You are a genius.

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You are a genius. You don't think you are? Well Seth Godin does (he thinks I'm one too) and this is how he opens his new book Linchpin. After reading it you will see that you are, in fact, the genius he claims you to be. The only question that remains is whether you will choose to overcome the resistance.

This book is about art, politics, gifts, education, money, economics, business, society, fear, talent, love, evolution and leadership. I consider it an honor to have had the opportunity to read this book before it's public release on January 26th, and I'm humbled to be part of the crowd that is posting reviews.

Seth explains that much of what is happening in the world today is because we're in the midst of another kind of industrial revolution. Suddenly, success doesn't depend on fitting in, doing well in school, or landing the perfect job. Success now is loving what you do, creating art, and then (here's the hard part) showing it to the world by shipping it.

You don't do art? He's not talking about painting, or photography, though he certainly could be and does at times. He's talking about taking what you do, and doing it amazingly well. Doing it with emotional labor. Doing it in a way, essentially, that makes you irreplaceable.

Linchpins don't worry about a 15% unemployment rate. We're needed now more than ever before. Are you replaceable? Why?

We live in a world, Seth explains, where we are all manufacturers. The barrier to entry in the new factory of production is now a high speed internet connection and a computer. We have only just begun to see the transformation of our economy, and our society; and that this thing we call the internet is still in it's infancy. We live in a world where we can now, all of us, make something. We are all creators. We are all inventors. We are all artists.

We are all amazing.

Let me ask you a few questions. What if the education you received was designed to prepare you to work in a factory that no longer exists? What if instead of being rewarded for doing work you were rewarded for creating art? What if the "safe" thing was dangerous and the "dangerous" thing was actually safe? What if part of your brain was constantly working to hold you back?

Seth explains in Linchpin that these aren't "ifs", but instead outlines how we are, by in large, a people who have had the artist beaten out of us. We were trained to be replaceable cogs in a giant factory optimized for efficiency. A factory that, by the way, can be a row of cubicles in New York just as easily as it can be an assembly line in Detroit. Pretty much everyone in your life who has told you to fit in, that your idea was silly, that you should have a backup plan - they've all conspired to keep you from being amazing.

And then there's your lizard brain. This part of our brain controls our "fight or flight" response and other basic instincts. It's what kept us safe, alive and evolving. Now however, our Lizard brain is actually holding us back.

"Trust me", Seth seems to be saying, "you will not be eaten by a tiger if you publish that book, pitch that idea, give that speech, or write that book review."

Probably my favorite thing about this book though is the way it makes you feel about your ideas. I think the way Seth Godin would put it, is that he presents his ideas in a way that allow you to see them through your worldview. The result is, you don't feel as if you've just been given a bunch of ideas by someone, or that someone else has injected their beliefs into your brain. Rather, it's as if your own ideas have simply been shaken loose.

The skill this takes as a writer is almost beyond my comprehension.

What Seth Godin has done with Linchpin is motivated his reader to see their ideas, understand why they hold themselves back, and most importantly challenges us to create and ship.

There are few books in the world that can make you think you can be a better spouse, parent, artist, and business person all at the same time. His book is a gift to all of us, and I highly recommend you check it out.

You can buy Linchpin starting Tuesday, January 26th by way of Amazon, a regular book store, on the kindle, or as an audio book.


In case you're interested in how I came into an early copy of the book, Seth gave his blog readers the opportunity to join him in a bit of an experiment when he wrote this post, giving us the first chance to review his new book before anyone else.

In 48 hours, Seth Godin gave away 3,000 copies of his book and raised over $100,000 for the Acumen fund.


This post is also being published, verbatim, on another blog I write on at