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Interview with Hugh MacLeod Author of Evil Plans


Hugh MacLeod I first stumbled on this dude Hugh MacLeod from gapingvoid, when I stepped into blogging in 2004. Back in the day he was posting his creative, snarky, edgy cartoons about blogs and this new way to conduct business.

These days he's still posting creative, edgy cartoons about blogs, social media and a new way to conduct business. However, today, one might call Hugh MacLeod a poster child of social media success with consulting gigs, books and art sales. 

His last book, Evil Plans, is a quick trip .. 192 pages, on unifying work and love. How do you manage that ... with an evil plan of course! In his exclusive interview for Diva Marketing, Hugh gives us his insights on how to infuse creativity in your life .. and what he would do on his last day on earth.

Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN. Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to ACTUALLY start doing something they love, doing something that matters. - Hugh MacLeod  Evil plans book

Diva Marketing/Toby: In the intro you talk about the importance of integrating work with love... or loving the work you do. As in your life, to achieve that is often a step-by-step process.

At the end of the day bills must be paid and doggies fed. What can you tell those people who are at the beginning of that trail? How can you be true to yourself while involved in a work environment where “love” is not part of the equation?

Hugh MacLeod: Work like hell and keep at it. It isn't going to happen overnight. There is no one single answer; there is only the learning process.

Diva Marketing/Toby: What you describe as “Welcome The Hunger” might be thought of as finding your passion or as my friend Alf Nucifora says fire in the belly. As a guy with artist talent, you are one of the lucky people to have found that early in your career. Any clues to pass along to those who are still searching .. or are they doomed to live a milquetoast life?

Hugh MacLeod: Nobody is doomed to live a milquetoast life. It's just a question of making the decision not to do so. Free will doesn't exist until one first takes responsibility for one's own experience.

Diva Marketing/Toby: You, along with Seth Godin, believe that to be successful, in a work situation, you must be a part of something bigger than you that goes beyond the product category you represent in the marketplace. Zappos does a great job with giving their employees a story that is more than just shoes. How can an organization bring this concept into play?

Hugh MacLeod: How can an organization can bring this concept into play? By understanding that this is not a concept, this is a reality. "Insanely great customer service" wasn't a Zappos idea to be sold internally, it was just something they did naturally. The concept came after the fact.

Diva Marketing/Toby: I love your idea of Make art every day. For the non artists in the room, how do you define creativity in business, especially in a B2B arena?

Hugh MacLeod: Creativity in business is the same as creativity anywhere else. It's what we human beings are born to do. Separating the rules of business from everything else is a false distinction, so why do we make it? Because we think it makes us sound more impressive to our peers. That is a mistake.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Hugh, I’ve been following your work from the beginning of my life in social media when it was called “blogs.” I’ve seen how you’ve parlayed your art and talents into an amazing business.

Although very definitely edgy, I’ve also noticed that your work in 2011 is different than in 2004. It’s kinder and gentler. What’s different about Hugh MacLeod from 7 years ago that brought about the change?

Hugh MacLeod: I just got older. And more successful. And less angry as a result. People change. People mellow.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Let’s wrap this up with one last question - If this were the last day of Hugh MacLeod’s life what would he do?

Hugh MacLeod _ remember who you are _ gaping void cartoon Hugh MacLeod: I would probably try JUST ONE LAST TIME to draw a half-decent cartoon. That's what I was put on this earth to do. Just because it's my last day on earth, doesn't mean that reality has changed :D 



Social Networks. Masks. Digital Safety


This crazy social media world opens doors that are unexpected. One for me is helping people "get" (Girlfriend, need I say it?) social media. 

Sometimes you have the opportunity to speak to a group where you feel honored to be invited. Sometimes it's even a personal pleasure. A couple of weeks ago I had the honor and pleasure to be invited to participate at an innovative program .. the 18th Annual Larry Bregman, MD Educational Conference

Sponsored by JF&CS* this conference was created to help adults with developmental disabilities, their families and their caregivers have fun while learning about topics that might not be addressed in other venues. Workshops ranged from Yoga, cooking, brain health, on the job communication and so much more.

I was asked to develop a session about social networking safety. Although I have never worked with this population, I knew one thing .. a lecture was not going to cut it. It had to be interactive from the start, fun and a little out of the box. The concept was masks. Yup masks! Mask

In social networks people often wear masks. Then again, in life we present different elements of our real self to different people. The big questions were: How do you know who is real? What can you give of your "real" yourself but still keep you safe?

With a touch of Diva style .. when people entered the room they were given a mask. In good spirit most of the folks put their masks right on and the fun began. What an amazing group of people! They shared their views and experiences, they challenged each other, asked smart questions .. they were the picture of engagement. We laughed and learned together. 

Your Digital Footprint! Most of Diva Marketing's community is savvy when it comes to online safety but for those who are new to participating in public digital conversations, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. remember that Google has a long memory. What you say today will be found many tomorrows from today.

Many people don't have a blog or personal website, but do have a LinkedIn profile. It is highly likely that when you are Googled (and you are and will be!) LinkedIn will come up first in a search. Look carefully at the image that you are projecting. Is it the best "mask" you are presenting of yourself to not only collegues but future clients, employers and the world at-large?

I've made the Bregaman deck available. Consider reviewing it not only with your friends who are new to the social web but your children as well. Show it to your kid's teachers and ask that, if they are not alreading doing so, that a social media safety module be added. Although it was built simply, the concepts are powerful and were meant to be used as talking points.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help along the way. 

In Social Networks You Wear Masks: How To Be Safe In A Digital World

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*Bloggy disclaimer JF*CS is a client.

Sorry for the Slideshare out of the margins embed.