Philadelphia is my cohost and the sounds you hear in the background are rain, trucks on pothole-ridden roads, and small business owners running after their dreams. On today’s show, I share one of the best books I’ve read on creativity, the creative process, and killing the greatest enemy to doing something worthwhile and that’s Resistance (Through the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield). Setting the stage for success, digging in the crates for great resources and the perfect ratio for consuming and producing information all on Episode 9 of the Be Heard Podcast. Let’s do this!
This week’s Mindset Minute is on setting the stage. One of the secrets to me achieving solid results is creating an atmosphere of excellence and completion. Those two live together but are reluctant roommates. I can be excellent in sections but sometimes those sections are isolated. But to be excellent and complete? That takes effort for sure. When I say ‘set the stage’ I mean in essence to be prepared, hyper-prepared, outrageously prepared. Because the greater the work you have in front of you, the more difficult it becomes to keep the tiny details in order.
As silly as it may seem to some, I like to lay out my clothing for the coming day, even if I have nowhere to go but the mailbox. I like to create routines that are daily, unbreakable rituals. These things really help with going on autopilot when it’s time to deliver. I want to create a space where I don’t have to think about the myriad details. I know they exist, but they’re handled. All I have to do is enter the space I’m supposed to be and shine.
Tell me, what can you do right here and right now to set the stage for your success?
I’m grateful for this podcast for so many reasons. It is well worth the effort every week. One of the great things is that I have a great excuse to consume information every day, knowing I have a place to send it out into the world. My cool process for the week is this, consume twice as much as you produce. You’ve heard the term, “Listen twice as much as you speak. That’s why we have two ears and one mouth.” Take that to heart when producing content for your business as well. When stakes are high for me, l like to boost that ratio to 3:1 if I can.
I use Google Keep to house the myriad articles I find on LinkedIn and Facebook from the people in my network. I use another resource for podcasts. Whatever you do, find a way to organize your information gathering, and then produce the best work you possibly can. Even if someone else has covered the subject, they don’t have your unique combination of thoughts, ideas, and influences. Give us what you got!
I’ve been operating under the premise that the best resource is the newest resource. That just isn’t true. Sometimes the best resource is inside of us or is something we’ve had for years and never put into action. My goal right now is to identify, re-acquire, consume, and put to good use the resources I bought on a whim years ago. Sometimes the best resource has been staring us in the face for a while. I have original recordings from superstar marketers such as Dan Kennedy and Jeff Walker. It’s exciting to go back in and pull out those special nuggets of great information and use them not only for my own benefit but for yours as well.
Book Review of the Week: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
I’ve reviewed some pretty cool books during season one of this podcast. I love them and get something good out of them each time. But this. This book right here. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, well, what I feel about it goes beyond like and admiration. The War of Art is a call to action for me.
It’s a call to action for anyone looking to create something. With the recent death of Prince, the idea of the artist is front of mind for me these days. What Pressfield talks about can be applied to the Princes of this world as well as the Van Goghs and Mozarts. In this book, Pressfield captures what I believe all artists must do to truly create. I respect artists more now for that and see how this applies to the world of business. True creation, at its heart, requires a discipline that entrepreneurs must have to succeed. People wouldn’t look at Steve Jobs and call him an artist. But he is. They wouldn’t say that about Elon Musk. But he is. They wouldn’t say that about Marie Forleo. But she really is an artist in the sense of creation, courage, and outright grit and hustle it takes to create something from nothing.
Business owners do well to key into this kind of content from Pressfield. He starts by calling out the Resistance, that evil in us all that tries to drag us away from the very thing we were meant to create. Resistance is an enduring enemy that must be mastered before anything real can take place. He dedicates the lion’s share of the book to teaching us how to identify and fight Resistance. He then talks about the act of creation itself and then the sacrifice of creation back to its origins so that we can live to create again.
He talks of consistency and prayers, and charms. He references Greek mythology often. Muses, angels, and mercenaries make several appearances here. The chapters are short, barely two pages long in some places. Some chapters are only a paragraph. Rarely have I highlighted more sections of a book than The War of Art. It was a tough read because it is so true, so confrontational, and so right on time for me in this stage of my career and my business. I heard about this book from during Lewis Howes’ interview with Ryan Holiday. I ordered it immediately because he spoke so highly of it. I let it sit for a couple of months in my Kindle, intending to get to it. When I was bouncing around for a new book to review, I figured this would be as good as any. I finished it in record time but I haven’t read it for the last time. It really encompasses what I’ve been feeling about fighting off the fear of doing something truly great – even if it’s just for myself.
I’m in awe. I’ve taken notes. And I’m taking the test every single day. It’s hard to say you should read this book. Because knowledge comes with responsibility. If you read this, you’ll actually have to do the very thing you’ve been putting off for some long all these years. All I can say is I’ve read it, I will be reading it again, and I am putting it into practice.
The War of Art, an amazing guide to defeating inner Resistance and achieving great things.
Thanks for listening to Episode 9 of the Be Heard Podcast it’s been an amazing ride so far. Next week I’ll be reviewing Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Maubourgne. It’s so exciting to produce this show every single week and I look forward to only great things as we grow and develop together through this podcast. Until next week be sure to Be Heard!