Dear Friends & Colleagues:

I want to start this week’s post with a big, heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to my book angels. My book angels are supporters who have provided random acts of kindness for my book during the leadup and launch of my new book, How To Win Client Business. These unsolicited gestures have included all manner of things including social media ‘shout outs’, recommendations of the book to friends, buying copies of the book for their team, etc.

As a brief aside, I borrowed the term book angel from the thru-hiking community – the folks in pursuit of long distance, end-to-end hikes of the AT (Appalachian Trail), PCT (Pacific Coast Trail) and the CDT (Continental Divide Trail), etc. This past Spring, while taking a COVID-inspired sabbatical from teaching and exploring the SW United States in a small RV, I camped at a trailhead along the CDT near the U.S./Mexico border in New Mexico. While there, I was introduced to the idea of a trail angel and had the opportunity of meeting a number of thru-hikers – intrepid souls hiking the 3000+ mile trail from Canada to Mexico. In short, trail angels are local people who help out the thru-hikers with random acts of kindness.

Thru-Hikers Find Havens In RVs |

Inspired by the trail angels, I spent a few days at the CDT trailhead as a trail angel myself. Often, all a thru-hiker needs or wants is a camp chair positioned in the shade and an apple or slice of orange. Sometimes first aid for blisters or sunburn. Sometimes simply someone to talk to. To my book angels, I say thank you! You know who your are. Please know that I am grateful for your support and kindness.

To celebrate the launch of the book, I’m sharing an excerpt from my new book each week. This works out pretty conveniently to roughly 6 months – as there are 26 chapters. This week’s peek is from Chapter 5: Decide What Your Want to Be Known For and Who You Wish to Serve – the first chapter of Rainmaker Skill 1: Create Your Personal Brand Identify. In this chapter I discuss the importance of having a clear and distinctive personal brand. Having a strong personal brand is vital to achieving TOMA (top of mind awareness) and is the key to opening up the client pathways.

Without further delay, here’s this week’s excerpt of Chapter 5. I hope you enjoy it!



Chapter 5: Decide What You Want to Be Known For and Who You Wish to Serve

You Can Be Known for Anything, But You Can’t Be Known for Everything


Stupid Choices!

When our daughter, Abby, was entering high school, I gave her this fatherly pep

talk one night before bedtime: “Get involved in school activities,” I suggested. “It’s

important to be a part of things, and not just stand on the sidelines. You’ll make

good friends, and have more fun in high school.”

I continued, “It doesn’t matter what you choose to get involved in. It can be

sports, music, theater, debate, art, civic clubs…you name it. Find something that

interests you and go do it.”

Thinking back, that was pretty good advice. As all parents learn, our kids

often ignore our well-intentioned words of wisdom. On this occasion, however, my

daughter took what I offered to heart.

By the second week of high school, Abby wanted to sign up for everything. She

wanted to play sports, join the band, participate in the school play, learn photography,

and join a civic club. Over dinner I said to her, “I can tell you really took my

advice seriously, and I admire your enthusiasm. But you can’t do all of these activities,

at least not all at once. There’s not enough time to do all of these things. You

can pick one activity per semester,” I continued. “Between school and all the other

things you’ve got going on, there isn’t enough time to do them all.”

She sighed, “All right then, I’m most interested in playing sports.” Abby went

on to play hockey and lacrosse. She thrived in a team sports environment; she made

many great friendships and learned many life lessons. Our daughter’s experience

led to what became known in our family as Dad’s mantra: You can do anything, but

you can’t do everything.

This reminds me of another parenting story, this one involving our son, Duncan.

Each night after dinner, we would allow our kids to have a small dessert once

they finished their meal.

I can vividly remember this one night with Duncan when he was about two.

We said, “OK, you get to pick your treat. What’ll it be: a cookie or a scoop of ice

cream?” Our toddler’s face began to turn red. He scrunched up his tiny nose, pondering

the choice he had to make. Finally, after about a minute of deep thought, he

had a bit of a meltdown. Through tears, he proclaimed, “Stupid choices!”

We all have moments that become family legends. These stories are two of

ours, and they have made us laugh many times over the years. There is a message

in these stories as it relates to establishing our personal brand identity: in

our career we have to make choices about what we want to be really good at and

known for.

Having to choose one thing to be known for can create discomfort for some,

and you are welcome to shout at the top of your lungs, Stupid choices! But, with a

twist on our family mantra: You can be known for anything, but you can’t be known for


There are choices to make in life – sometimes hard choices. In order to gain

something of value, we have to be willing to give up something. It’s a hard fact of

life. The same is true in our career as it relates to our personal brand identity.



Click here to order your copy of my new book, How To Win Client Business, today!