“If I died, no one would notice for 3 days”

Eleven years ago, on a Tuesday night in North-East London, I was running along small path by a big body of water when, in the middle of my torso, I started to feel sinking dread.

What was I thinking??

Even though I was in the city, all I could hear were a few birds and the wind in the reeds. The sun was going down. And I was starting to worry…

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How to stand out when everyone else is selling, too

(AKA “What is it about crying in the bath that’s so exquisitely painful?”)

I sat at my desk, finger hovering over my mouse and feeling sick.
In the words of my friend Holly G, I used to sell my services like I was trying to sell drugs in a back alley. Back in my first year of business, I’d whisper what was on offer once, then never mention it again. In case you’re wondering, I did not have a steady stream of customers.

But, after some tough love from my sales coach (Kendrick Shope), here I was, about to send an email to my list, where I was openly — in my mind, aggressively — asking for the sale. I was terrified. I had started with a story, because I always start things with a story. But then I had very clearly spelled out why the person reading should hire me. I felt so pushy.

Frowning at the screen, I was totally convinced that, within minutes, all 200 people on my mailing list would unsubscribe. Perhaps some of them might appear outside my house with picket signs and tomatoes to throw. I took a deep breath and…

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How my patronising altruism WILDLY benefitted me

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t publicly admit having had this thought process. It shows that I can sometimes be an egotistical dick. But I like the end of it so much that I want to tell you.

I come to you from the train I’m taking from St Catharines (no apostrophe) back to Toronto. Last night I ran a workshop – my third in a year – for Brock University, on Networking That’s Effective and Actually Fun, for their entrepreneurial students in their BioLinc incubator.

One of the things I teach the students was how important it is to add value to people, long before you ask for anything.

An amazing way to add value is to thank people for teachings you’ve enjoyed, being specific where you can. Another is offering to make…

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That time when all the networking advice I give got truly tested

I’ve spent quite a lot of the last month nauseous with nerves. What time I haven’t been nauseous, I’ve been feeling deeply moved.

I have a book coming out tomorrow. I know! It’s very exciting. Sort of. What I mean is, it is very exciting – I’ve been working on it for four years, it’s being published by Bloomsbury who also publish Harry Potter, and mostly, it’s MY NAME ON AN ACTUAL BOOK.

But… it’s also involved me having to do something that makes me deeply anxious: putting on…

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I got hit by a van. It was really bloody scary. I’m ok. But I wasn’t.

Everyone’s blaming the guy, but it might partly have been my fault. I don’t think I can walk away from what happened with zero responsibility.

I was tired. I wasn’t paying attention. I’m usually so much more careful – and maybe if I had been that day, I’d have noticed him pulling up so close beside me.

It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m on my bike. Waiting at a stoplight, I’m five minutes from home and on total auto-pilot. The light changes and I start to pull away.

Suddenly – WHACK! I feel a sharp pain in the back of my left arm. A van is right next to me and his wing-mirror hit me. Just as I’m figuring this out, I feel a tug. The rubber from my left handlebar has caught on the side of the van and I’m being dragged forwards…

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How Do I Ask a Favour from a Long-Lost Colleague – Without Feeling Like I’m Just Using Them? ASK (YES YES) MARSH!

You have the perfect contact for what you need to do – in theory. Someone you knew a long time ago is someone you need a big favour from. But you haven’t been in touch in months or years, and have no idea how to go about asking them.

If you email them now, will they just think you’re using them? Find out how to do it in a classy way – that will make them ACTIVELY pleased to hear from you – here.

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Not Getting A Response From Someone? This Might Be The Issue

Emma rolled her eyes, “Don’t worry,” she told me, “She’s ALWAYS like this.”

“Isn’t there anything we can do?” I asked. Emma was in charge, and I was too new to say what I was really thinking: that this woman was going to be isolated from the group.
“We’re not legally allowed to help her put it back in. So: no.”

I went and sat back down at the table next to Sandra.

“I’m sorry,” I said, shaking my head and pointing at…

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ASK (YES YES) MARSH: How do I stop my male colleagues from hugging me all time? (VIDEO)

I spent years working in the (very man-ful) music and radio industries, so I totally get where this lady is coming from. But when people are well-meaning and just trying to be nice, how do you tell them to get the hell off you – without being aggressive or creating a scene?

This is what we tackle in today’s ASK (YES YES) MARSH. Click “Read more” to see my advice…

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Why You Should Ask Strangers Personal Questions

Something very weird happened on Tuesday night.

Or, if not weird, then… alchemical might be the word. I had actually fully intended to write a blog about something else – some straight up networking advice (like I gave you here and here). But I’m still reeling from that evening and feel like I have to tell you about it.

It started innocently enough…

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Networking: When It’s OK to Lie

I know the ten commandments suggest not to, but sometimes, thou SHALT lie:

If you’re on a night out, your friend asks whether her hair looks weird – and it does, and there’s nothing she can do about it right now, tell her no. If your brother was right in the middle of an important interview and accidentally let out a massive (and noisy) fart, then he asks you – mortified – if you think the interviewers laughed at him after he left, say, “They probably don’t even remember”.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I’m usually all about not lying – not being a fake, schmoozy, gross caricature of everything people hate about networking.

But sometimes: you need to. Here are those times:

(1) When extracting yourself from…

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