Friday, 2 April 2010

Seth Godin on why you should take your life into your own hands: be an artist/genius

Yesterday I want to the Elizabethzaal in Antwerp, Belgium to hear Seth Godin talk. At first I was not sure this would benefit me, as he focuses on marketing rather a lot and ... I am into learning and not all that keen on the consumption industry. But I did learn that opening up to people, will give you more understanding. Well, I must admit, I liked his speech. I liked it for many reasons, but most of all because he plees to leave the traditional classroom, ex-cathedra, data memorisation school and ... be creative and shape your own life.
This idea of course is not that new: Napoleon Hill wrote about that in his book Think and grow rich , Steve Chandler did in his 100 ways to motivate yourself , Jay Cross has put some questionmarks on education as well. So, Seth Godin is not alone with promoting this idea. But what is nice, is that he links your own development to daring to leave your comfort zone, daring to go ahead and act despite your natural fears that keep you from being the leader of your own life and potentially (but not necessary) the leader of others.
What was actually surprised that Seth Godin, who people told me was a marketing guru, also emphasized the importance of making a difference and being human.

Basically he said that We all look up to our heroes, but only a few of us strive to be one ourselves. Yet, in this era we can all become our own hero/genius as we have the power and the production possibilities (= internet and a connected laptop).

I tweeted during the session:
  • you r never gonna be the only one. We branded ourselves to death. What worked in the past, no longer applies: if it already exists, you can't win the race. Be a creator, an artist.
  • trust, belief, one person at the time, take the people where they want to go, be exiting.
  • connect to the people directly, choose to make a difference, what you want to do is important enough so do it.
  • do not be interchangeable, be creative, (e.g. Japanese bar sells to you what the previous person ordered, so as you go up to the bar, you are pressed to think: will you order a wonderful dish for the next person (you will probably not know) or do you order something horrible? Which side of humanity do you serve?)
  • choose to do The Other Thing, creating smth human, do not do what can have a best possible score but never be unique (e.g. bowling).
  • own the system and own it... Thx the internet, lulu... You no longer need to be obediant, you can act and deliver/ship what you want.
  • competence is no longer scarce, many people become competent in what already exists.
  • if you can automate your job description, you loose. Build your own thing, do not follow.
  • solve interesting problems.
  • Realise what the instructions are you follow, what is the worst thing that can happen if you stop following? think branson, when he has a thought, he does it and of all the ideas he has some really work (even the ones that others perceived as impossible: space tourism).
  • do art that matters and is human.
  • Kulak (name is wrong... ) general us army: found that the least paid, lowest echelon soldiers now makes the difference in the wars (remark from myself: is grassroots moving up?).
  • do not make boring stuf for average people.
  • give gifts to come together and connect.
  • make the world better, go against the lizard brain, do emotional labour = work by thinking.
  • make an experience, your job is your platform to art, you know how to be a genius, belief it.
  • Your idea would be just a drop? The ocean is made out of drops.
  • be autonomous, no chief above you.
  • take small and immediate steps.
  • the act of writing is an act, discipline is important.
  • make your luck, by doing it again and again and again, figure out what you wanna do and do it, do not sleep until you know.
  • socks story (a company that makes socks that never match, so kids talk about it in schools).
  • home school your kids to solve interesting problems, teach them to lead.
He did not just preach, he also opened the floor to Q/A. concluding that most politicians are no artists, but in fact governed by the industry (most politicians are interchangeable puppets).

On that note... I am off. Happy Easter to those that celebrate it, in Belgium we eat huge amounts of chocolate. We tell our children that 'the easter bells will come and drop chocolate for all'.