Why You Should Read the WSJ Daily
This is going to sound like a commercial, but it's not. It's a blog that hopefully reads like a suggestion but sounds almost like a plea.
You should be reading the Wall Street Journal every day.
I do not consider myself intelligent. I'm not book smart. I grew up in a small town, had poor study habits but got A’s and B’s thanks to a strange ability to recall pages of information, and can honestly say I graduated last in my high school class (full disclosure: We graduated by height!). I attended a state school and achieved grades only good enough to keep my parents off my back. It would be easy for me to blame the yet-undiagnosed ADD and dyslexia but the fact is, I was just lazy and unmotivated.
The first time I quoted an article I had read in the Journal, I remember saying to myself, "Who said that?" I had just heard something wicked smart leave my mouth and I was in shock. I added a different perspective to a conversation involving something to do with business. The whole thing was like an out of body experience.
Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal was purchased by Rupert Murdoch and everyone freaked out thinking it was going to become some sensationalist rag. Instead, his people made it far more readable. This allowed idiots like me to peruse the pages and find interesting tidbits that can be tossed into conversations and be used to make ourselves look a lot smarter than we are.
The Journal contains trends and stories about vertical markets such as colleges, banks and hospitals. Sure, it covers politics, but there is also information that will allow you to become better at sales.
Credibility comes in different forms. A degree from an Ivy League school might give you instant status. Starting a sentence with, "Back when I was at Harvard …" tells a customer that you were in the 4.6% who were admitted, so you must have something going for you somewhere. But if you didn't, you can still sound just as impressive by saying, “I read this interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal, and ...”
Do yourself a favor and take out a short-term subscription, one of those 12 weeks for a dollar a week specials that they have. You don't need to read it cover to cover, just scan the pages and look for articles of interest. Then, remember this advice the first time you hear yourself throw out a factoid like Cliff Clavin at Cheers!
Well said, old boy.
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