Seth Godin - Business of Marketing Podcast

Seth Godin on Confidence, Creativity, and Focus

In The Business of Marketing Podcast by A. Lee Judge

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How does Seth Godin express thoughts with such confidence that they become quotable?

In this episode of the Business of Marketing podcast, Seth Godin and I talk about delivering thoughts with confidence, the definition of marketing, and some of the things that marketers might be getting wrong today.

Conversation points:
 
  • Aside from the tremendous amount of content from you or about you on the web, I want to know, how does Seth Godin describe himself?
Let’s talk Marketing.
 
Seth, I didn’t realize that Marketing was a thing until I realized that I wasn’t good at selling.
 
Even in my social life, I couldn’t “sell” myself to girls with pickup lines, but what I COULD do, is present what I had to offer in a way that attracted engagement. I was too shy to make the first move, so I had to market myself enough for my “prospects” to make the first move.
 
That’s when the idea of Marketing became clear to me.
 
  • Seth, I believe that you have a different view of how to define marketing than most, so tell us how you define it and some of the flaws in how others define it.
As Marketers, we have to build target audiences by using demographics, firmographics, even psychographics.
 
  • What are some of the ways that organizations might miss the mark on their targeting?
Seth, with you being someone who has written so many books and is held in such high regard by many people… 
 
  • I want to understand your thoughts behind coming up with a concept or idea, and then standing behind that idea until it’s one that your peers begin to quote and people begin to write about.
  • How does one gain such confidence in your own thoughts that you are able to deliver those thoughts as something that is worth becoming a quotable?
The most interesting and intriguing people, including yourself, Seth, have opinions and viewpoints that they are openly willing to share. 
 
  • To do that, don’t you have to accept that many people may claim that you’re wrong or will simply disagree with you?
I’d like your advice on something that I think you’ve recently written about. Once upon a time, my mother asked me “when was I going to give up this creative phase?” My response to her was, “Mom, I will ALWAYS be an artist, but I promise you that I will not ever be a STARVING artist.”
 
Lucky for me, I was able to build a growing business around my love for creating media. However, I still have one foot planted firmly and safely into corporate as an employee.
 
  • What do you say to creative people who may be holding back on their full potential because they are taking a safer route?
One of the ideas from your recent book “The Practice” is: We become creative when we ship the work.
 
This reminds me of the many music producer friends I have who have catalogs upon catalogs of music that no one has ever heard. They either hold back because “they” don’t think it’s good enough, or they are worried about someone stealing it. My view is that their creativity has ZERO value until someone experiences it.
 
  • Is that anything like what this idea addresses?
I’m a serial entrepreneur, and my father was a serial entrepreneur, and on his death bed, he told me that he regretted not sticking with the very first business that he had originally started.
 
So, for the past 6 years, I have been working on doing fewer and fewer different things. NOT less work, but fewer kinds of work. I realized 6 years ago, that I cannot afford to do everything that I’m good at, let alone things that I’m mediocre at, and certainly not things that aren’t backed with intention.
 
And with that, I was able to stick with and grow a business that is stronger than any of my previous businesses.
 
  • What can you share with us about the impact that focus and intention can have?
Tying this back into Marketing, I love that Marketing gets to venture into Art as much as Science. So, I want to talk about the Art part, more specifically, creative ideas.
 
You see Seth Godin, I’ve got a love-hate relationship with Analysts. It’s not that their information isn’t necessary or that it is not valuable, but because it is based on “history” I feel like its usefulness has its limits.
 
  • Do you think ground-breaking ideas and leaps of business growth ever come from analyzing what has already happened?
Speaking of new ideas and making change, Seth, your Akimbo podcast is in its 8th season. You’re best known for being a writer and speaker.
 
  • So why podcasting and what is your intention behind the Akimbo podcast?

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