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Pick Yourself

Do you remember the feeling of helplessness in a junior team line up at school, as one by one the captains and team leaders of the moment chose who was ‘in’? Remember the fear of being last, of not being picked and the feeling of having no control over your destiny. As economies tank, and traditional business models break down, we are beginning to question what security is. We’re evaluating the actual value of being picked and weighing that up against being masters of our own destiny.

Since some reports say that 80% of jobs aren’t even advertised and are filled through networks and recommendations, it seems that picking yourself might be an excellent strategy.

“Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.”
Seth Godin

Backing your own dream without a safety net seems scary and yet when you look around you at the people you most admire, who have created not just businesses but legacies, you’ll find that they are the ones who have drawn their own line in the sand and dared to cross it.

Tom Fishburne a Harvard Business graduate picked himself the day he left his well paid job to follow his dream of being a cartoonist.

Angela Lussier self published her book Anti Resume Revolution and started a career consulting business on the back of it.

David Mc Kinney and Stuart Hall didn’t worry about the 425,000 other Apps in the iTunes store, they just focused on solving problems and building ‘killer products’. Their Discovr Music App was number one in 28 countries.

Abigail Forsyth was appalled by the amount of waste generated by disposable coffee cups, so she set about doing something to change human behaviour and launched the award winning Keep Cup in 2009, selling 800,000 cups in the first year alone.

If you want to work with a dream client, find a way to show them what you could do for them.
Mike Kus did exactly that when he realigned the Innocent drinks homepage and posted the results on his blog. He may not get the Innocent gig, but I’m betting he’ll land a clutch of other great offers.

Christina and Sandra didn’t wait for publishers to contact them. They wrote and blogged and shared and built communities. They picked themselves and their ships sailed in.

Self selection doesn’t rely on privilege, education and hierarchies. Our world is littered with examples and role models of self selectors, who didn’t wait and wonder. Don’t let tradition, gatekeepers, HR departments or sports captains stand in the way of you making your mark and creating ideas that matter.

What’s your take on this?

Image by Treetop Mom.