Monday, March 21, 2011


Here's what he said:

Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself

Amanda Hocking is making a million dollars a year publishing her own work to the Kindle. No publisher.

Rebecca Black has reached more than 15,000,000 listeners, like it or not, without a record label.

Are we better off without gatekeepers? Well, it was gatekeepers that brought us the unforgettable lyrics of Terry Jacks in 1974, and it's gatekeepers that are spending a fortune bringing out pop songs and books that don't sell.

I'm not sure that this is even the right question. Whether or not we're better off, the fact is that the gatekeepers--the pickers--are reeling, losing power and fading away. What are you going to do about it?

It's a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, "I pick you." 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.

If you're hoping that the HR people you sent your resume to are about to pick you, it's going to be a long wait. 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.

No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.

Hear, hear! I couldn't agree with Seth more.
And you don't have to make a million dollars or reach 15,000,000 people. You can do very well on a much smaller scale and pay your rent, gas up your car and never miss a meal. With the gifts we've gotten from the wonderful techies behind the Internet and their zillion programs (which I praise every morning when my computer starts humming) it gets more possible every day.

Seth has walked his talk from the beginning, and I can testify that he is right: Pick Yourself.

(If you want to know exactly how you might do that, I'm about to figure out how to do impromptu free Idea Parties on Facebook and we can find out anything! Don't go away.)


  1. Barbara, you and Seth are absolutely right. And you've inspired my life for a LONG time! One of the greatest things was when you came to the unschooling conference I coordinated and spoke (and Listened!), inspiring families to do things they hadn't thought possible. Now my son is grown and a musician and picking himself. Thanks for being out there for us.

  2. Absolutely. Not many people are going to know the value of what you have to offer until you get professional enough to wrap it into a package functional enough for them to be able to have it in some way.
    Is that what you mean about how you could "pick yourself?"

  3. Yahoo! This is what I love about on demand printing, you can make it happen, now, when you're ready, instead of "waiting" to learn if what you've created has any value. It has value, you created it. Now the you, can tend to it as needed and watch it grow. Artists can license themselves, make stationary products, magnets, cards, prints, how-to books etc. Just means you have to take action. YOU. have to follow through and research possible solutions to your own challenges and be tenacious in presenting your work. Totally worth it. I think it's the follow through where most get hung up. If you don't step through the door you can't enter into a new space or leave the old one (paradigm) behind.

    1. Thanks! And true, you must step through the door or you can't leave the old way behind. That's just plain logical. But Resistance isn't always logical and lots of people who can't make that step and don't really know why, should remember this: Isolation is the dream killer. If you can't bring yourself to make the right moves, get a buddy or a coach or take a class or join a Success Team. (I don't believe in building character unless you have a lot of time on your hands. I believe in getting it done.) Here, this video will straighten you out in 10 minutes:

  4. Hello Dear Barbara,
    I've found this article so interesting, as I still feel strongly I need to be picked up. I decided to translate it into Italian (my native language) and put it in my blog, with a due link to your website, of course.
    I did this without thinking too much, so I hope I am not doing something wrong or inappropriate. If so, just let me know, I will delete everything. After all, it's your article.

    1. I'm glad you did, Claudia! (I'm just sorry I haven't clicked the 'notify me' button and didn't read this for such a long time.

  5. Nice article, thanks for the information.

    Anna @ rental mobil jakarta

  6. Barbara, how has it taken me this long to discover you! Your stuff is fantastic and I will be reading a lot more!

    1. Yeah Mark - I'm still finding people who have never heard of Barbara Sher. It must be strange for them to slowly realize who and the value they've found. I consider you Barbara to be the founder of the now-fashionable livelihood of coaching - from loooong before when it was called (decades ago) "career counseling."

      ****Barbara Sher: the Grandmother of Coaching*****

  7. Hi, Nice post thanks for sharing. Would you please consider an intro to my website on your next post, I’ll return the favor. Please email me back. Thanks!

    Aaron Grey
    aarongrey112 at

    Insurance blog

  8. I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don't know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren't already Cheers!I must admit that this is one great insight. It surely gives a company the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and really take part in creating something special and tailored to their needs.

    Cardsharing Server

  9. I am game!
    Let 's roll forward, I am fed up with waiting to be picked by people who don't know who they are.
    I know I am gifted with great things, need to know how to release!!!