In new economy, don’t hold back your brilliance

Our economy has changed. Look around, you can see the change, and you can feel its effects. What you might not know is why it has changed and what you can do to thrive in this shifting world.

In fact, now could be the time for you to fly high and be brilliant. That’s what Seth Godin says in his new book, The Icarus Deception. Godin – author of 14 bestsellers, including Purple Cow and Linchpin, and one of the world’s most popular business bloggers (www.sethgodin.com) – sees opportunity for each of us to create and excel in today’s economy.

I believe Godin’s message is powerful, inspiring and challenging. Thanks to Maria’s Bookshop, I was able to distribute 23 signed copies of The Icarus Deception and keep one for myself to share my insights with you.

The book’s title is a play on the Greek myth of Icarus. In this story, Icarus and his father, Daedalus, build wings to escape imprisonment by King Minos. Icarus ignores the warnings of his father not to fly too high. The sun melts the wax holding his wings together, and Icarus falls to his death. The moral: Don’t try to fly too high, don’t act like one of the gods. If you do, you will be punished.

In the industrial economy, we fully accepted this lesson. We set our flight paths low: Get a degree, be on time, follow the rules, give up your dreams to collect a paycheck and retire some day.

What’s the consequence of living according to these low expectations and small dreams? We are robbing the world – and ourselves – of our brilliance. Neil Young was right when he said: “Holding back is close to stealing.”

The rules have changed. The industrial economy is in decline and what Godin calls the connection economy – in which we can all shine – is rising. The connection economy demands we create art. Not art we hang on the wall, but art defined as something done for the first time, something that creates connection and touches other people.

Godin says the assets of the connection economy are free and available to all of us:

Trust.

Permission.

Remarkability.

Leadership.

Stories that spread.

Humanity – connection, compassion and humility.

When developed and combined, these assets can be the catalysts for art. Entrepreneurs are artists. Business owners are artists. Freelancers are artists. They all can connect people through ideas, stories and dreams.

Yes, I know, this is easier said than done. You can’t suddenly quit your job and start making art in the connection economy with the expectation of earning enough money to pay your next round of bills. Art takes time, art takes risks and art takes practice – it’s the gift you have to give the world whether anyone will buy it or not.

So start making your art and see where it leads. Don’t be deceived by the Icarus myth. Dare to fly high and be brilliant.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.” – Albert Einstein

matt.kelly.durango@gmail.com Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance. www.personalfinancecoaching.com.

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