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  • Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business

  • and life you love.

  • And today you are in for such a treat because my guest is one of the most insightful and

  • honest and prolific teachers of our time.

  • Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the

  • world, and a maker of ruckuses.

  • He’s been on the internet since 1976, invented permission based email, founded two significant

  • net companies, and defines his working life by the many projects he’s launched, the

  • failures he has learned from, and the people he’s taught.

  • His latest is the altMBA, an intense workshop that helps people level up in a way that truly

  • lasts.

  • Find out more about the course at altMBA.com.

  • You can learn more about Seth and his blog by typing Seth into Google.

  • Seth, thank you so much for taking the time to be here today.

  • I want to say before we get into the interview, thank you for your body of work over the years.

  • You have made such a tremendous impact on me personally, on my team, on so many people

  • that I know, and I think you and I both share a tremendous love of books and I want you

  • to know that any time I ever find myself feeling like a little stuck or in self doubt or just

  • any stage of going, like, “Ugh.”

  • I reach into my bookshelf and undoubtedly yours is one of the books that comes out to

  • get me back on track.

  • That’s so nice of you to say.

  • It’s the truth.

  • And I want you to

  • Thank you.

  • That means the world to me.

  • I want you to hear it.

  • Now, you said something in your most recent book that I thought was brilliant.

  • In Your Turn, you think that were wasting the chance of a lifetime.

  • So what do you mean by that and what can we do to stop?

  • To not do it?

  • There’s the external thing and the internal thing.

  • The external thing is this is our revolution.

  • We live in this moment of time when anyone with a hundred bucks can connect to a billion

  • and a half people around the world any time they want to.

  • We live in this place where we each have more leverage and a bigger platform than any human

  • on earth ever had before us.

  • And internally, if not this moment, when?

  • Right?

  • That if were not gonna speak up now are things gonna be easier or better a year from

  • now?

  • We wait for things to calm down, we wait for it to be the right moment, but this is the

  • right moment.

  • That wewe look back a year in our life, 5 years ago, and we rarely say I’m disappointed

  • that I spoke up.

  • I’m disappointed that I did my art.

  • I’m disappointed that I connected to somebody.

  • We don't.

  • What we regret is not doing that.

  • So here we are in this moment of high leverage and all we can do is watch cat videos and

  • whine about our boss and I just

  • I think we can do better than that.

  • I agree.

  • And one thing that I appreciate about you, you know, we got to spend some time together

  • on Necker Island and I also wanted to say this.

  • You know, having admired your work for so long and who you are, youre one of those

  • people who’s like a hundred times better in real life than you are even in your work,

  • and your work is freaking extraordinary.

  • And one of the things that I remember most about spending time with you there was how

  • challenging you were in the best sense of that word.

  • Like, “Marie, you should sit at the front of the table.

  • Marie, you should do that.”

  • And I was like, “What’s…?

  • Oh my God, Seth Godin is telling me what to do,” and I loved every second of it because

  • it was done in such a spirit of, “Hey, it’s your turn.

  • Go ahead.

  • Go do it, girl.”

  • And I love that.

  • And that’s why I love that book Your Turn.

  • Well, one thing I want to just insert as an aside because I’m told 5 or 10 of your fans

  • will be watching this?

  • Is in real life, youre exactly as you appear on TV.

  • Like, it’s not an act that this generous, connected person is actually a generous, connected

  • person.

  • Thank you.

  • So I thought people might want to know that because they didn't get the chance to meet

  • you the way I did.

  • Thank you.

  • So a question that we get often here is from people who are struggling to figure out what

  • should I do with my life?

  • How do I find my passion or my purpose or my calling?

  • And youve said I’m not sure that anyone has a calling.

  • Can you speak to that?

  • Thank you for teeing this up.

  • This whole calling, passion thing is complete nonsense.

  • It’s… as Steven Pressfield would call it, the resistance.

  • Yes.

  • That van Gogh, if he had been born 20 years later or 20 years earlier, he wouldn’t have

  • done what he did.

  • It’s not like he... some angel came down when he was born and said, “Youre going

  • to become an impressionistic painter.”

  • He wanted to do a thing but he didn't know what the thing was.

  • And if Steve Jobs had been born 20 years earlier, he would have done a different thing.

  • This isn’t about waiting for the right answer.

  • Because there is no right answer.

  • What there are are challenges we can sign up for and emotions we can experience.

  • There are kinds of engagements we can seek out and ones that we don't want to.

  • If you're the kind of person that only feels good when all the chips are in red 86, well

  • then you need to go find that kind of activity.

  • If you're the kind of person that would rather have a small circle of people who are committed

  • to you for a long time, find any variation of those activities.

  • But if youre waiting for the perfect horse on that carousel to come around, youve

  • missed 3, 4, 5, 7 cycles while youre  waiting.

  • All the horses are just as good.

  • It’s the same carousel.

  • Just get on the damn horse.

  • I love that.

  • I… when I first started my career and I was starting to do life coaching and I was

  • starting to get into dance and fitness, I remember feeling when I was in front of a

  • fitness classroom and teaching, you know, people doing bicep curls or we were doing

  • hip-hop dance.

  • There’s a lot of that same feeling that I get even doing what I do now.

  • Like, connecting with people.

  • Even, honestly, bartending and making people drinks and talking to them about their meals

  • and, like, asking them who they are and getting to know them and their dreams.

  • There was so many threads that I havenow can see in hindsight where it was me being

  • me.

  • And who knows what’s gonna happen in another 20 or 30 years or

  • And this is where the grass is greener thing gets us into so much trouble.

  • Because, you know, you have a sensational life, but so do some fitness instructors and

  • so do some bartenders.

  • Yes.

  • Your life doesn't get more sensational when you have more followers on Twitter.

  • That’s not what you ought to be keeping score of.

  • It’s does this interaction leave behind a trail that I’m proud of?

  • And does having the interaction make me glad that I did it and want to do it again?

  • And, you know, so I know people who run nonprofits and some of them are big and some of them

  • are small and theyre getting equal amounts of satisfaction because bigger isn’t the

  • point.

  • More isn’t the point.

  • Yes.

  • And when we, you know, are there bad ideas?

  • There are tons of bad ideas.

  • I’m not saying all ideas are equally good.

  • What I’m saying is finding a thing that works is sufficient and that’s the challenge.

  • So entrepreneurs, for example.

  • Too many entrepreneurs think that there’s a prize for originality.

  • There’s no prize for originality at all.

  • You should steal a different person’s idea.

  • You should bring something that worked in Detroit to Cleveland because you don't have

  • to worry about apologizing and saying, “Well, yeah, I went to a muffin store in Detroit

  • that works so I brought it to Cleveland.”

  • So what?

  • What matters is now there’s someone in Cleveland who’s engaging with you, buying something

  • from you that gives both of you pleasure.

  • And there are so many places where we need more of something.

  • No one’s asking you to be that person who invents something that never existed before.

  • What were asking you to do is choose to matter in a way that aligns with who you want

  • to be.

  • Yeah.

  • And I think it’s also important to talk about this idea how you do things matters.

  • You know, thinking about the bartending days.

  • We were having lunch before, all the people on the crew, were just recalling folks,

  • like there was a valet person who I met in Venice in California.

  • This guy was amazing and he brought such light to what he did and lit upand I’m still

  • talking about him and this is years later.

  • But the level of excellence and joy.

  • And someone else was talking about these two pizza guys, like the banter they would do

  • makes you want to go into the pizza store again and again.

  • It wasn’t even the best pizza, but you just had this quality of interaction and I think

  • so many people miss that looking for the holy grail of a perfect purpose.

  • Right.

  • And what theyre actually looking for is a way to hide by saying I’m looking for

  • the perfect purpose.

  • I went to business school with a guy who said he was waiting for the right moment to start

  • his entrepreneurial venture.

  • That was 27 years ago.

  • Wow.

  • Right?

  • That I started so many bad ones along the way, but sooner or later youre going to

  • stumble into one that you're glad you did.

  • Yeah.

  • So you run one of the most popular blogs in the world.

  • We all love it.

  • You publish every day and youve said it’s one of the top 5 career decisions youve

  • ever made.

  • Why?

  • Even if no one read it, I would blog every day.

  • I think everyone should do so.

  • And here’s the reason.

  • If you know that tomorrow you have to say something about something you noticed, about

  • something that might help someone else, about an opinion you have that might stand the test

  • of time, you will form those opinions, you will notice those things, you will invent

  • that idea.

  • And if day after day week after week you leave this trail behind of thoughtful examination

  • of your world, you can’t help but get better at whatever it is you seek to do.

  • And if as a byproduct other people read it and trust you more, that’s a jackpot.

  • Right?

  • My goal is not to have more readers.

  • My goal is not to sell more books.

  • My goal is to be trusted in a way that I can make the change that I seek to have happen

  • in the world.

  • Return on trust.

  • How do you gain permission to talk to people in a way that they want to be talked to?

  • You don't do that with SEO and with gaming social media strategies.

  • You do that by showing up in a way that you’d want someone to show up for you.

  • And I still don't understand why people don't do this.

  • I thinknot that I’ll get the answer right, but I wanted to ask this on behalf

  • of I know so many people who will be like, “Marie, please ask him this.”

  • What I know from my interaction with our audience is sometimes people feel so afraid of being

  • judged or theyre going to run out of ideas.

  • Yeah, they should.

  • Yeah.

  • Those are all the things.

  • Being judged sucks.

  • Right?

  • So write it under somebody else’s name.

  • Right?

  • Thatcall yourself anything you want.

  • Talan Stone writing this blog.

  • No one knows on the internet if youre a dog.

  • You just post every day and you can’t possibly get in trouble because it’s not you.

  • And after youve done it for 6 weeks, you know what youre gonna do?

  • Youre gonna put your name on it because youre so proud of what youre creating.

  • Are you gonna run out of ideas?

  • Well, here’s my thought on this.

  • I write like I talk.

  • And nobody I know gets talkers block.

  • Nobody.

  • No one wakes up and goesunable to speak.

  • So if you write like you talk, don't worry.

  • Because you haven’t run out of things to say yet, so you won't run out of things to

  • blog.

  • Do you ever in your own mind, because youve been doing this how many years now have you

  • been blogging, roughly?

  • Well, before it was called a blog I would say the first email newsletter went out in

  • 1990.

  • I love that.

  • So 26 years or so.

  • That is so awesome.

  • I remember when I first started doing email marketing it was like 1999, 2000 and it was

  • woah and, like, PDFs, ebooks, that was like mind blowing.

  • It was so cool.

  • Isn’t that great?

  • So few people saw what you saw.

  • That, you know, they went ahead and they bought stock in bookstores and they went ahead and

  • thought, “This just has to keep going in the direction it’s going.”

  • In hindsight, once you put words and then video onto the internet, it has to change

  • everything.

  • Our culture was based on scarce TV channels, scarce spectrum, scarce bookshelf space, and

  • we blew up all 3 of those.

  • And of course it’s changing.

  • Right?

  • All the way up to presidential politics.

  • It changes everything when you take the scarcity away.