As my cornflakes flew across the brekkie bar…

When was the last time you Googled your own name?

It’s okay – I know you do it. You’re not the only one who’s vain and shallow, you know.

My last time was 2013. And just between us, I laughed so hard I spat my cornflakes out. As they flew across the brekkie bar, I stared at my mobile. Gobsmacked.

CONTEXT: this was a week after I won a marketing award, for writing a control-beating direct mail series for hearing aids. So I hit Google to see if I’d got any free publicity.

Then I saw it. The funniest thing that’s ever been written about me.

The press called me…wait for it…

…A ‘guru’!

A ‘marketing guru’, no less.


Look, I don’t think ‘guru’ applies to ANYONE in marketing. We’re not spiritual masters perched at the top of an high mountain. Most of us are smug gits in wine bars, wearing spangly suits. But if there is such a thing as a marketing guru, it sure as hell ain’t me. It’s Dan Kennedy, or Jay Abraham. Not some sarcy little Welsh bloke with a secret stash of Gummy Bears.

Anyway. This one gets better…

See, this accolade wasn’t in The Times or the FT. Oh no. This was in that standard bearing title, The Glamorgan Gazette! A local rag that’s mostly filled with pics of missing cats and Reg Holdsworth off ‘Corrie’ opening garden fetes.

So if I wanted to use the guru tag, I’d have to put it in huge letters with ‘The Glamorgan Gazette’ below it hidden in font size 3.

I’ve never bothered.

So why mention it now?

Because I asked someone I know and trust, “what should I do with this?”

And his answer: “state it – and dismiss it.”

Just as I’m doing now.

This way, I get to show off the accolade without seeming daft enough to take it seriously. Win-win.

That advice was genius. And it shows the value of getting a second perspective.

Moral: if you’re stuck on a problem…locked into one way of thinking…pipe up and ask the question. You don’t need a hotline to a “guru”…just call on a trusted bod who’ll see it from another angle.

Widen your options before you decide.

Meet the Author

James Daniel

You might not know who James is...but you've probably read his copy. Through high street clients like Hidden Hearing, or big gun marketers like Jonathan Jay and Chris Cardell. His words are out there, pulling in new business every month. What else? Well his books, Do You Talk Like That at Home? and Direct Mail 101 will help you squeeze out more sales. Oh yeah - and his new book Before You JFDI will help you plan your next campaign. Grab a free copy here.

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