Seth and Morrissey on Work

Credit: Joi Ito

Credit: Joi Ito

Seth Godin’s insights into the human condition and the way we work, create, and produce meaningful stuff never disappoints.

And in his  post, “Just leave me to do my work”, he once again had me saying “Amen” and “Oh Me” in the same breath.

The “Amen” is because he’s right.  Our “work” encompasses all the little things that go along with what we create.

Things like answering emails, doing paperwork, accounting, building community, selling, and even getting our own coffee. (There is no coffee boy.)

All of this is just part of “the work”.

And as Seth posits

…The few people who find themselves isolated with nothing to do but what they BELIEVE is their ‘work’, find a way to distract themselves with something anyway.

And people who have too many distractions to actually do any REAL work are in that bind because they haven’t invested enough time, effort or risk in their organization and their process.

Maybe you can see the “Oh Me” part.

I did.  I had a bit of that, “oh man all this distracting stuff is keeping me from my work.”


The bottom line is that I/you/we have to take responsibility for doing ALL the work.

You have to earn this thing.  You have to invest the time effort and risk to not only create stuff that matters, but get it out to the people who will be impacted buy it.

You have to suffer and cry for a longer time.  Work until the work is done.

And then do it again and again and again.  If you do, you can likely avoid what happened to Morrissey of The Smiths

When they pulled me back
And held me down
And looked me in the eyes and said
You just haven’t earned it yet, baby
You just haven’t earned it, my son
You just haven’t earned it yet, baby

You must suffer and cry for a longer time