Talk like a super clever business person

You may walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Super clever business people have more than a way with words, they have a bonafide business method. With our simple tips below you can soon be inspiring your troops like Elon Musk, David Brent, or any of the other great speakers of our time.

Use TLAs (Three letter acronyms)

Super smart business people know more acronyms than you do. The bestest, most powerful ones have three letters, like COP (Close Of Play), EOD (End Of Day) or PIB (Pigs In Blankets). If you want to be a clever person, you need to seriously up your TLA game. Start reading the latest CITs (Clever Internet Threads), read TLA books and ask colleagues for their favourites.

You can then start creating your own. This is particularly important at new businesses, where TLA usage is directly linked to business growth. You should aim for at least 13.5 unique TLAs per employee. Include a test in your recruitment process if necessary.

Never use, only leverage

Why use something when you could leverage it? Using is dull and lifeless, it’s what a stamp collector does with his possessions. “Would you like to use my ring binder to store your administrative documents?” you’ll hear him ask, and you’ll immediately collapse into a coma of boredom.

Leveraging on the hand is the absolute business. It’s strong, sexy, it takes a giant girder and powers heavy weights into the air. Clever smart people leverage the word leverage to show everyone else just how seriously they’re taking the situation. “We can leverage this in our marketing” they’ll say, and you’ll get so excited you’ll kiss the person next to you and dance like a moron.

How to use in a sentence:

“I want to leverage this data in our next model”

“Are you leveraging that phone charger?”

“Can I leverage your toilet?”

Take things offline, even when you are offline

For regular people (and dictionaries), online means “being on the internet” and offline means “not being on the internet”. These people are wrong.

Super clever smart business people do not acknowledge this basic divide because they know better. Sat round a table with 4 people having a meeting, the smartest cleverest business person will say “that’s an important issue Mike, but let’s take that offline”. The outside observer will assume Mike must be hologram, projected over the internet. This is not the case.

In fact, no computers or connections are involved at all. The lay person would understand it as “that’s an important issue Mike, but let’s talk about it later”. However, it’s clear to everyone that such crass and vulgar language would never be heard from a super smart business person.

Build everything out of pillars

If you work in a business, you probably have a strategy. You might have several for different business areas. What, though, is your strategy built on? Did you build it with pillars like a clever business legend, or did you build it on sand, like a short-sighted castaway who wants to die from exposure?

Everyone knows that pillars are strong. Look at the Parthenon. But they’re versatile too, and that’s what smart business people understand. You can have brand pillars, content pillars, strategy pillars, efficiency pillars, service pillars and design pillars. Look at your strategy presentation again, you’re probably using super lame boring words like principles, themes or values. Replace them with pillars right now, and their strength and grandeur will help you get one step closer to being a clever smart business person.

Hack everything

Nothing is cooler, smarter or businessier than hacking. Tech people hack, journalists hack, even gardeners hack. No matter what you do, you can hack too.

The key to hacking is to take whatever verb currently applies to what you do and replace it with a hack. Clive used to say “I’m responsible for marketing” and no-one paid attention. Then he went to Smart Business University, now Clive says “I’m Head of Growth Hacking motherfucker” and everyone bows to his awesomeness.

Here’s how you can hack your way to gaining respect:

Workshop = Hackathon

Eating = Sustenance Hacking

Going to Little Chef – Disappointment Hacking


You now have all the steps you need:

  • Use TLAs
  • Never use, only leverage
  • Take things offline, even when you are offline
  • Build things with pillars
  • Hack everything

Implement them into your daily life today. Use them at work. Impress your suppliers. Try them on the kids. Not only will your turnover treble in a week, you’ll be admired by everyone you meet as the clever smart super business person you’ve always dreamed of being.