Dateline: Cabarita Beach, Australia
You may not know – before I went into business management and then my SME business coaching career, I trained as a (“award winning“) journalist. In many ways it was a valuable grounding – both Journalists and Business Coaches are trained to always ask the right questions.
Perhaps I’m jaded, but I lament the quality of practitioners in both of these professions. So this week I’m bringing solutions!
- Blackboard Fridays Episode #16 explains the 5 advisory disciplines, and why pure business coaching is a waste of money
- Your AI Tool of the Week will save you time AND make you smarter – you want to review this one
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1. Blackboard Fridays Episode #16 – Are you getting the help that you need?
If you’ve ever sought strategic support for your business, you may have started wondering, “What’s the difference between a business coach, consultant, trainer, facilitator, or a mentor?” And (more importantly) “Which is right for me and my businesses?”
I reckon I’ve trained and mentored more than 100 different business advisors over the years, so I know these two things are true:
- There are fundamental differences between the skills, so applying one when you need another is like having a podiatrist treat your headache;
- When choosing to work with an advisor, it probably makes no difference at all.
Why doesn’t it matter? Because any good business advisor understands these differences, and is trained in which skills to use in any situation.
That’s how I can call myself “an international business coach” and still confirm that “pure business coaching is a waste of money”. Because every good business coach (an ‘Ask’ skill set) also brings some consulting and training skills (two ‘Tell’ skills).
As a small business owner with limited budget, you need to know the difference so you can demand the right tool for your problem. And in the unlikely event someone tries to sell you ‘coaching’ as the first, best, and only solution … run away!
The Pitch: “Summarize anything on the Internet”
Most AI tools overpromise. Imagine my surprise when Shortform gave a Pitch that downplayed their value.
Modern journalism struggles for two reasons: lack of context, and the social media bubble.
Lack of context is easy to explain – your best readers are up-to-date with the news, so whether it’s the Ukraine War or Johnny Bairstow’s (completely fair) dismissal, reporters assume all readers understand the broader context. There’s no point writing six extra paragraphs for every story explaining the bigger picture; but that means less-engaged readers can struggle to understand what’s really going on.
And you may be aware the you – like all of us – live in a news bubble. Algorithms feed us the news we want, which often serves to reinforce the worldview we already have rather than educating or improving us.
Shortform was the solution I didn’t even realise I needed!
In addition to summarising any news article, blog post, or even video … Shortform will add broader Context to your summary, AND a section called ‘Counter Arguments’.
The result, dear reader, is:
- Faster processing of the important information. Read a 2 min summary rather than a 20 min video.
- Optional extra Context – read it if you need it, skip it if you don’t.
- A short slap in the face to make sure you’re not sucked into a news or sales bubble without realising it.
I’ve tested Shortform on some complex video and written content where I have a degree of expertise, including international business creation and taxation. The ability of the AI to provide me all 3 outcomes in seconds is why I wholeheartedly recommend this AI tool to any business owner consuming content and looking to learn.
Until next Friday,
International Business Advisor
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