Introduction: Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod, Book Review
“…Evil Plan is not about selling per se. It’s more about figuring out where your product [service] stands in relation to personal narrative. If people like buying your product [service], it’s because its story helps fill in the narrative gaps in their own lives. So where does your product or service or art fit into other people’s narrative? How does telling your story become a survival tool for other people?”
There is nothing evil about the book Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination by Hugh MacLeod. It’s about striving for the excellence in you, and having the courage to let it shine through, and not be daunted by what others may think. It’s about doing what you love, doing something that really matters, being the person you were born to be, doing something that changes lives, despite the odds.
What Is Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod About?
The ideas in Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod are not particularly earth shattering. The brilliance of the book is in its simplicity. You have heard the ideas before, but the way in which MacLeod delivers the information makes all the difference. The book is a good, easy read at 179 pages, where many of them are cartoon doodles. You can chew and digest this book in two hours even though it’s filled with compressed knowledge. There are 42 short chapters with headings such as:
- Welcome to the Hunger
- Make Art Every Day
- Remember Who You Really Are
- Treat it Like an Adventure – an Adventure Worth Sharing
- Embrace Crofting
- What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Artists, and Vice Versa
- The Pressure to “Not Be Shit”
- Everything Begins with the Act of Giving
In one chapter of Evil Plans, MacLeod talks about success being more complex than failure, which when you seriously think about it, makes sense because success that really matters takes hard work, that’s why there are few truly successful people.
To support this, Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret states,
“Out of every 100 individuals who start out at the age of 25 believing they will be successful in life, only five will have actually achieved their definition of success by the time they’re 65.”
That’s only five percent – pretty dismal.
Another idea in Evil Plans is having the courage to move forward to create the life you want, even when you don’t have all the answers or all the information. It’s about taking action, moving forward even if you cannot see the entire staircase. It’s about moving in the direction of the staircase knowing that soon you will be able to see it and everything will become clear.
This book fascinated me, and it reminded me of Seth Godin’s Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? and the interview I did with Steve Olsher, the Reinvention Guy. As I was reading Evil Plans, I visualized Hugh MacLeod, Seth Godin and Steve Olsher in a room jamming. They have something in common. They go against the grain, upstream. They don’t go where the herds are. They create art. They believe that people should be remarkable. They are saying some of the same things, but in different ways, and sometimes in the same ways. This is what I envision them saying in a conversation:
Steve Olsher asks, “What is your WHAT? That one thing you were born to do.” Hugh MacLeod responds, “Your one WHAT is the basis for you EVIL PLAN. What are you willing to do to execute your EVIL PLAN? Are you willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears required?” And Seth Godin adds, “If you masterfully execute your EVIL PLAN, then you are truly a LINCHPIN.”
Excuse my presumptuousness, but I couldn’t help myself! I like to connect the dots.
There are many ideas in Evil Plans, and you are sure to find one that resonates with you. For me, it was what Hugh MacLeod calls, “The Moment.” It’s a turning point in your life, a shift in mindset, a moment when something changes for you. You respond in new ways. You finally get it. You easily recognize your “Moment”.
For me that moment was a week ago, it was a huge moment for me, a shift in mindset. I realized that I needed to respond in different ways, when I found myself in certain situations. I recognized that I had to start taking care of me. A few days after my epiphany, I got the perfect opportunity. A situation arose and I responded in a new way, and I was prepared to walk away. I made it very clear, and the other party recognized that I would indeed walk away from what wasn’t best for me.
But it didn’t turn out that way, the other party responded in a more reasonable manner because they had more to lose than I did. I had the opportunity to stop playing it safe, to be bold, and do what was best for me as well as the other party. Life changes, agreements can be renegotiated if they no longer make sense for you, and that’s what I did. And Evil Plans confirmed that I had done the right thing. I had my “Moment.”
Think back to your “Moment” and how it changed your life.
This week we already talked about reading syntopically (See How to Master a Topic of Interest) so I encourage you to also read Steve Olsher’s interview Part One and Part Two, as well as Seth Godin’s Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Final Thoughts: Review: Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod
I could pull more nuggets from Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod, but I recommend that you dip into the book and discover which of the thoughtful ideas resonate with you. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Liked this post? Share it and subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!
Have you read?
Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World DominationIgnore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to CreativityFreedom Is Blogging in Your UnderwearLinchpin: Are You Indispensable?What Is Your WHAT?: Discover The One Amazing Thing You Were Born To DoInternet Prophets: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal How to Profit Online