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The Case for Indifference

Why having big ears isn't always a good thing.
Jan | 28 | 2011

Jan | 28 | 2011

A while ago, I wrote a post entitled The Impossibility of Making Everyone Happy. In it, I contended that introducing a new technology or system in an organization was bound to have detractors. You can’t make everyone happy, so don’t try.

I thought about that post lately as reviews have begin to trickle in for The New Small. The same tenet applies. For the most part, people have had largely positive things to say. I couldn’t help but chuckle, however, when two very smart people with whom I have personally spoken conveyed antithetical criticisms, literally on the same day. To paraphrase these two:

  • Person A: The book has too much information. I can’t digest it.
  • Person B: The book has too little information. I was looking for more.

Valid criticisms? I suppose. To each his own, right?

But does this give me pause? No, and it shouldn’t stop you from doing something creative either, whether it’s writing a book, making an album, or creating art.

Simon Says

Be creative for yourself. Be proud of what you have accomplished. Don’t look for reasons not to do something. Use your passion and the tools and technologies available today to make your individual statement, critics be damned. Be true to yourself and your vision and different to others. Hell, it worked for Rush.

And if you’re afraid of negative reviews or press, with all due respect to Chris Brogan, grow smaller ears.


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  1. John Roccesano

    Absolutely agree. Creativity allows for a unique vision that in turn warrants many different criticisms. As a musician I know all to well the temptation to listen to everyone’s critique of your work. Often people make valid points, but accepting too many opinions as truth only leads to second-guessing yourself. Now imagine being a politician, haha!

  2. Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

    I say this Phil…..
    We’re living in a world of so much dad-gum information that the only way we’re really going to stand out is if we have methods, opinions, and beliefs that go against the grain and stand out…push the envelope of sorts
    And then, once we’ve done this, we simply enjoy all the good, bad, and ugly ‘reviews’ that come with being a trailblazer. Ya feel me?
    Congrats on your books man….freaking awesome. On a side note, the whole reason I started my blog is so that I’d be in a position at some point (hopefully much sooner than later) to write a good ‘ol fashioned book and achieve the things you’re now going through. Again, well done man.


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