A Great Business Lesson From the Grammys

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award winning performance

Back in my Seattle TV days, I used to hang out occasionally with a guy named Dave Grohl, who was the drummer for a little trio called Nirvana. Last night, he and his current band, Foo Fighters, picked up five Grammy awards. While accepting the award for Best Rock Album, Dave said something that really struck a chord (pun intended, thank ...

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Don’t Be Like Netflix!

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award-winning performanceSo I got a Roku for Christmas. Now, I know that “a Roku” sounds like one of those yappy little dogs that Paris Hilton would carry around in a purse, but it’s not. It’s actually a very cool little device that sits near your TV and lets you stream movies and TV shows from sources like Hulu and Netflix. And the Roku ...

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The Power of “Focus”

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I just finished co-chairing (with the truly amazing Ruby Newell-Legner) a major conference for my professional organization, the National Speakers Association (NSA). By all accounts, it was a huge success (which translates, of course, into huge relief for me!). In the three days since the event ended, I’ve spent some time trying to discern what it was that made the conference so successful.

Yes, we had some truly great speakers and presenters. Yes, the format flowed ...

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How Lucky Can You Get?

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award winning performanceAs a professional speaker, I spend a lot of time in airports. In fact, I just returned from about two weeks on the road, and I noticed something interesting about people when they’re in airports. What I noticed was this:

A lot of people in an airport begin their sentences with the phrase, “With my luck…”

“With my luck…

  • …the flight will be delayed.”
  • …I’ll end up in a middle seat.”
  • …the guy in ...
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Why Your New Years Resolutions Fail

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We’re well into January, and I’m guessing that by now you’ve already begun abandoning your well thought out and well intentioned New Years resolutions. And they were well intentioned, weren’t they? That’s because it’s so much easier to be optimistic when you’re looking at the new year through the rosy vapors of last night’s champagne. But then stark reality hits ...

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2 Questions to Ask After a “Failure”

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In a recent blog article, I made the observation that too many of the big decisions we make in life are predicated on the avoidance of failure rather than on the achievement of success. In other words, we make too many “safe” decisions because we’re afraid of what might happen if we fail. I encouraged my readers to aim higher—to shoot for greatness, innovation, and influence.

But what if you do fail?

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Avoiding Failure vs. Achieving Success

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We spend far too much time trying to avoid failure. It drives many (maybe even most) of our decisions—at least the bigger ones.

“What if I fail?”

“What if this doesn’t work?”

“What if I get embarrassed?”

“What if I get sued?”

Sure, these questions—and others like them—need to be taken into consideration. But all too often they become the primary decision driver. We make our decisions based ...

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A Success Lesson from Paul McCartney

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Paul McCartneyI’ve had the good fortune to meet Paul McCartney a few times. And I say “good fortune” not just because it’s cool meeting famous people; I say “good fortune” because of the lesson I learned—and re-learned—from this guy (who, as a refresher to our younger readers, was one of the Beatles).

Think about this: Paul McCartney is arguably the most famous ...

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Are You a Worker Bee or a Wannabe?

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I was recently talking to a fellow speaker about marketing. She was complaining (whining, really) because she had to put together a new marketing campaign for her services, and she wasn’t enjoying the process. She said she didn’t want to do any marketing. I asked her what she did want, and she said:

“I just want people to hire me.”

Well, don’t ...

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A TV Producer’s 3 Questions for a Successful Life

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People often ask me, “Bill, what’s the secret to a successful life?”

Okay, that’s a lie. People almost never ask me that. But, given that I’m a multiple Emmy Award winning TV producer, they do occasionally ask me what the secret is to being a successful producer. And you know what? It turns out that the factors that made me a successful television producer are also the factors that can make you successful in life. Because, when you think about it, ...

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