10 Ideas For The Interested This Week: Issue #3

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” — Linus Pauling

 

I came across that quote the other day and it’s the perfect explanation of why I seek out other people’s ideas and share my own with the world.

It’s also the perfect kick off to this week’s newsletter — a collection of 10 things I think you’ll be better off for seeing.

Let’s get into it…

1. STOP LISTENING TO PEOPLE

“Beware the person who fears your evolution.”

This has become one of the most popular things I’ve ever written which I guess means people love being told to ignore other people.

In it, I explain why none of the people who tell you what to do know what’s best for you and you should stop listening to them.

2. MICHELLE GIELAN IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“We’re all broadcasters. Our words create our experience of the world.”

Michelle is a former broadcaster who now studies the science of happiness and has found some interesting things.

For example, if you consume negative news first thing in the morning you’re 27% more likely to have a bad day.

3. IF THIS DOESN’T INSPIRE YOU TO DO SOMETHING, NOTHING WILL

“Learn how to love losing.”

Gary Vaynerchuk is a force of nature and while he may not be for everybody, he should be. In this video, he rants about the importance of doing things instead of just thinking about what you’re “gonna” do.

As he says in the video, “Fuck your gonna.”

4. WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL RIGHT NOW

“Some of Katherine’s very best friends have never been to her house, or she to theirs.”

This Washington Post profile of a 13-year-old girl is a fascinating glimpse at how kids her age use technology, view the world, interact with their friends, and deal with a world that looks VERY different than the one previous generations encountered.

5. SALLY HOGSHEAD IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“Better is a mirage. It keeps you chained to the same way of working as your competition.”

Sally is an expert on what makes things fascinating. She applies this expertise to brands, individuals, and content of all sorts.

In my profile of her, you’ll learn everything from how to make your writing more fascinating to how to figure out your most valuable qualities.

But my favorite observation of hers may be that you don’t actually learn to be more fascinating — you unlearn boring. Also, that “different is better than better.”

6. THE ONLY BOOK I’VE EVER READ IN ONE SITTING

“Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.”

I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin, but had never actually read his book The Dip until this week — when I read it in one sitting.

That’s the first time I’ve done that in my life and it was easy because the book is both amazing and brief (it only took about 90 minutes to finish it).

The premise of the book is that when you set out to do something you will ultimately hit a dip that comes after the excitement of starting it wears off and before the rewards of success arrive.

Most people quit things when they hit the dip and never get to the success, but those who push through can become the best. The book is designed to help you figure out when you should quit and when you should push through the dip.

That’s an incredibly oversimplified take on it, but trust me — it’s worth the 90 minutes it will take you to read it.

7. EVERYTHING IS PRO WRESTLING

“The audiences and the creators labor alongside each other, building from both ends, to conceive a universe with its own logic: invented worlds that, however false they may be, nevertheless feel good and right and amusing to untangle.”

This New York Times column makes an observation I’d never considered but makes a lot of sense — everything from pop culture to politics these days has become like wrestling.

We’re creating a world we WANT to believe in — even if it’s not based on truth.

8.SALES PEOPLE NEED TO BE STOPPED

“If your sales technique relies on outsmarting your clients, then you’re stupider than they are.”

I’ve had it with sales people (except for the one I’m about to marry of course — she’s an exception). The techniques most sales people use to try to sell me stuff are outdated, obnoxious, and ineffective.

So, I wrote up some suggestions for how they can do it differently.

9. JON WESTENBERG IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“Perfection is a game you can’t win, because the rules keep changing and you’re only playing against yourself.”

Jon is one of the most popular writers on Medium and in my profile of him you’ll find tips on everything from how to be more productive (hint: get mean) to why working for yourself is not freedom.

10. HOW DICE CLAY INFLUENCED CHRIS ROCK

“When you’re behind the curtain and you’re about to walk out I want you to remember what I told you — every comic wants you to fail. And then you use your other side of the brain and think about the family that’s been backing you, the people that love you all these years, and you go out and you kill them.”

Back in 2013 on the Howard Stern show, Andrew Dice Clay told a great story about some advice he gave to Chris Rock before his legendary HBO special and the importance of performance.

You can hear it at the 53-minute mark of this video.

How Dice Clay Influenced Chris Rock

“When you’re behind the curtain and you’re about to walk out I want you to remember what I told you — every comic wants you to fail. And then you use your other side of the brain and think about the family that’s been backing you, the people that love you all these years, and you go out and you kill them.”

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Sales People Need To Be Stopped

Dear Sales People,

I’m tired of being sold.

Whether you call my office, flood my inbox, accost me when I enter your store, or plead with me to supersize my order, you use terrible tactics to “close” me.

It’s annoying and it doesn’t work.

There has to be a better way for you to get my money. Here are a few things you can do to improve your odds…

Stop selling products that don’t provide value.

You know if what you sell provides value or not. If not, stop selling it.

Go get another job where you can sell a product that actually helps people. It will be easier and you’ll sleep better at night.

Stop lying.

I’m sure lies used to work well, but those days are over. We’re in a transparent era and you can’t lie your way to a sale any more.

And yes, exaggerating counts as lying.

Stop pretending you know me.

You don’t know me. We’ve never met. You don’t know my needs.

So why do you act like we’re old college buddies? Do you think you’re going to trick me into thinking we have a relationship?

We don’t.

Stop talking.

I haven’t heard your pitch, but I know it’s too long. Cut it by 75% and remove any word you haven’t said in a non-sales conversation in the past year.

Ask questions. Listen. Learn. I don’t need your sales pitch — I only need you to answer my questions.

Stop sending emails I didn’t ask for.

It’s annoying. It doesn’t work. It makes me hate you.

And, it’s probably illegal.

Stop assuming you’re smarter than me.

You’re not. None of your customers are as dumb as you think they are.

If your sales technique relies on outsmarting your clients, you’re stupider than they are.

Stop trying to get past no.

Sales gurus taught you never to take no for an answer, but sometimes a no is just a no.

That’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

I didn’t say no because of you, just like I wouldn’t have said yes because of you. It’s about the product, not the sales person.

If you accept the no, we can both go on about our business and there’s a chance some day I will need your product and you can make your sale then.

But if you annoy the crap out of me trying to get past no, you’re never going to get to a yes.

Stop thinking I need you.

I don’t. The world’s changed and any information, product, or service I need can be found online.

You’re a middle man (or woman).

If you want to be helpful, that’s great. But don’t fool yourself into thinking I need you. I’ll be fine without you.

Stop acting like a movie character.

You’re not Ari Gold. This isn’t Glengarry Glen Ross.

Just be a real person and we’ll be fine.

Stop trying to “sell” me.

Start trying to help me instead and I’m sure we’ll live happily ever after.


Stop Listening To People

Everybody’s got something to say about what you do.

People you know, people you love, people you hate. Even people you’ve never met in posts like this one.

They tell you what to do, what to think, what you do right or wrong. How to be better, live your life, and further your career.

But none of the people who tell you what to do know what’s best for you and you should stop listening to them.

This is why…

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10 Ideas For The Interested This Week: Issue #2

“Real work doesn’t look like work.”
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and have become increasingly interested in as my career has evolved. Long story short: most people and companies still operate the way the world worked 50 years ago and those practices are actually doing more to prevent good work from getting done than enabling it to happen.

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10 Ideas For The Interested This Week: Issue #1

1. STEVEN PRESSFIELD IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

Steven’s an author, but he may be best known for the ideas he’s put into the world about doing creative work.

You can learn a lot from him including how to overcome the Resistance (that voice in your head that prevents you from doing the work you want to do), how to find your voice, and how to overcome procrastination.

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