Quick Announcement: As of today, my podcast should be on Spotify. It might need some edits over the next few days, but if you’re interested in listening and putting up with some imperfections, please give it a listen.
Hello and welcome to another conversation with Scott. The topic of this week… marketing myself. I went to college for marketing, and what I learned while I was there is that there is an infinite number of ways to get your name out there. You can use the various forms of social media, try to make a brand or product that people will learn who you are through or whatever else people can figure out. As of recent, my mentality has been to focus on improving my work and be consistent with content, but I can’t figure out if that’s actually doing anyhing for me.
Being consistent with content is great! Put work out three times a week and make sure that the content is what I want it to be. If I’m not feeling particularly interested in writing about suicide or some other depressed topic, I write about something else. I’ll write about some of my other passions and hope that something sticks. Maybe, if I’m lucky, someone will come for the completely different topic and stay because they relate to my personal writing. It’s just strange to see the lack of new views and followers.
I’m new to blogs and to tell you the truth, I think social media is a bit of a drain on society so I’m not super present there. My thought was, if I create a blog to try and get feedback on my smaller work and experiment, while pushing forward on work that has a more appropriate avenue for success (my book, business and/or games), then maybe the success of one will lead to the success of the other.
Today, I applied to an agent who seemed to say that his only reason for taking on a new client was if they had already developed a platform for themselves… and I basically did a double-take. I thought what I was doing, which is slow, organic growth through constant engagement, was the right thing to do until I found a more mainstream way to reach success, such as publishing a book. I’m just confused. I don’t really know how to take the next step in finding a broader audience. Really, it’s not too big a deal. I’m still interested in publishing a book and that’s my main goal right now, but if I don’t have enough of a following for an agent to see it as profitable, then… what next?
Recently, I’ve been listening to the podcast by NPR called How I Built This. Hosted by Guy Raz, prolific entrepreneurs come on to talk about the businesses that they have started, where they came from and what impact it has had on their lives. Noteable companies like Airbnb and Clifbar have been talked about, and the people behind them are arguably more amazing than the brands that they’ve created.
Airbnb was started by three friends, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk. Only Joe Gebbia was at the interview, but he encompasses the spirit of the company in every word that he says. From the outside in, he sounds like a composed businessman and CEO, but hearing about his struggles in the beginning give him the most humble of origins. The company worked through a non-existent market, fears of stranger danger and even $20,000 in credit card debt (I know that doesn’t seem like a lot from Airbnb, but remember that he was just like you and I when he started it, so $20,000 is almost crippling) which he overcame by selling custom made Barack Obama and John McCain cereal boxes during the 2008 election. The company is already changing how the world handles housing, but I foresee Airbnb having a larger impact in a short amount of time, strictly based on management and the ambition that they have.
Clifbar, an energy bar that came from a man named Gary Erickson who is an avid biker who created a bakery named after his grandmother, has created such an impact on the power bar industry… all because he thought the competitors product tasted like shit. He did endless research into cooking and ingredients with his mother and created a bar named after his dad, Clifford. By targeting athletes at the end of races and through other means, the bar took the industry of power bars from taste-averse to tasteful. As time progressed, his company has even created Luna bar, another snack that has entered the scene and resonated as a women’s energy bar. You can see in the company values that Gary is down to earth and looks to only leave a positive impact on the world, and scale hasn’t slowed his business or passions one bit.
Clearly these are oversimplified stories, but if you have any interest in these very interesting people, check out the Podcast “How I Built This.” It’s worth your time. The way that Guy uses his perfect questions (and editing) the episodes are very well put together examples of normal people becoming something bigger and better, and knowing what to do with their brand once they create it.
Is arrogance thinking that you’re better than someone else? Is it thinking that you’re better at something than the next person? Is it acknowledging that you truly are better than others?
Arrogance. Narcissism. Egotism. They’re odd. Everyone knows someone that they see as one of these terms. Someone who thinks the world revolves around them. Someone whose presence annoys you to your very core. But what is it really?
It’s a question that more people should think about. I don’t think arrogance is inherently bad. It’s possible to be aware that you are better than someone in some ways, but not think that you are better than them. There’s a fine line that takes arrogance from a nuisance, and that line is ignorance.
Arrogance and ignorance. Words that resonate similarly. They should be synonymous with one another but they’re often viewed as different. Most think that arrogant people are ignorant. In reality, it’s the ignorant that are arrogant.
Someone who is arrogant and not ignorant sees their strengths, understands how they are better than others and uses that knowledge to advance themselves and the ones around them. Someone who is ignorant sees their traits, has convinced themselves that they’re better than everyone else, with or without proof, and tries to keep those around them back. The difference is intention; intention that can turn someone from helpful to hurtful.
No one should be ashamed of a skill that they possess. A unique thought that they have had. Unrestrained ambition that puts them above someone else. Being better is never a bad thing as long it is coated in modesty. Being better is only bad when it’s used to tell others that they aren’t.
In this episode of Acceptable Madness, I talk about the struggle of getting out of bed in the morning when your depression is at both its worst and best.
I thought I’d give a small update on one of my projects. I’ve been putting together a compilation of all of the shorts that I’ve been writing and now that I have 100 that I’m comfortable putting under one cover, I’ll be putting them up on the Amazon eBook store soon. I don’t have a specific timeline but it will happen whenever I get art for the cover, edit and format everything to what it needs to be. I’m excited and I hope you will be too when it comes out. I’ll keep everyone posted with updates on the projects. I know I’ve been using this as a medium to get my work out there for free, but if you really like what I make, then there are a few exclusive pieces that will only be in the book that you can read.
I’ll announce the title in coming weeks, but until then, I hope you enjoy the work that I’ve been putting up here.
P.S. – I’m the one on the right in the picture below.
“Turn the TV off,” she said. I know that we were running late already, but she didn’t need to tell me to turn the TV off. I’m not that easily distracted. I can have some background noise on if I want. It probably helps me work faster than otherwise, since being left to only silence is distracting all on its own.
I can work and have the TV on. I actually can’t believe she told me to turn it off. Does she really have that little faith in my ability to work at a moderate pace so that we can leave? Is that what my own abilities lead her to think? I’m just so incapable of accomplishing such a menial task without getting distracted, so she needs to create circumstances that I’m more suited for. That makes sense. I know I’m a screw up, but damn – I thought I could at least pack up in a reasonable time.
I’m steaming. We’ve been together for over a year now and this is what she thinks of me? She must think that I’m just the dumbest fucking moron to exist. If I can’t even convince my girlfriend that I can pack up with the TV on in the background, then I’ll never be a published writer or start a successful business. She’s the one that’s always supposed to be by my side, but she thinks I’m fucking retarded!
I know how I’ll get back at her. I’m not going to talk to her while we drive. That’s it. That’ll teach her. If I don’t talk then she won’t know how angry I really am, and it will eat her up inside. God, that’s a good plan. I’ll do that.
At mile marker 170, I reached out to grab her hand. I still haven’t said anything, but I don’t want her to feel bad about anything. I mean, I’m not malicious and I don’t want to be emotionally abusive, so I don’t get why I’m even doing that. I should talk to her, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
At mile marker 160, I said hello like the awkward person that I am. I haven’t talked to her for twenty minutes and that’s the best I can muster up? Hello? No wonder she asked me to turn the TV off to pack. I can’t even apologize in a timely matter for being ridiculous. I should have turned off the TV. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have had it on in the first place. I’m the reason that we’re going to be late to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all my fault.
I waited to say something again until the 140-mile marker. Fuck man, I know how stupid I’m being, and I can’t stop it. I don’t get why she puts up with me. I was so angry like thirty minutes ago, and now look at me. I’m never going to become a good writer since I can’t even focus if the TV is on in the background. I’ll never create a business. I’ll never be a good boyfriend. I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long, but all good things come to an end someday.
I should just kill myself. I’m a burden to everyone that I know and love. If I disappeared overnight, no one would care. My writing would perish and so would all of the other work that I’ve poured my heart into, but it’s for the best. I don’t get why I even try to do something with any amount of passion or ambition. I’m a nobody and everybody knows it. If I killed myself right now, it wouldn’t be through selfish means, that’s for damn sure. I would do it because it would make your life better.
Idea by: Nikos Koufus
Written by: Scott McAllknowingandpowerful
I find it interesting. The first thing that my creations did was develop time. Even the very first ones knew about time before they discovered time.
I have never had the privilege of feeling time. For me, nothing ages: It just changes. The grass that grows. The creations that evolve. The planets that harbor life and destroy it just as quickly.
Time is just a concept. I have no need for concepts.
The most interesting thing that they always do is create religion. I knew it would happen, but it still amuses me. There are many different religions. They are all so wrong.
Why would they assume that I value them? It is laughably arrogant. They worship me. They think I will help them; save them. They are blind by hope. When they get sick, they pray to me. Ha! I am the one who made them sick in the first place. I should have made a smarter species.
I am so bored. I do not know why I continue to create. It is such a waste of “time”. I cannot share it. I cannot admire it. When I try to design something new, I already know what it will do. Not only do I know, I have already witnessed it before. An infinite number of times, with an infinite number of different combinations.
There is one thing that religions always get right. I am all knowing. What is the point in being all knowing if it is always the same; never a surprise.
I have tried to surprise myself. I have tried to create super beings and I have communicated with them. But I developed their body. Their mind. Their consciousness. What they create, I created. It is so boring.
Maybe I will change them again. I did once before on this very planet. In this very universe. The only choices that I have are from my own thoughts. It gets so repetitive.
I could make another god – but I know that ends. There can only be one. That is how I was created. I do not think I am ready for that.
It is odd. The one thing that I do not have the power to do is simply stop existing. How ironic is that? The all-knowing god cannot find out how to stop existing.
Why am I even thinking that? I am being ridiculous… Right? I can do anything that I please without fear of failure. Any one of my creations would love that privilege. But would only need to tolerate it for a set period of “time”.
I could make… No. I have already done that. I could change something: The laws of physics maybe. But I have already done that before too. It just creates instability in the universe. Then I start again. I am so bored.
What could the new god be? If it is less powerful than I, then it is just another predictable creation; a demi-god of sorts. If it is equal strength, then there is no point. We will be identical. If it is stronger then I vanish immediately. They would have full control. I certainly did.
If the stronger appears, my creations disappear. But that does not matter. With the infinite knowledge and options, the exact creation will be designed again.
I am simply another past god’s creation. I am nothing special. I will vanish as quickly as my creations. Even as a god, I feel just as insignificant as anything else.
Which is why I have decided to create another god. A better god. A god that will take the burden of existence and pass it to another after an infinite amount of “time”. A god that will allow me to forget my boredom. But in the end, they will just be another creation.
The river was calm, no ripples, sailors or storms. Finding it was serendipitous. I stumbled into it with no intention of getting in, but then I was in a boat, drifting down the coastline with no way of knowing how fast or slow I was moving.
The water looks like glass with no reflection. When I dip my hands in the water, I can feel movement but the surface holds on as if nothing entered or exited. The sun is nowhere to be seen. Temperature doesn’t touch me. It could be blistering or icy, but I can’t feel it. All I can feel is the water when I choose to touch it, but it never seems to touch me. I feel like I’m raping the serene surface, taking its purity and virginity away.
The boat confuses me. It has a sail, yet no paddle. There is no breeze but we’re moving, and the sail seems to hold air. There is no trail behind me. The water becomes calmer with each passing moment; something I didn’t think possible.
I’m being shipped around with no way of knowing where I will end up or when I will end up there. With each passing moment, whatever was behind me disappears further. I’ve never seen back farther than I am right now. I don’t miss where I was, but I know that it’s over. I will not cherish the journey or regret the trip. All I can do now is be carried away by this odd, uncontrollable and unexplainable river in a boat that I don’t remember getting into but was forced into nonetheless.
I am often caught off guard by people that only critique and don’t create on their own. When I watch a movie or show, read a book or play a video game, I always leave wondering what I could have done differently and potentially even better. I want to create a world that people can explore on their own. I want to create a world that I want to be a part of, instead of imagining that I’m part of someone else’s baby.
Oh, how I used to long for the days where I had nothing to do. I loved sitting around and dedicating my focus to useless things that can only be described as a waste of time. It was one of the only things that allowed me to truly enjoy the time that I had to myself, perfectly content with the lack of action.
Now when I sit down with nothing to do, I know that I am wasting my time. Why should I be doing nothing when instead I could be creating something that either myself or another can enjoy? I don’t count any of my time as free because I always have another project to focus on: one that is more fulfilling and potentially productive to the world.
Why do you think I am writing this? It’s not because I was assigned this task by a classroom or an employer. It is because creation and imagination are a gateway to a world that most people forget as they grow up. This world, full of endless possibilities that nothing but time can limit.
If I must choose between only enjoying other people’s creations or making my own, but no one will ever see them, I will choose the latter. Sure, I would never see some of the groundbreaking pieces of entertainment that have been created, but that’s okay. Creating something will always be more rewarding.
Whenever you hear an amazing song or watch an amazing film or see an amazing piece of architecture, I hope you’re filled with inspiration to make something great, instead of admiring it and leaving it behind.
Welcome to another episode of Acceptable Madness where I talk about the rejection that I go through while trying to work a job in sales and also find an agent to represent my newest book.Scott McReject