What’s the best diet? The one you’ll follow. What’s the best exercise program? The one that gets you the results that YOU want. What’s the best business strategy? The one you’ll actually implement to get where you want to go.
I was wishing a happy birthday to Scott Sigler, and realized that he’s a great example for my upcoming book, Make Your Own Game. Scott was an aspiring fiction author who couldn’t really get the attention of anyone to publish his works. So he decided to do a podcast in serial form (yes, LONG before that serial showed up and acted like it was a novel idea).
Scott was able to show just how active his fan base was around his books and he landed himself a modest book deal. BECAUSE he had cultivated a very strong community around his project, the book sold extremely well, and that got the attention of the mainstream. Suffice to say that Scott’s a very successful and established author and creator now.
Any Path Gets You There
My story’s living proof. I was just another employee, doing my job (kinda) and dreaming endlessly about the possibilities for the company. Nobody I worked with cared all that much for my endless ideas and rantings. They ignored me for the most part. So I blogged. I blogged and I made media and I podcasted and I started going to events that had nothing to do with work. And then I ran my own event with Christopher S Penn.
And then I became a New York Times bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and a business advisor to some of the biggest brands in the world. In just a couple of engagements a year, I get paid more than my entire salary at the place that mostly ignored me or just wanted me to do my job. I took my own path (make media that informs and entertains and CONNECTS) and got where I wanted to go.
But You Have to Take It And Walk It
First, walking someone else’s path probably won’t ever feel as fun as finding your own way there. That’s why the new book is “Make Your Own Game” and not “Hey, someone else has this game and it’s cool and you should do that.”
And the other warning? You have to walk ONE path for a while before deciding to try another. Don’t get this twisted. You can get off a path. But you can’t walk two or three at once (at least not for too long).
Also, you have to actually move forward. You can fall back sometimes. You can retrace your steps. By standing still on a path doesn’t count for much.
No one is waiting to give you permission. The permission fairy isn’t coming. Pick a destination. Pick a path. And get walking. Don’t let the ways other people did it get you messed up. Your way is the right way. Unless it’s not. And then do something else.