15 Resilience-Building Lessons I Learned from Seth Godin

July 30, 2020 Lia Parisyan

My first introduction to Seth Godin was through "All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All." 

Yes, that title is certainly a mouthful but illustrates the common perception of marketers by most people. 

Seth Godin at Appirio Q&A

Seth Godin at Appirio Q&A

Sure, we may not be in the lawyer category, but we're near the top rung of the unlikeability ladder. 

So I was thrilled when Laura Kaiden, Appirio’s event organizing guru, told me that Seth was going to do a Q&A session on how to cultivate empathy and resilience in an uncertain environment, plus sprinkle in some tried and true marketing wisdom. 

While I can’t capture all Seth’s thought-provoking brain droppings, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Stop being selfish. How can your brand show up in the world in a way customers are glad you did? 
  2. Practice matters. How can you get out of your comfort zone and break habits that aren't contributing to your growth? How are you spending your time? 
  3. Production has changed dramatically. Back in 1990, when Seth was doing email marketing, it took a team of five people to send 100,000 emails. Now, email marketing automation tools are making content creation and sharing exponentially easier and faster. 
  4. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It's essential to stop and reassess what you're doing and be more intentional.
  5. Show up on time. In the virtual world, you're not receiving unspoken props for being the last one in the room. 
  6. Pre-record your meetings (when you can). The traditional 30 or 60 minutes aren't always necessary. Try experimenting with the pre-recorded format for status updates and gain back valuable time to focus on what matters. 
  7. Stop bombarding people with messages. inboxes are bursting at the seams, instead of blasting out tons of messages, be more selective and add a personal touch.  
  8. Get to the point. "If you're writing an email to 1000 people...You don't want to clear your throat. You don't want to explain a lot of things. You don't want to write it for people who don't take the job. You want to write it for the right people in the right way." 
  9. Ask "the what, the who, the why" before you do anything. What is the purpose? Evaluate your assertions and what you're finding. What information do you need? What do you want to do? Write this all out. 
  10. Focus on creating unbiased content. Easier than it sounds because the impulse is to talk about why you are, why businesses should work with you, but tell that in a way that provides value and educates your audience. Present it to a customer in a way that they can (and want to) consume it.
  11. What will I tell my boss is the driving motivation. Unless you have a better story, the person consuming your content will tell their boss that they bought the cheapest and easiest option. What will raise the status of the person pitching your product, platform, or service? What reassurance can you provide that what you're offering is the right decision for their need? What backing do you have? 
  12. Create a leadership community. Thought leadership is asking: How do I make this better? How can I change my organization from the inside-out? Set up recurring voluntary calls to discuss issues your company is facing. Explore ideas in a small group before taking outside. 
  13. The work-life balance is a trap. Don't make promises based on optimal conditions. You're not always going to fire at all cylinders and deliver the highest caliber work, nor can you expect to take 18 weeks off and keep getting paid the same rate. Strive for balance. 
  14. Time is caviar. Time is gold. There are only so many minutes in the day. Start treating your time as truly precious and be more selective about what you say yes — and no — to. 
  15.  No guts, no glory. You have to earn attention today and stray out of your comfort zone. You can’t keep doing the same-old and expect different results. With all the noise out there, if you’re not outside your ordinary, then you’re going to drown in a sea of content. 

The World According to Seth

The pandemic has altered the fabric of business, illuminated racial injustice at scale, and brought the shortcomings of healthcare systems into focus. If you ask Seth Godin, he'll say something like we’re seeing more intentionality, and we're learning to engage with more people to create an equitable world. 

The odds may seem stacked against us, but we've been through World Wars, plagues, civil unrest, and natural disasters before. We’re at a unique place in history where we can use technology to collaborate, communicate, and organize to create positive change. 

Want even more resiliency-building tips for the next normal? Drop us a line

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