Seth Godin is one of the best entrepreneurs of our generation. What made him successful is his unique understanding of our zeitgeist: what makes us tick, what inspires us, and eventually, what makes us click. He has helped the marketing arms of businesses such as Microsoft and Volvo.
The most important aspect of his career, however, are his books. During his long prolific career as a writer, he has inspired individuals to make drastic, positive changes in their professional lives.
Seth Godin was born on July 10, 1960 in New York. Little is known about his childhood, but he received a degree in Computer Science and Philosophy in 1979 from Tufts University. He took up a Masters degree in Business Administration in Stanford.
He worked for Spinnaker Software, a pioneer in the educational software market. He stayed in the company for 3 years. Afterwards, he decided to start his own company called Seth Godin Productions, a book packaging company that started in his apartment in New York.
In 1995, Godin let go of Seth Godin Productions to start Yoyodyne, the company that redefined direct marketing for businesses all over the world. He used games and other fun online activities to help connect consumers to businesses. He grew the business to $30 million, and then sold it to Yahoo! In 1998.
His career as a writer began around this time. He published his first book, Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers in 1999. Godin introduced a novel idea: asking for the consumers permission before pitching products or services.
He saw the Internet as a sturdy bridge that connects businesses to peoples personal needs, wants, and preferences. The book reflected a deep insight into the modern consumers psyche. This book established Godins place in the field of marketing.
Godins goal was to connect, and to do this, he knew that businesses had to do away with interrupting and scaring away potential customers.
Godin is one of the forefathers of modern marketing. His book, Unleashing the Ideavirus, published in 2000, established this. In this book, he discussed the value of launching viral campaigns that has the potential for infection. It was the birth of viral marketing as we know it today. In it, he stressed the importance of good, novel ideas that could be executed through technology. He offered the book for free.
His strongest suit is a unique view on technology and consumer psychology. But the vehicle for his success was his talent and passion for translating ideas into tangible courses of action.
In 2003, Godin published Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. He digs deeper into the idea of good concepts, and teaches readers to find what makes them remarkable. His main message? Dont be afraid to be outrageous. Never settle for just OK.
This will be Godins work: understanding the undercurrents of success and pinning it down to a process. He published All Marketers are Liars in 2005, to explore the idea of selling as truthful storytelling. He says that success in marketing lies in finding an authentic truth that your target consumer should relate to.
Godin launched Squidoo in 2006, a platform for individuals to create highly customizable pages that will appeal to their audience. The platform gave people an incentive: a chance to eventually monetize their pages through affiliate marketing. HubPages eventually acquired Squidoo in 2014.
Seth Godins legacy is innovation through understanding. He understood what people wanted and needed; and created platforms to address these needs. He harnessed the potential and power of the Internet to help businesses connect to their consumers in a personalized way. To Godin, the key to success is to find out what makes you unique, and to frame it in a way that your target audience relates to your narrative.
His books can be condensed into one main idea: effective marketing is simple. It is revolutionary because a lot of companies have sacrificed it in the name of profit. Its this: treating consumers like individuals. He introduced the idea of giving the consumer a choice, instead of bombarding them with messages and images. The goal is quality, and not quantitygiving your audience a chance to seek you out by giving them high quality content that is worth their time and click.
This has redefined marketing by continuously innovating to give every consumer their times worth.
Another thing he is known for? Hard work. He never stops producing high-quality content. So far, he has published 17 books, most of which are bestsellers and award winners. He continues to share insights in his personal blog page and his podcast, CreativeMornings.
Here are the best Seth Godin quotes on being exceptional:
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try. Seth Godin
Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work. Seth Godin
Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do. Seth Godin
Dont find customers for your products, find products for your customers. Seth Godin
A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner. Seth Godin
If failure is not an option, then neither is success. Seth Godin
The challenge with being an initiator of projects is that you are never, ever done. Seth Godin
The people who are the best in the world specialize at getting really good at the questions they dont know.- Seth Godin
The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way. Seth Godin
Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself. Seth Godin
Persistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when others cant see it. Seth Godin
Passion isnt project-specific. Its people-specific. Seth Godin
The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user. Seth Godin
The desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success. Seth Godin
The job isnt to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo. Seth Godin
Skill and attitude are essential. Authority is not. In fact, authority can get in the way. Seth Godin
Marketing is the name we use to describe the promise a company makes, the story it tells, and the authentic way it delivers on that promise. Seth Godin
Mediocre is merely a failed attempt to be really good. Seth Godin
Selling is about a transference of emotion, not a presentation of facts. Seth Godin
Our culture works hard to prevent change. Seth Godin
Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another. Seth Godin
Strategy is empty without change, empty without passion, and empty without people willing to confront the void. Seth Godin
Anyone who says failure is not an option has also ruled out innovation. Seth Godin
All marketers are storytellers. Only the losers are liars. Seth Godin
If it wasnt a mystery, it would be easy. If it were easy, it wouldnt be worth much. Seth Godin
Marketing is our quest to make change on behalf of those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us. Seth Godin
The next time you catch yourself being average when you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers. Seth Godin
In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable. Seth Godin
The habit of doing more than is necessary can only be earned through practice. Seth Godin
People settle. They settle for less than they are capable of. Seth Godin
The reason you might choose to embrace the artist within you now is that this is the path to (cue the ironic music) security. Seth Godin
Being surrounded by educated people makes democracy stronger, and it benefits our entire economy. Seth Godin
Group projects are the exception in school, but they should be the norm. Seth Godin
The challenge is this: training creative, independent, and innovative artists is new to us. Seth Godin
Your job isnt to do your job. Your job is to decide what to do next. Seth Godin
Creating value through interaction is far more important than solving a consumers problem in thirty seconds. Seth Godin
We believe what we want to believe, and once we believe something, it becomes a self-fulfilling truth. Seth Godin
The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate. Seth Godin
This is an addictive pastime. You take no real risk, touch the world, and it responds. Repeat. Seth Godin
The challenge is to focus on the work, not on the fear that comes from doing the work. Seth Godin
Creating ideas that spread and connecting the disconnected are the two pillars of our new society, and both of them require the posture of the artist. Seth Godin
The challenge, it turns out, isnt in perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by. The challenge is getting into the habit of. Seth Godin
So sure, start with a slogan. But dont bother wasting any time on it if you’re merely going for catchy. Aim for true instead. Seth Godin
Its clearly more fun to make the rules than to follow them. Seth Godin
Change almost never fails because its too early. It almost always fails because its too late. Seth Godin
I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance. Seth Godin
The secret to being wrong isnt to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isnt fatal. Seth Godin
If you cant state your position in eight words, you dont have a position. Seth Godin
An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally. Seth Godin
The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. Seth Godin
If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will wilfully ignore the future that is likely. Seth Godin
How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable? Seth Godin
At the age of four, you were an artist. And at seven, you were a poet. Seth Godin
Soon is not as good as now. Seth Godin
In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesnt necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it. Seth Godin
Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion. Seth Godin
Change isnt made by asking permission. Change is made by asking forgiveness, later. Seth Godin
Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself. Seth Godin
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another. Seth Godin
Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in. Seth Godin
How was your day? If your answer was fine, then I dont think you were leading. Seth Godin
I think art is the ability to change people with your work, to see things as they are and then create stories, images, and interactions that change the marketplace. Seth Godin
Art is never defect-free. Things that are remarkable never meet spec, because that would make them standardized, not worth talking about. Seth Godin
As soon as we associate reading with a test, weve missed the point. Seth Godin
Believe that giving up is the same thing as being realistic. Seth Godin
The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin. Seth Godin
An individual artist needs only a thousand true fans in her tribe. Its enough. Seth Godin
Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations. Seth Godin
We do not need to teach students to embrace the status quo. Seth Godin
The best way to be missed when you’re gone, is to stand for something when you’re here. Seth Godin
Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt. Seth Godin
What is school for? If you’re not asking that, you’re wasting time and money. Seth Godin
The people who skip the hard questions are in the majority, but they are not in demand. Seth Godin
You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself. Seth Godin
You get to keep making art as long as you are willing to make the choices that let you make your art. Seth Godin
Stick with the Dips that are likely to pan out, and quit the Cul-de-Sacs to focus your resources. Seth Godin
You will never become a category of one if you run with the pack. Seth Godin
When we try to drill and practice someone into subservient obedience, were stamping out the artist that lives within. Seth Godin
Sometimes, were so focused on being consistent that we also lower the bar on amazing. Seth Godin
A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. Seth Godin
Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny majority with the guts to quit early and refocus their efforts on something new. Seth Godin
Dont worry about your stuff. Worry about making meaning instead. Seth Godin
Scarcity, as weve seen, is the secret to value. If there wasnt a Dip, thered be no scarcity. Seth Godin
Going out of your way to find uncomfortable situations isnt natural, but its essential. Seth Godin
How we respond to the opportunities and challenges of the outside world now determines how much the outside world values us. Seth Godin
Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most. Seth Godin
She solves problems that people havent predicted, sees things people havent seen, and connects people who need to be connected. Seth Godin
In every organization everyone rises to the level at which they become paralyzed with fear. Seth Godin
The one path that never works is the most common one: doing nothing at all. Seth Godin
Success comes from doing the hard part. When the hard part is all you’ve got, you’re more likely to do it. Seth Godin
Faith is underrated. Paradoxically, religion is vastly overrated. Seth Godin
Everyone is lonely. Connect. Seth Godin
Great bosses and world-class organizations hire motivated people, set high expectations, and give their people room to become remarkable. Seth Godin
The number one thing to steal from your competitors: Wisdom. Seth Godin
Correct is fine. But it is better to be interesting. Seth Godin
You cant win by being more average than average. Seth Godin
Marketing is the act of telling stories about the things we makestories that sell and stories that spread. Seth Godin
Lifes too short to fight the forces of change. Lifes too short to hate what you do all day. Lifes way too short to make mediocre stuff. Seth Godin
All coping does is waste your time and misdirect your energy. If the best you can do is cope, you’re better off quitting. Seth Godin
Article by: @igorovsyannykov