I’ve been on a bit of a Seth Godin kick lately, I love his books they are short, succinct and I always get a lot out of them. We are all weird is no different. I grew up being the weird one, which was tough at times but as I’ve gotten older I have learned to truly embrace my weird. I have found that I like who I am and all that’s weird about me.
You don’t need a private plane to be rich, but you do need enough time and food and health and access to be able to interact with the market for stuff and for ideas.
True and I really don’t want to be rich… I just want to be able to have choices about what to buy and choices about how to live.
Are you confident enough to encourage people to do what’s right and useful and joyful, as opposed to what the system has always told them they have to do?
I am really moving in this direction as I have found that what we have always been taught is not always what’s best and I want to help educate people on how to live their best life ever.
A few things that really stood out to me as truths:
It’s not an accident that our instincts, expectations and biases are organized around honoring the masses.
It determines not just what we buy, but what we want, how we measure others, how we vote, how we have kids, and how we go to war. It’s all built on this idea that everyone is the same.
However the tide has turned, and mass as the engine of our culture is gone forever.
The weird aren’t loners. They’re not alone, either. The weird are weird because they’ve foregone the comfort and efficiency of mass and instead they’re forming smaller groups, groups where their weirdness is actually expected.
The key element of being weird is this: you insist on making a choice. More choice, less mass.
Force one: Creation is amplified.
Force two: Rich allows us to do what we want, and we want to be weird.
Force three: Marketing is far more efficient at reaching the weird.
Force four: Tribes are better connected.
You need to be rich to be weird. Not Rockefeller rich, of course, but rich enough to not worry about surviving. Rich enough to care about choice.
in much of the world even the poor are rich enough to make choices, rich enough to have passions, enough to care about what they watch or what they eat.
When we give people choice, we make them richer.
I have a choice, I need to exercise it and now that I don’t feel alone it’s easier to be weird. However If you want me to buy from you, you need to acknowledge and respect my weirdness.
We’ve been trained since birth to enforce the status quo. Our bias is to the many. To please the many. To sell to the many. To be organized to serve the many.
Surprise. The weird are now more important than the many, because the weird are the many.
If you persist in trying to be all things to all people, you will fail. The only alternative, then, is to be something important to a few people.
If you cater to the normal, you will disappoint the weird.
It’s true that we want to be part of a tribe. What’s not true is that it must be the uber tribe, the one and only mass tribe, the center of the curve. Our own little circle is in fact what we really want.
I am different and I want learn differently, think differently, and dream differently.
If only we could embrace the weird in our children, this is an area that is so ripe for change. I was the weird kid. I was homeschooled when it was relatively unheard of.. I worked hard, got stuff done and embraced my passions, I remember signing up for multiple home study courses in high school in areas that I was interested in.. and sometimes I imagine what I could have learned had I had access to the internet of today…
What are we going to do with 4 million weird kids? Every year! When a six-or seven-or eight-year-old kid is gifted at visual thinking, why do we shut her down and force her to do fractions? When a teenager wants nothing more than to organize and to solve interesting problems, why do we push him to study for the SAT instead? When the standard at a school is defined as mediocre, why don’t we celebrate and leverage the student who’s willing to push the envelope and produce heroic work?
The simple alternative to our broken system of education is to embrace the weird. To abandon normal.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy. It’s not easy because we can’t process weird. We can’t mass-produce students when we have to work with them one at a time or in like-minded groups. We can’t test these kids into compliance, and thus we can’t have a reliable, process-oriented factory mindset for the business of education. No, it’s not easy at all.
The stories of so many outliers are remarkably familiar. They didn’t like the conformity forced on them by school. Struggled. Suffered. Survived. And now they’re revered.
What happens if our schools (and the people who run them and fund them) stop seeing the mass and start looking for weird? What if they acknowledge that more compliance doesn’t make a better school, but merely makes one that’s easier to run?
My proposed solution is simple: don’t waste a lot of time and money pushing kids in directions they don’t want to go. Instead, find out what weirdness they excel at and encourage them to do that. Then get out of the way.
We are coming together. Finding each other, Embracing our weird and creating change.
Weird is everywhere you look it’s the outliers, the previously alone, who are getting together in order to reinforce their nascent movement. They’re well aware that their world doesn’t extend forever; in fact, it might not go much further than this tent they’re standing in.
It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are.
The weird have an obligation, too If marketers are going to cater to the edge cases, then the edge cases have to step up and spend money, speak up and get involved. Yes, they have to act a little less weird, and organize into tribes willing to engage with the outside world.
If you want marketers to make exactly what you want, you have to tell the marketers what you want.
And then keep your promise and buy something when they make it.
We have more power than ever before. We need to realize that and band together. We can change anything we want.
Tribes are groups of people aligned around an idea, a community, and a mission.
No niches. No mass. Just tribes that care in search of those who would join them or amplify them or yes, sell to them. This is not utopia, but it is our future.
We don’t like the advertising that’s not for us, not about us, not interesting to us. But talk to me, directly to me, about something relevant and personal, and I love you for it.
The challenge of your future is to do productive and useful work for and by and with the tribe that cares about you. To find and assemble the tribe, to earn their trust, to take them where they want and need to go.
The goal is find and organize and cater to and lead a tribe of people, embracing their weirdness, not fighting.
Let’s get out there and create the shift . Let’s stand together and embrace our tribe and our own brand of weird.