I’m a devoted audiophile. Beautiful voices, moving soundtracks, simple things like the base rumbles in a well-produced film: all give me great pleasure. By contrast, a single slurp can kill me. I find it interesting what happens when a calm voice expresses clear ideas in a very few words. It can stop a room. People pause to listen in. For great theatrical examples, take Benedict Cumberbatch’s monologues as a Star Trek villain, or Anthony Hopkins behind the glass verbally dancing with Clarice.

Try this test: Gather any group of people, of any size and composition. Ask each of them: ‘Do you practice group-think?’ The universal response will be, ‘No. I think for myself.’

Stephen King once playfully chided Thomas Harris, author of the Hannibal Lecter series, for bringing out a book only once every seven years. “What does he do with all the time in-between?!” King took a similar prod at the creator of the Song of Ice and Fire series, on which Game of Thrones was based. And he has a point.

British comedian Ricky Gervais made global headlines (and then became the subject of a solid week of internet memes) when he called out Hollywood ‘woke’ culture at the Golden Globes. The man is now my hero.

Welcome to one century down the road from the roaring 1920s! Each year, I like to think of a 'theme' by which to view the months and opportunities ahead. Today, I invite you to review this one for consideration, as you construct the mind-scape from which you will operate...

As we construct our world-views, many truisms vie for our favour. Some constitute horrendously bad advice (‘Always listen to your heart’), while others are fairly bulletproof (‘Treat others as you would like to be treated’). Some are so relativistic as to be quite meaningless: ‘Put your trust in what you most believe in.’ We’re left floundering. Such as? Do my convictions pertaining to garden gnomes count?

Seven years after I used the metaphor in a speech, a perfect stranger reminded me of ‘The Pie Man and the Guru.’ It was my picture-story summary of the difference between an amateur and an expert, delivered in story-form from the stage.

As part of the research for my next book with Penguin, tentatively titled ‘Poverty Proof for Entrepreneurs,’ I’m reading ‘Quit like a Millionaire.’ Author Kirsty Shen grew up as a young girl in Communist China, before her family emigrated to Canada. Kirsty sped her way from the very lowest ranks of global poverty to retirement at an early age. Now she teaches others.

Speaking badly about yourself, to yourself, can do a lot of damage. You need your own brain to be on your side. In becoming a high-impact, highly successful individual, managing your mind matters Try this these steps to improve your self-talk:

The fat-lady may well sing one day, but for the time being, she's still backstage getting dressed. Until then, what's on your 'Regrets-List'? What did you genuinely wish to do in your lifetime? And is it really too late?

Don’t know about you, but I love the idea of the artist’s retreat. The little writer’s cabin in the woods. The creative bungalow somewhere far away. The place to yourself. My father used a somewhat romantic term for the idea: he called it ‘the caravan in the swamp.; It’s the notion of a place surrounded by nothingness - swamp, or desert, or jungle or snow - empty or bleak or even inhospitable, but lit and luxurious on the inside, warm, welcoming, perfect just for you. Your carved-out creative cave, your place to be you.

Hitting a milestone is gratifying. In the past two weeks, I've been blessed with two: one of my YouTube videos has passed a million views, and Penguin have informed me that my new book, 'Poverty Proof,' has entered a second print-run, just a couple of months after publication.

Last Saturday morning, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge did something the world has never seen before, completing a marathon in under two hours. …In 11 seconds under two hours, to be precise.

Last week, I delivered a simple presentation for a chapter of Mensa. I edited out a ten-minute clip, and so far, it has had over 10,000 views on YouTube. With a little lateral-thinking, it’s amazing what can be turned into useful online content...

Positioning yourself as an expert implies generating a great deal of content. What can you do if the ideas start running thin?

You can publish ten poorly edited books…or you can write ‘From Good to Great,’ and become iconic. In a straight contest, quality will win out over quantity every time. This is an important lesson in an age that emphasises content, creating the temptation to simply churn it out without inspiration or significant depth.

If you know even a little more about a topic than others, you can teach, and you can charge money for your insights.

By definition, experts tend to spend a great deal of time 'showing the way.' This might entail pioneering, or it might entail teaching. But that's not the only way forward...

Last week, there was a minor explosion on my own industry's horizon. Perhaps you saw it. Comedian and professional speaker Nicole Arbour, who is rough as nails but highly entertaining, called out a motivational speaker named Jay Shetty for plagiarism.

Here is a simple list of expert-positioning actions. We are now into the 8th month of this year. Take a look over the list, and next to each item, assign a number corresponding to your own production.