Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I waited a few minutes to introduce myself to Sam Horn at a conference last week.

The man in front of me kept apologizing, but he couldn't tear himself away from Sam. When their conversation was over, he hugged her and gave her a kiss.

Well! What was it about this prolific author and marketing/branding guru that inspired such devotion?

I said hi and told Sam I'd like to have her guest on my podcast sometime soon. She graciously agreed and then she did something I've rarely seen. Instead of telling me all about herself and her books and her work and her speaking business - like most people do - she started asking about ... ME.

"You're a writer, you must have a book in mind," she said, smiling. Well ... I had to admit that like most writers I did have some dormant aspirations in that direction.

Sam smiled again, flipped over the notebook she was holding, and started scribbling in it. "What do think you'd write a book about?" "What's been your most popular column?" "What's another column that got a lot of feedback and attention?"

Before I knew it, Sam showed me what she had been writing as we talked. Not only did she have a book cover sketched out (with my name on it!) she also had a catchy title and an idea for turning the book into a series.

All this in less than five minutes. Wow!

Both of us were on a five-minute pitch panel later that day, an event where would-be entrepreneurs had one minute to present their business ideas and four of us four judges had one minute to comment, question and give advice. Sam was similarly helpful and expansive in that arena.

Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed. For many years, I've been telling entrepreneurs to give, not sell. Make their business all about listening and meeting clients needs.

But I've only rarely seen people truly embody that advice so thoroughly and charmingly. Sam is the genuine article.


  1. She's a terrific person. I'd love to have her come to our writer's group sometime if she's on the West Coast.

    I look forward to having her on the podcast.

  2. Hello Karen:

    First off . . . heartfelt thanks for your gracious comments. They made my day.

    And, I'll be back in CA on Jan. 23 for the Innovation and Humanity Summitt . . .and would be glad to speak for your writers groups while I'm in town.

  3. never heard of Sam Horn before (I take it she wasn't a linebacker of the same name that played in the NFL) ... yeah, i can burrow down deep into my own little world. but after reading your blog entry, i have to find out more about her and her book.

  4. Thanks, Sam, I'll look into the possibilities for that date.

    Bob, I encourage you to check out Sam's site and her book.