLD YOUR CLIENTS? Here’s a Proven Script You Can Use (That Won’t Put Anyone’s Undies in a Bunch)

Last week I gave you a savage script for what to say when you want to raise your rates come the New Year—without seeming like a total grabby, greedy, ungrateful weirdo. But guess what? This fun train’s just begun, because this week, YOU GET ANUTHAAA ONEEEE. It’s the middle of December, my friend, and that means that if you have not yet told your clients that—HI, YOU ARE TAKING OFF FOR THE HOLIDAYS (assuming you are not a celibate cyborg)—you’re