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You Don’t Have to Be an Asshole to Be an Authority

In: Communication, Confidence, Finding Your Voice,

There’s a conflict between authority and earnestness.

You want to be viewed as an expert…but you also want to be down-to-earth.

You want people to respect you…but you also want to be relatable.

You want to command high fees…but you also want to be accessible.

Most people flip flop back and forth between these two extremes. They’re either all business—but missing any real connection—or they’re all earnestness—but missing the respect.

But this isn’t a zero sum game. You don’t need to give up either to have the other.

You can become an earnest authority, as I like to call it, by taking a hard line—but by doing it in the most generous and loving way possible. It’s less about what you do, and more about the way you do it. Learning how to communicate with elegance is, once again, the top secret star of the show.

You don’t have to be an asshole to be an authority.

You don’t have to be a pushover to be caring.

But you do have to learn how to speak.

Perhaps easier done than said?



Nice Brands Finish Last

[x_blockquote type=”center”]I take it as an insult when somebody calls me The N Word: Nice.[/x_blockquote] Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that […]

In: Branding, Communication, Confidence,




“It’s Too Dangerous to Travel.” (And Other Hard Conversations I Had While Driving Through Rural America.)

“It’s too dangerous.” Three little words I kept hearing over and over again when I visited the United States this fall. At dinner tables from Boston to Philadelphia, and everywhere in between—specifically many rural towns, as I was in search of autumn—we would talk about where I live in Costa Rica. How I had spent […]

In: Communication, Finding Your Voice, Hard Stuff,


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