Playing from your heart

Our last Screw Work Let's Play 30 Day Challenge just recently finished and as I reflect on all the wonderful projects launched in 30 days a theme strikes me - that the real 'challenge' for the participants is to dare to do something they care about and put it out into the world.
Jerry Hyde

I learned a lot about daring to be different and playing from the heart from one of my mentors who I've been been working with for more than a decade. His name is Jerry Hyde and what he does defies categorisation - sitting somewhere between therapy, coaching, advising, and group facilitation. 

Jerry is the person who inspired the title Screw Work Let's Play and I'm excited to be able to announce that he's released his first book. And in typical Jerry-style, it's not quite like a normal book.

First off it's called "Play From Your Fucking Heart" and rather than trying to adopt some writerly tone, Jerry writes like he speaks and he shares his own failings as well as some great wisdom.

When I was thinking of an appropriate quote for his book I came up with, "Jerry's book will ruin your life - and you'll thank him for it". And what I mean by that is when you truly accept some of what Jerry writes about you won't have any choice to live a different way - a way that's more authentic and more in touch with the reality of life.

I asked Jerry to answer some questions about the book for Screw Work readers and here's what he said:


So Jerry Hyde, what do you do? 

People call me a Gonzo therapist which means I break a lot of rules - for example, I despise the notion of a code of ethics - any code risks becoming dogma.  I devise a taylor made code of conduct with everyone that I work with.  It means I have to be conscious of an individual's needs and personal boundaries rather than following a prescription.  I wear my dysfunction on my sleeve and lead by example.  And I'm a therapy lab rat - if I hear of something challenging that seems to help people I'll go and do it - if it lives up to the hype I'll turn my people onto it but I'll never ask anyone to do anything that I'm not willing to give a go.      


Do you have any career/business goals? What are they if so?

To single handedly destroy the myth that therapists are 'sorted' and therefore superior beings.  We're all wounded and we're all trying to evolve. As I say in the book, "sadly there’s more and more battery-farmed therapists around than ever who read their Jung and Freud but never did an hour’s work on themselves – I say get a fuckup any day, just make sure they’re one step ahead and there are no blood stains on the couch." 
  

What is your book Play from fucking heart about?

It's subtitled 'a somewhat twisted escape plan for people who normally hate self-help books.'  Kinda does what it says on the can using everyday language in an attempt to make what can be heady psychotherapeutic models accessible and understandable.     


Were you worried the swearword in the title might turn some people off or cause PR problems for you?

I never envisioned the book being a mainstream thing, its whole ethos is the exact opposite, and so I wasn't really bothered about WH Smiths and that gave me a whole lot of freedom when it came to just expressing what I felt was important to say.  And it didn't do John Parkin any harm... 


Who is this book for?

Again, a quote from the book answers that best: "I realised that there was a gap in the market for a more ‘twisted’ self-help book, a book for people who wouldn’t normally be seen dead reading a self-help book – fucked up rock’n rollers, scooter riding creatives, left-field crazies, dope fiends, Hoxton untouchables, underground eccentrics, midlife burn-outs and hipsters trapped in mainstream suits and lives wanting an escape plan.  Those of you who, dare I say, it, live on the ledge ... beyond the edge. My kinda people. Outsiders." 


How did you get the idea for your book?

I was laying on my couch when the original working title popped into my head.  It was 'The Keith Richards Health Plan'.  Up until then I couldn't see any reason to write a self-help book in an already flooded market, but when I got the working title I thought - oh yeah... I could write that book.  Keith's people obviously thought differently. 


What do you believe the key to happiness is?

By not trying to be happy.  Accepting everything that life throws at you - and by accept I don't mean give up or don't try to improve, but don't get stuck in moaning about the things you don't like, take every experience as a learning opportunity.  Resistance to painful experiences tends to prolong them. 


What is your advice for people who don't know what they want to do with their life?

Do what you love, risk everything on an imaginative vision or by indulging your creative passion, fall on your arse often and get straight back up, entertain the idea that you could find your life's purpose in your heart, not your head.  Do what turns you on the most, and whatever you do, don't make sensible career decisions, make wild and crazy career decisions.   


You work mostly with creative people, and some very successful ones at that. What do you see as the common thread that has contributed to your clients' creative success?

See above.  They never listened to the voice in their head that told them to get a normal job.   


You've been very successful in your field - running multiple men's groups, vision quests in the UK and Tasmania, and an annual event event you've dubbed 'Manstock'. What's your advice for people who want to stand out and be successful in a crowded marketplace? 

Like the book, it's incredibly simple.  Follow your truth, be yourself and you'll always stand out, fitting in with the crowd is called camouflage and whilst that's great in the army it's useless in the marketplace.

~



If all this chimes with you, why not treat yourself to an early Christmas present?

 

Buy Play From Your Fucking Heart on Amazon here

Play from f**king heart

Alternatively you can read more about the book on the book website here or check out Jerry's work with clients here

And... if Jerry's style doesn't click with you that's OK. When you're authentic and make a strong statement, not everyone is going to resonate with it and not everyone is going to like you.


I am taking a long holiday in Singapore and the Philippines over the Christmas break. I hope whatever you're doing for the holidays you have the kind of celebration you want.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

John

What dreams have you left behind?

We need to talk... about all those things you'd love to do, love to create, love to make happen...  
 
...but which have been left behind like this lonely little doggie :)
 
 
Lonely puppy
Am I making you feel guilty yet? :)
 
 
We all have ideas for things we'd love to do – blogs that would be fun to write, events that would be amazing to run, book ideas you daydream about getting published, an exhibition you'd love to hold or art project you'd love to do, website or business ideas that pop into your mind, and perhaps even exciting new career ideas.
 
But then something gets in the way. You can't see a way to do it without spending a fortune or quitting your job first. Or it's just too damn scary. Or you can't see how it could ever make money. Or you just can't seem to make the time.
 


So you procrastinate. Or you try to start and your perfectionism gets in the way. Or you hit an obstacle you can't see a way around.
 
So your idea gets left behind like the little fella above.
 


Sarah Weiler knows this all too well.
 
Sarah started writing funny songs to cope with the stress of being a teacher.
 
She even had a go at performing one on stage once. It went down well so she started thinking about running her own comedy event with several performers.
 
Then suddenly 4 years passed and she hadn't got round to creating her event.
 


That happens surprisingly regularly. (It certainly happened to me before I learned how to make my ideas happen.)
 
So when Sarah saw me emailing about the 30 Day Challenge back in May she was inspired but thought that she could perhaps set her own deadline and use that as motivation.
 
Then she admitted to herself that she wouldn't really do it.
 
In fact she told me this week when we had a chat on the phone that part of the power of the 30 Day Challenge is that paying for it makes you determined to follow through!
 


So she joined the Challenge and she decided to do something very brave.
 
She set a date for her comedy event for just after the end of the Challenge and spent her 30 days finding a venue and performers, writing material, setting up a facebook event, and inviting people to come along.
 


That's how on the 10 July I found myself travelling to Kennington to attend the inaugural Laughing Stag comedy night. In the packed room there I met lots of the 30 Day Challenge community there who had come along to support Sarah.
 
And you know what? It was bloody brilliant!
 


Sarah's songs (including one about MP Michael Gove) were superbly funny. And every other performer Sarah invited had me and the rest of the audience laughing out loud too.
 
It was a cracking night and Sarah even made money out of it. And it was all pulled together from scratch within 30 days using the techniques we teach in the Challenge.
 
Sarah Weiler performing at her comedy event


Now Sarah's made it a monthly event and has already booked some standups off TV shows like 8 out of 10 cats.


This week when Sarah saw that we are about to kick off what could be the last ever 30 Day Challenge she emailed her friends to encourage them to join. And she copied me in so I could see what she saying.


Here's what she said in her own words:


Hello lovely creative people,

I just wanted to let you know that the (possibly last ever) 30 Day Challenge is starting again in November.

I honest can't recommend it highly enough. It's the course I did in June which gave birth to my now monthly comedy night (the first of which paid for the 30 day challenge).

It's a mixture of playing out and finding the stuff you love, dedicating time to lost passions and pastimes, a real focus on specific goals you want to achieve as well as being part of an incredibly positive and inspiring online community of 300 people all over the world. There is a coach online every day and each morning you're given a daily buzz with advice, reflections and success case-studies.

The amount that everyone achieves in that short space of time is unbelievable and only requires 20 minutes time a day. So log off Tinder early, do it over dinner, or watch a shorter episode on Netflix. However you want to fit it in!

It's basically 30 days of working towards a goal, with a deadline and with a massive community to support you.

If anyone wants to ask me any questions about it I would be happy to answer!

Sarah


So what ideas have you left behind?
What dreams, ideas and projects could you dust off if you had some expert guidance and the incredible rush of 200+ supportive people cheering you on?


Let me know in a comment below and let's see what we can make happen


 

Meanwhile this last ever 30 Day Challenge is now nearly half full.

John

We weren’t designed this way

As our world changes and evolves it always brings both good and bad effects.

There has never been a better time than today to be a creative person. Technology has made it possible for us to create music, movies, movements and money-making ideas in ways that simply weren't open to the majority of us before. And we can reach a global audience for our creations without needing permission from anyone else.

But there are some side effects to this personal empowerment. It has enabled people to live their lives separately from others and it has prospered the myth that we don't need others to succeed and thrive.


George Monbiot wrote very powerfully about this in the Guardian newspaper this week saying,

"Yes, factories have closed, people travel by car instead of buses, use YouTube rather than the cinema. But these shifts alone fail to explain the speed of our social collapse. These structural changes have been accompanied by a life-denying ideology, which enforces and celebrates our social isolation. The war of every man against every man – competition and individualism, in other words – is the religion of our time.

We have destroyed the essence of humanity: our connectedness"



This is a critical point to understand if you want to make a big change in your life or work. The commonly held belief (much encouraged by some self-improvement gurus) is that if we can just magic up previously unavailable quantities of confidence, motivation and self-discipline, then we will be able to quit our job, start a business, or finish writing that book.

The only problem with this is that it's bullshit.


Trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps rarely produces good results. And that's not surprising because it's not the way we were designed. As George Monbiot explains,

"We were social creatures from the start, mammalian bees, who depended entirely on each other. The hominins of east Africa could not have survived one night alone. We are shaped, to a greater extent than almost any other species, by contact with others."

We evolved to be social, community-based animals. So stop giving yourself a hard time for failing to make as much progress as you would like when you're struggling to find the motivation, time and energy on your own.

You need a community wrapped around you that wants you to succeed. Then everything changes.


That's why I love my programme, The Screw Work Let's Play 30 Day Challenge so much. It's 250 people around the world supporting each other in finding an idea and making it happen in 30 days, guided by me and the Screw Work team every step of the way. It's impossible not to be swept up by the excitement and energy of this unique experience.

This November the Challenge rides again, possibly for the last time.

If you're not on the Screw Work Let's Play email list, enter your name and email below to hear more about the Challenge:

First Name * Email *

 

What I learned from Elon Musk

Elon MuskI have a new entrepreneurial crush.

A few weeks ago I started researching Elon Musk and was amazed at what I learned.

Although the 41 year old entrepreneur is well know in the US many people in Europe have still not heard of him.

And this is despite the fact that he is the model for the Tony Stark character in the Iron Man films!

So who is Elon Musk?

Here is a guy who played a key role at the start of Paypal but when he left with $67 million instead of simply living the high life he decided to do something he really cared about - to help get the human race to Mars.

SpaceXSo he founded SpaceX with his own money and set out about revolutionising space travel.

His aim initially is to dramatically reduce the cost of space travel. He has created a prototype of a rocket that instead of disposing of large components such as fuel tanks after one flight, will be fully reusable and will land vertically back on its base (it's worth searching YouTube to see it!)

SpaceX has already been awarded a $1.6 billion NASA contract and is flying supplies to the International Space Station, replacing the Space Shuttle.

His long term aim is to get a human to Mars within twenty years. Elon has said he'd like to go live there himself one day – "I would like to die on Mars... Just not on impact."

Tesla

TeslaAside from Space X, he is also chief product architect of Tesla Motors, the company transforming the motor industry with its electric cars.

The new Tesla model D announced last week is an all-electric car that will match the 3.2 second 0 to 60 mph time of the McLaren F1. As Elon puts it, “This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck.” And yet it can still drive 275 miles on one charge.

The car will automatically avoid danger and almost drive itself. When you want to go for a drive, you'll be able to summon the car to pick you up autonomously (as long as you're on private property where it doesn't contravene any laws).

What is Elon like as a person?

When I first read of these remarkable achievements I found it hard to believe that one person could play a key role in so many important ventures. For a moment I felt jealous. I actually assumed I wouldn't like him.

But I went and found some videos of him speaking and instead of finding him to be some cocky, arrogant guy, I found an introverted man who is awkward on camera and cautious in speaking.

And that just made me like him more!

Then I watched him explain how he chose his projects. The interviewer asked him "Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla - how did you choose these very different projects?" and his answer blew me away.

"When I was in college I thought which areas would most affect the future of humanity and the 3 areas were the internet, sustainable energy and space exploration" – and so that's where he aimed his work.

Who thinks like that? I mean seriously!

Not many of us choose our career by where we can have the most impact on the human race. And I'm guessing you didn't get much careers advice during your life to date that was aimed at that level.

But maybe we can all learn something from Elon here.

We can't all have his intelligence (or even his work ethic) but we can dare to dream a little bigger. To think not just about our immediate concerns of income but also the impact we want to have.

And before you start thinking you can never act on the same scale as Elon, remember that he started small just like everybody else.

From small acorns...

Elon didn't start out with enormous ventures. Inspired by the success of Netscape, he dropped out of Stanford in 1995 with a vague idea to start an internet company. He had $2000 in the bank, a car, and a computer.

His brother and a friend joined him and they rented a small office with a leaky roof for $400 a month. And because he couldn't afford an apartment as well as the office he lived in the dank office.

Together they created Zip2, a simple little idea to take the contents of a business directory CDROM and combine them with some mapping software made by another company. The result was the web's first yellow pages. Zip2's customers were newspapers who wanted to put maps and directions on their websites. Some years later they sold the company to Compaq and Elon's share was the seed for his future ventures.


So I can't help feel inspired by Elon Musk. His focus is on doing what he considers most important for humanity and he still creates incredible success for himself along the way. On top of this he has the ability to start where he can, follow through to produce results, and build on them to do something bigger.

What inspiration do you take from Elon? Or do you have another favourite entrepreneur or visionary as your inspiration? What could you do, even if it's small, that you care enough about to follow through on?

Leave a comment and let me know...

The rise of the rulebreaker

Seth Godin Your TurnLast night I discovered that one of my favourite authors, Seth Godin, is releasing a new book.

Despite being the author of 12 bestselling books translated into 30 languages, Seth has decided not to write a normal book again: It's not released through a mainstream publisher and it doesn't even look like a conventional book.

Having noticed that few people have the patience for a lengthy book on one topic, Seth has created his new book to look more like a magazine. It's shorter, has less text and a lot more photos and graphics.


Personally, I love the idea! I'm tired of books with one simple idea drawn out over 500 pages because that's what a 'serious book' is supposed to look like.

And instead of trying to make it a New York Times bestseller, he is focussing on selling multiple copies of the book to each buyer who can then sell it or give it to their friends and colleagues in a new kind of "horizontal distribution". Plus he's raising the funds to publish it in advance using a crowd-funding platform.

Aside from my excitement for Seth's new book (which I immediately ordered 3 copies of), I realised something even more important from seeing Seth break all the rules of books and publishing:

This is the era for rule-breaking



Just this week, Thom Yorke of Radiohead released his new solo album as a paid BitTorrent download distributed peer-to-peer for just $6 with more of the money going to the artist.

Also this week, bike shop owner Paul Budnitz announced his new social network Ello as 'the anti-facebook' and hit 31,000 requests an hour from people wishing to join.


It's new technology that is enabling us to smash all the rules in so many areas of life and work. The old rules and restrictions are breaking down – for what we can do for a living and how we can get paid for it, for how we can connect with others and share our passions and expertise, how we build an audience, how we find others to collaborate remotely to help us, and even where we can live while we make a living.

Today we can all be a rule-breaker. All we need is the bravery to go against the norm.

What rule do you want to break?

Is there an industry or field you'd like to change? Or do you want to revolutionise the way something is currently done? What would you like to make happen that would have been hard or impossible not so long ago?

Leave a comment and let me know...

 

 

Still hunting for your passion? Read this…

Liz Gilbert, author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love spoke at Oprah's "The Life You Want Weekend" recently and said something rather controversial about finding your passion:

"I'm going to say something really weird and it's going to surprise you... I'm going to speak out for a second against passion."

"You spend a lot of your life having people tell you to follow your passion. It's nice advice, it's heart-warming advice, it's great advice -- if you happen to have one that is very clear and obvious"

But what if you're like me (and the majority of the human race) and don't have a single clear passion, then what do you do? The idea that you must find your passion before starting anything keeps you in a holding pattern forever.

And as Gilbert went on to say it can even make you miserable:

"Sometimes it feels cruel and all it does is make you feel even worse and more left out, because you're like, 'I would if I knew what it was!'"

"If you're in that position right now... forget about passion."

Instead, she suggests something more practical:

"Follow your curiosity"

"Passion is rare; passion is a one-night-stand. Passion is hot, it burns. Every day, you can't access that."



So what do you think of Gilbert's advice?

Do you already have a clear passion? And if so, have you acted on it?

If not here's something that might help.

What are your micro-passions?

If you simply note where your curiosity and enjoyment lies at the moment and follow it, I have found you will come across your micro-passions - small areas of life that fascinate or excite you right now.

As I mentioned, I don't have one big passion. But I do have plenty of micro-passions.


Here are just a few of my micro-passions:

  • The future of work and value creation in the 21st century
  • Non-fiction writing that teaches new ways to see the world and get what you want
  • Innovative user-interface design in software and hardware
  • Productivity apps and software
  • Endocrinology
  • The science of happiness
  • Psychological differences between the genders
  • The cultural differences revealed in language
  • The rules of punctuation and grammar in English
  • The best coffee in London
  • High protein breakfasts
  • Building good looking websites quickly
  • Automation software
  • Standup comedy
  • Interviews with famous authors, comedians, musicians, entrepreneurs and creative people
  • The future of publishing
  • High end audio-visual technology
  • Modern architecture and skyscrapers and bars/restaurants with a dramatic view of a city



How's that for variety? And this is just a small selection. What's great for me is that I can use a huge number of my micro-passions in a single business (because I designed it that way)

So what are your micro-passions?

Share your top 3 in the comments. I'd love to know...

 

How is your follow-through?

300 people recently told me their biggest obstacles to starting something they love and making money out of it...

And one of the top problems that came up again and again and again was "Follow-through" - the ability to stick to one idea and follow it through to the point it's working and making real money.

So here's what I've got to say about the challenge of following through...

 

What's your pattern?

So what gets in the way of your follow-through? Leave a comment and let me know...


PS. If you've had enough of trying to make something happen on your own (and not getting very far), there are still a few places left on The Screw Work Academy - my 6 month programme to make a 6-figure income doing what you love. Learn more about The Screw Work Academy here

“You’ll never amount to much”

"You'll never amount to much" - ever heard that message in your life?

You might have heard a version of it from a school teacher or careers counsellor who suggested you lower your expectations.

You may even have picked up a hint of it from your friends or family - don't expect too much, don't get your hopes up, better to be "realistic".

Well, screw that!

Watch this video clip with me talking about this damaging message,
how I proved them wrong in my own life, and how you can too.

 

So what's your dream?

What do you dream of? What could you be capable of if you had expert guidance, a plan to follow, and all the support you could ever need?

Leave a comment and let me know!

What was your pivotal moment?

This week I ran a live online training with over 300 people all over the world and we talked about the perils of The Job which can drive you crazy:

  • the bad boss
  • the nightmare colleague
  • the miserable office
  • the tedious commute and worse...

You might put up with it all for many years until...

 

That Pivotal Moment

The moment that forces you to wake up and
decide something has to change - and fast.



Sometimes it's the work day from hell, sometimes it's something much worse - like losing a friend much too young.

What was yours?

Watch this video clip to discover my pivotal moment
and those of other Screw Work followers

 

What was your pivotal moment?

Leave me a comment and let me know...

How Chris Wild turned a simple idea into the worldwide hit blog, Retronaut

Yesterday I gave you my answer to the first of the 5 biggest questions given to me by the SWLP tribe on how to find an idea you love, get it started and scale it up into a full-blown 6-figure income.

Today I want to talk about the 2nd big question -

"How can I find an original idea?"

And while I'm at it, there is a closely related question that came up a lot that I want to address too:

"How do I choose when I have a lot of ideas?"


So how can you find an idea that will really take off?

To answer that question, I met up with Chris Wild who had coaching with me a few years ago.

Chris had a LOT of ideas, and some of them were pretty out there to be honest. But it seemed obvious to me that one really stood out.

Chris took that simple idea and turned it into Retronaut - one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Retronaut now gets 50,000 hits a day, and has been named "Best of the web" by the Daily Mail.

As a result of his blog, The Times even named Chris, "One of the 50 most important people to follow on twitter".

 

See how Chris did it

Watch this short interview where I ask Chris about choosing his idea, the impossible dream that fuelled it, and the moment he knew he had a smash hit on this hands....

 

Get my answers to the rest of the top 5 questions about making serious money doing what you love

In order to do justice to all the great questions I've received, I'm going to run a very special one-off live training tomorrow night (Wednesday). It takes place online so you can join from wherever you are in the world.

 

I'm going to go through the top 5 obstacles to getting paid to do something you love including some juicy stuff like - how to make money out any idea, how to know what to charge, how to spread the word and get people engaged (without any cheesy sales stuff), and how to follow through and get results even if you have no self-discipline (like me!)

And if you have a different question, just join me and ask me live on the line.

 

Register to join me on Wednesday - just click the button below.

 Register now