Honka! Honka!

Godin’s writing frequently—it might be fair to say always—attempts to inspire. But from some quarters he is criticized for being too trite; that he speaks in platitudes.

No need to be part of the circus. If you can find a problem and solve it, you can skip the clown car.

~ Seth Godin from, https://seths.blog/2023/11/turtleneck-confusion/

Two points: First, the problem with platitudes lies with the listener; if I’ve heard it so often, that it feels like a platitude, then why have I still not yet embodied the lesson? Second, Godin doesn’t get enough credit for his efforts to teach professionalism; and professionalism has nothing to do with getting paid (c.f. Steven Pressfield.)


Put a price tag on it

Yet that insidious voice keeps whispering. “But this is an opportunity, man! You gotta network. Get out there! Everybody promotes their stuff. Be a pro. Seize the moment, dude!”

One way to look at it is through the prism of money. If someone wants you to do something and the remuneration is “exposure” or “opportunity” … you have answered your own question.

~ Steven Pressfield from, https://stevenpressfield.com/2013/01/opportunities-are-bullshit/

It’s important to learn to avoid the siren-call of such “opportunities.” I’m scare-quoting because, as Pressfield points out, they’re not actually opportunities. They are in fact a siren-call attempting to lure your ship onto the rocks. They’re a siren call because the message is exactly what you want to hear: “Your work is good. Your work is valuable. We want you to succeed.”

Actual opportunity sounds different. The message is just off to the side from what you wanted to hear: “What you’re doing is interesting. It makes me think of this thing I’m doing over here. It occurs to me that we might work together on it.” You’re left thinking about some interesting tangential idea. Instead of thinking, (as with the siren-call,) “is this going to be worth it,” you’re thinking, “that’s interesting, I’d like to be involved in that.” Certainly, true opportunities may come with money, but in your own thinking that’s an interesting nice-to-have; but it’s secondary. Take opportunities where the opportunity itself interests you. Don’t take “opportunities” where the potential, down-the-road benefit interests you.