Chasing Shadows

I have two important recommendations to make today.

The first one is easy. If you haven’t done so yet, stop what you’re doing and go get Chasing Shadows by Fred Burton. Fred is the Chief Security Officer and Vice President of Intelligence for Stratfor. He was kind enough to send me a signed copy of Chasing Shadows a while back (I sent him one of Surveillance Zone) and the book just blew me away.

The book is about Fred’s decades-long struggle to solve the murder of Joe Alon, a high-ranking Israeli Air Force officer, which took place in Fred’s neighborhood when he was a teenager. Alon, it turned out, wasn’t just a pilot, he was a high-ranking military official with intelligence ties. In 2007, Fred―who had since become a State Department counterterrorism special agent―reopened the case.

As we learn about this fascinating, worldwide investigation, Fred spins a gripping tale of secret agents, pre-operational surveillance, Cold War horse-trading and international terrorism. The book takes you from Washington D.C. to Jerusalem, Paris and Rome; from swirling dogfights over Egypt and Hanoi to gun battles on the streets of Beirut.

The crazy thing is that it sounds and reads like a spy novel, but is all 100% true!

And now I want to make another recommendation. I want you to consider writing your own book.

It’s true that there are very few people on the planet with stories as interesting as those of Fred Burton (myself included, of course). But take it from someone who wrote and published his book anyway, everyone—everyone—has a story to tell.

If a book is too much for you then make it an article, write a blog, be a one-time contributing writer on someone else’s blog, start a podcast, upload some videos to YouTube, or just post an article or long-form post on LinkedIn or Facebook. But find a way to get your story out and give us some of your knowledge. We’re living in the age of information. And though we all consume much more than we produce, that’s no excuse for freeloading on the system.

I realize I’m putting things a bit more harshly than I have to, but I’ve been trying for a while now to convince more of you to start writing and to put yourselves out there. I’ve spent too much time talking with too many of you, hearing your amazing stories and gaining valuable knowledge from you to think otherwise.

So I’m calling you out now. This is your call to action.

Just because you don’t think you’re the premier world expert on a subject, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share what you do know. The fact of the matter is that no one knows everything, and in some cases, the best way to learn more is to put out what you already know and then get feedback on it.

I myself have recently published an entire book about surveillance detection in which I acknowledged—in print—that I am by no means the world’s biggest expert on it. But I had what to say about it so I put myself out there. Since doing so, I’ve been very generously rewarded, but much more importantly, many people have reached out to me to tell me how much they’ve benefitted from it.

So, now it’s your turn. If I could do it, so can you.

In this current age of information, it’s never been easier to share your knowledge with others. All the barriers and legitimate excuses have been eliminated, and this, in my opinion, means you have an obligation to do so. To do less is to deprive us of your knowledge—to steal from us.

So there you have it: Go get Chasing Shadows and go get cracking on your book, blog, podcast, video series or anything that’ll give us some of your knowledge.

Oh, and of course, if you haven’t done so yet, please also consider getting a copy of Surveillance Zone

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