Lessons from Seth Godin


Seth Godin Foundr Podcast Nathan Chan interview

This morning I listened to Nathan Chan’s Foundr podcast interview with Seth Godin. It was the best 30 minutes I’ve spent in a long time. First of all, if you don’t know who Seth Godin is, he is a serial entrepreneur, best selling author, public speaker and marketing guru who has infinite wisdom to share. If you haven’t heard of him, check out his blog. Now, I have to admit, I’ve always been a fan of Seth Godin from a distance. I don’t read his blog daily or even weekly and I’ve never listened to his interviews, but he’s just one of those people whose name is constantly tossed around in entrepreneurial circles and I’ve been meaning to study up on him. So when Muoyo recommended this podcast episode, I knew it was the perfect episode to jam on during my long flight today. As expected, Seth had a TON of gems to share. Here are two quotes from Seth that really resonated with me:

“Even if you’re working for someone, you don’t have to act as if it’s a job.”

Basically, if you view your job as a place where you go to please someone who tells you what to do, collect a salary and go home, you will never find personal fulfillment there. And you and I both know that if we’re going to spend 40+ hours a week at our jobs, we want to feel fulfilled. We cannot just go through the motions. So how can we accomplish this? By treating your job as an opportunity to do something (only you can determine what that something is). Ask yourself, “How do I find enough resources to do a project I’m interested in?” When I was at Google, employees often participated in “20%” projects that allowed them to pursue an interest outside of their day-to-day role. Some people chose to give back by participating in affinity groups that brought underrepresented students to campus to expose them to careers in tech. For me, in my current role, I want to continue to strengthen my writing muscle and continuously grow as a digital marketer. I treat my job as an opportunity to work on these two goals. A few ways I’ve done that in the short time I’ve been with NPR:

  1. I took it upon myself to write my first, soon-to-be published blog post for our corporate blog. No one told me to do this, I just saw an opportunity and took initiative. And I plan to blog even more.
  2. I was presented with a chance to go to Facebook’s F8 conference via the Management Leadership for Tomorrow alumni network. I jumped at the chance! Not only will it be great to see inside the world of Facebook, but as Facebook is a huge traffic driver for our site, this was a tremendous opportunity to keep NPR on the cusp of digital marketing as well. A win-win for everyone and again, it allows me to feel like my job is more than just a job.

So what’s your something?

“Stop being an aspiring entrepreneur and be an entrepreneur”
One of the things that holds many of us back is this myth that we need to have an idea we are so passionate about we live, breathe and die by it. Not so much, says Seth Godin: “I don’t care about your passion and I don’t care about your idea. These are myths that hold us back. You do not need to be passionate about your idea and your idea does not need to a be a good one. What you need is thirst. You need to be a thirsty human who is intent on learning and shipping. The idea is not to go big or stay home. The idea is to start small and start now.”

So get over the perception that you’re still not “technically” an entrepreneur (I wrote about that here), and start small and start now. If you have an idea – go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?

Go listen to this episode, be inspired and ask yourself, what can I start creating today? For me, it’s a community of people going after their dreams while still juggling a full-time job. Mindset is everything and if you can fix your mind to treasure what you can learn from your job and find the synergy between that your other business ideas and pursuits, you’re golden, my friends. Feel free to leave me a comment to let me know what you’re working on!



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