Now that my October travels are over, I’m sitting at my desk again, working on my second book, EVIL PLANS. Here are some notes:
1. The definition of an “EVIL PLAN” is, quite simply, a great idea that the world isn’t quite ready for yet, or at least, doesn’t think it is. Think of all the world-changing ideas that met resistance when they first came out. The motor car (“What’s wrong with a good horse?”). The telephone (“Hey, if someone wants to speak to me, they can damn well come and visit me at my office, or write me a letter.”). Universal Education (“We can’t have commoners learning how to read- it’ll give them all these fancy ideas they have no business thinking!”). Personal Computers (“The world is perfectly happy with $5 million mainframes, Laddie.”). Women’s Suffrage (“Women? Voting? But they’re not mentally stable enough to choose a good leader!”).
2. Everybody needs their own EVIL PLAN. Because that’s our ticket off the treadmill, the nine-to-five, the working for The Man. Being a wage slave in the post-industrial world sucks. Besides, the latter doesn’t pay very well.
3. Everyone needs to find meaning in the brief time they’re living on this planet. Besides Love- friends, family, babies, your fellow man etc- I believe the best way to achieve that is to find a way of making a living that (A) pays the bills and (B) creates something that you can believe in. We are happiest when the work we do fulfills a sense of purpose. This isn’t rocket science. This is just an EVIL PLAN to get our sorry asses out of the salt mine and on to doing something that matters.
4. EVIL PLANS are not really “Evil”, of course. Maybe “Impish” would be a more accurate term. But calling it “Evil” is really pretty “Impish”, so hey, it works. There is something rather mischievous about having something up your sleeve that will surprise everybody eventually- something that will carry “the joyfully unexpected” to a place it wasn’t before.
5. My good friend, John T Unger once said, “Probably the easiest way to create good in this world, is by starting a small business that makes cool stuff.” I totally agree. That’s how I’ve chosen to spend my life; the point of EVIL PLANS is to reach out to those who have done the same. There are MILLIONS of us. It’s damn exciting.
6. “It’s not just enough to make money. One needs Personal Sovereignty as well.” My Scottish grandfather was poor as dirt his whole life. But he died a free and proud man, and loved by countless many. One thing Grandpa didn’t like, was being told what to do by other people. Especially bureaucrats. “Wee Mannies”, he called them. Small men who used their State-given authority to push bigger men around. They never really pushed Grandpa around, though- frankly, they weren’t that dumb. As I get older, the more I realize how much I take after Grandpa MacLeod. Which is why I own my own business, which is why I would never do well in a large corporation. I don’t like having bosses. I don’t like being told what to do. Again, there are millions of people out there who feel the same. Again, it’s exciting.
7. I’m not writing a “How-To” book. A library of How-To books won’t tell you as much as the following sentence: “Work your ass off for twenty years and THEN, JUST MAYBE you’ll finally get a frickin’ clue.” Like my first book, IGNORE EVERYBODY, I’m just compiling a list of all the stuff that has helped me over the years. But it’s true- a little talent & a good work ethic goes a lot farther than a lot of talent & a poor work ethic. As a lot of my hapless, talented-but-lazy friends found out far too late.
8. I’ve been an artist, I’ve been an entrepreneur. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference- they’re far more similar than the popular myths would have us believe. A fortysomething musician sent me an email recently. He told me that, although his life for the most part has been a happy one- good health, lovely wife, great kids, good friends, nice house, etc- his career has always been a bit foggy for him, like he was never sure what would happen next. I replied, “No worries, your situation happens A LOT with creative people, even among the super-creative-successful types. The never-ending fog of being an artist.” Whether we’re talking art or being an entrepreneur, “The Fog” is always with us. There is no cure, there is only building up a tolerance. And a good sense of humor helps, as well.
9. I think human beings inherently want to do “Something That Matters”. I think it’s in our DNA. I think the people who say they don’t want do something that matters are liars. I also think having an EVIL PLAN constantly in the back of our minds- quitting our day job and opening a bar, writing the Great American Novel, whatever- is also in our DNA. EVIL PLANS is a meditation about finally waking the hell up and going off to do something meaningful.
10. Life is an adventure. EVIL PLANS is my way of proving the preceding sentence correct. And the people who want to prove me wrong? They’re welcome to try- even if they’ll probably fail. Screw ’em anyway.
[Backstory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Work with Hugh. Twitter. Cartoon Archive. Newsletter. Book.. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Essential Reading: “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About ‘Cube Grenades’ But Were Afraid To Ask.”]
You say you like the quote “Probably the easiest way to create good in this world, is by starting a small business that makes cool stuff”.
Regardless of whether I work for a big corporate or small business…I think that good can be done anywhere.
For someone who says they have just completed a lot of travel I bet you happily used big corporate goodness like electricity, water, aircraft, roads, food, the internet, toilet paper etc etc.
The great thing about this world is that
goodness can be found anywhere, and people can have personal EVIL PLANS pretty much in any zone of operation they find themselves in.
“Goodness can be found everywhere”.
Yep, that’s what I told myself as well, when I applied for that soul-destroying job in a cube, for a company that created a lot of good things 😉
thanks for #8…I thought “the fog” was just my poor lot in life…learn to tolerate it eh? Now that’s something I can work with! Also agreed, there is such a fine line between the roles artist and entrepreneur…Again, I thought I was the only one noticing that one too…thanks for naming that, good luck with the new book, Steve
I think the most EVIL thing about EVIL PLANS are that you had them first, and the others didn’t. That’s why they call them evil and you call them ‘delightfully unexpected’! 🙂
Ooh so evil! I love it. I didn’t think of myself as an artist before, but I have always loved to create. Now I’m an entrepreneur and it’s totally like you said. There’s the fog, the evil plans, wanting to make a difference, and not wanting to work in a corporation. 😉
Call it the non-conformist evil plan in action.
Hugh, really BIG AUDACIOUS IDEAS are always reviled by the common folk. No wonder they think BIG IDEAS are EVIL. BWA-HA-HA-HA!!
Ahem… Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your “Evil Plans.” People need to be inspired to follow their dreams and cultivate their creativity, and I’m glad to see you’re taking that on. There hasn’t been a better time to strike out on your own and create something new, cool and useful. I’m supporting that movement with my new Creativity Hacks e-book, which launches next week (http://www.innovationtools.com/reports/creativityhacks.asp) – to provide people with the creative tools and mindset they need to carry out their EVIL PLANS. It’s time to make a difference!
The thing is that most of discoveries that you list are “unplanned” …opps
People don’t set out do create a computer, etc. Hackers tinker and stumble on it by accident. This is how things work. End here lies the “evil” – you cant really plan it.
Yes, Ben, sometimes the best plan is not to have one, but just to carry on tinkering. That’s certainly was my M.O. with my cartoons for many years.
I would say that point 9) – for me – is actually the meaning of life with the adage of ‘…do something meaningful, and positively affect the people and environment around you.’ (man)
I have had many evil ideas but some evil bastard has always executed them first. No matter, I have more evil plans in the works. The latest a nasty version of Hugh’s intelligent “social commentary”. If my evil minions can raise themselves a little and Hugh’s can lower themselves a smidgen then maybe we can all meet in the middle and enjoy some Rudy’s Sause and a Beer or Twenty…
It’s hard sometimes to “do something that matters” at the same time you are making money. It feels funny.
But I’m getting used to it.
[…] what we (and most) need, the right people, the right influencers and the right message. And so our evil plan […]
could it be that we have many evil plans…?
i mean i have many:)
i always wanted to have my creative agency…and just did!
a lot of fog!
but no bosses and no stupid corporate agency people!
maybe in 2 years time i will start another evil plan.
p.s. loved ur ignore everybody book!
wow. i like this entry a lot, sums up many impornatt and quite true things
Anyone who wants their life to go in the opposite direction to the mainstream is, by definition, “EVIL”.
I’m not just talking about the spelling, either.
Evil Planners, unite!!! ;D
Some evil plans work out good!! 🙂
[…] plans” are not products. “Evil plans” are gifts, “Fight like hell. This is it.” and More thoughts on “evil plans”. If you like his work, grab a copy of his book Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to […]