‘“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” Jeff Hammerbacher, an early Facebook engineer, told me. “That sucks.”
Silicon Valley began to look an awful lot like Hollywood. Meanwhile, the consumers it served had turned inward, obsessed with their virtual lives.’
-Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Think about the above quote for a minute. Not just what it says, but what it means. That a whole lot of smarty pants are putting their energy – their genius – into getting people to click a button.
And before you say “But Erika, I WANT them to buy my stuff – doesn’t that mean getting people to click the button?” I want to reply – “Good point, but backwards thinking.”
And here’s why.
Yes, we are in business. If you’re reading this you probably have an online business that you’re dreaming about, already booting up, or in the process of expanding. Business means the exchange of your fabulous goods and services for equally fabulous money. All of which I highly approve of. And we don’t have businesses if people aren’t buying our stuff.
That part is simple – so yes, you do want people to click the button.
But do you want to put the majority of your creative talents, your intelligence, and your originality into getting people to click a button?
Do you really want the button to be your top priority?
So, what if you only had 6 months left in your current business?
Would you stop putting your genius into a freakin’ button?
So here’s the experiment. Pretend that in 6 months, a glittery, glowing spaceship will emerge, grab you by the hair, and zip you over to Walmart headquarters, where you’ll be forced to be a rich, high-powered executive for the rest of your life.
Not a creative. Not a mover and a shaker. But the person who needs to make sure that all the right people are soothed and pampered, and that all the right people are signing their names on the right dotted lines. And definitely not in a fun, party planner kind of way.
And once you’ve imagined yourself in your suit and sensible heels with a calendar full of corporate meetings, how do you feel?
Death & Deadlines are the ultimate motivators & clarifiers.
They force us to cut the crap,
Eliminate the clutter,
Illuminate what we must complete,
And give us the courage to move forward with mind-blowing intent.
So, if you truly only had 6-months left to work on your business, …
1) What will you make urgent?
2) What will you absolutely complete?
3) What will you immediately change?
4) What gift will you leave the world?
5) What will you not let die inside of you?
Big questions. Because I don’t want you to waste your genius.