Seth Godin

Morning friends!

A bit of a later start today as it’s simultaneously an observed holiday here in the US (Happy Indigenous People’s Day!) and it’s my oldest daughter’s 14th birthday! Here’s a picture of her ~10 years ago when she was fighting, to the death, against some ants that we found in the backyard.

Have a great week folks, love you all.

To infinity & community,

— john


I can’t remember the first time I heard about Seth but it didn’t take me long to fall in love with his writing and the amount of effort, care, and consistency that he brought to the publishing world. My first public post that I can find that I wrote about him was nearly 12 years ago.

Since that time I devoured everything he’s ever written, aligning with him on many important topics like personal branding, (pro) blogging, education, and I even hopped on a plane to see him in-person in May of 2012:

My wife and my partners thought it was a bit crazy to buy a round-trip plane ticket to New York City for a single-day event and then to fly back same-day — but to me, it was a priceless opportunity to learn from the man himself.

Since then I’ve continued to follow and observe Seth (and build a very small relationship via email — thanks Saarna!) and the many things that he religiously ships to his audience and community, like clockwork, every single year. I pinged him and asked if he’d share a few thoughts and he graciously answered them, same-day.

And, if you’re familiar with his style and voice, then, you won’t find any meatier (and shorter) answers to my (long-ish) questions than his.

Enjoy this quick chat with one of my mentors, Seth Godin.


1. You’ve been in the business of online communities before many of us even considered thinking in that way! How have you seen it change in the last decade and what has been the most surprising?

I’m disappointed at two things:

  1. How much community has been manipulated, monetized and mistreated by organizations that are in it for the wrong reasons. Social media has turned people into products, not customers, and it’s a shame.
  2. How easy it is for some people to turn the focus and the conversations toward the negative.

But I’m optimistic that we’re realizing what’s going on, and that leadership is happening in the grass roots. That we’re weaving together communities that care.

2. You have a loyal audience, readership, and community that surrounds your work and business — what have been the most important practices that you’ve used to build that type of rapport? What are some of the most under-used tools / practices? What is misunderstood?

I don’t think it’s a tactic. I think it helps to be consistent and to actually care. If you can do that, over time, day by day, it’s likely that people will hear you and see you.

But it takes patience and a long view.

3. You’re a well-known digital personality and yet you have historically declined comments on your blog posts and opted-out of networks like twitter — how has your thoughts on these types of things changed over the years (if they have) and what have been the biggest benefits to these decisions?

Not all criticism is the same (I write about this in my new book, The Practice. Listening carefully to the right feedback is essential but so is ignoring the noise.

4. You’re a perennial creator and builder of things, from books to conferences to software and education spanning decades now; it’s clearly in your DNA! What do you know about building and launching projects on the internet that new creators today wouldn’t be able to fully and easily appreciate? In other words, what can you teach us that would have taken us 30+ years to learn?

Well, first, that it’s not in my DNA. It’s a skill, not a talent.

There’s no such thing as writer’s block, simply fear that’s waiting to be danced with.

And the only think I can teach you in one paragraph that took my 30 years to learn is: Do the work. Show up, ship for the right reasons and learn from it.

There’s more here @ The Practice.

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