Songs for Sovereign Professionals: Lawyers, Guns and Money – Warren Zevon

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

Every sovereign professional has a lawyers, guns and money moment at one point or other.

Warren Zevon’s my favourite songwriter, after Bob Dylan. He was literate, witty, satisfyingly cynical and musical. He took the easy-on-the-ear musicality of the West Coast, Asylum-label sound of the Eagles, Jackson Browne et al and added his own black humour and an edge of film noir. He also wrote the most fragile love songs.

Lawyers, Guns and Money first appeared on Zevon’s 1978 album Excitable Boy, but here I’ve chosen a version by The Wallflowers recorded for the posthumous tribute album, Enjoy Every Sandwich.

Here’s the Wallflowers and Zevon’s son Jordan (who also appears on the album) on the David Letterman Show …

And here’s Zevon himself on the David Sanborn show …


Coping with conferences as an #introvert sovereign professional

Here’s an interesting post from Hunter Walk on how he, as an introvert, copes with large events.

The most important aspect of introversion isn’t “shyness”, it’s that being around other people drains your energy. By definition, extroverts need social interaction in order to gain energy. They come alive in social gatherings. They find it draining to study alone.

Introverts are the opposite. Simply attending large events is physically and mentally exhausting, but sometimes, as a sovereign professional, you just need to do it. You need to attend and learn, to see and be seen. The answer is to be measured in your selection and to pace yourself:

Over time, and in the interest of self-care, here’s how I’ve approached my own expectations and behaviors at events, especially day-long or multi-day conferences:

A. Depth Not Breadth When Meeting New People at Conferences: … So I changed my definition of success. It’s fine if I end up seeing a bunch of people but, really, if I can have meaningful conversations with just five, 10, 15 people over the course of a day, that’s a win.

Read the rest, here.


Photo by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

Being Indispensable – Nicholas Bate

Another essential list from Nicholas Bate: Being Indispensable 7:

1. Know your client. … What do they really want?

2. Make sure they get it.

6. Increase the value you offer day by day, week by week, quarter by quarter.

Important insight for an employee, critical for a sovereign professional.

Read the full list, here, and ponder.


Photo by on Unsplash

Echoes through time: the empires of the future

“Let us go forward as with other matters and other measures similar in aim and effect – let us go forward in malice to none and good will to all. Such plans offer far better prizes than taking away other people’s provinces or lands or grinding them down in exploitation. The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”

Winston Churchill (1943), Speech on receiving an honorary degree from Harvard

Is the universe conscious?

Now there’s a thought for a Saturday morning.

Thanks to Nigel Willson (@nigewillson) for flagging this piece about the theory of panpsychism

For centuries, modern science has been shrinking the gap between humans and the rest of the universe, from Isaac Newton showing that one set of laws applies equally to falling apples and orbiting moons to Carl Sagan intoning that “we are made of star stuff” — that the atoms of our bodies were literally forged in the nuclear furnaces of other stars.

Even in that context, Gregory Matloff’s ideas are shocking. The veteran physicist at New York City College of Technology recently published a paper arguing that humans may be like the rest of the universe in substance and in spirit. A “proto-consciousness field” could extend through all of space, he argues. Stars may be thinking entities that deliberately control their paths. Put more bluntly, the entire cosmos may be self-aware.

Read the full article, here.

It reminds me of Peter Wohllben and his theory that trees are sentient, that they communicate with and even heal one another, albeit at an ent-like pace. There’s an interview with Wohlleben, here.  And, of course, his best-selling book on the matter is The Hidden Life of Trees, which I’ve been tempted to read for a while now.

Much to ponder over a grey weekend.


Photo by Alexander Slattery on Unsplash

Something for the weekend? @dailystoic has the ultimate stoic reading list

The Daily Stoic suggests 28 must-read books on stoicism.

I’ve only read one.

My Amazon wish-list has exploded.

Ones that caught my eye include:

It might be a busy weekend.


Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

Matt Ridley on free trade – @mattwridley

Matt Ridley’s column from the Times, now on his own site, offers a powerful, evidence-driven, argument for free trade:

The “ultimatum game” is a fiendish invention of economists to test people’s selfishness. One player is asked to share a windfall of cash with another player, but the entire windfall is cancelled if the second player rejects the offer. How much should you share? When people from the Machiguenga tribe in Peru were asked to play this game, they behaved selfishly, wanting to share little of the windfall. Not far away, the Achuar in Ecuador were much more generous, offering almost half the money to the other player — which is roughly how people in the developed world react.

What explains the difference?

The answer is, here.