The title of this post should really be 5 Steps to Have a Career that Makes the World a Better Place. But the first thing about making the world a better place is that if you really want to do that, you’ll have to make some compromises. Like, I have to write blog post titles that will rank high in Google searches instead of writing the titles I feel most like writing.

I’ve been on a yoga rampage—going to yoga every day for two weeks. I have gone to classes in Madison, WI, Chicago and LA. And I’ve noticed that people who open yoga studios are probably going to fail. Here’s what they need to know:

1. Bringing peace is not a differentiator. Of course every yoga studio brings peace, harmony, and blah blah blah. That doesn’t make the studio special enough to compete with the 10,000 other yoga studios around them. Read more

When someone asks you, in an interview, “What is your weakness?” do not give a bullshit answer. Saying something like, “I pay too much attention to detail” is actually a terrible answer for someone who is getting hired to do detail work. It means you have a deficit in the exact area you’re tying to get hired for.

The best answer to the question is when you tell a truthful answer, because it’s very unlikely will be hired for the thing you are most weak at doing. For example, my weakness is details. I hate them so much that I simply don’t think about them. And if you talk to me about them, I tune you out. I get hired to think big picture. I get hired to create big plans with big results. So no one cares that I don’t do details.

Someone who is a production artist could say his weakness is finance. When people start talking about budgets, he just wants to back to his cube and work on design. So what if he doesn’t like finance? He is not getting hired to do it. Read more

This webinar will teach you how to write about your life. It includes four days of of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this workshop for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

Get access now.

I’ve been writing about myself for as long as I can remember. I’ve lectured on writing at places like Boston University, Brown University, and the University of Paris. My first book was a memoir that Publisher’s Weekly said was “quick, punchy prose that keeps the reader riveted.”

(A really big rule about selling something is that you don’t offer something cheaper first, but whatever. Here I go.) That first book, the memoir, is a little like Fifty Shades of Grey but with more vomit and more beach volleyball. The print version of my book is $500 on Amazon, but you can buy the electronic version here. And, if you’re wondering why the author on the book is not Penelope Trunk, here’s the post about my many names.

But back to the webinar.  For $195 you get access to all the videos and course materials.  It’s significantly more expensive than the ebook, but really, which will be more fulfilling to you, reading about my life or writing about yours? If you can’t be there for the live version, you can download the video to watch whenever you want.

Sign up now.

The secret sauce to all good blog posts is writing about yourself. Successful blogs infuse the personality of blogger into whatever the blog topic is. And successful professional sites do this as well. In fact, as early as 2008, the Harvard Business Review was warning executives that social media won’t work for them if they don’t do it themselves with no ghost writers—because they need to use their personality.

The trick is to know how to reveal your personality and tell stories about yourself in a way that helps you reach your goals.

I’m going to teach you how to make your writing so interesting that people can’t stop reading. And once you have that, you have so many choices about what you do with your writing—a blog, a book, a business. Good writing can launch all of these. I know—I’ve done it myself.

So here’s what you will learn: Read more

I hate myself for not doing yoga every day. That’s how you know you’re serious about yoga: you use it to generate self-hatred.

I am the type of person who can use a wide range of things to this end: telling my son the wrong name for the D major scale on the piano, for example. Are there parents who are more stupid when it comes to music than I am? Maybe. But probably not one who also goes to ten hours of violin/cello/piano lessons each week.

Before I go on about self-hatred, let me assure you that I am more accomplished than most people you know.

I was going to list it. The accomplishments. But you know what? I’m over that. Does Bill Gates list his accomplishments? No. It’s a sign of self-assurance to not bother. Which is why the best resumes are one short page. Read more