I’ve been a huge fan of Ryan Holiday for quite a while. I started reading his work right when I was starting my career in marketing.
His approach has certainly affected how I work, how I think, and how I interpret so much of what is happening in the world of media and marketing.
This book, Perennial Seller, has all the elements that makes Ryan’s work so powerful. The book is highly readable. It’s concise with clear jargon-free ideas. The book uses timeless case studies and has actually steps that you can use to improve your own work and promotion.
The book is worth a read for anyone who makes things, provides a service or promotes anything of worth (including their own career).
I have a ton of dog ears, but here are 3 pages that I took pictures of.
Lesson: There are no shortcuts. Sure, there are better and worse ideas for doing things. You can be more efficient and effective. But there is NO MAGIC BULLET to success. My Mom has always said that “if something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing right” – and that saying works in inverse. If something is worth doing right…then you need to actually do the thing. Don’t try to shortcut the process. If you want to write a worthwhile book, start a website, train for an event or make more money – you need to do the things (write, eat right, exercise, invest, etc).
I work in marketing. I’ll be the first to preach against the idea that “if you build, they will come”. In fact, the probably won’t come.
I also think that the current media landscape makes it way to easy to create a completely made-up reality and create self-fulfilliing prophecies.
But. If you are trying to build something that actually lasts longer than the current hip social network, then you need to have a better plan…like actually making something worthwhile.
In the music world, I’ve listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival on Cassette, CD, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Google Play Streaming. Great work adapts to the format. Contrast that with the old NOW! music brand.
The Lindy Effect is everywhere. Every day that something lasts, they chances that it will last another day increase.
The idea that the opposite of love is not hate, but inattention is absolutely true. The role of promotion is not to make a work great, but to get enough attention on it that you find people who will appreciate it.
And that is the key marketing lesson that I took away. Great work is something that needs focus, originality, and creativity. Marketing is simply the art of effectively finding the right people to who will give enough attention to help the work last another day. The only way to “scale” is to create more great work…not to create more marketing.
Perennial Seller is a great work itself and a fast read. If you read one business book this year – make this one it.
A must-read for anyone who creates or promotes work. The book is full of concise ideas, timeless case studies, and actual things that you can do.