Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog) is an entrepreneur, a teacher, a Marketing Hall of Fame inductee, a daily blogger, the host of the Akimbo podcast, and the author of 19 international bestsellers. His latest is This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.
What We Discuss with Seth Godin:
- Why it’s possible to suffer from imposter syndrome simultaneously with entitlement.
- Why the market for media is so fragmented today, and what it means for content creators, advertisers, and consumers.
- Why you can trade for attention, but you can’t trade for trust.
- The simple sentence you can use to remind yourself that you’re not going to do better work by heeding your one-star reviewers.
- Why Seth considers the idea of hustling selfish and akin to bullying.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Seth Godin is a living tsunami of productivity. He blogs every single day. He hosts a podcast. He’s an entrepreneur who’s been inducted into both the Marketing Hall of Fame and the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. He’s a teacher who’s trying to change the way we learn. Oh, and he’s also found the time to write 19 international bestsellers — his latest is This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.
So many of you requested that we interview Seth, so Jordan and Jen flew out to his office in New York to capture him candidly in his native habitat. If you find this episode more off-the-cuff than our usual fare, perhaps the talk of wabi-sabi, Harper Lee’s one-star reviews, craftsmanship versus quality, and Miles Davis conceiving of and recording perhaps the greatest jazz album of all time made us eager to present it in unvarnished glory. Or maybe it’s the best damn podcast you’ve ever heard in your life and it deserves a five-star review on iTunes! But, you know. Whatever you think is right. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Need custom graphics, logos, or Web design? Access a community of 600,000+ designers by registering at designcrowd.com/jordan and enjoy up to $100 off with The Jordan Harbinger Show bonus offer!
Don’t let a botched below-the-belt trim snag your summer plans — Manscaped has precision tools for your family jewels! Go to Manscaped.com and get 20 percent off with free shipping by using code JORDAN at checkout!
Better Help offers affordable, online counseling at your convenience. If you’re coping with depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, or any number of issues, you’re not alone. Talk with a licensed professional therapist for 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan!
Saving money on your car insurance is easy with Progressive. It’s an average savings of $699 a year for customers who switch and save! Get your quote online at Progressive.com and see how much you could be saving today!
THANKS, SETH GODIN!
If you enjoyed this session with Seth Godin, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Akimbo: A Podcast by Seth Godin
- This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
- The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
- Other Books by Seth Godin
- Seth Godin’s Website
- Seth Godin’s Blog
- Seth Godin at Instagram
- Seth Godin at Facebook
- Seth Godin at Twitter
- Deep Dive | How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome, TJHS 127
- Akimbo Workshops
- One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), Two Years On by Nicholas Negroponte, EG 2007
- Taking OLPC to Colombia by Nicholas Negroponte, TED in the Field
- Larry King Live, Wikipedia
- 17 Things You Might Not Know About M*A*S*H, Mental Floss
- The Carol Burnett Show
- Mad Men
- Tile Mate Key Finder
- W. Edwards Deming: The 14 Points, Deming Institute
- We Can Do Better than Meeting Spec, Seth’s Blog
- Wabi-Sabi: The Art Of Imperfection, Utne Reader
- Broken a Pot? Copy the Japanese and Fix It with Gold (Kintsugi), BBC
- Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis
- Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield
- The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
Transcript for Seth Godin | Shining in the Light of One-Star Reviews (Episode 234)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that we can use to impact our own lives and those around us.
[00:00:21] Today, one of the most prolific authors of our time, 18 international bestsellers. He blogs every single day on one of the most popular blogs anywhere on the Internet. I've known Seth Godin for years now and if you've ever had or overheard a conversation about marketing, you can't go more than a few minutes without someone quoting Seth Godin. If you dig deep enough into Seth’s work so you can see his influence all over corporate and startup culture as well as publishing and even education. You all requested said so many times that I flew out to his office in New York to do this interview. Of course, talking with an old friend is always a good time and it was a lot of fun to hear his thoughts on how to stand out in the crowd, do something that lights you up and is profitable and valuable to others at the same time. Seth’s thinking is really on another level. If you're not familiar with his work, then this episode will really shake up the way you think about your work life and what you bring to the world.
[00:01:15] If you want to know how we've got such great guests here on the show. Yeah, the numbers speak for themselves. I wish that were true. It's about the network. It's about systems and tiny habits. It's about outreach and maintaining those connections. I'm teaching you how to do that for free over at Six-Minute Networking. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find that. And by the way, most of the guests here on the show actually subscribe to the course in the newsletter, so come join us and you'll be in some pretty smart company. All right, here's Seth Godin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:44] So you're viewed as a successful person for as far as your work is concerned. I don't know much about your personal life. Rather than starting with your successes, which I'll include, of course, in the introduction, I would love to start with some failures because I think people look at successful people like you and they go, “This guy never had to worry about much. You know, he's successful and he's been successful, and as far as Google's concerned, he's always been that way.”
Seth Godin: [00:02:08] Okay. I mean I am aversed to the failure Olympics because I think sometimes it gives us a place to hide. But there are two kinds of failures. I have failed more times than anyone who's watching this In terms of projects brought forward that didn't resonate. When I was a book packager, I got 800 rejections in a row and for more than 10 years I was on the edge of bankruptcy four weeks away from being completely out of money. When we were building Yoyodyne, the company that ended up going to Yahoo, our biggest client was AOL, and at one point the VP of AOL said to me on the phone, “If you set foot on our campus, I will have you arrested.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:48] Oh wow.
Seth Godin: [00:02:49] Right. So it was high stakes and there are things that I brought, you know, books I worked on for a year that sold 1000 copies. There were projects…Another thing we did for AOL was one of the best ideas I ever had. We worked on it for a year. We built the whole thing out and a week before it launched, AOL switched its business model from a royalty to a flat rate, which meant the project got canceled. And so there's a lot of bumper cars when you decide to do a life of projects, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The real failure that I think is worth talking about, it's way more interesting now that I've survived. The other con is the failure of inaction and like everyone, I have a really long list of that. What are the things I could have done and don’t do? Who are the people I could have helped but didn't? And that's the kind of thing I try to pay attention to because I know a lot of people who have succeeded and the reason they succeeded is because they persisted, but also because they protected against the downside. So they still protect against the downside. But what could they have accomplished if they'd protected a little bit less against the downside and instead said it doesn't matter that this might fail. What matters is that this is worth trying, and that's something I try to motivate myself to do all the time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:13] When you see people protecting against the downside, what are you primarily referring to? These are kind of a common example of people being overly risk-averse or--
Seth Godin: [00:04:21] Well, the most important good way to protect against the downside is you never want to get thrown out of the game. The reason I can confidently say I've failed more than most people is because I haven't gotten thrown out of the game. I got to keep trying. I did thousands of book ideas and published 120 books as a book packager and only three of them became big bestsellers. That means I had 117 that disappointed the publisher. Staying in the game makes it so that you're not thrown out. But the thing that people avoid is the one-star review on Yelp. The person in the audience who doesn't laugh at your talk, the engagement with a customer who's furious at you. Well, maybe it's not for them. And if you have a way to make promises that aren't disingenuous. They don't undermine your reputation. And then you can make people whole when it doesn't match. Well then fine, it's not for you. To have somebody goes to a horror movie and it's too scary, just give the guys his $9 back. Don't feel like you shouldn't have made it. I have a podcast coming out about, for whatever reason, I talk about Stanley Kubrick a lot, 2001 was trashed by the critics when it came out. That it was boring, that it was poorly made. So what should Kubrick have done? Pulled it from the theater. Of course.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:42] Not kind of work at blockbuster.
Seth Godin: [00:05:43] Yeah, right, but you make the movie knowing some people aren't going to like it. If you want everyone to like what you do…You can't even open like an ice cream stand because people are allergic to ice cream.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:57] What did you do to almost to have the threat of being arrested at AOL?
Seth Godin: [00:06:01] Okay, AOL story went like this. I invented, with my team at Yoyodyne, commercial email. If you've ever gotten an email you want it to get, that's because we invented it. It was 1990 long before the web and we ran games of skill and sweepstakes using email because there was no worldwide web. One of our big clients was AOL. One of our big clients was Carter Wallace, the people would make Arrdi Extra-Dry Deodorant. If you were playing the Arrid Extra-Dry Deodorant game, you got an email every week and if you've got the questions right, you moved up in the standings and at the end, you would win, I don’t know a car or something. If you play in the AOL game, you are getting emails every week about parts of AOL that you could go research on AOL and have fun and win a prize. Well, Monday the emails went out and for whatever reason the AOL players, there were 400,000 got the Arrid Extra-Dry email by mistake. And this was when AOL stock was going up every day. So not good, not good and so I had this long, long distraught meeting with my tech people and they built all this stuff and a week later, I get to the office and they'd done it again. I called down to Virginia, which is where AOL was. And I said, “Audrey,” that was the vice president, “I can't tell you how, sorry, I'm going to fly down there. Just express my concern. I'm really sorry.” And that's when she threatened to have me arrested if I show up on campus. So we then hired a great expense this guy, we got him to quit his job, 50-year-old who was grown up, who would build a whole system. And then third week I get to the office at 4:00 a.m., I checked it and it’s mixed up again. I called Dan my head of engineering in our Boston office and if it hadn't been a basement office, he would've jumped out the window. It turns out what this guy had built was a system that showed just four of us what was about to happen. So only four people got the email the third week and it was fixed after that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:10] I'm getting anxiety hearing it. I can imagine. Yeah. Well, okay, so you've had a bunch of failures. That's the failure Olympics. I'm with you on that. I feel like there are people now who are just like, here's this even bigger. Oh well, let me tell you, let me one-up your story about that. And this thing I almost did to myself on purpose so that I had a story for your podcast. I get that. Do you ever have imposter syndrome these days or is that kind of a thing that you've put behind you?
Seth Godin: [00:08:38] Yeah. So for those people who aren't heard, the term imposter syndrome applies to both sexes, genders, but women, in particular, feel it, which is, I'm a fraud. What right do I have to be on the stage? What right do I have to be publishing this idea or running this podcast? And I have really strong feelings about this and some people are made uncomfortable by it, but here we go. Of course, you're an imposter. Of course, you feel that way. What right do you have to be sure that you can define the future? You can't. If you don't feel insecure, you're a psychopath. The fact is when you feel like an impostor, it means you're onto something. It means you're leaning out of the boat doing generous work. If you're not feeling that way, you're not working hard enough.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:27] What does it mean when I hit simultaneously think why isn't my work bigger? And also maybe I shouldn't be leaning out of the bed. I have imposter syndrome and entitlement or something that whatever that's called.
Seth Godin: [00:09:37] And then I think they go together because you believe that you are doing something generous. And what we see in our culture is who's number one on YouTube? Who's number one on billboard? Who's number one on TV? And they don't mention that they're, you know, 142 TV shows and only one can be number one. They don't mention the average podcast in this country as 145 listeners average. Your podcast could be great. It is not related to the fact that someone else has more listeners to you. Those are separate thing and there are tactics and strategies that you can use to get more people to see what you do, but the number of people who see what you do is not related to the goodness of what you do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:21] I think that's important because I know that people, I don't know if it's just an American thing, we're obsessed with charts, we're obsessed with rankings. Everything is competitive and that's good because it makes the free market a little better. But there's some part of us that goes, well if I'm not number one that I'm garbage or my work is garbage. And that's inherently unhealthy because nobody can start at number one. I mean not really yet.
Seth Godin: [00:10:48] Unless you realize that the whole thing is about categories, the taxonomy of what categories. So I will never have a number one Billboard single because I don't make music. Well, if you can invent a category you get to be number one in it and I've been doing that my whole career. I was the number one creator of CD-ROMs for parents when I did my Fisher-Price CD-ROM title because it was the only one. I was to do books with Amazon. I was number one in my category. You don’t have to be a pioneer. But the benefit of being a pioneer is yet to invent a category that's very small and you can be number one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:26] Right. And then, you just spend, hopefully, not too much time looking over your shoulder going hope nobody else figured this out.
Seth Godin: [00:11:32] Or actually, you want everyone else to figure it out. And that's the other thing. I was at a trade show this weekend in the fancy food industry and the people who are at the trade show aren't competing with each other. There isn't the problem of this chocolate versus that chocolate. The problem is that 99 percent of people don't buy any expensive chocolate. That's the competition. The competition is always none of the above. The competition is didn't just show up. Right now with the altMBA and with the Akimbo workshops, we're trying to reinvent the way people learn. Who is my competition? My competition is cat videos.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:09] Which are pretty compelling depending on who you're asking. But yeah, maybe not the same level of value as somebody who flies here from South Africa to learn from you. I love the idea that school is failing idea generators, mold breakers, and there's this old model of school because I'm learning more now as an adult than I ever felt like I did as a kid. It makes me a little nervous because now I feel like, “Oh I've got to make up for lost time because if this is what learning was supposed to be like, what the hell was I doing for 30, 27 years in school and in grad school?” What should younger people or people, in general, be doing to maybe improve the way that they educate themselves or improve the way that they learn?
Seth Godin: [00:12:50] Well, so I used the words education and learning differently. Education is a management system to get you to comply. There's a prize at the end, there's a certificate. Whereas learning requires enrollment and voluntarily saying, ”I want to move forward.” The most important thing we can teach is thirst --the desire to learn. Once you want to learn, the amount of things you can learn goes to infinity because everyone has it. Every course they ever need to take is right in front of them. The problem is when we try to do it to people against their will.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:26] Sure. Yeah. I don't remember willingly going this well after a while. It's just beaten into submission basically. But now, I don't have enough time to read all the books that I want. There's none of that time for me to take all the courses that I want online or in-person for that matter. I can't get to school fast enough.
Seth Godin: [00:13:44] From the time, you're six or seven, what coaches and teachers and parents say is, “Why didn't you get an A? Why did you go?” Well, no wonder no one wants to play that game. It's stacked against you that if we could figure out how to create a cycle of wasn't that fun. No one learns how to walk or ride a bike from a course. We learn how to do it by trying it, failing, and trying again. And so we are born wanting to know that skill. We learn a skill, but then we are brainwashed into stopping.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:18] I think there's also an element of us being brainwashed into thinking we can't do it on our own. I don't remember a whole lot of people, even when I was younger encouraging me, my parents, of course, but school, it kind of wasn't, “Hey, research this on your own, figure it out on your own.” And I remember the one or two times teachers actually went, “Whoa, you're learning how to read on your own. I'm just going to let you do that.” It was kind of like, “Stop reading the first graders book when you're in kindergarten. And read this dumb book.”
Seth Godin: [00:14:43] It’s compliance. Yeah.
Seth Godin: [00:14:45] Right. And, you know, the same thing happens to the adults that I put on the spot all the time. I told the story last week when we were building Yoyodyne I was hiring a person a week and for a small company that's a lot. I ran a full-page ad in the New York Times, 500 people responded. We had two sessions of a hundred people each came to hear me give my pitch once. I wouldn't have to repeat it to every single person. Then we put them into groups of five and my employees went and sat in each group interview with five to find out if there are people like us. Then they went to a smaller group. So, I would sit at a group of people with five and I'd say, “All right, here's the deal,” and I had to make it more and more specific because people kept misunderstanding the question. I don't really care about the answer, but if I want to know how many gas stations there were in the United States without you using any outside information, how would you figure it out? And I would say this to the group of five and every single time they found three categories --one person would take out a pad, two people would say no to whatever anybody else said, and one or two people would lead. “Well, we could do this. What do you think about this? Oh, let's see there this many companies. It's so good. How many cars? How many people?’ That’s that person. Then this other person who’s writing down whatever they say. “Nah, what else you got.” Well, who do you think I hired?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:16] We need a mixed don’t you? You don’t you went to leaders.
Seth Godin: [00:16:20] This wasn't really about leaders, it was about curiosity because all we were doing as an organization with solving problems that hadn't been solved before. I didn't need people to do repeated tasks. I needed people to solve problems that hadn't been solved before. They could be big or small and if you're afraid of solving a problem without a textbook, without a manual, I can't fight that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:42] And you probably don't want the person who's nay-saying and you probably don't need to scribe it as much. We can find them anywhere.
Seth Godin: [00:16:47] Again, we got a few of those people, but in general, every time I heard the curious person, I got a curious person, and curious people in fast-changing times and the people you want by your side.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:57] Especially as somebody who's not afraid to voice an idea in a group where they think that person might also take their job. That's somebody who's not afraid of a little bit of risk and also it doesn't have a scarcity mindset that's going to cost them back, unplug someone else's computer or whatever.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:13] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Seth Godin. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:17] This episode is sponsored in part by Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes covering dozens and dozens really of creative and entrepreneurial skills. They've got photography, creative writing, design productivity. Jason didn't they have like chess in there and stuff too.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:36] We've got all sorts of things. I'm actually taking an Adobe Audition course because I've got a project coming up where I have to use Adobe Audition, but since I have Skillshare, I can get up to speed pretty quickly and I tell you what the classes are. They're actually taught by really skilled people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:52] That are sharing their skills. I get it. I see what you did there, skilled share.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:55] There you go.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:57] I think this is important lifelong learning is obviously important to me. It's important to Jason. It's important to most of you all listening as well. So, join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today and we've got a deal for them, Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:08] Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with a special offer just for our listeners, get two months of Skillshare for free. That's right. Skillshare is offering The Jordan Harbinger Show listeners two months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/harbinger. Again, go to skillshare.com/harbinger to start your two months now. That's skillshare.com/harbinger H-A-R-B-I-N-G-E-R.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:33] This episode is also sponsored by Design Crowd. Crowdsourcing is how busy people, especially business owners, like myself, get stuff done in the 21st century and thanks to DesignCrowd you can focus on running your business while handing over the reins for your company's logo, web design, t-shirt, you name it to a pool of over 715,000. I love how that keeps. Every time we do a read, they see that that numb0er increases 715,000 designers around the world. DesignCrowd crowdsources, custom work based on your specs, and then you pick the design that you like best. So here's what you do. Go to designcrowd.com/jordan. You post a brief describing of what you want from the art that you need. DesignCrowd invites 715,000-ish designers from Sydney to San Francisco to respond. You get a couple of designs that the first few hours over a week and change, you get 60 a hundred I think we got like 300 when we tried those different pieces from designers around the world. You pick the ones you like, you approve payment to the designers, and if you don't like any of the designs you get, DesignCrowd offers a money-back guarantee, Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:36] Check out designcrowd.com/jordan. That's D-E-S-I-G-N-C-R-O-W-D, designcrowd.com/jordan, for a special $100 VIP offer for our listeners, or simply enter the discount code, Jordan, when posting a project on DesignCrowd.
[00:19:51] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard from our amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don't forget we have a worksheet for today's episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways from Seth Godin. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you'd like some tips on how to subscribe to the show, just go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Subscribing to the show is absolutely free. It just means you get all the latest episodes downloaded automatically to your podcast player as they're released so you don't miss a single thing from the show. Now back to our show with Seth Godin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:29] You bring this idea up in Akimbo. There's an example of these kids getting laptops. Is it Africa or South America?
Seth Godin: [00:20:35] Yeah, it was Africa with Nicholas Negroponte.
Jordan Harbinger: [0:20:38] And this is fascinating because I'm thinking, oh well, you know, I totally tried to guess where the story's going. I don't know if that's just from watching too many movies or if that's human nature. I was wrong. I thought, oh, they're going to get these and they're going to find Candy Crush, and then nothing ever happened, and the tablets ran out of batteries, and that was the end. Somebody played candy crush until they ran out. But that's not what happened. The self-learning process is much different than the bash people into compliance factory workers process.
Seth Godin: [00:21:06] No one had ever spent time pushing these kids to obey. There was no school. They had never been to school. They were functionally illiterate. They were born to grow up to work in the field. And when Nicholas is the founder of the MIT media lab, so he does things that are on the edge and with rigor. They tracked every single behavior on every one of these tablets. The kids taught themselves to read. They taught themselves to hack the system so that they could use the camera and other tools in it. And mostly they taught each other how to use it because no one had ever told them not to do those things. And instead of just sitting around doing nothing, they had something to do. The idea of Candy Crush is that Candy Crush is an opiate. It's designed to take your mind, your noise around you. But if you're not surrounded by this ever-competitive noise, candy questions more right? It's supposed to be boring, is not boring. To learn how to edit Wikipedia and that's what these kids did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:07] I'm very impressed that they've learned how to do it. I mean it takes me a while to figure out how to edit Wikipedia. They certainly don't make it as user-friendly as it probably could be these days and I think that's a little bit by design because it makes vandalism a little more difficult.
Seth Godin: [00:22:18] For sure. So here's the interesting statistic that I just looked up on Wikipedia. 32 million people have a registered account on Wikipedia. 3,900 people are authorized to start a new article in Wikipedia without oversight. That's the size of the funnel. One in 10,000 meaning that most people that Wikipedia simply fixed typos, a few thousand people really get deep into it and 3,800 of them are the actual “staff of Wikipedia.” That funnel is fascinating because it applies to most forms of everything. When you think about out of every 30 million people who say, I paint, how many of them are cutting edge artists that belong in the Metropolitan [indiscernible] [00:23:05]? It's not a talent thing. It's a skill and commitment thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:12] That's important. That's an important point. I think that's more important than I originally had given a credit for it because a lot of us will say, “I can't really do that. I don't have the natural skill,” or, “Man, it's going to take me 20 years to build that level of skill.” But since that's not the metrical really required to have to do anything important. It becomes not irrelevant, but certainly less important and less relevant than we might've thought.
Seth Godin: [00:23:34] Right, because most of the things we celebrate in the media and the culture, our talents. How tall are you? Can you dunk a basketball? How fast you are on the buzzer in jeopardy? These are things that I will argue you might be wired for but the other stuff --persistent, open-minded, curious, generous, driven-- those things are harder to build a game show around, but that's the rest of our lives. Those are the people who end up running the rest of our lives because that's what makes the culture work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:09] I think we all know it's cheaper for big companies to make, as you said, average things for average people, but now we're seeing all these micro-market subcultures and influencers. So, there's no Larry King Live anymore. I mean maybe it exists but not really in the way that it did in the 90s. We’re like there were news articles that I read when I do research on people. It says during Larry King Live, a plane crashed into and it was like, well that must have been at 10:00 p.m. on every weeknight because everyone was watching this. That kind of isn't a thing and unless it happens during Game of Thrones or something. And even then it's like, “Oh well on Tuesday,“ that's when I watched it. So late-night TV, even those are the big things that people talk about and those are fragmented and those are competitive and those hosts are crying in their cereal about the lack of ratings and giant shows like Bill Maher or whatever on HBO.
Seth Godin: [00:25:00] You have a giant show. Your show is bigger than Bill Maher.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:04] I learned that recently and I was like that's not right. And then I asked people to have the secret inside details. And I went, well where's my contract with HBO. Where's my giant sound studio?
Seth Godin: [00:25:15] Right. Well, there the legacy business. That's right. Yours is a growing one that we could talk forever about the dynamics here. But what happened was the FCC said there are only three channels that scarcity. Everyone's watching TV that creates this value. The programming was not, how do I get more people to watch TV? It's how do I get them to not watch one of the other two networks? Because the game theory is pretty simple, which is if I get a third, I win just a third. That's plenty. And so if you're running a commercial against one-third of the American population, you better sell them something they want to buy. Because that's a lot of people. So you have Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Singles and Ford Motor. But then the FCC stops mattering at all and we go from three channels to Larry King. He actually wasn't as big as it may seem today. He was tiny compared to MASH or to Carol Burnett. Then you go to a hundred cable channels and then you go from a hundred cable channels to a billion Internet chat. If there are a billion Internet channels, if there are 70 million blogs, if there are five million or whatever it is podcasts, there's no shortage of things to tune into. And by definition, there will be some hits because we like to have something that we can buzz about. But even the hits are tiny compared to what they used to be. The Mad Men, which was considered the greatest TV show of its time three million people tuned in every episode.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:48] Which is like if your podcast had that you'd be one of the top podcasters. But I don’t know if you've beaten Rogan at that point,
Seth Godin: [00:26:54] But if you’re on TV in 1970 that was the last three million. There was no TV show that had fewer viewers than three million in the 1970s really? Yeah. Wow. I guess the last place because you add a third, if you just tied, right, if you just tied, you had 60 million, 50 million, 40 million people watching you. This is three million. It's Mad Men because the whole thing fractures and if the whole thing fractures, number one, it's not clear advertising makes sense. But if advertising does make sense, why on earth would you advertise average stuff when you could buy specific places to put your ads? So if you know that it's a vegan podcast, you can sell them vegan stuff which you never used to be able to buy an ad for vegan stuff. Where could you afford to do that? So now we're way out on the long tail because it's also true at the very same time, just a coincidence. Container ships plus robots plus computers means we can make obscure edge case products at a reasonable price. If you think about a product like the Tile. I have one on my keys here. This thing can help you find your keys if you lose them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:08] Right, little Bluetooth dongle or whatever.
Seth Godin: [00:28:10] In 1970, you could never afford it to make this because you would've need needed to find 40 million people who would go to Kmart to buy one because you needed shelf space. ”Oh, we don't need shelf space. We have Amazon, unlimited shelf space.” So all these things line up 3D printer to make the prototype 3D problem driver blah blah blah. So you don't need to sell that many Tile the first year to be glad you started the company that was inconceivable in 1970 so all these things lined up at the same time to create this long fracture thing, which means that most ideas are underwater. Most of the songs on iTunes sell zero copies a year. Most of the Kindle books sold zero copies a month, zero because it's under the line. There's a whole bunch of sell one, as I said, podcast, have 145 listeners. So you knock them down and make a living at it. It's a great hobby. So what we're going to end up with is all this churn at the long tail and then the short head when the Rogan's or whatever sharp is a hit because hits are harder to find. You can make money from it. And because there's so much cheaper to make, you don't have to make that much money to be glad you did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:23] So knowing this, can we make a huge impact like we used to be able to do by getting a hit or creating something and having it resonate with the masses? Like is it, is it harder now or does it just look harder or are we kind of like--
Seth Godin: [00:29:37] That do you mean by a hit. You mean change the culture? Or do you mean we make a lot of money?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:27] Yeah. Is there even a such thing as cultural radar anymore at all?
Seth Godin: [00:29:48] We want there to be cultural radar and so there is. It’s not I watched 40 episodes of Seinfeld, it might just be yada, yada, yada. And there's a whole bunch of people who know what you just said, right? So it's a memeification of how we talk about it. But what's really happening, and I think we see this beautifully in the way the gay marriage movement succeeded so quickly, is what are your friends doing? People like us do things like this. The people around you, what do you see? And so what they realized was they didn't need to make a case or change everyone's mind. They simply needed to make it so that people who cared about the issue would normalize it enough to the people around them. So even though there wasn't a central broadcast a central show, it becomes this ground's up groundswell, fine. And so it's done, right? And so we're going to see the culture keep changing horizontally, not the vertical way. The vertical way was Oprah would have somebody on who said something that was hurt by 25 million women at two o'clock in the afternoon and then boom, it's on the radar. This is slower than that and more horizontal than that. But it will change the culture because the T culture wants to change and people want to be in sync with their people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:16] That makes sense. And it sort of leads me to what probably sounds like a dumb question, which is does it still make sense for us to do good work, the high quality work? And of course it does, but it kind of seems like it depends on the measurement.
Seth Godin: [00:31:31] The semantics matters so much. So let's be clear about what quality means. Sure. Quality does not mean deluxe. Quality does not mean expensiveness. Those words are often associated with quality, quality. Edwards Deming, Phil Crosby, their definition meet spec. If you meet spec every time you have created something of quality. So a Toyota is higher quality than the 1968 Rolls Royce because ‘90 ‘68 rolls Royce made my hand broke down more than a 1990 Toyota. It was higher quality met spec. The production of almost everything in our lives, food chain, the mechanical devices, we buy way higher than any time in history cause engineers figured out how to improve quality. Okay. Now if I get a Kindle book and it's filled with typos, so it’s low quality. If I get a Kindle book and it's a trashy romance, well, was it marketed as a trashy romance. Well was it marketed? Because if it isn't, it's a high quality trashy. It meets spec.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:39] it meets spec.
Seth Godin: [00:32:41] So what does it mean to do good work? Well, I think they do anything good work, great work is good work, met spec, Great work, you can't stop talking about it. So, it exceeded your expectations that you have to spread the word. And therefore, if we want to have a change in culture, we have to be remarkable. And what it means to be remarkable is to do something great. That doesn't mean quality. It might mean the opposite of quality. It might be Wabi-Sabi it might be humanity to it. So when, when you saw, John Stewart, choking up last week when he was testifying before the Senate and the house that was low quality and it was excellent work. Because he didn't finish his sentences, he got choked up in his words. So he didn't deliver the word properly. But it was remarkable. It got seen by millions of people. It made a difference too because it was human cause it was great work. And so I think our obligation is to not be as sort of full perfectionism of holding it back because it's not perfect, but instead, say this is important and I'm going to do what's necessary to make an important.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:57] Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese art form when they sort of…Did they deliberately break the pot and then glue it together with gold or does it?
Seth Godin: [00:34:04] There is a thing It starts with a K. I can never remember what that’s called. Okay. So if you went to Japan in 1960 and said Wabi-Sabi, no one would know what you meant was actually a psychoanalyst in the United States, Leonard Koren, wrote a book called Wabi-Sabi in which he conflated too, whereas Wabi and Sabi and basically I'm not going to literal translation one means a death and one means nature and one implies handmade. It's their reality of use. And so AstroTurf [00:24:40] lawn in the suburbs might be perfect, but a playground has Wabi-Sabi. You can see the footprints of the kids who came before you. A catcher's mitt. It's brand new from the store is new, but a warning catcher's mitt is worth more because it has Wabi-Sabi. it's been there and it's on its way to going away. And so yes, there is a Japanese form of sculpture where you intentionally break a sculpture and then glue it together. We would go to show that that's our lives, right? Our lives are nothing but our scars are the things that didn't work out and I treasure them. We each do that. My failures are more important to me than my success because it's my failures that made it so I could be here.
[00:35:23] That idea of Wabi-Sabi and humanity flies in the face of what happens when you see CBS make a three-minute piece of video. You know I was on CBS a couple of weeks ago. Really good people. There's only two of you here. There were five of them and they were here for hours to make a three-minute thing cause they wanted to take out all the Wabi-Sabi. They want it to be like not, and this really happened, but that this is all takes version of what happens. And one of the reasons that Hollywood movies cost so much is that when you have an unlimited budget, you spend the last half of it taken out all this stuff that would make it look real.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:02] That wasn't lit perfectly. Or if there was a, someone walked by outside, we have to get rid of that. And it's w yeah, we're in Seth’s office. You know what? What's this? There are wires in the shot. There are wires in the shot, there are wires in the office. People like that about podcasting. The Wabi-Sabi is there until there's just too much of Wabi that everything else gets lost in--
Seth Godin: [00:36:24] I recorded my podcasts in the bathroom right behind us here in the shower. And I lined it with some foam and I just go in there and I hit record and I have no staff other than Alex who does the final edit for me because I figured that's what people wanted from me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:39] To be clear, you're not actually taking a shower.
Seth Godin: [00:36:42] I can turn on the water. I don't know what would happen.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:45] That might be a little yes, no more Wabi-Sabi. it's more like wet. Yeah. Wet.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:36:52] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Seth Godin. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:57] This episode is sponsored in part by Manscaped. Now, this was a product I wasn't sure what to do with it. I don’t know what to do with it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:07] I was going to say it is right there on the tin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:09] They literally called manscape. While I was, I knew what to do with it. I mean it's right there on the tin, literally called manscaped. And I thought, okay, so this is what precision-engineered tools for your family jewels. I think that's their slogan, which is kind of creative. I see what you did there. Now, this is, this is delicate. You should handle this one delicately, right Jason, just like you would handle your junk and they've got this electric trimmer that they've in redesigned. A lot of us will go and shave with a regular razor and they've got, it's called, and I'm not even kidding, The Lawn Mower 2.0, which has proprietary skin-safe technology. So it's not going to nick or snag your nuts.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:50] I will say that we were, we were actually forced to read that. So we're not, we're not going on the fly here, but yes, it does. It does have these skin-safe technology. Your taint is safe with that's right. With the Lawn Mower 2.0.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:00] Plus a lot of guys have a hair trimmer for their head and they’re like lot of guys, hair a hair trimmer for their head and they're like, ”Ooh, do I want to use this down there?” I'm not so sure about that.” I've lived with guys who trim their beard and their balls with the same little trimmer. And I'm like, please keep that on your side of the sink dude because that's just gross.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:26] Well also you're just playing with fire. What happens when those blaze gets all it puts out a couple of hairs. What happens when that happens? Down understand. Not good at all. So I think it's good that this is specifically made for it also. They sent us a really nice, I mean these came in and I, I'm not going to lie, I was fairly surprised. Super high quality. The bag that came in was of high quality. I actually, once saw this, I requested one for you, for Gabriel and for a couple of other people here on the team. Did Fogarty get one?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:38:57] Oh, yes he did. And he has used it and he said that the summer will be much cooler now. Thanks to Manscaped.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:02] Got it. Hashtag TMI. So anyway, let's tell them about the deal. I need a shower after this read. But, Jason, tell him about the deal we got from them.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:11] You can get 20 percent off and free shipping with code Jordan at manscaped.com that's 20 percent off with free firstname.lastname@example.org use the code Jordan. And you get all sorts of goodies in here too. Like, which I love the Crop Preserver, which is an anti-chafing ball deodorant, and moisturizer. This is a full ball package ball court press you get here and the Manscaped bag.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:38] It's funny. Stuff you didn't know you needed, right. Oh my goodness. All right.
[00:39:43] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. I love these guys. I can't believe this didn't exist earlier. I'm a big fan of therapy. You've heard me recommend it a lot on Feedback Friday. But I also, I drink my own Kool-Aid, if you will. I eat my own dog food, that was what I was meaning to say. I love therapy. I think it's healthy. I think everyone should have it. Here's the thing people go, “Oh well you know, I don't have any.” If you're sane, you need therapy to stay that way, even if you just talk to somebody once a month, once a freaking quarter, seriously, it's worth it. Better Help offers licensed professional counselors, which is key. Don't be hiring some life coach thinking you're getting actual therapy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:20] It's not the same. No hate on life coaches. I mean a little, but they're not. They're pissed. If you've got depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, stuff, sleeping stuff, trauma stuff, anger stuff, all that. Self-esteem issues, all that huge list of stuff that needs to be handled by a professional in order for you to stay productive, sane, healthy, et cetera, and I love that. It's confidential. It's private. You can text, you can video chat. This is not driving across town. Finding a parking space, making sure you've got the appointment time right. This is to go to your car during your lunch hour because you have 40 minutes, half-hour, whatever to do a session. That's what I'm talking about. That's 21st- century therapy right there, Jason. We've got a deal for him, right?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:59] Of course we do. It's a truly affordable option for our listeners and you get 10 percent off your first month with discount code Jordan, and you don't have to go sit in that waiting room and look at all the other people and then think about them judging you. You can just do it from the comfort of your own phone, so why not get started today? Go to better help.com/jordan. Simply fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you'll love. That's a better help.com/jordan
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:24] This episode is also sponsored in part by Progressive.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:27] Saving money on your car insurance is easy with Progressive. It's an average savings of $699 a year for customers who switch and save. In fact, customers can qualify for an average of six discounts on their auto policy when they switch to Progressive. Discounts for just starting a quote online or owning multiple vehicles. Get your quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
[00:41:50] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air and to learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard it so you can check out those amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don't forget the worksheet for today's episode. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. And if you're listening to us on the Overcast player, please click that little star next to the episode. It really helped us out. Now for the conclusion of our episode with Seth Godin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:19] Let me tell you where I get a little discouraged there. There are podcasts that talk about real housewives. What the host had for breakfast. She's drinking three glasses of wine deep when she does it, it has twice the audience that I have technically. Yeah, probably more like five X. It's you know, super profitable and everyone's going. We want to buy ads on that one, but then there is an element of, well not ads for things that may be smart. People would buy it because they're not listening to that, but you'll never have better ratings then. Sure. Jersey Shore or something that makes us all go, oh, give him cringe with the brands are paying the person to not wear the clothing.
Seth Godin: [00:42:57] Right, right. If you AB tested website enough, it will turn into a porn site.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:03] Really think about is that an experiment that actually was running.
Seth Godin: [00:43:06], but the thing about it, because you have two ads, one ad has someone sort of unclosed one ad it doesn't, which is going to get more clicks. You have two things that people can do. One involves getting a short term hit of endorphin. One doesn't like bit by bit by bit. It's going to keep pushing you in a direction for a certain audience. If you look, why is the spam from Nigeria so poorly written,
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:30] deliberately filtering in people that would fall for it.
Seth Godin: [00:43:33] Exactly. Yeah, because it cost them a ton to get you to the next six steps of interaction. They don't want a smart person in the funnel because it's just going to break before they pay. They want dumb people in the function. And so the question I would ask you is what's your goal? If your goal is to maximize the income from podcasts, then the quality you want is the dumbest, most prurient short fix, quick hit, then you could come up with, because advertisers are obsessed with mass and perversely pay extra to reach large numbers of undifferentiated people when they should be paying less per head than that. They pay more per head because they're lazy and traditional. So if you, if that's the work you're proud of, this is easiest in the world to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:18] It's not. It makes me want to take this pencil and push it as hard as I can to my eardrum.
Seth Godin: [00:44:21] don't think you should because you're comparing apples to oranges that those people, what they really should be doing instead of our podcast is making a network show. They're failing too because they only have one-tenth of reach they'd have on network TV, so it's a hierarchy but it's not a ladder you want to be on. Instead, you're saying for the people on a journey I care about, I can go with you over there. Who wants to come? And that's not the way to maximize your profit way to maximize your profits, go to work at Goldman Sachs. This is the way to maximize your impact on the people you seek to serve.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:59] Do people come to you and say things like, how do I stay motivated to do what matters rather than what makes a profit in the short term or is that a question you'd think that they should be able to answer on their own by existing?
Seth Godin: [00:45:12] I don't get asked that question. I don't do any consulting or coaching, so I don't get asked as many questions as you think. Sure. But the question I get asked much more often than that is, I have been moved by the muse to do X. I want Y and I'm not getting it. How dare the culture do that? How can I fix it? That sense of entitlement happens constantly, and the answer is what made you think that X and Y were related? You're entitled to do X, you're not entitled to get Y, that there might be a disconnect between the X you're doing and the Y you think you're entitled to get, and it's that, but that and that is getting in the way of your joy. I can tell you how to get that kind of output, but you won't be able to do the kind of art you say you want to do something for them. And what I write about in This is Marketing is most marketers say, “I have a key. Show me the lock it fits.” That's a really dumb way to get into a house. It's a smart way to say, “Here's a lock. Why don't you go make a key that will open that?” That makes much more sense. That is a service mindset built on empathy. I'm not going to force you to change for me to serve you. I'm going to go to who you are, where you are going and bring you something that you know you need.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:36] What advice would you have for someone than somebody who, as you put it in a, is it the Icarus Deception? I always messed this title up. That's the name of the book? Yes. Did it have another title or was there just a misprint in an article that was big that had the title wrong or allegedly?
Seth Godin: [00:46:52] In my head it had another title, but in real life, it never had another time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:56] What was the title that was in your head?
Seth Godin: [00:46:55] I don’t remember.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:58] Okay, maybe I heard it on a podcast or something because it is just polluting my brain. What advice would you have for people who fly too low? Right, because there are people who are making things that think this doesn't matter. There's too much noise. No one cares about deeper thought anymore. That person might be me. Maybe I'm using it as my therapist right now, but in a way, right? Because there are people who are going, “Oh, what makes smart content when everyone's dumb, which is not necessarily true, but it can feel that
Seth Godin: [00:47:25] Once you make that statement is your next statement. All right, I'll make content.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:30] But you don't really want to write. Right?
Seth Godin: [00:47:31] So now we're back to the, I want to do what I want to do, but I'm not getting what I want to do. You know, the number of blog posts I've written that have won the Internet is zero. 7,400 blog posts that I have never had one go super viral. And uh, that is totally fine with me. In fact, what I, I know how to write one of those buckets. I don't want to write one of those blog posts. Because if I did, I'd get hooked on that and I'd have to do it again. And so I'm flattered when people look to me as a big success except for authors that I really respect Liz Gilbert's and Malcolm Gladwell's 20 times as many books as I do. 20 times and 20 times the podcast listeners you do, 20x is a lot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:18] That's a lot.
Seth Godin: [00:48:18] And if I was going to focus on that, it would be foolish because if I want to go by Liz Gilbert, I should figure out how to be Liz Gilbert and then maybe I'll get with Liz Gilbert gets, but there already is a Liz Gilbert. I should just be me and figure out how to organize my overhead so that what I'm getting for being me can sustain me to do it again. That doesn't mean you don't try to do outreach that's appropriate. You don't try to find leverage and social ratchet and learn how to do that kind of marketing. It just means you don't do it with a chip on your shoulder. Because this idea that you're entitled to X because you put the effort in, you just got to go to the floors of museums with artists you never heard of painting after painting from people you never heard of. Go to the record store of records after they're just as good, they're just not famous.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:12] Right. And it's, it's easy to go, but I've been doing this for 12 years. I should and I always have to check myself on that because when I look at, people will say, your YouTube should be bigger. And I go, yeah, so what would you do? And you talk to the expert and they go, “Oh, you know, you need like a snazzy explosion in thumbnail and it hasn't saved. This quote blew my head up when Seth said it.” And then people will click and then they'll go, eh, that wasn't, my head's not exploding. This is dumb. But then you get more subscribers. Trust for attention. Right. You're optimizing for
Seth Godin: [00:49:44] it means that I used to respect, now I've headlines like this one thing United airlines did will blow your mind. Well. Okay, I clicked once, but I'm never coming back. So in the long run, we've seen it again and again and again. In the long run, you can trade for attention, but you can't trade for trust.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:03] I think that's a really good point. You see websites that were once that preeminent, whatever magazine and now it's, it's called a click farm and they're not really exaggerating. And you can turn your work into that if you're not careful by going, wow, look, when I put more cleavage on Instagram, well maybe not for me or you. But some people can do that and they'll get more followers. But then are you getting people that want to buy your floral arrangements? Are you getting people that want to hear your opinion on something? No, you're getting emoji.
Seth Godin: [00:50:32] This is a debate we have in the office every day. I don't use Instagram the way I'm supposed to. I don't use Twitter the way I'm supposed to and I don't use Facebook the way I'm supposed to. And I'm aware of that. But my job is not to make Mark Zuckerberg happy. My job is to work with the people who want to go on this journey with me. And if using a social media outlet, the way that will make the CEO happy will undermine what I'm trying to do, then I don't want to do it. I'm also not doing a particularly good job making Barnes & Noble happy. Right. Fine. That's not my job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:04] You turned down this billion dollars in stock options. Was that for Yoyodyne or was that for something else?
Seth Godin: [00:51:09] No, after I sold Yoyodyne I was at Yahoo and um, Bill Gross, the guy who invented so many things on the Internet that he doesn't always get credit for, including Google's business model. We had a company called Idealab. And Idealab was the next hot thing. I was going to be a multimodal Steven Spielberg was on the board, it was the real deal. And Bill called me up right around the time I was thinking of leaving Yahoo and he said, we'd love to have you be the chief marketing officer for Idealab. We're going public in six months and there's $1 billion in stock options in it. And I said, “No.” And it doesn't matter that the Internet bubble burst in between the two. I'm sort of sad it didn't, it would have been great if it really was worth $1 billion because the magic for me was I never again had to say I got to do something for money because I turned down $1 billion.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:04] Right. Great. So why sell out for hundred thousand.
Seth Godin: [00:52:06] Exactly. Done and my life has been better ever since.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:10] I can see that. That's my follow up to that was what did that teach you about doing things for money? Because yeah, if you're going to, I used to be a wall street attorney. My bonus check was supposed to be as big as my annual revenue is for this, but I would not, we would not be, he'd be talking to one miserable guy or not at all at this point. And I can see that. I can see that being almost liberating. Like, look, if I didn't sell out for that, there's not really an amount of money that's going to make me then change my principles or make crap.
Seth Godin: [00:52:39] But I also have a lot of other principles about industriousness and for emotion that make me work way harder than I would work if I was just seeking to maximize profits.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:52] How do we know what feedback to listen to? Because we're getting a lot whenever our work is out there and we're getting a whole lot of feedback. Some of its unsolicited and I like to improve my show or whatever. People like to improve their writing, their work based on feedback. But it's, there's a YouTube comment that says I don't like your purple glasses. And then there's different types of people that might love them or not comment on your glasses at all because that's not the breaking point. How do we really know when it's not such an obvious example to listen to?
Seth Godin: [00:53:26] So I just recorded a whole podcast about this very topic, so I'm going to try and treat myself too much. But here we go. The most important thing to remember is a simple sentence --It's not for you that if someone gives you a piece of feedback that indicates what kind of person they are by the nature of the feedback. So you run an Indian restaurant on the sixth street in New York and you have a $24 spicy vindaloo. If you finish it, you get it for free, it's that spicy. And someone comes to the restaurant and says, I hate spicy food. It's really obvious what you should do. And it's not, take it off the menu. It says to that person, food is two blocks from here. Nothing in the restaurant is spicy. Here's their phone number. Thanks for stopping by. What I sell is not for you.
[00:54:16] Being able to do that is usually powerful. So I look at the 100 most beloved books ever written, all of them have more one-star reviews on Amazon than any book I've ever written. Because if you're going to write To Kill a Mockingbird or Harry Potter, a lot of people are going to read it. And if a lot of people are going to read it, some of them need to say, “It's not for me.” And the way they do that is by writing a one-star review. But Harper Lee shouldn't have read her one-star reviews cause it's not going to make her a better writer tomorrow. All it says is I don't like spicy food. Like good luck to you. So that's the most important thing. Do not go looking for these one-star reviews because they will not help you do better work.
[00:55:00] And it's in our instinct, people like us to go look for the one-star reviews because we want to put ourselves in this state of angry underdog. Again, beating ourselves up thinking that that's the fuel for our best work. And I'm not sure that's true.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:15] It's like you've seen me, Seth. How do you know I do that every single morning? Yeah, there's a part of that.
Seth Godin: [00:55:22] I haven't read it. Amazon review in seven years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:24] That's probably wise. Yeah. I think looking for like a three-star, that's where sometimes you get valued. Not always though, right? Maybe more like the email that's three paragraphs that comes.
Seth Godin: [00:55:34] Emails feels very different to me. Because email isn't in public. So the person is not trying to raise their status in the hierarchy. Emails not anonymous and email has a history. So if I've never heard from you before and you write about a blog post I just wrote, that's negative, I'm going to ignore you. But if in the 145,000 emails I've answered through the years, I've seen you float by now and then questioning something, asking about something and then you send me a note that feels really different to me. So, like one of the things I learned is people in Australia don't like it when you say it's summer and it's hot because it's winter in Australia. So they feel left out. So I now say for people in the Northern hemisphere, right, or whatever, because I want to acknowledge, how did I come to know this? The notice because someone, several people I trust who I had been back and forth who I've never met like you know what? We prefer it. If you do this, I'll listen to that. That's advice. That's not feedback.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:41] Yeah, that's a good point. I think it's hard to remember it in the moment, but it's worth revisiting that especially if you find yourself at two o'clock in the morning scrolling through your most critical reviews on whatever platform.
Seth Godin: [00:56:53] Yeah, and also as long as we're talking about what's true as opposed to what emotional, if I said to the junior guy’s name the greatest jazz album of all time, maybe Kind Of Blue Miles Davis. Kind of Blue John Coltrane Mile Davis in five days, beginning to end. Got the idea. Five days later it's completely done. So if Miles Davis and then you can leave, if you listen carefully, you'll hear their mistakes. You'll hear their notes that are not perfectly in tune. If MIles Davis can make one of the greatest albums of all time in five days, why is what you're doing so hard? Or another question, how long would it take you to type 150 page book? Or if you know how to type, you could probably type it in four days. So why does it take a year? It's not the typing, it's the getting out of your way. Miles got out of his way that you can write a book. I wrote The Dip in two weeks. You didn't write a book if you get out of your way. So the work here is not that you have to get network standards and practices in the ANR people to say yes, we will put you in the store and you don't need to get tower records to give you shelf space because they're all gone. You do anything you want. So the work is to find the people you seek to serve. Bring them the true honest version of the change you seek to make and then let it happen. Don't obsess about the one-star reviews. Learn what you need to learn from good advice and do it again.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:31] I've heard you say things that indicate that you're not a fan of hustling, so to speak. I hate that word even because I think that the whole Internet is full of hustle porn as I call it. Yep. There are whole bodies of work that are just to motivate people to, I even know stand on a beach and do this or something. Can you elaborate on why?
Seth Godin: [00:58:52] Hustle is selfish. It's selfish. Hustle says how do I create enough reciprocity debt plus clothes talking plus promises that are hard to keep so that someone will let me go forward rather than doing the difficult work of saying no. that's a hustle. o you can get hustled by a life insurance salesperson. You get hustled with the car dealership, you can get hustled and at the bus station in New York City that it's not bullying, but it's in the same category that you know, one of the hustle things that went around a couple of years ago is one way to hustle somebody is engage with them a little bit and then ask for a favor. So email, Hey Seth, what's your favorite color? Oh, really my favorite color is yellow. We will be blurred my book.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:41] I that it drives me. Absolutely. The worst is Jordan. I'm a huge fan of your work. This thing really changed my life and I'm like, ”Oh, I'm having a good read here. This is a really, would you? And then I go, Oh, so this was geared as buttering me up. Now I feel
Seth Godin: [00:59:55] Create an environment where I will feel worse by saying, no, that's hustling cause it's nothing generous. It's nothing that you would do if you weren't going to get something in return. It's something risky on your part. Like sometimes people will say, “I'm taking a big risk here. I'm asking you for so-and-so.” What exactly are your risks? There is no risk. What you're doing is trading favors and working your way up, ladder up the ladder so that in a hurry you can hustle your way up and it is a never been easier and more socially acceptable to hustle and my point is hustle is different than what that other word hustle means, which is the hockey player who always skates a little bit harder, but hockey player who always practices a little bit longer, we also call that hustle. That also is fine because you're doing it in service of supporting your team, not because you're trying to trick your way forward. And I think that when we ask most people, would you like to be hustled? They would say no. And if that's really the case then I'm going to propose to people that they have a better way forward than hustling people.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:02] Do you advocate often for taking this, this longterm approach versus the short term approach? And that's a, for a lot of people I think they really love this when it comes to investing money or investing in yourself or a business. Generally, it's a good idea. It's more scarce these days, which I think is an opportunity, but I wonder how you or we would go about persuading people to take the longterm journey instead of just what's going to work short term. Speaking of hustling, right?
Seth Godin: [01:01:27] Yeah. I guess I still come back to, well, what is it that you're hoping for
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:33] ideally a fulfilling career, right?
Seth Godin: [01:01:35] If you're trying to get to Cleveland, don't head South. It’s not going to head you in that direction. I've spent some time recently talking to 18-, 19-year-olds who are trying to move their way up and they're surrounded by images that say million dollars by 22--
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:56] The hustle porn.
Seth Godin: [01:01:57] And it's like, okay, those people show me what happened to them when they turn 30 where are they now? Because if the trajectory was a straight line, they'd be Warren Buffet by the time they're 30. They're not what happened between 22 and 30 and what you see is these people are signed up for an endless cycle of boom and bust and they have to constantly engage with new people because they've burned all the old ones. If that's what you want, go model them, leave me alone. But if you want the other path, start living the other path. Take a look at how long it took for someone to do it and do it and do it and the stories never end. I want to be Amanda Palmer. Well, Amanda wrote down exactly how to be Amanda Palmer. It does not involve, one day Oprah called me and then I was Amanda Palmer. That's never the story.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:49] Waiting for that phone call from Oprah. Put Seth in the meantime. I know we'd said 55 we are at 55 and five seconds.
Seth Godin: [01:02:55] Amazing.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:56] Thank you very much.
Seth Godin: [01:02:57] Thank you. It's been fun.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:00] Great big. Thank you to Seth Godin and we're going to link to a bunch of his books here in the show notes and we're teaching you how to connect with great people like Seth. Reach out to people that you admire, keep relationships going with people that you've known for years and reignite those old relationships that you've let lapse. It's a free course on how to do this over at jordanharbinger.com/course. I literally have nothing to sell you. I kind of wished that I did, but in the meantime, this is all free. I don't plan on making it, not free, but no promises there. I would love to hear what you think about this. A lot of people don't dig the well before they get thirsty and I find out the hard way when they need relationships. So ignore this at your own peril, jordanharbinger.com/courses is where you can find that. And most of the guests here on the show, they subscribe to the course and the newsletter, so come join us. It's a bunch of successful people. It's not a, it's not sort of one of those bottom rung scraped the bottom of the barrel type of things. These are skills that successful people use, not just introverts, not just people who don't know how to send an email. I'd love to hear what you think about it because you all are pretty damn smart from my experience. Speaking to building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway here from Seth Godin. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram and there's a video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Speaking of feedback, of course, I do read everything, especially reviews on Apple Podcasts. Even if you don't use the app, I'd love to see a review from you. It's a great way to let other people know how to find this show and if you need instructions on how to do that because Apple surely doesn't make it easy. Go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe and we'll show you how.
[01:04:33] This show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode was co-produced by Jason DeFillippo and Jen Harbinger, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola, and I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode, so please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:05:10] A lot of people ask me which podcast I listened to and recommend. I've been friends with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income for years now and Pat, thanks for joining us. You had a really interesting episode recently about why people really hate us online. And, of course, you hear all these cliches like, “Oh, you're not, if you're not getting haters, you're not doing it right.” And it's like, okay, maybe that's the reason. Also, there are other reasons, like some people are just horrible, but what, what's some, what are some of the conclusions you came up with in Episode 372.
Pat Flynn: [01:05:40] Yeah. This has actually become one of my most popular episodes recently. And it stems from, and the reason I created this is because my son who's nine, started a YouTube channel and you've got a really hateful comment from some random person on his video. And the comment was --this is two and nine-year-old kid by the way-- it was kill yourself.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:56] That's so horrible.
Pat Flynn: [01:05:59] And thankfully my wife and I, we had sort of taught her son to look out for this and to understand why people are like that. And what we taught him and what we try to teach people in this episode is that hurt people, hurt people. People do this and it's not usually a reflection on you. It's usually a reflection on something that's happening in their life. And I go into a lot of examples beyond the one with my son, but my own personal examples, being an online entrepreneur and having a following online, I'm very similar situations. And thankfully my son was big enough to go, “I hope this person is okay.” Instead of going, “Oh my gosh, like my content is crap or I should stop doing this,” or you know the worst thing possible obviously. And we're thankful that we're able to teach him at a young age that we just wanted to in this episode, talk about hate online in a very honest way and, and hopefully have you realize that, hurt people, they hurt people and it's not about you, it's about them.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:48] That was an interesting point that I had to figure out on my own. I mean, doing a podcast, being online at all for 13 years. I don't know about you, but I've seen not online at all, but if you can even call it the limelight of influencer or whatever the hell you want to call it, I've found that over the last 13 years, it's gotten much worse. It used to be there was the occasional crazy person, but they were actually so obviously mentally unstable and there were some jerks online. But now it almost seems like there's a huge number of people that are really, really negative. And it sort of speaks to more people being online in general. But it also seems like more people being online to vent about their life or something. I don’t know I'm interested to hear what you think about that. So I'll check out 372 of Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.