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Contact Me

Use the form here below for any inquiries, concerns, order instructions and so on.

Also, you can reach me directly at (718) 577-1344 or Skype “bryan.ogilvie.” If you’d like me to lecture or give a keynote presentation to your students or organization, set up a personal, one-to-one consultation for you or a loved one, or anything along such lines – email or message me any details below.

NOTE: To collaborate with me for special projects – interviews and so forth – include a contact number and a sample of your work as well.

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  • HAL said:

    Dear Bryan,

    With interest, and because it appeared on my YouTube homepage, I just watched your video “The 5 Stupid Things INTELLIGENT People Do (That Keep Them From Success They Deserve).”

    At the risk of breaking all the rules, I’d like to offer you my critique, which you may think of as one potential customer’s feedback on your product. In other words, I’m almost tempted to buy your book but I’m not going to, so you may be interested to know why, if only for insight into a part of the market that you could reach down the road, assuming there’s others like me.

    First, I found much truth to the your five (plus one) points. In fact, they have made me reconsider my own “stupid” tendencies. For example, I had never fully considered how my interest in complicating simple things risks energizing me at the expense of others’ interests, keeping me from forms of success that come with tapping into other people’s interest in simplicity.

    In light of such thoughts that your video provoked, it made me even reconsider its self-help style to some extent. That is, like the personal example you give, I tend to find “step-by-step” processes insulting to my intelligence. But I also find them intellectually suspect when marketed as self-help because, to point out the obvious, the ultimate point of any form of marketing is to make a buck, not necessarily to help the people who hand over their money. So it was edifying to consider the possibility of customers actually getting what they pay for, in this case help for intelligent people who want to stop doing stupid things.

    My first main problem with your video, however, is that its insights are as applicable to “stupid” people as they are to “intelligent” people. For example, the former by definition complicate simple things too, and not just for want of interest. To give a more specific example: students who may appear to be stupid and uninterested in math class can become turned on to the subject when their appearance of simple stupidity is complicated by a teacher who tries to understand the reasons why they aren’t doing well. In other words, your video takes common sense and repackages it for people you self-identify as intelligent. For this reason, I suspect that even the people who find your product helpful enough to buy it are on some level being tricked into buying common sense that they already, by definition, own. But such is the trick to the self-help industry, I suppose.

    The latter points relate to my second main point: that your video overlooks the intelligent aspect of each of the six “stupid” things it covers. For instance, just as “stupid” people may actually be intelligently signalling that they need help when they technically complicate things unnecessarily, “intelligent” people are not necessarily giving in to a personal pleasure when they go to the trouble of complicating things. Staying with my above example, a truly successful teachers knows when its appropriate to simplify, but also know when a dose of complication’s in order. Problematically, then, your video risks shutting down avenues of success for anyone – “stupid” or “intelligent” – simply by suggesting that success for intelligent people always entails avoiding the six things you discuss.

    So, to summarize, your video contains a number of interesting points that, if developed, would make me much more inclined to buy your book. The overall problem that I have is that you wrap good points up in generalizations repackaged as particular points for intelligent people. Why not just keep the good points, but add that they are neither absolutely the case nor absolutely applicable to any one group of people? I realize, of course, that that “self-help” with all its pros and cons is your business model, that I’m not and may never be part of your target audience. Still, on the off chance that you may find my points helpful, I though I’d send them to you. Plus, admittedly, I’ve had fun complicating your points. I hope you receive them with the spirit of respect with which I intend them from one intelligent person to another.



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