I read Seth Godin’s blog this morning and as usual, he was right on target with his observations of our culture and the shift in our economy. We are moving out of the “industrial age”, an economy based on scarcity and into a “connection economy” based on abundance – abundance of “choice, connections and access to knowledge.”
In our new “connection economy”, we can connect with more people and “leverage our skills at a higher level.” This is leading to two races: a race to the bottom which is forcing us to lower our prices, because it’s easy to find plenty of people who will do something cheaper or a race to the top which gives us the opportunity to use our new connections, resources and knowledge and become the one “they can’t live without.”
“The connection economy doesn’t create jobs where we get picked and then get paid; the connection economy builds opportunities for us to connect, and then demands that we pick ourselves.” It’s no longer sufficient to just deliver a job at a fair price; a “connection economy” is all about standing out and being remarkable.
We need to invent – not duplicate.
So how do we stand out in a world of noise? I believe we need to be authentic and true to ourselves. We need to take the ultimate risk and listen to that voice inside because that’s the voice that should be heard. We need to be vulnerable in order to race to the top. At the end of the day, we are all human and we can spot a phony or an imitation when we see one.
Most of all we need to remember, we are human beings with basic human needs – one being the need to connect with our fellow human. We don’t connect merely on devices alone – you connect by telling your “story”. If your story resonates with others – it spreads. Today that means it gains traction quickly and spreads globally. But you don’t connect with people by doing the same things as everyone else or regurgitating the same information. You make connections because people are human and they’ll always spot “the real deal” in a crowd.
So be vulnerable, be different, be brave enough to stand out with a fresh approach to old problems and you won’t need to race to the bottom along with others clamoring for those “scarce” jobs. You’ll be the one carving out the opportunities and picking yourself.