One of Shed’s ingenious creature
Shed Simove is the “Ideas Man”. Inventor, author, entrepreneur, speaker…everything he does is about Ideas. Ever bought a gift from a novelty shop or gift store? You’re likely to have bought something created by Shed.
In the previous post Shed shared his secrets on how to get Ideas. Here he discusses themes such as creativity, the problem with our school system and more… also, as a bonus, a cool hack to get an advantage when looking for a job!
Stefano: Shed, in your career, you’ve developed ideas in many different areas. If you could start all over, what are the things that you would do differently, if any?
Shed: It’s funny: I don’t let my mind think about that. When you’re being creative, or striving for success, it’s definitely best you never look back, apart from taking lessons you learnt from past adventures into your future projects. You should only ever look back so that it helps you going forward.
If you’re asking me what I look back on that helps me to power forwards, then, I’ll tell you what helps me: all of the times I have failed, and I’ve come out the other end — even when I’ve had a problem, a disaster, or lost money— it then makes me start another project where I do make money or I do have success.
So, no regrets. Regrets are a waste of time. Regrets are not helpful. The only helpful part of raking over what you did in the past is to make sure you don’t keep repeating any actions that led to problems. There’s an old saying about madness that it’s doing the same thing over and over again and then expecting a different result. So, we all don’t want to be mad, at least not totally, so we must learn from our past challenges and then succeed going forwards.
Shed: Here’s what I do wish, though: I wish that when I was at school, the education system and my teachers would have attempted to unlock latent abilities in myself and all the other young people. Now, of course, I firmly believe that you can develop any ability if you love the area you’re working in enough; if the idea of achieving something excites you from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. But also, I do believe that some of us have latent abilities. And these should be teased out, explored, identified and developed – especially if the person who has them, gets a kick out of using them.
Take you for example, Stef – to me, you seem to be a very measured person. I’ve only known you during this interview, and even from that short interaction, you seem an interesting person, a structured person. You’re a planner. You told me that you created a bespoke cereal box to land yourself a job after reading the section in my book ‘Ideas Man’ where I explain how I got a job by sending a pizza to the boss of a huge TV company. Now, if someone had found your latent abilities out at school, they might have said to you, “Stefano, you’re great with people, you’re really good with structured thinking processes. You’re also creative. So these three traits might make you a CEO of your own company. Or perhaps a great interior designer. Or perhaps such-and-such.” And then maybe they could have placed you into those jobs for a day or a week just to see if you liked them. What I believe we must try to banish, is the incredible – and common – situation where we all pop out of school and university, and we still haven’t got a clue what may be good for us to do in life, what we may be naturally good at doing, or even what areas of life we utterly adore – and thus, should gravitate to.
Shed: If someone had said to me, “Shed, you’re a bit of a funny old fish, and you’ve got a latent creativity in you, maybe because your Mum is very creative, so therefore you may well get great joy from bringing ideas to life, plus you like the ‘showbiz’ arena, entertaining people, being in the limelight, therefore, you should focus on these areas…”, this may have saved me a lot of time and made me have an exciting, fulfilling and happy existence even sooner.
It took me about twenty years to work those things out on my own! I wish someone had told me these things back when I was a young person.
Stefano: Yes, that makes sense unfortunately. I’ve been in school in Italy for 13 years, and it is always the same thing. Really, it’s a school of facts and recall, it’s not a school of life.
Shed: Stef, I believe that in a 100 years’ time, the school system will be very different. Today’s education system will be seen as ‘medieval’. And I think that at present, the way we treat young people is pretty criminal, it’s a form of abuse. We don’t prepare our young generations for real life, we don’t teach them about how to be an entrepreneur, we don’t teach them how to do their taxes, we don’t teach them about how to be a good parent, we don’t teach them about how to attract the opposite sex and we don’t teach them about how to be a great lover. All these things are so important in order to live a fulfilling, productive and joyful life.
Stefano: I know…!
Shed: Yet we teach young people how to remember facts. OK, some knowledge is important, and helps in creativity. But knowledge is now easily accessible through the web. So, more and more, people should be taught how creatively solve challenges, how to pitch, how to present, and how to be a good “inter-personal” human.
Shed: Its madness, and I believe it will change.
Stefano: When I see school uniforms, it tells you, “This is the way. Go straight. Don’t even think about being creative. It is a shame, really, because if you lock someone at that age, then their thinking for the rest of their life will follow that direction, inside the box, but it shouldn’t be.
Shed: Totally agree.
Of course, as mentioned in your earlier interview, when you hear “This is the way you should do it,” your brain SHOULD say “What if I do it differently – then I’ll suddenly have a market advantage”.
Stefano: It’s too easy to say “This is the way you should think,” to younger people. People are scared to take responsibilities.
Shed: Nobody really tells young people that doing things differently gets you noticed. It’s like when you made the cereal box to get a company to focus on you. None of the other candidates made a cereal box, so instantly you stood out as someone they should consider more closely. Of course, once they noticed you still had to show them proof that you could also do the job, but the important point is that they were considering you over everyone else at that point. Your cereal box probably took you a while, but actually, it wasn’t so hard to do. And it brought you amazing results – you got the job!
Stefano: I had fun!
Shed: Yes, you had fun and that small extra act brought you above everyone else.
Stefano: Yes. I did something else as well. Years ago, I added ‘Obama’ on my CV as one of my references. I received two phone calls from companies right away: the first guy was angry at me, as he thought I was mocking the hiring system. The second phone call was from a company that then hired me. They liked my ‘idea’ as it showed I was able to take responsibilities.
[ if you want to know more useful hacks to land your dream-job, send me an email!]
Shed: Brilliant, Stefano! Love it! Really creative, funny, and daring. We should all try to break – or challenge – rules. As long as we’re not hurting others, either mentally or physically, pretty much anything goes. And when you break – or challenge – a rule, or even if you simply question the ‘usual’ way of doing something, you often come up with exciting solutions that bring enormous success.
This is the end of part 3 of the interview. Click here for part 4!
To know more about Shed, his books and what he’s up to, follow him:
The Shedsite: www.IdeasMan.co.uk
Shed’s comedy show site: www.TroubleShow.com
Shed’s motivational corporate speaking site: www.motivationalukspeaker.com
Shed’s Latest Book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Success-Your-Money-Back-Simove/dp/184850974X
Shed’s First Book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ideas-Man-Sheridan-Simove/dp/0552155500/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y