#190 – This Is Seth Godin/
- October 8, 2018
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The Daily Talk Show — Monday October 8 (Ep 190) – Josh Janssen & Tommy Jackett
Seth Godin has written 18 best selling books. He’s also our hero. We’ve absorbed his wisdom through his books, his podcast and his blog.
It was an honour to be invited into his office in New York to record this very special episode of The Daily Talk Show.
Coming up with ideas, understanding our value, when to buy the same pen as Stephen King, growing up with technology, creating perfect work and Seth’s thoughts on podcasting.
It was a pleasure to sit down and have a conversation with The Seth Godin.
Seth’s blog – https://seths.blog/
Seth’s new book, This Is Marketing – https://www.amazon.com/This-Marketing-Cant-Until-Learn/dp/0525540830
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Wait a minute
conversation, sometimes worth recording with Josh Janssen and Tommy jacket
to daily talk show in New York with Seth Godin.
Thanks for coming on, Seth.
Oh, thanks for has this thing on.
Yeah. Okay, we're on. It sounds great. You've you've managed to create a bit of a sort of a MacGyver esque microphone set up the How would you describe like, I guess you've you've taken a traditional mic stand, but just used our mic. It's all good Soundwave.
It's what I love. I mean, walking into your office here, it's, it's what I love. Josh calls me a cowboy a lot of the time because I am just whacking stuff together. And I like a bit of madness. And, and I hope that's not offensive to say,
I have a patina, and the patina has a patina here on purpose.
And so for people who for the two people who don't know who Seth Godin is, we basically said have mentioned you, I did a search on our transcripts. We got some transcriptions done on 185 podcasts 15 times I mentioned.
Yeah, and I guess the most important time was around Episode 20. Because I said to Josh, your challenge is to get Seth Godin on our podcast
wheel, which I tried, I tried in 2012. Initially, I emailed Seth, about coming on, Josh speaking.
We've heard about that a lot of times.
How, so for people who aren't aware of Seth Godin, 18 best selling books, translated into 35 different languages, my favourites, the dip, Icarus deception, when it when you're mentioning a purple cow, when you're mentioning which books you sort of tell people about? Is it just purely on what people know the the most? Is that how you sort of communicate what you do? It
depends on who I'm talking to. Yeah, I mean, the books I'm most proud of, might not be the books that sold the most copies. Yeah, the ones that sold the most copies are permission marketing, purple cow, and linchpin. And I'm super proud of all of those. Yeah. But survival is not enough only sold 18,000 copies. But I worked harder on that book than any other book. So I mentioned that one sometimes. The new book, you have to mention the new book, because your publisher wants to do that. It comes out in November called This is marketing. Yeah. And, but it's like kids, they're all your favourites.
Talk about publishers for someone who sort of is all about picking yourself, right? Why have a publisher because I'm a hypocrite.
I, you know, the book I published, what to do when it's your turn, never in a bookstore. So the hundred and 50,000 copies so far, it's fifth printing. So I know how to do it. I like doing it. But it means you are doing a lot of things that aren't directly related to the idea. And so when it was time, I hadn't written a full length book on this kind of topic and more than six years. And when I occurred to me, I wanted to make one based on the seminar we do, called the marketing seminar. I said, Well, I know how to publish it myself. But why don't just let some professionals do it. Yeah. And if you are lucky enough to be able to call agent Zakheim and have them say yes, then you should consider that. Yeah, I my message to most people who haven't had a track record like that is, Adrian's not going to call you? And you probably can't call Adrian. Yeah. So pick yourself. Don't sit there waiting
with a new book. Is that something you've written? And you have thoughts around? It will be like, purple cow. Do you have that before you start writing a book? Do you know that the idea has been
placed in the market to like, you know that it will heat?
Do I know that it will hit?
If I'm sure it will hit that I'm wrong? And I he's a, then I've come up with something. But now, yeah, the question is, if you take, if you look at it strategically, are there a group of people who when they see it will say, hell yeah, if that group of people is over a few thousand, meaning instant, yes. And you write something that will make their life better, if they share it, then they will share it. And now you're at 20,000. And once you're 20,000, then it's up to the book itself. Is it resonating enough with that first and second order circle, that it wants to go to the next level? So if you know if you think about something like podcasting, Mark Marin was not a success as a stand up, he couldn't get on Saturday Night Live, he was struggling, he went on talk radio, he did pretty well there. But he wasn't, you know, rush limbaugh, and God forbid, and but he made a podcast, the thing about the podcast is he could get 1000 people to listen to it. There were 1000 people who were connected enough to him that they would, then the question was, would those thousand people feel a need before they went to bed tonight to tell other people? And the answer was yes. And that's how you get to 10 million listeners, right? And so the same mindset works here. So you're in my office, you can see all these books, almost all these books by other people, and somebody may have failed. And the reason is not that they're not good books. But because the author didn't have a platform where they could get the 1000 or 5000 or 10,000. true fans say Hell yeah, I'll take it. And where the book doesn't have a built in network effect, it leads to other people telling you talking about it. And these two elements are built into my, this new book, this is marketing book. And so I have this instinct that I can get it to 20 K. And then my hope is that my message is resonant enough that it will go where it wants to go, but I'm not in the book selling business. I'm in the culture changing business. And if a book sells that's a side effect, it's not what I seek to do.
And you ever paralysed by the instant? Yes, because I guess you've got a lot of people who will, without every day, every day,
I'm paralysed by the NCS every day, a million people say I read what you wrote, right? And I look at my post the night before. And I say, is this one worth it? And at least once a week, the answer is no. And I write another one or replace it with one that I've written. Because that's I don't know, that obligation could crush me if I spent too much time thinking about it. It's very scary.
There's a few things for certain in my day, and one of them is Josh, calling me to annoy me. And the other is UCF emailing me from your blog to annoy you know, I Well, sometimes, sometimes. No, I love that. And you've done so many of them. And Josh and I talk a lot about volume of ideas, and you've got no shortage. Do you find that? When there's a volume of ideas? Is there a point at some of them which you go, I'm going to hold off on that because it's not there yet. Or with the volume, you say, I need to get this out the door.
OK, so the purpose of First of all, I think everyone has a volume of ideas. I have never met anyone who actually had nothing to say. I met lots of people who are afraid to say something. But no one gets talkers block.
Yeah, right. Your April Fools by the way really got me because I got so I get so Seth did a post saying he'd run out of ideas. And I thought, I felt so good about it. I was like, You know what? I feel like I finally I don't feel like a complete schmuck and I right at the end. It's an April Fool's joke. And I was the ultimate smart.
I gotta tell you did.
50 people use that post as an opportunity to do something that they thought was really generous, but was actually a commentary about them. And their, the way you just honestly talked about, which is they sent me these notes. Oh, have you thought about this so badly? I know what it's like to wrestle with writer's block. And they were it was shot and forth. They were thrilled that I was out of ideas.
Like misery loves company.
They were heartbroken when I planned it out. No, no. So anyway, I don't I don't think that people
have a shortage of ideas. I do believe that. For me. Anyway, the blog serves a huge purpose, which is if I had to wait a year between books, and that was it, there would definitely be constipation of where do I put this idea, it's going to blow up until I get the next one. So I know that 365 days a year, I get to take something that was worthy of seven paragraphs but not worthy of a book of a year of my life, and say to people have you thought about this. And there are at least 100 posts that are currently in gestation, where they're not ready to be on the blog. But they're written down so I can make them better. Because if I don't do that, this happened to me almost every day. I'll be in the shower. That is a great blog post and they'll get out of Chicago. I have no idea what it was. God and of course it's the perfect one because it's gone. Yeah, that it's gone. It's like Oh, that was the best post
ever Alibaba there's probably some sort of shower notepad that
Do you find that people get obsessed about the the rituals that people will have like, I know that when when you talk about what you have for breakfast, I heard on it. I think it was on being Krista Tippett, you would telling what you have for breakfast, and I got so excited by just the way that you described it. What do you think? Why is there an obsession for just across the board? It's like, what are your daily rituals? What do you habits? What do you way back? So this is, I have a riff on this in your turn. And basically, it's about people asking Stephen King what kind of pencil he uses. As if knowing what the end they actually do this? As if knowing what kind of pencil Stephen King uses will make you a better writer. Yeah. And so I, Chris is a dear friend. So it was fun to riff on that. But I almost never fall into that trap.
Because I don't want to indulge people in thinking it has anything to do with, you know, superstitions or tools or things like this. Because it doesn't like yeah, if you're a graphic designer, and you move from freehand to Photoshop, it will change things for you. I get that. But Milton Glaser became Milton Glaser with a pen. Yeah, so don't get hung up on I have to do it the way that person I think
I forgot to breakfast. Yeah, that's this should stop.
Yeah, because one, like I was saying about placebo effect, you know, you're talking about that placebo effect a lot. Isn't there something potentially even Stephen King's pen, and it's going to help me write better
I, you know, a friend of mine was taking the LSAT, and
there was a guy who sort of as a joke, became the world's greatest pencil sharpener. And for $50, he would give you a custom sharpened pencil in this beautiful presentation case that would like ribbon sharpen to a micrometre for each purpose. And so I hand this to my friend the day before the sap This is. And it's huge. I just don't want to be in that business. Yeah, I totally get placebos are huge in that setting. But as soon as I go down that path, then I'm a faith healer. And I that's not my approach, my approach is to, to try to approach it more strategically and less with the fairy dust.
When it comes to putting the value on yourself, I've had my own business, for the majority of my working life. And I've always kind of you, you know, set the point of which I think I'm worth started charging that and then thought, hang on, I could be making more money. And I'm not there internally feeling that I'm of that value, right? But then somehow, somehow I stumbled and I get the value in that I'm like, I'm worth it. How does people who are running their own business,
right, scary quest, get to
that sort of feeling inside? And do you even need to have that feeling?
Okay, so first of all, price and value are totally different things. And you have to decode that if you're going to be the person who's charging for your work, what you would pay you to do it is different than what someone else would pay you. I'll do it for free. Right? And so, we begin with price is a service. And it's a service that helps the client identify, what kind of promise are you making? And so, you know, in, in India, there's a hospital that will, that is saved the eyesight have more people than the sum populations of Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit put together and they will do cataract surgery on you for $115. Or free if you don't want to pay and the message of their pricing says to people in India, you can afford this you don't have to be blind, right? So there's an absolute value of what's going on. But not 20 blocks from there. If you're a wealthy person living in India, you can buy at enter mez bag for $10,000. Is it worth it? Well, I'm not sure it's worth, what is that 100 times as much as getting your eyesight back? How could it be, right? But if you have your eyesight, and you're rich, the bag is worth way more than $10,000. Because it sends a message to your friends and your family members. you're the kind of person that could have a $10,000 back. And so we're not stealing people, they're saying, if you want to buy this symbol, this is what the symbol cost. If it's not worth it, you don't buy it, right. So when we think about, for example, those firms that do naming, when MBC wants to change its logo, they pay $100,000 to one of those firms. Turns out they got a logo that someone down the street would have built for 200. So as they ripped off, I don't think so. Because what they got for hundred thousand dollars was all the meetings, was the fancy office was the ability to tell their boss to hire the top of the field, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's what you sell. So I don't think it's am I worth it? It? Is my storey coherent, and am I making a promise I can keep. And the last thing I'll say about this is if you're a freelancer, the only way to do better is not to work more hours, because you can't work more hours is not to hire people to do your work because they're not going to be as good as you. It's to get better clients. freelancers, with better clients charge those client more, those clients demand more from them are more likely to say yes to good work, which helps them get even better clients. So the way you get better clients is by charging more not by charging less.
You know, Seth, you talk about perfection, and perfectionism and people seeking things to be perfect. And I've had a I said, freelancing when I was 14 doing video editing, and I started off seeking perfection. And then I slowly came around, drank the Kool Aid and start to understand that minimum viable product, getting things out testing the market. One of the one of the interesting things I found is when I speak to clients, and I give them the realistic thing of this is not going to be perfect. There's some bullshit artist who is selling that they're going to do the perfect product. And they've actually, they see that what what I'm doing is not being a craftsman and putting everything into it. How do you how do you approach? I think there's some semantic issues here.
Yeah, okay. Their definition perfect. And my definition of perfect are very different thing. Yeah. Perfect. So if you think about To Kill a Mockingbird, right, one of the greatest books ever written? Is it perfect? Well, if I line up the folio little page numbers on each page, they're actually off from each other by less than a 10th of an inch. So the books not perfect, is it? Yeah, well, maybe I mean, the paper they could have been better paper and yeah, so which part of To Kill a Mockingbird needs to be, quote, perfect. And then when we the problem with people's hesitancy about minimum viable product is they in their mind say, Oh, that's just ship it ship crap. Yeah, no, no, I've never used the words just ship. But I said merely ship it. And what that means is to say, without drama, and without commentary, this, this solves that problem. And it solves that problem. In a way that is so could To Kill a Mockingbird be types at better? Sure. Would it solve the problem of the reader better? No. Yeah. So when you are talking to a client about your process, when you start using words, like it's not perfect and minimum viable product? And we'll put it out there, you have not solved their problem? Yeah, their problem is they need to be able to say to their boss, or themselves, we bought the best for this thing. So the language we need to use with ourselves and with others is, Who is it for? And What's it for? And once we are clear on who we are seeking to serve, who we are trying to change, what is the change we are trying to make? Who's it for? What's it for? We will bring something to those people that is as perfect as the laws of physics permit us to be for that person with that problem. And everything else is completely irrelevant. So we could use the language perfect within the client context Exactly. With instal kit accomplishes perfect all it means is is solve the problem. Yeah. Within the laws of what we were able to expand on. Hmm. I take
solace in the fact that you said don't. We can't work more hours don't work more hours. I'm tired. I've got a 19 month old baby. Wow.
And it's something endearing last I want you to get a job. Are they over that?
No, no, I've got a business. Josh and I
have a job. Yeah,
yeah. I mean,
just to get the car with the company, we're not there yet.
People ask me, when are you going to get a job? years and years and years,
you know, I my father and my mom, they both have had their own businesses all their life, I've observed that and I thinking of how I parent, my son, it's a massive passion of mine to be a great dad. And I look at my parents and what they showed to me. And then I think about the landscape. Now I was one that hated school from grade one. I just refused to go, you're consistent,
consistent all the way through until I got out of there. Thanks, Mom. But you're living and it was was a white off my shoulders to be out of that system. And I know you talked a lot about how the system is broken. And I think about my son, Bodie. And what's that look like for him? Right? I mean, from your perspective, and looking at me as a 30 year old boat with a 19 month old baby, what's the future look like? For my son in the context of school and university?
Yeah, I wrote a read anyone who wants to get it for free. It's it's stop stealing dreams. com, it's been read about 4 million pound good
to me. I love good domain names. I like that's a great,
thank you. And
it asks one simple question, which is what a school for? Because we're spending all this time and all this money? What's it for? Because I think if I asked the principal and the teacher and the superintendent and your parents and your friends, what school for I get 50 different answers. So why are we doing all this work? We don't even know what it's for. That's first thing. Second thing I would say is I love public school. I think public school is a critical component of our culture. And we need something where everyone comes together, regardless of their background and has a similar experience. But most schooling is homeschooling in the sense that from 3pm, till midnight, your kids are with you, from 3pm to midnight, their experiences inform who they are and who they become. So my answer of what is school for is two things. One, solve interesting problems. What makes it an interesting problem is you can't look up the answer on the internet, you look up on the answer, and the internet's not an interesting problem anymore. So almost everything we teach kids in school is not an interesting problem. It's a memorization compliance conformance problem, not interesting. And number two is how to lead. Because as we build better robots and computers, as we outsource more and more stuff, if I can write down what you're supposed to do all day, I can find someone cheaper than you to do it. And the person who does a job that is written down will likely be disrespected, and not get what they actually deserve. So what school is for, for me to create a civil society filled with people who like to solve interesting problems, who are and who are quite comfortable with not knowing, and who are eager to lead. And you can start teaching your kid to do that right this minute, because the cool thing that we learned when we're 18 months old, is you try to stand up and walk and you fall down. And not one toddler then says I'm done. And spends the rest of their life on the couch. Yeah, they fall until they fall until they fall, and then they can walk. And we do the same thing with talking. And we do the same thing with riding a bike. And then suddenly, by the time we're like, seven, we stopped doing that. And we say, Well, if I can't do it right away, I don't want to do and that spirit of all that didn't work. That's interesting. What should I do now is a key part of solving interesting problems. So when your kid goes to school, or when your kid has an interaction, and it doesn't work, figuring out how that's a positive learning experience. Yes. So Chris,
yeah, my mom was super supportive of my hate for school, which I think was the reason I've turned out all right, she supported me in whatever direction path I was paving. From what you said, Where does the internet and devices fit into that, like my son, he can when he's watching YouTube, when we've had a disaster, or last minute, he knows how to press the skip Add button. On YouTube, we're in trouble there. But I just see how naturally it's coming to them.
Of course, because it's optimised, do that. It's none of my business. But you asked me, I would get every device out of your house for at least five more years. I think the easiest thing to do as a parent to hassled inherit, is to hand that device to a kid. And I would not do it, I think we're going to decide years from now that it was huge mistake. There's, our brains are plastic during certain parts of our lives, first five years plus when we're a teenager. And the problem with stock option, motivated designers who are in the social media space, is they know exactly how to maximise dopamine hits. And they're basically building a little Las Vegas for you on your screen. And I used to be in the educational software business, I was in the first generation of people who built those things. And we didn't have any of the tools that they have now. And I just got to say, it's so much better to give your kid a ball or a puzzle or something tactical, because then whenever they're when they're older, they're going to experience it, and they won't have any trouble catching up. Yeah. But if they goes in the other direction, they're never going to gain the confidence in those other sort of Kinesiology based interactions and the frustration that comes with using a other things other than your fingers. So that's my rant on it. My kids grew up, just as the whole thing was coming up, we net did not have a TV in our house. And they, I think hit YouTube when they were 11 or 12. And then all bets were off. Yeah.
I mentioned Gilligan's Island. They knew exactly how it was like, Wait, how did you know that?
mean? Gilligan's Island is pretty good, like in the sense of getting them to watch content, but seems like it's pretty good stuff.
It's like a fellow.
Yeah, I used to watch Swiss Family Robinson. Have you seen that film? Disney? Unbelievable. And so I grew up watching those kind of things. And that was just stimulating my adventurous and seniors people. I want to live in a coffee house. I bother I want to get shipwrecked. Not so much now.
So the TV I'd heard you mentioned it before. Do you have a TV now? No. So with with it, you've gotten rid of the TV say that's like cocaine, but you've got a phone, which is sort of like a when do you? How do you control that? And how do you because I guess you can get rid of the TV. I know that there's so many people, I just spent three months travelling around. And I wanted to disconnect that was a big thing. I also decided to have a daily podcast at the exact same time where we recorded every day,
we did that.
And so we did it remotely. And
so I'm feeling a bit torn in the sense of phone use and a being the biggest opportunity. But also right that my biggest problem, it's not like sugar, right? There's not much advantage that I'm going to get from from sugar, it's going to give me that small thing that I see ambition opportunity. How do you control this blog? How do we control that? So
again, everyone's mileage varies. Here's what we know for sure. If you're using Facebook and Twitter, you're not the customer, you're the product. And they are selling you and your behaviour to advertisers. And they do do that by constantly reminding you that someone's talking about you behind your back. And that you should go check just one less time to see what they're saying. What I know is I stopped reading my Amazon reviews five years ago, haven't read one since then. I don't use Twitter, I don't use Facebook doesn't seem to have hurt. Yeah. So if you said, I'm going to get ahead by a less direct method than the one I've seen the Kardashians use, I believe it can be accomplished. In the short run, it will definitely feel more difficult, because you don't get that progress report. But my thesis is brands, organisations and people of influence. Don't get that way. Because they have a lot of social media followers. They have a social lot, a lot of social media followers, because they've made a change in the culture, not the other way around. And so by I have no alerts on my phone other than texts from my family. And I admit I am an email addict, it is my single vice and impressive your response times. And
I appreciate it, because that's how we've ended up.
I mean, it has helped me I'm hoping that no one who listens, this will email me. But I've I've answered 175,000 emails in the last 20 years. And that was just for me. And so I decided that would be the way I when I needed to fill time with the digital box and interact with people. That's what I've consistently done. But what I don't do is I don't look at my WordPress stats. I've no idea how many people read one blog post or another. I don't know how many people are subscribing to my akimbo podcast. I don't want to know how many copies of a book I sold. Because if I knew those numbers, I would try to make them go up. Yeah. And then I wouldn't do my work. What's
on the ground stats to for this morning? Maybe you send mo?
What's it? What's the barometer of success with things? And is it do you look at email as a big thing of like you put a blog post out and you get hundred 80 miles in your your inbox about that,
that really it's in quiet moments, I will run into somebody whether I'm on my way to a speech, right? And someone will say to me, I read this two years ago, four years ago, I taught it to six people, this thing happened. Thank you. That is what I'm working on, which is the people I taught, what will they teach other people. That's what I'm working on. And then in the marketing seminar and the MBA, I can see it happening in real time, because I'm like, up here and in like the pharmacy was looking down. And so when I put a lesson into the marketing seminar, and one of the one that surprised me the most was, I said, Here's a simple shift for you stop thinking about the people you're marketing to as prospects or clients and use the word students instead. That's it. students who are enrolled, they're not mandatory education, they're voluntary. They're students and you're teaching them. And it just like all these people, you could just watch them interact with each other differently for the next two months, as like, that's why I have to write this book. Because if I can plant a seed like that one. And so that sort of feedback, watching it happen in real life, not with someone, because usually, not usually, often when someone sends me a nice email, then they asked me for something. And so I have to discount what the nice email means because they're actually
asking for something. Yeah. Since you're talking about asking for something, there's been, I know that girl you're asking
But the now I've found that my entire life, I grew up as a bit of a geek. And it turns out that geeks are fairly handy. So when Facebook came around, and Facebook messenger came around, I would get a lot of people from high school days reaching out, go, Hey, Josh, I'm looking at getting the MacBook Pro. And then we haven't spoken in five years. And I was actually I opened my Facebook a few months ago, my girlfriend said you've got 99 unread messages. I'm I'm just cleaning them up now. And it was sure enough, it was basically everyone that I interacted with in the last 10 years or asking technology questions. Well, I've said that Josh is likely
what I am for my mother. Josh is martech for
Do you find the thing that I loved was I heard a podcast thing that might have been on cool tools where you're talking about being the webmaster of your wife's bakery website. How much? How many bullshit little jobs went up getting big having the skill set that you have? And when do you say, you know, this is family? I should I should be doing this stuff. I should be helping people out versus I actually this is probably from a you know, pay grade status quo. Probably not worth my time. Yeah, so pressing the buttons. First of all,
working on my wife's bakeries website is a pretty, which is certainly not a bullshit little job.
But you did end up retiring that job didn't I
gotten rid of much of the it way, like the system we that I built, because there are enough for stores in 50, Whole Foods, markets and a factory but the system that I originally cobbled together, involved, an order would come in, it would get faxed it would end up being scanned into something then loaded across into a Google thing. And then like two or nine different pieces. And if there was a power blackout in a Mac, we booted somewhere in the world, the whole thing stop working, someone didn't get a birthday cake. I was really low quality, what I built anyway, it's all fixed now. But
each of us is super privileged compared to somebody who makes $3 a day. Yeah, in Tanzania, right? If we then say, Oh, well, me hugging your little kid is I could have gotten $9 for my time doing something else, then you've fallen prey to the whole Milton Friedman nonsense. Yeah,
because it's behind.
It's just when I'm working, if I'm on stage, I get an enormous hourly rate. And the rest of time, I'm a happy volunteer doing my hobbies.
So what's the difference between cook? Because what I find is because we're Tommy and I dealing with clients all the time, sometimes it becomes a very blurred line. If I hang on. Is this is this a request from a friend? I should be doing this for?
a different question. Yeah, that question super
important, not your wife's bakery.
You know if this is about the price, versus the value, right? So I did a thing in the marketing seminar about how come? People often will ask certain kinds of professionals for free advice, like, Oh, I'm an accountant. Can I ask you a quick question, but no one asks a surgeon for free surgery. Right? And, and the reason is because the surgeon, in addition to wearing a mask, she's made it really clear. There's time she's doing surgery, and there's time she's not when she's doing surgery, that costs money, because it's a matter of life or death. So the relationship with clients is, do you want me to be a professional right now, because you want me to be a professional, I think you would prefer me to be a professional, you want to hold me to a standard, you want me to scrub up and look at your problem appropriately. On the other hand, if you don't want me to be a professional, then just we're friends, you don't ask me this little question. Because you want a professional answer. You don't want to just make something up. And that's different than the relationship I have with my friend friends. Because I'm never professional with them. Yeah, right? That my, I don't do consulting for a reason. Because I don't want to have to constantly be guessing. Am I supposed to be charging this person from this conversation? So it's really simple, right? If I'm on stage, that's going to cost you money. If you want to read something that's on paper, that's going to cost you money, the rest of time, it's free, because I want to be in the world. And when I'm a professional, I'm gonna be a professional. And when I'm in the world, I'll be in the world, but I'm not going to mess with blurred,
is there a blurred line when it comes to creativity? Because as a surgeon, you know, whereas, you know, I see a lot of people online who are freelancers complaining about this whole thing. You know, you don't ask, you gotta come just dig all the holes in the backyard, right? You know, but when it's us banging away on the keyboard creating our art, right? They don't appreciate it, how do we communicate, they're
not you, it's so easy to persuade yourself that what you're doing because it's fun. And because you didn't have to spend nine years in school to learn that thing and get a licence, maybe it's not worth that much. Right. On the other hand, there are certain people who are truly professionals. And of course, we we know that that's the case. So you have to believe enough in the storey that you are telling and why people are buying it, that you will charge for it. So this is why it's totally different to sell an expensive service to a corporation than it is to be a wedding planner. Because a wedding planner, in the old days as an up until three years ago. That's what we call it a friend was a wedding planner. Right? Like you call up your best friend. I'm getting engaged. She says let's go look at venues. That's a hobby, and suddenly someone commercialise the hobby. So they shouldn't be surprised when their friends say, do you have any wedding advice for me, because the thing they sell isn't seen by most people as being actually worth money. That's okay, but that's what you signed up for. So I guess you just need to be consistent. If you want to be a high end wedding planner, you need to accept the fact that the only people will pay or high end brides. And when a non high end bites and who doesn't want to spend $140,000 have a wedding comes to you for advice you have to have pre planned What's your answer? Your answer is either, sorry, I don't do work for people who don't have hundred and $40,000 weddings. But I'll connect you to some friends who do. Or you got to say, of course, because I do low at weddings for free for my friends. But you shouldn't have to make the decision every time.
We've got a company together. And then I guess we've got our own personal brands. And I've been thinking a lot and we talk a lot about personal brands, and where they sit within someone's career because I think it's very popular. There's a million touches out there about personal brands. Sure. And I've been quite conscious of my personal brand because I wanted to be a TV host years, years ago before I realised I could pick up a camera and make my own video and I was a TV host. But I weighed Is it important to use it with career and finessing your personal brand.
Okay, so what's a brand brand is not a logo, for sure. A brand is a shorthand for the promise we expect someone has made to us what we will we get when we engage with you. So if Nike opened a hotel, and that's all they told you, as we opened a hotel, you would have all these expectations about what it would be like it'd be too bright colours would
be a gym. Yeah.
But if Hyatt or Marriott made sneakers, you have no idea what they would be like. That's because hide and married don't have a brand. And like he does, yeah, right height and married have logos. But if I switch the logos, you would never know which hotel you were in. So if you want to have a personal brand, what it means is, I have an expectation for what I'm going to get the next time interact with you, I have an expectation for the quality and the insight and the effort, blah, blah, blah. So everyone has a brand, whether they want one or not. And that brand might be interchangeable cog in a corporate system. Or the brand might be disappointed people a lot or the brand. But you know, at Baba, she have a brand. And the question then going forward is is the linchpin brand worth embracing early and often? So when there's an event, do you sit in the front row? When they say Are there questions? Do you ask a generous question? When somebody has a problem that you can solve? Do you offer to solve it, that person hasn't expanded that much more energy than the background person, but they have built a personal brand? And I think it's as simple as that. Mostly what we're seeing online is people who want their personal brand to be I hustle and cut corners.
Yeah, both the product of it the making the brand, the product, like the the thing that they're doing, right is being a brand like doing the post they're doing marketing. Right. But for the that's the thing that's
confusing, very meta, but the shortcut hustle thing, I'm allergic to it. Yeah. And, you know, hi, I wrote a book, I pre wrote the blurb for you. You don't even have to read the book, please write back say yes, you'll sell more books. And I'm like, what, why? Why did I didn't get into this line of work? So I could trade this for that and no
headway. How do you push against it? Because the thing is that that is so noisy at the moment when, when and this is the this is why I'm a bit torn with you not being on social media, because I feel like we need some. We need some fresh air. We need some Seth in our life. We don't need
those people. I know that the thing is that it's not my job to teach people lesson. It I do think it's my job to teach to set an example to shine a light. What's the difference? Well, the difference is, you know, I have a weak moment, which happens at least once a week, some publicist will send me a note saying we have the perfect guest for your podcast, ba ba ba ba ba. And Josh tried that
didn't work well, for a guest was
like back saying, which is the guests I've had before this person would be a good fit.
That's teaching this person or less Yeah, right. That's saying not only Didn't you get the guest place but you're in my spam folder and you've let alone any chance you have for for advancement cuz you're too lazy. And your mail merge is weak and stop this. But it doesn't work. It just does not it doesn't change them. Yeah, they're just like bugs on a windshield is like on to the next thing number this is so I don't do that anymore. I just like spam got bought God, right. And if I'm trying to teach people it's not to teach an individual LS and it's more broadly say with generic or specific examples. Don't do this, do this because when you do this magic things happen. And I am under no illusion that I'm changing the majority of people, but I know I am changing some people and if I can change some people and do it over and over and over again,
it'll add up talking about change. What do you think about the rebrand you know personal rebrand I know in my life I've sort of when you start young and you're freelancing young you the baseball cap wearing Nishan we'd sort of Dude, I shaved my Neck Beard specifically for today, by the way.
My guys matching beard Yeah, well, we didn't
notice this it was never done this before I normally the rebrand and it's a rebranded the night before me logo.
But I feel like I have my neck up the way that I, I sort of talk and I interact. Do you think that potentially what you don't know what you put what you wear, I mean, I've
Yeah, this is simple. The placebo I don't matter that much. But brands are built on experiences. If you start acting a different way, over time, my experience with you will change. And that will add up and add up until I see you differently. And so yes, the trail we leave behind is more permanent and more vivid than ever before. And you know, there are certain situations where that should be held against you. But for most of us to in most of our work, what people care about is what's my expectation of what will happen tomorrow. And if my experience with you has been a certain kind for a certain period of time, then I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. And you know, if I think about like a big company like FedEx, when FedEx was starting out for the first 10 or 15 years, you would call one 800 go FedEx, and they would answer on the first ring. And a human being would talk to you with care and attention. And because they did that for 10 years, that's still my expectation for who FedEx is, they haven't been like that in years. It's horrible, you know them on the phone. But I still get disappointed every time because I fell in love with the old promise. And for human, if your old thing was, you know, I'm a fraternity bro. And you can always count on me to bring a keg and blah, blah, blah. That will be the expectation that some people have of you for many years to come. But there are lots of people in the universe. So if you start acting a different way, new people will have that new experience and it will begin to spread to the old people. And it will change because we can drop
our own narrative. But I guess we can allow others to drop the narrative that created on us, Zach
in Australia is a lot of discussion around tall poppy syndrome.
This comes up all the time.
Yeah. And and and Josh, and I were thinking about what you know, what is it? And where can we go talking to you about it? And we were thinking, how can we use tall poppy syndrome to our advantage? Yeah.
So first of all, it comes up in Australia more than anywhere else, in my experience, but every single country says in our country, we have this thing called and they come up with a variation of tall poppy syndrome. It's not unique to Australians. But it's nonsense. It's so many levels. The first thing that's really important to understand, for those of you who haven't heard before is the tall poppy is the one that gets cut down first. So keep your head down. That's your idea. Right? Yeah. You know what else to top hapa? Yes, it gets the sun. And that in any forest, like the jack pine, the jack pine. If it grows one inch taller than the other jack pine will end up being the only jack pine within 20 feet because all the other ones can't get any sun at all. And these are compatible and incompatible ideas that today more than ever, being ahead being number one in Google being the match being the one who has innovated compounds. Because why would you want to hire the fifth best knee surgeon in Melbourne? You wouldn't? If you need knee surgery, you want the best one? She's going to do the surgery because why would I hire the third one. And that's happening in field after field after field. And the people who would like to cut you down. It's just noise now because there's so many people voicing whatever criticism that so back To Kill a Mockingbird. If you look on Amazon, it has one star reviews. So what's your Harper Lee have done about that? Right? What does she have done? After writing this book, the singular achievement and someone gives her a one star review? Well, here's the thing, she's never going to write the book again. So there's no point in reading the review because she's never going to write the book again. And what the review says is as a reader, this wasn't for me, it doesn't say this is a bad book. And so when someone says, you're tall, Poppy, I hate what you are doing. as a consultant, you say great, it's not for you,
but isn't part of our responsibility as creators to listen or do you think listening is not or certainly not? Your job as a creator is to solve a problem. If we you have to listen to
so listening to a specific person you seek to serve helps you solve the problem, then you must listen to them. Yeah. But that doesn't mean you need to listen to everybody else. Right? Yeah. And you know, the the people who are making change happen, are always surrounded by people who don't understand the strategic implications and the truth on the ground. And those people can get a bigger and bigger audience criticising what that leader is doing. Listening to that person is not going to help the leader solve the problem. There are other people they must listen to, but not to the critical has nothing at stake.
How do you deal with those hustlers though? Because that's almost what's happening is sure they understand that they can't listen to it like the draught people saying hustling isn't the answer. You don't need em. What that's doing is it's fueling this narrative of like, they're the haters. We don't need them. We need to shut them off and keep going. Is it just a, that's just the journey? Go waste your time?
Yeah, you know, here's the easy way to look at this. Go back in the archives of any social media you want six years? Find somebody from six years ago, who was articulating this short cutting, hustling, use this social media to get that thing? Where are those people now? Because if they were so smart, why are they winning? Now, we keep this at this endless rotation of those people on the sides. And then these other people quietly day by day, you know, Sarah Jones, Tony, award winning actress, Sarah Jones is not a wandering generality, she's a meaningful, specific, she shows up, she shows up and she shows up and she's made a difference. That's totally different than the people who are constantly hustling this shortcut, that shortcut, they're always starting over. Always starting over is not the way to get through the dip.
New York's a hell of a place. The city, I mean, where we are now. It's unbelievable. It's quite, it's a bit like more back at home in the suburbs. And it's a beautiful place. And we were talking about geography, like your geographical location, and opportunity. Sure. And it's, it's a similar thing, I guess, to, you know, the tall poppy syndrome, where we, you know, we think something's going on. And it's not actually a thing is God is our geography, our location, important for our opportunities and for our success?
Well, I would say there are two pieces to that location and geography aren't exactly the same. Your location matters less than ever before. So one of the people on the NBA team I have never met, I don't think I'll ever meet her because she lives thousands and thousands of miles away from here. And we hired her to do some very straightforward Fiverr type up work type tasks. And now she's doing extraordinary work way more sophisticated than we ever thought. Because once she had a chance to show us what she could do, she took the chance and showed us what she could do. Location didn't matter. Geography is different, because geography leads to culture and culture changes everything. So if you are surrounded by people who tell you not to expect much, if you're surrounded by people who expect that you will fit in and you will struggle, it is more likely that you will. And so this could this podcast we're making could be listened to now by a billion and a half people who have the technology, it will just be a billion.
Well, we're going from a minimum, minimum viable
audience. Most of them won't listen to it. And they won't listen to it because culturally, they're not seeking not because technically they can. And so what we have the chance to do is rewire our inputs. Who are you surrounding yourself by What are you reading? And that's one of the problems with the media complex we have now, which is they get paid when more people click. And they discovered the best way to get clicks is to have gloom and doom and cry ISIS and breaking news. And now now now, all of which means that we're surrounding our day, all day long with this fraught narrative of the end of the world is nigh, which makes it hard to say I have a five year plan, why bother having a five year plan? Right? And so surround yourself with something else you can keep up with the news in 12 minutes a day. You don't need to know faster than that. What's happening because no one's asking you to decide to fire missiles or not, it's not your job. So just know that today, the world didn't end. Know that we need you to vote no, there's no there's no. Okay. 12 minutes in, I got it. That's what happened today. Now, let's go make the world better.
I love it. When I stuff up my articulation of a question says provides a great answer.
question that was my purpose. The akimbo, getting into podcasting, what sort of thing i Tommy is always telling telling me, Josh, you're obsessing about the format of the first 20 episodes, I said, of the probably 15 minutes of the daily talk show was made. Talking about the podcast is being really excited about it's my favourite
traits of Josh, and one of the most annoying right side ability and excitement.
And so just just to indulge me for the last couple of minutes, podcasting, right, what have you learned through doing a Kimbo? How is it different to writing the books? Have you had sort of a new energy and excitement? And what are some of the blind spots? Do you think that podcasters can learn from what you've been doing for all these? Okay, so the medium because I'm a media strategist, and have been since I started working with Ray Bradbury in 83. How does the media inform the content? And how does the content one media and is there a business model etc. So the magic of podcasting is that people who care can do work that matters for very little money that's really engaging to listen to. The downside is, there is no scarcity of spectrum. And as a result, it's really, really hard to do discovery. And as a result, it's not that easy to get subscriptions. And because there's no barrier to entry, the number of choices is really high. Which means it's soon after someone gets into podcasting, listening, they have too many podcasts to listen to. And even if you hit two x, which I can't do, you can't listen to all the podcasts you want, which is not the way it works in text, because you can scan text, all of which is a way to say the number of people can actually make a living, podcasting is vanishingly close to zero. Because it's not, you know, used to be like a 50 million people to watch a TV show, I would guess on average, the average podcast now has 100 listeners. And if as long as you're going to have sponsors who buy ads, you can't make a living. So with all that said, you should do it. Because you have something to say not because you want to make a living. If you want to make a living, you need people who will happily sponsor your show not advertise on your show mean they're not measuring, meaning they're not putting a special URL and counting how many people click. It's they're doing it because they want to be part of a tiny groups culture, not because they're expecting it'll pay for itself, right. So given all that, when I do a Kimbo, I said, How many of the rules can I break? So I don't read the ads. And I don't have any guests. And it's only 20 minutes long. And each episode tries to feel like you and I were just talking about a topic that you didn't know I was going to talk about that was interesting, right? So I love doing it. But I have no illusions that it will have anything near the reach, or ultimately the impact of the other media that I can be in because in those media have an unfair advantage. And in podcasting, there are very few unfair.
Yeah. And can I just also compliment you on the double bass that that every time I hear that Yeah, I get a triggers a new ID I was actually hoping that would have, there was a moment where I bet went a little bit to sort of wacky radio and I thought maybe we get a live double bass player to come in. And and every time Seth does a bit he can, he can point at them anytime. He's only David.
He's the only double bass player. But I will tell you, this is a preview had a little bit of an argument with my audio book publisher. Because I broke a couple of the rules of how you make an audio book. And the name of the book is this is marketing. Yeah. So at the beginning of the book, I go, Hey, it's Seth. And this is marketing and
I wanted to honour the people who like a
devil basis. Seth Godin, this has been so exciting for Tommy and I with we've been talking about it since you said yes. Not only that, but we've you've had such a massive impact on what we do so much. Thank you so much. And this is the daily talk show. Hyper daily talk show.com if you want to send us an email, don't send an email.