Seth Godin Inspires Indispensable Edginess.
Is what you doing right now something the world can't live without? Are you the difference between success and failure? Are you truly indispensable?
"So, Seth, do you consider yourself indispensable?"
That's what I wanted to say. But I ran out of time.
The reality is that the thinking of a guy like Seth is quite indispensable. You can't really live without it. You may survive. You might be the last of your friends around at 87. But what you did probably won't have really mattered...
After a string of emails and the kindness of Seth (and Ishita) to take a few questions from me last week on Seth's new manifesto, Linchpin, I started to round out the edges of my thinking around edginess...
Part 1: Is life like art?
Seth Godin is a legend in any discussion of "changing the world". After more a decade of writing with a distinct perspective about community and marketing and the art of being the dude that doesn't let the wheels fly off the operation, Seth really makes it personal with the idea of fear. He makes the case that:
"fear is the dominant emotion of our lives --Seth Godin"
What stops us from being amazingly successful is our fear of failure, our fear of being different, our fear of not doing what we are told, our fear of being laughed at. We are afraid of our own destiny. We have the choice to do something shocking and we trade it in for a few less laughs?
Part 2: Why are we so scared?
Gives us all something to think about. Right?
But, Seth goes further, he talks about the value of what we do as artists. That being edgy (on the edge of what the rest of world things is normal) is risky and amazingly rewarding...
Part 3: Can you put a price tag on what you do?
What a great reminder to avoid toxic influences in our day-to-day lives. I make the mistake many times of trying to win over all the detractors -- at the risk of losing my core focus on the overall goal. Many of you find yourselves doing the exact same thing. You get burned out trying to change the wrong part of "the world". Some things, some people will not change while you are alive....
Know that what you do is amazing, unique, and sometimes only partially comprehensible. And just know that means you won't be able to convince everyone of your value. Be edgy. Fight for your destiny. And avoid "schmoes" who make you insane.
Part 4: Do you expect a "Thank You"?
Part of being effective (on the edge of outrageous opportunity) is the idea of giving away your talents. They are a gift. Something that you don't expect to be fully compensated for. Can someone really pay you enough to get the extra mile with each email or phone interaction you make for your company?
That means that you create art. And you let karma bring you the appreciation.
You do what only you an uniquely do and stop worrying about "getting the credit".
Part 5: Are you doing enough? Anything at all?
Nothing gets done until someone else benefits from your passion (your "gift"). Sadly, we too often trade what is safe for what would change the world. That means that we fight for our "day job" and the pay raise when we should be focusing on investing in other people's lives and our own personal development.
And putting in amazing amounts of effort is an admirable quality. It shows discipline. But it's not "art".
Art is when you finish what you started.
It's when you close the prospect..... It's when you finally make contact with a contact that help you influence the decision maker.... It's when you take hopes and wishes for a deal and turn it into a relationship....
It's not so much about about what you do but how you do it.
Part 6: Are you the guy who will successfully have bad ideas?
Wouldn't you like to know that you are indispensable? That without you the wheels falls and the cart crashes to the ground. Not in a twisted egomaniacal sense of tyranny, but in a somber sense of inspiration.
Art is edgy.
From the raw definition.
Some art connects with a large audience. Some a much smaller group.
You will fail along the way. At least it might appear that way. If you use failure as your laboratory for building your destiny, you will find that each time you hit an obstacle you fight to get back to the edge.
Because at the edge is where you'll find success. That's when you'll realize that you are indispensable...