10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan

Few icons are celebrated enough while they’re alive.

Prince and David Bowie didn’t get to see the world’s communal reaction to their deaths — I bet they’d have been blown away.

But when Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize this week, he was treated to that kind of Internet adoration (though I doubt he enjoyed it much).

Two Dylan-related things I saw this week stood out to me.

First, Barack Obama’s story about Dylan’s performance at the White House is perfect.

And Matt Ruby’s post about a Dylan concert moment includes an incredible line that’s worth remembering:

“When you’re heading for the future, people will scream for the past. But you’ve got to take them there anyway.”

The times, they are a changin’ — always.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. FIVE SKILLS YOU NEED TO MAKE A LIVING AS A CREATOR

“Focus. Clarity. Process. The ability to generate opportunities, identify and grow your audience. These are the keys to your success — and they can be learned.”

As a marketing consultant, I’ve helped all kinds of creators over the years build their career and noticed most creators struggle with the same challenges.

In this post, I explain the five skills you need to develop to grow your career — whether you’re a writer, comedian, artist, musician, or entrepreneur.

2. WHY YOU SHOULD INTERVIEW YOURSELF

“What motivates you more: failure or success?”

One of the best ways to figure out what you want in life and how to get it is to ask yourself some tough questions.

This Bianca Bass post serves up a list of 18 questions to help you learn more about yourself including to think about what you would say to your 15-year-old self and to describe the next five years of your life in one sentence.

3. JUST BECAUSE YOU FAIL, DOESN’T MEAN YOU WILL SUCCEED

“The stories we tell about failure and success tend to suffer from selection bias. Instead of a random sampling, we hear primarily from people whose rejections served as stepping stones on the path to fame and fortune. There are no quote roundups from unsuccessful writers who never made it.”

We hear so much these days how failure is good and if you keep slugging away at something, you’ll eventually succeed.

But this Quartz article suggests that’s a dangerous misinterpretation of failure and wonders if we’re better served to recognize failure is a constant in our lives and accept that success isn’t always right around the corner.

4. STOP TRYING TO BECOME A “LIFESTYLE BRAND”

“Lifestyle branding is making marketing too indirect. The purpose of marketing is to help make a sale. Brands appear afraid to sell but are shockingly comfortable with weighing in on significant social issues.”

It seems like every brand these days wants to align themselves with a certain lifestyle, but this Jeff Swystun post argues that’s a mistake.

He points out too many businesses are trying to be lifestyle brands and that consumers are savvy enough to see through the ruse.

5. 10 THINGS ABOUT THE ELECTION YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR

“We’re attracting candidates so addicted to the spotlight that they’ll endure terrible humiliation to hold it.”

For the most part I keep politics out of these newsletters because it’s not what they’re about, but this Dave Pell post is different.

It’s an interesting list of observations about what this year’s election reveals about the state of our politics, media, and nation.

Long story short? We get what we pay attention to.

6. HOW TO INFLUENCE THE DECISIONS PEOPLE MAKE

“The perception of choice is often more important than the actual degree of it.”

This Deloitte article is one of the most extensive things I’ve read about how consumers make decisions, why they struggle to, and how you can influence their decisions.

It’s packed with tips about everything from how you can create options that resonate with people to how you can increase consumer confidence in your product.

7. HOW TO READ 100 BOOKS IN A YEAR

“The principle of activation energy says that the more energy it takes to do something the less likely you are to do it, and the less energy it takes to do something the more likely you are to do it.”

If you wish you read more books, this Srinivas Rao post is for you.

It offers five simple suggestions to increase the number of books you readincluding to incorporate audiobooks and leverage the principle of activation energy.

8. HOW TO THRIVE IN THE MILLENNIAL ECONOMY

“In the freedom economy, emotional intelligence is more important than economic intelligence.”

Our business world has changed and in order to succeed in it you need to adapt as well.

This Richie Norton post breaks down five principles for thriving in the Freedom Economy, including to recognize human capital is greater than money, collaboration is greater than hierarchy, and that everyone is now a leader.

9. THE COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART AND BUSINESS

“It’s tempting to think of the artist and the moneymaker as entirely different organisms with different environments, wants, and needs. [But] the artist and the businessperson are mysteriously, complicatedly bound together.”

This one has echoes of my post about the keys to a creative career that I referenced at the top of this newsletter.

In it, Hallie Bateman tries to wrap her head around the complicated relationship between her art and her financial needs — exploring what it really means to sell out.

10. A FACEBOOK PAGE YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO ‘LIKE’

Want your Facebook feed to feature a few more interesting ideas alongside the cat videos and baby photos you see every day?

Then I invite you to like the new 10 Ideas Worth Sharing Facebook page I created for you. Through the page I’ll share ideas like the ones featured in each week’s newsletter, as well as some that I don’t include in the newsletter.

I’d love it if you would Like and share the page to help spread the word about what we’re doing here and share these ideas with more people.

I ASKED, YOU ANSWERED

Last week I asked what are your best time management tips.

Here are a couple answers that stood out:

“Prioritize and focus your most productive time of the day on the highest priority activities.” — Frank Scutaro

“Everything goes on the calendar: meetings, deep work, idea time, leisure time, etc. Your calendar is your to do list.” — Daniel Silvestre

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

What was the last thing you were embarrassed to be wrong about?

Post a response with your answer and I’ll share some of the responses in next week’s newsletter.