And Like That, POOF

As you might have figured out, there's a point in your story where you actually do get skills or powers or abilities, and this is that point. You've reached the part where you blossom out of the animal brain and become, you know, a man.

In the biological sense, not the gender-specific one. Some of the manliest people I know are women. Not all of them were born women, but fuck it, that counts.

And what your skills and powers and abilities allow you to do is create a system which other people can follow, which will give them your skills and powers and abilities, so they can fight the kind of battles you fought - and win. Just like you did.

This is the part where you began to understand why you did things the way you do. Previously, you kind of bullshitted your way through everything, doing your own thing for the sake of doing your own thing. Getting into trouble because you had a destination and didn't know any better and were kind of an arsehole.

And to date, most of your problems have been solved with the help of someone else who is either standing by to assist you with the right skills at the right time, or lagging just a bit behind to clean up your mess. These might be people who have been with you since the beginning, or people you met along the way, or just bystanders who saw you having a problem.

But now... facing these problems, fighting these battles, having these people alongside you... it is starting to be just you and your unique thing. Something only you could do.

And this is what generates the magic response of Respect. (You've come pretty FAR with that FART thing.) There are plenty of people who follow a loser and go "let's see what kind of trouble he gets into." People who admire an idiot just for continuing to get up when he's knocked down. But it's when he starts to lean on his own special skills and abilities and powers that they start to respect him.

And it's that respect which really starts to turn into something meaningful. You can be the smartest guy on the planet, but until you get a hundred blog posts out into the world, nobody cares how smart you are because the world only cares about what it can get from you.

For example, David Wong is an awesome thinker, but he writes a mediocre book and a barely-passable movie. Therefore, only certain Cracked readers know his name, and that only because he consistently has awesome things to write about (like this article he did with Christina H). He should write about those instead of imaginary drugs and being a ghostbuster.

Sometimes your dream of writing a bestselling book that gets made into a Hollywood movie is a bullshit dream and totally not your special power. Not everybody gets to be an astronaut when they grow up. But there's a lot more than being an astronaut out there, and an awful lot of it is still awesome. Rock stars aren't astronauts. Even if you are an astronaut, I recently mentioned Neil Armstrong's death and a couple people actually demanded to know what he did that was so special anyway.

Why? Because the world only cares about what it can get from you, and Neil Armstrong didn't give the world anything except a staticky quote and a blowjob joke. (Technically, Buddy Hackett gave us the blowjob joke, but he used Neil Armstrong to do it.)

This is where you show the world why they care. You have something they can get from you, and you're willing to give it to them. In a pyramid fashion - some for free with no strings, some in return for their contact information, some for a little money, some for a lot of money. Site, List, Offer, Tribe. Build the SLOT machine.

It all lags just a bit behind the FART process - you need the Site so there's something to Follow, the List so there's a place they can Admire you, the Offer so they can show their Respect, and then the Tribe so they can demonstrate their Trust.

We'll talk about that last bit tomorrow.