Interview: Seth Godin on Achieving Greatness
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Editorial Summary

December 27th, 2019

Seth Godin is a marketing genius, and in this podcast he will teach us to win. If you want to hear quick, actionable advice on getting what you want in the world, this is it. No pressure!

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What is the "10,000 Hour Rule" and is it credible ? 00:59

There is this idea that working 10,000 hours on something makes one an expert in that particular area. It is a really seductive idea as it reduces the secrets of success to a simple number.

Although there is no magic to success, and Seth has seen many successful people who've more hours, and many who put in less, they can all agree that purposeful and focused practice does pay off at the end.


What is emotional labor and what are its benefits? 02:26

Emotional labor is the mental work on has to do for the job at hand. For example, the difference between people who quit a marathon at mile 20 and the ones that finish is not physical strength, it is being able to put one's feeling of tired aside and to finish.


How can I learn to persevere and win? 05:10

Peer pressure. When the going gets tough, many people quit because they do not have the support structure to encourage them to succeed. Surround yourself with a group of people who will push you forward, and you can learn to win.

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How can business leaders find peer pressure to stand out in life? 07:36

Society puts a lot of pressure on people to fit in, not to stand out. Seek out people who care to stand out as much as you do, and those people will keep you going, when you feel like quitting.


How can one turn a failure into a success? 15:06

Keep trying. Get creative, and iterate. You don't get good at something overnight. Seth got really good at writing by doing it over and over again.

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How easy it is to make a successful podcast? 18:10

Seth knows that podcasts are hard and breaking out to be a hit is extremely hard, that is why he comes on occasional shows to support the creators and to encourage them to persevere.


How do you get lucky? 18:54

At one point, Seth had been on a verge of bankruptcy for nearly five years and pulled through. But plenty founders don't. How do you get so lucky? You try over and over again, until one day it finally works.


How did it feel to finally get out of the dip? 20:36

In 1998, after lots of dips in the business, and a failed attempt at selling the company, Seth finally sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo! for a reported $30m dollars. Life got better, of course, and primarily because he was now able to work on his product, without having to explain himself to anyone.


Can people be changed? 24:37

It is nearly impossible to change people who are not enrolled in the journey. People who do not want to learn cannot be taught. But, real change can happen when someone leans in.


What is the magic of teaching? 25:03

If you want to be a good teacher, then by definition it means that some people are not going to understand what you have to teach. Instead of optimizing for quick and easy, you should optimize for giving your students something to learn.

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