Greatness Over Popularity

For anyone working as an artist (or running a customer-focused business/organization of any kind), I cannot recommend highly enough the blog (and many books) by Seth Godin. His post yesterday on “The Humility of the Artist” struck a particular chord with me and I want to share an excerpt with you here:



“…[When the] prospect hears your offer but doesn’t buy, the artist responds, that’s okay, it’s not for you.

Isn’t this arrogant?

No. It’s arrogant to assume that you’ve made something so extraordinary that everyone everywhere should embrace it. Our best work can’t possibly appeal to the average masses, only our average work can. Finding the humility to happily walk away from those that don’t get it unlocks our ability to do great work.”     ~Seth Godin


At first blush, it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that great work will result in a smaller audience (and that this is a desirable result) but if you take great to mean authentic or unfettered by any attempt to make it universally liked (homogenized), it rings true enough. When an artist surrenders authenticity in an attempt to please everyone, it is unlikely that the resulting creation will be anything more than average.

With that, I invite each of you to make something 100% authentic – something great – even if you are the only person who likes it.


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