I’ve recently started reading a preview copy of Seth Godin’s Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? I’m hoping to make a few updates between now and finishing it, but I wanted to just drop a quick post and let you know that this book is really resonating with me.
See, I stopped freelancing almost 4 years ago because I realized my business wasn’t going in a direction that made me happy, and reading Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited, had pretty much showed me why (I swear that book was written just for me). The E-Myth also laid out a very solid foundation for designing and starting your own business. I just needed some time to think and regroup, so I shut down my time-sucking (60+ hours per week) ‘business’ and took a ‘day job’, where I could show up from 8-5 and then go home and think about and build whatever I wanted, NOT worry about clients.
Now, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but from my cubicle over the past 4 years, I’ve watched the entire world change. There have been hints and foreshadowing for decades, what with outsourcing of first menial, and then later, highly sophisticated tech jobs; with factories in industrialized nations closing and new ones opening in developing nations; with “health” vacations to India and Thailand becoming more and more common; yes, hints and foreshadowing that much of what we had built, systematized, and standardized was now going to someone other than ourselves. This factory-based system that worked for so long just seems to have stopped working for any but the most rich and the most poor. The rest of us in the middle have been forgotten.
Its not that the systems from Michael Gerber’s E-Myth in and of themselves aren’t a good idea (in fact, I regularly create systems for lots of things, including my personal life, to help smooth things along), but the entire world has been so systematized and outsourced, that our ability to actually participate in these systems seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate.
This seems to be where Seth’s book steps in. Where Gerber’s book looks at the world from an old-system business owner who seeks to standardize the entire business and where the workers in a business are all interchangeable, Seth’s book is looking at our emerging era where the owners (us) actually own our own factories ($500 for a new PC, or $2000 for a new Mac?!?). Where we stop fitting ourselves into the standardized cogs of old-style business and start recreating ourselves as unique, indispensable artists.
The thing we need to realize is that we can’t afford to be compliant laborers anymore, because companies can no longer afford to hire employees who are simply good at their jobs. As Seth writes in his book, “The compliant masses don’t help so much when you don’t know what to do next.” Companies have no idea where to go from here, and a worker who simply shows up is becoming a waste of space. The world we all operated in 10, even 5 years ago is disappearing rapidly, and what we all need are thinkers and creative problem solvers to help find a new direction. And smart companies will pay for it, whether as an employee or a consultant.
I believe that this book will speak directly to most of the listeners of Creative Independence simply because doing things on our own is in our very nature; its in our core. This book is written in such a way to speak to those of us who are part of a new, emerging class of people; those who both own and are the key employees of our own businesses. Check it out when you get a chance. I’ll update more as I finish up this book.
You can pre-order your copy from Amazon by clicking here (affiliate link): Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?