5 Questions with Seth Godin (His Greatest Obstacle and What Has Him Conflicted)

Wed, Jul 21, 2010

Influence, Marketing, Perspective

5 Questions with Seth Godin (His Greatest Obstacle and What Has Him Conflicted)

Continuing with my 5 Questions series…

I recently interviewed Seth Godin. Seth is widely known as having the most read “Marketing” blog on the internet, as ranked by AdAge. He’s also the bestselling author of several books including Linchpin, Tribes, and The Dip. There’s no doubt that Seth has built a tremendous amount of influence over the years and become a trusted voice not only when it comes to marketing but also in how we lead, inspire and pursue things that matter.

Like Chris Brogan, one of the things I admire most about Seth, beyond his unique perspective, is how he utilizes his platform for good. Take his birthday for example and how he gave it away to support Charity:water. Or how during the launch of one of his latest books he gave away 3000 copies and raised over $108,000 for the Acumen fund. By the way… the 3000 books and $108,000 raised happened in less than 49 hours and as far as I know was only offered via a post on his blog.

If you are not a reader of Seth’s blog, you should be. He makes frequent posts on topics that matter, thoughts that challenge and perspectives that will move you from where you are to where you need to be. Most of all, he does it in a succinct sort of way that is indeed a gift.

Here are 5 Questions I recently asked Seth and the answers he provided…

QUESTION 1: You often get labeled into the “Marketing Expert” box but is that the most accurate way to describe what you do? Who is Seth Godin these days and what do you want to be most know for?

ANSWER 1:

What’s marketing? If marketing is the act of overcoming fear, telling stories, doing work that matters and engaging with a world that’s going through revolutionary change, then sure, I’m flattered to be a marketing expert.

My job, I think, is to highlight things we already sense, and to help people push themselves to do the work they know they ought to be doing.

QUESTION 2: What’s the biggest obstacle you’re facing right now as you step into the future of your business and your influence expands?

ANSWER 2:

The obstacle is the number of highly leveraged opportunities we all have. How to pick? What to do next? What’s the work, the choice, the dip, the thing worth doing? It’s a good problem to have.

QUESTION 3: If you were to give a new author one or two pieces of advice, “musts” that they need to do in order to have a better chance of making it, what would you tell them?

ANSWER 3:

I’d have them type “advice for authors” into Google.

Note from Daniel: Not the answer you might have expected but it is true. The resources are there. The answers are all around if you seek them out and apply what you learn. There is no silver bullet.

QUESTION 4: What are the top 5 blogs / sites that you read most frequently? If not blog or sites, who are a few people that are influencing you?

ANSWER 4:

There’s no secret blog ‘o wisdom. Instead, there’s the idea that you can immerse yourself in 200 of them (with an RSS reader) and in twenty minutes a day, stuff your brain with more than it can hold.

QUESTION 5: Tell us something unique about you that not many other people know. Could be a passion, guilty pleasure, weird quirk, whatever.

ANSWER 5:

I eat one square of 85 to 90% dark chocolate every day, whether I need it or not. I also love to make really top notch espresso, but alas, I don’t drink it. Talk about conflicted.

Seth’s answer to Question 2 stands out most, especially since Seth and Chris Brogan shared similar answers to the same question. The same answer you or I likely also face. The choice of what we pursue and what we say “No” too can be the difference between what is good and what is GREAT. Don’t let distractions keep you from what matters. Weigh every option. Choose wisely.

[See The Best Way to Kill an Idea… Have too many of them!]

What about you? What obstacle do you face and how are you overcoming it?


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    About Daniel Decker:

    Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are doing good to expand their influence. LINKS: Follow @DanielDecker on Twitter | Visit the "About" Page | Subscribe to the Blog and get updates via RSS or Email.

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    • http://intensedebate.com/people/DawnNicole Dawn Nicole Baldwin

      These are excellent questions, Daniel. Thanks so much for including Seth in your 5 Questions series roster.

      Fantastic stuff!

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/danieldeckernet Daniel Decker

        Thanks Dawn.