When you published your public fan letters to Seth Godin and Tom Peters, I immediately purchased Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like an Artist. And, the first section I read was pages 108 to 109, "Write Fan Letters."
The admiration, respect, and friendship expressed to people who've meant so much to your professional career moved me. You wrote those letters with such honesty. And, you had the courage to publish them online.
A professional colleague gave me your book, Six Pixels of Separation, as a gift around four years ago. She knew I wanted to learn and understand the impact of new media in marketing. Your book and David Meerman Scott inspired me to pursue blogging and to participate in social networks.
Two concepts from your book continue influencing my approach to blogging and social networking:
- In Praise of Slow
- The Golden Rule (e.g., Saying Thank You)
Whenever I write about blogging or personal branding, I usually describe and cite the relevance of these concepts.
I remember my fear of promoting my book review of Six Pixels of Separation on Twitter (because I included your Twitter handle in the tweet). It was one of the few reviews I'd written at that time.
Self-doubt consumed me. Negative thougts ran through my mind like "if Mitch reads this post, what if he thinks it sucks." Or, "what if he thinks I'm misrepresenting his work."
But, you wrote the nicest comment on my post. And, you shared the book review with your Twitter followers.
Your gesture and generosity meant so much. It gave me confidence to keep blogging. I started believing I was on the right path. It reinforced I was doing things the right way (e.g., the approach you described for building a credible reputation).
And, the books and articles you read and share -- Wow! I love how you share your love of reading (especially the diversity and number of books you annually consume).
I can't wait till you publish Ctrl Alt Del in Spring 2013. I know it will be great. I love the ironic play on words (because I and your legions of fans know how much you love writing with your MacBook Air). When you to made the full conversion to Apple products, that was my tipping point to invest in a MacBook Pro.
My biggest regret: not discovering, reading, and studying your book and your blog sooner. I'm not making that mistake twice. I read and study your blog every day. It's required reading in my continuing education to understand where marketing is heading.
Plus, your podcasts demonstrate why you're "the Charlie Rose" of New Media. The conversational insights and your access to New Media's A-List are beyond compare. My personal favorites are your recent conversations with Seth Godin and Ken Wong.
Your writing teaches and inspires me how to write. Every time I read your blog, I say out loud: "Man, I wish I could write like that. I don't care how long it takes -- I'm going to learn to write like that."
I know you love watching documentaries. I recently watched this PBS documentary about the late night talk show host, Johnny Carson. Near its end, David Letterman remarks about the influence and impact of Carson on his career.
Letterman described how "he needed a target" (because he needed something to shoot for). His ideal was Carson.
When I write, you're my target. You're the standard I shoot for.
Thank you for inspiring me (and countless others).
All the best,
Note: Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like an Artist and Mitch Joel's public fan letters inspired this post. Pages 108 to 109, "Write Fan Letters," and Chapter 2: "Don't Wait Until You Know Who You Are To Get Started" from Austin's book are amazing. After reading Austin's book and Mitch's aforementioned posts, I made a public fan letters list of my heroes.
Please indulge me as I periodically publish these fan letters on this blog.
From page 109 of Steal Like an Artist: "Maybe your hero will see your work, maybe he or she won't. Maybe they'll respond to you, maybe not. The important thing is that you show your appreciation without expecting anything in return."