I’m reading Ryan Holiday’s latest book The Obstacle Is the Way and I came across this great story about George Clooney and to me it mirrored the reason why many architects don’t get published.obstacleway

By the way, if you’re not familiar with Ryan Holiday you should check him out, especially his previous book Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. One of the best books on media i’ve read. But that’s another story…

So Ryan’s story about George goes like this,

George Clooney spent his first years in Hollywood getting rejected at auditions. He wanted the producers and directors to like him, but they didn’t and it hurt and he blamed the system for not seeing how good he was.

[I’ve deleted a paragraph here because it’s not about George]

Everything changed for Clooney when he tried a new perspective. He realized that casting is an obstacle for producers, too – they need to find somebody, and they’re all hoping that the next person to walk in the room is the right somebody. Auditions were a chance to solve their problem, not his.

Change those words to these…

When the young architect first approached editors and writers they got rejected many times over. They wanted the editors to like their projects, but they didn’t and it hurt, and they blamed the system for not seeing how good they were.

Everything changed when the architect tried a new perspective. They realised that sourcing projects for a magazine, or blog is an obstacle for editors and writers too. They need to find something to put in their next issue, or blog post, and they’re hoping the next architect to approach them is going to have the right stuff. Approaching the media therefore is a chance for an architect to solve a problem for the media.

The question therefore is how do you solve “their” problem?

For a lot of publications they’re challenge comes down to sourcing enough of the “right” content. Create that content for them and you solve their first problem. Make it easy for them to use and you solve problem number two – being time poor, and the hassle of going back and forth with someone when trying to pull a story together. Do both of those well and you realise that you can solve a lot of problems for a lot of publications.