You can't please them all

You can’t please them all. Here’s a way to stop trying

You can’t please them all. You’ve poured your heart into creating something. The response is pretty good but one negative comment has popped up and now it’s all you can focus on. You start to question your work, you ask “Why don’t they like it?” and completely ignore the positive reaction to what you have achieved. Sound familiar? It’s a common problem for content creators and something that I used to constantly struggle with. Trying to please everyone. That was until I heard the story of how tv viewers reacted to Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969.

I’ve blogged before of my love for the James Altucher podcast. It’s a great show with a really solid mix of conversations ranging from marketing to meditation. One of his most recent guests was the author Ryan Holiday who was on publicising his wonderful new book Perennial Seller, a book on the art of making and marketing work that lasts. During the conversation Holiday revealed an absolute gem when it comes to creating something new and coming to terms with the fact that you will never, ever please everyone.

“When the moon landing happened,” Ryan told James, “It had 93% market share. That’s incredible. “But think about it. That means 7% of the audience turned on the TV, saw Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon and said, ‘oh, this is boring. I’m going to change the channel.”

Not everyone is going to like what you do. In fact there will always be someone who HATES what you do. Unfortunately it’s human nature to focus on the negative. You might get 50 kind social comments but it’s the one negative post that you will pour all your energy into.

Don’t.

No really, don’t.

Next time, pause, take a deep breath and remember that image of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. A man walking on the moon in 1969. Then think about the 7% who couldn’t have cared less.

Smile. Move on. You will never please everyone, even if you are walking on the moon.

Empathy

Empathy. Who are you creating content for?

When you’re creating content one of the most important skills you can have is empathy.

Can you put yourself if the shoes of your listener, customer, consumer?

World renowned, Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer does for every project he works on. In a recent Rolling Stone interview he revealed who he writes for. Guess what? It’s not everyone.

“And I realized that,” he says with a pause. “I have a fictitious person I write for. And she’s called Doris, and she’s from Bradford and she wears a raincoat and she has two horrible little kids that are giving her nothing but grief. And you know, the man left her a while back. And she just, in the rain, everyday, trudges to work and she works hard. … And so if she puts her hard-earned money down, we better give her an experience. And we better put everything in just like she put everything in to get there. … When I finish writing a piece. Sometimes my music editor says to me, ‘What do you think? Do you think Doris will like this one?'”

So next time ask yourself who are you creating for? Who is your Doris?

How to interview a Rock ‘n’ Roll star, Howard Stern style

In my opinion Howard Stern is one of the world’s great interviewers.

In the clip below listen to his recent conversation with Liam Gallagher. Stern is fully prepped, puts his interviewee at ease and then hits his guest with an incredibly personal queston about his father. Gallagher opens up completely and it’s by no accident. Stern is a master of his craft.

This is how you interview a notoriously difficult Rock ‘n’ Roll star.

2fm Rising – New Irish Music

One of our new Irish music initiatives on 2fm is called ‘2fm Rising’. Each week we choose a number of tracks that receive daytime airplay and depending on listener reaction make it to our regular 2fm playlist. The quality this year so far has been nothing short of outstanding.

Here’s 5 of the current batch that we are really excited about.

Glory – Dermot Kennedy

Nobody Like U – Siights

Give it Up – Cities

Miss You in the Dark – Rews

All Or Nothing – Wild Youth

RTÉ2fm Music Highlights

Well what an unbelievable weekend of music content on RTÉ2fm! Friday saw arguably the world’s biggest music star Ed Sheeran co-present our drive show in a one hour special with Eoghan McDermott. On Sunday U2, in a world exclusive premiered their 2017 version of “Red Hill Mining Town” on the Dave Fanning show to commemorate The Joshua Tree’s 30th anniversary.

Bank Holiday Monday saw 2fm broadcast a new batch of music documentaries, one on Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James and another on “Cork Rocks”, looking back on the Cork music showcases of the 90’s. Finally 2fm as part of Cruinniú na Cásca, a Creative Ireland initiative presented by RTÉ broadcast live from Smithfield Square in Dublin with live performances from a whole host of new Irish acts including The Academic, Soulé, Aine Cahill & many more.

The excitement continues this week with 2fm Live – Jenny Greene & RTÉ Concert Orchestra performing this Friday night at Dublin’s 3 Arena!!

An acronym from the 1960’s is simply perfect for 2017

KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid”, a design principle used by the U.S. Navy way back in the 1960’s. While some deem the phrase old fashioned & cheesy, in 2017 this acronym has never been more relevant. The attention of your audience is so fickle, it’s vital to simplify your ideas and in turn the content you create. You have to make it simple to grab their attention and then make the message so clear they don’t forget.

Simple is beautiful.

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

Photo by Jeffrey Wegrzyn


For more posts on content creation & creativity follow me on twitter @alanswan or on instagram @alanswanirl

The Most Powerful Question You Can Ask During A Brainstorm

Don’t underestimate the power of ‘what if?’.

Sometimes we can stand in our own way when we refuse to let our imagination run riot. The most powerful question you can ask when creating content is ‘what if?’

When you’re working on your next idea why not ask that question multiple times. One ridiculous ‘what if?’ could lead to a ridiculously creative outcome. 

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

Photo by Emily Morter


For more posts on content creation & creativity follow me on twitter @alanswan or on instagram @alanswanirl

Get your ideas sweat on with this simple trick

Do you have difficulty coming up with ideas? You sit down, pen in hand, blank page at the ready and then nothing. It happens to us all. But have you ever asked yourself “have I exercised my ideas muscle recently?”.

Your “ideas muscle”? What part of the body is that located? Well according to author James Altucher we all have one and we should practise using it everyday:

“It’s important to exercise the idea muscle right now. If your idea muscle atrophies, then even at your lowest point you won’t have any ideas. How long does it take this muscle to atrophy? The same as any other muscle in your body: just two weeks without having any ideas. Atrophied”

He adds.

“Take a waiter’s pad. Go to a local cafe. Maybe read an inspirational  book for ten to twenty minutes. Then start writing down ideas. What ideas? Hold on a second. The key here is, write ten ideas.”

Altucher recommends doing this EVERY day. Just 10, good or bad, silly or sad. Like going to the gym, that constant repetition builds up your muscle. In other words you need to get your ideas sweat on.

“when you exercise in the gym, your muscles don’t start to  build until you break a sweat. Your metabolism doesn’t improve when you run until you sweat. Your body doesn’t break down the old and build the new until it is sweating. The poisons and toxins in your body don’t leave until you sweat. The same thing happens with the idea muscle. Somewhere around idea number six, your brain starts to sweat. This means it’s building up.  Break through this. Come up with ten ideas”

Don’t worry if you can’t come up with 10, it’s all about getting the pen going. Getting those reps going. Before you know it, you’re an iron man ideas athlete.

I adore Altucher‘s writings, his honesty and outlook on life. I do this muscle tactic every day and it has helped me greatly in my creative life. His full post on the topic is here and I highly recommend his new book which is called Reinvent Yourself