by Prosper Otemuyiwa
One way to Greatness: Pick Yourself
I’ve heard many people say this: “I want to be great”, but most people only just have wild thoughts & imaginations of greatness, their daily plans & actions are pretty normal, nothing out of the extraordinary.
Let me burst your bubble, Greatness is too handsome, cute, well-polished & uber charismatic to just descend on anyone, you have to seduce it. Yes, I said it, you have to seduce it for a shift of extraordinary attention towards you.
Several people we know like Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Seth Godin of International Marketing that have become successful overtime were not just picked out of the general populace to become successful, they picked themselves by starting something early and consistently following through.
Seth Godin has been writing blog posts daily on his website for over a decade.
Rebecca Black has reached out to more than 15,000,000 listeners, like it or not, without a record label by just making videos and uploading it to youtube consistently.
Amanda Hocking is making a million dollars a year publishing her own work to the Kindle. No publisher.
Reject the tyranny of being picked: Pick Yourself — Seth Godin
It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. A lot of people try to seek permission or get a badge of approval from other people before actually getting down to work. It’s very common especially amongst young people looking for jobs, they submit their resumes to HR and just wait. They are simply just waiting to get “picked”. Meanwhile, there are one thousand and one things they could be doing at that time that could result in something more elegant & successful than the job they sent in their resume for.
Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you — that Prince Charming has chosen another house — then you can actually get to work — Seth Godin
The good thing about our world ( ideally, should be a bad thing I guess) is that we are always faced with problems seeking solutions and people are just waiting. Generally, no one wants to tackle the hard stuff but the people we celebrate and applaud daily are the ones that tackled them or at least tried to provide those solutions no matter how minute. Opportunities abound once you realize that you have all the resources and permission you need to solve people’s problems or add value to their lives.
I’m a 23-year-old Software Developer, and in a bid not to be an ordinary person just depleting earth’s natural resources I decided to open a blog where I write technical articles that teach people how to program. I also decided to start contributing to open source to hone my skills. I’ve sent in several pull requests to several open source projects, some were rejected and some were accepted. I’ve gotten at least 3 PRs merged into Laravel Framework. I also personally decided to start building libraries, packages & modules. Every day for the past 7 months, I have been committing & pushing stuff to Github.
During this period, I have had the opportunity of creating about 15 PHP/Laravel packages, 4 npm modules & 3 bower components that people around the world have downloaded & used at various points. I currently have plans to build libraries & components for iOs, Python & Django.
Just recently I developed & released a Laravel Hackathon Starter Pack project to get developers easily started with Hackathons and MVPs and to my surprise it got lots of attention. Within 4 days of release to the public, it amassed over 500 stars on Github, the project started trending on Github & also got me to trend on Github as a top #PHP dev in the world.
It got lots of people to follow me on Twitter, GitHub & Facebook and a lot of “Good Job, Well done” messages all over Twitter & Facebook. Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with being smart because I consider myself to be one of the least smart persons where I work which is Andela( Too many smart folks in this company) and this might also mean nothing but it has taught me 4 lessons which are:
- Don’t wait for things to happen, Make things happen.
- Consistently do great work, don’t stop after a few runs.
- Gone are the days where you do something awesome & wait for people to notice you, PUSH out your work to the public through various channels. Social media has made this very easy for everyone.
- If you stumble, make it part of the dance. Don’t be discouraged.
I’m not successful yet, not even close, still millions of miles away from my goals but I know my name will eventually be on everyone’s lips at some point & I’ll have added values to millions of lives because I have started well by PICKING MYSELF.
No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself. — Seth Godin