Friday, December 21, 2012

Business Jazz - 21st December 2012 - Customers and Community

If we learned anything from Instagram's misstep in the past week it's that businesses struggle to understand the concept of community - even those who are in the social media space.

Making yourself attractive in business is about being able to respect the community you serve.

Chris Brogan talks about the difference between customers and community in his latest podcast and newsletter. He discusses why not all of the people who come to your shop have to buy. The fact that they are bringing their communities into contact with you is already enough. Treat them well and rewards will follow.

Paul and Roger discuss what this approach means in the real world of business. Can the concierge experience be used to improve the sales process?

To serve them well, you need information about your clients and customers. Yet blatant interrogation can be off putting. How do you elicit information and still remain attractive to the customer?

You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz - 21st December 2012.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

You can be part of Chris' community

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
They'll come straight to your smart device - or your laptop/desktop, if that's where you are comfortable.

If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

Here is this week's:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Business December 19th 2012, The "Life Is Excellent" Edition


We will, we will rock you. Rock you.

Well, more specifically, we are more than happy to welcome Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggets to rock you!!

Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children MacNuggits began in 1995, in a trash-strewn fast-food parking lot in Pinole, CA. Guitarist Dan Abbott and singer Corbett Redford rose from humble circumstances as a satiric folk rock band that played for friends to their current majestic heights with hilarious and sometimes frightening acoustic performances. The MacNuggits have gathered loyal legions of fans with their infamous combination of searing social satire, soaring harmonies, outlandish and shocking truths, and poop jokes. The songs draw upon a variety of pop culture, of global crises, of interpersonal labyrinths, of nightmares and daydreams, skewering them on a rusty spit for the world to see. With a nod to social satirists like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, and musical influences ranging from Slick Rick to They Might Be Giants, Bobby Joe Ebola is the vaudeville routine for your personal apocalypse.

Bobby Joe Ebola will be CELEBRATING the release of their brand new new CD/LP, TRAINWRECK TO NARNIA on Rooftop Comedy Productions & Dirt Cult Records! Come pick up a copy!
We are also pleased to have Kevin Hawkins joining us. The internet says: “Kevin Hawkins has worked as a teacher, principal, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. He brings to education a holistic understanding of children and young people from his lifelong work with adolescents, and he strives to support the development of young minds through enhancing students’ self-awareness and emotional intelligence. “ but I’m pretty sure that’s a different Kevin Hawkins, and our guest this week is just a cool funny dude up from LA.

Your regulars will be there “Alex Reflux” Koll, Bucky “SARSnister”, Caitlin “Rhinovirus” Gill, Sean “Croup” Keane, and Mike “Diphtheria” Drucker.

The show is just $5! If you want to bring a friend, bring em for free!!  Print out you your 2-for-1 coupon from above!!!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Business Jazz - 14th December 2012 - Introducing The Flapp

It's an oft-quoted trend: smartphone and tablet sales are outstripping those of laptop and desktop computers.

There is another way of reading that: our social media experience is becoming mobile.

Or how about this interpretation? The window to our online experience is getting smaller. That is: the screens we use are getting smaller.

All that has an impact on our online experience, says Chris Brogan.

Most companies tailor their online presence towards viewers with a large screen. That doesn't provide a great experience for those of us reaching out to them from mobile devices.

Paul and Roger take this to the extreme. Will websites make way for apps produced by individuals, companies and collectives?

What does that mean for Google's powerhouse search engine? Will your app store become your search engine instead?

What about apps themselves? Let us introduce you to the Fluid App (Flapp). Perhaps, we'll all be flapping in the future. You heard it hear first.

You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz - 14th December 2012.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

Connect by Mobile with Chris every week

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
They'll come straight to your smart device - or your laptop/desktop, if that's where you are comfortable.

If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

There is one for this week, but the production elf who recorded it is out of the country right now and hasn't published it on Audioboo yet.

Instead, here's a brief chat about an idea to produce a rolling list of the people mentioned in the podcast.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Business December 12th 2012, The "The Cartoonist and the Cartoon" Edition

This Wednesday night is gonna feel like a Saturday morning. The Business is bringing you a talented cartoonist, as well as a human who may very well be a cartoon.

Michael Capozzola has contributed to Mad Magazine, The New York Times and National Lampoon. Each year, Michael produces and hosts the Cartoon Art Museum’s annual “Comics for Comix” comedy fundraiser which he conceived as well. He has been in a bunch of commercials, you can see his broadcast/ TV reel at Born and rais
ed in New Rochelle, NY Michael subsisted on comic books and chocolate until he took up comedy and caffeine. He created his own comedy studies major while at Ithaca College. (NERD.)

Dr. Foxmeat is half warewolf, half cotton candy. He is part liger, part tigon. He is carbon based and also plays bass for The Carbons. He is always a true pleasure to have as a guest. Come experience him.

Your regulars will be there as well: Mike Daffy Drucker, Bugs Sinister, Yosemite Sean Keane, Alex Foghorn Leg-Kol” and Wile. E Caitlin Gill.

This whole show is just $5! You can even bring a friend for free! Just grab a 2 for 1 coupon here!
WE SELL OUT. Get there early so you can get a seat.

BYOBurrito. I still get carnitas, even though it means “That’s all folks” for a Porky.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Business Jazz - 7th December 2012 - The World is within Reach of Your Couch

Could you imagine changing your life and transporting yourself from your living room couch to a luncheon table with a princess?

Does that seem like too big a leap to contemplate?

For many of us, it does. We are held back by our imagination. And even if we have the imagination to imagine such ambitions, we lack the belief that we can achieve them. We decide they are beyond us.

Not so, says Chris Brogan. He should know. He has made the journey from 9-5 wage slave seeking evening solace in front of the TV to having lunch with Sheika Mariam of Abu Dhabi.

In his latest email, he urges you to paint the picture of your life with bolder, bigger brush strokes. He also offers some tools to help you achieve that.

Paul and Roger add their views to the mix.

You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz - 7th December 2012.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

Get brush strokes from Chris every week

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story

Today we are going to add two more people to the band. We haven't asked them, but they have been so wonderful we would be sad if they weren't included.

First, the super Martin Daniel, a listener in Chennai in India, who has made us smile on many occasions with his support on Twitter. To think our band of heroes has reached that far from home gives us so much pleasure.

We get equal pleasure from the connection we have made with Roger's motherland via Maaike van Dijk-Bokkers. Maaike too has been a lovely Twitter advocate to have in recent months as the podcast grows.


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

Here's this week's: (Well, the first bit of it. A tragedy befell the recording...)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Business December 5th 2012, The "D&D" Edition

Gather your dice with many sides and prepare yourselves for a magical adventure of the imagination! Let The Business be your Dungeon Master for this tournament of champions featuring our own D&D, Derek Sheen and Dave Thomason.

A cuddly mess of insecurities; Derek Sheen enjoys over-sharing about his personal failures and the most intimate details of his secret thoughts. He likes turning over rocks and talking about the squishy things that live underneath and loves making audiences laugh, even when they
feel like they shouldn't. He has been killed in several movies and cartoons! Most recently in the Funny or Die series “Adventure Buddies”; the voice of E.T. in the gay porn/animated favorite “E.T. 2:Dark Territory". His album "Holy Drivel" is available from Lindy West of has called him "A Human Hug".

Dave Thomason is a stand-up comedian who was born in San Francisco and now tells jokes there. He recently won Rooftop Comedy’s Silver Nail Award recognizing the best up-and-coming comedians in the nation. Dave has performed at a bunch of neat-o festivals across the country, including the SF Sketchfest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, and the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival. His stand-up has been featured on NPR’s “Snap Judgment”. You can catch him regularly at the Punch Line in San Francisco.

Plus a visit from one of our favorite guests, Nato Green, writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX.

All your regulars will be assembled, Bucky "Strength" Sinister, Caitlin "Constitution" Gill, Alex "Wisdom" Koll, Mike "Dexterity" Drucker and Sean "Charisma" Keane.

Tickets are just $5! We sell out! Get there early for a seat.

BYOBurrito or you will lose hit points.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Transcription - 30th November 2012

Wow! (Again)

Listener Nick Holloway has again transcribed an entire episode. Our minds are reeling at such industry and generosity. A gift from Nick to us and to those of you who prefer to read rather than listen.

You can read the transcription for the episode of 30th November 2012 after the jump.

Business Jazz 30.11.12


Welcome to Business Jazz with Paul O'Mahony and Roger Overall.

The podcast about "How to be genuinely attractive in business today."


Roger : And we are running! Sounds like liftoff at NASA, doesn't it? All engines are running. Welcome to the Blackrock Castle Observatory here in Cork in Ireland, my name is Roger Overall .

Paul : And my name is Paul O'Mahony

Roger : And this is BusinessJazz. It is a crisp almost Arctic morning hear in Cork.

Paul : To put it mildly it's bitter, freezing bloody cold, it was not nice out there.

Roger : You've still got your coat on and we're sitting by the fire.

Paul : We have lots of logs, we have a whole big basket of logs here. So, in the middle of this podcast Roger I might even get up and put an extra log on the fire.

Roger : It's nice to be doing this by a fire on a day like this, and it's one of those really crisp blue sky days as well, the kind of winter day I like.

Paul : You know how we usually talk about Chris Brogan here, well, Chris Brogan is off in Dubai as we speak, in warm sun, so I bet you he's not cold.


Paul : Who's the guy whose email you have open in front of you? What's he called?

Roger : AJ Leon

Paul : Who's he? Who's AJ Leon?

Roger : Well, he's the world's biggest misfit, I don't know if he is the biggest misfit, he is married to a misfit as well.

Paul : He is also pretty unusual since, somewhere in this particular email we're looking at, he says you can go into a cafe where he has been and he has left behind a free copy for the customers of the cafe to enjoy, that you can go into that cafe and steal it.

Roger : Yes, he is encouraging theft, he is encouraging theft of his own magazine, AJ Leon is part designer and part "world engineer change person".

Paul : He's revolutionary.

Roger : AJ Leon has stolen a march on his competitors. He has a design company, design agency and he's published a magazine, or his company Misfits-Inc have published a magazine. Their own Misfit quarterly creative publishing project and it exists in several formats. It exists in a format that you can download, as PDF, and it will exist as a hard copy that he will leave behind in cafes that you can steal, or if you're more honest you can actually get hold of that, you can buy a copy.

Paul : How did you find out about this Misfits Inc quarterly publication?

Roger : He emailed me telling me it was out, but he's been talking about the project for a long time.

Paul : Why did he email you? How did he know you'd be interested in getting this?

Roger : I signed up to his email list for his blog.

Paul : So you went on to AJ Leon's blog and there you signed up to get his email?

Roger : Yes.

Paul : So, that's how come you got it. I know he actually put out information about this quarterly publication months ago and I missed it because it actually called for contributions and one of the things the Misfits Inc quarterly does is, it's going to showcase the work of poets and I'm very, very cheesed off with myself.
I missed an opportunity to throw my hat in the ring getting a poem in the Misfits Inc publication.

Roger : It is a quarterly Paul.

Paul : How did I miss that Roger?

Roger : I don't know, I don't know, maybe you just weren't following it as attentively as you are now. See, this is interesting isn't it? You become aware of somebody, you go through a process don't you? I mean my process of Chris Brogan and AJ, getting to know them, to the point now where I can exchange an email, or send an email and there is a very high probability I will get an answer back that is meaningful, in that I have a relatively meaningful relationship online, not very deep, but is meaningful. You go through this process of, I suppose you're introduced, somehow, to somebody online, but the introduction doesn't mean you'll necessarily do anything and then you become, I suppose, a bit more aware of what they're about, you get drawn in and then you get drawn in more and more. But along the way there is, I think, a tipping point where you suddenly really start to pay attention. Now, you're asking, well, why didn't I know AJ was doing this project? Maybe you hadn't reached the tipping point yet.

Paul : For me, it's another thing which is  - both AJ Leon & Chris Brogan produce a large amount of content. I cannot spend my entire life paying attention to other people's content, I actually have to create some myself. So I rely on other people, some of whom I don't even know, sending me a Tweet saying, "by the way, have you seen this latest thing from, you know, Brogan or AJ Leon, or even from Roger Overall". I can't even follow your stuff, you produce loads and loads of content.

Roger : Isn't that just the way people get introduced to new people? "Have you seen this thing?" It's a very powerful thing, I think it's probably the most powerful introduction is when somebody you trust comes along and say "Have you...?"
 - oh, the air-conditioning has been switched off, it's gone very quiet.

Paul : They're drawing moisture out of the air here, they do that every single morning here, they do, the man is taking away the...  what do you call it? Not a condenser-

Roger : A de-humidifier.

Paul : A dehumidifier.

Roger : The dehumidifier. So, if you can suddenly hear us, that's what's happened!

Paul : Your words were dehumidified Roger.

Roger : My words were dehumidified, all the wet soppiness was taken out, they were dry and crisp.

Paul : No, they will be dry and crisp.

Roger : Anyway, isn't that just the most powerful way of being introduced to somebody, because if somebody who you trust says "have you seen the latest thing by this person?" That's just wonderful, that's how I got introduced to AJ.
I've just seen a note there, you've written down "deep and meaningful".

Paul : They were words you made.

Roger : Yes, but let me make the distinction for you. A deep relationship, as I see it, is a really very strong link, a very personal connection. A meaningful correspondence, it means something, it doesn't have to be a very deep thing, it doesn't have to be that I know Chris Brogan's intimate secrets or that AJ is confiding in me, his innermost thoughts. But it is meaningful to me when they reply and I get useful content from them or useful information in return, that's what I mean, that's why I made that distinction.

Paul : Well I think there's a book on the distinction between deep & meaningful Roger which we will not deal with.
Can we actually move back on to AJ Leon for a minute because he's produced this quarterly magazine. Now, what I really want to connect this with is an email, not the publication itself, but you got it by email. Does the email do anything more than simply tell me AJ Leon has produced this very, very sexy publication? Is there any call to action in the latest AJ Leon email?

Roger : Well, there is a call to action,  in so far as a you can download it, please go and download it. But, if you want to, you can also help in the production of the hard copy. You can signup and become an honorary Misfit -  and you put money towards the project. You become an investor if you like, in the publication of the hard copy of the magazine.

Paul : See -  that's the bit that interests me because I've funded a couple of things through Kickstarter and on each of them I actually spent some of my time,  not only giving them a miniscule amount of money but,  spreading the message that, hey, this App which is called JoyceWays, all about Ulysses, a wonderful, wonderful, App by the way, it's out there and you can buy it and all that sort of thing: but basically as soon as I funded them, even the smallest amount, I felt myself to part of the team.
So similarly I want to give a bit of money to AJ Leon -  so he could definitely produce something I can tactilely hold in my hand, that I can see in front of me and that, to be blunt, I can write all over it and make marks on its and convert it from being an object of admiration, convert it into a useful tool.
I can't actually very easily do that with a PDF.

Roger : There is that thing with electronic content: you can't scribble in the margins. Well, you can if you use certain programs. You can make notes, but is not as easy I find. I find it almost detached, because if you take a book, imagine a pristine book and it's lovely and it's there in the print is gorgeous and you take a pen...
Paul is now reaching for a book.

Paul : I'm reaching for a book to just kind of relate this.

Roger : Well, you've done this in pencil which is a copout… but I know you've done this in pen...

Paul : ...that's a bloody accident! Here we are, highlighting pencils, pens...

Roger : You've got highlighters, pens. Now, the fact that you take a pen because it's almost, we have this sense of sacrilege, this is a poem which is being read out for AJ Leon that I'm being shown now.

Paul : Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Paul : Some people might know what poem that is, that's one of the most powerful American poems ever written. [Robert Frost 'The Road Not Taken']

Roger : One of the most ambiguous poems.

Paul : Back to AJ Leon.

Roger : Back to AJ Leon. Because I just want to make the point that, when you take a pen and you physically start scribbling in a book you've bought in a bookshop, it enhances your engagement with that book no end -  because it's indelible, particularly the way you do it. If you do it on an electronic document, you can scrub out your comments. You can get rid of it, you're not touching the pristiness of the document because actually the document doesn't exist, it's very ethereal. Whereas the real physical thing, where you've written something in there, there's no backing out, it's there. Now, I think that it enhances the engagement.

Paul : I want all the AJ Leon emails and I want all the Chris Brogan emails in a book -  so I can write all over them.

Roger : If you were Chris and AJ wouldn't you do that? Wouldn't you publish your 100 or 200 most powerful emails in a book?

Paul : I am guilty of not having done that. I've been writing a blog since 2005 Roger. I have yet to produce a book of my blog posts. The closest thing I got to it was a book about mental health at one stage, where I got very, very far down the track, including had a publisher.
Ah! I have a book which was produced from blog posts, "Irish Epic Poem in 33 Cantos" was first published in blog posts. It went from the Moleskine Notebook to 72 blog posts to a self-published (gone now, limited edition copy, all gone) and it's now in the Kindle Store. Right? So that kind of journey.  But, on the way, there was a book which I could write all over.

Roger : Wonderful. Back to AJ's email. I think there's something else very special about his project. Now, he's a designer and his company Misfits-Inc have produced a magazine, but what does the magazine contain? It contains art, poetry, photography, but not from AJ Leon, not from Melissa his wife.

Paul : Oh, yes it does. Oh, yes it does.

Roger : Now, but, have they filled the magazine with their stuff?

Paul : Yes. I tell you why. Because they presented all the work -  but they've actually designed the experience, the collection of choices that they have made about how they will present the painting, the imagery, the poetry, whatever, is with them.
The whole thing is a crafted, artistic presentation of other people's work. Now, of course the other people's work is a delight to behold, let's say, but it has been put in context, it has been put into a PDF, and what are we talking about? A book on vellum parchment? Is it going to be produced on the same sort of stuff as The Book of Kells is produced on? Is this an illuminated manuscript AJ Leon is trying to produce?

Roger : It doesn't say so, as far as I… I signed up and maybe I'll get advance warning.

Paul : But it did say something about if you want to get yourself a beautiful, physical copy. He didn't use such abstract words. The key thing is that the call to action in that email is "Put up some money to enable me to produce that book."

Roger : Or,  put up some money so you can have a hard copy of the magazine. There is a trade off, there is a trade off, you get something in return. But anyway I want to come back to your point there. Have all these people who willingly fell over themselves to provide AJ and Melissa with content, have they been suckered in then? Have they been suckered into the biggest con in the history of design because they've provided AJ and Melissa with a platform for themselves? Surely not.

Paul : Look, that's a bit like asking the person who first commissioned the Christian Bible whether they'd been suckered by the people who presented the Bible through The Book of Kells. Ever since human beings have existed, they have existed within collaborations, their work has been helped by another person to reach a wider audience, the individual painter paints away, but how do they reach a wider audience? They have to hang it on a wall, who does the wall belong to? The wall belongs to somebody else, right? Somebody hangs the exhibition, that's all AJ Leon is doing, he is hanging an exhibition of other people's work.

Roger : But I think, that for me is the key point, because what he's done is given other people a platform. He's actually given, in many respects, his competitors a platform, if you want to use the phrase "competing designers", a platform for their work. But I don't think he operates that way.

Paul : You know, if you're a one-off, you have no competition, right?

Roger : That's kind of where I'm heading, but also this is a reflection of their personality- join us, together we will build this platform, we will curate it, you will provide the building bricks, and together we will build something that didn't exist before, which will reach an audience together and will benefit all of us. But in doing so -  and actually therein lies I think a connection with Chris Brogan's email this week -  he's stolen a march on his competitors.
You know, which other design agency has gone out of their way to go and ask competitors to join them in an endeavour like this? I think it's a very, very clever thing to do and I don't even probably think he would have done it from a competing point of view. They've done it because this is what they're like - they like putting out new content.
But Chris Brogan has a great email I think about stealing a march on your competitors, about doing things differently.

Paul : It's the one that's entitled "The last month of the year". Chris Brogan begins the email with reference to Diwali, so Thanksgiving has been had, Diwali is being celebrated at the same time and Chris Brogan is talking from tea in Dubai, so it's very much global.
I want to know which bit of Chris Brogan's latest email captured your fancy most?

Roger : Well, what captured my fancy most was the fact that he… Well, he describes what happens after Thanksgiving, what happens in the run-up to Christmas? Well, we all switch off don't we? We all start winding down, a mini hibernation.

Paul : Well, I don't. I get winding up.

Roger : Well, but you're special.

Paul : Because I have got bloody Chri- I didn't really mean that, "bloody Christmas", but I've got Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer - that might be where the blood image comes from - but basically it's wind-up time as far as I'm concerned. It's trying to get all of the things I have hanging over me to happen.

Roger : Have we had the Rudolph the red nose reindeer and mushrooms conversation? …and urine drinking...?

Paul : That will take too long to tell, can you stick with the point of winding down. Do they wind down in the United States? Do you wind down between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Roger : Mentally, for my business, I have in the past wound down. I think most people do, you're an exception, but I think most people see it as having reached the end of the year, having reached another deadline, the race is run for 2012, so we're going to start winding down for the year.

Paul : Do you know about two years ago, at least two years ago, perhaps three, I would swear that Chris Brogan produced a blog post about this very topic which basically said to people you will get a competitive advantage if you work during the run-up to Christmas - and even over the Christmas period -  when everybody else has gone to sleep and have gone out carousing and drinking and all that sort of thing.

Roger : Daley Thompson, who was a great British Olympic athlete, he always said "On Christmas Day I train twice because I know my competitors don't train at all".

Paul : Really? That's a good one.

Roger : To tie this in with something you once said, this is why my thinking has changed this year - and Chris has just strengthened it with this email by saying, hang on a minute, don't start switching off in December, actually really start to engage more in December.
You said -  and I think you're actually said it this year -  you said in July "It is July therefore this year is gone, I need to start thinking about next year".

Paul : Yeah, I suppose it comes from, I usually think the year begins in September, that you have the summer holiday and you then start off, and the year starts in September and runs the whole way through, that's just why, because the school year -  psychologically that's where I'm at.

Roger : But I still think it's a good thing, even if you're used January to December, or January to January, in July realising you've actually passed the halfway mark -  and any plans you have for things to accomplish this year, well you'd either better get your skates on, or you should really start thinking, okay 2013 is coming up pretty quickly, because after seven months, that leaves you five months of the year, if you're going to start doing new things, to plan and implement and do.
I don't think it's a bad thing at all, it's quite an interesting way of looking at it.

Paul : I used to do corporate budgeting in September, September/October was the period in which we prepared budgets for the financial year beginning in April. So, the period in the autumn and at this stage,  you were really fighting your corner to preserve or expand your budget in November - it was all signed off by Christmas basically, so that would be another thing about it.

Roger : You were asking in AJ Leon's email is there a call to action? There is, in a way. But Chris makes his call-to-action in one of his subheadings, which is "Make the last month of the year your best one".

Paul : Give us a couple of quotes from Chris Brogan that you like.

Roger : "This is an opportunity to get ahead to plan some more, to refocus your efforts with an eye towards the larger marketplaces you serve. It's a great opportunity to send out heartfelt thanks to some of the people who have enriched your world".
Now, he gives a suggestion for doing that, which I really love particularly in the modern world that we live in. He suggests you write a handwritten note, he has something in there I am sure about handwriting somebody a letter. When was the last time… Well, I'm not going to ask you, you'll say, last week you handwrote a letter.

Paul : I handwrite letters to myself, I fill my Moleskine Notebook with handwriting Roger.

Roger : But isn't it lovely when you get a handwritten letter? I think that's a very, very, very powerful thing and it does reconnect you with… It's not just only about reconnecting with people, you can sit down and start thinking about the next year.

Paul : Okay, let me just remind you of something that Chris said in another place. He said that it's very useful thing to have three words which will be your orientation towards the year ahead.
So, there's one job to be done at this time of the year, which is to determine what are the key words, the three key words, and only three, that you will use to guide yourself through the coming year.
I connect that with the three book diet, the idea that Chris Brogan has already put forward, but in a different context, is that we each have three books - and only three books -  that we return to time and time again during the coming year.
But he's also then put together a collection of very specific action points which I would actually like us to summarise during this conversation for what to be doing now.

Roger : Let's do so, add value.

Paul : Okay, here's one of the points, that

  • you have to decide where your market is, is your market global or is your market local? This particular email gives some very specific suggestions, it doesn't tell you that you should be local or that you should be global, but it actually says that if you are looking at an international market you can do one of three things. You can ignore the fact that you actually have international people interested in you and you can write totally out of your own local community, that can actually make you very attractive to people in other parts of the world. So, that's why for example we could write a lot about Glanmire and for example, Becky McCray in Oklahoma who has written a book about this, "Small Town Rules", could actually empathise with it. We could connect up with her in a tiny small community out there in Oklahoma, I'm talking about, what is it 2000 people, or 200 people, having something to say which would be of global interest, so that's the first thing, you can actually ignore your international context. 
  • secondly, you can actually try to whitewash what you're writing, to recall Chris's phrase, so you really don't acknowledge -  or in any way show -  that you're aware of anything to do with locality. Now, I find that very unattractive myself as an option, that you entirely delete from your writing anything that would give reference to locality. For example, when I find somebody's Twitter profile and I can't actually find out where they live, I get a bit peed off.

Roger : I hate it when people don't have a profile, I intensely dislike it when they have a profile photograph that doesn't show their face because they've got something in front of it, and I'm also not very keen on it when people have an online name like, I don't know like, Slartibartfast27.

Paul : Do you care about locality, where the person is from?

Roger : I find it interesting, but locality won't make me not follow somebody, it won't make me follow somebody, but I do find it interesting, I do find it humanises the person. There may be an occasion where I go "Holy cow! That's a fantastic location! You're just up the road from..."

Paul : Well, I don't mind saying it straight, and I'll say it here, I'm looking for more and more contacts in Japan, I want to get BusinessJazz, this podcast, into Japan, I want to get it shared by people in Japan, not just this podcast but I want more contacts in Japan, right? Someday I want to go there, ever since I read Shogun by James Clavell, that extraordinary novel. 1976, the year of the hot summer, I was a bus conductor in London hanging off, openneck shirt, off the back of the 31 bus from Camden Town to Kings Road, and I shouldn't have been doing it according to the company, reading Shogun. Ever since then I want to go to Japan. I'm a sucker for locality Roger.

Roger : I think you want to know who you're following, you have to have an identity online.

Paul : Now Chris says that

  • point number three is you can mix it up and you can acknowledge various international happenings and occasionally write from a nonlocal perspective, use nonlocal names for example and generally work from an "I see you" point of view. Those three things, ignoring the international, write from Boston alone, keep all locality out of your stuff or mixing it up, Chris Brogan says, "Guess which one I like the most?" That's about him, right? So it gives you, within the email, an opportunity to say which is his style. But then he says, but that's me, that's a choice.

Roger : Just on the idea of location, I mean we're very location specific about this podcast. We have an iconic, we hope, location.

Paul : Well, we have deliberately told people time and time again that we're in the Blackrock Castle Observatory in the cafe of it, called Castle Café

Roger : By the fire.

Paul : By a fire, were not just in it, were in a specific location.

Roger : Absolutely, if you walk through the door, don't turn left turn right, that's where you'll find us.

Paul : I'm also terribly conscious of the number of people who can't see, who have visual impairments, or are blind, who are listening to this podcast, and there are quite number of them, like Robert Johnson,  rjnet for example in the UK, @BrailleSnail, various other people, there's a whole community of people out there for whom the more vivid you can be in your podcasting the more successful you will be. That's what @Documentally does so well.

Roger : I'm glad you raise this point because I had a thought. You know you have a thought and you think that's the best thing I've ever thought, then you forget it, that's how good it was.
I had a thought about audio the other day while I was listening to Christian, @Documentally, and it's this.
Audio is a  fabulous bottleneck, by which I mean the entry point is very narrow and then it goes very broad, because we're all going mobile, okay? So, we're looking at things on our mobile devices. And if we're looking at a blog post and it's all scrunched up, if you've got an iPhone then you in hell almost compared to an android device, it's teeny, it's tiny, it's minute and it's hard to engage with, it's getting hard to engage with blogs on your mobile phone.
So, the actual entry point is confusing and it's big and you can't really get to grip with it.
But audio -  that's why I kind of use the bottleneck thing -  is one single entry point and when you go through that it all expands, but it expands in your mind, it expands in your head.
So, when you're listening to someone, you make a small step because it's very easy to hit that play button, it's a teeny play button on a screen. That's all you need to hit to hear the audio -  and then the world opens up.
Whereas if you're a visual person, like I am  and you're looking at a teeny horrible screen, the world becomes narrow and horrid.
And that's what I like about audio, it has a very narrow entry point, it's very easy to get into its, but my goodness because it's in your head, wow! I think it's excellent medium.

Paul : Have I got time to slip in reference to the experiment that Chris Brogan has done this week in his email?

Roger : No, no, but do it anyway.

Paul : Okay, a really quick one
He says he's going to do an experiment over the next few weeks. He's going to put a load of, and he's done it, a load of social sharing buttons.  This is "you can send this out via Facebook, via Twitter and a few other things", and he wants to see what will happen.
So he very specifically has said to us, receivers of his email, will you please help me with this? When you press share would you just simply add a bit of a covering note to it and send it out.
He wants to then see what's happening. He presents it as an experiment, and I love that. This is not simply urging us to do something. He's saying:  let's engage in a joint experiment because we'll discover something together which might be of benefit to a lot more people than Chris Brogan.

Roger : Well, we'll only discover it if he actually tells us the results, but I'm sure he will.

Paul : Well, of course he'll tell us the results. Good God, you shock me by saying that he isn't going to tell the results. You know, he's going to bring Dan Zarrella into the picture, and he's going to present the data in the way that Dan presents scientific research about the use of social media.

Roger : I realise I've just blackmailed Chris Brogan into revealing the results. Now I'm actually trying to Tweet straight away from an iPad but it seems to have crashed or stopped or whatever. I'll reveal the results of this particular experiment in the show notes.
Paul we need to wrap it up.

Paul : Lead us into the ending Roger.

Roger : I'm being scalded, I feel I should go into a corner, with a naughty hat on.

Paul : As a child my mother used to say things like, "Paul we need to make sure you come in on time" and I said to myself "No, you need to make sure I come in on time, I don't need to be in on time".
Lead us into the ending.

Roger : You've been listening to me Roger Overall, you can find me on or - Paul O'Mahony where can people engage with you?

Paul : You can find me under, that's my company, you can find me on Twitter as @omaniblog, and if you put in "Paul O'Mahony Cork" on Google you'll definitely find me.

Roger : You can find Chris Brogan at where you can also subscribe to the emails that we've been talking about. If you would like to engage with AJ Leon he is with a company called Misfits-Inc

Paul : Put in "pursuit of everything" and it will get you, just put in "nomad revolutionary" and you'll probably get him these days.

Roger : I would have thought so, or you could just Google "AJ Leon".

Paul : Special thanks to Mark Cotton and special huge, huge thanks to the man who got Business Jazz on Belgrade Internet radio this week.
Anywhere in the world that wants to put BusinessJazz Podcast on Internet radio for your local community, ask and you shall be supplied with all the permissions.

Roger : David Bailey, MBE, thank you very, very much for doing that. We will link to Belgrade live on the show notes. You can find the show notes at you can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and we've added the RSS feed so you can put that into your favourite podcatcher as well, so if you want find out more,

Paul : To all our listeners in the Netherlands and India we wish you a very, very happy time until we're back with you again this time next week.

Roger : If you're in Holland enjoy Sinterklaas. Thank you to you the listener for listening to us, please join us again next week.

Paul : End of story.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Business Jazz - 30th November 2012 - Being a Misfit

We're going to break a little from tradition this week and talk about someone else. Don't worry, Chris is here too. But we're going to start with a man who recently sent out an email actively encouraging people to go to cafes to steal a magazine.

That's right. Theft. You have his blessing.

Such a person can only be called a misfit. In fact, make that a capital "M". Misfit.

Who is this man?

His name is AJ Leon. He and his wife Melissa head up Misfit Incorporated, and they've just launched their magazine: Misfit Quarterly.

Online, it's free. Go get an e-copy.

Want a hard copy? Well, you can sign up to become an honorary misfit (though if you do, AJ and Melissa would probably capitalize you: Honorary Misfit). Or, you can trawl around after them and pick up a free copy wherever they happen to leave one. They're on a 1,080 day journey around the world. They might stop in at your local coffee shop some day.

Misfit Quarterly is an example of fresh thinking. Same goes for Chris Brogan's email last week as well. He wonders whether you usually slowdown in the run up to the end of the year. Is December a wind down month for you? Is your annual race run?

"No!" cries Chris. Beware. Push extra hard in December. Do stuff. Steal a march on your competitors. Steal a march on your former self. Make December really count.

Paul and Roger chew on this and much more (including Daley Thompson) in this week's episode of Business Jazz.

To hear the podcast, just click on the play button on the embedded player at the top of this post. We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

You can download this week's episode of the podcast directly here: Business Jazz - 30th November 2012.

Be a mMisfit

Intrigued by this man who is giving away his magazine? The man who invites you to steal one?

You can connect with AJ Leon here: Pursuit of Everything.

Invite Chris into your inbox

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Player

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

Here's this week's:

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Business November 28th 2012, The "Black Cyber Wednesday Door-buster!" Edition

 Did you shop til you dropped all pretense of human decency and clawed at the eyes or your fellow man to get the last off-brand, 47 million inch TV? Did you laugh all the way to the bank? Did you also cry when you got there and realized you had spent all your money in a tryptophan induced frenzy? If you didn’t shop, did you maintain a vigilant presence on social media so the world knew you were saving it by not shopping?

Either way, The Business wants your business!

We have a super spectacular list of g
uests that are available for lease or purchase.

Drennon Davis is back for a limited time only, get him while he’s hot and fresh!

From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and animation, Drennon has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a show that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes "not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is." Drennon was featured on NBC's Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing. His new animated show The Long Legs can be seen on MTV's rebirth of Liquid Television in 2012.

Drennon comes 2 for 1 with DJ Real!

Nick Stargu is DJ REAL, a San Francisco-based alternative musical comedy act. Performing all original songs, complete with costume changes, bad dance moves, and interactive multimedia, DJ REAL’s live act has been likened to the Talking Heads, The Residents, and Steve Martin. With a wide range of influences, DJ REAL’s songs vary from hip-hop, to folk, to the bizarre.

PLUS we will be joined by Portland darling and beautiful animal Ian Karmel.

Ian Karmel is a Portland comedian whose style zig-zags between the eclectic and the universal, appealing both to crowds who own homes in the suburbs, and crowds just staying with their parents in the suburbs until they figure some things out. Coming from an improv background, including time with The Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade, Ian entered the world of stand-up with a unique perspective that helped him win the 2011 Funniest Person in Portland, 2010 Portland Amateur Comedy Competition and has given him the opportunity to perform at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, Austin’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest, Portland’s Helium Comedy Club, Philadelphia’s Helium Comedy Club, Austin’s Cap City Comedy Club, Seattle’s Comedy Underground and Los Angeles’ Comedy Store. In addition to stand-up, Karmel has appeared on television, playing a character in IFC’s sketch show Portlandia and as a post-game analyst and commentator for the Portland Trailblazers.

We are also happy to have Matt Lieb and William Lushbough. Your regulars will be there as well. Mr. Sinister and Mr. Drucker will be back next week, but Mr. Keane, Mr. Koll, and Lady Gill will be holding down the fort.


AND you can bring a friend for free.

We sell out! Get there early for a seat.

BYOBargain Burrito.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Business Jazz - 23rd November 2012 - Get Back in Your Box

"Think outside the box"

"I don't like being placed in a box."

"Don't get boxed in."

These are common sentiments, often heard. Being in a box is bad. Restrictive. Repressive.

Life is better outside the confines of boxes.


Chris Brogan begs to differ. He says getting into a box is good. In fact, it can liberate you rather than imprison. Embracing boxes can give you and your ambitions wings.

In this week's episode of Business Jazz, we talk about using boxes to your advantage.

To hear the podcast, just click on the play button on the embedded player at the top of this post. We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

You can download this week's episode of the podcast directly here: Business Jazz 23rd November 2012.

Invite Chris into your inbox

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players - We welcome David Bailey MBE

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world.

We have a new player. David Bailey MBE. David lives in Bosnia and writes about his experiences here: David Bailey's blog. David contacted us about placing the podcast in a regular slot on Belgrade Life - an internet-based radio station. Would we be interested?

Of course we were.

Our first broadcast was on Wednesday at 4pm GMT. We all missed it due to various diary screw ups.

Nevertheless, we're all hugely appreciative of David's invitation and we count him among our growing band.

If you'd like to read our complete story so far, you'll find it here: Our Story.


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

This week, we missed a beat.


We have been left speechless by the effort of Nick Holloway, who has transcribed this episode of the podcast.

You can read it after the jump:

Business Jazz 23.11.2012


Welcome to Business Jazz with Paul O'Mahony and Roger Overall.

The podcast about how to be genuinely attractive in business today.


Paul: I'm pulling up a cup of tea in Black Rock Castle. I'm here with Roger Overall and welcome to Business Jazz podcast. Roger, you're leaving me to start things off this week, is that correct?

Roger: I am, it's your turn.

Paul: Say who you are.

Roger: My name is Roger Overall and I'm a digital storyteller.

Poor: And my name is Paul O'Mahony and I come from a company called Change Agents. The reason I come from a company called Change Agents is that I am a change agent. This podcast is all about change, isn't it?

Roger: It is.

Paul: How to be genuinely attractive in business today.

Roger: Yes.

Paul: That involves changing customs, practices, habits, culture. I mean what's the point of doing this if it isn't about change, Roger?

Roger: Well, I think if we're not influencing people, and we're not helping them go through change… and a change can be as simple as achieving your goals, getting from where you are to where you want to be is a change.

Paul: So, let's make change happen let's be useful and helpful to people, let's provide them with a service Roger. That's why we're here.

Roger: Let's do that.


Paul: You're looking at your iPad here and you're looking at an email Chris Brogan sent out on Sunday. It arrived into my in tray at two minutes past nine, as it does for some weird reason, on Sunday morning.

Roger: Well, I'm disappointed you get yours 25 minutes before I get mine. That's favouritism that is! Does Chris Brogan have favourite subscribers?

Paul: This whole email began with Chris Brogan talking about Lego.

Roger: Well, he uses Lego as an example and actually there's an interesting thing, I don't know if people have seen the progression in Lego? When I was a little boy Lego was bricks, just small bricks, and they came in a set number of shapes, and it was your imagination that turned them into whatever. But these days there is very little imagination involved because you get a kit, and the kit is put together. So, you get a Star Wars kit, so you can put together something from Star Wars. When we saw Star Wars in 1977 we used Lego to make what we saw, but of course it wasn't perfect because we were building these bricks. These days it comes in a pre-set pack. Now, Chris says that's a good thing because that helps people achieve things, your choice is limited. I'm less sure about that

Paul: This is a challenging email because as you've just indicated you're not sure about it, so your first reaction was "this line of thinking I'm not sure I like it". So, Chris Brogan is actually, in this very nice, very human way, he's actually going to set out to change the way you think about being within a box. We've all been told we have got to get out of the box, think outside the box. Now, here we have this week Chris Brogan saying, "think inside the box".

Roger: To add to your point there, when you ask, for instance, photographers, "What kind of photographer are you?", a lot of them will say "Oh, I don't like to be put in a box, I don't like to be put in a category, I don't like to be, almost, restricted". But actually, here's the thing, if you put yourself in a box, if you put something in a box, it does give you focus, and I think that's something that Chris touches upon in his email. If you say "I am this kind of photographer", then that's the work you do, it's also easy to get your message across but I think it also gives direction. So, sometimes, I agree it can be good to get in a box.

Paul: Lego used to come without a box, if you like, in a box but without any direction or any instructions on what to do with it, how to make something, you were able to invent your own objects. It moved on later because they realised they could provide an additional service to people by giving them a plan for what they could do. But I know kids who've bought, let's say, the Batman Lego kit and they've amalgamated with the garage kit, or the space kit, and they then show me stuff which is a bit of this added to a bit of that added to a bit of the other, and it's different. So, I would contend that being in a box only provides you with something that you can link with other boxes and that you can amalgamate two boxes together and make a new box that was invented only by you.

Roger: I think that latter bit "that was invented only by you" is very significant because even in my day, we got Lego, there were no rules, you could make anything, you were still actually really limited in what you made because you're bringing your experience to the Lego. So, it's not like you're bringing everything, as a little boy you have certain interests, and those are the boxes, if you like, that you bring to the Lego, and you put the Lego in the box. I think the interesting thing you're saying there is children, in essence, don't care about these boxes that have been given to them, they're very free thinking. In my day, I'll take things from outside the box and I'll create this thing from Lego to represent what I want to, and these days children are saying "Well, thank you very much for the box and the rules that come with the box, but you know what? I'm going to amalgamate Batman and the garage, not necessarily because the Batmobile needs an oil change, but because I can do crazy things with it", because a child's imagination just takes off. I like that concept you've just sketched there of putting boxes together.

Paul: This reminds me of Caravaggio, and this reminds me of many of the great, great painters in history and many of them began their life as apprentices to other painters. So, while they were apprentices of their master they learnt to paint, they were in a box, they learnt the formula, they followed the plans designed by somebody else. Did that mean that they were incapable of becoming themselves? Absolutely not. It provided them with a basis for learning certain skills which they were then able to take into a different box which was their own. I cook, I love to cook food, and I took it very seriously, I don't do as much as I used to do, but I took it very seriously. But I use cookery books nowadays and I'm actually at my most creative when I try to replicate a dish that somebody else has designed and told me what I should do. The reason for this is, give me a load of ingredients and I'll put together a dish that is not a problem for me, I do it, it's my comfort zone, I get out of my comfort zone when I go into a box that says "here is the recipe", then I start to do things with the food that I haven't thought of and that aren't from within my existing frame of reference. I think it is helpful to actually practice a particular skill in a particular way, with rules, regulations, boundaries, discipline-  just do it, and then see what happens

Roger: And that's really the progression because, you ask the question there, once having learnt all the rules and the regulations and the hows and the techniques, can painters become individuals and develop their own style and their own expression? Well, they have to, because otherwise painting would still be the same as it was 300 years ago, now. In fact it would never have been invented because nobody would have ever actually ever thought about creating a new box that would have created painting the way it was to start with. I think having almost a comfort zone of rules allows you, once you've mastered the rules, to start playing with the rules and expanding the box and adding to the box, which is really what children do, in that example that you gave. I'm now going to stick Batman's head on the nurse's body for a bit of fun! Then we have a cowled nurse going round the hospital, or maybe a super nurse whose healing these people, I don't know.

Paul: Hey, you've just invented a new children's comic, you realise? SUPER NURSE!


Paul: BAT NURSE! You just invented a new character, you just get a bit of slime, wrap a particular nurse in it and she'll emerge out of the chrysalis of the slime as BAT NURSE! SUPER BAT NURSE!

Roger: SUPER BAT NURSE! What have we just done? We've taken a box and we've added onto this box a new genre of superhero.

Paul: Let's talk about Moleskin for a second. I want to quote from Chris Brogan, this is one of the early paragraphs in the email, after talking about Star Wars, after talking about Batman and Lego, he says "This is why Moleskin sells both blank journals plus travel journals. You can obviously use a blank journal to record your travel but if the journal says travel on the outside, you've been given a box to stay within". So, I go into the shop and I'm going to go on holidays and I want a Moleskin notebook to take with me and I've been used to having Moleskin notebooks that have just plain line, nothing on the cover, but I'm going on a holiday and Moleskin provide me with an identical notebook to the one I want but this one is branded with the word "Travel" on the outside. I immediately breathe a sigh of relief that says, "Oh good, they've actually thought of me and my need, so good for Moleskin, I'll use the one saying travel". Inside it's identical with the one that says "Plain Moleskin Notebook" but Moleskin have given me a box.

Roger: Can you not make the box yourself and just buy the regular one and stick a sticker on the front?

Paul: I could, but you know what? Moleskin are helping me, Moleskin have also got a notebook that says, here's your wine journal, now they put extra things into it to enable me to say it's a wine journal. And they also put some extra things into the travel journal, now Moleskin one of the greatest companies in the world, one of the greatest designs ever invented, in my opinion, it's the most wonderfully rolled out brand, they've got products for a number of different things. When I first came across Moleskin doing additional notebooks to the bog standard, core, brilliant notebook that they do, the one I valued so much, and I have volumes in my library at home, I've 20 or 30 of 40 of these Moleskin notebooks, the point about it is they now have gone down the road of giving me one for travel, giving me one for genealogies, giving me one for this and that, and it is helpful extension of the idea.

Paul: Right, the second chapter within the podcast this week moves on from this idea about Batman and Lego and Moleskin, to some very real practical things about how to use boxes to help you structure your thinking.

Roger: Well, Chris provides what he calls the anatomy of a project and I think many people listening to this may have an idea that they want to do a project similar to this, write an ebook, but as a big project that can be  a little bit daunting. What he does here in his little anatomy of a project is he breaks down into boxes.

Paul: Into boxes, okay.

Roger: So, for instance, he starts with some presumptions, or guesses, or outlines. How many pages? Say the book is going to be 100 pages, what are the main concepts? Well those main concepts could very will break down into chapters, so you may have 10 concepts, therefore you may have 10 chapters. So, already you have 100 pages divided into 10 concepts, so that's 10 pages per chapter, so you could say chapter is a box. Suddenly your book of 100 pages, one big box, has been broken down into 10 smaller boxes. But you can go further than that really, because you can also then start looking at goals. How do you achieve the actual finished product? For example how many words should the book be? It could be 50,000, 25,000, however many you want it to be. How many can you write in a day? Now, Chris says he can write 4000 on average a day. Now, that's a lot of writing, but then he's a skilled writer, he's a practised writer.

Paul: That is 400 words per hour.

Roger: Which is fine if you not doing anything else with your life other than writing.

Paul: Okay, but if you work on then from, let's make this manageable, this is a day's work, a days work, you produce 4000 words. I know many authors who produce an awful lot less than that in a day and some who produce a lot more, but when you break it down per hour, divide the 4000 by 10 hours work in a day, and you get 400, right you divide that by 60 and you get so many a minute, and you find that he probably only has to produce, what is it, you can do the maths better than me, perhaps, let's say, he only has to write seven words a minute. Seven words a minute is achievable. I remember when I tried to write 50,000 words during the month of November for NaNoWriMo and loads of people were still labouring away really hard to finish off their 50,000 words during this month of November. But if you break it down to how many words you need to write per minute, it becomes an awful lot easier to start writing

Roger: It does, but I do think that kind of analogy can be a little bit dangerous. I mean, if I were to say to you, you're going to walk 48 miles and you're going to walk a mile and hour for 48 consecutive miles, that's only a few steps per minute, but actually to complete in that way would drive you nuts, you know to do 48 miles in 48 hours consecutively.

Paul: But it might be started, you see, the point is this is all about getting started, you see if I say to myself all you've got to do in the next minute Paul is walk the first 100 yards, right? So, I say, okay, I'll do that. The thing that stops us all from doing something is the thought about the immensity of the project, right? So if I say, okay, here's the day, it's now eight o'clock in the morning, God, it's impossible to think how I'd walk 48 miles today, so the first thing is, in the first minute I walk 100 yards, right? The walking of the first hundred yards helps me to walk the next 100 yards. I then can say all I need to do in the next hour is walk 2 miles. I then walk more than 2 miles in the next hour, I get a real release of endorphins into my brain, I'm feeling good about myself, before I know it I'm having the same experience of people having the gym every day.

Roger: That's an important thing, I think if you hit on another issue here, and that is the feeling good about what you're doing, because a lot of people may be daunted by the number of words involved in writing a book, and breaking it down into bite-size pieces that you can manage, a daily quota that is very achievable for you, is one thing. But then what a lot of people do is they get bound up, and Seth Godin recently wrote about this, they get bound up in the idea that it's not good enough, and that can be a killer as well. So, yes, by putting things into boxes and helping people achieve that number is very, very, very good, but what they mustn't do is stop to read too much what they're writing, because I think that will put people off as well, do your editing at the end. Once the box is full, do your editing, not while you're filling the box.

Paul: Can we go back to Chris's example, because I do think we would be providing a service to people if we take people through precisely his example.

Roger: So, he's saying that your book could be 100 pages, we have now broken down into 10 concepts, so 10 chapters of 10 pages…

Paul: That's a box, right? So, I'm writing 100 pages with 10 chapters.

Roger: So, he is reckoning on about 250 words per page, okay? So, I think he has worked that out to be 25,000 words, for the hundred page book. So, if you're writing an average of 4000 words a day, now he's talking about writing a book with somebody else, but we'll just say, if you were doing it on your own, you're going to get that book finished in two weeks.

Paul: So, you can write 12,500 words, if you're writing 4000 words a day, you can write the book in three days, in three days, right? You can produce an e-book in three days.

Roger: Or, if you got at a slower pace, you can write it in six days.

Paul: Okay, but we're deftintely talking about this now, we're now beginning to feel, bloody hell, this is manageable, I could actually get an e-book out. You've often thought about producing e-books, haven't you?

Roger: I'm working on one.

Paul: Read out the email you sent to Chris Brogan.

Roger: "Dear Chris, do you live in my head? How could you otherwise deliver an email that so perfectly provides answers to questions I woke up with? Because I'm in the middle of plotting an e-book that needs to be finished in two weeks time."

Paul: Now, look, that's one set of boxes, right? That's about getting the work done. The next box is all about stuff like, who will buy the book? Who do I know that knows them? What form will the ebook take? What will we price it? We need boxes for each of these.

Roger: And in turn those boxes get divided into more boxes again. He takes the point of, "What will we price it?". We could price it high, we could price it low, but if I price it high then that leads to another set of considerations, or price it even higher and bundle it together with another quality service offering. There's lots of different things that then come into play, because when you start thinking about what I going to put into this box, it immediately almost leads you to subdivide the box again.

Paul: You and I will walking the other night and you pulled out your iPhone while we were walking and you said we we're going to mind map this project. Now, I think there's a great similarity between you saying that to me, we're going to mind map, and what Chris Brogan is doing. He is using the work, the language of boxes, right? So, you have a box which says ""Wo will buy it?" That's a whole train of thought, all the questions about who will buy it. Then you get another box that says "Who knows those people?" Because they're the people who will buy it, but I have to still reach them, that's my marketing plan, who do I know that knows them? Might be I know the newspaper, and the newspaper knows them, because they buy the newspaper every day, therefore I put an ad in in the newspaper, and that's a particular way of doing it. It could be that I literally send a Tweet to somebody, that person will tell all of their followers, and that gets to exactly who I want. So, which ever way you do it, this is mind mapping, isn't it Roger?

Roger: It is, and it's very interesting you say that, because Chris put out an Instagram not so very long ago, which I responded to. In the photograph he shows what a course looks like at its early conception phase for him, and he has a page with boxes on it. I responded back to him, saying "I'm very curious about your thought process, your creative process. Do you use mind mapping?" And of course, this is exactly a way of…

Paul: Did he answer you?

Roger: I don't think so.

Paul: No, he probably doesn't... I would imagine Chris Brogan gets loads of people asking him questions. Now, he knows full well that if he were to say, "Yes, I use mind mapping", some people are going to go off copying Chris Brogan. It's an interesting question about "Will I use boxes or will I use mind mapping?"

Roger: Well, I think mind mapping uses boxes anyway. A mind map is, you start with a central concept, you draw lines, often new boxes which are related concepts, and you draw lines off those and you build almost a tree, or a fungus with spores. So, I think this is a form of mind mapping, most definitely, because it brings clarity, it's a form of planning, not only does it reduce your project down to bite-size steps, but it makes you think about other things. Your project develops tentacles in all directions, now whether you follow up on all these tentacles is entirely up to you, they may not be relevant, they may actually lead you to totally different projects which you then have to hive off, but nevertheless you'll have a visualisation and a lot of people find it very useful. You have a visualisation of what your project is going to look like and how you going to get there.

Paul: I've started one here, you know, just to try this out for this box idea. I put a big box at the top of the page which says "Reading 'The Impact Equation' together in Cork", right? I'm not going to go into details. Then I put another box here underneath it called "Shape", another box that says "Who'll be there?", And another box saying, "What we'll eat?". As you know, there are people coming along after we've recorded this podcast with whom we're going to do some work and this whole idea of actually, let's get a number of boxes so we can think within each of those boxes, I'm going to use what Chris Brogan has given in this week's email, I'm going to use it.

Roger: I think it will be very useful because is going to be four people, we have around about an hour to get this done, so we're going to need some kind of structure. I think therein lies another gift from Chris this week, here is something that you can use to actually get the planning process sorted out. How often do we sit there planning and we're staring off into space? Well, he's actually given you a tool to stop you staring off into space, write it down, draw some boxes or use of piece of mind mapping software.

Paul: Chris Brogan didn't say use a piece of mind mapping software.

Roger: No, I just did. Yes, I know, but this is part and parcel of what he's helping us do this week and that is actually to get the planning process sorted.

Paul: Okay, here are five or six bullet points. A box is a method for packaging up a challenge or chore or project of any kind. Okay, Christmas presents, tough thing to do, get yourself sorted, make a box. Boxes can be drawings to help you put together and modularise you're thinking. The box doesn't have to be boring like mine is here, there squares and rectangles, in fact this isn't my usual, I do more clouds and pictures of cloud formations is my boxes and that's probably the cross-referencing with mind mapping. The next one is boxes can be a way to measure achievements, so in each of these boxes we have for example, "Who'll be there?", and we end up putting down a list of all the people who'll be there, or else the type of people will be there. And that's the box and we will measure ourselves against it, did we get them in the room? Did we get all those people that we put in the box "Who'll be there?" in the room? In fact you could take responsibility for driving that box, that could be your box. Get these people into the room. It's just another way of thinking about a project, isn't it? Boxes can represent dates on a calendar. So, you have a box, and the box has all the key timelines, all the key, important milestones on the way, "By 15 January we have to have got an email into people's hands. By the 19 January we have to get back the response. By the 25 January we have to of got their money. By the 28 January we have to have done this. Bang. A box for dates. Now, this was the best part of the whole email, I have to tell you. I was rereading this email this morning before you came and I got to this excellent line, "There are other applications for boxes that I'm skipping for you to discover". Now, let me have a little hobbyhorse about this. This is all about the benefits of producing an imperfect, incomplete communication. This is about Chris leaving an opportunity for us to develop his thinking, by saying there are other applications which he hasn't listed. He could list another six applications for boxes and thereby make it harder and harder for me, or you, to come up with any new idea. But he has deliberately left space, so he's deliberately produced an incomplete email. Now, I think that is such a great thing to do.

Roger: Well, I'm glad he did, because otherwise we wouldn't have a podcast. We'd just be reading our Chris's email verbatim.

Paul: Well, we wouldn't do that anyway, even if Chris wrote the most perfect email, complete one, we would take it off in another direction anyway.

Roger: But he's encouraging people to take the idea of the box and move forward.

Paul: Roger's pointing at the time, so we're well aware of our time now, and we're moving into the final chapter of this week's Business Jazz. Right, Roger every time we get towards the end of the podcast we need to leave people with something of great value for them, right? So, considering this idea of boxes, considering about all that we've spoken about already, what is your takeaway for people this week, Roger? What are you going to give people of value?

Roger: I'm going to tie in with what Chris says right at the very end of his email and it's about this issue of the grind, doing the work, doing the stuff that needs to be done, but we don't really enjoy doing, but we need to do it to allow us to do the stuff that we do enjoy, or to allow us to achieve the goals that we want to achieve. There is always a little bit of work that's a chore, that's a grind. Now, I think, here is a very, very useful way to help us manage those grinds, those chores, put them into bite-size pieces, and then they will get done. That's my takeaway. Help yourself, don't swallow the medicine in one big spoonful, take it in small measures, and then you'll get there as well.

Paul: Okay, let me try a takeaway which is sufficiently different from what you've done to give people another option, right? My takeaway from this week is actually not about Chris Brogan's email at all, it's about Business Jazz podcast. The fact that we now have a man in India whose listening to it, we have a woman in the Netherlands who's listening to it and we have a man in Bosnia who's listening to it, now I just pick those three places. We haven't yet got somebody in Japan, somebody in Australia, there's a load of islands in Indonesia that we're not being listened to yet, so people listening to this could do something really interesting, they could join our team, join the project, and the project is to just get a load of people connected with each other, swapping ideas, inspired by original inspiration from Chris Brogan, who no doubt has a regional inspiration from somebody else. But basically, let's see if we can get this Business Jazz podcast moved to another country. Let's ask each person who listens to this to look at their Facebook, their Twitter, their email list, find somebody in a different country and send it to them, and see what happens this time next week.

Roger: Build community. Help us outside our box.

Paul: Help us all. I'll leave you to give the credits.

Roger: Business jazz is recorded weekly at the Black Rock Castle Observatory. We are kindly afforded space in the cafe there, the Castle Cafe. You can find them on Twitter at @Castle_cafe1. Business Jazz is produced by MCFontaine, Mark Cotton, and you can find Mark Cotton, go to Twitter and you'll find him at @MCFontaine.

Paul: He also produces the Bletchley Park podcast, get that as well.

Roger: Paul, where can people find out about you?

Paul: Just put into Google, or else @changeagents_ on Twitter.

Roger: I am @RogerOverall on Twitter, you can find me at the, you can find the show notes for this episode, and all the episodes of Business Jazz, at

Paul: And, you can find Chris Brogan in "The Impact Equation" in your local bookshop, or else on Amazon. Some day, we must get in touch with Julian Smith who wrote the book is well.

Roger: And you can find Chris at Thank you very, very much for listening. Please do join us again. And do let us know, do let us know this week, how did you get out of your box?

Paul: We better stop Roger, we have to stop. Okay, we'll be back again.