Good morning Believe Nation!
Today’s message is ignore the opinions of others. Over to you, Paul Thomas Anderson.
Paul Thomas Anderson
The one thing I always remember thinking initially when I was trying to make films, you always felt like, you got nervous that somebody else was right when they were talking to you, you know, who maybe was in a position of power, like that their opinion somehow was right, or better than yours, you could never stop to think, “No, it’s just different, “you just think differently than I do, and that’s okay. “But I’m not wrong.”
Soon you can get filled with such fear, and it’s really easy to just get your heart broken and kind of, sort of beaten, as you’re sort of attempting to make films, it’s a miracle any time any one of them gets made. It’s a miracle.
And it’s a miracle every time, I feel like. It’s a miracle every time a scene kind of gets done and through the birth canal and done. I mean it’s never any less of a miracle or any less difficult. There just should be no fear, I just always remember kind of being pummeled by fear early on and feeling like, “God if I could’ve just gotten rid of that fear earlier, “this might’ve been a little bit easier.” It’s just, don’t give a — that’s kind of the best thing to do.
Not one ounce of my self-worth comes from your opinion of me. Not one ounce of my self-worth comes from your opinion of me. I think it’s really important to be able to separate your value as a human being from what other people think.
Because if you’re constantly being impacted by other people’s impressions and ideas and opinions, then you’re never going to be you. ‘Cause people always have a direction for your life. If you don’t come up with your own life plan, I guarantee the people around you will create your life plan for you, through their eyes, through their lens.
And they can’t ultimately give you what you need. I swear, the most valuable things that you can learn, not just as an entrepreneur, but as a human being, is to separate yourself, and your value, from what somebody else thinks about you.
“It’s really important to be able to separate your value as a human being from what other people think.” – Evan Carmichael
And I’ve told this story before, but I think it’s worth sharing again on this video about the little man. The little man’s a concept in the book, and the little man’s a person who just hates. The little man is the person who tells you all the reasons why it’s not going to work out.
The little man is the person who maybe took their shot once, and they didn’t succeed, and so they have to bring everybody else down. ‘Cause they don’t want to go out and do something amazing with their life, and the only satisfaction they get is when they can bring other people down to their level.
They want to be above, and so they need to crush everyone else around them, and they do it by tearing others down instead of building up their own thing. And the little man came to me when I was making one of my biggest videos of all time. But at the start, I didn’t know it was going to work out.
I had this video around Believe, it was my first Believe video, I just found my one word, Believe, I wanted to make a video about it, and we made this video that’s six and a half minutes long.
And I showed it to a guy who was in the industry, it’s not just showing it to some high school friend. If they didn’t like it, it’s easy to reject that opinion and say, “Well you don’t even know what you’re talking about.” But he was in the industry, he was in the video industry.
“If you’re constantly being impacted by other people’s impressions and ideas and opinions, then you’re never going to be you” – Evan Carmichael
And he looked at it and he said, “No YouTube video should be six minutes long, “tell me you actually understand how the internet works.” Some of the quotes are in the book. And the younger version of me might have listed to him. Might have said, “Hmm, here’s some guy who’s an expert, “who knows what he’s talking about, “maybe I should listen to his advice and not do it.”
But when I watched the video myself, it just made me come alive, it just made me so excited, it got my blood pumping, I loved it. And I couldn’t imagine stripping four and a half minutes out of it, just to make it fit this guy’s two minute timeline.
And so I decided, you know what, forget you, I’m just going to do it and see what happens. And it quickly became the most popular video on the channel. My best video to that point had a hundred thousand views, my best video took me a year to get that, this video hit a hundred thousand views in the first month. And now it’s over two million views.
And so, it’s great to listen to the opinions of other people just to get feedback. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make that decision.
Does it feel right for you?
And not to live your life only according to the expectations of other people. And if you don’t do what they want you to do, suddenly you feel less worth because they’re attacking you saying you should’ve done it. Not one ounce of my self worth comes from your opinion of me.
Embracing that and believing that will help you build your version of your life instead of letting other people dictate your plans.
“It’s great to listen to the opinions of other people just to get feedback. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make that decision.” – Evan Carmichael
So the question today is I’m curious, I want to hear your little man story.
I want to hear a story of somebody in your life who tried to hold you back, tell you you can’t do something, and maybe it worked, or maybe you said no to them, I want to hear your little man story. Leave in the comments below, and we’ll join in the discussion.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Marsha McGuire from waterbirdcalls.com, thank you so much Marsha for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, it really really really means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Thank you guys so much for watching, I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is, and I’ll see you again tomorrow morning for another shot of Ent-spresso.
Evan: Hi Believe Nation, if you want to go a little bit deeper into this topic and learn more and get more context, I’m adding in some extra bonus clips that I think you’ll enjoy.
Interviewer: You don’t pay a lot of attention to reviews, and those kind of things?
“I can’t concern myself too much with what other people think you know, it’s just not healthy” – Denzel Washington
Well, you know, you’re always affected by opinion but the more opinions there are of you, of me, the less I look at them. Because I just can’t live my life based upon what other people think about me. So I can’t concern myself too much with what other people think, you know, it’s just not healthy. I don’t think I could continue to do what I do if I was constantly worrying about what somebody thought about it.
Interviewer: How did you ignore all those naysayers and continue to sort of blaze the trail and then-
Well 90, 95% of all new ventures fail. So if you just bet against all new ventures, odds are 90% that you’re going to be right, 90% of the time. But, you’re going to miss that one out of ten, or one out of twenty chances to really hit a home run. And I wasn’t worried about the naysayers saying it wasn’t going to work, I just laughed about it, because I knew it was.
Interviewer: And you worked very hard at it as well.
I wasn’t going to let it fail. And even, if you read my book, it’s right there. I wasn’t going to let it fail. And I’m not going to let humanity fail to get rid of nuclear weapons, and handle this energy thing. I’m going to keep fighting till we start getting it right.
Ignore people telling you your idea is bad. They may be right, but the only way to know is to actually build it out. And I think the thing that works about Silicon Valley that’s different than Mexico City or almost anywhere else in the world is the default response if someone says, “Hey, I’m going to start a start-up, “here’s my idea.”
The default response is to be excited, and think like “Oh, why might that work?” And in most of the rest of the world, The default response when you tell someone your idea is to say “Oh, that’s not going to work.” And this is really toxic for start-ups. ‘Cause you have to believe in yourself.
“Ignore people telling you your idea is bad. They may be right, but the only way to know is to actually build it out.” – Sam Altman
And good ideas, because they sound like bad ideas, are so fragile and so kill-able, that you have to be really careful to insulate yourself against this.
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