Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself

You Inc The Art of Selling YourselfRecently finished listening to the audio version of You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith.

There was nothing in this book that I could disagree with. It all made perfect sense. The main takeaway that the book kept on hinting at was to look around you and take note of who impresses you, how they do it and why. Same applies to companies. Compare people to each other. Why does Jill impress you and Nancy not as much? Nancy knows more, speaks better, and is friendlier but she wears jeans and T-shirts to work. Jill is always wearing a business suit, that's all it takes. This is of course a contrived and simple example but it highlights how we are always selling ourselves in everything we do, say, wear and eat.

Sex, politics and religion

It seems that I have known forever that you don't talk about sex, politics, and religion in formal environments. I once attended a lunch with 7 journalists and during the first 30 minutes of lunch all that was talked about was sex, politics and religion. When I jokingly pointed this out they said that as journalists they could talk about anything at anytime. So maybe this rule doesn't apply to journalists. However, it definitely applies to all work environments that I have been in and I have seen some interesting mistakes through slight of tongue on these three forbidden topics.

Apart from listening to this book I also have the hard copy. One thing that I didn't realize about it while listening to it is that it's made up of lots of short one page chapters. Easy vignettes that can each be read in 30 seconds. This is a great book to keep in the lavatory - if that isn't awesome praise then nothing is.

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