Book Review: How Seth Godin’s Linchpin Can Make You A Better Music Blogger

Seth Godin Linchpin

It’s always a pleasure to pass along tools and tips that have helped make me a better live music blogger, thinker and creative person.

And one person who’s helped me do so is Seth Godin. Though, I’ve never met the guy, I have read his books, and his blog is one of my favorite to read for many reasons.

Godin’s written about the live music industry many times, and like he does in many of his other books, he mixes in several music and concert-related anecdotes in Linchpin, all of which I’ve found challenging, but nonetheless entertaining, insightful and inspiring.

Earlier this year, I sent Godin a link to my interview with the Sasquatch Dancing Guy because he had recently posted about him too in a marketing context.

Godin responded to my email and shared some encouraging remarks about what I was up to with Live Fix.

That said, I like to share with you this review of Godin’s Linchpin that I wrote for Website Magazine.

I hope you enjoy it and be sure to let me know what you thought of Linchpin too.

Book Review: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Regardless of where you are in your career or what stage your business is in, Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin, asks two of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself.

“Are you indispensable” and “Do you see your work as art?”

Seth Godin wastes no time explaining why we need to answer those two questions. From the first pages he goes right to the heart of issue. With opening poignant statements like “you are no longer a faceless cog in the machinery of capitalism (anymore).

You now have a choice,” he boldly strikes like lightning to your address the state of your workplace psyche and career ambitions.

Though it’s one of the best business books I’ve read in a long time, Linchpin is by no means an easy read. It’s an empowering journey mixed with inspiration and struggle.

And because of that, Linchpin is probably one of Godin most psychologically and emotionally challenging books to date.

Like he does on his top-rated blog and in his other best-selling books, Godin doesn’t pull punches. But as he challenges you, he doesn’t leave stuck in the quicksand of confusion and uncertainty.

He gives you a clear path to follow — should you choose to accept the Linchpin mission.

Making use of entertaining sociological anecdotes, mini marketplace case studies and sad (but true) tales of the current economy, he explains what it means to be a Linchpin.

There’s no doubt that he wants to make you uncomfortable, which is a good thing.

Because he forces you to think differently about your work, and why you need to be “remarkable” to survive in the current economy. Most importantly, Godin tells the truth about why “emotional labor” is a must.

Linchpin isn’t the first time that Godin has urged readers to think differently about marketing, entrepreneurship and or being remarkable in your work.

But what makes Linchpin stand out from his other books —Tribes, All Marketers are Liars , Purple Cow — is that instead of focusing on multiple marketing ideas, groups of people or just an inspiring concept, Linchpin is laser-focused on you, the individual.

And it has a cutting and controversial psychological edge to it.

At its core, Linchpin speaks to the heart of aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators and creators.

But it also addresses the needs of those looking for tools to be remarkable at their work no matter what you do or create for a living.

From the first chapter “The New World of Work” to the final Summary, Godin takes you through a new thought process that seeks to rewire your work mentality.

Page by page, Godin plants the seed for a psychological transformation. In the Resistance chapter — one of the book’s most rebellious and enlightening moments — he explains what “emotional labor” is and why you need it to fight against your “Lizard Brain.”

For the most part, Linchpin achieves it’s first mission, which is to get you to start realizing that you do have a choice to see your work as art, and that you’re not just a cog anymore.

And if you need any more convincing that the current economy and job market requires a new type of worker who’s empowered and not shackled by their work, Linchpin does that too.

It’s one of those books that can push you over the edge to go beyond just thinking about creating great art at work, and start doing it.

Since Linchpin reads like an entrepreneurial guide for the workplace, executives hoping to hold on to the old-school job market mentality will, on one level, see Linchpin as a psychological threat to their business.

With those folks in mind, Godin admonishes managers to understand that the marketplace has begun to profoundly favor the Linchpins — the innovators, entrepreneurs and other remarkable workers — more than any time in history.

And if business owners want their company to survive and thrive in this new economy, as Godin says, they must realize that Linchpins aren’t a threat, they’re a vital asset to a company‘s future success.

Most of what Godin says is inspiring, fresh and helpful. But you can’t avoid the controversy within.

Two undeniable questions that pop up throughout are 1) does everyone need to be a Linchpin at their company? and 2) how will companies respond to the Linchpin way of thinking?

As if he’s reading your mind, Godin addresses those two questions by saying that, unfortunately, most companies today aren’t designed to cultivate or hire Linchpins.

And that, yes, companies will continue to hire “faceless cogs” because there will always be those type of people to hire.

Calling the bluff of the doubters and skeptics, he points out that the forward-thinking companies will see that a major fundamental change needs to happen now.

And by starting to make the psychological change today, those few savvy business owners have a chance to be ahead of the curve because they’ve begun to value, empower, and leverage the individual creativity of their employees.

And being a pioneer is usually a good place to be — whether you’re developing a new product or implementing a new way of thinking — because, as history shows, the marketplace tends to reward the innovators and early adopters.

So has Godin continued to be a Linchpin himself?

Yes. In a recent interview, he boldly said that Linchpin will be his last traditionally published book, and that he will release future works only as eBooks because “I really don’t think the process is worth the effort that it now takes to make it work. I can reach 10 or 50 times as many people electronically.”

Now, that’s being a Linchpin.

What did you think of Linchpin? How do you think music bloggers can be Linchpins? The comments are yours!

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