Saturday, February 17, 2007

Shut up and listen

Most people I meet I really like.

I think people are surprised when they
meet me and discover I'm not the guy
they thought I'd be.

It was great fun at a recent event when
I was sitting next to a guy, having a beer
and he asked me what I do -

"I wrote the Adwords Black Book . . ."

He almost fell out of his chair.

"You're kidding! I'm on your list - I love
your stuff. Are you guys on his list?
You should be - it's great."

That kind of thing is fun -

It's all I said and I said it to plenty of
other people who just looked at me with
a blank glassy stare . . .

"OK dude . . . never heard of you or your
book . . . don't want to sound stupid . . .
don't know who the hell you are . . ."

So, you've got another guy there - a young

Every chance he gets he's trying to tell
someone how great he is, how much
money he makes, how much insider access
he has.


Reminds me of the kids who hot rod up and
down our street in a Bondo gray 1986 Honda
with a blown muffler.

Dudes . . . you're not cool.

You're annoying.

And, your car is loud, not because it's got
something hot under the hood . . . you need
a new muffler.

OK - I probably did some dork-ass stuff like
that too.

Back to the venti-uno braggart.

I don't know, maybe it's all true but I've
found the more I shut up the more
successful I tend to be.

Here's my modus operendi . . .

I like to enter a situation as the quiet guy
in the background - the shadow.

I listen, I learn, I assess.

Then, if I have something worth saying,
I say it.

A lot of people I've known get lulled into
underestimating me.

The people who really know me, know
that when I do say something, it's worth
listening too (if they can make sense of

Mainly though, when I'm in a room full of
smart people I've found I have far more
to gain by listening to what they have to

Sometimes, shut up and listen is good


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