Many say you shouldn't give away your work for free if you wish to sell it. Nonsense. Seth Godin has got a big idea with his new book Small is the New Big. This entire book of riffs already exists for free in places such as on Seth's blog or via his Squidoo lens. I've read most of the stories in the book already. Yet I pre-ordered the book on Amazon for overnight delivery because I wanted the content, again, in the new package. I want to take it to the beach. I want to have it on my desk and pick it up now and then.
"you're smarter than they think"
Readers of this blog know that I'm a Seth Godin fan. Reading his stuff contributed to a life change for me. Back in the late 1990s, I had ideas about how content drives action on Web sites. As the VP Marketing of several reasonably large public companies, I realized that I had "power" and "a good job." In most people's eyes, I was successful. But I just didn't have the right platform to tell the world about my ideas. And I was not fulfilled.
Seth Godin's writing always focuses on getting people like me, those with a fire in the belly to take action. "I've been betting on the intelligence of my readers for almost a decade," Godin writes on the back cover of Small is the new Big, "and that bet keeps paying off. They just don't get it. Now you, you get it… And I'm, betting that once you’re inspired you'll actually make something happen."
For me, the big moment was when my company was acquired by a huge organization and I was shown the door. I chose not to take the "safe" route and find another VP Marketing job, but instead to strike out on my own. To write books and magazine articles. To hit the speaking circuit. To work with organizations that wanted to improve online communications. The "I dare you" messages from Godin were an important part of my life changing decision.
I work much harder than before, but fewer hours. I attend very few meetings. I choose the terrific companies I want to work with and tell the idiots to take a hike. I've never missed one of my daughter's swim meets because of work. I have dinner with my family most evenings. I'm helping people make a difference because of my ideas rather than saying "I wish I had…" or "I could, but...".
Read Small is the New Big.
It is an important book. And no matter what you want to do to make a difference, listen to Seth's advice. Just get out there and make it happen.
And when you get your copy, check out page 95. Thanks Seth.