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How I Changed by Reading Seth Godin's "The Practice", a Book Every Creator Must Read

What I learned from "The Practice: Shipping Creative Work" by Seth Godin

 

Encouraging, empowering, illuminating — this is a book that changed me. Here’s what I learned and how I decided to implement the lessons.

Creativity Is an Action, Not a Feeling

Creativity doesn’t need to be forced. Creativity comes with being human. It’s there at any moment of your life so you don’t need to wait for inspiration. You don’t need to wait for the muse. Simply begin.

Create, write, build, film, paint, record, draw. 

Not doing it is a way to hide. And when you hide, you’re not making a change, you’re not inspiring, you’re not leading.

So choose to be generous and show your audience your imperfect work. It may be an article, a video, or a product. Put your ideas into the world. You can always go back to them and improve them later.

“Writer’s block is a myth. Writer’s block is a choice.” — Seth Godin, The Practice, P. 161

How I’ve implemented this:

I’ve been writing and publishing almost daily. No burnout is in sight. I don’t publish 800 words every day. I publish the words I have on that day — sometimes 800, sometimes fewer than 100. 

*I’ve discovered that I can write, or record a podcast episode or a YouTube video even when I don’t feel like doing it. All I need to do is start doing it.

*I’ve stopped believing I need to share incredibly original ideas. I’ve started believing I need to share ideas that will help my audience move forward.

Imposter Syndrome is Good and Inevitable

If you’re trying to do something no one has ever tried before, if you’re in the process of creating change, how can you not feel like an imposter? No one has done what you’re doing before so you’re doing something that might not work. 

Feeling you’re an imposter is a sign you’re doing it right.

“When we embrace imposter syndrome instead of working to make it disappear, we choose the productive way forward. The imposter is proof that we’re innovating, leading, and creating.” — Seth Godin, The Practice, P. 161

I’ve never looked at imposter syndrome like this before.

How I’ve implemented this:

*Hard to implement. This needs practice. But I’m trying to remind myself that feeling like an impostor is a good thing.

Source: Amazon

Process, Not Results

You can’t control what’s not under your control. So you can control the process, but not the outcome. What does this mean in practice?

Say you want to become a famous writer who changes people’s lives with her words. What should you do? Write, publish, pitch, improve your craft, build connections, and so on.

That’s the process. That’s the practice. You can control the practice.

Becoming famous and changing people’s lives, though, is out of your control as you can’t expect people to love you, read your stuff and make you popular. The outcome is not entirely in your hands. And if only focus on the outcome, you lose sight of the practice.

You don’t want that.

Lose sight of the practice and you’ll become weaker. Self-doubt will kick in and you won’t be focused on the change you seek to make anymore. Results are unlikely to come if you’re weak and inward-focused.

But here’s the good news: focusing on and improving the practice will eventually lead you to results.

“We continue to focus on process, not solely on outcomes. If the process is right, the outcome will inevitably follow.” — Seth Godin, The Practice, P. 190

How I’ve implemented this:

*I now trust myself and the process more. I write, create, record, and listen to my audience more without expecting to go viral, become rich or anything. 

*Guess what? The other day one of my videos made 1K views when I normally don’t get more than 300. I don’t know how that happened but it did. Getting views isn’t the goal though. Helping people is, so I won’t let that distract me. I’ll keep creating and focusing on the practice — knowing nothing is guaranteed.

Get Better Clients

Lousy clients will lead you to do lousy work. But you get to pick your clients. So pick better ones.

Better clients are demanding and want extraordinary work, which you’ll then need to ship. Better clients pay more and help you improve your craft. 

They help you become a pro.

“You earn better clients by becoming the sort of professional that better clients want.” — Seth Godin, The Practice, P. 114

How I’ve implemented this:

*I’ve decided to work only with people who believe what I believe. 

*I’m not offering generic services anymore. I’ve decided to work with motivated non-native English writers who need my help. I’ve decided to be more specific in what I do. I am still working on this. Again, it’s a process. It’s a practice.

Final Thought

I have a specific yet simple rating system to review the books I read. 

The Practice is a 5-star for me.

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