Be Careful of People Who Constantly Complain About their Job

Work is hard. It’s hard for me, it’s hard for you, and pretty much everybody else. So when I encounter someone who’s constantly complaining about their job, how difficult life is, or how busy they are, I tend to start ignoring them. It’s not that I’m a jerk, it’s that I find far too many people who try to impress us with how many balls they’re juggling, how difficult their job is, and how their schedule is just crammed too full. Novelist Richard Ford said something similar about writers: Read the full article »

How To Get The Attention of Influencers

We’ve all had experiences where we desperately needed to meet someone important to pitch a project, share an idea, or just get to know them. Most of us don’t rub elbows everyday with leaders at the top of their game, so when the opportunity comes, we need to act. But the truth is, when that door opens, most of us blow it. We stumble, pull back, become afraid, or otherwise don’t take advantage of the opportunity that could change our future. To make sure you seize the moment next time you meet an influencer, here’s some key points to remember: Read the full article »

What We Could Learn From Film Director Christopher Nolan

Movie director Christopher Nolan is quickly becoming a legend in Hollywood. Although he’s directed a number of memorable films, you may know him best as the 44 year old director of a trio of “Batman” movies, which together grossed $2.5 billion at the global box office. As he releases his latest film, “Interstellar,” he’s as respected as anyone in Hollywood and studios pay him as much as they do top stars. For instance, Read the full article »

Have We Started Demanding Christian Leaders Sign a Loyalty Oath?

For hundreds of years as missionaries took the gospel to the ends of the earth, depending on the culture they encountered, the Christian community allowed them enormous latitude into how they chose to present the message. For instance, when a missionary worked in a culture steeped in polygamy, he didn’t start by teaching what the Bible said about “one husband and one wife.” He knew the key to changing embedded cultural behavior wasn’t immediate confrontation; it was the sometimes long process of Read the full article »

A Funny Look At Why Paper Isn’t Dead

Sometimes we forget that in the swirl of gadgets, productivity apps, and mobile devices, paper is a long way from being dead. Maybe that explains why notebooks like Moleskin and Field Notes are more popular than ever.  Particularly as a creative medium, even with mobile devices or an iPad and stylus, there’s something about working on traditional paper.  As you can see in this commercial, at least the French get it: Read the full article »

The Salvation Army’s Amazing New Advertising Campaign

A few months ago, Jim Knaggs, Commissioner of the Western Territory of the Salvation Army gave me a sneak preview of a new advertising campaign. It was unusual because most nonprofits advertise to either the public or potential donors. But this campaign was focused on people in need. As a result, Read the full article »

With Your Career, Are You An Amateur Or Professional?

At some point in our careers we need to decide how serious we are about the pursuit. As the old saying goes: “The thinking that got you into this mess isn’t the thinking you need to get out.”  All of us start as beginners or amateurs – and there’s no shame in that. But at some point, some decide that the pursuit is worth the self discipline it takes to reach the next level, while others decide to stay where they are. I could use a million examples – maybe you’re Read the full article »

How To Introduce A Speaker

As a speaker, I’ve been introduced a thousand times, and I can confidently say that most didn’t really help. Usually they simply print out my bio from philcooke.com and read it. Trust me, a bio on a website isn’t meant to be a live introduction, so it comes off slow and boring. The worst don’t do any homework at all, and make embarrassing mistakes that are hard to fix. So after being subjected to so many horrible speaker intros, here’s a few tips that will help your introduction be as interesting as the speaker: Read the full article »

Why Your Message Needs to Find a Mobile Audience

As of January 2013, there are more mobile devices in the world than people.  (In India, there are more mobile devices than toilets, but that’s another blog post entirely.)  The question becomes – is your message available on mobile platforms?   Are your short films, videos, sermons, teaching, blogs, or whatever else available via mobile?  If not, you’re missing a massive audience that is only growing.  New research indicates Millennials in the US check their smartphones 45 times a day, and 67% of Millennials use two or more mobile devices daily.  In this short video, I share why it matters: Read the full article »

It’s Time to Point With the Sword of Truth Instead of Chopping

One of my favorite quotes is from writer Anne Lamott: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth, you can point with it too.” In the age of the internet, most of us do a lot of chopping and not enough pointing. In the best instances, we’re upset and trying to right a wrong, and in the worst instances, Internet anonymity has created vicious critics and quite a few crazy loons. Either way, I think Read the full article »

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