Peter Shankman. He is the guy in the room that has a ‘larger than life’ personality, exudes confidence, is extremely relatable and his brutal honesty, well, I’ll just say by the end of a Skype call, managed to have everyone in the room wanting to be his friend.
Entrepreneur, author and downright great guy, Peter Shankman tuned in to our media marketing class at Michigan State University via Skype to give us the run down. Everything we needed and WANTED to know about how his trials and tribulations led him to an extremely successful career. Among his plethora of novels and work, the topic of question this class was his Faster than Normal podcast which emphasizes ADHD and how he managed to generate his success having it himself.
As he explained how his ADHD affects him, he didn’t let his habits go unnoticed as he picked up a fidget spinner mid conversation and told us how eating a pizza for him is literally eating A (whole) pizza. Unlike others that can impose self-restraint, it is all or nothing for Shankman. In the midst of laughter with his countless humorous remarks, there came a point where I and others seemed to gain inspiration.
All-or-nothing can be great and generate success while performing certain tasks but as with anything, moderation can be key, and that is something that he struggles with. Alcohol? Shankman had to quit drinking all together due to the habits that came with the disorder. But the most important take away from this, he had the power to put himself in check. With experience, he came to certain realizations that forced him to put rules in place and pour that all-or-nothing mentality into positive habits.
This was only one aspect of his career that he discussed in our conversation. As Shankman opened the talk up to questions, different topics were sparked and he gave us some advice that truly resonated with me.
In the wise words of Peter Shankman:
- “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.”
- “Not a lot of people do good shit anymore, do good shit.”
- “Having an audience is a privilege, not a right.”
Yes, James Harden, I, too, am shook. These few short quotes were so impactful. As soon as the element of failure came up, you could tell that Shankman felt strongly on the subject. He was very open to the concept, open to criticisms that arise in his work and open to THE HATERS. This can allow us to let go of the hesitations that may prevent us from taking those leaps of faith. It all made perfect sense. It’s okay to fail! Let it happen. Failure shows that you are a human being and with it comes the ability to learn. The best way to learn sometimes is to make mistakes and figure out how to avoid it or better yet discover the solution to surpass it and grow from it.
Numbers 2 and 3 go hand in hand. There’s too many people now a days that do the bare minimum. They do what they can just in order to skimp by and perform the task at hand but as soon as it’s done, it’s hands down, feet up, time to relax. And in the world of the one and doner’s, be the outlier that’s willing to go the extra mile, produce great work and generate value to your audience. That’s where number 3 comes in and also relates back to my previous blog post. Generating value for the consumer will generate results for your business. As Shankman said, “you have to earn your audience.” Produce something that provides a great value to them.
Although directly applicable while in pursuit of a career or improving performance in a career, I found some of his advice to hold true to aspects of life beyond the workplace. Don’t be afraid of failure, take what your good at and run with it, don’t spread yourself too thin, ask for help, and put the effort in to produce good work and generate value. Don’t fear doing things differently, embrace being unique because often times it can work to our advantage.