One Christopher Nolan Movie Scene Taught Me All I Know About Great Writing

Did you know that Harry Houdini, the famous magician, also worked missions as a Spy for the US government?

Think about it, he had all the skills to be a great spy.  I mean, he knew how to escape from dangerous situations, had a quick hand for swiping small objects, knew multiple languages, and was often invited to gatherings with heads of state.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the real-life James Bond.

I mention Houdini because he is of course, the most famous Magician of all time. And today the topic is magic, both traditional magic like what we know Houdini for, but also a much different form of it, THE MAGIC OF WORDS.

If the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, then you have a small army tucked away in that 3 pound dome of yours. So use it!

The problem is: those who NEED the power of words on their side most, rarely understand the concepts behind good writing.  But the concepts themselves are SUUUUPER SIMPLE to implement,  IF you let yourself be convinced that they are true.

I’m just now building my writing chops, but I feel like KICKING myself because I had been given the secrets to writing well 7 YEARS AGO, and totally ignored them.

Here’s the thing: chances are that YOU have been given the secrets too.

Have you heard the name Christopher Nolan before? He’s the guy that made Batman movies cool again.  He wrote and directed the movies Batman Begins, the Dark Knight, The Dark Knight rises, as well as non-Batman movies like Inception, and his breakthrough movie from the late 90s, Memento.  The man is one of the highest grossing directors ever because his movies are deep but entertaining.

One of his best films is called The Prestige. It came out in 2007 and follows the fictional story of two magicians in London during the late 1800s . About the same time Houdini was also making a name for himself.   

Well, the movie starts with a scene that is 2 and a Half minutes in length, and in those 2 minutes and 30 seconds Christopher Nolan spells out the SECRET to powerful writing. Continue Reading

Testing is Where Value Lives

How can the small guy win in today’s world? The answer is simple, yet very difficult: by KNOWING THE CUSTOMER better than the big guys.

When independent creators ship their work to customers, they’re testing the market. And when we test quickly enough, we get a leg up on the major players who are much slower.

In this episode we look at a few examples of the underdog winning the race. Are you leveraging the value of testing? Listen to a few entrepreneurs break it down for us.

Music by:
Ben Murray-Smith Soundcloud
Julian Avila Soundcloud

Sources Referenced:
ABC Digital interviews Alli Webb, founder of Drybar
Kevin Systrom at eStanford video “Finding the Problem is the Tough Part”
Martin Garrix song “Animals

Bitter Truth About How We Learn

Movies are a BAD example to follow. When it comes to learning, there is a bitter truth that most creators typically ignore. In this episode we dig up research from Robert Greene and some wise Venetians who know very well what it takes to Master any discipline. Can you handle the truth?

Music by Ben Murray-Smith and Julian Avila

Music by:
Ben Murray-Smith Soundcloud
Julian Avila Soundcloud

Sources Referenced:
Eminem is interviewed by Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes
NextShark interviews Robert Greene “How To Master What You Love to Be Successful
Mastery by Robert Greene audiobook
Rocky movie training scenes montage
The Matrix movie by The Wachowski Sisters

Two Reasons Why Your Work Hasn’t Gotten Noticed

You feel there are many reasons why you’re struggling to break through with your work. I tell you that there are really only TWO. Everything falls under one of these categories, and I’m pretty sure it’s the SECOND one.

Here’s a hint: it’s what tipped the scales in favor of 50 Cent and TOMS Shoes. Let’s talk it out!

Music by:
Ben Murray-Smith https://soundcloud.com/ben-murray-smith

Sources Referenced:

Best Time To Build Your Audience

Be thankful that you don’t live in 1899.

Or in 1932 when Henry Ford was battling the Auto industry. Matter of fact, be thankful that you are a creator in no other time but TODAY. In this episode we bring in stories from Business, Music, and Health that help us figure out the ins and outs of building your consumer base.

Music by:
Ben Murray-Smith https://soundcloud.com/ben-murray-smith
Julian Avila

Sources Referenced:
Henry Ford Article in Forbes
Duncan Hines Biography
Chase Jarvis interviews Austin Kleon Why You Must Show Your Work
Whole Foods Gets Caught
List of Biggest Companies by Market Capitalization
FAMGA – Facebook Apple Microsoft Amazon Google