I just finished up the book Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod. The book is actually a collection of entries from Hugh’s blog where he talks about his hobby of drawing cartoons on the back of business cards. It was a short read — but it was packed with great life lessons, especially if you’re a product manager. Like a product manager, Hugh had to produce and promote his product (art on business cards) while facing plenty of criticism. This book reminds us that there are no such things as shortcut — the road to success is a long one. The three big lessons that struck a chord with me included:
Stay Focused. Once you find a direction, you have to stick with it. People may try to sway you with their opinion but you can’t let that get in your way of success.
Work Hard. You have to keep plugging away at your dream even if there’s no immediate reward. Theodore Roosevelt actually said the same thing: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led diffcult lives and led them well.”
Keep Practicing. If you want to get better at your craft, you have to do it again and again. There are no shortcuts. (NOTE: Jeff Atwood seems to repeat this message in his blog on development; see here).
Hope that you get to enjoy this book as much as I did.