Hugh Hefner — The One Who Entertained The Men
Few men had more of an impact on the social landscape of the 21st century than Hugh Hefner. The Playboy bunny logo is one of the most recognized logos in the world behind Apple and Nike.
As founder, editor and publisher of the renowned Playboy magazine, Hugh lived an outlandish life, which was equally as exciting as it was eccentric.
ImportantHugh Hefner not only broke into one of the most difficult industries in the world, but he did so by revolutionizing the conversation that our society was having about one of the most taboo and staunchly guarded topics… Sex.
For better or worse, he played a catalytic role in America’s sexual revolution and built a multi-million dollar business empire along the way.
WarningWhether you want to call him a misogynist and a maniac or a visionary and tycoon, there’s no denying that the late Hugh Hefner left an indelible mark on American culture.
Hugh Hefner was a man who was no stranger to controversy. He took risks and he embraced change.
You might not agree with everything that the man stood for, but everyone has something to learn from Hugh Hefner’s life and success.
It’s hard to discount his achievements; he built one of the world’s most successful media empires. And whether or not you were a fan of Playboy, there are a few things we can learn from the man behind the bunny ears. But what lessons can we learn from his business success?
You might assume that Hugh Hefner’s dream involved sexcapades with a variety of scantily clad women. I’d argue, though, that it was creating a great magazine.
Ask yourself what you really want to achieve, then like Hugh Hefner, be single-minded and focused.
Along the way, he worked a number of odd jobs, including stints at a cardboard manufacturer and a department store. The key thing, though, was that he never lost sight of what he wanted to do.
Hugh Hefner gained journalism experience as a writer for a Military Newspaper and a Content Writer for Esquire.
After failing to get a raise from Esquire, Hugh Hefner decided it was time to set sail for his own dream. One year after he took the plunge, Hugh Hefner as Founder and Editor of his own magazine, saw his debut edit, now aptly named ‘Playboy’ sell out across the country.
True to himself, he famously stated – ‘I think the best life is one where one pursues one’s own personal dreams.’
ImportantOne of the things that I respect most about Hugh Hefner was that millions of people loved him, millions more hated him, but no matter what people thought… he didn’t give a damn.
He built his company for himself. He built a life that he was proud of. He lived life the way that he wanted to and didn’t apologize for a second.
So take a chance on yourself. Trust yourself. And ignore the haters. Your life and our world will be better for it.
WarningWhen you are willing to take a gamble on yourself, when you are willing to step up and pursue your dreams, your goals, and your aspirations, you can create something truly exceptional.
When the U.S. Post Office refused to deliver Playboy to subscribers, Hugh Hefner took them to court and won a landmark ruling for free speech.
It is important to find work that aligns with your personal beliefs. Not only will it help you stay motivated, you’ll end up feeling much more fulfilled.
The 2010 documentary Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel also argues that Hugh Hefner played a role in the civil rights movement. Apart from running interviews with icons like Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr., he featured artists and comedians like Dizzy Gillespie and Dick Gregory on his TV shows.
Hugh Hefner worked so much he slept at the office most nights.
Hugh Hefner demonstrated how hard work & risk-taking can pay off, as the ultimate driving force behind the Playboy brand. A driving force that lived, worked and breathed the Playboy philosophy.
There’s no shortage of stories of Hef putting it all on the line for a principle.
WarningWhen he began his “deadening slog into 1950s adulthood,” he took a job in the personnel department of a cardboard-box manufacturer, but quit when he was asked to discriminate against black applicants.
Fighting for what – or who – you think it is right can be challenging. But it shows a strength of character that your team will remember.
ImportantIf you don’t start with a clear idea of who you want to be and the people who should come first in your life, when success and fortune comes your way, you risk losing the people you should have valued most.
When you think of Playboy, it’s impossible not to think about Hefner in his silky robe with a gorgeous woman on each arm. With a distinctive style, which pays tribute to the golden age of the Rat Pack – Hugh Hefner became his very own style idol.
Part of the reason you never saw Hefner without these things was that these things defined him.
There was little differentiation between Hugh Hefner the person and Hugh Hefner the founder of the Playboy empire. He embodied his brand in every way.
There’s tremendous risk in closely associating yourself with your brand, but there’s also the opportunity for great reward.
ImportantHugh Hefner understood this from the beginning to the, end and it’s part of what made him so successful. If you want people to believe in your brand, you have to believe in it yourself.
His silk pyjamas and velvet robes became symbolic of the Playboy brand and his own, dreams and philosophies.
Hugh Hefner told many a fashion journalist that, the way he was dressed was never to impress women. Hugh Hefner dressed only for himself.
Hugh Hefner was an ongoing advertisement for his own product. In other words, he lived and breathed his brand.
And while your business likely won’t require you to take on Hugh Hefner’s approach, you should definitely be leading by example. The goes for your product, but it also for company culture, office etiquette, and more.
When Hugh Hefner decided to start Playboy Magazine, he was up against fierce competition in one of the most unforgiving industries. But this didn’t bother Hugh Hefner for one simple reason…
As far as he was concerned he didn’t have any competition.
In Hugh Hefner’s case, he built his business by commercializing women and nudity in a format unheard of prior to the 60s and 70s. It was and still is, a controversial and often frowned upon way to make a living.
Hugh Hefner created a “Blue Ocean” by creating and publishing a magazine that, up until that point, had never existed.
ImportantHe wasn’t creating just another men’s magazine or just another nudie mag. He was providing the industry with something it had never seen before.
WarningGQ and Esquire were great for men who wanted canned advice and politically correct analyses of social issues. Porno mags were great for men who just wanted to enjoy some visually titillating “literature”.
Sex sells, it always has. There are a lot of ways to build a business, but don’t underestimate the way in which you build it.
Hugh Hefner knew that men wanted intelligent discourse about modern politics, applicable advice for overcoming their biggest challenges, and a thought-provoking and visually appealing conversation about sex.
Hugh Hefner - The One Who Entertained The Men
Hugh Hefner did a phenomenal job of finding people to help take the business to the next level in the early days of the magazine. He didn’t care where they came from, what their background was, or how well he knew them.
If you had asked Hefner about his business acumen, he probably would have told you that he wasn’t that good of a businessman.
WarningWhile most people would argue the contrary, he was always pretty adamant about the fact that he simply surrounded himself with good people who covered for his deficiencies.
If their strengths filled gaps in the business and they added to the organizational culture, he found a way to bring them aboard.
One of the smartest decisions he ever made was in hiring female advisors who could write on the topic of sex from a totally different perspective than any man would ever have.
It brings to mind the advice we hear from successful CEOs again and again: hire smart people.
ImportantSurround yourself with brilliant, capable, superstar employees that will help you grow your business.
Don’t be afraid to get in there with your team, solving problems and making sure that things are running smoothly.
However, keep in mind that there’s a difference between attention to detail and micromanaging – be sure to steer clear of the latter.
Whether you love him or hate him, Hugh Hefner built a life and a legacy that will be remembered for decades. He took the world by storm, turned social norms on their head, and stood up for what he believed in.
So, there we have it, Playboy Life Lessons learnt from the original Playboy, Hugh Hefner.
ImportantLove him or hate him, we can admire and take inspiration from one man’s unapologetic shot at life. He worked towards his dreams and built a success based on his own beliefs and desires.
Hugh Hefner created a business that changed the world and liberated an oppressed society.
In his 91 years, not once did Hugh Hefner make any excuses for his Playboy philosophy. He lived life to the full and made sure that through tireless campaigning, less fortunate people could too follow their dreams.
The question is: what will you be remembered for?
WarningWhen your career and life are over, what will your peers, business partners, employees and customers remember about you?
You might not have the same public recognition as Hugh Hefner, but that doesn’t mean people can’t learn a thing or two from you.
What are your thoughts on Hugh Hefner? What life lessons did you learn from the man behind Playboy? Share this post on your favorite social media channel and let me know in the comments section below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.