Erika Greco

Tips From the Experts: Peter Shankman

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:

  1. “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.”
  2. “Not a lot of people do good shit anymore, do good shit.”
  3. “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.

7 thoughts on “Tips From the Experts: Peter Shankman

  1. So many great lines. So many. I absolutely love the phrases “pour that all-or-nothing mentality into positive habits” and “and in the world of the one and doner’s, be the outlier.”

    You poetically outline your personal takeaways from this talk, and I truly enjoyed reading it. I especially appreciated how you applied these takeaways to life. While I am having fun learning about entrepreneurship, I don’t envision myself making a career of it. But you’re right, no matter what I do, I need to learn these lessons. I need to let go of the hangups that keep me from facing my fear of failure. I need to find what I’m passionate about and not be afraid to commit everything to it. And I need to add value to this world.


  2. I like how you related back to a previous blog post in this! That’s a great way to tie in various ideas and showcase to your audience you are paying attention to detail. You did a great job in showing your enthusiasm for this blog topic and I could almost feel the inspiration you got from Peter flying off the screen! It was easy to pick up on Peter’s main points and his passion for his work.


  3. I really enjoyed reading this blog post and I loved that you included the wise words of Peter Shankman because it made me feel good. He’s right that people are doing good shit anymore and that we should go out there and do good shit. I think your voice throughout your entire post was enthusiastic and it reminded that it really is okay to fail because that is the only way you learn.


  4. Erika,

    I like how you started out explaining his personality then going into what different things he talked about, since there were many topics. You then went on to explain his role and his career which gave me good portrait of who he was. I also liked the quotes you added since I also thought those were some of the best. In the end you related back to yourself and how you comprehended the information. Overall I liked your summary of the class with Peter.


  5. I really like how you touched base one his quote, “Having an audience is a privilege, not a right,” because this is 100% factual. I believe too many people give up right away because they feel like they don’t have the audience that they want but the question they should sit back and look in the mirror and ask themselves is, does the work that they’ve put it in match the audience that they think they should have? You can’t just rush into something and expect silver and gold. The best things and the most successful things that we’ve seen in history within our lifetimes have been successful due to extreme work being put in. Anything that comes quick might not necessarily be worth having/ holding on to because it may not last long. Great post!


  6. Erika, I agree with Alexa on your one-liners throughout this post. I also really enjoyed reading it and agree with the three main takeaways you called out specifically. Not only are they extremely helpful in fostering a good mindset in business, but they are applicable in plenty of other scenarios. Aside from all of that, I think they help provide a glimpse of Peter Shankman’s personality and his to-the-point delivery that had our class clamoring to hear what he had to say next. Like you, I was drawn to his brutal honesty and I love that you focused on his characteristics and the general feeling in the room as our class listened to him. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this and will try to apply the lessons you took from the talk with Peter Shankman in my day-to-day life. Thank you for your wisdom!


  7. You did a great job with this article. I really like how you worded your blog post. Not only could I hear your voice as a writer but I like you you analyzed the advice that Peter gave us.


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