Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do Overs: Seth Godin Inspires Me

May 27, 2010

Seth Godin inspires me. When I first got my Kindle three years ago, one of the first books I downloaded (in less than 30 seconds!) was Purple Cow, by Seth Godin. Of course the book title taunted my curiosity, and I became a Seth Godin follower on the spot. As I was reading Seth’s blog recently, where he writes of his book, All Marketers are Liars, I discovered that the “Wizard of Marketing,” (as I call him) is constantly attuned to his audience. Not only is he tuned in to them, he adjusts his work and passion – even changing his popular book title - to appropriately suit them. When we have others’ best interests at heart – and I mean “at heart” in a very real sense – we may very well get a do-over.

Often times we will hear people say that, “There are no second chances.” Yet if we understand the psyche of the human spirit, we know intuitively that this is not the case. We are constantly presented with opportunities to forgive, to reconsider, and to shift our vantage points.

The content of the book is phenomenal; really good stuff if you are marketing anything or anyone. Yet the book title rankled some readers and so he listened to his followers, changed the title, and added a new preface. How many of us might take the risk with over a million followers – humbly and mindfully, put our own needs, wants, and ego aside - and change the face of one of the best marketing books to date?

Using his own mantras and beliefs, Seth Godin masterfully illustrates his point that we need to recognize our shortcomings and do something about it. We need to be authentic in our marketing, and we need to tell stories. “If what you are doing matters, really matters, then I hope you’ll take the time to tell a story. A story that resonates and a story that can become true.” (Preface: All Marketers Tell Stories.) Seth explains that the cover of his original book told the story of lying; people got the story about lying. Many probably did not read the golden nuggets contained in the pages if the book, because the first “story” they saw turned them off.

What stories do we offer that might need tweaking? Seth Godin says up front: “I had failed.” Without dwelling on what we do wrong, let’s tap into our own inherent strengths and positively shift our thoughts to how we can better serve, communicate and authentically engage with others. Seth offers: “The best stories don’t teach anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.”

Let’s be inspired by Seth Godin. Let’s retrofit our stories – have a do-over if necessary - so that our audience leans into us, with the yearning that what we have to say, inspires and empowers both their world and their worldview.

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