Pioneers and Settlers
I was planning to write When Marketing is a Mirage, but that's going to have to wait. Because today I'm hearing the voice of John Steinbeck as he mumbles to his poodle, Charley, and ambles toward his pickup truck:
“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don't improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.”
Have you ever felt that Steinbeckian restlessness?
John's jitters are fully upon me today. I can think of several reasons why this might be, but none of them really matter. I only know that I am to go, and I shall do my best to take you with me. Are you willing to come?
In one of his Paradigm videos, Joel Barker explains how Pioneers differ from Settlers. According to Joel, Pioneers are they who plunge ahead into uncharted wilderness and blaze trails for the more cautious settlers to follow. Wisely waiting in the security of town, the Settlers watch from a distance until the destination is reached, the enemies are subdued, and the beckoning trail sparkles westward in the morning light. The sensible Settlers raise cupped hands to their mouths and call down the trail, “Is it safe out there?” And the Pioneers call back, “Yes! It's wonderful. Come on.”
Then the Settlers in their canvas-covered wagons follow the trail cut through the wilderness by the Pioneers.
There is much wisdom in being a Settler. A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.
Let me tell you plainly, friend, the money is in being a Settler.
But the fun is in being a Pioneer.
Mark Fox tells our students at Wizard Academy, “If you have a truly new idea and people don't hate it, they weren't listening.” Mark prepares us to be successful Pioneers, going to new places in the mind, discovering new answers, finding new ways to communicate all the things in life worth saying.
Takagi Masakatsu is a young Pioneer in Kyoto, Japan. Richard Minsky is a Pioneer from upstate New York. Pioneer Scott McCloud is wandering the highways of America in the footsteps of Steinbeck and Charley. I'm hoping to bring them all to the Academy. They'll tell us what they've seen in their parts of the wilderness, and we'll share what we've seen in ours.
I hope you can be here. We'll want to hear what's happening in your part of the woods, as well.
Who is coming… when they'll arrive… and what they are coming to do. Just keep an eye on WizardAcademy.org.
Roy H. Williams