The James Altucher Show – Seth Godin

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Intro
Seth’s New Podcast – Akimbo
  • Check out our Podcats Notes from a recent episode
  • James thinks of Seth as a modern day philosopher 
  • Seth does not have guests on his show
    • James has been debating doing more solo episodes for his podcast
    • In doing this, you have to:
      • Say something that’s not obvious
      • Support that point of view
    • “If you can’t do it in 15 minutes, you probably can’t do it at all”
    • “I’m focused on overlooked, underthought, ignored topics – things that people are afraid to confront”
  • “It’s not designed to be the most popular podcast. It’s just a question of, ‘Can I show up, and do what I do?’, which is teach people, and help them see the world a little differently, and a podcast is a good way to do that”
  • The literal meaning of Akimbo – hands on the hips and elbows turned outward, almost like a position of power
  • “I am making a podcast for people who want to change the culture, for the better”
The Hitsville episode of Akimbo
  • Amazon (and other platforms) create the opportunity for many more “hit” books/song/etc. to be created
    • We’ve gone from 50,000 published books per year, to millions of books published per year
    • We’ve gone from a few people having a radio show, to a million people have a podcast
    • “Everyone is out there with there stuff” – The platforms (Twitter, Amazon, Itunes) need people to show up with their stuff
  • Side note – a slot atop the New York Times Best Seller list can be bought for $40k, and many people actually do this ($80k for a #1 spot) – so really, this list means nothing anymore
  • “Instead of trying to reach the large undifferentiated masses, seek the smallest viable audience”
    • This does several things:
      • Requires you to make better work – if your work isn’t good, your audience won’t spread it
      • Forces you to hone in on the people you serve – if you can describe the 500 people you seek to serve, you can find and reach them
    • Check out Kevin Kelly’s essay 1,000 True Fans 
  • “You only have to be good enough. Then it’s a giant spin of the wheel. The arrogance of Western civilization is to say, ‘I won the spin, therefore I must be good,’ and that’s not the case.”
  • To make lasting, good work – find the 500 people who cannot go to bed tonight, without telling someone else about what you do
  • “Every hit changes the people it touches”
  • “If you don’t want to be criticized  you have to be invisible, and fit in. Most people, in their day job, seek to fit in. The problem with fitting in, is that you’re not changing anybody.”
Fear and Status
  • These two things change and affect all of us
  • “The culture is being corrupted to make us more fearful, and to use status as a weapon”
  • If a random event goes against you, don’t take it personally, you should expect it…because it’s a random event
    • Expect that the thing you’re launching isn’t going to be a hit – organize things so it’s “fine” if it’s not
  • Your work will create way more change than you ever would expect if:
    • Status is not a short term goal, it’s a long term impact
    • You act in ways so fear doesn’t get in the way of your work
Your Microphone
  • We all have a microphone, what are you going to do with it?
  • “I wake up in the morning and I think about the people I seek to serve. I’m not trying to get more views/listeners, I’m not trying to generate revenue. I just want to teach the people who want to go where I want to go.”
    • For these reasons, Seth doesn’t look at blog/book stats, he doesn’t read his Amazon reviews
    • “By refusing to know those things, I make it so I can actually do my work”
  • The formula
    • Get rid of distractions
    • Focus on what you do best
    • Don’t try to educate a million people to be your fans. Focus on your core few.
      • “Choose your customer, choose your future”
Great Tidbits
  • “I want to be judged not by my work, but by what the people who learned from me taught other people”
    • Seth doesn’t need the credit
  • When looking for a job
    • “Become the person a recruiter wants to find, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting found”
  • You may not be able to get over your fear, but you can dance with it
  • “All of the breakthroughs, and all of the magic, happens when you do things that might not work.”
    • That’s where art and innovation lives
More Great Quotes and Recommendations
  • “You will never hear me say, the secret to success is to work harder”
  • Check out the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi
    • For 40 years, Jiro performed his craft, without any accolades
  • “My opinion doesn’t matter, the skeptics’ opinions doesn’t matter, the critics’ opinion doesn’t matter. All that matters, is if you changed someone for the better in a way you’re proud of.”
  • “The stories we tell ourselves, matter way more than the stories other people tell us”
    • This “narration” is going for 18 hours a day, and affects so much of how we live our lives
  • Seth has a new book coming out in November, called This is Marketing
Seth’s Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  • He’s been married for 30 years
  • Listen, care, and create space
  • Realize that a marriage involves two different people, who don’t always agree, doing things together
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