Monkeys and Chiefs

The astute observer will at some point have noticed that there's a distinct similarity between the monkey-brain and the chief-brain. I mean, it's in the monkey-brain that we first see the concept of the tribe, but of course we want to lead the tribe, right?

Well, that's the monkey-brain view of it. The chief-brain views it much differently. But let's stick to the monkeys right now, just to keep things in order.

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Mind The Gap

So yesterday we talked about the problem of the Cult of Done Manifesto, specifically the way it says to get shit done but it never tells you to do a good job. And today, we'll be talking about a manifesto with the other problem - it tells you to do a good job, but it never tells you how to get shit done.

So the thing is, if you put these things together you have a pretty good end result.

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Excusing Failures

So if there's one thing that never changes no matter how long we live or how good we are at what we do, it's that we all fuck up.

A lot.

Especially when we're new at a particular thing, we tend not to make the smartest decisions. We might, say, launch the almighty fuck out of a product and make $8,500 in a week... then have no damn clue what to sell the customer list. Or how to talk to them. Or, indeed, whether this was even a good idea in the first place. (Guess who did that?)

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Are We Not Men?

In the 1970s, there was still a lot of concern about the idea of evolution. I mean, weird, right? We had this big trial with Scopes and Darrow and all that in the 1920s. And yet, here we are today, and people are still debating the question of whether it should be taught in schools or not. And how it's "just a theory," kind of like, you know... the theory of magnetism.

Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse rapping about fucking magnets
Seriously, how do they fucking work?

One of the core disconnects between the religious mind (which believes what it cannot prove) and the scientific mind (which proves what it cannot believe) is that the idea of a "theory" is very different to each of them.

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Roll Camera

The thing we have to worry about now is getting from being very focused on what you are getting for you to being more focused on what you are offering the world.

Basically, imagine that you're making a movie. You can't just go "this is my movie about me." Something has to happen.

Now, you never take the focus away from you. This is your movie, Goddammit. You're the main character of your movie. But the thing is, nobody cares about you - unless they can see themselves in you.

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The Line Must Be Drawn Here

There's one very critical element of any community which has to be established early on, and that is precisely what it is you stand against.

Oh, don't get me wrong, you definitely need to stand for something. But standing for something is not enough. Standing for something gives you an "us."

But you cannot create a long-term sustainable group without also having a "them." Someone else whose values do not match yours, and indeed are antithetical; someone whose viewpoint is not only different, but actively wrong. You need a group which stands against you, and all you stand for, so you have something to fight.

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The Root Of Authority

In order for people to rally around you on the internet, or anywhere else, you need to be perceived as an authority. And being perceived as an authority is kind of right there in the word.

Author.

Basically, you have to write a book. It's never been easier to write a book; between CreateSpace and Lulu and Xlibris and Vervante, you can go from the same sort of PDF you might use to create your product to a physical published book - with just a few hours work and a couple dollars of investment.

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We On A Mission

So as I mentioned yesterday, there's a way around the problem of wanting to be around people who don't want to be around you, and that is to solicit volunteers.

Remember when you started up your list, so you could talk to your people? This is the other side of that, where you create a space for your people to talk to each other. This is the core of a tribe: they need to have a reason to communicate, and a means of communication.

There are dozens of ways to set this up. Forum software. Skype groups. Facebook groups. Fan pages and social networks and Twitter lists and who knows what else. But the key element - the thing that sets this apart from a cult of personality, like a blog - is that the people are here to talk to each other. They post comments to talk to you. They join your list for you to talk to them. But they join your tribe so they can talk to other people in it.

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