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.
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.
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”
“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