Hugh MacLeod is the author of the best-selling book, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, and wickedly inspiring author of the Gaping Void cartoon series – simple, business-card-sized line drawings packed with pithy observations about life, work and meaning that have become wildly popular during the last few years. MacLeod, who formerly worked in the New York advertising world, eats his own dog food. He is now doing the work that he was meant to do, the work that is helping others to reach their human potential. And he feels driven to share what he has learned with us so that we, too, can enjoy the creative freedom that he has achieved.
According to MacLeod, everyone needs an Evil Plan – a way to unify what you do for a living with whatever you truly love. This marvelous book is a collection of 1 to 3 page vignettes, drawn from the author’s own experiences in carrying out his very own Evil Plan, as well as those of some of his close friends and colleagues. It is also liberally illustrated with his unique drawings, each of which contains a simple but often profound statement. They add a different dimension to Evil Plans and are have been selected by MacLeod to support the key concept of each mini-chapter.
This kind of book, in which an author tells their story and attempts to get you to dial up your courage to do as he or she did, can sometimes be mind-numbingly boring and/or ego-centric. Thankfully, MacLeod smartly avoids this tendency. Instead, he has succeeded in creating a book that is filled with thought-provoking ideas that get you thinking about your own place in the world. Evil Plans inspires you to make a leap of faith – as the author did – to go for it. As someone who still has one foot in the world of online publishing and the other one in a corporate job (albeit with a very entrepreneurial small company), Evil Plans gave me much to think about, in terms of what I need to do better and what’s next for my career.
While Evil Plans talks about pursuing your dream, it never teeters over the edge into the swamp of self-help dreck. Fortunately for us, MacLeod is a masterful storyteller. As I read the book, I could easily picture him in an Irish bar, trading colorful tales with the patrons. He is clearly passionate about creativity and about sharing his gifts, and his love for doing so is infectious.
In short, If you long for the freedom to pursue your Really Big Idea, you’ll find much to inspire you in Evil Plans.
By Chuck Frey
Chuck FreySenior Editor, founded InnovationTools.com and served as its publisher from its launch in 2002 until the partnership with Innovation Management in 2012. He is the publisher of The Mind Mapping Software Blog, the definitive souce for news, trends, tips and best practices for visual mapping tools. A journalist by trade, Chuck has over 14 years of experience in online marketing, and over 10 years experience in business-to-business public relations. His interests include creative problem solving, visual thinking, photography, business strategy and technology. His unique combination of experience and influences enables him to envision new possibilities and opportunities.