Hemingway’s Pencils

I’ve said this a lot lately, so I wanted to blog it: No one ever asked Hemingway which pencils he used to write his books.

The tools aren’t the thing. The effort and the content and the promotion and the connection and the networking and the building value are the thing.

Then and Now

You know what’s really changed? Platform. That’s one huge thing that’s changed. You can build a platform by yourself. You don’t need the mainstream (though they can certainly help). You can build and build and build and grow something of value as far as personal networks go.

You know what else has changed? Value extraction. In the old days, you could make a living selling books or whatever. You can’t do that now. (Most people can’t.) I don’t make very much money off sales of Trust Agents or Social Media 101. I make money off speeches that those books help me secure. I make money off clients who know me from those books. I make money off the social proof that comes from writing a New York Times Bestseller. But I don’t make money off the books. I work for every dime.

Forget about the Pencil

Work with what you have at hand. If you can’t afford a premium theme, don’t buy one. If you can, buy the one you want. Buy the one you’ve seen built into something useful. Buy the tools you can afford at any given moment, and plan to upgrade them, if an upgraded tool is helpful.

But never ever confuse the quality of the content with the tools that put it there. And don’t confuse content with value extraction. And know that YOU can do it. You just have to actually do it. Build it. Make it so.

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