CFO Writing Temptations

Three Temptations of a CFO Who Writes

One of the great truisms with many financial professionals is that they do not like to write. That’s fine. Don’t write.

But if you do pick up the pen, please do not succumb to some temptations that could short-circuit your authority, credibility, and integrity.

I Understand the Daily Pressures of Part-Time CFOs

You have one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Not only are you making a difference in the companies you serve, but you have to balance administration, marketing, selling, and doing the work of The Free Agent CFO™.

So I’m not here to be the tough, stringent coach. However, it’s possibly tempting to lift someone else’s written content and adding it to your site. Please, do not do that. I’ve had it done to me three times, and I never liked the feel of it.

Accordingly, be on your guard for these 3 temptations, and just say, “No.”

Writing Core Values

Temptation #1 – White-Label White Papers

If you are a member of another professional organization allowing you to copy their white-paper content on your blog, don’t. I beg you, please don’t take advantage of this perk. I know, you’re allowed to do this. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Be a professional and go the extra mile to take that content (yes, that are paying annual fees for), and re-write it in your own voice. Better yet, take the overriding theme and provide an example from your own practice. Tell a story around the white paper you are thinking about copying.

Want to just copy and paste? If you do, you’ll look like all your other peers in that professional group with the exact, same content.

Be different, stand out, and be an authority.

Temptation #2 – Plagiarizing

Never copy someone else’s blog content. That seems like a given, right? Well, I’ve had another professional copy some of my content word for word and he didn’t seem to mind. He ultimately removed my content that I worked hard to write, but he showed no remorse.

I understand the heart of human nature all too well. Folks justify their actions, and I’m assuming they did. I didn’t say anything about it at the time. I just don’t trust or respect them anymore. Would you?

In short, do not be tempted to copy content found elsewhere.

There’s no faster way to lose credibility than by swiping someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. As Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach® says, he has social media protecting him should other professionals steal his work (and many have).

There’s nothing wrong with quoting or referencing the work of others. Just provide proper credit where due.

Again, don’t steal. If you are tempted and can’t resist, call me. I’ll be glad to slap some sense into you.

Temptation #3 – Publishing As-Is Ghostwriter Content

Finally, be careful about using ghost writers. For books, ghostwriters are great. For blogs, do you really need a ghostwriter?

Speaking of ghostwriters, one of my workshop facilitators at The Strategic Coach® was Gary Klaben. He told my group that Stephen Covey did not write The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He was the author. Another person wrote it. And that’s true for a number of great non-fiction books.

So I certainly understand when it’s beneficial to use a ghostwriter for your strategic content you want to publish.

But blog content? Try your best to do it yourself.

But should you use another writer, make sure you edit it before publishing. Gifted content writers can write in another person’s voice. But that talent is hard to find.

Accordingly, you’ll still need to tweak the content to shape the words in your own voice.

What Are Your Self-Imposed Blogging Boundaries?

I have set the bar high for every platform I write for. Those standards are essentially my core values for writing. As a Free Agent CFO™, I want to see your standards set high too.

I didn’t say I’m a good writer, I’m not. But I will abide by a code of conduct that both raises and maintains my authority in the domain spaces where I write.

How about you? What are your boundaries?

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2 Comments

  1. Well said Mark!

    Integrity and high standards in all things … I believe this and respect greatly those values expressed in your work.

    As for content, I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing more people were striving to do the work necessary to create original content. Many thanks!

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