Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.
Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to history. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by conquering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well.
Whether you work for a tiny start-up or a Fortune 500 giant, if youâ€™re responsible for building awareness and buzz for a product or service, this is your road map. A new generation of megabrands like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Twitter haven’t spent a dime on traditional marketing. No press releases, no TV commercials, no billboards. Instead, they rely on a new strategy—growth hacking—to reach many more people despite modest marketing budgets. Growth hackers have thrown out the old playbook and replaced it with tools that are testable, trackable, and scalable. They believe that products and businesses should be modified repeatedly until they’re primed to generate explosive reactions.
The Obstacle is the Way has become a cult classic, beloved by men and women around the world who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.
Its many fans include a former governor and movie star (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hip hop icon (LL Cool J), an Irish tennis pro (James McGee), an NBC sportscaster (Michele Tafoya), and the coaches and players of winning teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, and University of Texas men’s basketball team.
The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.
If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.
<p>You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, a media manipulator like Ryan Holiday. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, his job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can. In today’s culture…</p>
<li>Blogs like <i>Gawker, Buzzfeed</i> and <i>The Huffington Post</i> drive the media agenda.</li>
<li>Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.</li>
<li>Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch—online and off.</li>
Why did Holiday give away his secrets? Because he’s tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. Holiday explains exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with the information is up to you.
We give up too easily. With a simple change of attitude, what seem like insurmountable obstacles become once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Ryan holiday, who dropped out of college at nineteen to serve as an apprentice to bestselling 'modern machiavelli' robert greene and is now a media consultant for billion-dollar brands, draws on the philosophy of the stoics to guide you in every situation, showing that what blocks our path actually opens one that is new and better. If the competition threatens you, it's time to be fearless, to display your courage. An impossible deadline becomes a chance to show how dedicated you are. And as ryan discovered as director of marketing for american apparel, if your brand is generating controversy - it's also potentially generating publicity. The stoic philosophy - that what is in the way, is the way - can be applied to any problem: it's a formula invented more than 2,000 years ago, whose effectiveness has been proven in battles and board rooms ever since. From barack obama's ability to overcome obstacles in his election races, to the design of the iphone, the stoic philosophy has helped its users become world-beaters.