Seth Godin on Creative Elements

#1: Seth Godin [Empathy]

Art, freelancing, building a personal brand, and the problem with being authentic

#1: Seth Godin [Empathy]

Art, freelancing, building a personal brand, and the problem with being authentic

Seth Godin is one of the most well-known marketers and prolific writers on the planet. He is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and translated into more than 35 languages.

He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people.

He is a perfect example of the new model for creators made possible by the internet. In this episode, we talk about art, freelancing, building a personal brand, and why he disagrees with the idea of authenticity.

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Seth Godin on Creative Elements
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Show Notes

Show Notes

Seth Godin is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people.

He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow. His latest book, This Is Marketing, was an instant bestseller around the world.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world.

In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. More than 10,000 people have taken his powerful workshops, including altMBA and The Marketing Seminar.

Click here to visit Seth's blog

Click here to check out Seth's Akimbo podcast

Click here to visit the Akimbo workshops

Creative Elements is brought to you by The Podglomerate.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  Google Podcasts  |  Castbox  |  Pocket Casts  |  Stitcher

Transcript

Transcript

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Seth Godin 0:00
Cancel your Netflix subscription, turn off Facebook, figure out how to make yourself so bored for four hours a day, that you will find it within yourself to do art for free, because otherwise, you'll do what almost everyone has done, which is get a job, and then be so tired from your job that you don't make art. And then you've got neither one.

Jay Clouse 0:22
Welcome to Creative Elements, a show where we talk to your favorite creators and learn what it takes to make a living from your art and creativity. I'm your host, Jay Clouse. Let's start the show.

Jay Clouse 1:01
Hello, welcome. Thanks for tuning in to the first ever episode of Creative Elements. I'm so excited that you're here. I'm your host, Jay Clouse. I'm a writer, a podcaster, a course creator. I like to write things and record things. I like to make things. And my guess is, if you're listening to this, you like to make things, too. But it can be hard to make a living from the things that you make. It can be hard to make a living with your art. So if you're like me, you probably look up to a lot of other artists and creators and think, how do I do what they do? How do they get there? And how can I get there, too? So on this show creative elements, I'm talking with creators who have successfully built that path for themselves. And through our conversation, I'll be pulling out the elements of their style and approach that have helped them to build that independent creative career that we all aspire to. And I'm really excited about this conversation because it's with someone that I've looked up to for a very, very long time. Today I'm talking with one of the most well known marketers and prolific writers on the planet, Seth Godin.

Seth Godin 2:00
Everyone in this room owns a media company. Fifteen years ago, no one in this room's own media company. And now all of you do. And that means you don't need the New Yorker to say yes. And you don't need CBS to say yes. And you don't even need the Huffington Post to say yes, that everybody owns a media company, if you want to. If you want to put on an event and have 500 people come, you can. If you want to write something online and have a million people read it, you can. If you want to be in the connection business, you can. And this is really bad news for people who are insisting on being picked, because you're not gonna get picked. Dick Clark has passed away. He's not gonna call and put you on American Band Stand. It's over. And it's being replaced by the awesome, scary responsibility of picking yourself.

Jay Clouse 2:52
That was a clip from Seth's talk, Thinking Backwards at CreativeMornings New York in May 2013. It's a powerful, new possibility, and it's exactly the path that Seth has taken himself. Seth picked himself and has built his brand by being a model of consistency. He's been writing everyday for decades, racking up over 7,000 blog posts, and if you Google the name Seth, he will be the first result. Seth is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. More than 10,000 people have taken his workshops, including alt MBA and the Marketing Seminar. I'm actually one of those people. I've taken altMBA, the Marketing Seminar and the Podcast Fellowship just to name a few. So I'm excited to talk with Seth because he is a shining example of this new model of success for creators made possible by the internet. He has more than a million readers on his blog, popular podcasts, he teaches courses, workshops, he sells books, he gets paid to speak, he is the epitome of what it means to run your own media company. But it hasn't been easy, and he did not build it overnight. So in this episode, we talked about that path to success for him, other paths an artist can take to make a creative living, how to market your ideas, and the importance of empathy when it comes to creating. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode as you listen. You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @JayClouse. But without further ado, let's hear from Seth.

Seth Godin 4:16
I have been one of the rare people who hasn't had many jobs. And a job is something that you do for the money, period. There's nothing that says you're entitled to not have a job. And unless you take significant, evasive action, you're probably going to need to have a job. And I took significant, evasive action so that I wouldn't have to have one, but it was really painful for a long time. So there are things that I do as a hobby--carving canoe paddles, listening to jazz. It might be good enough at either one of them to charge somebody one day, but that would ruin it for me.

Jay Clouse 4:55
You've referred to yourself as a freelancer. Do you still think of yourself as a freelancer? For people who may not be familiar, can you talk about the delineation you see between freelancer and entrepreneur?

Seth Godin 5:05
Sure, I think it's a really important distinction. So, freelancers get paid when we work. It's us. It's our two fingers. It's our voice. It's us doing the work. So a surgeon is a freelancer. When she shows up, she's doing the surgery, not someone on her team. An entrepreneur built something bigger than themselves. Entrepreneurs get paid when they sleep, entrepreneurs should never, ever do the work. That's not their job. Their job is to hire someone to do the work. That the job of Larry Ellison or go down the list of famous entrepreneurs, they don't actually code. They don't actually sweep the floor, they don't drive the car; they hire people. So I've been both, and right now most of the time, I, like, six hours, eight hours a day, I'm a freelancer, and for an hour a day, I'm an entrepreneur, helping the people at akimbo who work for me run their institution without me being their boss, because I'm bad at being a boss, it stresses me out, um, and I avoid it. So I would rather be a freelancer with leverage. And I am not under the illusion that I can make more versions of me. That's why every word in my blog is written by me. And every video in one of my workshops is me. But when you see Bernadette Gee in the storytelling workshop, or Alex De Palma in the podcasting fellowship, it's that. So I opened the door for them to do that. They are being freelancers in that situation, and me and my team are enabling that, but I'm better at being an impresario than being a publisher. And so a lot of what we do here is still I hire myself to freelance, to do this work, and then I let other people better than me, more patient than me to actually have a job and make the thing go.

Jay Clouse 6:51
I want to go back to something you talked about a minute ago, which was how you've tried to avoid having a job for most of your life, and sometimes it's really painful. I find myself in a very similar place for the last few years. And I asked myself sometimes, should I be avoiding having a job or should I protect my creative energy, go get a job and build on the side and kind of start as an amateur, in your words? How would you recommend an artist or a creative approach the idea of, should this be something I do and build on the side? Or should I try to make a living with my art and creativity?

Seth Godin 7:26
As long as you do one or the other, you're on the path. And I think the question is, your narrative about money and your non-negotiable needs about money, how will they collide to either reinforce or destroy your art? So if you have six kids, and a mortgage you can't renegotiate, don't quit your job. Because the fact that you did that--quit your job--will mean that you will compromise your art to make money because the demands are so high. On the other hand, if you don't quit your job, cancel your Netflix subscription, turn off Facebook, figure out how to make yourself so bored for four hours a day that you will find it within yourself to do art for free. Because otherwise, you'll do what almost everyone has done, which is get a job, and then be so tired from your job that you don't make art. And then you've got neither one.

Jay Clouse 8:22
So it sounds like you're advocating there for protecting the expression you want in your art, and that being sort of the highest priority. And if you can do that and make a living doing it, great.

Seth Godin 8:34
Yeah, I mean, most people aren't honest about their money realities, that the typical person living in North America could live on one 10th of what they spent now. If you were really serious about it, you could find a couch to sleep on. You could eat black beans and brown rice, and it wouldn't cost too much of anything to live. And in that scenario, if you want to be a stand up comic, you could get it enough gigs every month to be a stand up comic. But people say, Oh, I can't do that because of this in this in this alright? Well, what we're really hearing is you don't want to do it enough, which is fine too. You could just do open mic nights once a week and have a job, but don't whine about it, because it's a choice. And I can't say that to the people who live in Kabira. The people in Kabira don't have a choice. People who live in Kabira have to figure out how to make enough money to put food on the table, and they're probably not gonna be able to do that by doing stand up comedy. And so, if you're not one of those people, then the obligation is to be coherent in the change you seek to make in the world, and to do anything you can to get the resources you need. And then just a little aside, one of the other places that people hide is by talking about how much it's gonna cost them to bring their art to the world. Well, here you and I are doing a podcast that will be listened to by a lot of people, and it's not costing neither of us anything. And if you want to make a film, yeah, maybe you need $4 million or maybe you just need a GoPro, and some spare time at the library to edit the thing. Both of them are films. So why don't you make a free one to get us started?

Jay Clouse 10:18
Seth uses that word "art" a lot in his writing and in conversation, and I wanted to dig into it because his definition may be different than you think. How do you think about art? Because I know you have a very strong opinion on what art is.

Seth Godin 10:31
Yeah. Well, let's agree it's not painting. But, you and i can both come up with many examples that everyone would say, are not painting but are still art. So I'm going to say art is when a human being does something off the map that changes somebody else for the better. Those are the key elements. So when Patti Smith wrote her first memoir, she created a work of art. Now, not everyone will listen to Just Kids the audio book and say it's the best audio book ever made. Not everyone will hear her voice in their head every day the way I do. But it's clearly a work of art, and it changed at least one person very profoundly. But you can also create art as the pilot of an airplane who discovers that Susan, who's sitting in row four, is afraid of flying. And even though it's not in the union handbook or the FAA rules, you could go back into the cabin, before the plane takes off and sit with her and hand her your business card and look her in the eye and talk her through it and change her life. And please don't tell me that's not art, because I think it is. Now as soon as Jet Blue says that's required, now, it's not art. Now it's just your job.

Jay Clouse 11:42
The other struggle I had in identifying as an artist or as a creative is, I agree, art is not painting, but painters often take 'artist' as a strong part of their identity, and they want to protect it from people who are not painters. Any tips you have for people who may not be what would be a classical artist but wants to identify that way?

Seth Godin 12:02
Well, you know the professions that are supposed to be creative often have people in them who are super afraid and defensive. So they're the ones who scream and yell when you use your own camera at a wedding instead of hiring a professional photographer, and they're the ones who are upset when desktop publishing--quote--took away the jobs from graphic designers. And, and, and, and...the thing is, if you have to shame other people, then you're probably not as comfortable with your work as you ought to be.

Jay Clouse 12:35
Coming up, I talk to Seth about how he uses empathy to build his own brand, and how other creators can do the same, right after this. Welcome back to Creative Elements, and my conversation with Seth Godin. Now that we've heard how Seth thinks about art, I wanted to dive deeper into how Seth thinks we can use our art to make a living, and his answer came down to empathy.

Seth Godin 13:00
We're working on a workshop on this very topic, and it should be ready early in 2020. Basically, we have to let go of the arrogance of insisting that we, and we alone, know what our art is, and that we and we alone will determine what we're going to make. And we have to replace it with the empathy of saying, These people who are paying, what are they paying for exactly? And so it's easy to look at the work of Jeff Koons and say, Well, you know, he's a mercenary, and he reverse engineered all of it. And so now he's a billionaire artist. Yeah, well, there are plenty of other failed artists who were just as mercenary. They're just not as good at it. And once you've announced to yourself that you're going to make a living doing it, well, then you've made your choices. You know, it's interesting to think about our friend Liz Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love makes enough money to support an author for the rest of her Life. So what should she write next? Well, I know what her publisher wants her to write next. And that's the only thing she will do next, because Liz has said, I know how to make more money doing this work, but that's not why I do the work. Whether there's money or not doesn't matter, as long as I get to do this work. So now, if she's not doing it to make the publisher happy and maximize her worth, who is she trying to change? And it is not okay to say, I don't want to change anybody, because that's where we get to the world of Hilma af Klint who painted 10,000 paintings and never showed them to anyone. I don't think she was an artist. I think she was hiding.

Jay Clouse 14:44
In This Is Marketing, you talk about these three questions, a couple of them being Who is it for? What is it for? When does the order of operations come in of, I'm creating because I want to create, to I'm creating and it's for the purposes of making change for some group of people?

Seth Godin 15:00
Okay, well, if you want to create because you want to create, then don't show it to anybody. And you're not an artist, it's a great hobby, go for it. But the minute you're going to show it to somebody, I need to understand why you're showing it to them and who you're showing it to. So a lot of authors cross through my life. And one of the things I beg them to do--and some of them even promise--is not to read their Amazon reviews. And the reason is, because you're never going to write that book again in any way, so you might as well not read the reviews. I was just with a friend yesterday, and he admitted he broke the promise. Why? Is that really who you voted for? You really wrote it for that person who's going to give you a one star review, because in your novel, you talk--this isn't the person--but in your novel, you talked about global warming and this person's a global warming denialist, so therefore he gives your entire novel one star? That's why you wrote it. No. Well, if you didn't write it for him, all his one star review is telling you is about him, not about your work. So if you're writing it for money, write it so that people with money will give you money.

Jay Clouse 16:06
You mentioned a new workshop coming out in 2020. When you release a new one of them, I imagine you probably had another 5, 10 that you considered and didn't release. So how do you think through your audience and the, Who is it for, what change I'm trying to make, and how it relates to which idea you say, this is one I'm going to present to my audience.

Seth Godin 16:28
No one's ever asked that. That's a great question. The answer is enrollment. There are a lot of things I want to teach. But if I can't get people to sign up with their heart and soul, it's not going to work. And so I know I only get one page of text in two minutes a video to tell a story to people. I get to show it to a million people. And if 1,000 of them say, I'm in, one out of 1,000, then it'll work. But the question is, can I say to them honestly what I'm trying to do so I get the right people for the right reason? And there are workshops that we could do that would probably require people to work too hard or to imagine themselves as too different, and therefore, they won't enroll because people don't enroll in things they're going to fail at. And even though they, we could help them not fail, they don't even want to imagine that they could fail. And so a lot of the debate in my head, because I don't have to sell to a publisher, is not what will the publisher buy, which is what my life used to be, but what will the human who is filled with eager excitement and fear, in equal measure, encounter so that they will decide to enroll or not enroll? And we never make the decision based on how many of these people there are, nor how much will they pay. We base it on, are there the right people who will come for the right reason?

Jay Clouse 18:00
Something that I see happening is so many people who go through the workshops become teachers on their own as part of the method, as kind of their own flavor on the method. How do you keep yourself from some sort of scarcity mindset of, well, what if they go spell my secrets? What if they're teaching my things? How do you fight that?

Seth Godin 18:20
Yeah, I, I got over that about 20 years ago. Tim O'Reilly said the enemy is not piracy, it's obscurity. And I have been obscure, and being unobscure is better than being obscure. So I don't hesitate one bit anymore. I have no secrets. None whatsoever. If someone steals our video, that's a different thing. That's just stealing, and it morally offends me. It doesn't cost us a lot of money, but it morally offends me. But you want to steal my ideas? I hope you will. They, the number of people who stole the ideas in permission marketing adds up to 10 or $20 billion in revenue a year, none of which I get. And that's great, because I don't have to deal with the hassle, but I get part of the credit.

Jay Clouse 19:07
Seth's relationship with his readers and listeners is so strong and so unique. I wanted to hear from him about how he thinks about his own brand, and how he builds such a strong connection with his audience. Authenticity is something I've heard you talk about before. Can you riff on that a little bit more?

Seth Godin 19:24
Well, how privileged are we as a species that we can sit around talking about the fact that we don't have to hunt, we don't have to farm, we don't have to work, we just have to do what we feel like in order to feel fulfilled. There's no other species and humans until 20 years ago, this wasn't ever discussed. And there's this demand on the internet for what I call faux-authenticity, which is sort of the real life soap opera, the idea that we're just going to let it all hang out, and people, we can form a crowd, that I know if I do a blog post or something where I come across as being more of the actual version of me, people love that. But none of them are real. And anyone who put clothes on today, anyone who went to work when they were tired, anyone who was nice to a customer or the boss, even though they were in a bad mood, they have been inauthentic. And I say, good for you. We need more inauthenticity in our lives, we need more people who will be exercising their soft skills, who will be just and fair and not cranky, even if they don't feel like it, because that's what it means to be a professional. If I get hired to give a speech, they're going to pay me, and I'm going to show up whether I feel like it or not. And I'm going to generally be thrilled I did it, be glad I was there, but I don't get a choice, because to be a professional means authenticity goes out the window. We don't care how you feel, we hired you to keep your promise, better show up and do that.

Jay Clouse 21:05
This idea of showing up and wearing the mask of who you need to be in that moment or being the person on social media that maybe you've, to this point, portrayed yourself to be on social media. It makes me think of personal branding. And I would love to hear your thoughts as a, as like the marketing guy as to how branding can or should apply to an individual or, you know, and a personality.

Seth Godin 21:30
Well, so let's start with this. A brand is not a logo. A brand is something else. A brand is a set of promises and expectations that people have about something they're about to engage with, that they wouldn't have had if you were generic. So I would argue every human on Earth is either a brand to someone or invisible. Those are the only two choices. So if you every day on your way to work in Mumbai pass a tea vendor on the corner, he or she has a brand, because they're going to act the same way every time you meet them. That's what you expect. Otherwise, we'd never be able to process all the incoming in our life. We process it because we can ignore most of it. So you have a brand. That's not the question. The question is, is it the brand you want? And if you want to make it the brand you want, that's going to take some effort. Now you could say my brand is however the way I feel today, I'll say whatever pops into my head. And if you do that, then you become one of those cranky old men on YouTube who're spouting off about stuff that no one wants to hear. But for the rest of us, the same way that Nike or a Western Union or Uber has a brand and that, on a good day, they stay on brand, as humans, we can do the same thing. What does it sound like when we sound like us? Well, you should try to sound like that.

Jay Clouse 22:51
How much do you think about that for you? And what does that process sound like?

Seth Godin 22:57
Oh, I think about it all the time. And, you know, I can't even remember which airline their slogan was, we really like to fly and it shows. Well, I would really prefer to fly out an airline and people who say, it's our job to fly you there safely without annoying you every time. Because I don't want my experience to be based on whether you like flying or not. Not my problem.

Jay Clouse 23:21
After the break, I talk with Seth about his own business and his unique ability to invent new terms,right after this. Welcome back to Creative Elements. If you follow Seth's work, you see that he has a unique ability to use the English language. He wrote the book Purple Cow to introduce the idea of creating something that stands out. But he doesn't always just invent new words. Instead, he often puts a modern spin on an old idea, words like linchpin and impresario. I love that term impresario and I wouldn't know that term if it weren't for you and the ways you use it. How would you describe, like, what a modern day impresario is?

Seth Godin 24:00
It comes from La Scala and the Opera in the 1700s. Someone needed to rent the theater, someone needed to hire the diva, someone needed to get the orchestra, someone needed to sell the tickets. That person made the show happen. Show couldn't have happened without everybody else. But that person, they're the linchpin in the process. It's so much easier to become an impresario than it used to be. Right? That there's a parking lot near the train station in town that's empty on Sundays, so go to the mayor and rent the parking lot for 50 bucks. There are all these crafts people around who wish they had a place to sell their crafts. Sell them a booth in the tree, in the, in the show for 100 bucks, and then figure out how to put up posters to get customers to come. Oh, suddenly there's a craft fair. Where'd that come from? Oh, I know. An impresario built it. And the chances to do that kind of work with Eventrite, with Etsy, with, you know, go down the list. It's not the same as showing up on Upwork and saying, you need me to scan in some pictures, it's $1 an hour, because there you're just a cog. When you're an impresario, you're the creator, you may, you are the forward motion. And I'm in love with that, I'm in favor of that. We need more impresarios.

Jay Clouse 25:17
Something I really admire about your work is you will almost take existing words, but create your own vocabulary of what they mean and how people identify with it. When do you see...or when would you recommend considering creating your own vocabulary and your own framework of thinking about things versus trying to fit within what people understand already?

Seth Godin 25:40
Well, I guess that the craft of it is, if you're going to invent Esperanto and everything has its own name, then you haven't accomplished very much because people aren't going to learn the language. On the other hand, if you can get us 90% of the way there with words we're all comfortable with, but get us over the part where we're stuck by giving us a new name for something that didn't have a name, that's a form of teaching, that, you know, once you have to dial the phone, that's a massive technological breakthrough, because now that you know that a phone has a dial--which for the youngsters out there is what we call the touch tone now, touchpad--once it has a dial, you've just finished the cycle so elegantly of, well, how do I connect to somebody else? Oh, I don't have to call an operator who's going to move a wire somehow. Well, that insight was priceless. But it needed a name because it stood for something that didn't exist beforehand. So permission marketing, I could have just called it how to deliver anticipated personal and relevant messages to people who want to get them and not be a spammer. But that doesn't really roll off the tongue. But it needed a name because it was a special thing. You needed to have someone whose job title was Vice President of Permission Marketing. And if it didn't have a name, you couldn't be vice president of it. And so, there's not, you know, the rest of that book is written at the fifth grade level. There's not one fancy word in it. But I needed a name for it. Other times, like in my book, Survival Is Not Enough, I invented tons of words, and none of it caught on because I was out of control.

Jay Clouse 27:23
Out of control how?

Seth Godin 27:25
I was just inventing words for fun, right? I was, if any words were words didn't need to be invented. The entire book is an analogy to evolution. Charles Darwin wrote the foreword, which is not easy to do, because he was dead. And, and so I just kept trying to come back to that whole idea of sexual selection and mutation and things like that. I'm still proud of the book. But I think if I had been a little less clever, I probably would have been able to reach more people.

Jay Clouse 27:52
So do you, would you say is true then that things that catch on that you kind of create or coin are things that already there's an inherent need for new terminology for?

Seth Godin 28:02
Yeah.

Jay Clouse 28:02
Or how much of that can be made up for with just pure brute force repetition?

Seth Godin 28:07
Oh, a bunch. But I mean, yeah, so Chris Anderson wrote a book that I wish I'd written--there aren't many books I wish I'd written--called The Long Tail. And I had written about Zipf's curve for years previously. It's all in Unleashing the Ideavirus. But I was focusing on the short head. And calling it the 'long curve' as opposed to 'circling part of a curve,' it was just magic. It was as magic as the tipping point. It was, oh, I can talk about this now. I understand it well enough to talk about it. And that's just such a gift for an author to give people. And as someone who's, you know, made up a few, it, when I get one, I feel really good about it because it means that I understood not just the problem, but the people who had to solve it well enough to give them that little tiny footbridge they needed to get to where they needed to go.

Jay Clouse 28:58
One other small aspect that I see that's probably actually a big aspect of your work that always surprises me is the small details of choices that you make. For example, in your podcast, Akimbo, you'll tell people to go to Akimbo.link and press the appropriate button. You've made the choice to trust them to identify for themselves what the appropriate button is. How do you think about choices like that? Or in your emails to say, go to this website and click the purple circle that you find, how do you think about those small design and word choices?

Seth Godin 29:29
I'm not going to call them affectations. I'm going to call them investments in embroider brand, s that you know, one of the things that Google did was rip out typefaces, not worry about kerning, boil it down to utilitarian, how do I get from here to there, and took away so much of the beauty that Susan Cain and others, Susan Karen, others did under the desktop publishing regime at Apple. And I miss that attention to detail. When I think about how it feels to walk in to a beloved restaurant that has a layer of Wabi Sabi, that has something going on that you can hold on to, that's not just a Sbarros at the airport, I miss those things if they're not there. Well, I'm not selling, you know, Neapolitan pizza, but I am selling the way a story makes you feel. And I am the first to tell you, I don't do a lot of research. I don't guarantee that it's all perfect. I don't edit my work very heavily. So don't come to me for that. You know, you can go listen to Steve Right tell jokes that are perfect to the microsecond because he's practiced the same hundred minutes for his whole life, but that's not what I'm doing here. But what I will do is find a fillip, a little hook, a little phrase, and embellish with it, because this is not just about, here are the bullet points, which is where we started 40 minutes ago. This is about how can I change your mental state so that you were enrolled in maybe going to a new place.

Jay Clouse 31:07
Now of course, I couldn't let Seth off the hook without first talking about one of his most signature investments to embroider his brand, his sign off, go make a ruckus. Often when you sign off of your writing or your videos, you'll say go make a ruckus. I wanted to hear when the first time that phrase came about?

Seth Godin 31:28
Oh boy. Well, we did the Ruckus Makers workshop six years ago, seven years ago, but I was obviously using it before then. I don't know where. ou know, we used to, we used to play with language a lot up in Canada when I was teaching up there because language goes past our filters and gets under our skin, and you can help people see things a little differently, particularly if you can get them to use the words as well. One example is the Spanish word for you must paddle this canoe very quickly right now is 'remate.' And I know this because I was teaching 40 kids one summer and I didn't speak a word of Spanish, and they didn't speak in English. So they taught me remate. And so I started using the phrase remate with people who didn't speak Spanish because it doesn't sound like you're scolding them because you're speaking in another language. And if I can get them to cheer back remate, their enthusiasm would go up. And so it didn't matter that it was windy out. We had fun. I just did a search while you and I were talking. One, two three, four, five, six, seven...I've used the word ruckus on my blog more than 30 times, and if it's in chronological order, I'm not sure it is, I wrote a blog post in 2011 using it, but maybe even before that. So I'm gonna do more research on this because it's an interesting question.

Jay Clouse 33:02
It was an absolute pleasure talking to Seth and hearing more about how he thinks about authenticity and personal branding. Not a lot of people will be honest or brave enough to challenge the idea of authenticity that our culture loves so much right now. But I think he is absolutely right. If you're going to make things for other people, you need enrollment, and you need to have the empathy to understand why those people are enrolled in the first place. And by understanding why someone is hiring or paying you, you can fulfill that promise for them, even if that means being inauthentic to how you're feeling that day. If you want to learn more about the Akimbo workshops, visit Akimbo.link. That's A-K-I-M-B-O.link. There you can find Seth's podcast and writing as well. If you liked this episode, I'd love to hear from you. Please take a minute and just tweet @JayClouse and let me know. And if you have a minute to leave a review on Apple podcasts, that would go a long way in making this show even better. I'll talk to you next week. But until that time, go make a ruckus.

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