The Problem with Wolves & Sheep


Grassrootsy was one of 17 blogs picked by Derek Sivers (founder of CDBaby) to check out a new book by Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.  I should first mention that this is not a book review and I was not asked to “sell” the book. I should also mention that there is alot of great stuff in this book for any aspiring entrepreneur. Clarification: if you are trying to make a living off of your music (or any type of art), you are in fact an entrepreneur.  I’m sure I will be referencing the book for months to come.

The price of being a sheep is BOREDOM. The price of being a wolf is LONELINESS. Choose one or the other with great care.

Are You a Wolf?
Reading this book brought back many memories from 2 years ago.  I was months away from quitting my job. I knew it.  But at the same time I was making more than any young professional should probably
make at a 9-5 and actually felt pretty stupid for thinking about leaving my job…b/c it went against all common sense.  But I also remember being extremely bored and realizing that pursing my dreams would be more fulfilling.

One month into my freedom, after quitting my job, I suddenly realized that, not only did i not have a boss, but I also had NO ONE to help me get started. Go figure. I’d been playing out for 3 1/2 years but the pressure of  really making this full-time venture successful was all on me. It also took a full 18 months for my parents to honestly acknowledge that my “career move” was actually a career and not a hobby.

Or Are You a Sheep?
Sheep are bored. They follow. They don’t lead.
Sheep copy ideas and follow in the shadow of others.  MacLeod talks, in his book, about the problem with followers.  They might not like your idea, but if you’re successful, they’ll “like it” because they want to be on the winning team. It’s the human condition of wanting to be part of the something big…even if it doesn’t make sense.  I’d personally like to think that this is also the definition of pop culture.

Choose One or the Other
First of all, There is NO condemnation here.  This blog may come off as a bit biased, but one is not better than the other…unless you strongly feel you are on the wrong side.  Maybe “bored” is a strong word to use, but its assumed that, if you’re reading this blog, you’re trying to make moves with your music. You can’t be a sheep and make moves with your music. You can’t sit back and be timid.

At the same time, you won’t always be liked as a wolf. Wolves are kind of mean. They eat the people in their way and they don’t wait for someone else to do what they can do on their own. And this, my friends, is why wolves are lonely.  They make moves even when no one support them.  This is the primary reason no one likes Hugh Laurie of the Fox TV series, House. But he gets the job done! And he’s good.

…all this from a man who became famous by doodling comics on the back of business cards.  I think he’s worth listening to.

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3 Comments on “The Problem with Wolves & Sheep”

  1. […] Grassrootsy grassroots marketing for independent artists « The Problem with Wolves & Sheep […]

  2. Diana Wolf Says:

    ………..awesome!! 😉

  3. […] it doesn’t really mean anything (per-se). Today I thought I’d refer to a funny comment Hugh MacLeod posted on his twitter account a few week’s back… “Wondering how the hell anyone […]

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