10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“The truth will only be told over a career.” — Richard Linklater

 When filmmaker Richard Linklater was 25-years-old, he took his Super 8 camera with him on a train trip to visit a friend and filmed himself along the way.

Essentially, he made his first movie by himself.

He did it because he believed, “Just finishing one thing might propel something else.”

That’s a lesson every creator needs to learn. Our work can’t matter until we learn how to finish it.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. 7 HARD TRUTHS ABOUT BUILDING A CREATIVE CAREER

“If your passion doesn’t intersect with some sort of need in the market that people are willing to pay for, you’re not going to get rich or make a living from it.”

It’s not easy to have a successful creative career and it’s impossible if you’re not honest with yourself about what it takes to do so.

Srinivas Rao shares seven hard truths about building a creative career including that there has to be a market demand for what you create, you have to create value, and you need to develop the habits of a professional.

For more advice on the subject, check out my five tips for a successful creative career.

2. HOW TO RETAIN MORE FROM THE BOOKS YOU READ

“Before I even think about which books I’m going to read, I think about what I’m trying to achieve. I strongly believe that the content of books should align with what’s going on in your life.”

It’s one thing to read books, it’s another to maximize the value you get out of them.

Darius Foroux suggests five steps to follow to retain more from the books you read including to see yourself as a teacher, have a purpose, and immediately apply one piece of new knowledge from the book.

3. SHERYL SANDBERG’S BEST CAREER ADVICE IS ONLY TWO WORDS

“To do something great requires sacrifice. It’s the great ideas that will make the biggest difference. The great ideas will lead to you becoming the best version of yourself. So, quit wasting your time on the mediocre…or even just the ‘good.’”

Ruthless prioritization. That’s what Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg believes is the key to success in business.

In this Inc. interview with Sandberg she explains why the most important thing you can do is focus your efforts on only your best ideas.

She points out it’s easy to get distracted by your to-do list and lured into doing things just to cross them off your list when they aren’t your true priorities.

4. HOW TO BECOME INSANELY WELL-CONNECTED

“If you want to connect with someone professionally to move your goals forward, you need to know exactly why you care about that person or their company. And you need to know how to articulate it succinctly. Everyone seems to have a story about a cold call miraculously turning into a career-making breakthrough. This doesn’t happen by magic. It happens because your sincerity is clearly powered by diligent preparation.”

I’ve shared a lot of ideas about networking before (see examples one, two and three), but this one may be the most thorough and actionable.

First Round Review partner Chris Fralic breaks down his seven rules for making memorable connections including to convey genuine appreciation, offer unvarnished honesty, and end every meeting or conversation with a feeling of optimism.

But the article doesn’t stop there. He also offers tips about how to keep a dream contact list, why it’s always better to get a quick no, and how to track and measure your response rate.

5. THE BEST PODCASTS OF 2017 SO FAR

“As a critic, I’m looking for a very specific thing: shows that say something about the medium, push the form forward, and exemplify the best qualities of what podcasts can do.”

It’s never too early for a best of the year list, is it? Ok, maybe it is.

But regardless, this Vulture list of the best podcasts of the year is a nice guide to things worth checking out including S-Town, 36 Questions, and Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty.

If you want more podcast suggestions (or want to offer up one of your own) go to this post in our FTI Facebook group to weigh in and see what other FTI readers think have been the best of the year so far.

6. 30 BEHAVIORS THAT WILL MAKE YOU UNSTOPPABLE

“Surround yourself with people who remind you of the future, not the past.”

Want to get fired up to do something? Read this post.

Benjamin P. Hardy breaks down 30 behaviors that will make you unstoppable including to choose simplicity over complication, take the shot every time, start before you’re ready, and set goals that far exceed your current capabilities.

7. HOW THE MEDIA MANUFACTURES OUTRAGE

“Is there actually a massive crowd calling for action? I can do a Twitter search and find 4 or 5 people saying just about anything.”

If you’ve never worked in the media or social media industries, you should definitely read this post.

It comes from Parker Molloy, a writer who posted a random comment on Twitter about lipstick only to have various media outlets jump on it and it turn it into “a thing.”

It’s a great example of how the media manufactures outrage and feeds on itself, creating a false sense of universal outrage that often doesn’t exist.

8. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DECIDE NOT TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS

“That’s your mission, not a business goal. Don’t expect to always get paid for your mission.”

Jeff Goins is a writer and entrepreneur who was banging his head against the wall to grow his business until he had a conversation with Seth Godin that made him change his path.

He explains why he decided to shrink his business and what happened when he did.

His observations include that sometimes you don’t need to grow to get what you want and that if you feel like you’re losing, sometimes you need to play a different game.

9. WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL COSTS OF FREE SERVICES?

“A recent study offered people different cash amounts in exchange for giving up Facebook for a month. Based on the responses, they then estimated its average annual value to the consumer at around $750. A simpler survey in the same study (without real cash offers) suggested that on average people value free search engines at $16,600 per year, maps at $2,800 and video at $900.”

Nothing’s actually free, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to calculate the cost of everything.

The Economist explains why the “free” economy comes at a cost and breaks down how economists are struggling to assess whether people get fair value for the data and attention they give to free services like social networks and search engines.

10. LESSONS LEARNED FROM ONLY SAYING YES TO KIDS FOR A WEEK

“Saying yes allowed them to grow into themselves, helped me to lighten up and relax as a parent, and also offered up new opportunities for us to connect, play, and bond.”

Parents spend a lot of time telling their kids no, so one parent wondered what might happen if she spent a week only saying yes.

Cosmopolitan shares these lessons a Mom learned from only saying yes to her children for a week including that her kids didn’t ask for anything extravagant or absurd and that many of the things she previously said no to weren’t actually a big deal.