Ignore Everybody - Hugh MacLeod

Ignore Everybody - Hugh MacLeod

Once you understand Hugh MacLeod's 40 Keys to Creativity, you're ready to unveil your own genius and propel it around the world!

What does it take to make a living being a creative person? Where does this creativity come from? And how do you come up with innovative ideas in a world as saturated with inventors as it is today?

These are some of the questions that permeate the minds of all those who have ideas and want to do something with them.

With this question in mind, Hugh MacLeod has developed an inspiring guide with forty tips on how to be creative, realistically showing that achieving success has more to do with how you work your own ideas than with pure talent.

Interesting, right? Keep reading to learn more!

About the book "Ignore Everybody"

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, by Hugh MacLeod, was published in 2009 by Portfolio.

In just 159 pages, the author makes his guide available by dividing forty tips into forty chapters. Each chapter has the help of its famous cartoons, which do not fail to convey the desired message in a light and relaxed way.

Hugh MacLeod is the creator of the Gaping Void blog, which receives about two million visitors a month. There, the text "How to Be Creative" was originally posted, receiving over five million downloads and inspiring the creation of this book.

About the author Hugh MacLeod

Hugh MacLeod worked as a copywriter for a decade while developing his skills as a cartoonist. In 2008, he founded, in partnership with Jason Korman, Gaping Void Ltd.

The company was responsible for creating custom arts for some of the largest companies in the world, such as Intel, Microsoft, Roche, Zappos, and VW, as well as being present in more than 5000 companies worldwide.

"Ignore Everybody" made the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and his next book, "Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination" was equally well received.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book is indicated for those who want to turn their creativity into something productive.

So if you are the type who has innovative ideas but is afraid to get them off the paper, this is the book for you.

Main ideas of the book "Ignore Everybody"

  • Ignore everyone: the more original your idea is, the fewer advice others will be able to offer you.
  • Good ideas alter the balance of power in relationships, so, they initially encounter resistance;
  • The idea doesn't have to be big, just yours;
  • If your plan involves being suddenly discovered by someone influential, it will probably fail;
  • What separates successful people from failed ones is the time and effort they put into their work;
  • "The Sex and Cash Theory": There are two types of jobs; those who pay the bills; and the exciting and creative;
  • We all have a personal mountain that we need to climb;
  • The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to set the limit on what they are willing to do;
  • Don't worry about "finding the inspiration", it will eventually come.

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[Book Summary] Ignore Everybody - Hugh MacLeod

Overview: "Ignore Everybody"

The book begins explaining that more original your idea is, the less advice people can give you. And good ideas alter the balance of power in relationships, which causes people in general to initially resist them.

So don't worry about the opinion of others about your idea. At some point, you will hear a voice deep inside telling you to create something, and you should hear it.

At first, you will doubt that it will work. However, the voice will keep asking you to put out something that the world needs to see, and it won't stop until you give in.

You should identify yourself when an idea is "A" idea, and not expect to receive third-party validation. A good idea is one you don't know if it's good, but you feel the need to develop it anyway.

Time waits for no one, so take a chance, and you will eventually find out what is really good.

Overview: Don't Care about Status Quo

According to Hugh MacLeod no one discovers anything suddenly, good ideas need to be slowly and painfully developed.

Invest in building your own business instead of relying on others to "discover" you. Great deals are good things, but having full sovereignty over your work is much more worthwhile in the long run.

Your business plan should be as original and innovative as your idea, or even longer. It's no useful to try to do the same as many others and hoping to stand out somehow.

An example of how not to act is to beg others to notice you or give you a chance. This is the easiest way to ignore it.

Enjoy the dark while it lasts

Once the world discovers your work and you become successful, you need to maintain it in a certain way.

Success needs people to support it, and so what you create becomes dependent on the opinions of others, which can make it no longer the same as what you created when it was something just for you.

Success will never come from the direction you expect.

It's always good to have dreams, but don't become a slave to them so that you deny anything that comes out of these plans, or you'll end up killing them before they have a chance to come true.

Overview: "Keep Your Job"

You need something that, even not being the job of your dreams, pays your bills as you develop your idea.

The theory Sex & Cash presented in the book "Ignore Everybody" says that the creative person has two types of jobs: the creative type and the one who pays the bills.

Balancing them is what ensures you have a good life while still maintaining sovereignty over your idea.

Job or hobby?

We all need both in our lives, a job, and a hobby that will occupy our minds when we're not working.

So when your hobby turns into a job, all that space it occupies is free, and it's not always filled with good things again.

Watercooler Gang

Watercooler Gang is the term coined by the author Hugh MacLeod to name those groups of workers who allow their creative directors to pressure them to spend every last ounce of their creativity, only to fire them when they no longer serve.

Every business has this group of people who spend more time near the water filter than actually working and simply have no more willpower. Avoid becoming one of them.

Overview: Planning

Fancy tools are just pillars we use to hide, and avoid getting to the point where we need to stop and create.

Finding that you need a specific accessories to develop your idea is just a self-imposed obstacle to make this process difficult.

Planning is needed so that you do not fall into the cycle of needing money, because the more you need money, the more people can tell you what to do, and the more you will have to swallow and give control to others.

This will cause the pleasure of creation to be lost.

Overview: "If you can accept the pain, it cannot hurt you"

Doing something creative is one of the best experiences you can have, even when you have to make sacrifices to get there.

The author Hugh MacLeod says that if you can get your work done, this whole sacrifice will be worth it, but if not, you will have learned a valuable lesson.

Overview: "The world is changing"

Change is inevitable, and some people can keep up, but not all. Then, to be able to stay stable in such a dynamic world, you need to earn people's trust.

When they trust you, technological advancement or new means cannot reach you. So, surround yourself with creative people who will keep your mind at work constantly and build trust with them.

Overview: "Selling is harder than it sounds"

It's hard to sell something that no one will want to buy, but diluting your work to make it "more commercial" will make people identify less and therefore like it less.

How a person develops his creative sovereignty is a much more interesting subject than who has sold most of his work.

What matters is what you will do with this short time you are given to live on planet Earth and sell something you believe in, rather than just commercial.

The internet gives you the means to create an audience for your work even before it is known to the business world.

Post your creations online instead of waiting for a chance to show them off somewhere. Once you have these followers, selling your creations is much easier.

Overview: "Don't worry about finding inspiration. Eventually, she will come to you"

Inspiration comes after the will to create, not the other way around. So, the book "Ignore Everybody" advises you to don't worry too much about the time between the moment inspiration comes and the moment you can create something from it. Stay simple and you will get better results.

Creating for the sake of creation, without the inspiration to do so, does not pass the artist's connection with its art, it is just a waste of time.

Overview: Write from the Heart

Part of becoming a master of something is doing it so that no one else can do it but you.

The goal is for people to be able to identify that something was done for you just because you have your own style.

No matter how many people you will reach with what you are saying, as long as you write something that comes from the bottom of your heart and has meaning for you.

Act like you're the best in the world and no one can say you're lying.

Not having to be told that you are good for you to be good is the way to have power over what they think of you.

Overview: "Being poor is horrible"

The biggest mistake young people make is underestimating the competitiveness of the outside world.

When asking yourself what is most important, creativity or money, keep in mind that both are the wrong answer: the most important thing is to be efficient, and to be prepared to deal with the needs you face.

Your idea will be more likely to become successful if you have the ability to live on little.

Overview: "Meaning Grows, Not People"

When you face the choosing between two paths, the truth is that we never know which one is right, or where it will eventually lead you.

You must admit that this is an adventure, a risk, and accept the surprises it can bring. With practice, you will eventually understand how to cope in these situations.

The fact is, no matter what the path, and wherever it leads you, you will always be held hostage to the everyday reality of all people.

And that is why no matter what the chosen path means, it can grow and change, but you, as a human being, cannot.

What do other authors say about it?

Austin Kleon, author of "Steal as an Artist: 10 Tips on Creativity" says that every good artist understands that nothing comes from nothing. We are a mashup of what we choose to let into our lives and the things around us.

In "Made to Stick", brothers Chip and Dan Heath believe that the surprise factor is linked to a pattern break. Unexpected, new ideas often attract people's attention. The human being has a logic that guides our expectations. The surprise comes when this guessing mode, faced with information, fails. Hence our attention is captured.

Finally, according to Adam Grant's work, "Originals", in creating an idea, we are usually too close to our own taste to judge it properly, just as we are far from the taste of the target audience.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Believe in your intuition;
  • Have total sovereignty over your idea;
  • Invest time in your idea, but don't leave your current job for it;
  • Build your own business, don't expect to be discovered by someone big;
  • If you allow yourself to give in to that urge to create something, it is your subconscious warning you that there is something to be exposed;
  • Don't look for shortcuts, work hard for what you want;
  • Delimit your creations to what you want to create;
  • Worry about the financial and make choices consistent with your situation;
  • Making your product more commercial will make people identify themselves;
  • Don't worry about looking for inspiration, it will come to you;
  • Have something that makes it possible to distinguish your work from others;
  • Stay simple;
  • In short, work hard and persevere. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble!

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