Repost: Out on a limb

5 Jan

By Seth Godin

This might not work.

I didn’t realize how tired I was until I started driving away from the Icarus launch event on Wednesday.

Since June, I’ve been working flat out on creating the four books that were part of the Kickstarter and the big launch that climaxed with an event here in New York. Along the way, I experienced what many people feel as they work on something new–I was  spending part of my time (against my better judgment) exhausting myself trying to predict and then control what people would think about my work.

Will they get it? Will this chapter hit home? Am I too far out on a limb?

This might not work.

At some level, “this might not work” is at the heart of all important projects, of everything new and worth doing. And it can paralyze us into inaction, into watering down our art and into failing to ship.

I do my best work when I practice what I write about, and this time, I decided it was important to go as far out on a limb as I could. The Icarus Deception argues that we’re playing it too safe, hence my need to go outside my (and your) comfort zone.

Changing the format, changing the way I interacted with some of my readers (using Kickstarter) and changing the timeframe of my work all combined to make this project the most complex one I’ve ever done. Lots of moving parts, of course, but more scary, lots of places to fail. All very self-referential in a series of books about failure and guts and flying closer to the sun, of course. That’s the entire point, right?

Of course, trying to control what other people think is a trap. At the same time that we can be thrilled by the possibility of flying without a net and of blazing a new trail, we have to avoid the temptation to become the audience, to will them into following us. Not only is it exhausting, it’s counterproductive. Sales (of concepts, of services, of goods) don’t get made because you’ve spent a sleepless night working on your telekenisis. They happen because you’ve made something worth buying, because you’ve outlined something worth believing in.

“This might not work” is either a curse, something that you labor under, or it’s a blessing, a chance to fly and do work you never thought possible.

As I slumped into my car, I turned on the radio. Stuck in the CD player, forgotten in the rush to get to the event, was the audio copy of Icarus.

(Download Audio Excerpt)

I don’t usually listen to my books after I’ve made them, but the recording sessions had been so arduous that I didn’t even remember making the recording. So there it was in my car, left behind as a quick refresher before I went onstage to give my first public talk about the book.

It turns out that I don’t just write for you. I also write to remind myself of what I’m hoping to become as well. Hearing myself, months later, reading something I didn’t remember writing or reading, I shed a few tears. Yes, this is work worth doing. Yes, being out on a limb is exactly where I want to be.

That’s where we’re needed… out on a limb.

The Ten Principles of Pain

4 Jan

“Look past the pain” — helps to know exactly what that is! The hell you’re going through right now? STOP focusing on the pain. That’s not important. What’s important to you NOW? Focus on THAT.

Repost: 21 days to a new you!

3 Jan

21 DAYS TO A NEW YOU: Turn New Year’s resolutions into healthy lifelong habits

As posted on the MSN. A quick-and-easy checklist. Print out and post up. What’s in front of your face every day may seep into your psyche and take hold — Mwhahaha! The images help too.

3 Jan

An assortment of “ah, yes!” images. Take your pick. (Note: The last one is my favorite.)

The Better Man Project ™

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Evan Sanders

Please Join My Dream https://www.facebook.com/BetterManProject

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Seth Godin’s “The Icarus Sessions” Worldwide Meetups starts TODAY!

2 Jan

Seth Godin’s “The Icarus Sessions” Worldwide Meetups starts TODAY, Jan. 2!

Challenging new way to bring your art forward. Not to make a sales pitch, not to get customers or patrons, but to find the courage to stand up and say, “here, I made this.”

Find a Meetup near you.

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Amazon description of Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception (released 12/31/12):

“Everyone knows that Icarus’s father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun; he ignored the warning and plunged to his doom. The lesson: Play it safe. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success?

But we tend to forget that Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because seawater would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe.

The safety zone has moved. Conformity no longer leads to comfort. But the good news is that creativity is scarce and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: Make art. Being an artist isn’t a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It’s an attitude we can all adopt. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map. If you do those things you’re an artist, no matter what it says on your business card.

Godin shows us how it’s possible and convinces us why it’s essential.”

Repost: Happy New Year’s Day!

1 Jan

As posted on The Daily Love

By Melody Beattie

“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come. 

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.
 
What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?
 
What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?
 
What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?
 
Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down – as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go. 
 
The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”
Don’t have a few hours? Then dedicate 20 minutes. Do the exercise above. Jot down your answers quickly. (Don’t overthink — Do!) And when you’re done, let it go. Or go back and edit-add-delete-flourish-expand-do-whatever-organically-happens. Share with me in the comments. Or with someone you trust. You’re a work in progress. YOUR JOURNEY STARTS NOW.

Restaurant Review: Stacked (Cerritos, CA)

31 Dec

My company humored me with a pitstop at Stacked. (We just ate elsewhere but since we’re never in this side of town, why not?)

Amused by the ginormous, purple-orange-yellow facade (think Bauhaus-inspired stained glass) and tall tables and high chairs so my feet dangled.

Fiddling with the iPad when you order? Fascinating. Nothing like this in the IE! We ordered fries and homemade crisscut potato chips with chipotle mayo, garlic aioli, and curry ketchup. It’s all about the sauces, folks.

The founders of BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse are onto something here…