Review of The Thought Leaders Practice by Matt Church, Peter Cook & Matt Stein

A great thing about the Christmas break in Australia it that it lasts more that six weeks. It starts about two weeks before Christmas and finishes on Australia Day (26 January). This allows you to attack the pile of unread books that you collect during the year. One of those books was The Thought Leaders Practice which I somehow had picked up as a free offer. I must confess my initial reaction based on the cover was that I was not going to spend much time on it. When I finished reading it, I regretted that it was not available in June 2007 when I entered the semi-retirement phase of my career. (The book was published in 2016.)

Some of my key takeaways for reading this book were:

  • Not understanding the difference between a Practice and a Small Business. I made this mistake. You are selling your time not a product or service.
  • A successful practice is defined as annual income of $720,000 and to achieve that you have to be a Thought Leader with unique intellectual property and not a commodity.
  • Building a successful practice requires starting a series of clusters using each of six delivery modes: Speaking, Authoring, Training, Mentoring, Facilitating and Coaching.

One of the key messages of the book is that when you achieve an income of $720,000 you do not spend it on lifestyle but start building up an investment portfolio. Thankfully I did that and I am now reaping the rewards. I don’t need to work and I can treat my business Emotional Intelligence Courses as a side hustle. (This is another new term that I learned over the holidays.)

Another important point was that starting a Thought Leaders Practice at the beginning is hard work and full on. You will be working at least 250 days full time being a sole trader doing everything. Having worked with entrepreneurs for 25 years in venture capital I could not agree more. This quote sums it up: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

Another moment of epiphany for me during the holidays was this Freakonomics podcast by Domonique Foxworth. He was a NFL player who went to the Harvard Business School. It is a long podcast (90 minutes) but a fascinating story. When I finished listening to the podcast, I decided I would adopt his philosophy in spades.

So, I ended up sending an email to Peter Cook congratulating him on the book but saying the proposed plan was too late for me. However, if you are in your 50s and your corporate career is coming to an end you should consider reading this book and investigate following their path. These three short videos will give you a good insight into their methodology.

Growing Your Own Thought Leaders Practice

Clarity on Clusters

Your Strategic Expertise Plan



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Chris Golis - Author


"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."

Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group

Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

- Great presentation. Very informative.

- Excellent presentation.

- made me think.

Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web