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June 13, 2009

What is an expert?

An expert is somebody who works with a suitcase more than 60 miles from their home. 

As a young kid I loved the travel involved with the consulting life, as a maturing adult I started to resent it, and today - it is what it is. A vital part of the game that I really love playing. (The clients don't come to us after all)

I have come to accept that a large part of my waking time will be spent on the road, in hotels, waiting in airports, and lining up at immigration checkpoints. (Alas..I really do not enjoy the last of these)

One of my coping mechanisms has been to try to leverage my time as much as possible. And I do that principally through Audio books. Where I used to read a book every three weeks to a month, I now burn through two to three books every week.

And sometimes some pretty weird stuff as well. Einstein: His Life and Universe - I was never going to read that one. But a three hour trip later - I am now up on Einsteins life, and I am amazed by what he really achieved. (I didn't really get it before)

Or, say,
A Shortcut to Good Grammar (Instant Scholar Series) which has been a great help.

Anyway, these are the 5 standout audio books that I have been listening to lately. I sincerely recommend them, as well as - not only was it a great idea - but it has changed much of my life, as I am now far more knowledgeable than I was a year ago.

Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time
 Joel Comm's classic work on Twitter, how to use it to build a brand for the modern age, and how to create real followers - not just the type of followers I gathered during my own recent experiment.

At first I thought this was not going to be a good value for money book - but Joel came through with some really powerful insights that I have been applying ever since.

The Sales Advantage: How to Get It, Keep It, and Sell More than Ever
 One of the Dale Carnegie books. I like this, and I also like The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words into Magic and Dreamers into Millionaires.

Ever since Seth Godin, bless him, wrote permission marketing the world has undergone a gigantic shift on its axis. The result? marketers from all over the place are rushing into new types of marketing, new forms of reaching the unreachable, and using new platforms.

One of the casualties of this has been the old Jedi like skills of the olden day Ad execs. Writing headlines that grab you, ad copy and its structure, wording, creating specific emotions and so on. I see these two books as background skills that all of us should have - even if their use then was far different than our use of them today.

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World
 Brilliant, classic Seht Godin. This book, along with his many others, has been reviewed so many times that there is little I can add to anything on the issue. If you have the book, get the audio book, if you don't have the book - buy everything he has written. (Period, as Tom Peters says)

Memory: Tricks of the Mind I am a big fan of Derren Brown. His use of psychological trickery is unique, new and very powerful. When he speaks and tries to teach mere mortals like me how to do some of that stuff - I tend to listen. \ expert is probably more than just somebody working with a laptop who is more than 60 miles from home... and I am pretty sure that knowledge like this stuff has something to do with it.

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