“There’s nothing wrong with being a wandering generality instead of a meaningful specific. But don’t expect to make the change you seek to make if that’s what you do.”—Seth Godin
How easy is it to fall into “wandering generality” mode? Say yes to something that’s not your core mission, and you’re lost. In his conversation with Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin notes that “most people play the cards they got instead of moving to a different table with different cards.” (25:00) We all have the power to move to a different table, change the game, but so few of us do.
Godin identifies two types of entrepreneurs: Those who get up in the morning and ask “whose needs am I satisfying today?” and those who focus on changing people. The businesses that change people are the ones that get remembered. (46:00). His advice to job-seekers: Ask “Is there an entity that won’t be able to live with out you?” and if the answer is no, start your own. “If you wait for someone to pick you, you will be consistently undervalued. (1:37:00)
Tim Ferriss asks about his writing process, Godin responds with the story of Stephen King’s pencil. (35:17). It’s one of those meaningless distractions we create for ourselves—thinking if I knew the equipment Stephen King used, I could write as well as he does. Godin points out that “ritual is a way to hide” and the only way to become a better writer is to “write poorly. Write until it’s not bad anymore.” (37:00) Godin calls blogging daily “one of my top five career decisions” because “it’s a practice that leaves a trail. (31:00). In fact, he thinks everyone should blog daily. (1:01:00)
The podcast wraps up with Godin’s advice in an imaginary commencement speech: “You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.” (1:54:20) I love that quotation so much, I created a poster of it for my office. Happy to share it with you, just click here.