Seth Godin writes in his latest blog post -
If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do work that matters, this is it. You can't say, "but I need to make a fortune instead," because that's not happening right now. So you might as well join the people who can say, "I love doing this."
In an earlier entry, Godin also wrote about "taking what you can get".
I have had this notion that in order to survive in these tough economic times, one has to somehow ride the wave - and the wave has been defined by calculated mediocrity, founded on fear and risk-aversion, and on misdirection.
Calculated mediocrity - the search for the path of least resistance, the shortcut, the most efficient - but not necessarily the most effective - way, the "good-enough" phenomenon, the "numbers-don't-lie" and "my-gut-doesn't-lie" - has been all around in almost all industries since the GFC (global financial crisis) reared its ugly head.
The funny thing about this time around is that this calculated mediocrity that is pervading most companies right now is that, well, it is founded on fear.
Sure, we can rationalize the fears - things are slowing down, credit market's tight, we are in a recession, profits are probably going down, revenues are down, stocks are down, shareholders are jittery...
And they are probably logical justifications of the fears on which the current air of calculated mediocrity is built upon - but then, they are just that: mere justifications.
When confronted with fear, we return to what our 'gut' tells us - the heuristics that have been embedded in our heads.
Hence, companies cut costs. They start with marketing and research budgets. Then talent. Then research and development. Then manufacturing centers.
All in the interest of keeping costs down and well, survival.
From my vantage point, if a company had to go back to 'calculated mediocrity' - or take recourse in shortcuts - in order to survive, then will not survive a more chaotic world that this GFC will usher in.
If a company had been "hard-pressed" to be mediocre because it had to survive, then it will not survive the future.
Because this crisis - whether we like it or not - is just the start.
Recovery may be around the corner - but we are going to emerge very different.
And as Warren Buffett said, it is only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked.
Those who willingly gave up their shorts to survive - who reverted to mediocrity because "we had no choice" - they are the ones who have been swimming naked.