Seth Godin: Pick Yourself

Seth had a cool post recently called Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself.

In the post, Seth talks about the traditional way of doing things (like publishing a book, or getting a “record” out there), where you had to wait for a publisher or some business or agent or editor to pick you, and your stuff, and then deliver you to fame.

In today’s internet world, why not just make it happen on your own? He talks about Rebecca Black, who apparently has 15M listeners without the traditional record label.

He talks about Amanda Hocking who is making seven figures publishing her own stuff to Kindle, with NO publisher.

He says you can’t wait for HR to “pick you” (you already knew that!).

What does this mean?

It means you stop doing stuff the traditional way and think about how you can PICK YOURSELF.

Are you awesome at something?

Are you waiting in line, competing with others who are either more awesome OR CHEAPER, for that ONE JOB?

Why not start your own thing?  It doesn’t have to be big, but it could be big ENOUGH.

Maybe big enough to pay your bills.

Or big enough to get noticed in your industry so that people are coming to you seeing if you’ll work for them, instead of competing in that cattle call line.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but five years ago I picked myself.  I believed in my ability to make this (JibberJobber, etc.) work more than I believed in any employer to figure me out and bring me onboard.

It has been HARD. It has been FUN.  It has been REWARDING.  It has been PROMISING.  It has been AWESOME.

You know what’s cool about picking myself?

No one can UNPICK me.  I’m here to stay.

And in the last five years I have not been laid off.  And I don’t worry about that each day, or each week.

I’m empowered, because I picked myself.

More on this later, with the announcement of a new book idea.

4 thoughts on “Seth Godin: Pick Yourself”

  1. Tom Peters called this “A Brand Called You”. And he did it long before Web 2.0 gave us the tools to pick ourselves like we can today. As one who has published without a publisher, I couldn’t agree more. I think everyone should adopt the mind set of the independent free agent. It’s good for you and for the economy.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting (

  2. This is why I never wanted a traditional job. I couldn’t handle it. One look at my site would tell you why my big mouth would keep me from being promoted in the me-too conformity of the corporate world, no matter how talented I was.

    Great post by Seth as the same goes for so many things in life. Are the execs at some network the only good judges of what’s funny, dramatic, or good viewing? One more show about “wars” or a duck family and we’ll all go nuts.

    Turning people into entrepreneurs in their own field and giving them the power is the only way to go. And if people fail, they’ll learn a hard lesson of life that no coddling college will teach them.

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