Seth Godin writes about business and marketing in the best way, because I always find some fascinating idea that sounds suspiciously like good advice for living. When he writes about being brave, bold, and authentic in business, and especially the importance of contributing your work to the world, it seems to apply whether you’re the Manager of Home Affairs (my friend Sally’s title for her work as a stay-at-home-mom) or the CEO of a brick-and-mortar business.
I’m not a faithful follower, but every time I check in on Seth’s blog lately, he is talking about being authentic, and the importance of doing your unique work. He calls it art, but he’s not talking about visual arts necessarily. Your “art” is really just the thing you love, the thing you’re good at, the thing you do that’s authentically you. And we are all artists. Even if our work is simple, I believe being true to what we do, to our sphere of responsibility, does make the world a better place.
So we all have something special to offer the world, and Seth Godin’s questions revolve around whether or not we will. It can be a little scary. Are we willing to show up? To share our voice? To contribute our ideas and stories? To shine?
V is for Vulnerable, one of Godin’s latest books, addresses this grown-up question in a simple, inspiring way. The alphabet-style, looks-like-its-for-kids book explores the somewhat intimidating realm of authenticity, hard work, honest choices, and engaging with what you offer life. Exciting, right?
One of the letters that resonates most with me is J, for Joy. “Joy is the satisfaction of connection,” he writes, describing the fulfillment of doing your work, and sharing it. It doesn’t matter what your art is, as long as it creates connection. When it does, you’ve made a difference, and that is joy.
What’s your “art”? I’d love to hear the first thing that pops into your head (or the second or the third would be great, too). Have you felt nervous to share/offer/publish/create it? Have you felt the sort of joy Godin describes when you do?