Thursday, 13 August 2009

Introducing The 'Sex & Cash' Theory

I just read Hugh MacLeod’s book ‘Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys To Creativity’. I saw Hugh at Pam Slim's session at SXSW earlier this year but didn’t pay that much attention to the bloke in the cowboy hat who went by the name of Gapingvoid. When I was back home I wondered what all the fuss was about. Who was this guy who draws ‘cartoons on the back of business cards’? Once I checked out his site I ‘got it’.

And his book is great; it’s my kind of book. It’s a quick read, it’s eminently dippable with short punchy chapters and the advice might not be rocket science but it really resonates, and its message is powerful (hopefully, a bit like my own books then).

Here’s one takeaway I want to leave you with, it’s Hugh’s ‘Sex & Cash Theory’:

“The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: one is the sexy creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task at hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense duality will also play center stage. It will never be transcended.”

I talk about this theme in my own book ‘Juggle!’ – stuff we do for love and stuff we do for money, but Hugh has another point here and it’s all in his last line above. It’s that whatever your success in life, whether you are a struggling waiter or a movie star, you won’t be immune from this duality.

“As soon as you accept this. I mean really accept this, for some reason your career starts moving ahead faster…. It’s the people who refuse to cleave their lives this way… well they never make it”.

So maybe ignore everybody, but it’s still worth listening to Hugh MacLeod.


Arthur Yoria said...

so the notion of "do what you love and the money will come" is a fantasy?

Ian Sanders said...

good question Arthur!

I'm still an advocate of do what you love, do what you are good at and do what you are passionate about and you'll be a success. But Hugh makes a good - pragmatic - point about the fact that alongside the 'sexy' stuff we do, they'll always be the 'non-sexy'. And in my experience, he's right about that...