w/ Seth Godin
Give Yourself Authority
It’s been over a month and a half since I attended Seth Godin’s Pick Yourself event in Tribeca (NY). There’s a specific reason I waited so long to reflect on the event. I wanted to prove a point, not just about Seth Godin, but what any business must produce, whether in product or experience.
Simply put, it must be astonishingly remarkable, something so memorable it is still thought of and excites a person’s senses a month, five months or a year after the product is purchased or the service is used. Essentially, that is what Seth Godin’s Pick Yourself event manifested, so it is with easy honor that I will hit some points from it again along with my own curves and twists of ideas.
I had no inclination to write this so soon. I decided to after I created a new motto the other day, tweeted it and it got retweeted by a few people. It was just another tweet, another 140 characters that my mind spit out and that I needed to share.
My motto: Give yourself authority.
It was only after I expressed the motto on twitter that I was tapped by the memory of Seth Godin’s Pick Yourself event, which it’s theme was to not wait for someone to pick you, not wait for an authority to notice you, to get lucky; but to pick yourself, solve the problems yourself, find the opportunity yourself, to lead yourself and quite plainly, as my motto states, give yourself authority.
72 Steps To Starbucks Coffee
While in New York City every 72 steps, either if I turned left or right, I would be facing a Starbucks. In Manhattan alone, there are approximately 300 Starbucks stores. That means that out of all the registered Coffee Shops in New York, Starbucks consists of about 60% of them. In a city dominated by the outlier of the Coffee Industry, how can any other coffee shops even make it?
That’s a simple answer that you can come up with. The better question is how Starbucks was able to take a symbol from Moby Dick, use it as it’s logo, and create a brand – an understanding of when you see the symbol, you are going to smell the richest Coffee in town and get free Wi-Fi along with the absolute best customer service.
It’s A Revolution
The dictionary says that a revolution is a single turn of event. Our revolution, the one we don’t quite understand, the one we thought could be easily understood, the one that is making us question nearly everything, is not a single turn of event, it’s a million turns. This revolution is something that is a collective change in one sense, but deep down to it, it’s about the turn each one of us makes, a turn that may be different than the person next to us. While putting it in the most simple form, the revolution is about giving yourself authority, ridding yourself of the chains of tradition and following your passion to create art. Yet, to do each of these things is not something that we can do collectively, being collective is what got us in this grave. No. This must be done individually; each person must make the choice, must give themselves authority and use it. In its entirety, this revolution will turn Perfect into impossible
Instead Of Giving It Our All
Seth gave a long description about the industrial age and this new age of connection. The one take I want to share with you from the event is this.
“So one quick example, just to show you how deeply ingrained this is. If you don’t mind, raise your right hand just as high as you can. Okay, now raise it just a little higher.”
Instead of giving it our all the first time, we give enough and then a bit more when told to. Some people raised their hands 20% higher, others 5% higher when told to raise it a bit higher. In a room of about 200 people there was about 4,000% of potential not being used until told to. The way I see it, even if you gave 100% and raised your hand as high as possible the first time, you would still find a way to raise it higher.
I No Longer Market To You
I had no clue what real type of marketing I was doing on my website until I heard Seth Godin say this, “Because marketing has shifted from me marketing at you, to you marketing to each other.” So, when creating a product, running a business or writing a blog, you can provide all the strong content you would like, but unless you know what you want to do with your audience, your tribe, unless you know how to give them strategies to market to each other and other people that will join your tribe, you have nothing.
Seth Godin also inspired me to write this post: The Juggler’s Perfection. On the note of Juggling, of doing what you love, of taking that risk…
“Is it worth getting arrested for?” – Seth Godin
Bluffs, Excuses and The Promise
You think you have a hundred reasons not do something, not to take leap, not to go out on your own or start your business or take a risk to achieve what you really want. Actually, you probably only have 15 to 20 excuses, or rather, they are bluffs. When you sit down, write the list of the 15 to 20 bluffs, and work through it, you will find that either you don’t have anything holding you back, or you just need to work out a way to get around one or two excuses (a lot easier than working around 20). What it comes down to, what it really comes down to is that you want a promise it will work. You want the paper to say, after you have crossed all your bluffs out, that it will work indefinitely.
There will never be a promise that it’s going to work. Once you realize that, you realize there’s no point in making a list, not because there’s no point in achieving your goal anymore, but because you realize that you are going to have to take a risk and that there isn’t a promise, you will say “something is better than nothing” and get on with it, ship the product or start the business. As humans, if we are not promised lobster (perfection), we would rather have crawfish (anything) than nothing at all. Once you realize there is no promise of perfection, no lobster, it makes doing the thing you made a list of bluffs for, all the more easy. You may even find that you like crawfish more than lobster.
A couple of sayings to use/share
Money is a weight you can run much faster without
You will be wrong a lot, but you will be right a lot too
All you need to care about is being human
The Two Achievements I Made After The Event
Seth made a simple, yet such an extremely interesting point about entrepreneurship and freelance. A freelancer gets paid when she ships, delivers the product, finishes. The entrepreneur gets paid while she sleeps. I am happy to say that, while I still do freelance writing, I have crafted a segment of it into a businesses in which I have hired two employees already! I now sleep easier (because I know I’m getting paid for it) and I have more time to do $100 an hour work that makes a much larger impact on the world – which leads me to…
The second achievement is nearly ready to be shipped. My 30,000 word manifest on what school is for: a view from an 18-year-old graduate who received his associates degree and plans to go back for a master’s degree. Not for the diploma, but for the information and experience being within the system will produce, in order to write a 90,000 word sequel upon graduation. The eBook, Start Schooling Dreams will be released at the beginning of August, 2012, completely free. More background information to come soon.
Stay Positive & Take The Authority, Make A Badge Even
Garth E. Beyer