The Terrible Truth About The News

June 30th, 2016 (6 Comments)

It was one of the most cynical cartoons I’d ever seen. A colleague had just put it up on the wall of the newsroom at Radio Netherlands International where I was working at that time. The frenzy of fanatic reporters filing their stories disappeared into the background as I read the headline: “WHAT IS NEWS?” […]

Everything is perception. Perception is everything.

June 22nd, 2016 (13 Comments)

Some people believe that auditioning is nothing but a numbers game. Let me tell you a story. Two groups of kids were playing outside. Someone had written a big number 6 on the street, and a fight had broken out because of it. One group claimed that the number was actually a 9. The other […]

How To Hire The Right Voice Over

June 15th, 2016 (9 Comments)

Mike’s corporate video looked like a million bucks. The camerawork was first-rate. The captions were loud and clear. The whole package was a winner. As long as the sound remained muted. Why? Because the voice-over brought everything down. “Where did you find this guy?” I asked. “He sounds like he has no idea what he […]

If Only I had Known

June 8th, 2016 (17 Comments)

“Looking back, and knowing what you know now… what would you have done differently, and why?” This question (and many of its variations), is really popular among those interviewing the rich and famous. It’s meant to elicit golden nuggets of priceless information, acquired over a long and illustrious career. It’s an old trick, and it […]

How Not To Be Like Jeremy Clarkson

June 1st, 2016 (26 Comments)

Last Sunday, the BBC premiered the 23rd season of Top Gear with a new team of presenters. The program drew disappointing ratings in the UK and abroad. This had a lot to do with the absence of star presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who was forced to leave the show. More about that later. Because Clarkson was such […]

Don’t Ever Do This To A Client

May 25th, 2016 (10 Comments)

Sometimes I think I’m in the wrong business. Has that ever happened to you?  Especially during a dry spell, I start looking around, and I see people with a different skill set and a different level of education making tons of money. All the time. How fair is that? Take Tom, for instance. Tom runs a […]

Filling In The Blanks

May 18th, 2016 (15 Comments)

“It’s too risky, too challenging, too expensive, and you’ll be very lonely”. That’s what people told me when I announced that I was going to become self-employed. This was many, many moons ago. I’m sure these folks meant well, but what struck me most was the fact that these self-appointed business coaches were all working in […]

Is Your Client Driving You Crazy?

May 4th, 2016 (3 Comments)

After last week’s story about bad clients, one reader wanted to know: “Have you ever fired a client, and why? I have one customer who is driving me nuts, but I can’t afford to lose his business.” First of all, that’s a horrible position to be in. Many freelancers choose to run their own business […]

Are You in Bed with a Bad Client?

April 27th, 2016 (9 Comments)

I’m not going to waste any time introducing today’s topic. Here’s what I want you to do. Read the statements below, and tell me if any of them sound familiar. “I’ll put in a good word for you.” “I will keep you in mind.” “Next time we will definitely call you.” “One of the best […]

The Cult of Kumbaya

April 20th, 2016 (22 Comments)

Not long ago, Adam Aron, the CEO of America’s biggest movie theater chain, had a brilliant idea.  To attract a younger audience, he wanted to make his AMC theaters smartphone-friendly. If it were up to him, texting would be allowed, and he told Variety why: “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. […]