Recently, Matt at 37 Signals (makers of Basecamp), wrote a post about how to “get ink.” At the end of the post, he talks about being “undeniably goody,” and puts up this quote by Steve Martin from his recent appearance on Charlie Rose:
When people ask me how do you make it in show business or whatever, what I always tell them — And nobody ever takes note of it ‘cuz it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script, here’s how you do this — But I always say, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If somebody’s thinking, “How can I be really good?”, people are going to come to you. It’s much easier doing it that way than going to cocktail parties.
Look, any guy who would hop around in front of thousands of people wearing a white suit and bunny ears is a friend of mine. Martin’s advice is sound, though. Sure, some people reach the top by boozing and schmoozing, but I, for one, have always loathed that kind of behavior—both watching it and participating in it.
Why not just hone your skills? Work at it. Be blue collar. Get better.
New Year’s Resolution: “Work toward being ‘undeniably good.'”