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Lessons Learned from Seth Godin

Lessons Learned from Seth Goden - 4

“Busy does not equal important. Measured doesn’t mean mattered.” – Seth Godin

There’s a hidden message in this post – it’s your free prize inside.  Whether you find the free prize or not, this post will make you think.  About your life.  About work.  About just about everything.  Why?  Because it’s a distillation of lessons from a man named Seth.  Seth Godin is an author, an agent of change, a meaning maker, and an Idea Merchant.

I have to say, this was my most challenging “greatness distilled” post to date.  Seth is a fountain of insight, and I wanted to do more than show the tip of the iceberg.  At the same time, I wanted to take the balcony view, look across his forest of ideas, and make a map of the most meaningful insights.  I won’t claim victory, but I smile inside as I think in the spirit of Seth, I won’t let perfect get in the way of the good.  I’m hoping people will share their lessons from Seth with me, and the map will go beyond my sketch and take a life of its own.  For now, this is my “Seth on a page.”

25 Lessons Learned from Seth Godin

As you explore Seth’s work, find what you can use for the business of life, or the game of work.  If you walk away with the goal of finding 3 ah-has, you’ll change your frame … and a key to life is that if you change your frame, you change your game.

Seth is full of lessons and insights. 

Here are 25 lessons to chew on:

1. Have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.

Seth says — “Life is like skiing.  Just like skiing, the goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill. It’s to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.”

2. Be remarkable. 

Boring is invisible.  Remarkable products and remarkable people get talked about.  Seth on remarkable — “How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”

3. Success is a skill. 

Seth’s philosophy on success is — "it’s possible to enjoy your job, to do the right thing, to be transparent, to give more than you get and to be successful, all at the same time."  It takes work.   Surround yourself with people who are succeeding.   You become who you hang with.  By surrounding yourself with people who are succeeding, you’ll learn what’s working and what’s not.  You can model their success and open doors that you might otherwise not see.  Seth on successful people – “"Successful people rarely confuse a can-do attitude with a smart plan. But they realize that one without the other is unlikely to get you very far."

4. Being the best is the best place to be. 

It’s better to be the best.   People pick the market leaders and they narrow their choices to the top.  Seth says, “Being the best in the world is seriously underrated.”   According to Seth, best in the world is relative – “It’s best for them, right now based on what they believe and in their world, the one they have access to.”  In the Dip, Seth shares 7 reasons why you might fail to become the best in the world:  1.) You run out of time, 2.) you run out of money, 3.) you get scared, 4.) you’re not serious about it, 5.) you lose interest or enthusiasm and settle for being mediocre, 6.) you focus on the short term instead of the long, 7.) you pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world.

5. Be missed.

Seth on how to be missed — “Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, be missed.”

6. Everybody is an expert about something. 

You’re an expert at something.  Make meaning.  A SQUIDOO lens is a way to make meaning for others.  Seth on lenses – “A lens gives context. When it succeeds, it delivers meaning.”

7. Success is a hierarchy.

Seth teaches us the hierarchy of success: 1.) Attitude, 2.) Approach 3.) Goals 4.) Strategy 5.) Tactics 6.) Execution

8. Don’t do A as a calculated tactic to get B. 

Do A because you believe in it.  Seth on success – “If we define success as the ability to make a living doing what I do, I’d say the following: 1.) No ulterior motive. I rarely do A as a calculated tactic to get B. I do A because I believe in A, or it excites me or it’s the right thing to do. That’s it. No secret agendas, 2.) I don’t think my audience owes me anything. It’s always their turn, 3.) I’m in a hurry to make mistakes and get feedback and get that next idea out there. I’m not in a hurry, at all, to finish the “bigger” project, to get to the finish line, 4.) I do things where I actually think I’m right, as opposed to where I think succeeding will make me successful. When you think you’re right, it’s more fun and your passion shows through, 5.) I’ve tried to pare down my day so that the stuff I actually do is pretty well leveraged. That and I show up. Showing up is underrated.”

9. Be in it for the long haul. 

Things rarely come easy.  Make the journey worth it.  Chip away at success.  Seth says — “Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that’s how long it’s going to take, guys.”

10. Quit the right things and lean into the right Dips. 

Winners quit the right things all the time.  Recognize when you’re in a Dip.  Pick the right Dips.  In the Dip, Seth teaches us 3 curves: 1) the Dip, 2) the Cul-De-Sac, and 3) the Cliff.  The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery.  The Dip is where success happens.  Stick it out, only if you’re going to get the benefits of being the best in the world.  The Cul-De-Sac is where you work and work and work, but nothing much changes.  These are dead-end jobs.  The Cliff is a situation where you can’t quit until you fall off.  If you’re in a Cul-De-Sac or Cliff, you need to quit.  You need to quit these so you can refocus on something with promise.

11. Decide if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur.

In the Bootstrapper’s Bible, Seth teaches us that a freelancer sells their talents.  While they may have a few employees, they’re doing a job without a boss, but not running a business.  There’s no exit strategy or pot of gold, but they make their own hours and be their own boss.  Examples include layout artists, writers, consultants, film editors, landscapers, architects, translators, and musicians.  Seth writes that an entrepreneur is trying to build something bigger than themselves.  They take calculated risk and focus on growth.  An entrepreneur is willing to receive little pay, work long hours, and take on great risk in exchange for the freedom to make something big, something that has real market value.

12. It’s like walking through a maze.  

Seth on building a business from scratch — “Learn as you go.  Change as you go.  Building a business from scratch is like walking through a maze with many, many doors.  Once you open one, 100 new doors present themselves.  As you move your way through the maze, you need to stop and check your location.  Look at a map.  If you’re in the wrong place move.  But if you’ve discovered a new place, there’s nothing wrong with exploiting it.”

13. Everyone is not your customer. 

Seth teaches us the key to failure – “the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”  Listen to your real customers.  It’s not the media, the investors, or the early adopters.  Seth on everyone is not your customer – “The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers …”  Seth on figuring out what your customers really want — "Most people have no clue what they want, and if you ask them, you’ll get a lame answer. Most people don’t know they want Pretty Woman or Slumdog Millionaire. They don’t know they want Purple Cow or one of your killer articles. So if you want to have an impact, all you can do is lead. You can’t ask."

14. Feed, grow, and satisfy the tribe.

Build your tribe.  According to Seth, “You can lead a tribe of people, connect them, commit to them and create a movement.”  Seth on building your tribe – “It adds to that the fact that what people really want is the ability to connect to each other, not to companies. So the permission is used to build a tribe, to build people who want to hear from the company because it helps them connect, it helps them find each other, it gives them a story to tell and something to talk about. Everything the organization does is to feed and grow and satisfy the tribe.”

15. Small is the new big. 

Focus on relevant, specialized, and unique.  It’s the difference that makes the difference.   According to Seth, small helps you be remarkable – “Small means that you will outsource the boring, low-impact stuff like manufacturing and shipping and billing and packing to others, while you keep the power because you invent the remarkable and tell stories to people who want to hear them.”

16. Find the new scarce. 

Where there’s scarcity, there’s value.

17. It’s the FREE PRIZE INSIDE. 

Seth teaches us how to create a remarkable product – “The thing that makes something remarkable isn’t usually directly related to the original purpose of the product or service. It’s the FREE PRIZE INSIDE, the extra stuff, the stylish bonus, the design or the remarkable service or pricing that makes people talk about it and spread the word.”

18. The third century is about ideas. 

We went from farms to factories to ideas.  Seth on the third century – “Fact is, the first 100 years of our country’s history were about who could build the biggest, most efficient farm. And the second century focused on the race to build factories. Welcome to the third century, folks.”

19. Spread your ideas.

Be an idea merchant.  Spread your ideas.  Seth on being an idea merchant — "If you can get people to accept and embrace and adore and cherish your ideas, you win. You win financially, you gain power and you change the world in which we live."   According to Seth, spreading is a formula of 8 variables: Sneezers, Hive, Velocity, Vector, Medium, Smoothness, Persistence and Amplifier.

20. Don’t wait for perfect.

Test your ideas.  Learn and respond.  Don’t wait for perfect to land in your lap, and don’t let it get in the way of sharing a good idea.  Seth on testing ideas – “I’m in a hurry to make mistakes and get feedback and get that next idea out there.”  Seth on perfect — “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”  Seth on doing it well now, is better than perfect later — "The minute you start walking down a path toward a yak shaving party, it’s worth making a compromise. Doing it well now is much better than doing it perfectly later."

21. Don’t get paid to alter your behavior. 

Be authentic.  There are two types of sneezers – the promiscuous sneezers and the powerful sneezers.  Promiscuous sneezers can be motivated by money and rewards to sell ideas to a hive.  Powerful sneezers have authority by setting a trend and can’t be bought.  A powerful sneezer can be worth many more times a promiscuous sneezer. Seth on staying a powerful sneezer — “After I left Yahoo!, I had many opportunities to serve on boards and do endorsements. I  chose not to. Why? Because I didn’t want to squander the powerful sneezing points I’d earned by writing my last book. … In every case, you’re getting paid to alter your behavior. That makes you more promiscuous and less powerful.”

22. The goal of reading is to choose what to change. 

Find 3 take aways when you read a business book.   Seth on how to read a business book – “Decide, before you start, that you’re going to change three things about what you do all day at work.  Then, as you’re reading, find the three things and do it. The goal of the reading, then, isn’t to persuade you to change, it’s to help you choose what to change.”

23. The world changes whether you like it or not.  

The world’s getting bigger and smaller.  Seth on how the world is changing – “The world’s getting bigger because you can look everywhere, but it’s also getting smaller because categories are getting specialized.”

24. The game of marketing has changed. 

It’s not price – it’s relevancy, difference, and value.  Marketing is now tribal leadership.  Small is the new big.  Fire customers that aren’t right for your business.  Attention is an asset.  Permission marketing works better than spam – “Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.”  You take word-of-mouth marketing to the next level with IdeaViruses.  Tell the stories people want to believe.  Products that are remarkable get talked about.     Be authentic.  You can’t fool people.  According to Seth — “You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time.  And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.”  Marketing is an investment.  Seth says, “If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense.  Good marketers realize that it is an investment.”

25. Feed, grow, and satisfy your business.

Plan for the money.   If there’s no money, you’re out of the game.  In the Bootstrapper’s Bible, Seth shares 9 rules to take care of your business: 1.) find people who care about cash less than you do, 2.) survival is success, 3.) success leads to more success 4.) redo the mission statement and the business plan every three months, 5.) associate with winners, 6.) beware of shared ownership, 7.) advertise, 8.) get mentored, and 9.) observe those little birds that clean the teeth of very big hippos.

Top 10 Seth Godin Quotes

Here are my top 10 favorite quotes by Seth:

  1. “Expectations are the engines of our perceptions."
  2. “Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.”
  3. “Go ahead, do something impossible. “
  4. “You can’t shrink your way to greatness! “
  5. "Don’t try to please everyone. There are countless people who don’t want one, haven’t heard of one or actively hate it. So what?"
  6. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
  7. “Why waste a sentence saying nothing? “
  8. “If you could do tomorrow over again, would you?”
  9. “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.”
  10. “Are you a serial idea-starting person? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.”

Seth Godin Quotes Organized by Category

I’ve included some of my favorite Seth Godin quotes below.  For simple scanning, I’ve organized them using the following categories: General, Business, Change, Greatness, Ideas, Leadership/ Management, Marketing, Mediocrity / Status Quo, Strategy.

Category Quotes
General
  • “A long walk and calm conversation are an incredible combination if you want to build a bridge.”
  • “Be with the ones you love (and the ones that love you.) Ignore everyone else.”
  • “If religion comprises rules you follow, faith is demonstrated by the actions you take.”
  • “If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do work that matters, this is it.”
  • “If there’s time for an emergency, why isn’t there time for brilliance, generosity or learning? “
  • “If you could do tomorrow over again, would you? “
  • “If you have no wish, how can it possibly come true? “
  • “If you’re not proud of where you work, go work somewhere else. “
  • “Just saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work.”
  • “Knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.”
  • “Positive thinking is hard. Worth it, though.”
  • “Put aside your need for a step-by-step manual and instead realize that analogies are your best friend. “
  • “Saying no to loud people gives you the resources to say yes to important opportunities. “
  • “We notice what we choose to notice.”
  • “Who gets to decide what you want?”
  • “Why waste a sentence saying nothing? “
  • “You are not your resume, you are your work. “
  • “You can be right or you can have empathy. You can’t do both.”
Business
  • “As an organization grows and succeeds, it sows the seeds of its own demise by getting boring.”
  • “Choose your customers, choose your future.”
  • “Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.”
  • “Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential; otherwise you’re just a middleman. “
  • “Don’t try to be the ‘next’. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new. “
  • “Everyone is not your customer. “
  • “Fire the committee. No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people. Not one. This is a deal breaker.”
  • “Give up control and give it away … The more you give your idea away, the more your company is going to be worth. “
  • “If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either. “
  • “In a world of free, everyone can play.”
  • “It’s better to make a decision, even the wrong one, than to be in limbo.”
  • “Lack of resources (payroll), time and competing priorities are why so many nonprofits haven’t done well. It’s that simple.”
  • “Make a decision. It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.”
  • “Once you have permission to talk to someone, finding new products or services for them is a smart way to grow."
  • “One way to think about running a successful business is to figure out what the least you can do is, and do that. “
  • “Playing safe is very risky. “
  • “The application process changes the list of who applies. Your applicants reflect your methods.”
  • “The best time to do great customer service is when a customer is upset.”
  • “The market and the consumer and idea trump the system.”
  • “Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.”
Change
  • “Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”
  • “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.”
  • “If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place."
  • “Little changes cost you. Big changes benefit you by changing the game, but only if you go first.”
  • “No, everything is not going to be okay. It never is. It isn’t okay now. Change, by definition, changes things”
  • “Sometimes we spend more time than we should defending the old thing, instead of working to take advantage of the new thing.”
Greatness
  • “Art is what we’re doing when we do our best work.”
  • “Be personal. Be relevant. Be specific.”
  • “Becoming a superstar takes about 10,000 hours of hard work.”
  • “Doing justice to the work is your task, not setting a world record. “
  • “Go ahead, do something impossible.”
  • “If there isn’t a good reason, go home. If there is, then do something … loud, now, and memorable.”
  • “Tribes makes our lives better, and leading a tribe is the best life of all. “
  • “When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.”
  • “When the legacy you leave behind lasts for hours, days or a lifetime, you matter.”
  • “When the room brightens when you walk in, you matter.”
  • “When you see the world as it is, but insist on making it more like it could be, you matter.”
  • “You can’t shrink your way to greatness! “
Ideas
  • “Are you a serial idea-starting person? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person. “
  • “Big ideas are little ideas that no-one killed too soon. “
  • “Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death. “
  • “No organization ever created an innovation. People innovate, not companies.”
  • “There’s no correlation between how good your idea is and how likely your organization will be to embrace it. “
  • “You can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.”
Leadership / Management
  • “Are you a serial idea-starting person? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person. “
  • “If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader. “
  • “Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.”
  • “Leadership on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in.”
  • “’Teamwork’ is the word that bosses use when they actually mean ‘Do what I say’”
  • “The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate. – When people ask you to tell them what to do, resist.”
Marketing
  • “Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.”
  • “Bullhorns are overrated: having ten times as many Twitter followers generates approximately zero times as much value. “
  • “But this is a remarkable egg, an egg worth talking about, an egg worth crossing the street for, an egg worth writing about. “
  • “Good marketers measure. “
  • “Good marketers tell stories. “
  • “If you can’t make money from attention, you should do something else for a living. “
  • “If you can’t sell to 1 in 1000, why market to a million? “
  • “If you’re a marketer who doesn’t know how to invent, design, influence, adapt, and ultimately discard products, then you’re no longer a marketer. You’re deadwood.“
  • “Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing though, that’s efficiency.”
  • “Market-driven design builds the success of the product’s marketing into the product itself.”
  • “Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your return policy.”
  • “Marketing management is now tribal leadership. “
  • “Most of the time, creative entrepreneurs lose interest long before their marketing message loses its power. “
  • “People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves. “
  • “People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.”
  • “Perhaps marketing is about to transition to a new kind of profession, one that requires insight, dedication and smarts. “
  • “Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission–which is emotional connection.”
  • “Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t. “
  • “The best marketing strategy is to destroy your industry before your competition does. “
  • “The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about. “
  • “You can win with consistent benefits, delivered over time. You win by incrementally earning share, attention and trust.”
Mediocrity / Status Quo
  • “’Good enough’ stopped being good enough a long time ago. so why not be great? “
  • “If you make a difference, people will gravitate to you. They want to engage, to interact and to get you more involved.”
  • “It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.”
  • “It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.”
  • “In our desire to please everyone, it’s very easy to end up being invisible or mediocre.”
  • “Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters.”
  • “Successful people are the ones who are breaking the rules. “
  • “The reason they want you to fit in… is that once you do, then they can ignore you.
  • “The status quo is leaving the building, and quickly.”
  • “You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it, but it’s getting raised regardless. “
  • “You don’t have to settle. It’s a choice you get to make every day.”
Strategy
  • “Don’t have any meetings about your web strategy. Just do stuff. First you have to fail, then you can improve. “
  • “The scalable, profitable strategy is to change the game, not to become the most average.”

Seth Godin’s Resources at a Glance (Sites, Books, Videos)

Seth has a wide range of resources, from blog posts to books.  For simple scanning, I organized Seth’s collection of resources into the following buckets: sites, books, eBooks, videos, and popular posts.

Category Items
Key Links

SQUIDOO Lenses

Books
e-Books
Videos
Popular Posts Top 3

More …

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Photo by jurvetson.

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  1. Frank says:

    this is one of the best posts i’ve read on the internet in a long time, thank you for compiling the valuable insights for us and making it such an impactful read.

  2. Alik Levin says:

    WHOA!

    … got my jaw back from the floor…

    I am in the midst of serious “10.Quit the right things and lean into the right Dips” – I might have tight talk with Seth if this fails afterwards ;) . In fact it also inspired by Peaceful Warrior too. Remember when they got robbed?…

    Loved marketing part ton.

  3. Allan says:

    When someone asks me what I learned from Seth, this post will be one of the places I point to. Great collection of many of Seth’s insights.

    Hey J.D. – this blog theme looks familiar. Great minds have great taste :)

  4. J.D.,
    I am speechless.
    This post is one of the best posts ever!
    Hats off!
    Will spread the word everywhere I can about this masterpiece!
    ;-)

  5. Hi J.D.,

    I feel so fortunate as this was the last post I read for the day. And what a powerhouse of a post it is. As I was reading your words and the words of Seth, I kept picking out my favorites, but soon realized the whole post is superb.

    Thank you for sharing your insights and compiling them in a manner that has been easy to read as well as easy to comprehend.

    I agree with Ivana. You’ve created a masterpiece.

  6. Mary E. Ulrich says:

    Wow! This is remarkable. What a labor of love.

    Thanks for pulling all this together, Seth’s wisdom is a gift to us all.

  7. Seth Godin says:

    Quite a way to start the morning.

    Thanks for doing all of this. Wow.

    Seth

  8. Ray says:

    That was a most impressive effort. I really must thank you for making this a post, and not an e book (which it could very easily have been turned into). Simply amazing.

  9. Lance says:

    Hi JD,
    Seth has some really great stuff. I’ve loved what he’s created, ever since I read his Purple Cow book. And this is a great list that really embodies the essence of what he is all about (and how he really has found success himself…).

  10. Clay Hebert says:

    Wow. I agree with Allan. When someone asks me what I learned from Seth, I’ll point to this post. Really a great compilation. Well done.

  11. I was mesmerized as I read this post. There’s so much *value* here. Like a great book, it’s worth reading more than once. Judging by those who commented, I am not alone!

    Much of what you shared resonates with me, and #10 is huge—I’ve just begun one of the most exciting Dips of my life—¡w00t!

    Thanks for the great amalgam, J.D.

    Jimmy

  12. SwissGab says:

    Hats off JD – an extremely well-researched & inspirational post on a very impressively inspirational man.
    Not only am I bookmarking this so I can return to it often, and spreading the word about it – I have also immediately subscribed to your blog; looking forward to reading more from you!
    Gabriel

  13. Connie says:

    What a masterpiece. Your generosity is overwhelming and a blessing. Brilliant! thank you

  14. Why waste a sentence saying nothing?

    :) This says it ALL!

  15. Mikhail Baynes says:

    Thanks JD for your generosity by sharing this gift with us. Thanks for making a difference, for shipping! Keep leading & inspiring!

    All the Best!
    Mikhail Baynes

  16. Jon Dale says:

    What a gift. Thanks!

  17. Michael Yanakiev says:

    Whoops! This is called “greatness distilled.” A truly panoramic view on Seth Godin and a phenomenological reduction also.
    The late Miles Davies, whom I had the chance to know, used to say:
    “If you understood everything I said,you’d be me.”
    There are so many things covered here,that I can’t even choose
    the take always. Yet I will risk to say, that in lesson – 5. Seth defines himself in a very elegant manner:“Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, be missed.” The third century is about “ideas(18)”, also fits in perfectly.One single thought,can fill in the infinity… You will never understand what is “enough”, until you appreciate what is “too much.”.. Listen when fools are attacking you -this is a king’s privilege… A true f has to be spoken out in such a way,as to be not only understood ,but also believed…This that is proven now,yesterday was only a fantasy..Prisons are build with the stones of law,while brothels with the stones of religion… And to close the list I designed in Seth’s and J.D’s reappraisal , I dare
    say that someone that does not irradiate light,will never become a
    star.The rest is coined down by Seth himself,and the systematic s
    of the author of the post.

  18. Hi J.D.
    Thank you for this incredible resource. Is there a page of your other “greatness distilled” posts? Would love to read more.
    Take care,
    Belinda

  19. whoa!! truely amazing points. Seth Godin is a genius!!

    I really liked the hierarchy of success explained above by Seth Godin. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and insightful post.

  20. Patricia says:

    This a power house post JD and I am going to have to come back and read it several more times….awesome job.

    I always feel when I am reading Seth Godin’s words and posts that I am hearing my father on Education…they are both so relevant…
    then I loved point #22 The goal of reading is to choose what to change….I just keep pushing reading of all kinds and it is the only tool for making change that is a guarantee to achievement.

    Thank you for your great comments on my post too…

  21. Rick samona says:

    #3 and #20 are awesome. Truly awesome. Great read – THANK YOU!

  22. Very good list.

    My current favorite (which changes every day)

    There is no map! (linchpin)

  23. Absolutely incredible post – thank you so much for the effort you spent in putting it together. It will be like a textbook for me, in that I will return again and again to peruse it! :D

  24. The most heartfelt text about Seth Godin I have read so far – and an authentic reader usually makes an authentic writer!

  25. Baker says:

    This is wonderful! I have seen several videos on this amazing thinker. He is very good at what he does because he continues to operate from his higher self. I think that is what gets missed a lot of times, but people operating at this level lived very fuffilled lives becaue they can offer great life tips such as the ones above and have other inspired people share the message as well. Excellent post! Have a very successful and abundant week ahead.

  26. Andy Smith says:

    A lot of work went into this post, obviously. Thank you for sharing those efforts with us. Very kind!

  27. DrBillDean says:

    Awesome work!!!! Blessings to you

  28. Mary H Ruth says:

    A treasure carefully bookmarked. Thank you!

  29. Sharise says:

    Wow what a resource. Im am bookmarking and printing this out right now…

  30. Amazing collection of Seth Godin’s archive (brain).

  31. Great post! Thank you for the quote organization too.

  32. Robert says:

    If Seth Godin is a firehose of insight, this is 25 eight oz glasses, thanks for aggregation….

  33. james braund says:

    I devour this mans books and articles, another gem Mr. Godin, thankyou

  34. Arif Henry Neo says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful seth’s collection on a page. :D

  35. JD says:

    @ Frank — I wanted to go deep on this one. Thank you.

    @ Alik — The robbed scene was classic … funny, and insightful. Thank you.

    @ Allan — I tried to make it timeless, for just such a thing. Thank you.

    @ Ivana — I knew you would enjoy it as a fellow Seth fan. Thank you.

    @ Barbara — It sounds like it helped cap your day, in just the right way. Thank you.

    @ Mary — It was a labor of love, and I’m glad it hit the mark. Thank you.

    @ Seth — Thank you for modeling the way.

    @ Ray — While I like eBooks, there’s a beauty in posts. Thank you.

    @ Lance — Purple Cow got stuck in my head, but the Dip really hit home for me. He’s a flower of value, and I like the way he cuts deep. Thank you.

    @ Clay — I’m thinking this is a pillar post. Thank you.

    @ Jimmy — I went for density of insight per inch, and tried to pack it all in. Thank you.

    @ SwissGab — I tried to do Seth’s work justice. He’s got an amazing spread. Thank you.

    @ Connie — Masterpiece is a generous compliment. Thank you.

    @ Samantha — ALL is good. Thank you.

    @ Mikhail — I’m working on my ability to breathe life into things. Thank you.

    @ Jon — The gift that keeps giving. Thank you.

    @ Michael — You always bring a cornucopia of value to the table. Thank you.

    @ Belinda — I’ll do a roundup post of my greatness distilled, but for now, you might explore my “People” page under Resources or my Lessons Learned tag. Thank you.

  36. Bryan Choate says:

    Awesome compilation of Mr. Godin’s work. Congratulations!!!

  37. Bruno Aziza says:

    Great blog post – thanks J.D!

    Best
    Bruno Aziza
    @brunoaziza

  38. JD says:

    @ Raj — Seth is brilliant by design. Thank you.

    @ Patricia — Each time I browse Seth’s quotes, I wrinkle my brain. Thank you.

    @ Rick — Looks like it hit a sweet spot. Thank you.

    @ Pat — There is no map, opens a world of possibilities. Thank you.

    @ Lisa — It’s for your perusing pleasure … enjoy. Thank you.

    @ Marylene — Authenticity is contagious. Thank you.

    @ Baker — The higher self is a great place to be. It shows. Thank you.

    @ Andy — It took more than I expected, but it was worth it. Thank you.

    @ DrBillDean — Thank you.

    @ Mary — Treasure is kind. Thank you.

    @ Sharise — It will be a long page :) Thank you.

    @ Michael — The toughest part was framing the collection. Thank you.

    @ Jannie — It’s his way with words that bring ideas to life. Thank you.

    @ Robert — Or a lot of shot glasses lined up on the bar ;) Thank you.

    @ James — Seth is a continual stream of insight.

    @ Arif — Consolidating to a page was quite the challenge. Thank you.

    @ Bryan — One part mash up, two parts synthesis. Thank you.

    @ Bruno — Thank you.

  39. Cheryl Paris says:

    Hello J.D.

    This is remarkable. I know Seth Godin has really great stuff and I have been a fan of him.

    Bye for now,
    Cheryl

  40. Ralph says:

    Really good insight. You’ve earned yourself a Stumble!

  41. Ken Brand says:

    Super cool. Awesome share and supremely generous. Thanks so much.
    Cheers.

  42. Sherri Rosen says:

    Dear Didier,
    You are remarkable. So generous in putting this altogether for our benefit.

    This will take me some time to read and digest and I am so grateful that you put this
    all together. How remarkable.

    Seth’s advice in action.

    Sherri Rosen

  43. WOW! All I can say! Incredible JD! Thank you for putting this together.
    One phrase by Seth Godin that I repeat to myself everyday is – I am an artist. I take intitiative. I do the work, not the job. Really helps me.

  44. Kris Blair says:

    Thanks Didier
    If only my posts were so good, great sharing, 25 thing that all people snould read.
    Thanks again
    Kris

  45. Skid Vis says:

    Not to belittle the greatness of Seth Godin, I’ve read all his books and think he’s a genius, but the quote:
    “I don’t know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

    Is actually attributed to Bill Cosby. Just an FYI.

  46. flaminglacer says:

    This just confirms why Seth Godin is such an inspiration to me.

    A splendid post, thank you.

  47. addy says:

    JD
    THank you Thank you Thank you
    Seth is one of my favorite authors. I can’t get enough of his wisdom to challenge my thinking.
    Thank you for your gift to all of us!
    -addy

  48. rags says:

    Now before this, I remember 2 things from Seth

    1) Be who you are that the best in the world
    2) Stop being perfect and start being remarkable.

    Now I have a few hundred more. Thanks

  49. Alex Beattie says:

    This is absolutely amazing.

    A truly remarkable gift.

    thank you!

  50. Consistent generosity, insight and passion. The Seth-meister is an absolute inspiration. Great post – excellently put together. Speaking as someone who decided to leave their corporate job and decide to build something remarkable based largely on Seth’s teachings I can safely say that this is the best Seth-specific blog post I have read. In fact, I might read it every morning before starting work. Thank you!

  51. Jorge Barba says:

    Value packed post! Bookmarked!

  52. Holy Cow J.D.! What a compilation of value! Thank you for this I’ll be sure to spread it around. My favorite > “Find the new scarce. Where there’s scarcity, there’s value.”

  53. Seth Godin is an amazing person. I didn’t believe that he actually answered his emails, but actually answered mine. It was a simple question and wrote a one sentence answer. I didn’t care. I had contact with Seth.

    You did a great service to a very smart man. Maybe he links to you from his blog. That would be a super sweet windfall.

  54. Geoff Snyder says:

    JD,

    Wow! What a great article, JD!! I’m sure that Seth is honored to have such a detailed posting about him and his views. You certainly picked out some of his absolute best quotes, views, and excerpts! I think I am going to be a loyal reader of yours for life!

    Regards,
    Geoff

  55. John Soares says:

    Wow! I’ve been aware of Seth Godin’s existence, but I haven’t yet tuned in to him.

    Thank you, J.D., for all the effort you put in to create this post.

  56. Jill Anderson says:

    WOW! Very well done. Thank you.

    JD – YOU really are indispensable!

  57. julekucera says:

    JD, this was impressive, useful, rich… thank you so much. Somehow, on September 14th 2009 I missed Seth’s Hierarchy of Success. Thank you for culling, organizing and presenting the nuggets for us.

  58. Greg Jordan says:

    Great post! Thanks for compiling all of this.

  59. JD says:

    @ Cheryl — He does have really great stuff. Thank you.

    @ Ralph — Thank you my friend.

    @ Ken — Generosity is contagious. Thank you.

    @ Sherri — Seth really cuts to the heart of things, with precision and insight. Thank you.

    @ Lana — Oh, I like that. I’m playing that in my head already. Thank you.

    @ Kris — Thank you.

    @ Skid — True, I somehow mixed “Don’t try to please everyone. There are countless people who don’t want one, haven’t heard of one or actively hate it. So what?” Fixed. Thank you.

    @ Flaminglacer — Seth knows how to light fires and pave the paths. Thank you.

    @ addy — You are very welcome, and thank you.

    @ rags — Remarkable is the way to go. Thank you.

    @ Alex — Good things come in small packages, and long posts ;) Thank you.

    @ Rob — Yes, the Seth-meister is an absolute inspiration, and I think it’s great you built on his knowledge platform. Thank you.

    @ Jorge — Thank you!

    @ Tom — That is a gem of insight and it’s still got me on the prowl. Thank you.

    @ Karl — Amazing he is. I thought it would be an effective way to help us stand on the shoulders of giants.

    @ Geoff — I think it made him smile, at least inside. Thank you.

    @ John — I think once you turn on the Seth channel, it’s easy to get addicted. Thank you.

    @ Jill — *blush* Thank you.

    @ julekucera — The beauty of the Web is we can unearth the golden oldies. Thank you.

    @ Greg — Thank you.

  60. Rex says:

    Nice piece of work. This is my first time here, but any fan of Seth at such a deep level is someone I could be a fan of too.

    I’ll be back.

  61. Jitendra Jain says:

    Excellent piece of work !! The article itself says every small and big things in our daily life..

  62. Kevin Lam says:

    Wow, and double wow!

    –Kevin

  63. Ije says:

    This is amazing! I just hit send on my first blog post and reading this is inspiring to get back to writing and push through my fears and self-doubt. Thanks for all the hard work you put it into this It’s really inspirational and REMARKABLE!

  64. Ken says:

    This is a great distillation of Seth’s work, but the best way to get the most from his genius is to subscribe to his daily blog and read his books. Why? Because if you read this post, you skim over hundreds of ideas that each require careful pondering to really internalize. The blog lets you do that, to get a nugget and think about it. The beauty is that Seth’s relevance goes far beyind marketing. It’s about being authentic in evrything you do.

  65. Ije says:

    This is amazing! I just hit send on my first blog post and reading this is inspiring to get back to writing and push through my fears and self-doubt. Thanks for all the hard work you put it into this It’s really inspirational and REMARKABLE!

  66. Khalil Aleker says:

    Inspiring post – appreciate the hard work and time taken to do this write up.

    Perfect timing for me as well … thanks :)

  67. Curtis Gregson says:

    Fantastic Reading…. I will be sharing this link with my colleagues

    Thanks for putting this together.

  68. Wow, I am impressed – I imagine putting all this together was no small task. I appreciate your skill in organizing and bringing to attention the most valuable pieces of information. I have a few questions for you:

    * How long did it take to get this article done from start to finish?
    * Did you use all of Seth Godin’s books to get the information?
    * Did you use videos and articles from Seth’s blog as well?
    * Do you happen to know a Jeff Wilkes that works at Microsoft?

    Thanks again for this.

  69. Michael Yanakiev says:

    Hi JD! ..Jeremy is asking tough questions..but one tends to forget that once you know how to organize your thinking and know how to use morphological analysis things can be made very simple..J.D knows that instrumentation better than everything else,and is getting better and
    better .

  70. I LOVE Seth Godin’s wonderfulness with every fiber of my being!!! You and he are both inspirational stand-up guys who always go for and share the good stuff.

    This post is amazing. I’m going to read it again now, slower to savor it more.

    xo

  71. Krista says:

    An inspiring post that made me stop, think, and reflect.

    My life, my work, and my play appreciate the insight!

  72. Simply brilliant. Thank you.

    Phil

  73. I have 2 words for you:
    Absolutely brilliant!!!

    Hi JD,

    I recently came across your fantastic blog and what a great discovery it was! A truly insightful and inspirational article. I can only imagine the time and effort that went into writing it. I take my hat off to you.

    I look forward to reading more of your work. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers

  74. adity says:

    that was great read sir! thanks for the post.

  75. JD says:

    @ Rex — I hope you enjoy. Thank you.

    @ Jitendra — The art of elegance is big things in small packages. Thank you.

    @ Kevin — Thank you!

    @ lje — Work smart, play hard, get results :) Thank you.

    @ Ken — It’s the bird’s-eye view. Thank you.

    @ Khali — The time was ripe — serendipity in action. Thank you.

    @ Curtis — Spreading Seth is a good thing. Thank you.

    @ Jeremy — This post was a challenge, but worth the trip. ~4hrs, yes, yes, and no (Microsoft is a big place.) Part of what helped is I have a process for organizing information (see 10 Ways to Improve How You Manage Information) Part of what helps is I have a way to read and research faster (which I haven’t posted yet, but mentor people on all the time.) The real key though is using the right energy for the job (creative hours and power hours.)

    @ Michael — It’s like when you know how the magic is done. The real beauty is when you know how the magic is done, and it’s still amazing. Thank you.

    @ Jannie — That’s some mighty strong love :) Life’s about sharing the good stuff, and making the most of the ride — we’re all in this together. Thank you.

    @ Krista — Work, life, and play are perfect together. Thank you.

    @ Phil — Thanks for stopping by.

    @ Ingrid — Those are 2 beautiful words. It was time and effort well spent, and part of my quest for the best. Thank you.

    @ adity — Thank you.

  76. Diggy says:

    Hey JD!

    Wow this is an absolutely amazing resource about Seth Godin and the things we can learn from him!!

    It must have taken you ages to create this post! Well done!

    Your site is looking good, keep it up Sir!
    Cheers
    Diggy

  77. JD says:

    @ Diggy — Mapping out Seth’s insights and distilling them down into precise distinctions was a challenging exercise, but worth the journey. Thank you.

  78. Al Pittampalli says:

    Fantastic post! I loved reading it.

  79. Jon Hirst says:

    This is an amazing post – what a service you have provided to those in your sphere of influence. I learned about this post from Dion Forster. I run a think tank called Generous Mind and this post is an amazing example of being a generous mind! Thank You!

  80. JD says:

    @ Al — Thank you.

    @ Jon — Generous Mind sounds like a fun think tank, and I’m a fan of think tanks. It’s one of our best practices at work … the collective mind is a powerful one. Thank you.

  81. A great resource of ‘common sense’ wisdom – nicely put together.

  82. Hilary says:

    HI JD .. I think I’ll go the American # .. if I can find it! # 1 – my mother said to me do things before you’re 80 .. I’m worried I’ll get there and I’ll still be sitting at her bedside, while she waits for me to get my good runs in!! No .. that’s a joke, well sort of! # 2 = we sure do have the world at our fingertips to be remarkable.

    # 4 – being the best, always with a planned goal, then move on .. you will achieve & won’t get lost in the melee. # 8 – having passion for your idea and concept. # 10 – success and learn, be inventive with a reason which ties in with your goals.

    Now I’m at no # 11 – & I could have commented on the others .. but I think a better plan, a right plan is to buy his books and learn his lessons .. it is as # 12 getting going, learning as you go, being flexible and changing up all the time. Lucky # 13 – how appropriate .. lead – if you want to have an impact .. have faith in yourself and your plan #14 they’ll spread your word .

    Yakkity yak .. shaving party – fun! Don’t be under somebody’s sway – be free #21 .. be a powerful sneezer. # 25.8 .. I noted …. General quotes .. “you can be right, or you can have empathy .. the world would be happier if we could take the time to learn this one ..”

    Thanks JD .. excellent summary .. I’m sure you’re pleased .. I am! That’s really great and to have everything in one place .. is brilliant .. I must look into squidoo lens .. when I move on shortly .. have a good weekend .. all the best – Hilary

  83. JD says:

    @ Chris — Thank you.

    @ Hilary — Very nice reflection! Forward thinking, taking action, and having good runs is the way to go. Learning and flexing along the way is a key for sustainable results. Thank you.

  84. I’m a bit late to the party but here I am and glad I made it in the end. This is fabulous. Funnily enough I’ve just ordered 8 of his books from my library:) I’ve been thinking about language a lot. We’ve discussed wording of our blog names and slogans before and am thinking more and more that we have to use the language of our tribe. It’s come slowly to me because some of the words my “tribe” use I would never utter. But I need to use them if I want them to understand me. So you and Seth have both helped me with that. Thank you.

  85. JD says:

    @ Annabel — 8 books? Wow — you are drinking from the fountain! It’s a good fountain to drink from. Is there a tribe that speaks more of the lingo you like to speak? If there’s a lingo gap, there might be a value gap, and you will always be your strongest where you can connect at the values. Thank you.

  86. JD – Thank you for taking the time to put this together.
    I really appreciate your generosity!

  87. JD says:

    @ Aron — No problem — thanks for stopping by!

  88. Thank you JD – this is incredibly generous & I hope more folk researching ‘seth stuff’ take the time to read more about you and what you stand for…

    “Live more, learn more, laugh more, love more!”

    warm wishes
    @neiltwaterguy (england) – ps. do you tweet?

  89. Linda says:

    Wow! I am over whelmed. Thank you so much for doing this. It will become one of my most valued resources that I shall return to over and over and over and over!

  90. JD says:

    @ Neil — I cleaned up my sidebar and revamped my description under the Welcome so it might be more enticing. Thank you.

    @ Linda — It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you!

  91. Mike Lewitz says:

    Thank you, JD. Have to say this is incredible …and definitely a way to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’ I’ve set this as my home page to remember to briefly review it daily -even if I just read 1 or 2 lines to put my head on straight.

    In fact, your whole site here is an amazing wealth of information again.

    Thank you again for providing so much value to others!

    Mike Lewitz

  92. JD says:

    @ Mike — Thank you. I’ve revamped the sidebar and categories so exploring the site should be even easier now. I’ll have some more lessons learned from more giants soon.

  93. ElizOF says:

    Terrific post and your effort paid off. You covered quite a lot of territory on our Seth here. Loved the black and white photo too! :-)
    Cheers,
    Eliz

  94. JD says:

    @ Eliz — Thank you. I like the timeless appeal of black and white. I think that’s why I like the Papyrus font too. It’s like ideas etched across time.

  95. arjan broere says:

    Brilliant!

    What effort you put into sharing all of these thoughts.

    Great reading and enjoyed seeing what you value in Seth’s work.

  96. Lisa Douglas says:

    AWESOME POST! Thanks for sharing.

  97. thank you I’ve just ordered 8 of his books from my library:) I’ve been thinking about language a lot. We’ve discussed wording of our blog names and slogans before and am thinking more and more that we have to use the language of our tribe. It’s come slowly to me because some of the words my “tribe” use I would never utter.

  98. Paul Foreman says:

    This is a brilliant post J.D. thanks for creating it.

    I wonder if I might share with you & your readers a Seth Godin Mind Map that I created:

    http://www.mindmapinspiration.com/seth-godin-mind-map-paul-foreman/

    It contains notes, doodles and ideas, sketched whilst watching the many wonderful Seth Godin video talks on You Tube & TED. I captured Seth Godin’s excellent marketing ideas on paper and now have them on one piece of paper in mind map format for reference, consumption and sharing…hope you enjoy reading it…

    Thanks again for this excellent post :)

    Best wishes

    Paul

  99. This seriously is usually a awsome write-up, i’m pleased I stubled onto

  100. Benedict says:

    I sort of found your blog post by accident, but your web site captured my eye so i thought that I might post to show you that I like it.

  101. Rich Avery says:

    As others have said, thank you for putting this resource together. I’ve printed it off and I’m adding to my file of inspirational insights that I read each week.

  102. Remarkable products and remarkable people get talked about. Surround yourself with people who are succeeding. You become who you hang with. You can model their success and open doors that you might otherwise not see. But they realize that one without the other is unlikely to get you very far. People pick the market leaders and they narrow their choices to the top. A SQUIDOO lens is a way to make meaning for others. Do A because you believe in it. I rarely do A as a calculated tactic to get B. Winners quit the right things all the time. The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. The Dip is where success happens. You need to quit these so you can refocus on something with promise. Seth writes that an entrepreneur is trying to build something bigger than themselves. They take calculated risk and focus on growth. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Everything the organization does is to feed and grow and satisfy the tribe. We went from farms to factories to ideas. And the second century focused on the race to build factories. Doing it well now is much better than doing it perfectly later. Promiscuous sneezers can be motivated by money and rewards to sell ideas to a hive. A powerful sneezer can be worth many more times a promiscuous sneezer. That makes you more promiscuous and less powerful. Marketing is now tribal leadership. Tell the stories people want to believe. Products that are remarkable get talked about. Good marketers realize that it is an investment. They need light and air or they starve to death. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others. No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people. Your applicants reflect your methods. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate. Marketing is about far more than that. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves. In fact it also inspired by Peaceful Warrior too. And what a powerhouse of a post it is. Your generosity is overwhelming and a blessing. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and insightful post.I just keep pushing reading of all kinds and it is the only tool for making change that is a guarantee to achievement. He is very good at what he does because he continues to operate from his higher self. Thank you for sharing those efforts with us. I know Seth Godin has really great stuff and I have been a fan of him. Awesome share and supremely generous. So generous in putting this altogether for our benefit. It was a simple question and wrote a one sentence answer. Maybe he links to you from his blog. That would be a super sweet windfall. I thought it would be an effective way to help us stand on the shoulders of giants. These are the things I want to say I can do. I appreciate your skill in organizing and bringing to attention the most valuable pieces of information.Jeremy is asking tough questions.but one tends to forget that once you know how to organize your thinking and know how to use morphological analysis things can be made very simple. I can only imagine the time and effort that went into writing it. I learned about this post from Dion Forster. the world would be happier if we could take the time to learn this one . I must look into squidoo lens . Learning and flexing along the way is a key for sustainable results. But I need to use them if I want them to understand me. So you and Seth have both helped me with that. Thank you so much for doing this. You covered quite a lot of territory on our Seth here. Godin was a small business owner who has churned out books that have made him a big success.Meier en su blog Sources of Insight. Een zeer uitgewerkt voorbeeld zijn de lessen van Seth Godin. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS. Getting Results the Agile Way is a personal results system for work and life.This is my chuyen tien quoc te

  103. verucha says:

    thank you I’ve just ordered 8 of his books from my library:) I’ve been thinking about language a lot. We’ve discussed wording of our blog names and slogans before and am thinking more and more that we have to use the language of our tribe. It’s come slowly to me because some of the words my “tribe” use I would never utter.

  104. Aysel says:

    Amazing amazing post! I’m going through all of your Lessons Learned posts and saving them for rereading. Thank you for this!

  105. J.D. – this is just an awesome post!

    Thanks so much for all the effort you have put into creating this.

    Seth would be proud of you:-)

  106. kumar says:

    I really liked this, brilliant work.

    Kumar

  107. Stan Wielga says:

    Hey J.D.
    I really like this article and I’m going to put a link up on the 2013 Godin Internship page at :
    https://www.facebook.com/SethGodinSummerInternship2013

    Come by and join the conversation or just sit and listen.

    Thanks