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#113 Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven PressfieldNobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t

It’s not that admissions officers (or readers, movie-goers, consumers) are mean or cruel. They are just busy.

How can you reward your application readers for their gift of time and attention?

By telling an interesting story.

How do you do this with your MBA applications?

Inspired by Steven Pressfield’s book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, Darren offers 3 pillars to frame your MBA story: concept, theme, and structure (hook, build, payoff).

  1. Concept – “Every work must have a concept, that is, a unique twist or slant or framing device.” A concept is external, and frames material and makes us look at it from a specific point of view.
  2. Theme – “Every work must be about something. It must have a theme.” A theme is internal, and what remains when you strip away plot, character, dialogue.
  3. Structure (Hook, Build, Payoff) – “A story is experienced by the reader on the level of soul. And the soul has a universal structure of narrative receptors.” That universal structure is: Act 1: Hook – beginning that grabs the listener, Act 2: Build – middle that escalates tension, suspense, stakes, excitement, Act 3: Payoff – ending that resolves conflict and brings home hero home a changed person

Darren also dissects 3 successful applicants’ positioning through the lens of these core story elements.

By choosing what to focus on, represent something bigger than yourself, and using a story structure embedded in our collective unconscious, you make your application more memorable, and easier for admissions to process.

As Steven Pressfield summarizes:

“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you mind becomes powerfully concentrated. You begin to understand that writing/reading is, above all, a transaction. The reader donates his time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer must give him something worthy of his gift to you.

When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy.

You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs – the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view your reader/gallery-goer/customer. You learn to ask yourself with every sentence and every phase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her?

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