New Hughcards, 20th July 2018

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Keep You, Get Rid Of Everybody Else

[More thoughts on the IGNORE EVERYBODY book.]

KEEP YOU, GET RID OF EVERYBODY ELSE

Miles Davis said it best: “Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.”

He was talking about trumpet playing, but he could just have easy been talking to something else- writing, filmmaking, drawing… or any kind of paid, professional work, really.

A Miles Davis record alway sounds like Miles Davis. A Picasso drawing looks like Picasso drew it. And nobody writes like poetry like WB Yeats, with every word an utter joy to read.

But we’re not just talking here about developing your own unique style. It’s more like, only do the work that only you can do.

When I draw cartoons, they’re *mine*. They’re unique. Nobody else can do that, at least, not the way I can.

I also know how to write ads and sales copy for a living, but then so do thousands of other people. So that’s why I focus on cartoons- because that’s where people single me out the most. In advertising, I’m just one more middle aged white dude waiting in line. So I don’t go there.

Eventually you want to get to the stage you’ve carved out you’re own little niche of one. You’re THAT guy. You’re THE guy.

Whether it’s Miami condos, New York cheeses, German enterprise software consulting, Seattle marketing communications, or New York divorces, pick something you can be a dominant force in.

It doesn’t matter so much what the thing in question is, the issue is whether you own the space or not.

And then go for it. Just makes sure it’s uniquely yours, make sure it’s uniquely YOU.

Good luck.


New Hughcards, 25th June 2018


LEARN TO WRITE

[More thoughts on the IGNORE EVERYBODY book.]

LEARN HOW TO WRITE

Seriously, if you want to make yourself useful to business right out of leaving college, as opposed to waiting tables until you’re 45, learn how to write well.

No, you don’t have to be a novelist or a journalist or a celebrity blogger to get paid. In fact, those are pretty effective ways to ensure that you don’t ever get paid.

But there is a HUGE need in most businesses for better communication, both internal and external. And that need, though very real, is mostly unmet.

A while ago, my company was looking to hire a writer to help us with our workload. So I emailed an old friend, a famous online publisher in New York with a nine-figure online content company, asking if he could recommend anyone.

“Are you kidding?” he said. “Good writers are rarer than hen’s teeth, even around here.”

Do the math. If a famous publisher finds good writers hard to find, how do you think the average company feels?

The truth is, most of the twenty-somethings in your average office haven’t been taught to write properly (I find this is especially true in the USA, compared to say, when I lived in the UK). But if you’re the one twenty-something in the office who has, you will soon find yourself regarded by management as irreplaceable. And they’ll fight tooth and nail to hang on to you.

So if you’re a college senior or recent graduate who’s all depressed because you decided to study the arts, English, or the humanities instead of accounting, business, tech, engineering, pre-Med etc, don’t be. I’ve just given you a clear path forward. Go for it.