Asking for something can be seen as such a pain, it’s just an annoyance and a distraction for everyone doing “real work,” is what I thought.
But when you reframe it and acknowledge that purposeful asking is THE most valuable skill on earth, then it becomes so easy to ask for more, and for better. The great leaders of our time as well as all previous times have been the ones who are skillful and unafraid to make requests. They ask for more because they know they and their tribes deserve more than they are getting. When will you realize it’s your turn to ask?
“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” – Tennessee Williams
In business the idea you have is important, but the real important thing is the execution.
Everyone has great ideas; instead, what’s gonna determine your success is the piece of yourself that you pour into those ideas. It’s about how you deliver on your promise that this product reflects your uniqueness.
The reason is simple: there’s nothing new under the sun. No idea is original. So worrying about others’ previous failures at this is a waste of time. What you’re about to do has been done before, but it hasn’t been done how YOU are about to do it.
WE are the only new additions to this planet. We’ve never existed before. We haven’t done this specific thing yet. It’s been done by others but not by you, not by me.
Whatever you do, make it OF the people. Inject humanity, even if its ugly. Don’t go by lofty ideals if you don’t believe in them.
If it’s not genuine it’ll be evident and this shines through.
Many make products or art to that try to reach some higher aspirational level or demographic. This just results in some soulless product soon to be forgotten.
Scarcity is where the value’s at. Economists roll your eyes now. I know I know, Duh!
Bear with me, this is how I think things through.
A diamond has value because the mind gives it value. There’s not much use for it except making your friends jealous that they don’t have one. Scarcity.
And this is where new artists go wrong. They’re too concerned with “keeping it real” thinking that real is a specific thing that can only be achieved one way.
All people want is something scarce. If that happens to be good writing, or good singing, or good design then so be it. But soon that level of excellence becomes the norm and now you’re toast because anyone can do it.
Just do what’s scarce. Do what’s extreme. Whether at your job, building your business, or launching your art, the same rule applies.
Don’t worry so much about your feelings and your ego getting hurt. Either it’s good and people like it or it sucks and people don’t like it. Sorry to breakt it to you but it has nothing to do with you and your value as a person/artist. You’re just not that important when you’re talking about commerce and art.
What is a luminary? A luminary is a leader. Someone who is using their talents and skills to bring light to others, whether through business, art, education, philanthropy, or any other avenue of choice.
What do luminaries read? Here are some of my all time favorite reads by category:
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield If you’ve ever been in a slump or just don’t know how to make your mark on the world, read this
The Twelve Universal Laws of Success by Herbert Harris The author uses techniques from religion, business, motivational speaking, psychology, and mysticism to set us on the right course towards our dreams. Read, then re-read eight to ten more times. Powerful stuff
The Dip by Seth Godin A champion knows how to choose their battles. Seth sheds light on how to survive the inherent dip any endeavor brings with it
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield What makes a true professional? Pressfield sure knows. Do yourself a favor and READ THIS
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield Another masterful piece by Mr. Pressfield on getting down to business and leaving excuses behind. Read this after War of Art and before Turning Pro
Your Starting Point for Student Success by Arel Moodie Arel set out to write a book for students who need a little push in the right direction; however, pound for pound (word for word) it’s one of the most useful tomes I’ve read on planning for success
Succeeding When You’re Supposed To Fail by Rom Brafman Anyone who has overcome brutal hardships and emerged successfully on the other side can proudly call themselves a “tunneler.” Brafman points out what characteristics they all have in common
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi Probably the single most influential book in my life thus far. Relationships determine your success and Ferrazzi gives us a roadmap to building win-win relationships in business and life. READ THIS!
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” - Anatole France
“We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.” - Napoleon Hill
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” That’s what they say, right? Cliche? Maybe, but it underscores an important lesson: Life and Business are not efficient.
We never get compensated the full amount we feel we’re worth. We never feel like we’ve received 100% of the dividends our work has earned us. Our name is perennially stuck in the level right below the individuals we’re just as good as.
There’s always that extra chunk of value that remains unsqueezed inside the orange peel of life. All the more reason to aim higher.
If your goal is to one day be a US Senator, aim instead for President and you just might end up a Senator. If you’re happy to just be a working actor, train like you want to be better than Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis. Lord knows they probably aspired to be the greatest entertainers who ever lived.
Asking for more, and expecting more of yourself elevates your thinking. It frees your mind from the petty worries underlings deal with and forces you to tackle the problems that will lead to greatness.
According to Einstein a problem cannot be solved from the same level of thinking that created it, so what makes you think you can become a king while thinking like a baron?
Ask for more, receive more.