Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Musician feedback on Ignore Everybody

I loved Hugh MacLeod's “Ignore Everybody” book, but I wanted to see what my musician friends thought of it. Alex Krupp had some extra copies from Swagapalooza, which I promised to put to good use. (Thanks Alex!)

So I mailed a copy of the book to 15 different musicians so they could post their thoughts. Here they are, below. Click “LINK” to read their full post.

Huge thanks to Melissa Rebronja for making this surprisingly-big project happen!


Chuck Anderson, jazz guitarist

“a concise and powerful presentation of deep concepts embedded in the struggle for the development of human potential in the creative world. It also links together creativity and worldly success and makes them seem possibly attainable and not entirely contradictory.”
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Tamara Nile, indie folk, americana, roots singer/songwriter:

“I've heard it said, ‘the best way to be original is to be yourself’. This is a saying that stuck with me, and throughout my life and especially as a creative person, I have done my best to live this way. Still, every so often I, like most of us, am guilty of losing sight of this simple truth. Hugh drives this point home time and time again in his book, and I appreciate him doing so.”
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Nikc Miller from Flute Squad:

“The true secret to success involves creating a sustainable and satisfying plan that involves patience and appreciation of creativity's small rewards.”
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Bobby Owsinski, producer:

“Every artist is forced to choose between what's in their heart, and what they have to do to earn a living.”
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Joe Leonard, songwriter:

“You alone can create your destiny and reality, through hard work, long hours, and lots of creative thought about the vision you want to make real. Sometimes you just have to change your seat.”
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Joy Ike, singer/songwriter:

“MacLeod talks, in his book, about the problem with followers. They might not like your idea, but if you’re successful, they’ll ‘like it’ because they want to be on the winning team.”
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TJR, neo classic rock indie recording artist:

“This key can apply to those for whom being a musician is a hobby (And there is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist). But you have to decide what you are: A professional or a hobbyist.”
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Fran Snyder, acoustic pop-rock singer/songwriter/performer:

“a new book by Hugh MacLeod, is a terrific and highly original read, one that can help you get a fresh perspective on your art, and what it takes and means to be successful at it.”
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Annette Chapman from Nobody Else:

“One of the first chapters that clicked with me was; If your business plan depends on suddenly being ‘discovered’ by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.”
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Jenn Ashton, of Rave On Studio:

“To start off, Hugh says: ‘When you have a good or great idea, the people closest to you will often react negatively’. This is true in any arena, people won’t want you to change. Change is uncomfortable, and in the music industry, I guess there is a real possibility that you and your life may change if you ever let ‘fame’ get into your head.”
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J.J. Vicars, blues, boogie, rock 'n' roll guitarist:

“I hope that older musicians will come to understand the potential of the Internet and younger musicians the importance of sacrifice and hard work. The tools have changed but the basics are still the same.”
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Amy Correia, folk singer/songwriter:

“Trusting my gut is at the heart of how I’m learning to create more: whether business, songs or anything. I’m a very emotional person but I think my natural tendency is to come from my ‘head’ rather than my ‘heart.’”
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Jamie Bonk, contemporary jazz guitarist:

“For me, the main thing that I took from Ignore Everybody was: Be less vulnerable. Notice I didn’t say don’t be vulnerable -- I don’t think you could be an artist (musician, painter, writer, whatever) if you weren’t vulnerable to some degree”
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James Pew, from the Euphonic Sound:

“I read Ignore Everybody in one sitting the day I received it. For a creative person, its like having your past re-read to you by someone without the emotional involvement, who has enough sense of the modern ethos and of the symptoms of the failing artistic endeavor of the common creative person.”
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Woody Moran, folk-rock singer/songwriter/guitarist:

“Although Hugh was a copy writer for an advertising agency when he started his little hobby, most of the tips are easily transferable into the lives of songwriters and musicians.”
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Strada, hip-hop, r&b, pop producer/composer/singer/songwriter:

“MacLeod doesn’t tell you what to do nor does he have the solution to everything. He gives out his opinion an backs it up with examples that you can relate to.”
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Pam Mark Hall, singer/songwriter/producer

“Hugh's basic premise is that you really don't know if your idea is any good the moment it's created. Nobody else does either, so keep it hush-hush til you've let it rattle around inside you a while, and you've tweaked and developed it some.”
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Chuck Hughes from the Hillbilly Hellcats

“That crazy idea for your next group of tunes that you keep thinking about is the right one.”
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Jesse Kates from The Sexy Accident:

“Something happened that deeply affected me, and I needed to write a song about it. So I did. You see? I'm just a conduit. I think Hugh MacLeod would approve.”
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Betsy Grant,composer:

“In his book ‘Ignore Everbody’, Hugh Macleod includes references to the creative person (artist in my terminology) in a broader sense which includes the creative person with a new idea to express, wether it be an idea for a business, a painting, a piece of music, a dance.”
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Helge Krabye, from the Homeless Balloon:

“For me, as a composer and artist, this book inspires me to think in new and creative ways about my music making and music promotion. It's fascinating how the different arts are connected to each other, and artists and creative people working in different fields, can certainly learn from each other.”
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Daniel Krey, artist/performer/composer:

“Obsessed with certainty no? What if we shift our focus from pure certainty to spotting the right itches?”
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David Omoyele, singer/songwriter/composer:

“Hugh says in ‘Ignore Everybody’ that great ideas have lonely childhoods. He believes ‘the more original your idea is, the less good advice people will be able to give you.’ And this is what I do - work on music that’s different from what’s popular.”
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Kristen Graves, folk/pop singer/songwriter:

“One warning: if you don’t plan on doing anything to change your current situation (your career, your promoting, your creativity - this isn’t just for musicians you know!) don’t bother reading the book. You’ll end up motivated, you’ll make changes you never wanted to make, and then you’ll be mad at me.”
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Atul Rana from the DonkeyBox:

“...then something magical started happening, some customers started marketing me to their friends direct and I started getting more and more work. This continued to such an extent that in June 2009 I was able to quit my actual full-time job.”
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