Have LinkedIn and Medium Killed the Old-Fashioned Blog? – HBR

Have LinkedIn and Medium Killed the Old-Fashioned Blog? – HBR.

Publishing exclusively on LinkedIn or Medium is indeed the right choice for some people, particular if you are a new or intermittent writer. If you’ve already invested time in building a LinkedIn network, you’re going to find an audience a lot more quickly than if you start a site from scratch. And unlike an independent blog, there’s no need to commit to a regular posting frequency on LinkedIn: you can write a post whenever you have something to share or say, and even if that’s only a few times a year, you’re extending your professional credibility and voice in a context where it can be discovered. It’s also a great way to try out posting without investing in setup or making a long-term commitment: you can write a few posts, develop your own voice, and then decide if you want to commit to running your own site.

Blog Shift – From Life Underwriting Expert to Professional Writer (gasp)

As I typed the title I heard a collective gasp from the Force.  You can’t be serious?  Professional writer?  Do you know how hard it will be to make a living?

Yes, as a matter of fact I do.

I have this to say to my legions of followers:  do not panic.  Here are the service offering changes to expect this year:

  • I will continue to offer my consulting services on a limited basis to select clients.
  • Life underwriting expert witness litigation support services will continue to be provided.
  • Technical underwriting services are fully committed at this time.
  • Professional corporate writing services for life insurance companies and their respective distribution channels.

There are a lot of very smart people in business today; there are not a lot of good writers. Couple this with the fact that companies need to produce more words, via a greater number of channels, than ever before, and you quickly come to realize that the corporate landscape is rife with opportunity for those who know how to communicate, you know, good.  I.J. Schecter

Here is what to expect from this blog:

  • More natural writing posts.  As I transition to more writing for hire I need to write more.  This blog will the primary landing area for my brain droppings.
  • Less links to what I consider to be essential reading for professional life underwriters.  The links to relevant articles will continue, just not in the frequency and quantity of the past five years.
  • More painfully blatant examples of shameless self-promotion.  Got to eat.  And yes, I still have a mortgage, one child in medical school, one child still an undergraduate, three cars and and a nasty writing habit to support.

I look forward to helping you succeed in your business.

Thanks for reading and your continued support.

The Dangerous Rise of “Entrepreneurship Porn”

A good friend who runs a professional services firm told me with some shock that his most profitable employee is a single mother who works part time. So this year, she got a big bonus. Despite working for someone else, she feels recognized and rewarded. And by being part of a larger organization, she gets to have more time with her kids. This sort of story is rare – but it doesn’t have to be.

READ THIS NOW – Writing Wednesdays: “Poof Goes the Middle Class”

People are becoming entrepreneurs. The mind-set of the employee is vanishing like the factory where it was born. It has to. We’ll all die if we wait for some force outside ourselves—business or government—to bring us jobs or teach us who we are or how we ought to live.

We have to invent our own ways, and that’s just what we’re doing.

via Writing Wednesdays: “Poof Goes the Middle Class”.

Poof goes the middle class – latimes.com.

A couple of weeks ago I caught up with my old college buddy on the phone.  I asked how his son was doing after taking refuge in his parents’ basement post college graduation.

“Michael’s doing great.  He moved out to Brooklyn and is doing project work.  Very happy, very busy.  Michael has four or five projects on the go.”

Call it what you want – freelancer, contract worker, portfolio careerist.  The employee mindset is becoming a thing of the past.

What a Messy Desk Says About You – NYTimes.com

In the study by Dr. Vohs, disordered offices encouraged originality and a search for novelty. In the final portion of the study, adults were given the choice of adding a health “boost” to their lunchtime smoothie that was labeled either “new” or “classic.” The volunteers in the messy space were far more likely to choose the new one; those in the tidy office generally opted for the classic version.

“Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition,” Dr. Vohs and her co-authors conclude in the study, “which can produce fresh insights.”

My office is fine the way it is.  I know what is in every pile.  Now I have some evidence that the way I work is more creative.  STFU!

via What a Messy Desk Says About You – NYTimes.com.

Your Brand Follows the Work – Nilofer Merchant – HBR

Your Brand Is the Exhaust Fume of the Engine of Your Life – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard Business Review.

Focus on the work.  Your personal brand follows.  Don’t let the goofy title dissuade you from clicking the link and reading the post.  The author is thought provoking and absolutely spot on.

We talk about “reinventing your brand” when in reality the goal is to reinvent what you work on. We talk about the “brand called you” when we talk about being able to do more of the work you love to do. We talk about ways to “deliver on the impact equation” without asking first, “what is it you want to impact?” We are told by marketing gurus that “everyone now owns a media company!” — as if somehow this is, itself, the goal — rather than a means to an end. Marketing has become the default language — the lingua franca of the day — that we use to describe work, and it is distorting how we evaluate what matters.

What is it you care about? It takes courage to find and follow an individual path; finding our own path takes us off the path that others are following, in directions that can seem distinctly alone.

Entrepreneurs Get Better with Age – HBR

Entrepreneurs Get Better with Age – Whitney Johnson – Harvard Business Review.

Independent Work May Be Inevitable – Whitney Johnson – Harvard Business Review.

Just as larger businesses provide economic stability to society in the form of higher pay, better medical care, and retirement, experienced workers provide intellectual and emotional ballast in the workplace including innovation expertise. Think about it — disruptive innovation is about playing where no one wants to play (low-end), or has thought of playing (new market).

Disruptive innovation.  The more I think about this term the more I begin to realize it is time to change once again.  As a life underwriting expert witness I’ve played in an area where few underwriters get to play.  As I look back on the recent past expert witness work was never the main focus.  The more I think about this the more I come to realize it is time to refocus.

So where do you want to play?