Not-So-Great Expectations

Expectations usually free up brain bandwidth for the BIG stuff, but they can also imprison us in a flat view of the world.  In this episode, three cautionary stories of when expectations go wrong…

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

The Wise Fool

Every country, near and far, seems to have this one stock character in its folklore. I first became fascinated by this character as a 9-year-old when I was growing up in the Dominican Republic. We’ll call this character “The Wise Fool” and hear a handful of stories that showcase the characters versatility and charm.

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

Sources Referenced:

Clever Is As Clever Does

Are geniuses born, or made? In this week’s episode we hear two ancient stories about brilliant youths, and we see both perspectives to this question. These two folktales also happen to be the genesis of two modern movie genres.

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

Sources Referenced:
The Three Princes of Serendip as told by Richard Boyle in Living Heritage
The Master Thief as told by Andrew Lang

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