cover image The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

Seth Godin. Portfolio, $24 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-32897-2

“Are you an artist? Of course you are,” fist-pumps business guru Godin (This is Marketing) in this big-hearted book of affirmations. The modern economy, he says, has “brainwashed” would-be entrepreneurs and industry disruptors into staying on the 9-to-5 treadmill, when they really owe it to themselves—and everyone else (“It’s selfish to hold back when there’s a chance you have something to offer”)—to try out their most ambitious ideas, even at the risk of failure. Godin urges readers to get started by redefining themselves as changemakers, since “identity fuels action, and action creates habits, and habits are part of a practice, and a practice is the single best way to get to where you seek to go.” His cognitively dissonant advice, like “seek out constraints” and embrace inauthenticity when necessary (such as by “show[ing] up” even when one is feeling uninspired and has “something else you’d rather be doing”), is thought-provoking, if occasionally lacking in gravitas, as when he optimistically forecasts that if businesspeople simply trust themselves and “the people we serve,” then that “trust will be repaid many times over.” Nonetheless, Godin’s message will resonate with his many fans, and his enthusiastic, nearly giddy tone may even charm skeptics. (Nov.)