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The busier I am, the more I stick to my sidchas

posted by Joshua on January 14, 2017 in Freedom, Habits, SIDCHAs
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Being busy means not having time. If you want more time, don’t do things you don’t have to. Makes sense, right?

My book launch is making me busier than ever. I have four or five big in-person events coming up in February to plan and host, a seminar or two to plan and host, two classes at NYU to teach, one sales class in January to teach, … Forbes interviewed me the other day as have as maybe ten podcasts in the past week or two with more to come (I’ll link to them as they get posted), I started my webinar, and I forget what else. Oh yeah, I’m working on a long opinion piece I’m not sure where I’ll submit.

I don’t know if it’s a lot for others, but it feels like a lot to me.

I could free time up by not doing my burpees and writing here everyday, so I should, right? After all, what’s the harm in letting a few days go by? I can catch up later. Most people don’t exercise or write daily at all, let alone most of the time.

On the contrary, the busier I am, the more value I find in the structure my sidchas create. The time I’d save isn’t that great. My exercise, including the burpee routines, rowing, and lifting amount to about the time of one sitcom per day. Not that much.

The confidence and security of knowing I’m keeping things in order helps me more than the time. Nobody is keeping track of my priorities besides myself. I don’t have a 9-5 job enforcing any structure. Keeping a structure helps keep everything else ordered and prioritized. I know I haven’t lost control.

Structure creates freedom, which is different than chaos. Structure makes everything else, no matter how busy, feel in control. So while I feel pressure, I don’t feel emotionally stressed. Then I get more done and stay more calm.

While some might consider the principle

If you miss one day you can miss two. If you miss two, it’s all over.

a burden, the flipside is that as long as you keep it up, you know you’re on top of things. I don’t say that as a logical conclusion, just as the way it’s worked out for me.

Op/ed Friday: How climate change scientists are failing climate change initiatives

posted by Joshua on January 13, 2017 in Education, Leadership, Nature
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I teach leadership and I am passionate about reducing global warming. Global warming is a global effect meaning changing it will require global efforts, meaning changing behavior on a global scale. Changing behavior is leadership.

In other words, changing global warming patterns requires leadership, no matter what technological solutions we find.

Global warming leadership: is there any?

I’ve been asking people lately to name effective leaders—people achieving their goals by motivating and influencing people—in the field of global warming. I recommend pausing reading to think of names yourself.

After you guess, I’ll tell you who is leading most effectively by far in global warming. No one has come up with the answer, but everyone, after I told them my answer, has agreed.

The second most common answer I hear is Al Gore. The next after him is Leonardo Di Caprio, which I consider anomalous because the conversation often begins from talking about his recent movie, Before the Flood. Some name Elon Musk or organizations like the IPCC.

The most common answer? Nothing. Most people can’t name an effective leader in global warming.

That lack of leadership is a problem. I suggest that it’s the problem. Not a lack of technological efficiency, not as long as no matter how efficient we make our processes, subject to physical limitations, our current behavior would still produce more CO2 than nature can process. Not too much CO2 or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and oceans because if we could magically restore them to pre-industrial revolution levels, our current behavior would drive them back up to current levels in a few decades.

Whatever else we do, we have to change our behavior because our behavior is causing the results.

I suggest that effective leadership won’t come from government, nor should we look to government to lead, because government tends to follow what people vote for. I expect change will happen from nature imposing it on us, like with floods, famine, and disease, or by passionate, effective leaders. People want to change, but systems are too hard to change on their own, so they fall back to what’s easiest, which is not to change, to keep driving, flying, and so on.

Martin Luther King, Jr, Gandhi, Mandela, and their peers didn’t get people to do what King, Gandhi, and Mandela wanted them to do. They got people to do what the people themselves already wanted to do. That’s leadership.

The true, effective leaders in global warming

The true effective leaders—people achieving their goals by motivating and influencing people—are the Koch brothers. While nearly everyone knowledgeable on the subject whose wealth or income doesn’t depend on burning fossil fuels agrees that we, collectively, are warming the globe and will create catastrophic results if we don’t change our behavior, they are throttling efforts to change.

In particular, they are among the most effective in setting the public terms of the issue to measuring more than acting on the already overwhelming evidence.

Whom they are leading: scientists

The Koch brothers are calling for more science to delay actions like regulations. Scientists didn’t choose to study climate change to do better measurements. They did it to slow global warming. As long as they keep measuring, they’re following the Koch Brothers, not their own passions.

The Koch brothers’ most important result is to silence and make impotent the people who know the most: climate scientists. That entire community, who could influence us the most, has devoted itself to measuring more data more accurately, retreating from the passion that led them to the field, at least those who pursued climate science not just to measure the problem but to do something effective about it.

The Titanic has a hole in the hull, water is gushing in, and the people who can do something about it are measuring the size of the hole, the rate of water flow, and such things, but not fixing it. They are instead gathering more data to try to persuade a small number of people who will never be persuaded, no matter how much data they present.

One could argue that the Koch brothers are leading the entire community of scientists to gather data instead of acting on it. The scientists are following the Koch brothers’ lead. I don’t think they realize it. I think scientists think they are competing with the Koch brothers. I disagree. They look to me like they are following them.

The situation feels tragic, partly for the scientists, mainly for the future generations whose cities and homes the ocean will submerge and will have to live with all the other results of our burning fossil fuels.

The value of scientists

People like Al Gore and Leonardo Di Caprio have strong skills to influence people but their credibility is low. Scientists have high credibility, but their abilities to influence and persuade are low.

I don’t think we’ll get far teaching Di Caprio science so I think teaching scientists leadership skills will increase the chances of changing global behavior to slow and reverse global warming. I think a major problem is that scientists themselves aren’t changing their behavior, at least not from what I’ve seen. They fly around as much as anyone.

Scientists are credible but don’t know how to influence. People like Leonardo Di Caprio know how to influence but aren’t credible. I think it’s easier to teach scientists how to lead than to teach celebrities enough science to make them credible, or to get them to reduce their pollution like we want most people to. Hence my passion, as someone trained in science, for leadership.

Booklist starred review for my book, Leadership Step by Step: “This is practical training made perfect. Bravo!”

posted by Joshua on January 12, 2017 in Education, Leadership
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I was pleasantly surprised by my publisher, Amacom, yesterday to learn that my book, Leadership Step by Step, received a starred review from Booklist.

Booklist will publish the full review in their February 1st issue, so I can’t quote the whole thing, but I’ll quote what Amacom quoted:

This is practical training made perfect. Bravo!

Booklist starred review Leadership Step by Step

For those who don’t know much about Booklist, like I didn’t before looking them up, I’ll quote this Slate article, “Book Report:How four magazines you’ve probably never read help determine what books you buy“:

Look up a book on, and the first media review you see isn’t from a well-known book review outlet such as the New York Times or Washington Post but from Publishers Weekly. Scroll down, and chances are you’ll also find an opinion from Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, or Booklist.

You’ve probably never read these magazines, even if you’ve seen their names on book jackets. But they’re helping determine what you read. Together, they make up the big four of book industry trade journals, aimed at publishing insiders: newspaper and magazine editors, bookstore and library book-buyers, literary agents, and film industry types scanning them for movie rights. Long important as behind-the-scenes power brokers, they became even more powerful in the 1990s, when online booksellers signed deals with them. (Barnes &, like Amazon, has a deal with Publishers Weekly.) Their reviews—300 or so words of plot summary, context, and a quick verdict—influence which books get noticed, bought, and promoted in the media.

Leadership Step by Step, the book by Joshua Spodek

Take my leadership course in person this spring at NYU, Wednesdays starting February 8

posted by Joshua on January 11, 2017 in Education, Events, Leadership
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For those who live near New York and want to improve how they lead others (and themselves), you have multiple options this spring. Besides my online course, I am offering my leadership course at NYU this spring at NYU’s School of Professional Studies

Register here! Limited seats available (13 last I checked)

Student reviews from my courses

The course will show you why my courses get reviews like:

Register here! Limited seats available (13 last I checked)

“This is one of the greatest classes I have ever taken. It was engaging, thought provoking, challenging, and fun. Josh is an incredible teacher, mentor, and friend to everyone in the class who is passionate about the subject matter. If I could take this class all over again, I would”

“10/10 would take again! I loved every second of this class, but what’s cooler, is that I think I may have loved the homework even more.”

“This was the first course that challenged me, asking me to think outside my comfort zones. Yet, it is also where I developed a strong network of supporters through group projects.”

“It is the exact material that students of my generation need in order to tackle the unknown beyond graduation and in our everyday.”

“This is the most influential yet relaxing class that I have ever taken in my life. … I really loved, enjoyed it, and constantly amazed by how much I learned more and more over the course of practicing Joshua’s exercises. … This is a mutual experiential seminar for both students and professor to explore the meaning of leaderships. … this is a really great class that I will recommend to my friends.”

“This class embodied the perfect balance between in-class work and real-world exercises. … As a result of what I learned from the course, I have been able to have wonderful interview experiences and network effortlessly. I use to think that majority of leading involved delegating task, but boy was I wrong. I learned that most of what consist of being a leader was connecting with people, being able to tap in their innate abilities, and get the job the in the best way possible.”

“This is one of the best courses I had during my studies.”

“Greatest course I have taken”

“He is the best prof I have ever seen”

“This is the best class I have ever taken.”

A seminar attendee who already had an Ivy-League MBA, after doing just two of the course’s twenty exercises wrote:

“Josh, you may be interested to know I took out an Associate who will be working on my team and used your technique. She teared up, saying no one ever asked her these questions and she is so grateful that I am taking an approach to her work based on what she likes and wants to do. It also revealed some of her deep fears and it was quite profound.

Invaluable, thank you.

I felt terrific afterward—in that she felt great and also that I felt I could get more out of her. She is also a friend, so I was conscious that she now reports to me… but that really was entirely neutralized in this conversation. Great stuff.”

Register here! Limited seats available (13 last I checked)

The course will lead you to improve relationships with colleagues, peers, people you report to, people who report to you, friends, family members, new acquaintances, longtime acquaintances, and so on, and, most importantly, yourself.

Here are highlights from a conversation with Marshall Goldsmith about the course:

Listen to this interview of someone who went through the course.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

About the course

The course consists of twenty experiential, active-learning exercises in four units

  • Understanding yourself
  • Leading yourself
  • Understanding others
  • Leading others

The begin from nothing, each building on the ones before and leading to the next, with no big, anxiety-causing jumps. You can do most exercises in an hour. Ones you like you can devote as much time as you like to learn as much as you like. I still do most of the exercises regularly, years after first doing them.

After each exercise, you reflect and post your reflections on the course’s online forum that connects you with everyone else taking the course. You work on your time at your pace, but have a community to develop with the whole time.

There are no long videos to watch or books to read. No leader became great by listening to more lectures or knowing more facts. Leaders become great through experience. This course gives you the experiences that lead to effective leadership, but in safe contexts and ordered for maximum effectiveness, with a supportive community of like-minded people who benefit from helping you and being helped by you, just like you.

Each exercise also includes before and after interviews with someone who took the course for the first time, just like you will. The course will support your efforts the entire way.

Quoting another student:

“Personally, identifying with Josh’s passion for leadership and seeing the great powers it has on creating growth/change, I believe very much that my participation in these exercises were infused with honest effort and great enthusiasm. … I have found increased meaning in the work I do, and have found myself more motivated to arrive and thrive within those spaces. … I am beyond grateful. Thank you.”

Register here! Limited seats available (13 last I checked)

Broaden and Deepen Your Network Using This Simple Hack

posted by Joshua on January 10, 2017 in Exercises,, Leadership, Tips
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Today on Inc., my fellow columnist, Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likable Media, followed up on my recent article about sending gratitude emails.

He pointed out how the practice works beyond what we expected, since he promotes gratitude exercises too. Read the article to see how the practice led us to meet and immediately and easily connect because of it. In particular, we found ourselves in the middle of a tighter circle of mutual connections of valuable people than either expected.

The article, “Broaden and Deepen Your Network Using This Simple Hack,” begins

Broaden and Deepen Your Network Using This Simple Hack

What you can learn from leadership professor Joshua Spodek

How often do you see a practice you love and teach taken to a whole other level? Or two or even three?

Sometimes practices fit together so well to become so much more than the sum of their parts, you almost can’t believe them. But you have to practice and share them.

I’ll explain and show you how you can broaden and deepen your network, and enjoy yourself while doing it, combining three simple ideas that regular readers of mine already know.

Let’s look at the ideas and at Joshua Spodek–my fellow Inc. columnist who teaches leadership and entrepreneurship at NYU and online through his own Spodek Academy–who showed me what you get when you combine them.

The first is gratitude. Chapter 39 in my most recent book, The Art of People, covers gratitude, and how it literally makes me high I feel so good (here’s an excerpt). I’ve blogged about the value of gratitude and my favorite one-minute trick to improve your mood any time.

Read the rest at Broaden and Deepen Your Network Using This Simple Hack.

The value of art education

posted by Joshua on January 9, 2017 in Art, Education
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Engineering, technical, and artistic types often put down the arts and art education as not practical. In an engineering, technical, entrepreneurial community I participate in sometimes, the question arose if anyone had an art degree.

Though I don’t, for the double reason that I learned a lot during my foray into creating and showing art, and basing my teaching in part on the structure of art instruction, I wrote the following, which I consider relevant to teaching the subjects I do:

I didn’t go to art school, but since my first invention was a new medium with new modes of expression that no one else understood like I did, I couldn’t help myself making art with it despite my PhD being in physics. I had several solo gallery shows in New York City, pieces in museums and shown across the U.S. and some internationally, a couple big public pieces in Manhattan, and I taught a couple classes in art/design (at NYU’s ITP and at Parsons).

Now that I teach and coach leadership (not IT work, so different than the question asked), I find art training tremendously valuable. Our educational system is strong on intellectually challenging people, but socially and emotionally teaches more passivity and compliance.

Creating art forces you to express your emotions, be sensitive to others’, to face criticism on what you consider beautiful, to face vulnerabilities, to grow and learn in ways that lecture, problem sets, case studies, reading, and writing papers don’t promote.

I also took some acting classes. Their structure has become the structure of how I teach, which gets very positive reviews from my students. They commonly comment that they never learned this way before, that they didn’t know they could learn what they do in my courses, that they value it deeply, that it’s immediately practical, and they wish they had more of it.

We teach fields that are active, social, expressive, emotional, and performance-based differently than academic subjects and that training teaches genuineness, authenticity, self-awareness, and other things that traditional academic education doesn’t.

Many people think the value of art is about appreciating the art, seeing its effect on culture, and being able to talk about it at cocktail parties. Those things aren’t worthless, but I consider them passive compared to making art, which develops skills valuable beyond what any lecture can deliver. You can also get a lot of that value from sports and some other active activities.

Non-judgmental Ethics Sunday: Can I Out My Ex-Husband to His Girlfriend?

posted by Joshua on January 8, 2017 in Ethicist, Nonjudgment
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Continuing my series of responses to the New York Times’, The Ethicist, without imposing values, here is my take on today’s post, “Can I Out My Ex-Husband to His Girlfriend?

Should I anonymously send a copy of the ad my ex-husband has on a gay-bi-fetish website to his current girlfriend (or more appropriately, beard) to prevent her from discovering too late what took me 15 years to uncover?

My ex has at least two personal ads on two gay-bi-fetish websites. I know for a fact that while he has been dating her, he has met at least one man in a motel room in another state. I am not being malicious in wanting to let her know; my concern is that if her daughter becomes attached to him, and the relationship ends because of his infidelity, it may be difficult for the girl. (Apparently, he spends more time with this woman’s daughter than he does with his own children.)

My children are unaware of their father’s predilection, and even when faced with irrefutable evidence, he has denied everything. My ex does not know that I know about his ads. He does, however, know that I was aware of his perusal of hundreds of such ads, as well as receipts for certain purchases. He is 50 and had a religious upbringing, which I feel is the main reason he has never been forthright. I am not looking to “out him” to the world; I just think this woman should know and/or get herself tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

What do you think is the right way to approach this? Is an anonymous letter or a copy of the ad the way to go? The ad obscures his face, but if you know what he looks like — in a Speedo — and the inside of his old apartment, there is no mistaking him. (Not to mention that I can log in as him and verify the account is registered to him, as he never changed his passwords.)

Lastly, the reason I suggest informing her anonymously is because I don’t want him to know that I was the one who sent the information to her. But should I instead bring it up with her in person, if I ever have the opportunity to speak to her one on one?

I have every intent of sending some-thing, as I am sure this woman thinks things are serious with him after a year, but then I ponder whether it is the right thing to do or whether it will negatively impact my children and me. Name Withheld

My response: Acting anonymously suggests you’re ashamed, or at least not proud, of what you plan to do and expect that people would fault you for it. You sound like you’re writing the Times to say it’s right to absolve yourself of responsibility you sound like you yourself consider yourself guilty for.

Someone once advised me never to do anything I’d be embarrassed about. I’ve found the advice helpful. You’re furtively and deceptively sneaking around, planning to meddle in other adults’ business. Is logging in with someone else’s login information legal? Your implication that you are doing this to help her sounds fatuous.

I recommend living by “Living well is the best revenge.” Then you can drop the holier-than-thou pretense.

By the way, why did you hyphenate “some-thing”?

The New York Times response:

I see two sets of considerations here. On one hand, you acquired the information about your ex-husband as his wife. He has a reasonable expectation of privacy about information acquired that way. If he had bothered to change his passwords, you presumably wouldn’t be aware of his out-of-state tryst. That you know how to log in as him and have clearly been doing so suggests something cyber-stalker-ish is going on here. The fact that you can access this information about him doesn’t mean you have any right to do so. And as your letter suggests, it’s natural to wonder about your own motives in wanting to out your ex to his new girlfriend.

On the other hand, there are real worries if his new partner stays in the dark. (I’m assuming that she is in the dark; it’s entirely possible that she isn’t.) You indicate that your ex might be failing to take the safe-sex precautions that would protect both him and her. Were she to test positive for H.I.V., say, you would have reason to regret not having warned her. Then there’s the risk that she’ll eventually discover his infidelities and that disentangling herself will be painful for her and her daughter. Your use of the word “beard” suggests that you don’t think he is genuinely fond of her, although you don’t offer any evidence for this inference. However he feels, we can agree, he ought to come clean with her. It would then be up to her to decide what she wanted to do.

Do you have a duty to protect her from these risks by passing on confidential information, acquired through marriage, without his consent? I would say no. For one thing, even if you do this anonymously, he may well figure out what happened. And you express concern that this might “negatively impact” you and your children. Despite this, are you morally permitted to go through with your plan? That’s a harder issue in my view — especially given that much of what you’ve learned was through illegitimate means — but on balance, I’d say that you are. Yet you’re not just asking me whether you should do it; you’re asking my advice about how you should do it. Because I’m not sure you should, I’m not going to try to say how. Here’s a piece of advice I do have: It’s time to let go of your ex. You (and he) will be better off for it.

I am a teenage daughter of a loving mother. My mom has sacrificed so much for me, and I love her completely, but for a while I’ve noticed something that frightens me a little. She frequently talks to herself. No sound comes out, but her features will become animated, as though she really is engaging in a conversation. It might happen at any time: as we sit in the living room or, worse, when we are in the car with friends. I’ve always been too scared to ask her about it, for fear she might be offended, but it’s embarrassing, to be honest. It has gotten to the point that when I notice it, I will direct a question or comment to her to try to get it to stop.

Recently, I decided to do some research about the issue, which unfortunately has put me in a tricky spot. I found this could be the early onset of dementia. My grandmother on my mother’s side suffers from dementia, and so many times I’ve wished we could have known sooner. Maybe then we could have been more proactive.

The crisis I find myself in is: Do I overstep my boundaries and hurt or humiliate my mother by suggesting she suffers from some sort of dementia, or bite my tongue and just hope that her silent tête-à-têtes are nothing more than a bad habit? Name Withheld

My response: Your crisis is a false dichotomy. You have more than two options. I recommend speaking to her in a way that neither oversteps boundaries nor humiliates her.

The New York Times response:

The behavior you describe doesn’t sound like a bad habit. It sounds, as you fear, like a symptom of a serious illness. You don’t mention another member of your household, so I’m assuming there’s no other adult around. In that case, I do think you are the person to raise the issue with your mother. There’s no overstepping of boundaries when you express loving concern for a close relative. (It’s a conversation to have when you’re alone together, of course, so there’s less risk of embarrassment.) Because she is presumably aware, at least to some degree, that something is wrong, it may even be a relief for your mother to talk about it. I would be inclined to talk it through first with a medical professional, ideally your family doctor. If your conversation goes well, the next stop may involve you and your mother paying the doctor a visit together.

I told my ex-wife I was not supportive of her decision to allow my boys to play football, because of the risk associated with concussions. (I am not against them playing other, less injurious sports, like lacrosse or ultimate Frisbee.) Because I am not supporting her decision, I am not supporting some of the outreach to parents, like group dinners and buying space in the season program. But I want to support my sons. How much “support” can I offer my boys and still have a clear conscience? M. K., Sandy Hook, Conn.

My response: I can’t figure out enough about this situation to answer, sorry. I don’t know if the parents have joint custody, the children’s age, how intensely they play, etc.

My general thought is that the more time you spend with them doing things they love that don’t result in injury, the less time they have for things that lead to injuries, but not knowing the time you spend with them or access, I can’t say.

Having played ultimate for about two decades, I know many players tore their acls. I got bloody knees, hips, and elbows all the time. I don’t see it as a less injurious sport, nor many sports.

The New York Times response:

I should admit that as someone whose main high-school sport was rugby, I am not entirely alive to the charms of American football. Yes, I go to a Super Bowl party each year, but the fair-catch rule needs explaining to me every time. More to the point, the harm the game does is a serious concern. Supporting this sport encourages an activity that predictably leads to serious brain damage for many people, and there’s significant evidence now that it starts as early as high school. Our descendants may very well shake their heads at the fact that our celebrated American sport had such terrible effects on many of its players.

I assume from what you say that your ex-wife is in a position to determine whether your sons play. Otherwise, given what you know about the damage caused by regular concussions, I would have encouraged you to stop them. Not because allowing them to play gives support to a practice that harms others — abstaining there isn’t going to make much difference — but because you have a special duty to protect your own children.

This may not make you the most popular guy at P.T.A. meetings. High-school football is so much a part of our system that the parent who worries about this is likely to be stigmatized, not the one who encourages it. That ought to change, and I predict it will.

A burpee app?

posted by Joshua on January 7, 2017 in Exercises, Fitness, Habits,, SIDCHAs, Tips
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My 2,192 Days of Burpees post and Inc. article got a lot of responses, including questions how to start from people who felt inspired by this free, zero-equipment, zero-cost, low-risk, healthy, and so on practice.

One reader asked if I could recommend an app. I wrote back

Glad to hear from you and that you’re inspired.

I prefer not to use an app. Like brushing my teeth, I just know if I’m going to bed without doing my burpees. This way I don’t depend on anything external.

If I want to know how many I’ve done cumulatively, I get out a spreadsheet and plug in my starting date in one cell and the current date in another. Taking the difference tells me the number of days between. I multiply that number by the number of burpees I do per day and that’s my answer.

A lot of people ask me how many burpees to start with. Here’s the suggestion that seems to work. In loose-fitting clothes do what feels like as many burpees as you can without going crazy. For some people that’s 5, for others 10. Some more, some fewer. However many you do, subtract 2 from that number and make that how many you do each set. If you could only do 1 or 2, stick with 1 or 2. Then do that number daily forever.

In time, you’ll be able to do more. When you feel comfortable moving up to a higher number, never to drop to a lower number until your body declines with age, decades from now, move up. You might also move to twice-daily. I started with one set of ten. Over the years I’ve added a burpee per set to two sets of 26 plus stretches as well as abdominal and back exercises.

I hope that helps. I found the practice life-changing… one of the greatest improvements to my life. I recommend reading these posts if you haven’t:

Good luck! I’d love to hear how they go after a month, six months, a year, and so on.


I hope the advice helps some out there.

Learn influence, persuasion, and creating and closing deals! Take my 4-session course, January 16 – 26 in NYC

posted by Joshua on January 6, 2017 in Education, Entrepreneurship, Events, Relationships
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Take my 4-session in-person course in influence, persuasion, and creating and closing deals!

I’m offering this course by popular demand, organized by the students who took my leadership class in-person last semester. They knew I’ve offered this class and wanted to take it so they took initiative to make it happen. How could I refuse?

I often call it Entrepreneurial Selling, but it’s deeper than “just” sales. It’s about creating productive relationships, not just in business, though there is a business focus. It’s fine if you’ve never done sales or never plan to, but want to be more persuasive and influential, in ways people appreciate, being the opposite of pushy or invasive, but rather warm, sensitive, caring, and empathetic

  • In job interviews
  • With your managers
  • In personal relationships
  • With family and friends
  • In negotiations
  • And in any give-and-take interaction

I don’t know if or when I’ll offer this popular, engaging, highly rated course again, and probably never at the price below, especially not after my book launches next month.

The class is already populated by the most active students from my class last semester, so you can expect lively and active participation. I’m offering it independent of any institution, so there will be no grades and it will be friendly and informal. The exercises are personal and challenging, but safe and with a mutually supportive group.


Click here to email me

and I’ll put you in touch with the student organizing it.

I wouldn’t wait because I don’t know how fast it will fill up and there are already several people taking it.


  • Dates: January 16 (Monday), 19 (Thursday), 23 (Monday), 26 (Thursday)
  • Time: 6pm – 9pm
  • Location: Lower Manhattan, convenient to public transportation
  • Cost: $200
  • Prerequisites: None

Click here to email me if you’re interested

Course Information

Here is information from the syllabus last time I offered the course. It describes it as more focused on business sales and less generally about influence and persuasion because the university asked me to do so, so expect it to be more general.

Course Description:

Sales skills are essential to anyone in business, and not just to sell a product or service. Sales skills also help to start a venture, to get hired, to get promoted, and to turn ideas into realities. Yet most people shy away from selling out of anxiety, often based upon a short-term, high-pressure view of sales.

This course covers essential and effective skills to influence and motivate in settings beyond just sales calls. These skills especially apply to entrepreneurial environments that have new products, few resources, a short operating history, and a need for new relationships. Learn an effective sales process that builds relationships based on listening, value, and mutual benefit—the opposite of high-pressure sales.

Course Structure/Method:

The course is practical with in-class and at-home exercises to give you experience in key aspects of selling. It adopts a model of setting up and leading a sales call to cover the elements of how to establish trust so potential clients will share their needs, then to create a deal, and to close it.

After a course overview and class introductions, we will cover the structure of forming an effective entrepreneurial sales relationship through an effective meeting structure. The first session will consider how potential clients see you, the seller, to learn to address their concerns and fears by establishing your credibility, empathy, sensitivity, trust, and leadership before and during the sales call.

The second session will then cover the importance of their sharing their needs before pitching or trying to solve their problems and how to make them feel comfortable sharing them. We will cover different types of questions to get different types of information relevant to the sale and how to make a meaningful connection.

The third session will cover offering suggestions and solutions and handling objections.

The fourth session will cover closing and teamwork, and then review the course.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Course objectives will be accomplished through in-class exercises, between-class exercises, a project, class discussions, and written reflections.
  • By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  • Enjoy selling entrepreneurially
  • Learn the importance of the structure of a sales call to address clients’ concerns and establish you as a credible, trustworthy, sensitive, empathetic leader
  • Experience doing key aspects of the selling process
  • Elicit needs and problems so people want you to help solve them
  • Expect and resolve inevitable objections without getting flustered
  • Move to closing a deal
  • Work with teammates in sales meetings


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and I’ll put you in touch with the student organizing it.

I wouldn’t wait because I don’t know how fast it will fill up and there are already several people taking it.

Who traveled more?

posted by Joshua on January 5, 2017 in Awareness, Perception
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Consider two travelers.

One went online, bought a plane ticket to a spot half way around the world, took a taxi to the airport by highway he’s been on countless times, got in a plane—a long metal tube he can’t see out of—sat, confined, packed with hundreds of others, was fed food from a box, watched movies on a tiny screen, slept fitfully, eventually emerged in an airport similar to the one he left from, took another taxi to a hotel, and slept in a bed someone else made. He left a trail of thousands of gallons of jet fuel, equivalent to a year’s worth of driving.

The other rode a bicycle under his own power, carrying a tent, sleeping bag, and everything he needed, saw, smelled, heard, and touched every bit of the world he passed through, on roads he’d never seen, to a destination he’d never been to, cooked his food with a stove he brought, left a small fraction the pollution, and slept under the stars, pleasantly exhausted from the exertion.

One flew 10,000 miles in a few hours.

The other rode 300 miles in a few days.

Who traveled more?