“Busy does not equal important. Measured doesn’t mean mattered.” – Seth Godin
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. Seth is a fountain of insight, so look across his forest of ideas, and make a map of the most meaningful insights. Here are his 22 life lessons :
Lesson 1 : Success is a skill. “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. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not. You can model their success and open doors that you might otherwise not see.
Lesson 2 : Be remarkable. Boring is invisible. Remarkable products and remarkable people get talked about. “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?”
Lesson 3 : 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. It’s best for them, right now based on what they believe and in their world, the one they have access to.”
Lesson 4 : 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.”
Lesson 5 : Don’t do A as a calculated tactic to get B. “If we define success as the ability to make a living doing what I do. 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. I do things where I actually think I’m right, as opposed to where I think succeeding will make me successful.
Lesson 6 : 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.”
Lesson 7 : Quit wisely 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. If you’re in a Cul-De-Sac or Cliff, you need to quit.
Lesson 8 : It’s like walking through a maze. “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.”
Lesson 9 : Everyone is not your customer. “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. “The media wants overnight successes. 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 …”
Lesson 10 : Feed, grow, and satisfy the tribe. You can lead a tribe of people, connect them, commit to them and create a movement. What people really want is the ability to connect to each other, not to companies. 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.”
Lesson 11 : Small is the new big. Focus on relevant, specialized, and unique. It’s the difference that makes the difference. According to Seth, “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.”
Lesson 12 : 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.”
Lesson 13 : The third century is about ideas. We went from farms to factories to ideas. “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.”
Lesson 14 : Spread your ideas. “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.
Lesson 15 : Don’t wait for perfect. Test your ideas. Learn and respond. Don’t wait for perfect to land in your lap. “I’m in a hurry to make mistakes and get feedback and get that next idea out there. Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress. 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.”
Lesson 16 : Don’t get paid to alter your behavior. There are two types of sneezers : 1) Promiscuous sneezers can be motivated by money and rewards to sell ideas to a hive. 2) 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. “In every case, you’re getting paid to alter your behavior. That makes you more promiscuous and less powerful.”
Lesson 17 : The goal of reading is to choose what to change. Find 3 take awayswhen you 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.”
Lesson 18 : The world changes whether you like it or not. The world’s getting bigger and smaller. “The world’s getting bigger because you can look everywhere, but it’s also getting smaller because categories are getting specialized.”
Lesson 19 : 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.”
Lesson 20 : Take word-of-mount with idea viruses You take word-of-mouth marketing to the next level with Idea Viruses. Tell the stories people want to believe. Products that are remarkable get talked about. Be authentic. You can’t fool people. “You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.”
Lesson 21 : Marketing is an investment 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.”
Lesson 22 : Feed, grow, and satisfy your business. Plan for the money. If there’s no money, you’re out of the game. Find people who care about cash less than you do, survival is success, success leads to more success, redo the mission statement and the business plan every three months, associate with winners, beware of shared ownership, advertise, get mentored, and observe those little birds that clean the teeth of very big hippos.
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.
“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.” Thank You Very Much SompongYusoontorn