Tag Archives: Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s blog on Civilization

Godin 5th Avenue
Godin 5th Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would reblog the Seth Godin blog today, if I could.  So let me link to it instead. This is one of the best blog posts that I’ve  read from him.

Seth Godin’s blog on Civilization

This is an easy post to read, and gives one of the clearest explanations of why we need more civilization, and not less in our lives.

As someone who loves nature and the earth, there are many ways in which I would like to see us have a greater respect for the wild and natural.

However, when it comes down to evolution of the planet, I still believe we need civilization, just a more enlightened one.

 

A Test of Kickstarter for Writers: Seth Godin’s New Book Launch

Image representing Seth Godin as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

I had intended to share a post about creating writing retreats today, but  I was so impressed with a Kickstarter launch by Seth Godin yesterday, that I wanted to share this idea with all of you because it could be very useful for financing your next book or creative project.

Perhaps most of you are familiar with Kickstarter.  I had vaguely heard of it being used in conjunction with music and videos.  Yesterday, Seth Godin, the marketing guru genius, proved that Kickstarter could be a great way of building visibility, revenue and fun for your book launch.

In a few short hours, he kickstarted a book of his that is coming out in January called The Icarus Deception from this Kickstarter page. He’s already received over $200,000 in pledge money in what must be less than 24 hours.  Of course, he has been building a following of readers for quite a while.

Seth Godin explains Kickstarter well in the emails to his followers.  I couldn’t find an explanation in his blog, but here are some of his points from his email yesterday:

By using Kickstarter early in the process, we eliminate book publisher/bookseller skepticism and create the excitement they need to actually stock and promote the book. Those books you see stacked up by the front window at the bookstore? That’s not an accident. That’s a promotion planned months in advance, based almost entirely on how optimistic the publisher is about a book’s prospects.

So that’s the idea–a way that any author with a following can divide the publishing process into three pieces–get the true fans on board early, give them something to talk about just before the book is in stores, and then use online and offline bookstores to do what they do best and distribute far and wide. It moves the power in the process to where it belongs–to motivated readers and their authors.

It’s not easy to build a following, and it takes time, but I hope you’ll help me show authors and publishers that it’s worth it. Here’s a short link you can share: http://kck.st/KvkY4h

Kickstarter details:

  1. Kickstarter  is a free website that allows artists to give their fans a chance to show  their interest in a new project.
  2. Kickstarter  doesn’t charge you (or me) a thing unless the project meets its minimum.   After that, you’re charged for what you pledged and you are guaranteed to  get the reward you signed up for.
kickstarter logo
kickstarter logo (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

You may be thinking, Seth Godin is a relatively famous author, this can’t work for someone starting out.  If you look at the Kickstarter site, there are many different kinds of projects and audiences.

Not quite sure how I would use Kickstarter myself, but I’m thinking about it.  You might consider it too.  This might be a great way to create a quantum leap for your art and writing!

If you’ve had experience with Kickstarter or other crowdfunding, I’d love to hear how that went for you and what you learned from the experience.

Free Kindle Download of The On-Purpose Person

Thought the most useful blog I could offer today is a link to another blog.

American entrepreneur, author and public speak...
American entrepreneur, author and public speaker Seth Godin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just received a blog from Seth Godin, which included a link to a special offer for the The On-Purpose Person: Making Your Life Make Sense by Kevin McCarthyThe book is normally $20 on Amazon, and it’s free on Kindle through April 28.  Click here to read Seth’s blog and find the offer.Here’s a little excerpt from the On-Purpose Person:

The man would discover that to live one’s purpose or to be on-purpose is where true transformation begins. To know one’s purpose is, however, just a point in the process, a threshold to a renewed life that builds upon the past, embraces the present, and leads to the future even into eternity.

McCarthy, Kevin W. (2009-12-11). The On-Purpose Person: Making Your Life Make Sense (Kindle Locations 419-421). On-Purpose Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The book is a bit too much into linear transformation for my liking and offers standard transformational growth material, but it’s easy to read and might be helpful if you’d like to take an inventory of where you’re at with your life right now, and want a simple way to motivate yourself for change.  He also has suggestions on how to use this book in a group situation, which could be the most effective way to use it.

For the price — free —  The On-Purpose Person is definitely worth a download from Amazon!

The Good Life and the Masters We Serve

I am reading Alice Hoffman’s book, The Dovekeepers. It’s a beautifully written historical novel set in the time of the Roman overthrow of the temple in Jerusalem. It’s a wonderful example of a spiritually inspired work of art that tells a story of cycles and patterns and deeper truths.

The Dovekeepers fits in well with my recent re-reading of the spiritual texts of my youth. I felt a strong desire to remember the beauty and lyricism of the Bible as well as the timeless wisdom in its pages. Yesterday, I had the inspiration to read the Beatitudes again. As I shared recently, I read Ecclesiastes a few days ago, for the almost sarcastic wit and longing that those ancient words convey to me. I found the words of Ecclesiastes comforting.  So, I thought reading the Beatitudes would be comforting too.

In fact, reading the Beatitudes was discomforting. It made me question some of my more modern beliefs around the right for everyone to live happy and fulfilling lives. Strangely, in three separate incidents during the day I was given reminders of these words by Seth Godin, Neale Donald Walsch and National Geographic magazine specifically from the text of the Beatitudes. I felt that God was trying to tell me something, or maybe to raise some questions.

In the Beatitudes from Matthew, Jesus tells us:

Blessed are:

  • the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  • the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
  • they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
  • the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
  • the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
  • the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
  • they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

These words are beautiful and poetic.

It’s the words around them that are even more challenging, especially in Luke where he records Jesus saying things like:

  • Woe to you that are rich for you have received your consolation.
  • Woe to you that laugh now for you shall mourn and weep.

He goes on to admonish those of us who live in comfort when others suffer. Two thousand years later, most of us still want the same things that the original crowds that heard Jesus speak probably wanted — to be strong, invulnerable, happy, wealthy, and have a life filled with never-ending good things.

Like the Ecclesiastes passage that I quoted a few days ago, Jesus is very much asking how to challenge the way we look at life, with even more radical advice. It’s in the Sermon on the Mount that he shares the Golden Rule and later the Lord’s Prayer:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you . . . as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

He goes on to say:

No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon (money). Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on . . . He tells us to trust that God will take care of us.

The overall messages of Jesus also have a very strong similarity to the humble way of living that Lao Tzu teaches in the Tao Te Ching teaches through s ideas such as:

The softest of all things overrides the hardest of all things.

That without substance enters where there is no space.

Thousands of years after both Lao Tzu and Jesus, I believe that most of us are still caught up in serving the masters of the world wherever we are in the world, and often our life mastery is focused on our mastery of making money.

Yet, as Alice Hoffman teaches us, when we think about all the civilizations that have come and go throughout history, what remains? Economic systems and empires come and go. It’s art and stories, especially sacred stories that remain with us.

Art is one of the most powerful ways that the Spirit speaks to and through us. And those of us who want to be models of spiritual living and artists have to be careful about the master that our art is serving.

All around us there are prompts, urgings, admonitions, media, marketing and culture(s) that are calling us to value the service of money over the service of our spirit. And yet we also need to make a living. I just heard a life coach talk about the sacredness of paying our bills too.

For me all of this leads to more questions for personal contemplation:

  1. How do you help your soul to stay focused in your artful life to serve the “right” master?
  2. When is it more important to pay your bills, and when is your art more important?
  3. When so much in the world pulls you away from your highest truth, what helps you to return to your true values?
  4. Do you allow yourself to feel the edge of the sometimes narrow road of making your biggest and most long-lasting contribution?

I’ll share some ideas tomorrow about how we might approach these ongoing questions with humility and confidence.

The Energy of Our Times is Changing

On Chinese New Year, I received a fortune cookie that said:

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.

Both my kids said, “That’s perfect for you since you’re always focused on living your dreams.”  They said this mostly sarcastically, since they both think that I’m kinda crazy and perhaps going through a midlife crisis to be choosing the way of life that I have.  They don’t particularly admire the way that I’ve chosen to live, yet I’m hoping someday they realize that my choices made their childhood better, not worse.  My intent is to model for them how to live their dreams and care about the welfare of others concurrently. It’s not been easy to live my dream lifestyle, but I truly believe that times are changing, and it’s about to get easier for all of us to live our dreams.

Two days from now on February 3rd, the dream planet moves into the dream sign.   Neptune moves into Pisces and stays there until 2025.  The energy of Neptune in Pisces whispers to us that the impossible is possible.  Neptune is at home in Pisces, which is a powerful thing. We haven’t experienced this configuration of energy since 1848.  I can’t help but remember that the Civil War in America occurred during that time, which resulted in the seemingly impossible abolishment of slavery.  It was also the time of Transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau who arose after the Romanticism of Coleridge and Byron to create an idealistic way of seeing the world which also grounded in reality.   Neptune in Pisces represents more than romantic ideals, it represents freedom.  But as the Civil War showed, it’s not necessarily easily won freedom.

This morning I noticed that both Seth Godin and Martha Beck’s daily words of advice were almost the same thing, and I’m paraphrasing the gist of what they both said:

We craft or engage in deep play by doing things that are almost impossible to do. 

Seth Godin talked about choosing the right projects that were neither too easy or too difficult.   Martha talked about picking something hard that is almost too difficult to do.  By doing what we don’t exactly know how to do, we live our dreams into being. 

I suspect that’s what our times are asking of us — finding the discernment to deeply engage in something that we never thought we could do.  So, today, I want to suggest that as we move together into a new era, rather than just worrying about whether we can create a writing masterpiece or the perfect life, perhaps we can focus on something else. 

Can you create or have you already created a lifestyle that for other people would seem impossible?  How is freedom manifesting itself in your life?

Tomorrow, I’ll share a few things that I’ve learned about creating the lifestyle of my dreams over the last three years.