Seth Godin Lessons Learned

I suspect there are a lot of Seth Godin fans around Microsoft.  I take that back.  I know there are a lot of Seth Godin fans at Microsoft.  For all the Seth fans, I’ve distilled a set of lessons learned from Seth Godin.  

It’s not a fluffy post.  It cuts deep on insight in work and life … ultimately, about finding your way in a Darwin world.  Lately, I’ve found myself telling folks that as the world gets smaller, it gets more Darwin, and it truly is survival of the fittest.  Find your tribes, follow your passion, be the best in YOUR world, and flow remarkable value.

When I first read the Dip, an insightful book by Seth, I thought it was Dr. Seuss for adults on knowing when to quit, and when to stick things out.  It was a timely, relevant book for me at the time because I was evaluating various changes in the company and in my life, and I was looking for a lens on how to figure out where to invest my time and energy in a way forward.  The Dip was my answer.  It taught me how to lean into the right Dips.  And it turned out to be a great source of insight for many others I know, and it’s a book that I share frequently with the people I mentor.

When I read the Bootstrapper’s Bible, I was amazed by the density and depth of insight.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it, when it comes to pragmatic insight.  I’m a fan of prescriptive insight, and Seth shows very clearly how it’s a brave new world of solo-preneurs and small is the new big.  The beauty is, he doesn’t just share conclusions.  He lets you follow his trail of thought, and then he doesn’t stop there.  He gives you actionable guidance on what to do, based on his lessons from the school of hard knocks.

If you haven’t tuned into Seth, you’re missing out on a strategic source of insight.  You can find a lot of wisdom in his words, and here are my top 10 favorite Seth quotes:

  1. “Expectations are the engines of our perceptions.”
  2. “Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.”
  3. “Go ahead, do something impossible. “
  4. “You can’t shrink your way to greatness! “
  5. “Don’t try to please everyone. There are countless people who don’t want one, haven’t heard of one or actively hate it. So what?”
  6. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
  7. “Why waste a sentence saying nothing? “
  8. “If you could do tomorrow over again, would you?”
  9. “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.”
  10. “Are you a serial idea-starting person? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.”


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