I’m Terrified and Need Help!
A European newspaper has decided to drop the weekly business column written by Jack and Suzi Welch (for those who donâ€™t know, he was CEO of General Electric, she was editor of the Harvard Business Review) and they have asked whether I would write a weekly column in their place.
Help! Iâ€™m immensely flattered, of course, but terrified at the same time. This is where I have to try to live up to my own principles, and keep stretching myself.
But am I really ready to take on a weekly commitment of writing 1000 words? What an obligation! Itâ€™s not the writing that worries me (I can pontificate at the drop of a hat.) Itâ€™s having something fresh to say, week in and week out.
Actually, thatâ€™s been the fear throughout my career, and is probably every authors fear. Do I have anything left to say? Iâ€™m already doing a blogpost per day, a podcast per week and an article per month. Can I realistically do a 1000-word newspaper column as well?
So, help me out here. If youâ€™ve been a regular reader of this blog, then you know I like to build blogposts around the questions that readers submit. It makes it easier to focus my thoughts, and also to ensure that Iâ€™m writing about real issues that address whatâ€™s happening in other peopleâ€™s lives, not just my own.
So, if youâ€™ll be willing to help me by sending me emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) containing a description of real-world issues you face, I can accept the challenge and keep trying to contribute through the various media I use. (I ask for emails — otherwise the questions and issues will pile up in this blogpost.)
Hereâ€™s my guidelines for submitting your â€œadvice requested.â€ Imagine you are writing not just to me, but to your peers in the blogosphere.
You should not choose a trivial, minor matter of no significant importance to you. Similarly, you should not pose an unanswerable question about which no-one else is likely to be able to offer any truly helpful advice.
A good compromise is to describe, in some detail, a specific situation that you face, or have faced recently, which is likely to re-occur. Describe the alternatives open to you, or how you may have dealt with this type of situation in the past. Ask others how they would deal with the situation. Include sufficient background information for them to understand the important considerations surrounding your problem.
Choose any issue you wish, as long as it passes two key tests: (a) you would really like to hear the opinions of others, and (b) you think others might really be able to help.
Will you help me help you? If you send me questions in the next few weeks, I’ll be able to assess whether I have enough to say for a weekly column (as well as this blog.) Thanks!