Best-selling details ain’t coincidences

Has any human being ever paid attention to coincidences, and bothered to give himself an explanation? Everyone has. Humanity has been playing with destiny and randomness since a very long time. And so did I while I was attending high school.

I remember walking into the local library and ask for “Synchronicity – An Acausal Connecting Principle”, a paper written by Carl Jung more than sixty years ago. The librarian took me to Jung’s collected works, and I got a little bit scared. Now I had to deal with a 600-something-pages volume; oh well, I wanted so.

 

This afternoon, I dove into Chris Brogan’s masterpiece, The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth. He dedicates the very end of the first chapter to explain how people who couldn’t simply “fit in” can do business and make a living.

When you make it your business to find the people who are the same kind of freak as you, you’ll profit from serving that community in some form or fashion.

I put down the book, immediately thought about the freaks I’ve met in the past years, and tried to collect them in an imaginary community. At that point, it’s OK to feel a little skeptical and afraid about what the future may reserve for me from the moment I embrace my freakiness; so my mind jumped to all the struggling weirdos I’ve encountered, a desperate signal to stop me from ever considering being a square peg in a round hole anymore.

I was picturing a strange dude who rides on a violet punk trike, taking tourists and workers around the city, here in Trento; frankly, he seemed quite hopeless. I then turned the page, and read the first paragraph headline: “What make some freaks successful and other freaks strugglers?”

I could not help but think of synchronicity.

I may have wondered about how magic and mysterious the universe is, and make up a lot of guesswork. I may have linked these two close meanings and draw some conclusions about how coincidences really have a place in my life. But I’m discovering I’m too rational for that. Daniel Kahneman wouldn’t let me make such a mistake, and I am too fond of his work to disappoint him.

 

When you look for something, you know you’ll find it. As a blogger, I want to understand what makes a best-selling book a best seller. I would not say Chris Brogan hit the New York Times Best-Sellers list by chance. So I looked closer at his writing to learn something useful.

I would argue the last sentence of the first paragraph was designed to make any curious, ambitious freak think exactly of her counterparts, and wonder why some succeed and some don’t. I believe the mission of a writer is to lift people up, and I praise any story which is able to foster curiosity. When Brogan brings up the very question, engagement reaches its peak. Because, as Jim Rohn used to point out,

The goal of effective communication should be for the listener to say, “Me, too!” versus “Sowhat?

 

At that point, questions may even be left unanswered. The seed that has been planted.

 


 

Aren’t you a struggling freak yourself, and want to know the solution?

The one missing ingredient most would-be world-changing freaks lack is their ability to answer the question, “How is this a business?” In other words, what are these people offering that you can truly make an impact…and a profit?

 

Dig in.