Seth Godin’s musings are addictive to me. I take them in quickly, enjoying the tasty morsels. Even when I get a bit of a Godin-overload, I am always craving more. A spark from Seth gets me going for days, and most likely it revolves around my favorite subject: Change.
I think Seth’s tribe is one of connection and so it should be no surprise that…
Seth’s concept of us all living in the connection economy is taking root. Connecting the disconnected is the holy grail. As a marketer, I know that no matter how great of a value I can bring, it will never go anywhere without clarity and connection. Attention becomes currency in the connection economy. My own passion thrives in our change-driven economy: helping small business and home-based entrepreneurs discover their own "-ests" and communicate that clearly to the marketplace.
Today, my intention is to feed you a few yummy nuggets out of Seth’s newest book, The Icarus Deception. We all remember the fable of Icarus flying too high and thereby melting off his wings leading to demise. Godin argues that we have forgotten that part of the teaching is to not fly too low, as that also leads to a less dramatic crash and burn. Keeping our nose to the grindstone and not making waves crushes our inner "artist."
Art isn’t defined by just music or canvas (or that unfortunate convention picture your mom shouldn’t see). Art is inside you and it craves to create by uniquely contributing only something that you can. Art in Godin’s definition is embracing your work and sharing it with the world boldly. By flying too low, we’ve bought into the industrialist culture that we didn’t even know was staged all around us. We’ve been standardized, productized…and do our best to avoid the pain of criticism and social pressure.
If you buy this, then are you craving to break out of it? The following are five steps to take to get you on your path. They are true to Godin’s teachings with my own little spin.
1. Do the Work and Let Go of It.
My little first grader, like most 6 year olds, is a prolific artist. So many masterpieces! Where to store them? A common parental headache. She loves to share her newest work with a smile, and then move on to the next–without attachment. There is no need to hoard our ideas, afraid to put them out there. Put out your work with a smile, and move on.
2. Be Bold.
What’s wrong with being shameless? I love that Seth Godin speaks of being shameless in a new light, one that embraces shame in such a way that it is no longer society’s favorite tool of conformity. You’re not going to get kicked out of the village, left to be eaten by the wolves. You’re just going to gain attention and bring something new to the world. The key to being boldly shameless is not "spray and pray"; it is really confidence in putting your ideas into the universe.
3. Involve Your Tribe(s).
Newest TED darling Amanda Palmer made news with her incredible kickstarter campaign, raising over $1 million dollars to fund her newest project. How many people contributed? About the same amount that bought her "failing" album, her tribe of 25,000.
4. Be Vulnerable.
"Art is vulnerability without the prospect of shame" – Seth Godin
This one is a personal struggle for me. In my work life, I’ve been criticized for being overly helpful, intimidating, "too smart," a perfectionist, and overwhelming. In my desire to help, some were left with the side effect of feeling that I was too demanding, creating angst with impossible standards. In reality all I’ve ever wanted anyone that truly puts themselves out there to know is one thing, the most important thing: You Are Enough. Only recently have I let go enough to allow for a focus on the home-based entrepreneur and small business. I’m building specific tools that embrace our attention-deficit ways, lack of time and managing it all on your own. I’ve worked with the big guys, and they don’t need another me. Instead, I’ve chosen to do my best to help those that want to help themselves stand out in the connection economy.
5. Embrace the F Word and Learn From Your "Failures."
What is to be learned on your journey? There are few things as hard to recover from as putting in your work and sweat, only to be met by crickets. But all is not lost. The important thing is the work (and the art) you’ve created. Simply put it all to use on the next big thing and don’t be afraid to simply move on.
If you still feel hungry, join our @linkedoc tribe by meeting Seth Godin in a rare Orange County appearance on Friday.