The Self-Made Manifesto

Lior Frenkel
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June 12, 2019

There are some people who work to live. And then there’s us. Our self-made tribe. Those who live to work on impactful projects, on our own terms. The career designers. The trailblazers. The self-makers. We don’t do a 9-5 job because we have to. We work on the things we want to. We’re proactive. We know that being creative means more than making art. It’s a mindset. An entrepreneurial mindset. It’s the ability to know that change—real change—starts with you. And in a time where the business world is going through unprecedented change, it pays to be creative. Welcome to entrepreneurialism as a mindset, whether you work for yourself or one of the world’s largest companies. Here, there’s no time for ego. There’s no failure, only lessons. Forget how things have “always been done”. Scrap the idea that you need years’ of experience to be good at your job. We’re rewriting the rules. Creating our own paths. Knocking down doors and opening them for each other. We’re a community, not an old boys’ club. We’re not “lucky”, we’re prepared. We didn’t have a rich dad, or a trust fund, or a ready-made network. We made it ourselves. Our opportunities come based on talent, not on whether our dad was the CEO. There’s no nepotism here. Just hard work, perseverance and a self-made state of mind. Because the business world of tomorrow belongs to the self-made of today. Welcome to our tribe.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Could you get to the top 1% of your industry?

Empower your team to go and shine.