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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

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    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.

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    2. Be bold

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      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.

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        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.

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

          5. Let the haters hate

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            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.

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            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.

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                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

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                      Last Updated on May 24, 2019

                      How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

                      How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

                      If you’ve ever wondered how to be productive at home or how you could possibly have a more productive day, look no further.

                      Below you’ll find six easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:

                      1. Create a Good Morning Routine

                      One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast.

                      CEOs and other successful people have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks.[1]

                      You can also try writing first thing in the morning to warm up your brain[2] (750 words will help with that). But no matter what you choose to do, remember to create good morning habits so that you can have a more productive day.

                      If you aren’t sure how to make morning routine work for you, this guide will help you:

                      The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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                      2. Prioritize

                      Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.

                      Week Plan is a simple web app that will help you prioritize your week using the Covey time management grid. Here’s an example of it:[3]

                        If you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.

                        Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, also has great advice on how to prioritize. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                        How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                        3. Focus on One Thing at a Time

                        One of the biggest killers of productivity is distractions. Whether it be noise or thoughts or games, distractions are a barrier to any productive day. That’s why it’s important to know where and when you work best.

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                        Need a little background noise to keep you on track? Try working in a coffee shop.

                        Can’t stand to hear even the ticking of a clock while writing? Go to a library and put in your headphones.

                        Don’t be afraid to utilize technology to make the best of your time. Sites like [email protected] and Simply Noise can help keep you focused and productive all day long.

                        And here’s some great apps to help you focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

                        4. Take Breaks

                        Focusing, however, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day unproductive.

                        To reduce mental fatigue while staying on task, try using the Pomodoro Technique. It requires working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break before another 25 minute session.

                        After four “pomodoro sessions,” be sure to take a longer break to rest and reflect.

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                        I like to work in 25 and 5 minute increments, but you should find out what works best for you.

                        5. Manage Your Time Effectively

                        A learning strategies consultant once told me that there is no such thing as free time, only unstructured time.

                        How do you know when exactly you have free time?

                        By using the RescueTime app, you can see when you have free time, when you are productive, and when you actually waste time.

                        With this data, you can better plan out your day and keep yourself on track.

                        Moreover, you can increase the quality of low-intensity time. For example, reading the news while exercising or listening to meeting notes while cooking. Many of the mundane tasks we routinely accomplish can be paired with other tasks that lead to an overall more productive day.

                        A bonus tip, even your real free time can be used productively, find out how:

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                        20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time

                        6. Celebrate and Reflect

                        No matter how you execute a productive day, make sure to take time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to reward yourself so that you can continue doing great work. Plus, a reward system is an incredible motivator.

                        Additionally, you should reflect on your day in order to find out what worked and what didn’t. Reflection not only increases future productivity, but also gives your brain time to decompress and de-stress.

                        Try these 10 questions for daily self reflection.

                        More Articles About Daily Productivity

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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