Today’s guest Mark Pollard is a straight up OG. Whether it’s creating Australia’s first Hip Hop zine to designing web sites during the early days of Web 1.0, Mark’s done it. He’s the founder of Mighty Jungle, where he helps founders make their brands make sense — through brand strategy and mental workouts. Mark really sees the world thru a unique lens: he’s fiercely analytical and left-brained, but also a “rebelliously creative” right brain and he’s got a strong sense of self and understanding of our own biases.
Our conversation starts by reminiscing about the 90s, then about the chaos of his teenage years, which really influenced how he thinks about masculinity and its toxic elements. Mark’ s got a phrase “We know men through their deeds and ideas” which launches us into an impromptu coaching session where Mark helps me work thru my own personal issues of disentangling achievement and identity. And finally, Mark shares the Mighty Jungle playbook, conducting a master class in storytelling, ideation, and writing. And for those building a personal brand, heed his advice on cliched buzzwords such as joy and empowered.
More about Mark
- Mighty Jungle Website
- Mark’s Blog: Life. Then Strategy.
- Social Media: Instagram / Twitter / LinkedIn
Mark’s Writing (and Ted Talk)
- Why do we make strangers out of men
- How to do account planning
- How to explain an idea: a mega post
- Better Creative Briefs — Writing Propositions Is All About The Writing
- How to get into strategy
- 10 things about trying
- The Wisdom of Insecurity, Alan Watts
- On Writing, Stephen King
- On Writing Well, William Zinnser
- The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr.
- The Artful Edit, Susan Bell
How well do you the men in your lives?
Most men that I know don’t necessarily have someone they can talk to about the journey that they want to take; let alone knowing what journey they want to take in the first place.
On Creativity and Social Rejection
Creativity is an act of rebellion. You’re a deviant and the main reason people get nervous about sharing ideas in groups is that they fear social rejection.
Working on the stories we tell ourselves
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to do work to re-assemble the [stories from my childhood] because some of them, I don’t want them to be useful anymore. I try to approach them in a way that’s more loving, more neutral rather than using them as a weapon for revenge or how I talk to myself.
How to improve as a writer:
It’s the idea that writing is rewriting. Then, have a few questions that you ask yourself such as “What if I used a different word here?” or “What if I used one syllable words in this entire paragraph?” It’s just trying to trying to trick yourself until it becomes a habit and being patient with yourself because it can take a long time to get to where you want to go. And sometimes releasing the unfinished, imperfect version is completely ok.