Seth Godin read my mind so well

Seth Godin doesn’t need a Viagra of my review to sell his book The Dip. 

But when I found something in print from Godin that so well resonated with my own  thoughts, couldn’t stay repressed for long. Nothing can stop me from carving up the blogosphere anyways !

The Dip is about deciding when to quit something (the goal isn’t worth pursuing) or when to stick with it doggedly. 

Godin quotes Vince Lombardi at the start of his book.

“Vince Lombardi is one of the most venerated American football coaches in history. The team he built, the Green Bay Packers, won the NFL championship five times in the nine years he was coaching them. And Lombardi came up with one of the world’s most famous motivational commands of all, beloved of managers everywhere: “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”

Godin’s verdict on the great Lombardi’s views ?  “Bad advice.”

Often I’ve felt this during my work life (up until 15 months back, now less rich and a much relieved freelancer) – do I really need to put up with disgusting mediocrity just because it gives me a pay check by month end ? If so, for how long? Gradually the rebellion inside me grew so powerful and on the morning of November 30, 2005 to be precise – I woke up to say “not any more”.

I can relate my own experience to agree with Godin.

When I chose to take up freelance Investment Banking consulting focusing on Private Equity, those in my small world said I was wrong.  It was a bit unsettling, a bit nervy too initially – to deflect those admonitions, but didn’t quite rankle. I began by spending time networking with startup teams and getting to know what they are up to and to see if I could be help in some way. Either called them up or even personally visited almost every startup incubator in the country so that I could be a good feeder for VC firms. Slowly I could enlarge my scope even to growth and expansion stage companies, that came seeking private equity infusion. 

I sensed hitting pay dirt with a difference – I was doing things my way, as I thought was right and with enormous satisfaction. None tells me how to do something. That creative freedom is worth the whole world.  The word `boss’ suddenly meant `a worthy client’ instead of an asshole that it connoted earlier. Suddenly I found time for my family, could pursue my passion and felt on top of everything. Pure joy !

All the while I must thank and acknowledge the selfless initiatives of several of my blog readers who have introduced me to their own employers – corporates and Investment Banks. This is essentially a relationship business and every introduction helps.  Thanks guys !

Do also read this superb interview by Guy Kawasaki here.

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2 Responses to “Seth Godin read my mind so well”

  1. Shefaly Says:

    You have probably heard of the collection of stereotypes which masquerades as a story: when you start a business in the US, friends and family give you money, introducing you around and cheering you on; in China, friends and family work in your business at night, doing your accounts and packing your customer orders; in Britain, they tell you that you will fail and when you prove them wrong, they scratch your car.

    Your story illustrates the experience of all those, who do something out of the ordinary for the bunch of people who see themselves as family/ friends (and concern themselves with one’s welfare without always understanding what one does) or peers (considering one has taken a peerless path, I do not see how that label can continue to stick). It is more about self-awareness versus how the publics see it, a battle in which the former always wins out.

  2. krishna Says:

    Yup. That’s about it. But not easy at all till you develop a very high degree of resistance to dissuasion from all around and yet stay composed enough in heeding to a few sincere words of caution from amongst that heap. Visioning or picturing my preferred future has been my greatest source of energy.

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