“People get good gigs because they stand up. You don’t get picked. Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.” – Seth Godin
All of us are surrounded by people who don’t want to bet on themselves and are just waiting around until they get picked. These are people who generally say things like,
“If I was just picked by HarperCollins to publish one of my books, I would be successful. I sent them my stuff two months ago and I still haven’t heard anything back yet.”
Understandably, this mindset makes sense because for a large part of history, you had to be picked in order to be successful.
If you wanted to be an actor, you had to be picked by a director.
If you wanted to be an author, you had to be picked by a publisher.
If you wanted to be a musician, you had to be picked by a big record label.
By getting picked, it put us in situations for our work to be seen. But today is entirely different. All at once, all of these gate keepers lost their power. Today, you don’t need anyone to pick you in order for you to be noticed because you can just pick yourself.
If you want to be a music artist, make an album and sell it on iTunes. Start a YouTube channel. Build an audience on SoundCloud.
If you want to move up the corporate ladder, then solve a problem. Create opportunities. Lead.
If you want to write, then write. Build a blog on WordPress. Self publish on Amazon. Contribute to big publications.
For all these situations, the only thing you have to do is pick yourself. But the reason people will continue to not want to pick themselves is because most people want the security of someone else picking them.
We don’t pick ourselves simply because it doesn’t feel safe.
However, if you had the time to be rejected by 100 different publications you wanted to pick you, then you also had the time to build your own publication. Once you realize that no one is going to pick you, then you can focus on what really matters, which is picking yourself and getting to work.