Seth Godin: Shining in the Light of One-Star Reviews – The Jordan Harbinger Show

Check out the Jordan Harbinger Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • One of the biggest failures in life is the failure of inaction
    • When something is worth doing, take the risk and go for it
  • There will always be people who don’t like your product
    • Remember – Not every product is for every person
  • Impostor syndrome is a common occurrence for many, even Seth
    • “If you don’t feel insecure, you’re a psychopath”
    • “When you feel like an impostor, it means you’re on to something”
  • Don’t trade trust for attention
  • The most important thing you can teach is the desire to learn
    • “Once you want to learn, the amount of things you can learn goes to infinity” 
  • Most Kindle books sell 0 copies a year and the average podcast only has about 145 listeners
    • “The number of people who see what you do is not related to the good that you do”
  • The more you create content for the masses, the more average your content becomes

Intro

  • Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog) is an entrepreneur, a teacher, a Marketing Hall of Fame inductee, a daily blogger, the host of the Akimbo podcast, and the author of 19 international bestsellers
    • He’s also the founder of the altMBA
  • For more Seth, check out the Podcast Notes from his second appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show

Books Mentioned

Lessons From Failure

  • Seth considers himself to be well-versed in the failure Olympics
    • As a book packager, he received 800 rejections in a row 
    • For more than 10 years he was on the edge of bankruptcy
    • There were a few books that Seth worked on for years that sold only ~1,000 copies
  • One of the biggest failures in life is the failure of inaction
    • When something is worth doing, take the risk and go for it
  • There will always be people who don’t like your product
    • Even if you open up the most delicious ice cream store, there will be people who are lactose intolerant and will never eat it!
  • Impostor syndrome is a common occurrence for many, even Seth
    • “If you don’t feel insecure, you’re a psychopath”
      • “When you feel like an impostor, it means you’re on to something”
  • “My failures are more important to me than my successes because it’s my failures that made it so I could be here”

Education

  • Education is a management system to get you to comply
  • Learning requires voluntary enrollment
    • The most important thing you can teach is the desire to learn
      • “Once you want to learn, the amount of things you can learn goes to infinity” 

Thoughts on Success

  • Don’t focus too much on ranking or comparing yourself to others
    • Seth has written thousands of blog posts and none of them have gone super viral, but that’s okay
    • Malcom Gladwell has sold 20x the amount of books as Seth, but that’s also okay
      • Seth is still successful, by any metric, and finds joy in consistently providing good content (rather than trying to create the most read blog post or a #1 selling book)
  • Just be you instead of trying to be someone else 
  • No one is entitled to success – the world is filled with great artists who just aren’t famous
    • Just because you do X it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to Y
  • Don’t trade trust for attention
    • Seth lost a lot of respect for certain magazines because they started creating click-bait titles/articles
      • “You can trade for attention, but you can’t trade for trust”
  • Also, don’t trade money for something that goes against your principles
    • Seth turned down a huge sum of money to be the Chief Marketing Officer of a large brand because it just wasn’t what he wanted to do
    • Jordan quit his job as a Wall Street attorney, where his bonus made more him money than his podcast now does, but doesn’t regret it one bit because he was miserable being a lawyer

Something Everyone NEEDS to Realize

  • Most Kindle books sell ZERO copies a year and the average podcast only has about 145 listeners
    • “The number of people who see what you do is not related to the good that you do”
    • Podcasting is a great hobby, but the majority of people won’t make any meaningful amount of money from it 

Additional Notes

  • The advantage of being a pioneer is that you get to invent a new category where you will be the #1 expert
  • When hiring, look for people who are curious
    • Curious people are the type of people you want in a fast-changing job/company 
  • Too many people focus on praising talent instead of praising skill
    • People are more impressed by the tall person who can dunk a basketball instead of the short person who worked hard to develop their jumping ability
  • “If you A/B test a website enough, it will turn into a porn site”
    • Be careful of maximizing for lots of clicks in the short-term 
      • The more you create content for the masses, the more average your content becomes (since most people are average or near it)
  • If someone gives you feedback that indicates that they don’t like your product for personal reasons, don’t pay much attention – the product just isn’t for them
    • If you run an Indian restaurant that specializes in spicy food and a customer says they hate the food because it’s spicy, don’t make any changes. The food is simply not for them.
      • Not every product is for every person
        • Even classic books like To Kill A Mockingbird and those from the Harry Potter series have hundreds, if not thousands, of 1-star reviews
          • Look for feedback from people that are your customers, not those who aren’t 
  • You can get a lot of work done if you get out of your own way
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