There’s some pretty inspiring people I come across in my work.
An architect and urbanist, on a mission to create more liveable cities.
A songwriter who writes hitsongs for people like Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez.
An artist who uses her art as a way to wake people up to the fragility of our eco-system.
A composer whose goal is to bring music therapy for dementia and alzheimer’s into mainstream healthcare.
The ghostwriter for some of the biggest names in internet business.
But no matter how inspiring you are, or how much good you could do, there’s two sharply separated attitudes.
You get to choose which one you want, and the choice will determine whether you’ll make it or not.
A binary choice:
Do you seek permission – or are you the authority who gives permission?
When I see an artist trying to get into a gallery, they’re trying to gain permission, and it’ll be a long and hard road.
When an author pitches publishers to try and get a book deal, they seek permission and they’re in competition with a whole bunch more authors.
When a consultant cold calls and pitches companies, she’s fighting an uphill battle, trying to get others to notice her.
If a designer hunts for gigs on online job boards, he’s looking to trade time for money, in direct competition with all the other applicants.
It’s not that any of that is wrong, but for someone who truly excels at their work, it just ain’t right.
They are all ways to remain a purveyor, instead of allowing yourself to become an authority that other people seek out.
And once you make that mental switch, magic happens.
You get to be perceived as an authority, as ‘best in the world’ (that doesn’t mean globally, but best in the little world called ‘your niche’).
And suddenly, you become the one who gives permission.
For a gallery to pick up your work, for a client to hire you…
You become the one who gives permission.
And to get to that position?
One step: to give *yourself* permission to become that authority.
If you’re made for awesome or great things, you can’t get there so long as you seek permission from others.
You’ll need to pick your side.
So here, here’s your permission slip.
Also published on Medium.