Ignore Everybody – Hugh MacLeod
90% of what separates successful people from unsuccessful people is time, effort, and stamina.
Don’t Dream On Being Suddenly Discovered
If your business plan depends on suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Most things are made slowly and with a lot of work.
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With all the online tools, you can now build your own thing without having somebody else “discover” you first. Which means when the big boys come along offering you deals, you’ll be in a much better position to get exactly what you want from the equation.
Your Idea Doesn’t Have To Be Big
It just has to be yours. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.
The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. How your own sovereignty inspires other people to find their own sovereignty, their own sense of freedom, and their own sense of possibility will give the work far more power than its objective merits ever will.
Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. You may never reach the summit; for that, you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.
Inspiration Will Eventually Come
Don’t stress too much about things like “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 just 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. If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough.
The best way to get approval is not to need it.
Put The Hours Into It
If you were to start out writing, for example, or maybe an online retail business, don’t just quit your job in order to make this big, dramatic event around it.
Instead, find that extra hour or two in the day that belongs to nobody else but yourself, and make it productive. Put the hours in, do it for long enough, and magical, life-transforming things will happen eventually.
Knowing How Good Your Ideas Are
The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you.
You don’t know if your idea is any good at the beginning. Neither does anyone else. And asking close friends never works as expected either. It’s not that they choose to be unhelpful. It’s just that they don’t know your world as well as you do, no matter how hard they try or how hard you try to explain.
Knowing Which Feedback To Ignore
You don’t have to ignore all people, at all times, forever. No, other people’s feedback plays a very important role.
But at first, maybe your idea will seem really “out there” to other people, even people you like and respect. So there’ll be a time in the beginning when you have to press on alone, without one tenth the support you probably need.
Good Ideas Exist In A Social Context
And not everybody will have the same agenda as you: When your idea seems to be working, sometimes you’ll find all these people trying to join the team, trying to get a piece of the action.
But as soon as they step inside the inner circle, you soon realize they never really understood your idea in the first place; they just want to be on the winning team.
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Question how much freedom your path affords you. Be utterly ruthless about it. It’s your freedom that will get you to where you want to go. Blind faith in an oversubscribed, vainglorious myth will only hinder you.