Wednesday, 23 November 2016


I received a message this morning from an events organiser and magazine publisher with whom I have had some dealings over the years but none for at least the last five. Her social media profile does not have a picture of her on it but a logo from her business, and it goes by that and not her personal name. 

This message from her logo popped up out of the blue: 

Robin, I have a high regard for you, and it is in this spirit that I would like to tell you that your open shirt image is not a really good marketing image. I also think the cover photo of your latest book does not show you as a professional. It’s just my opinion – but your value as a professional needs an image overhaul. Lotsa luv (no name given) 

I was writing a piece from a new book at the time, but I replied immediately, saying: 

Who is that behind the image? Not very professional to give unsolicited advice. Coming from you I take your comments as a compliment and validation. Thank you! 

What she did was more than unprofessional. It was rude. I had to deal with her accordingly, but do so cleverly. I was ready because she was not the first to say such things in such ways about BIGGER INSIGHTS.

I have had a few gnarled and uninformed reactions, so I had already processed the experience and grown impervious to it, although I was not particularly vulnerable in the first place. I do know what I am doing, and it is all carefully considered. Her opinion stands as just that, but it is ignorant of my work and out of line on that point alone. 

She is speaking out of context, too, which is her problem and not something I can be distracted by. She shouldn’t try to make it my problem either. She should act in line with the high regard in which she claims to hold me, or stop holding me in high regard. And she should watch out. She may make a fool of herself, and I may be in the mood to help her along.

The first person to take issue with my new book cover did so behind my back, and then in sugar-coated and diluted form via messages to me on social media. She took it upon herself to decide how I should be living my life and creating my art, and then inform me of her decision. She stuck her nose into my business.

She said that I should smile because it makes me look younger, as if she would have welcomed similar comments made in return. I humoured her because of previous dealings and would not be drawn back into that madness. I could see what feelings were behind her opinion and her approach, and I felt how much energy was in it all.

Personal provocations aside, the book cover was having an effect. People were reacting strongly. This was a good sign.

The next kind soul to express her profound concern about my image did so on only our second meeting. Our first had happened the afternoon before that when we convened to talk about her ideas to turn my work into global webinars. She had approached me by email and happened to be in town for the week, and I was out her way for another meeting, so we slotted in an hour to talk further.

It was unsettled and scattered, and I felt afterwards that she did not get my work as she pretended to, and had some other agenda or power-play going on behind the scenes, which was subtly obstructive. She wanted to see me speak, and I had a talk on the next morning, so she came to sit in on it, and then we squeezed in another meeting between that and the next one I had scheduled over lunch. This too did not flow, and it wore me out.

When we reached my car I was already late for my next and original appointment, but she decided to spring it on me that, although she loved my work, she had to say that she was so put off by the new book cover that it almost made her turn away from dealing with me. She shared caringly that the look was out of keeping with the gentle person that I am and with the rest of my branding.

"Could you have it redesigned?" she asked. "Is it too late to stop the print run?" This from someone I had just met and not resonated with, but who felt intimate enough to guide me strategically at an imprudent time.

I considered both pieces of input, as one would, as valid, and as part of all the feedback I received. Most people found the cover evocative, with some even finding it seductive. "It could be appropriately titled Hotter Insights," someone wrote. I thanked her and kept the idea for possible future use.

All of the reactions pointed in the right direction, which is that the book is getting noticed and it’s speaking powerfully to people. If anyone engages it and does so in context of the rest my work, they are sure to get at least some of the big picture, and be affected positively by it.

They can read the book first and then tell me it’s not the right cover. They may not like it, as a matter of taste, or be offended and put off by it for some reason, but they are welcome to try for themselves and show me how to do it. Then maybe we can discuss it further.

But people choose to be twisted and presumptuous fools.

You can’t tell them that, though, because it’s rude.

Thursday, 10 November 2016


I like to have just one of everything. 

Who needs more than one watch? Choose the one you love the most, the one that best depicts you and celebrates your life with every moment you have it on, and wear it like this is your last night on earth.

Who has time for second best? Wrap the ultimate around your wrist and proceed in presence.

Who needs a second car? You can drive only one, as they say. I’ve had two and the second was a compromise. I drove it out of duty and didn’t feel right on those days. It encumbered me.

Material possessions are already a high price to pay, and it’s prudent to keep expenses down. If you must, wear one and drive one, but only one. 

Simplicity is an asset.