The Legend File

Since 2014, I’ve been involved in Thought Leaders Business School. First as a student; then as a faculty member, and now as an alumnus. I learnt a lot of great things over that time. From using Pink Sheets as a way of systematically capturing my thoughts/intellectual property, to using Green Sheets as a tool to better understand, and organise the process of engaging an new client and the idea of done is better than perfect — especially when it comes to self- publishing your own book.

Over the years, different elements from Thought Leaders Business School have been more central to my thinking, and how I organise myself and my practice. Right now, in this time of uncertainty; in this time of change; in this time of volatility in every aspect of life and society; one thing has bubbled to the surface — The Legend File.

I am not sure who mentioned it to me. It was one of Col Fink or Peter Cook. Regardless, it is now a main part of what I do on a daily and weekly basis.

So — what is The Legend File?

Well, it is a folder, for one. So a bit of a misnomer there. It contains all of the nice things people have said or written about you and your work. In this day-and-age of digital communication, in most instances it is a comment on social media. Maybe a Tweet about the workshop I ran. Or it could be a LinkedIn message about the impact of coaching. Or maybe it’s a friend who sends you a really lovely message on WhatsApp. For you, it could be a nice comment from a reviewer. It might be student feedback. It could be that someone tweeted about your article or research.

The Legend File — don’t just

collect the nice things, make sure

you read them frequently.

The folder could be anywhere. Your email. Your computer. OneNote. Evernote. Your phone. A physical folder of printed documents. Regardless, it is one repository for these nice things.

And the key to its success is not in the collecting, but in the re-reading and reviewing. And that is why it has been so useful now. When so much of the news and current affairs is about people losing their jobs, or illness, sickness, and death, it is really nice to read The Legend File. Of course, it is not just now that you should be reading it. Getting ready to write a grant — read The Legend File. About to give a talk — read The Legend File. Going into a meeting that is making you a little nervous — read The Legend File. About to apply for jobs — read The Legend File.

Moreover, if you get into the habit of reading The Legend File, you then see how often people say nice things about you (and capture them in The Legend File). It becomes a virtuous cycle of seeing nice things, capturing them, being yourself and having the confidence to push through times or events that might otherwise challenge you. So, go on, create The Legend File. I’d love to know what you’ve already found to put in it.

Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He loves helping entrepreneurs live their dreams. He finds that nothing is quite as satisfying as helping someone write a grant for research project; or bringing a life-goal to reality. He is driven by the challenge of helping people be commercially smart. His clients appreciate his cut-through approach. He knows the sector and how to turn ideas into reality.

To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email ( or subscribe to the newsletter. He’s on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).

Originally published at on June 10, 2020.