“I dream for a living.” — Steven Spielberg
Not everybody’s going to like what you do.
Facebook celebrated the 10th anniversary of its news feed this week and in a post about the milestone Mark Zuckerberg said when they first launched the product more than a million people formed a group demanding its removal.
Much of his audience hated it. They even protested outside the Facebook offices.
But Zuckerberg had the courage to trust his instincts.
We live in a world where it’s easy for everybody to share their negativity. But what you do shouldn’t be for everybody anyway.
As a friend once said to me, filter the noise.
Focus on your vision, trust your instincts, and move forward.
The haters may be loud, but that doesn’t mean they’re right.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. WHY MOST SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES FAIL
“Attention only matters if it leads to something — if it helps you accomplish a goal.”
Most social media strategies fail because they chase attention instead of earning it.
In this post, I explain the difference, why most social media efforts don’t deliver results, and how to ensure yours do.
2. HOW TO LIVE LIKE A KNIGHT
“Excellence lives in attention to detail. Give your all, all the time. Don’t save anything for the walk home. The better a knight prepares, the less willing he will be to surrender.”
There are worse ideals to model your life after than those of a knight.
This Farnam Street article outlines 20 Rules For A Knight, based on the Ethan Hawke book “Rules for a Knight.”
The rules include things like “Anything that gives light must endure burning” and “There is no such thing as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
3. THE REAL VALUE OF EXERCISE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR HEALTH
“In a world where comfort is king, arduous physical activity provides a rare opportunity to practice suffering.”
It’s possible the most valuable thing you can get from exercise has nothing to do with getting in shape.
This Brad Stulberg post points out exercise teaches you to become comfortable being uncomfortable — a skill that will serve you in every aspect of your life.
4. BRAINSTORMING IS DUMB
“Group brainstorming has many downsides — chief among them is that only a single person can talk at a time, which means that one or two people can dominate a conversation.”
Research has found the traditional group brainstorming session is a flawed practice and there are better ways to generate ideas.
This Fast Company article outlines some better alternatives to brainstormingincluding “brainwriting,” which sounds reminiscent of my previous post about 50 benefits of forcing yourself to think of 50 ideas.
5. YOUR DREAMS COME AS WHISPERS
“The hardest thing to listen to, your instincts, your human personal intuition, always whispers. It never shouts.”
Ever wonder what advice Steven Spielberg gives to his kids about how to find their path in life? Well, here it is.
In this one-minute video, Spielberg explains why he believes it’s hard to hear your intuition and why it’s important to pay attention to be ready to hear it.
6. HOW TO BE YOUR OWN PUBLICIST
“Here’s what I won’t do: create a list of email addresses of influencers and email all of them the same pitch. That would be both insulting and ineffective.”
In a post explaining his approach to promoting his new book “Writing Without Bullshit,” Josh Bernoff offers up a better PR strategy than 99% of professional publicists use.
He explains why he believes in personal outreach and why a no can be empowering.
7. HOW TO BUILD A BETTER TEAM
“I work under the assumption that we have no idea how to build companies yet, and that 50 years from now people will look back at companies of today and they will seem like the black-and-white footage of the first hockey games.”
I had no reason to be interested in this New York Times interview of Tobi Lutke, the CEO of Shopify. But then I read it and was blown away by all the smart things he had to say.
In it, he explains how he’s approached building a company, hiring people, and the advice he gives to new college grads.
8. THREE LEADERSHIP SKILLS YOU NEED TO DEVELOP
“You need all three leadership skills in an uncertain world: Fanatic discipline keeps you on track; empirical creativity keeps you vibrant; and productive paranoia keeps you alive.”
This Harvard Business Review article is based on a study of the leaders of companies who succeeded in chaotic, uncertain industries.
It explains that those leaders share three key traits that made them successful — a hyper vigilance about potential bad events, an insistence on blending creativity with data and metrics, and a consistency and focus on long-term goals.
9. ADVERTISING CAN STILL WORK (SORT OF)
“Simple test for brand marketing: If I can substitute one company for another and have the ad still make sense, it’s not a good ad.”
As with most Seth Godin posts, this one is brief and brilliant. My summary of it would likely be as long as the post is in the first place, so just go read it for yourself.
10. STORYTELLING IS SIMPLE WHEN KURT VONNEGUT EXPLAINS IT ON A CHALKBOARD
“Somebody gets into trouble, gets out of it again. People love that story.”
Here’s an entertaining old video of Kurt Vonnegut outlining on a chalkboard the simple shapes of just about every story you can tell. He makes it seem so easy (it’s not).
I ASKED, YOU ANSWERED
Last week I asked you what was the best failure you’ve ever had and why.
Here are a few of your answers that stood out:
“I failed majorly at so many things. Right now I’m most grateful for failing to be the skinniest person in the room. It means I get to be alive and live fully.” — Abby Sher
“Shortly after I started doing stand-up at open mics, my LA acting teacher was in town. He came to see me and I bombed. Totally. Completely forgot my material. Got no laughs. I was mortified. The lesson I learned from that failure was to let go of the outcome. Don’t anticipate either success or failure. Stay present to the experience, whatever it is.” — Patty Hardee
“Best failure: Getting cheated on and then divorced. It forced me to reevaluate my relationship skills in a more profound way.” — Dave Marquardt