Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

In his new book, Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination, Hugh MacLeod teaches us how to a make a living doing what we love. In this slideshow, the author gives us a behind the scenes take on life and happiness.

When MacLeod came to New York City he had nothing but a suitcase, a few boxes, and a YMCA reservation. The copywriter was lucky enough to land a freelance gig that turned permanent and life was pretty good. But as the work piled on, the rewards became fewer and fewer. Sure the money was nice and the city was flashy, but he was tired and unfulfilled.

It was all pretty empty. How could he get out of the rat race and revive his passion? By doodling on the back of business cards, of course! Perched at his favorite bar stool, the aspiring artist would sit for hours sketching witty takes on life.

Burned out and desperate for change, he hatched the beginnings of his "Evil Plan." All he needed to make it work were 10,000 people to give him money every year. Selling his bar sketches online, he could escape advertising and share his art with the world. He started his blog and began selling his art. It actually worked.

Rich Boy
Money does many things, but it can’t make a bad business plan better. Sketched as a joke for a rich friend who was always getting hit up for cash investments, MacLeod suggests that having cash alone is not the best business model. You need a real plan. "People are looking for an easy ticket and that--money--is just not it,” the author and artist tells Fast Company.
If You Weren't So Stupid....
Trying to escape your dream slayer? Sometimes he lives just a few cubicles down. Many of MacLeod’s greatest ideas were shot down by people in the ad agency that just didn’t get it. "People wanna destroy your idea because they are not smart enough to understand it," he says. Showed them, huh?
You gotta commit to your evil plan for it to work. True risk is about real change and being uncomfortable. “This is about thinking you can have it both ways, MacLeod says. You can’t shake things up without risking anything.”
Getting a Lot of People to Hate You is Easy
Once you hatch your evil plan and let go of the corporate safety net, people will have a lot to say. Haters love to hate. MacLeod’s plan was not well received by everyone, especially when was still poor and chasing his dream, "It is easier to see the moral failing in other people, than to fix yourself," he says.
Have You Hugged You Client Today?
As an enterprise software consultant, MacLeod’s mom would take extra time each day with clients to show that she cared. Each client had to feel special and know that she was working for them. Like his mother, MacLeod works at building his client relationships. "I actually care about what we are doing," he says.
Inspiration is cyclical and your passion must be shared with the world. "That's the artist life. You can't inspire without being inspired first," MacLeod says. Great artists have to be inspired by someone or something and usually it’s what you believe in.
Whining Is Not An Exit Strategy
There is no pay off in the adult world for whining. It just makes you tired and the people around you annoyed. MacLeod believes that hatching your plan should be hard work. “People use whining as a substitution for effective action," he says.
All Entrepreneurs
True entrepreneurs never stop building toward new innovations and ideas. Whether it is Bill Gates or the owner of a small corner store, game changers are always trying to do something new. It's in their nature and it's not about the money.
The Next Google
A goldfish can just be a goldfish. In the tech industry every start up wants to become the next Microsoft or a Google, but that course is not for everyone. Not everything needs to be big to be great. "We don't need to always reference something from before," MacLeod says.
I Do the Work For Free
Unification of your passion and doing what you love comes with a price. The mundane tasks, like answering emails and courting important people are all part of the process. You may have your art, but even art requires work.
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How Hugh MacLeod's "Evil Plans" Became an Illustrated Business Manifesto [Slideshow]

Is it possible to make a living doing what you love? Hugh MacLeod, author of "Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination" (out today, Portfolio Hardcover), thinks so, and he wants us to start today.

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