Seth Godin. Photo courtesy of Brian Bloom
Welcome to Creative Lives, a feature where I shine the spotlight on the talented creative pioneers in their respective industries. It is a complete honour to interview a hero of mine, Seth Godin.
Seth is a global thought leader, entrepreneur and author of a whopping 18 books including bestsellers Purple Cow, Linchpin and Tribes.
His blog is one of the most viewed worldwide (you can just type ‘Seth’ into Google to be directed to it) and he writes daily about digital marketing, leadership and change. Seth also founded the direct marketing company Yoyodyne and the charitable fundraising platform Squidoo.
How did you pursue and achieve your current creative job?
No one said I could do this. No one chose me or gave me a license. I merely began doing it, in the most generous way I could.
What are the advantages to working in tech, today?
Leverage. All the tools we used to have to build ourselves are there, for anyone to use. You have the same access as a billion-dollar corporation. You can use them or not, but we can’t deny that the access is there.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a creative?
Too many choices, too much noise, too many places to hide. It’s easy to be busy, hard to matter.
How do you deal with the inevitable ups and downs of leading a creative life, constantly pushing your art out into the world?
That’s all there is, isn’t there? If it weren’t for the ups and downs, we could just stay at home and keep our work in the attic. We put it into the world precisely because of the challenge.
Can you share any tips for building confidence?
I don’t think that building confidence is possible, because it comes from a place of fear, and a place of selfishness. When we enter with a posture of insufficiency, it’s not surprising that there’s a lack of confidence.
What happens if instead, we start with generosity. If we begin saying, ‘what can I do, no matter how small?’ Each of us is capable of something. And of course, once you do a small thing, you realise that you can actually do a bigger thing. Repeat it until you’re making an impact.
What are your career highlights to date?
Every day, every blog post, every time I get a chance to make a difference… those are my highlights.
Who inspires you?
Mostly my readers. People who stand up, speak up and make a difference. I get to see this happen every day, and it inspires me to dig ever deeper.
What’s the greatest advice you’ve been given?
Don’t ask for great advice.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
I’m hoping we can slow down a bit, see the long game and realize that we’re more connected than not.
Success has nothing to do with other people’s measures. It’s what we call it when you make the impact you’re capable of.