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Preview: Seth's Blog

Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect



Seth Godin's riffs on marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread.



Updated: 2018-02-22T06:06:00-05:00

 



"Is the noise in my head bothering you?"

2018-02-22T06:06:00-05:00

The monologue that runs in our brain is loud. It's heavy-metal loud compared to the quiet signals we get from the rest of the world. All day, every day, that noise keeps going. It's the only voice that has seen...        The monologue that runs in our brain is loud. It's heavy-metal loud compared to the quiet signals we get from the rest of the world. All day, every day, that noise keeps going. It's the only voice that has seen everything we've seen, believes everything we believe. It's the noise that not only criticizes every action of every other person who disagrees with us, but it criticizes their motives as well. And, if we question it, it criticizes us as well. Is it any wonder that projection is more powerful than empathy? When we meet people, we either celebrate when they agree with us or plot to change or ignore them when they don't. There's not a lot of room for, "they might have a different experience of this moment than I do." That noise in our head is selfish, afraid and angry. That noise is self-satisfied, self-important and certain. That noise pushes intimacy away and will do anything it can to degrade those that might challenge us. But, against all odds, empathy is possible. It's possible to amplify those too-quiet signals that others send us and to practice imagining, even for a moment, what it might be like to have their noise instead of our noise. If we put in the effort and devote the time to practice this skill, we can get better at it. We merely have to begin.         [...]



Status roles

2018-02-21T04:53:00-05:00

"I don't have much, but I have more than you do..." The second episode of my podcast is out today, and it's the result of perhaps fifty blog posts I wrote but didn't post, because the topic is too important...        "I don't have much, but I have more than you do..." The second episode of my podcast is out today, and it's the result of perhaps fifty blog posts I wrote but didn't post, because the topic is too important and it's too nuanced for something as short as a blog post. Status roles are at the core of who we are. They change how we spend our time, our money and most of all, our imaginations. We define ourselves in relative terms, not absolute ones. More stuff, more power, less this or less that. Who's up and who's down? It's about the Godfather and professional wrestling, about business cards and politics.  It's about Baxter and Truman. And it's about how fiction works, and real life as well. Everywhere we turn, we see status roles on display. Some people are moving on up, while others are moving down. This creates tension, drama and the need for resolution. Here's a page with all the ways to listen and subscribe for free. Ask a question and see the show notes about this episode on our show page.         [...]



"The Luckiest Lottery Store..."

2018-02-20T04:57:00-05:00

Really? That's the headline in the paper. Of course, there's no such thing as a lucky lottery store. And rational, long-term citizens never buy lottery tickets, because it's a lousy bet. But the idea of the lucky store is precisely...        Really? That's the headline in the paper.   Of course, there's no such thing as a lucky lottery store. And rational, long-term citizens never buy lottery tickets, because it's a lousy bet. But the idea of the lucky store is precisely what someone is paying for when they buy the ticket. That this time, just maybe, luck will turn out the way it's supposed to. That a hunch or a scratch or a slight change in habit will pay off. That's what people are buying, not the net present value of a series of transactions. They're buying the thrill of possible luck.         [...]



A changemaker's triangle

2018-02-19T03:01:00-05:00

Editor, publisher, instigator. The instigator is the author, the dreamer, the writer. She creates a screenplay, founds a non-profit, says what needs to be said. The editor curates. Picks and chooses. Amplifies the essential and deletes the rest. And the...

Editor, publisher, instigator.

The instigator is the author, the dreamer, the writer. She creates a screenplay, founds a non-profit, says what needs to be said.

The editor curates. Picks and chooses. Amplifies the essential and deletes the rest.

And the publisher scales it. Turns it into a business or a success on some other metric.

Throughout the ages, there have been world-class editors. Sometimes they get the authors they deserve, sometimes not. And there have always been great publishers, turning worthy (and sometimes less than worthy) ideas into successes.

If you're a maker of change, you might resort to being your own editor and your own publisher. After all, the ideas must be brought forward. If you can, though, see if you can find the editor and the publisher your work is worthy of.

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Building, breaking, fixing

2018-02-18T04:53:00-05:00

We spend some of our time building things, from scratch. New ideas, new projects, new connections. Things that didn't exist before we arrived. We spend some of our time breaking things, using them up, discovering the edges. And we spend...        We spend some of our time building things, from scratch. New ideas, new projects, new connections. Things that didn't exist before we arrived. We spend some of our time breaking things, using them up, discovering the edges. And we spend some of our time fixing things. Customer support, maintenance, bug fixes... And most of all, answering email and grooming social media. The world needs fixing, it always does. You've already guessed the questions: a. where do you personally add the most value? b. how much of your time are you spending doing that?   [If you want to spend more time in building mode, I hope you'll take a look at the altMBA. It's designed to upgrade and recharge your commitment to building things. Final deadline for applications for our next session is tomorrow, Monday, the 19th.] Last week, a small group of our worldwide coaching team got together. It reminded me of how much Kelli, Marie, Alex, Sam, Fraser, Anne, our extraordinary coaches and our thousands of alumni have contributed to evolving the altMBA. Thank you.           [...]



Quick or smart?

2018-02-17T07:43:30-05:00

Your smartphone makes you quick, not smart. Every time you pick up your quickphone, you stop inventing and begin transacting instead. The flow of information and style of interaction rewards your quickness. It helps you make decisions in this moment....

Your smartphone makes you quick, not smart.

Every time you pick up your quickphone, you stop inventing and begin transacting instead.

The flow of information and style of interaction rewards your quickness. It helps you make decisions in this moment. Which route to drive? Which restaurant to go to? Which email to respond to?

Transactions are important, no doubt. But when you spend your entire day doing them, what disappears?

We can’t day trade our way to the future we seek.

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"I'm not selling anything"

2018-02-16T04:53:00-05:00

Of course you are. You're selling connection or forward motion. You're selling a new way of thinking, a better place to work, a chance to make a difference. Or perhaps you're selling possibility, generosity or sheer hard work. It might...

Of course you are. You're selling connection or forward motion. You're selling a new way of thinking, a better place to work, a chance to make a difference. Or perhaps you're selling possibility, generosity or sheer hard work.

It might be that the selling you're doing costs time and effort, not money, but if you're trying to make change happen, then you're selling something.

If you're not trying to make things better, why are you here?

So sure, you're selling something.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "I'm not selling something too aggressively, invading your space, stealing your attention and pushing you to do something that doesn't match your goals."

That's probably true. At least I hope it is.

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Looking for seekers (who are looking for you)

2018-02-15T09:08:33-05:00

"Don't go to the supermarket when you're hungry." The reason is obvious--when you're hungry, you're likely to buy things. The risk is that you'll buy something you don't need, because, of course, all that buying isn't actually making you less...        "Don't go to the supermarket when you're hungry." The reason is obvious--when you're hungry, you're likely to buy things. The risk is that you'll buy something you don't need, because, of course, all that buying isn't actually making you less hungry. The same thing is true for just about anything we seek to sell. Selling water to a thirsty person, education to someone seeking enlightenment, goals to someone eager to move forward—this is dramatically easier and more satisfying than first having to persuade someone that they should actually care about the difference you're trying to make. Obvious? I think so. But most marketers make this mistake on the very first day and keep making it for their entire career. You might be in love with the change you are trying to make in the world. Best to begin with an audience that's rooting for you to succeed.         [...]



Akimbo, my new podcast, launches today

2018-02-14T07:58:33-05:00

Akimbo is a posture of strength and possibility. The chance to make a difference, to bend the culture. It's at the heart of my work. Your work too. The work of making change that we're proud of. And so, a...        Akimbo is a posture of strength and possibility. The chance to make a difference, to bend the culture. It's at the heart of my work. Your work too. The work of making change that we're proud of. And so, a new podcast. A different kind of podcast. No guests, no fancy production, it won't remind you of NPR or sports radio either. 100% organic and handmade. And yes, I'll be answering your questions about each episode, submitted at our showpage. Special thanks to founding sponsor Ziprecruiter. The first episode launches today. Subscribe and listen on Apple and on Overcast or search your favorite podcast player for 'akimbo'. Not a grand opening, but a start. I hope you'll join in. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B4M1y5HK8ZQ" width="560">         [...]



Born to paint?

2018-02-13T04:45:00-05:00

More than a hundred billion people have ever lived. Perhaps 1,000 have been widely heralded as artistic geniuses who painted in oils. And perhaps there were another thousand genius physicists and just one Nobel-Prize winning folksinger. We sell ourselves short...        More than a hundred billion people have ever lived. Perhaps 1,000 have been widely heralded as artistic geniuses who painted in oils. And perhaps there were another thousand genius physicists and just one Nobel-Prize winning folksinger. We sell ourselves short when we argue that there's something magical about creative work, something that can only happen if we're born to do it. It's not that different from the thesis that there's something in the DNA of Spanish-speaking people that makes them good at soccer. I hope we can agree that people from countries that speak Spanish are more likely to be soccer stars because they grow up surrounded by soccer, with the expectation that they too can be good at it. It's not too late for you to be a genius. It comes at a price, but it's not based on your DNA.         [...]