Archives For Seth Godin

Have you ever seen someone who has achieved a certain success in their job and thought “how did they do it?”

If you hear that they did it alone, then you obviously don’t know all of the story.

Twenty years ago a very amusing movie released called Dave (1993) starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. In the story, Kevin Kline plays Dave Kovic who runs a temp agency. What is amusing is that he looks very similar to the current President of the United States, President Mitchell. On the side, Dave Kovic is hired to impersonate the President and in a bizarre turn of events is called into help in more ways than just impersonating the President. I won’t ruin the movie because it is a joy to watch.

Kevin-Kline-Dave-Kovic

Despite this being a movie with politics as a backdrop, it is really a movie about people helping people. In the movie once Dave Kovic eventually is acting as the President, shares with the American people,

“If you’ve ever seen the look on somebody’s face the day they finally get a job, I’ve had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And its not about the paycheck, it’s about respect, it’s about looking in the mirror and knowing that you’ve done something valuable with your day. And if one person could start to feel this way, and then another person, and then another person, soon all these other problems may not seem so impossible. You don’t really know how much you can do until you, stand up and decide to try.”

Dave was trying to help others find jobs so they could live passionate and fruitful lives. A job doesn’t solve every problem and it doesn’t guarantee you will find your full purpose. A job can help give someone the opportunity to have passion, purpose and the ability to better themselves to make a difference.

Dave wasn’t just a job-placement owner.

What matters is that Dave Kovic was a connector.

I am only where I am because of the help of other people. Period. Did I work hard and was persistent to meet with people? Of course but doors would not have opened to me if I had not been helped by courageous people who took a chance on me. Here are a few of the many examples from my own personal journey:

  • My high school friend Kara recommended me for a position that ended up being my first job in marketing and sales in the film industry. I wouldn’t even have gotten the chance to interview if it weren’t for her. This also helped fuel my love for movies and great storytelling.
  • When I moved to Nashville, my sister’s childhood friend’s brother, whom I hadn’t seen in twenty years, introduced me to a publisher and led me in the door to my first job in publishing.
  • I am at my current position because of working hard but if I weren’t recommended by mutual friends, it would have been difficult to get to the next stage.

None of the people who helped me got anything in return except being able to see me thrive in those positions. They simply enjoyed seeing me be in a place to thrive.

I have learned from many others along the way.

One of my friends who inspires me greatly is John Bergquist. You need to know John because he lives for helping others do amazing things.

What I have realized is that as a connector, my success will be measured by the successes of others.

Marketing thought leader Seth Godin wrote in his book Linchpin

“Not only must you be an artist, must you be generous, and must you be able to see where you can help but you must also be aware. Aware of where your skills are welcomed.”

The Bible also has a lot to say about helping others. In Philippians 2:4, Paul encourages the early Christ-followers;

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

To summarize, here are three ways to be an effective connector:

  1. Be aware of those around you who may need help and make yourself available to them. You may be igniting a fire in a true change-maker. 
  2. Invest time each week meeting with and helping people. 
  3. Don’t expect anything in return except the joy of seeing someone else thrive in their sweet spot making a difference.

Let’s be like Dave Kovic. The world will be better because of it.

Is it your dream to write a book and see it published?

I’m asked often about how to get published. It’s an exhausting process but I’ve spent the past year as a consultant paying closer attention to how a book gets “discovered”. I’m witnessing publisher after publisher downsize or run out of business. It is too often blamed on the rise of ebooks.

The rulebook has been thrown out.

The game has changed for all of us.

There is great value in a publisher but you need to start looking at the world differently.

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You can’t just write a book, have someone publish it, get it placed on a random bookshelf in a store, and then hope it all works out. That may have worked in Fox & Sons Books in the movie, You’ve Got Mail, but it doesn’t work exactly like that anymore. That is dial-up thinking.

Take a look at this new Kickstarter project for the book, Off With Her Heart by Amy Dale. This is a great example of a way to fund a book and build an early audience around it before launching it to the world. Basically when this will be published, there will be evangelists ready to promote it since they already believe in it. This becomes and extension of a writer’s platform. Traditionally, a publisher would have to invest a lot of money in time and placement to ensure a book’s awareness is created.

My publishing friends, this is one of the new ways to find hidden talent in writers.

This is not business as usual. It is the future, now.

Here is the good news. A book still lives or dies based on word of mouth. That is the genius of a deal like this with Kickstarter because it leverages  passion through anyone’s sphere of influence. Seth Godin is doing it. Steampunk Alphabet by Nat Iwata did it. The businessperson with the idea around the corner is doing it. Amy Dale is doing it. Word of mouth has never changed but the ways to share information is changing before our eyes. We must embrace it.

As Billy Beane put it in Moneyball,

Adapt or die.

Open your eyes to discover what is new. Leave the old playbook behind. You can do it. We all can do it.

That means you!

  • The writer
  • The publisher
  • The dreamer

What Kickstarter project are you most inspired by?