[My latest e-book, “Authenticity Is The New Bullshit”, is now available for download here. You can read the Introduction below, or read the whole thing by clicking on the link and signing up to the gapingvoid newsletter. N.B. If you're already a subscriber, just enter your email address again etc.]
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.
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 the 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.]
“SUCCESS IS EASY”
Don’t let the drama queens and marketing dorks fool you, success is actually pretty easy… or at least, simple. It basically has four elements:
i. Work hard.
ii. Be nice.
iii. Have great product or service.
iv. Don’t suck.
Of the four, “Don’t suck” is the most daunting. The other three are fairly straightforward.
“Work hard” and “Be nice” are just a matter of personal choice. Having a great product is just a matter of having enough perseverance, and a little bit of luck.
Whereas “Don’t suck” is really, really hard for most people. It’s the one most of us trip over. Especially the drama queens and marketing dorks.
To be successful, first you need to learn how to not suck.
You need to learn The Art Of Not Sucking.
After that, the rest should take care of itself.