My next book: “The Art Of Not Sucking”

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[Read the whole first draft here....]

I just finsihed writing my latest book, “The Art Of Not Sucking”. Rather than publish it as an e-book or regular hardback, I thought I’d just blog the whole thing, like I did with my first book, “Ignore Everybody”. Maybe I’ll publish it properly later down the road, but in the meantime, I wanted to make it available to as many people as possible. Enjoy:

INTRODUCTION

When I was attending University in the 1980’s, I went and got a suit-and-tie summer job in a large office in downtown Houston, doing white-collar drudgery for a big oil company.

It sucked.

That summer, I was also in a painful, Nowheresville relationship with a lovely young woman. That also sucked.

That year my college grades sucked, as well. As did my social life and financial situation.

The whole year sucked, frankly. I sucked, my job sucked, my love life sucked, my situation sucked. Sucked, sucked, sucked.

Over two decades later, I’m frankly still quite traumatized by it. Ha.

Since then, I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out how to keep myself out of jobs, careers, relationships and situations that suck, how to keep life from sucking in general.

Learning how to NOT SUCK is one of our most important pursuits.

Sucking is the enemy. Indeed.

So when I was recently asked to give a talk to marketing students at Unibe University in the Dominican Republic, I decided that helping them learn “The Art Of Not Sucking” would be far more useful for them, or at least, welcome, than the usual textbook marketing stuff they have to read on a daily basis.

Let’s face it, “Success” and “Failure” are still too far away in the distant future to be truly tangible most young adults, they’ve still got way too much in front of them. That was certainly true in my case, and every other case I knew well at the time.

However, leaving the comfy surroundings of college life and hitting the adult world and finding out right away that you suck at everything? That everything is going to suck from now on? That’s a real burning issue.

“What if I suck?”

With graduation looming, that’s what college seniors are REALLY worried about. I speak truth.

College kids aren’t afraid of failing, they’re afraid of sucking.

The talk I gave to the kids was so much fun, I thought I’d spread the love some more, by turning my notes into a little e-book and sharing it with everybody. This is it. I hope it’s helpful; thanks for taking the time to download it.

[NB: Many of the themes in this book were covered before, in both my blog and my books, some points more than others. If you experience déjà vu, that is why. Secondly, to make it more fun to read, I did my usual thing i.e. randomly inserted some of my favorite recent cartoons in the mix, similar to how The New Yorker inserts unrelated cartoons into their pages.]

[Read the whole first draft here....]

Comments

  1. Hugh, it is almost unbelievable that you too sucked at one point. Thanks for sharing. It gives me so much hope.

  2. The title is excellent.

  3. Love it! I think you’ve hit it correctly; we are often far more afraid of sucking than failing! Looking forward to reading the rest of your book and thanks for making it available to all!

  4. it’s a gr8 experience basically to experience the sucking situations !!!

  5. Haven’t read all of the draft yet but I already love it. The cartoon that tells God to check his spam folder is priceless.

  6. Thanks for sharing the art of not sucking! It was my sole advice for my graduate students on which topic to Pick for their exam projects.

  7. Love it (especially the title)! Thanks for sharing how your life sucked at one point – learning NOT to suck is indeed one of life’s most important pursuits (I’m still learning).

  8. Thanks for sharing this snippet from the Art of Not Sucking! I’ve not read the rest of the draft yet, but I’m looking forward to it. You’ve pretty much summed up exactly what it takes some many, many years to fathom in a single title!

    Very true, I find myself less concerned with failing (we’re always told to learn from failures, right?) but to be bad at something so much that I suck, that’s a whole other problem entirely and a much more scary one!

  9. It’s a shame that being genuinely ‘gifted’ at something means having to wear a label that often carries such negative connotations in society. It’s equally as disheartening to find that this ‘tall poppy’ convention still has a place in society when really, we should be embracing those fortunate among us to be born with natural ability. Sadly, it also places a lot of pressure on those who believe they can work themselves to being gifted, and if they don’t ever reach that pinnacle, are left feeling like they failed.

    How many of us wouldn’t like to have a true affinity for something we love? It’s cruel to have society naturally turn on those born with ability for being different, but on the flip-side, elements of that are sadly human nature. Not necessarily one of our proudest features, but definitely a factor in our response.

  10. Congrats on the new book! Love the title!

  11. Congrats for the new book, i’ll wait the next books

  12. Hey Hugh, just found you after reading the latest article on Copyblogger…I loved this piece too! This site looks awesome and the content is GREAT!

  13. There is a new phrase in my life now…. “Hugh it” – it means to keep reflecting till it boils over and you have something to say. Great work Mr. MacLeod.

  14. I would agree with the advice given by David Ger­gen. You have to learn how to invent. Mindset is what matters.

  15. Sadly, I have to agree that marketing seems to matter…but at the same time, it’s a task that never ends… – marketing sucks!!

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  1. […] and ‘Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear‘.  He is about to publish his new book ‘The Art Of Not Sucking’. He is a cartoonist, entrepreneur, technologist, speaker and professional blogger, known for his […]

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Testimonials

Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
@copyblogger
 
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark
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