Advertising
Advertising

What ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Can Teach Us About Success

What ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Can Teach Us About Success

Everyone knows Weird Al Yankovic. I mean, who could possibly forget “Amish Paradise”?

But recently, Weird Al enjoyed a massive success that surpassed any of his past albums. His latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” entered the charts at No. 1 — the first time ever for him. (Watch him get the happy news here!)

And for good reason. His album is full of clever gems, like “Foil” (a parody of “Royals” by Lorde), “Tacky” (“Happy” by Pharrell Williams), and — my personal favorite — “Word Crimes” (“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke).

In fact, this weird dude can teach us quite a bit about success, starting with these 10 things:

1. Success doesn’t always happen right away

weird al 1

    Weird Al was totally blown away by the success of this latest album. After all, he had been doing this for years, and he hadn’t received nearly this much attention before.

    It just goes to show that sometimes, success doesn’t come right away. You have to work at it long and hard to get where you want to be. But it will totally pay off.

    Advertising

    2. Be bold

    weird al 2

      If there’s one thing Weird Al certainly is, it’s bold. I mean, look at that costume.

      But he’s bold in more ways than one. To get Iggy Azalea’s permission to do a parody of “Fancy,” he attended one of her concerts and waited backstage.

      According to Billboard, Weird Al explained, “I talked to her as she was literally walking offstage. I introduced myself, ‘Hi, I’m Weird Al Yankovic, and I would love to do a parody of “Fancy.”‘ The next morning, I was in the studio recording.”

      Sometimes, you just have to put yourself out there. You just might get exactly what you were hoping for.

      3. Be persistent

      weird al 3

        Weird Al was set on doing a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy” — but he couldn’t get a hold of his contacts. But he didn’t stop there. He actually found Pharrell’s personal e-mail (in a way that he didn’t want to divulge, apparently), and he asked him himself. Pharrell “couldn’t have been nicer about it” and was happy to give him permission.

        Advertising

        If Plan A doesn’t work, try Plan B through Z. You can do anything you set your mind to.

        4. Always be the good guy

        Speaking of permission … did you know Weird Al doesn’t even need the permission of artists? He could technically just do parodies of them without even contacting them. But he still asks permission. And as a result, many of the artists not only give him permission, but express how happy they are that he’s covering their stuff.

        1405524980852

          Respect other people, and they will be willing to help you out.

          5. Let the haters hate

          weird al 5

            When asked about bad feedback and negative responses, Weird Al explained that he was sometimes a little hurt by it, but he knew that it’s inevitable. “I’ve got so many other people on Twitter that are extremely positive, so it more than balances it out,” he said.

            The more successful you are, the more criticism you’ll get. If it’s constructive, use it. If it’s not, well, screw it.

            Advertising

            6. Be flexible

            After all this success, Weird Al probably won’t come out with another album.

            weird al 6

              I know, right? But the reason isn’t because he’s quitting. It’s because he’s decided that the album form doesn’t lend itself well to his parodies, so he’s going to start utilizing YouTube.

              Don’t just stick to what you’ve always done. Even after you’ve had success, you need to constantly think about how you can do better next time. Be flexible with the times!

              7. Love what you do

              Weird Al loves being weird. He’s actually making a living off being weird, because hey — he’s good at it.

              Love what you do, and you’ll make it unique and all your own. You won’t be truly successful if you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing.

              weird al 7

                8. Be yourself

                If there’s one thing Weird Al can teach us, it’s to be yourself.

                Advertising

                weird al 8

                  I mean, it pretty much goes without saying.

                  9. Don’t trample others on your way

                  Weird Al’s parodies are never cruel or derogatory. That’s because he doesn’t believe in making fun of others. “I’m a fan, like everybody else,” he explained. “When I do these parodies, it’s not meant to mock people … It’s an homage. … I don’t think you need to be hurtful to be funny.”

                  weird al 9

                    You can gain success without damaging others (even Stephenie Meyer). Don’t become so obsessed with getting to the top that you forget this crucial fact.

                    10. Vulgar doesn’t always win

                    You don’t need to be crude to be a star. Weird Al never swears. In fact, he does awesome things instead, like this:

                    weird al 10

                      … and that’s why we love him.

                      Featured photo credit: Mary Rehak via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      22 Common Words You’re Probably Pronouncing Wrong 17 Signs You Have The Coolest Mom In The World 10 Benefits of Lemon Juice You Never Knew 15 Relationship Lessons That Ted Mosby Taught Us 10 Quotes That Will Surely Motivate You When Facing Huge Challenges

                      Trending in Productivity

                      1 Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity? 2 5 Powerful Decision Making Skills to Help You Make Decisions Fast 3 10 Essential Steps to Success to Actually Reach Your Dreams 4 How to Rebound from Burnout in Just 8 Hours 5 How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on September 30, 2020

                      Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                      Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                      When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

                      Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

                      Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

                      Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

                      Effective vs Efficient

                      Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

                      A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

                      Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

                      Advertising

                      The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

                      Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

                      When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

                      Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

                      Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

                      The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

                      If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

                      When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

                      Advertising

                      • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
                      • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
                      • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

                      Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

                      Efficiency in Success and Productivity

                      Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

                      When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

                      Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

                      The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

                      If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

                      Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

                      Advertising

                      The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

                      Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

                      Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

                      If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

                      It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

                      Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

                      Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

                      Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

                      Advertising

                      By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

                      It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

                      Bottom Line

                      Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

                      • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
                      • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
                      • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

                      And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

                      More on How to Improve Productivity

                      Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
                      [2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
                      [3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

                      Read Next