Who are the Smarty McFarty’s in your life?

Cliff Atkinson

Everyone needs a smart person to talk to.

That someone in your corner who can be annoying at times, but when you think about what they have said, they often have impact.

My brother was this for me, and I didn’t really realize it until it was too late.

He passed away in January 2010.

Our long distance chats would never be less than an hour and would usually end with me saying “okay Cliff, that’s enough, I can’t take any more information”.

My brother Cliff inspired my interest in many things: travel, entrepreneurship, continuous learning. He was a self help junkie and an avid reader on many topics. He also had a great sense of humor.

We all need a Smartie McFarty, like Cliff, to help stimulate our thinking. Even if they don’t understand your profession (many people don’t “get” us) they can offer us perspectives that we may not have thought of – we just need to stay open.

Who are the Smarty McFarty’s in your life?

Are you appreciating them?

Feel free to give them a shout out here with a comment below.

Bottom line. Don’t wait to tell the people who are important to you that they are having an impact.

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!

PS: Wanna have me as your Smarty McFarty? There is one spot open in Club Hybrid which started this month, check it out! https://www.speakerlauncher.com/ClubHybrid.html


  • My smarty mcfarty is John Stob, a friend of mine from Chicago. He’s a real wealthy guy but very down-to-earth, humble and wise. And I have a developing (new) smarty farty in Denver named Robyn Gisbert. She is an academic and a brain expert… An incredibly fascinating individual

  • Hey Cliff!
    Great post. You’re so right, and as my Smarty McFarty Coach Rick Sherrell says, “If you’re the smartest person in your group/org/business, you need new friends!”

    I adore my Smarty McFarty because he does just as you said, gives me new ways of looking at things I hadn’t thought of before. My coach “gets me” and my message and has been supporting me on the journey as I’ve been refining my message and putting it out there. Might even call him a muse.

    I’m smarter and more efficient because of my Smarty McFarty Rick Sherrell when it comes to technology. He is generous with his new found knowledge (and he learns new tech stuff all the time) and is always quick to teach what he learns. He just brought me up to speed with Google Chrome and all of its new features. Fantastic I say!

    I have other brainy and geeky friends that love and support me too in a variety of ways and I love them all. Hip Hip Hooray for all the Smarty McFarty’s in my life and especially to my coach! I’m all the better because they love learning and sharing what they know.

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  • Hi,

    I agree – mine is my sister. She is the one person who will tell me about the typos on my blog, when presentations I’ve built don’t make sense to the layperson, etc. She is a sharp young woman, and brings valuable perspective when I get too wrapped up inside the jargon and mindset of my world.

    I would argue that for us speakers, the people who “don’t get” us can be the best contributors of all! Is it not our job to take groups of people who “don’t get” us and turn them into people who do? That’s one of the talents of a really good speaker, I think.

    Thanks for this, Jane. I look forward to seeing you at next month’s CAPS Edmonton event.