Why Ideas Are Not Enough (Or: How to Sell Out Like Iron Maiden)


Link: Perennial Seller

“What if I’m not good at making ideas happen? I just like to have ideas!”

Ever since I started Side Hustle School on January 1, I’ve heard this question a surprising number of times. And believe me, I know it would be nice if you could just have ideas and then someone else goes out and “handles” them.

That’s not how it works for most of us, though—even people who are successful writers, entrepreneurs, or artists of all kinds. Ideas gain value not through brainstorming but through the getting-it-done phase that all good work needs.

A new book comes out today from stoic-in-chief Ryan Holiday. It’s called Perennial Seller, and I was able to read an advance copy a couple months ago. To be honest, I get a bunch of advance copies in the mail, and I’m not always able to read most of them. This time, though, I brought it on a flight and was instantly hooked. I read every page!

Here’s what Ryan says about ideas and doing the work:

If you’re trying to make something great, you must do the making. That work cannot be outsourced to someone else. You can’t hire your friends to do it for you. There is no firm that can produce a timeless work of art on your behalf for a flat fee. It’s not about finding the right partner, the right investor, the right patron—not yet anyway. If this is your project, the hard work will fall on you. There’s just no way around it.”

He goes on to say that “it’s not that dreaming doesn’t matter or that ideas aren’t important.” Dreaming matters! Ideas are important.

Still, without doing the work… there’s nothing to show for a dream.

The title Perennial Seller refers to the concept of making something that endures, not just a flash-in-the-pan that launches with a sparkle but then quickly becomes irrelevant. Among many other examples, the book points to Iron Maiden—remember them?

I can’t say I follow their work much (I mean, I did in seventh grade but…). However, it seems they’re still selling out arena tours all over the world. They’re a perennial seller, even without a lot of mainstream attention.

What separates the rare enduring successes from the crowd of bands, books, movies, and anything else that is quickly forgotten? Read this book to find out—you won’t regret it.

It’s easily my #1 business book of the year so far… and it’s hard to imagine that something will easily surpass it.*

Link: Perennial Seller

*Okay, well—they aren’t really the same kind of book, but Side Hustle comes out in September and I hear it’s worth a look.


Image: Sam

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