Why I Was Rightly Fired

Last year I started playing bass and singing backing vocals with some English musicians here in town.

At first it all went well: we clicked, we grooved, we harmonised.

We did one short gig which went fairly alright: the audience was happy, which is always a good start.

But after a few weeks I was told that they’d rather continue as a duo.


“Your singing is fine, your playing is good too, but…”

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A Few Small Samples of Mentorship Reviews

Thought I’d share some tips that I pulled out of some of the mentorship reviews I’ve been writing lately.

To explain: I number each line in my students’ copy, and then analyse line by line, commenting where necessary.

Each of the points below refers to one particular line in the submitted copy.


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Why Inspirational Videos of Superhuman Feats Wreck Your Self-Confidence

When I was 18 I started a training to in the end become a psychiatric nurse.

It was a four-year course while working on a psychiatric ward, preceded by 6 months of classroom schooling.

After those 6 months, I dropped out.

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The Day My Father Saved My Life – and Why You NEED Ninja Skills


I go into the bend just a little too fast, so I lift my foot off the accelarator.

It’s no use: this old and battered jalopy with its worn tires and leaking suspension doesn’t obey and veers to the edge of the tarmac.

The right front wheel runs off the edge into the gravel – I correct to the left.

Instantly, the entire front of the car starts bobbing wildly, driving us chaotically to the left side of the road.

There’s a 5 meter cliff and no guardrail on that side.

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On Focus, Efficiency, Learning and Art. Oh Yeah, and Smart Questions

Just had a Skype call with a subscriber, an artist/writer/translator in The Netherlands.

She’s a clever cookie.

But she’s also a fine example of that weird ‘sales are evil’ mindset.

And yet, over the last few months I’ve been observing her progress, and I must say she’s doing very interesting things.

She’s learning a lot about marketing, and she’s figuring out how to do it in her own way, without feeling sleazy.

Implementing lessons, putting her name out.

Even writing calls to action.

And, she’s getting in more clients for her translation business.

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So, What Actually Are You Saying?

What you say to people and how you say it – it matters a lot.

Point in case: There’s a site called You Are Not So Smart, which is an intelligent useful blog about the human condition and self-delusion that goes with it.

But the owner set up his emails to always start the subject line with ‘You are not so smart’, followed by the title.

I just really resent seeing that in my inbox all the time.

Yes I know I’m not so smart – it’s part of the human condition. I know that.

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They May Love You, but That Doesn't Mean Their Advice Doesn't Stink

I can’t say this often enough: Advice can be dangerous.

If you ask the ‘wrong’ people and go with their opinion, you could get into all kinds of trouble.

Like the time I was told by friends that it would be really smart to sell my convertible.

I did what they said, and lost several thousand dollars, and one swell ride. Oops.

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Quick Question, do me a Favor?

Are you on Twitter at all?

I used to have tons of fun on there, a few years ago.

If you think I’m nuts in these emails, Twitter was where I’d really let my hair down.

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Sure do Love my Clients

Some days, my emails just write themselves.

Or rather, get written for me by happy clients.

Like Inge, for example:


“Martin’s Mentorship Program is exactly what I needed. As a small business owner, writing good blog posts is important to me. But it’s also hard. I’ve taken online writing and blogging classes, but those still left a gap.

Martin’s service fills that gap by editing my own writing attempts. His comments go wide and deep;

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Never Take Advice From These People

That client I mentioned yesterday, who decided to remove the copy and call to action from his landing page?

He told me that he had asked a number of people for feedback, and they said the new version of the page was clear enough.

The problem is: he asked the wrong people.

Here’s the deal.

We all need feedback – it’s important, healthy, necessary.

But it’s incredibly important to choose who you ask.

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