In What to Do When it’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn) renowned marketing consultant, author, and blogger, Seth Godin urges us to stop waiting around for the higher ups to pick us.
We live in a world where many people are waiting for their defining moment. Their big break. They are an overnight success story that simply hasn’t happened yet. We all know people who are waiting to be discovered. Waiting to be given a raise. Waiting for their boss to give them the corner office. Waiting for the agents, the labels, and the talent scouts to approach them with a lucrative deal. Sadly, like the uncoordinated kid in gym class, many of them are picked last and made to sit on the bench. Most are never even picked at all.
But, waiting your turn was more suited to the previous generation. Back then, we needed the gatekeepers to pick us. The gatekeepers have lost their power. Now, we can choose ourselves. New communications technology, such as smartphones and dramatic behavioral shifts in how we communicate and consume information has given rise to an entire class of individuals who have chosen themselves. The teenage tech entrepreneur. The YouTube star. The Instagram and SnapChat influencers. The stay-at-home mom who starts a 6-figure online business. Or, even the manager, the engineer, or fitness trainer who utilize free publishing platforms, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, and Instagram to build a following and establish credibility that helps them get promotions, higher-paying clients, paid speaking engagements, or raise money for their causes.
There’s no longer any reason to wait in line or cozy up to the bigwigs who had long been the barriers to entry. When mediums of communication and creativity are democratized, the people decide. The opinions of the publishers, creative directors, the editors, the record label executives and TV producers don’t carry as much weight as they used to. One can succeed with no prior experience, family connections, or friends in the industry. Some decry this turn of events and there is certainly a great deal of hand-wringing in many of these industries. But, the floodgates of opportunity have been opened and anyone who is bold enough, talented enough, and hardworking enough will win if they take advantage.
To be sure, this also leaves room for “fake news,” fake influencers, wannabe artists and entrepreneurs, and self-proclaimed gurus or thought leaders to proliferate and crowd the Internet with their noise. Still, the benefits outweigh the negatives, because only the best and most deserving will be heard. In an age when no one waits to receive an invitation and everyone can grab sit at the table, only some will eat their fill. The bar has been raised and one can no longer succeed long-term with output that lacks substance, authenticity, or quality.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for anyone to pick you. Pick yourself and go do it.