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Opportunity & The Fall Of The Gatekeepers (A-List Death Redux)

What does it say about me that I LOVE seeing the gatekeepers fall? My dad was right, as he told me when I was a kid, “Don’t join the Army, you don’t like taking orders.” No I don’t. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like being told that I can’t do something because you say I can’t.

Who the heck are you to tell me I can’t do something?

The traditional publishing world is a perfect example of this. Since the dawn of the printed word, we’ve been told we can’t write because only they can decided what gets published.

Not anymore.

Newspapers and television and radio are also great examples. Before blogs, or podcasting, or YouTube, if you wanted to put content out in one of those forms you had to go through a show producer, or editor or some other type of gatekeeper.

Not anymore.

And that type of opportunity is truly amazing. Everyone now has it in their hands. No one can tell you you can’t do it anymore.

Seth Godin was recently quoted as saying that writers don’t have the right to make money from their work. As I mentioned here, it’s not about having the right, it’s about having the opportunity.

Seth is the perfect example of somebody who spent years working his way up to his now well-deserved success. If you read any interview by him, he’ll say that it wasn’t overnight, and it wasn’t easy. Which is why he should understand that it’s the opportunity that is the main thing that is driving this self-publishing revolution. Not the money.

Nobody wants to be told what they can or can’t do. And everyone wants to have the same opportunity as every else. In the end, then, it’s all about the work. And the cream will rise to the top. I think we can all agree on that.

It’s interesting to me how we continue to see the impact of the power of the social Web and the shifts it creates. If you’ve followed my blog for years, you know I covered the death of the A-list quite extensively back in the day.

Essentially, before social media, and before everyone had a blog, you had the “A-lst”, a group of people who were influencers above others. A few select voices that everyone turned to to get their news and opinions.

People like Jason Calacanis, Steve Ruebel, Robert Scoble, just to name a few. What happened was that because everyone else was able to have the same opportunity as they did, they didn’t become needed anymore. In other words, YOU became your own A-lister in your niche.

Another gatekeeper fallen. Another opportunity created by the power of the Internet.

The point of all this is that if you want to be successful you have to be able to spot opportunity, and you have to be able to take hold of it and make a go of it.

There’s never been a greater time in the history of the world to grab opportunity and have a realistic chance at being successful. That’s what my book Business Around a Lifestyle is all about.

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