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06/23/2009 Review: Ignore Everybody


Sometimes I’m a sucker for a new book pitch, especially if there’s a free prize inside. A few weeks ago people started buzzing about Hugh McLeod’s new book “Ignore Everybody” with the sub title “And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.” Not only did Seth Godin blog about it but Hugh also offered a free extra book to the first 500 purchasers. Very Godinesque.

I’ve followed Hugh on Twitter (he’s @gapingvoid) and I read his blog. I looked forward to reading this book a lot more than others I’ve bought recently. And this is not because I try to ignore everybody (at least I think I don’t).

Ignoreeverybody2 Hugh has a great story. Ad copywriter turned illustrator/business card comic creator. This is a story about someone who became very good at something unusual and followed his passion. He didn’t quit his day job for it, but he was able to turn this passion into a very new direction for himself.

I don’t know that I got much out of the parts around creative habits in the book. However, I thought Hugh and some really interesting insights into personal change and motivation. For that reason, here’s my one line recommendation:

“If you’re trying to figure out what’s next or are already in a transformational period, read this book. Looking back on my own big change a year ago, I wish this book had been available then.”

Two things jumped out at me from Ignore Everybody. The first is that when you finally have that idea for what you want to do, the idea that change the way you do things, expect a lot of resistance. According to Ignore Everybody, change ideas alter the power balance in a relationship. And everyone wants to keep his or her power.

Think about it: we experience this daily. At work, our bosses and colleagues resist ideas fro all sorts of reasons. When you put it into the framework of power relationships, it makes more sense.  Looking back through these lenses, I understand a lot more of some of the things that happened in the past. Hugh also posits that even friends resist change because they fear that the status quo in your friendship will suffer the effects.

In fact, most everyone, except you, is probably just fine with the way things are. This book, more than anything else, is a recipe to break your inertia.

The other idea Ignore Everybody pushes is the power of sovereignty. When something is yours, you not only care for it more, it also excites other people more. We want more control in our lives. From career to how marketers treat us. The idea of sovereignty is a powerful one and one of the best motivators around. It goes to the core of who we are as people.

Hugh MacLeod has a lots of smart thinking and truisms in his book, some practical, like the amount of work you have to do to succeed, some philosophical, like not looking for approval.

At the end of the day, Hugh changed his life through his drawings. If you’re trying to figure out how to change yours for the better, Ignore Everybody is a quick read that could give you some insight on how to move yourself.

Special Offer

Since I'm receiving an extra copy, I want to share in the goodness. If you're looking to change, have a creative passion you'd like to follow, or just want some good advice on how to be more creative, write something here or send me an email.

I'll give my extra copy of Ignore Everybody to whoever has the most compelling reason.

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