Ignore Everybody Notes & Summary

Link (Amazon)

Quick, well-written, and witty read. Hugh MacLeod was a copywriter for a Manhattan ad agency. Then, when he lost all hope of ever “making it,” he sat down at a bar and started drawing comics on index cards for fun. The rest is history… He gives 39 (well, 40) short lessons you can apply to your own life. Worth a read for anyone who wants (or is considering) creating on the Internet.

  • The more original your idea, the less good advice other people can give you. This is because they have zero frame of reference for this idea working for anybody else.
  • You don’t know if your idea is any good the moment it is created.
  • Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That is why good ideas are always initially resisted.
  • Doing anything worth doing takes forever. 90% of what separates successful people and failed people is time, effort, stamina.
  • Even after Hugh’s cartooning took off, he still had a job in advertising to stay attached to the real world. Most people would not do this. He was not dependent on his $$ from corporate marketing so it made him more powerful to do whatever he wanted
  • Practical advice: find an extra hour or two in the day and commit to doing something with it
  • The better the idea, the more “out there” it will seem. So you’ll probably have one-tenth of the support you need
  • Your wee voice vs. your adult voice. (page 27)
  • Everyone is creative.
  • Don’t worry about the equipment. It doesn’t matter.
  • Do you make the thing exist or not? Ship things.
  • “The first rule of business is never sell something you love. Otherwise, you may as well be selling your children.” (Not sure I agree. But an interesting idea.)
  • Human beings have this thing called “The Pissed Off Game.” No matter what happens or how lucky we get, we tend to always be pissed off about something. (Choose happiness in every moment.)
  • On writer’s block: If you’re looking at a blank piece of paper and nothing comes to you, then go do something else. Writer’s block is a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something.
  • The best way to get approval is to not need it.
  • The less you can live on, the more chance your idea will succeed.
  • The rise is better than the peak: It’s hard to invent a new language when people are already invested heavily in your old language. They’ve already invested in learning the old you. They don’t want to learn the new you, too.
    • For example, Neil Young was booed off stage when he tried to play new country-and-western material. Once people know you for one thing, they will have a hard time accepting you doing something else.
  • Start blogging (published in 2009 but still true today)
  • People don’t scale: no matter how meteroic your rise to the top is (or isn’t), you still have to do the same day-to-day realities as other human beings.
    • Birth, sickness, death, raising your family, eating food, etc. Whatever is truly meaningful
    • Sometimes, one needs that big adventure of “making it” in order to realize this
    • Reminds me of Jim Carrey quote: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
  • None of Hugh’s success happened “on purpose.”
    • If you are successful, it’ll never come from the direction you predicted.
  • Book summed up: “Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite.”

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