017: Peter Shankman – Talks ADHD, Writing On Planes, and About Being Faster than Normal

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Peter Shankman is an American entrepreneur and author. He has written amazing books such as Can We Do That?, Nice Companies Finish First, Zombie Loyalists, and his recently released, Faster than Normal. Today, Peter shares about the power of storytelling, how you can get things done, and some great ideas about writing, publishing, and recording audiobooks.

[01:30] Storytelling, Being Better than Crap, and The Squirrel

  • Peter discusses how you can put together a catchy presentation without having any visuals.
  • Just be better than crap and you’ll be great. You’ve got more opportunities to shine when the bar is set low.
  • Find out what Peter means about “squirrel” sections in his book.

[05:35] From Webinar to Podcast to Book Writing

  • Peter initially launched a webinar where 4,000 people signed up.
  • Then he came up with the idea for the podcast.
  • He then reached out to a publisher and finally, he got a book contract.

[08:27] Book Writing and Editing Ideas

  • Just write! Get something on paper.
  • Did you know Peter writes his books on airplanes? It’s his “zone of focus.” When you’re in a plane, there’s nothing to distract you.
  • Find out how Peter edits his drafts.

[11:20] Rituals vs. Big Goals

  • Why do resolutions fail?
  • Focus more on how you feel about the results during that day and not so much on the thing you’re trying to achieve.
  • Just get things done.

[14:05] Understanding Your Triggers

  • Understand the things that are bad for you or screw you up and take you out of your zone. And figure out ways to avoid those triggers all together.
  • Focus more on how you can prevent it from happening in the first place rather than how you get of the situation.
  • Avoid situations that can cause drama.
  • Peter also gives his insights into setting deadlines.

[17:33] Peter’s First Writing Experience

  • His writing journey actually started with him writing a blog until an editor sent him an email encouraging him to write a book.
  • Peter says 99% of people’s ideas die because people don’t act on them.
  • Just get it done! Just write.
  • Value comes from just showing up.
  • Peter shares his pieces of advice to aspiring writers, specifically centered around getting stuff down on paper.

[22:33] A Passion for Helping People

  • Peter is passionate about doing something that helps real people and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
  • If you have an ADHD or a child with ADHD, Peter’s book, Faster Than Normal, is a must-read. Even if you don’t have ADHD, this book will help you understand people with ADHD much better.

[24:40] Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

  • Peter decided not to go through a traditional publisher and self-publish next time instead.
  • Building your brand is critical. Most importantly, serve your audience.
  • Publishers are basically just printers these days. We’ve democratized the ability to print books and how we have access to the internet today.
  • Life is too short, that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be doing your own thing.

[27:12] Recording Audio Books

  • Faster Than Normal was the first book he ever recorded on his own.
  • Peter talks about his experiences and challenges doing it, especially when he seems to normally talk fast and he’s always hyped.
  • Audiobooks follow some kind of cadence.

[29:22] How to Build Your Story that Resonates with People

  • Peter recommends having a story that’s not just about you. Have a story that involves people and even your competitors.
  • Stories can change people’s receptions.
  • If you have a story that involves you and two other competitors, it creates a trend, which reporters love.
  • Everybody has a story to share, but connect it to a bigger world – the world around them, the trends, and even the smallest things that can help.

[33:30] Why Fear is the Best Part

  • Fear is motivational. It keeps you going. The best thing you can do is to use your fear. Fear should excite you and when it does, take that and do things that would otherwise seem crazy.
  • Take calculated risks that are still risky but not stupid.
  • Don’t take stupid risks, but take risks. Make it easy and have fun with it!

Episode Resources:

Connect with Peter Shankman on www.shankman.com or on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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