blue-monkey

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.

The primary difference between monkeys and dogs is that dogs all do the same thing: eat, sleep, fuck, and lick their balls. Okay, maybe it's a little more complex than that, but a pack of dogs is functionally interchangeable. You have the alpha, and you have everyone else.

This is where I have a problem with dog-brains running coaching or mentorship programs. You're like "I have this problem" and they're all "lick your balls!" because that's all they know. "Can you eat it? Can you fuck it? Lick your balls! When you're done licking your balls, go to sleep."

Monkeys will, at the very least, experiment. You can start helping people at the monkey-brain stage, because on a fundamental level you kind of understand they are not you,

Dog-brains, and indeed pretty much everyone up to that point, think the answer is the same for everybody. They don't quite get that your life looks different from theirs and your business will be different than theirs and your goals are different from theirs because they think everyone is the same. You're a dog, like me, so eat and sleep and fuck and lick your balls like every other dog.

Monkeys begin to learn that the leader of their troop is different from them. He is not the leader because everybody had a wrestling match and he won. He is the leader for other reasons. He may have particular skills. He may have particular talents. He may know where the best bananas are. But the leader is different in a special way.

Likewise, all the other monkeys are different, too. Some are good at climbing and some are good at swimming and some are good at fishing termites out of rotten stumps. So when you need a particular thing, you go to that particular monkey. Sure, every monkey can do what every other monkey can do, but some monkeys are better at it.

And that doesn't make the rest of the monkeys bad monkeys. Dogs get offended when they're not good enough at something. They bark and growl and bitch about how they are so just as good as that other dog at everything and they will totally bite you.

I had a pretty well-known marketer - we'll call him Rick - get upset at me not too long ago because I made a list of seven marketers that I thought were making the biggest difference in marketing as a field, and one of those marketers thought Rick belonged on that list.

Except I said "No... no, he doesn't." Which meant that I thought Rick was at best the eighth most influential marketer in the world. And this offended him.

"What do you mean I'm not better than #8?!"

That's some dog-brain shit right there. What do you mean I'm not the best? I am every bit as good as those people. What have they got that I haven't got?

Among other things, the maturity to not bitch when they aren't on someone's top-seven list.

One of the most critical parts of moving into the monkey-brain level is to understand that other people are going to be better than you at things, and to simply accept it when people identify them as being good at something. You don't need to bitch and complain and shoehorn your own name into every list. You don't get to be on every list. And that's okay.

And there's nothing wrong with Rick being in the dog-brain category, either. When you draw lines, sometimes people end up on what they consider the "wrong" side of the line - whether because they would rather be in a different category, or because they think what they're doing belongs in that different category.

If it's the former, changing what you're doing will accomplish that. If it's the latter, maybe you need to do somewhat more of it. But the lines aren't set in stone, and you can choose when and how and whether you cross from one to the next.