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Book Review: Become a Key Person of Influence

May 27, 2013

Today being a holiday here in the US, Memorial Day, I’m doing something a little different – a book review. I recently read a fascinating book called “Become a Key Person of Influence.” According to the back cover, the author, Daniel Priestley, is a successful entrepreneur, author and international speaker. The book is designed to help your replicate the rapid ascension that he experienced after arriving in London with “littler more than a suitcase and a credit card.”

What I liked
Priestley has a very conversational writing style. At 178 pages, it’s a very easy read. The author manages to convey an overwhelming faith in you the reader, to achieve anything you set your mind to. He manages to be inspiring without being insipid; visionary without vapid. Okay, maybe I should skip the alliteration.

He lays out a very simple five step plan to making yourself a KPI. I call it “How to become world famous,” but it’s essentially the same thing. He attempts to tell you how to become one of the experts in your industry. The five steps are:

1. Create a pitch, this is similar to the elevator pitch. Basically, figure out what you do and why you do it. He’s big on not just a niche, but a microniche: left-handed yak growers in central London.

2. Write a book. He even gives you some hints on HOW to write a book. I’ve written a couple. They can be hard. If you follow his advice I think writing a book will be . . .less hard.

3. Create something to sell. Basically turn your book into a DVD, or download.

4. Be on the front page of google search results. Again, he gives you some hints to help if you aren’t there already.

5. Find other people who offer complementary products or services and team up with them. Bring your audience for your partner to sell to and sell to his audience.

There is more, of course, but this is the heart of his “system.” The most valuable thing I got out of “Become a Key Person of Influence” was the systematic approach. At one point I was the world expert on migrating Microsoft Exchange 5.5 to Novell GroupWise. As I looked back on that experience I could see where Priestley’s principals had figured into my own success.

What I didn’t like
The biggest problem I had with the book was a reoccurring theme that Priestley’s REAL message was hidden and it was up to me as the reader to deduce it, even suggesting I go back and reread the book until I “got” it. Really? I bought your book. I even paid shipping from Australia because I couldn’t find a US distributor, just TELL me your point. It was annoying for two reasons.

First, it was really condescending, “You don’t know this yet, and I’m not sure you’re smart enough to figure it out. Show me that you are!” Second, it kept knocking me out of the flow of the narrative as I had to stop and think about the “real” point.

As near as I could tell the secret is that Priestley used his system to write his book. Or, more accurately this book is step 2 in his system. So, he is telling you the lessons and showing you them at the same time.

The other problem I had with the book was the idea that Daniel Priestley walked off the boat in London like some Horatio Alger character. What he doesn’t tell you on the back cover was that he was a successful businessman in Australia prior to moving to London. And he arrived without knowing anyone? Why didn’t he make some calls while he was in Australia? It’s not like we live in the 19th Century and he had to wait for a letter by boat!

What it means for you
If you feel that you have the capacity to be the very best at what you do, or if you already are the best and no one knows, “Become a Key Person of Influence” is a great starting point.

3 out of 5 Stars (I deducted an entire star for that “Guess my point” technique.)

  1. Great book and thanks for sharing those key points!

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  1. So, What Makes You Such An Expert? | Rodney M Bliss

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