Are You Indispensable?

It’s been 5 years since Seth Godin’s first visit to Orange County. I went with a few colleagues not knowing what to expect. Since then, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? has become one of my favorite books and I’ve bought many copies to give out to friends. He left us with a charge to think differently about branding & marketing; to think differently about what we make. He told us to make art, give gifts, do work that matters, connect, lead, ship, and make a difference.

Brian Elliot of thegoodbrain.com, former Universal Home Entertainment exec with 15+ years in brand strategy, production, DVD and original content, hosted that evening’s keynote with Seth Godin. This morning, he FINALLY received permission from Godin to post his epic full-length keynote and emailed the link to a bunch of us who were there. There were about 900 people in attendance that day, back in 2010, at the the St. Regis Hotel to hear Seth LIVE. His message about being “indispensable” is even more relevant today.

If you don’t know Godin, he’s the godfather of modern marketing, bestselling author of more than a dozen biz books and has one of the most read blogs on the planet. I hope you enjoy this rare treat!

Stop Stealing Dreams

A remarkable manifesto about education and how its stealing our children’s willingness to dream. And if you think this only has to with education…then you’re sadly mistaken. It has to with U.S. economics, small business, technical innovations, arts, and how we see our lives. Take the time and read it…it may just change your outlook on creativity.

via Seth Godin’s “Stop Stealing Dreams

The economy has changed, probably forever. School hasn’t.

School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it’s not a goal we need to achieve any longer.

In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.

Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.

You can get your copy for free

Here are four versions of the manifesto. Pick the one that you need, and feel free to share. To download a file, you’ll probably need the option key or the right click button on your mouse… ask a teenager if you get stuck.
The On Screen version
Use this one to read it on a computer or similar device. Feel free to email to the teachers, parents and administrators in your life.
The Printable edition
This is the same document, but formatted for your laser printer or the local copy shop. You are welcome to make copies, but please don’t charge for it or edit it.
Here’s the Kindle edition
You’ll need to download it and then plug in your Kindle via a USB cable. Drag the file to the Documents folder on your Kindle and boom, you’re done.
The ePub edition
This should work with other types of ebook readers, but I haven’t tested it. Your mileage may vary, and if it doesn’t work, the PDF should.
The manifesto in HTML on the web
Useful for cutting and pasting, I guess. The PDFs are easier to read.
How I built the manifesto, plus back up links
If any of the links above don’t work, you’ll find back up PDF downloads here, as well as a long-ish essay about how I built them.

“Hold onto dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes

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Creativity on Demand

Most of us are really creative (whether you believe that or not)…all the time, however we have been told that in order to be effective we must sort of shut that part down. When asked to pull from it, we can be confused and frustrated. Setting aside time in your day to unleash the creativity within…everyday, even if you think you don’t need to…is part of the key.

Diving into the “realm of possibilites” without allowing excuses or difficulties to control your session is an amazing discipline.

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)

Turning the creative madness into effective ideas that will change the world is the next step. Take your new creative ideas (as strange as some of them may be) and set milestones and a definitive goal.

Do this everyday. Choose which ideas are worth working on in the now…and which ones should be tabled.

As far as “on demand” goes…well, sometimes I feel life is like trying to focus intently on a thin line in the middle of a busy freeway of ideas. Like a kid with A.D.D….doing my best to focus. When provoked for an idea…it seems it may be as simple as looking around you…eyes open and grabbing all you can, like a an old lady in a game show money machine.

A new book by Todd Henry named, “The Accidental Creative” was referred by Michael Buckingham of HolyCowCreative on a post. It’s a book that supports you in establishing effective practices that unleash your creative potential…every day. Sounds like a great book…I’ll put it next to my signed copy of Linchpin…you know, so they can play.

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