Body of Work

Weiss Advice Issue: 242,  September 2023

If my math is right—never a great bet—this is the start of my 22nd year writing Weiss Advice.)

A “body of work” is an important asset. Obviously, you don’t have one when you first begin, but just as obviously you should begin building it the day you begin.

In the first seven years of my business, I published over 200 articles (no internet then) in magazines and newspapers, spoke about 75 times, and published a hard-copy, monthly newsletter which was distributed by mail. Oh, yeah: And I had commercially published four books, the last of which was the franchise-erupting Million Dollar Consulting (now in its sixth edition 30 year later and still doing quite well).

Corpus (Latin) and oeuvre (French) also refer to the body of work of an individual artist, writer, or composer. I’ve read Steinbeck’s and Updike’s corpus, viewed da Vinci’s, and listened to Gershwin’s.

A highly qualitative body of work is important—perhaps vital—because:

  • It attracts repeat and long-term clients
  • It demonstrates consistency and enduring quality
  • It causes evangelism and peer-level reference
  • It give you the benefit of the doubt (when something doesn’t work)
  • It creates a fantastically powerful brand

Too many people in our profession are merely doing the same things over and over again. There is no body of work, just a work. In my view, my colleagues Seth Godin, Marshall Goldsmith, and Dan Pink (to name a few) are always saying new things, always being provocative, always adding to their body of work.

Are you a one-trick pony, or are you leading a herd?


NEW: Autumn in New York: Join me for 2.5 days of a great growth experience. I’ll be presenting new IP on the nature of the No Normal® workplace and how we can best attract and help clients. We’ll talk about new approaches to strategy for all types of organizations. Every participant (who so desires) will get “air time” to discuss a particular challenge, question, or strategy. I’ll take you to dinner at two of my favorite restaurants, we’ll see a Broadway play with great seats, and there will be a tour with a unique New York touch. We’ll start with an opening evening reception. Limited to 14 people. October 10, 11, 12. $12,000 fee (until Aug. 31, after that $15,000) includes meals and lodging. Join me for a great business and social experience.

NEW: Business As A Second Language: This 90-minute Zoom workshop will deal with reframing, social proof, instant examples, influence techniques, turning objections into selling points, and a great deal more. It will be interactive and recorded for ongoing use. Preparing for meetings is important (until, as the saying goes, you get punched in the jaw). I’ll help you stay in the moment and outduel anyone. Are you tired of worrying about “what you should have said”? Now you’ll be able to say it at just the right time. All this for $350, and you can drink while attending. September 14, 10:30 US eastern time. Recorded for all registrants. (After Aug. 15, $500.) Sign up here:


© Alan Weiss 2023