James Newcomb – Musician | Podcaster

Ep. 12 Originality Wins Out Every Time

I recently made a decision. And it was a fairly easy one at that.

I decided to simplify the name of my podcast. A couple of months ago, I had one of those lightbulb moments. I’ve just laid down for sleep, and the thought “Screw the plan” comes into my mind.

That would be a terrific name for a podcast! I thought.

And it is…If your name is Josh and Jill Stanton. They host an uber successful show called “Screw the 9 to 5”.

I wasn’t thinking about that particular show when the idea hit me. But when I was seriously considering naming my podcast that, I remembered hearing about it. I’ve never listened to the show, and I don’t know the Stanton’s personally.

And then “the plan” is taken from a book I read years ago about conforming to societal expectations, oftentimes constructed by “planners” in high places of government, entertainment and business.

Was I stealing from these creative sources? Yes, and I make no apologies for it. Creatives “steal” ideas from other creatives all the time, and then improve it and make it uniquely theirs.

There was nothing immoral about what I did. And were I to continue hosting a podcast called Screw “The Plan” there’s no doubt it would be as successful as I decide to make it.

So the podcast was titled, Screw “The Plan” – Presented by The Easy School of Hard Knocks.

Problem: There’s no mention of yours truly, the host, creator, and mastermind of the show anywhere, aside from me mentioning my name in the actual show.

Some people prefer to operate under the banner of anonymity.

Entrepreneurs running a literal show don’t have that as an option. It’s possible for a virtue in one situation to be a vice in another.

So as much as I like Screw “The Plan” as a title, I decided to keep things simple.

The Easy School of Hard Knocks is original. We’ve all heard the term School of Hard Knocks, but never with the word “Easy” in front of it. It just has a nice ring to it.

Plus it’s just easier. I can have my name on the logo – which is important in this line of work.

Originality is sexy. But stealing is sexy too — when done the right way.

What is the right way? By giving credit where it’s due. Not taking someone’s idea and passing it off as your own.

There’s nothing new under the sun. Every great idea in history steals(morally) from other ideas. Well, let’s be honest. Sometimes the theft isn’t cloaked in morality. It’s grossly immoral and unjust sometimes, but that’s life here in the real world.

So the podcast will be called simply The Easy School of Hard Knocks. Maybe I’ll jazz it up and add the word “official” to it – but I don’t know that’s necessary.

The important thing is that The Easy School of Hard Knocks is uniquely mine. Sure “school of hard knocks” isn’t original. But that title of a business certainly is.

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