February 25, 2011
News & Opinion: Evil Plans
Creator of the hugely successful blog, Gaping Void, and author of the best-selling book Ignore Everybody, Hugh MacLeod has written a new book called Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination. Like his blog and previous book, Evil Plans is filled with the author's curious illustrations that make observations on false perceptions, personal barriers, and other self-imposed limitations as a way to recognize and avoid them. Both humorous and serious, MacLeod's work is based on personal experience and theoretical quests to find success in work and life. I recently sent Hugh a few questions about the new book, and what his own Evil Plan is: How was writing the second book different from the first for you? The first book was about getting in touch with your inner artist. The second book was about getting in touch with your inner entrepreneur. But apart from that, I tried to keep the format pretty much the same. Lots of cartoons, lots of personal anecdotes. Writing a second book has its challenges, however. You no longer have "beginner's luck" to fall back on. Like the old saying goes, a musician spends his whole life writing his first album, and a year writing his second. There's a lot to live up to. As popularity for Gaping Void continues to grow, how do you focus, and balance all the things you need to do? With great difficulty. There's so much to do... probably too much. Eventually you just have to say to yourself, "Well, I did choose this", and then get on with it. Everybody might need an evil plan, but what's difficult about making one? Well, besides the usual financial sacrifices and the insecurity, the thing most holding us back is out own capacity for self-doubt and our own fear of failure. But you learn to ride with that after a while. Eventually it seems normal. How do you make the plan last? Tenacity. What's next for you and Gaping Void? Having built my own business and my own "gapingvoid" brand over the last decade, the onus is now on helping others find their own Evil Plan. Helping others to become successful is far more interesting (and harder) than becoming successful yourself. But I like helping others- it gives me something to think about, besides my own little world. The best teachers are the ones who can learn the most from their students. I still have a lot more to learn, than I ever will have to teach. I like that.