"Why SPENDING MORE Time & Energy WON'T Make You SUCCESSFUL!" | Seth Godin & Lewis HowesJun 09, 2021
almost no one has talent talent is completely overrated talent is a betrayal it's undermining all the people who put all that work into skills don't call someone talented talented because they're not, they're skilled i think you should have a dream school of greatness for please welcome welcome everyone to the school of greatness I'm very excited that we have my friend
godinin the house I'm very grateful that you're here thanks for coming it's been too long it's good We'll see each other for a long
time, we'll connect I think I do not know. 2010 2011 I walked into your office when you were running another company at the
timeand you were doing this experiment with a group of entrepreneurs and people who were coming to help.
I launched a book publishing company that you had and did some webinar teachings with you back then and it's been amazing to stay connected and I hope we do a lot
moreof these in the future, but we were talking beforehand about how now it's kind. From a crazy time where it's easy to post short content on social media, but it seems like people are
moreafraid to post deep, meaningful work, why do you think it's harder for people emotionally to sit down and create a work? of art? whether it's a book, a painting, a project that has deep meaning and publishing it, why is it more difficult now than ever, yes, I don't think we should underestimate excuses, excuses are good for peace of mind and therefore, The excuse was that 20 years ago a magazine wouldn't publish my writing, I can't get a gallery to have my art, they won't put my show on cable TV, so since they won't pick me, I'm off the hook and we are.
More Interesting Facts About,
why spending more time energy won t make you successful seth godin lewis howes...
I called you a bluff because now you can start a project and put it on kickstarter and you can
makeany art you call art and you can lead if you want to lead and you can connect if you want to connect or you can go on social media and say the same thing and troll and just do what everyone else is doing right now, well that's safer because then you'll be free and my whole mantra for 30 years has been: I'd like to be on the hook please, what does that mean? on the hook, well, the expression may come from fish, but I think it probably comes from a generous tradition in Turkey, whereas if you have a couple of extra dollars in your pocket when you go to a bakery, you can buy two loaves of bread in Instead of one and you put the second loaf on a hook on the wall and if someone comes in who is hungry they can take a loaf it is a way of sharing and it is a form of responsibility because I can do it I will do it I am on the hook and so what does it mean to be on the hook is to
makea promise is to show up and say I have a podcast and it will be here next week too or to show up and say I think I can figure out how to do This system is better, I'm going to try it, there are no guarantees, but give me in trouble because I would like to try it, yes, and right now it seems like people are worried about a lot of other things beyond finding their passion, they want to find their passion, but they are so overwhelmed and stressed just with the noise, the stress or the unrest of the political situation, the pandemic, everything that's going on, that it's hard for them to focus on finding their passion and it may not even be a priority for them right now. book the practice shows us how to find our passion and I wanted to ask you what the difference is between passion and purpose and how we find both and how they work together, so what if you didn't have to?
Find out what would happen if you could just summon it and I think that changes everything for people whether you think there's one thing that you were ordered to do to be not just a helicopter pilot but a jet helicopter pilot or not. If you choose well what you are always going to do, you will always be dissatisfied as you jump from one thing to another with your arms crossed and say no, that's not it, what if instead we could just say: I'm choosing to be a passionate about what I do? I do and my purpose is whatever I'm doing I'm going to be here for it I'm present for it I'm just going to do it so you know I decided a long time ago that my passion and my purpose was a certain type of teaching to a certain type of audience of in a way, but I could have easily ended up being a game designer, I mean, like I was just a week away from making a decision or a Broadway play producer, Aaron Sorkin, asked. to produce some good men, I mean, it could have been something totally different and I would have been passionate about that too, so I don't think some angel blessed me when I was four years old and set me on this path.
I think we can make a decision and yes, the world is upside down and all the trauma is very painful and if you want to revisit it and it's helping you, revisit it, but if it doesn't help you, just keep simmering. Go make things better and decide to be passionate about making things better. Yes, how can we find satisfaction and deep meaning in our work or life, even if we are not completely passionate about it? I hear you say you just got it. making the decision that whatever you're doing you're going to be passionate about and then you're passionate about it, so here's the first question, so how much are you attached to the outcome if you went to school the way I liked most people? 12 16 years ago you may have heard the expression will this be on the exam?
If you are asking that question it means that you are part of an educational system and the system says the following exchange your heart and soul for a couple of minutes your attention and in exchange we will give you an a, that's the deal and most people, yes the a is not available, they won't bother to learn whatever they are supposed to cite in the education system, so we are completely trained in the result, if there is no result, it is not worth the effort, so do a bunch of years ago my friends allen and bill started a magazine called fast company and they had this thing they called ahead it was like a retreat but the other way around and they got 75 of us went to jackson hole off season to hang out for three days and then they took notes so they knew what stories to write for the next year and as one of the advantages, they got us all up at five in the afternoon. morning clock and they took us fly fishing for a fly fishing lesson I had never done before and on the way in the van with nine other people I told the organizer if he has any flies that don't have hooks. and he looked at me like I was crazy and I said, "Well, here's the deal: we're going to throw the fish back anyway and I have no desire to spear a fish and throw it back in.
I'd rather just not catch the fish at all." so he found me one and I had to tell them within an hour or two that I was casting better and happier than almost anyone else because I wasn't trying to catch a fish, I was just trying to cast and they were busy measuring their performance based on whether a primitive creature whose brain is smaller than a walnut was taking a bait and I was saying what it's like to be here on this beautiful day with my friends learning to cast and that's where the passion is because if you say I can Don't be passionate unless there's a prize.
You just handed your life over to the outside world, who decides whether you have a prize or not. Why not ignore the social media score? Ignore all the things the outside world is doing. that you can't control and just say I have a practice in my internship I do this job and I do it the best I can I learn from what works and what doesn't but I don't judge myself or my day based on what worked if it worked because the only thing about What I have control over is the practice, so how do we separate the judgment of not achieving the result we set out to do from the expectation that we have or that other people have?
How do we eliminate judgment, but also? make adjustments as we go to improve the practice and the art so that we can get a result and survive and live and thrive exactly be socially accepted and all the things that most human beings want, yes, it's a perfect question as well that if you go to try to please the masses, you can't do that, you have to please the smallest viable audience now, the smallest may be a big number, but the smallest viable audience, so you know, this is my 20th book, most of them have been bestsellers, 99 of which people in America have never read a word I've written 99 it's not for them you have to figure out who it's not for to find your smallest audience viable you know I want all 18 yoga moms in this zip code to trust me if you don't get the joke you just learn something really important you better adapt because now you know who it's for but if all over the world someone says well , that's a bit silly and you feel bad about yourself, no, it wasn't because of them, but us.
I'm afraid to say who it's for because if we say who it's for we're in trouble because if we say I'm building this for people who you know are powder skiers and the powder skiers don't show up, you don't do it. I don't have room for weasels and that's why being specific helps you find your voice. So should we love this? So we figure out what our specific audience is, who it is, who it's not for and we eliminate that, okay, we figure that out and then we create. the job for them, but what if they don't like it?
What if it's not helpful or helpful or of value to that audience? So we judge ourselves, we punish ourselves and we analyze it or we just say, "Okay, I'm not going to do it." I will judge myself based on the result. I'm going to keep getting better and better every day. I will claim that most people, including myself, are not as good as we think they are and that the work can probably be improved, but I will also do that. Say that, as far as I know, punishing yourself is useless, so if you lock yourself out of your house, call the locksmith.
The locksmith appears with 18 keys that the lock company made, which are the 18 masters and they put the first key. and if it doesn't open it they go to the second key, at no point does the locksmith say I'm a bad locksmith, the locksmith just goes through the 18 keys until something opens the door, so our chance, you know, my first. year as a book packager I sold my first book the first day for five thousand dollars chip conley and I split the money so we made two thousand five hundred dollars each Warner books I said this would be great if I could sell 20 books a year. make a living and then I got 800 rejection letters in a row I didn't sell a book for a year 800 times someone in the book industry cared enough to buy a stamp send me a letter telling me they hated my idea no 800 times wow and I did it What I was able to do I'm not sure where I found it was to say that the project had a problem no I had a problem but that project had a problem what I learned because as long as each project comes close because About 400 I started getting maybe instead of No, so I knew I was on my way to understanding the joke, but it wasn't that I was a bad person, it was that my writing, my idea didn't work and make sense. between those two is really important, how do we part with a man?
I put all this effort and all this love and this time and
energyinto this and it was rejected a million times, but I'm not going to take it personally because it's I'm not, I'm going to part with that thing, how do we part with it? our babies?, that many people say, this is my baby, this is my job, this is my life mission here and then, how do we separate me? thing from owning it to saying something that I created, yeah, so three parts of this, the first is authenticity is bullshit, no one wants you to be authentic and you're not being authentic, everyone wears a mask all the time, everyone is being judged in the least. of information no one knows what it's like to be you, so number two people don't want authenticity, they want consistency, they want you to make a promise and keep it, they want you to be the best version of yourself, people don't want to tune into this podcast and Listen for an hour that you're having a bad day and you're in a bad mood, they want the best version of Louis, that's why they're here and whatever gets rejected isn't really you because no one can.
I know you and then the third part I made them with my laser cutter, they are maple blocks, they are called writer's blocks and one of the sides says that not all criticism is the same and recognizes that there are different types of criticism, some to be ignored , someone to listen to is really important, so a bunch of years ago I was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I was walking through a small playground and I heard inside the playground a five year old boy making fun of someone like he was doing something. They get made fun of on the playground like kids do and then I realize he's making fun of me, he's calling me names, he's making fun of my glasses and my haircut and I have to tell you that if I were seven years, that would have crushed me, right?
When I was seven, that would have crushed me, but now I'm like you're six. Fuck you, go away, you can't lay a hand on me. All reviews are not equal, sowhen my editor at Penguin says, "You know." you should change the title of the book because the title used to be trust yourself and she was right because her reviews are priceless her reviews i would pay anything for her because she knows what she's talking about so we need to be very clear. Did we pick the wrong part of the market, did we show up to that part of the market on the wrong day or is the person we're talking to too good to criticize and are we learning something here because learning something is different than taking it personally?
It's very difficult to do both at the same time. You mentioned time for a second. Did we choose the wrong day? How important is it to submit your work in time with whatever is happening in the season? Is it, uh, tone of death to post something right now? Is it the right time? Should I keep this up for a year or more? two, uh, how do we know when it's the right time to share our creative work? Yeah, that's great, so let me try to talk about two things here. The first is that no one wants to be pressured and too many people on the internet have decided that the busy lifestyle is the appropriate way to go for tips and tricks to steal people's attention.
You know, email. Three steps to follow. I've never heard of you two. Here's my money. All that nobody wants them to do. So how do we bring our ideas to the world without feeling like we're pressuring people? How do we get out of that mindset that appropriately holds us back because we don't want to be selfish and say I, I, well, my suggestion is? that people see it as an opportunity to be generous if what you have to offer is something we would miss if you didn't it is generous if you were standing next to the pool and a child was drowning you would rescue them even if you don't have a card of water safety instructor even if there is a better lifeguard two blocks away because it is generous to do so is this a bad time to show up with a can I help make things better message?
Well, it depends. If you show up at a funeral trying to sell you know some kind of free life insurance policy, that's probably not a good idea because you're ripping people off, on the other hand, if you're able to give someone something that will open them a door. to them, that helps them see the world differently, that helps them move forward and they say thank you, then how dare you suppress it? and then the other half is about timing, for some people it's never the right time and what we're looking for isn't. All we're looking for is enrollment, who out of all the people you can reach is eager to take this journey?
Just the good thing about podcasts The good thing about the work of generous leaders like you, you don't show up in the middle of the night insisting that someone listen, people subscribe and because they're subscribing, you can take your time, you can spend an hour, You don't have to say it and we'll be right back because they participate voluntarily, so we don't gain trust. Stealing people's attention but dancing with it, how do we learn to trust ourselves when we are? I think most humans are insecure, especially now with social media, there is more and more insecurity, the more time you spend there, the more you question and compare yourself. to someone else um in all categories my relationship is not as good as these people my followers and my business are not as good as this person my health I do not look as good in all areas of work insecure as a society in general, I would say how do creatives learn to completely get rid of insecurity or is that the wrong question is it's good to have someone confident but how do we overcome the doubts that hold us back and believe more in ourselves?
Let's talk about social media for a second because if you're not paying then you're not the customer, you're the product and since you're the product they're working overtime to make you feel bad, basically telling you that you should feel bad about yourself until you you click this button to see what people are talking about you behind your back and then about two minutes later they say oh now you should feel bad until you press this button and so it's this endless cycle, At the same time, all you see on certain platforms are smash hits. albums it's like being a rock band and everything around you is billy joel's greatest hits elton john's greatest hits the doobie brothers well of course you're stuck because that's your life's work on one album right um, so the first thing I do What we propose is that you turn it off and off for long periods of time so that you can be an informed citizen and you can be connected with your friends in less than 20 minutes a day and whatever you do beyond that, you don't do it because it's additive you do it because you're hooked you're addicted it's not additive it's addictive exactly and addiction takes you away from the noise in your head it takes you away from yourself and that's why the book is I called trust in yourself, it's when you talk to yourself who speaks and who listens to you is only one of you but we act as if there were two of you and then the one speaking is the one from Twitter Facebook who says that you are inadequate you will never amount to anything you are not perfect you have to wait it's not the right time my friend steve pressfield calls this resistance it's deep it's deep it makes you change your clothes 20 times before going on a blind date You know all problems come from resistance, but who Does that voice speak to you?
You're speaking with a voice you want to trust You're speaking with a voice that once said something creative once did something funny once did something better than we all have I did it at least once and then, along the way, the resistance in that voice persuaded us not to trust that self and if we turn off social media and stop checking our email for an hour, two hours a day, the only person to talk to is ourselves. and if we can adopt a practice and give space to the self, it will surprise us, it won't always be right, it won't always be
successful, but it will always be better than your hacking and hustling way of just gaming the system, this is something.
I respect you, I don't think you've ever been on social media. I really want to say that many of your pages are managed by your team at least as long as I can remember, it's probably been years, maybe forays from time to time. then you make a couple of tweets, I'm not sure if you still do it, but I think it allows you to write 20 books and launch businesses and be there for your team and be there for your family and continue to show up for yourself without always being insecure just gets Am I going to compare myself to whoever is publishing a book this year?
It allows you to focus and I remember I did one a couple of years ago. I went to Hawaii for five days and left my phone and computer behind. in Los Angeles and I got on a plane without a phone or a computer and it was terrifying because I had to go old school in 1997 and ask for directions at a gas station to find out where my hotel was, but I tell you that after two days I was lying in the ocean looking up and I wasn't thinking about going to check my phone on the beach or going back to the room to check something, it was the most liberating thing I've ever done in my life and I highly recommend people realize that. a system that works for them, maybe you can't do it for days or years like Seth has done, but something where you can block out periods of time during the day where you don't check social media, I think is a huge yes , no, me and I have as much insecurity as anyone else, it's just a different kind of insecurity, what kind of security do you have now?
I spend most of my time struggling with the sin of omission, what didn't I do? who I didn't respect who I didn't give a chance to what I didn't publish that would have improved things where I held back because it was a little more comfortable because those mistakes have been compounded and built and built and built, they are much bigger than the mistake of name a book All marketers are liars, which is a really bad name for a book, right? But you know, I didn't write the long tail. Well, it would have been better to write the long one.
I really had to give that book a better title, you know what I mean, so yeah, when Twitter came along, I got there really early, saw what was possible, and said what am I going to have to give up to be good at Twitter, because whatever it gives. above I will be less good at it and the same goes for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I don't use any of them and you don't need to use them to be a well functioning adult now, maybe if I had a love life. I would feel differently about it, but it's hard for me to see who has actually developed a legitimate practice of doing creative work, who can point to social media as the main reason they can do it.
Yes, it's possible to be a Kardashian and it's possible to be a YouTube star, but then you look in the mirror all day, right? You don't spend time telling me how I can become a better version of myself. You spend your time saying what tendency I have. Get in front of yourself, so what do you do to help yourself overcome self-doubt or insecurity? I have a blog. I've written 7,500 posts in a row and tomorrow morning, which will be Friday, there will be another post, but I won't be there because it's the best post ever or because I decided to post it tomorrow.
It's going to be there because it's Friday and I haven't reconsidered that decision in 20 years, so I don't have to have a meeting with myself about whether or not it's time to write a blog post, there will be a blog post, you cut the wood, you carry the water by getting rid of the debate, so, I mean, think about how many things you do that were impossible in 100 years. Back when movies first came out they had specs, I don't know if you know this, they had special attendance at the movies because they were afraid of people having a heart attack or fate because seeing a train approaching the movie screen was very traumatic and The first few years that cars were available, people regularly broke their arms turning on the car starter and in the early days of washing machines and dishwashers, washing machines only had one plug in people's homes. people, so we had to unplug the We turned on the light and plugged in the washing machine and the washing machine was not balanced, so it was moving.
Dozens of people died every year because the wire wrapped around their necks and killed them, so there are all these things we do as a matter of course. Driving properly around town used to be death-defying, but we got used to it, we built a pattern, and so what I've tried to do is make it so that writing a blog post for a million people doesn't make me nervous. because I do it every day and therefore I can focus on yes, but tomorrow I have this opportunity to say something that could help someone, let me focus on that because I have trained myself that it is not that risky, when do you feel the need?
The biggest or biggest fear, then I would say that if I've committed to an important project that's bigger than a blog post and I'm going to present it to people I trust, I'm worried about one or two things. Everyone will like it right away, in which case I did something trivial and then I have to start over or you have to launch that thing and put all this
energyand time into it, yeah, or they come and say I've completely missed it. that and now I have a real problem because I have trained myself to fall in love with anything I commit to, like we started with being passionate about what you do and now I have to decide if I am willing to be passionate about What I do in the face of all the skepticism .
So if you think back to 1989, 1990, I was living here in New York and I started one of the first Internet companies and every person I know, everyone in my family, said I was completely delusional for years, this went on and it was hard work. because it's not like you started something in 1991, before the World Wide Web, and the next thing you know you won it took 7 and a half years to work and I was surrounded by people who didn't get the joke and that's a feeling scary because you've made a promise to people about their livelihood, you've made a promise to your future self about this work you're doing, and sometimes you have to do it. persist and other times you have to say you know I was wrong and any of them are really challenging yeah, I have this theory that we are afraid of three main things, we are afraid of failure, we are afraid of success, which is why did you just share both and the third is just the fear of judging?
The people who judge you either know you or they don't. Just the constant judgment of what people are close to or not close to you and those three fears. We are friendly and some of us lean more towards one of them than others or all of them. For me, I was never afraid of failure because, as an athlete, I learned early on that you have to make mistakes to learn how to improve your shot to catch the shot. Football, whatever it is, you have to fail to learn and grow, so I welcome mistakes. I wasn't afraid of success because I wanted to succeed.
I had these goals. You know, we would have team goals. I thought, let's win, but. I was deathly afraid of the opinions ofpeople and the judgment of people who knew me or didn't know me and that's what made me feel insecure. I cared so much about everyone's opinion and it made me so unhappy for so long, but would you say that? you care about the opinion of people close to you or the opinion of more people who are not close to you I love the name of the school's greatness program and I think greatness is a great idea because we can't have a scarcity mentality that Let's think that only one person is great, greatness does not mean that you defeated everyone else, for me greatness means that you reached the limit of what you were capable of doing at this moment and that is why I believe that it is possible to be great and I arrived at the 400th place in the New York Marathon because compared to what you would have done if you hadn't turned up the way you turned up, what happened never happened, and to me, one version of greatness is reading something a year later and not remember it. how I possibly wrote it than listening to an audiobook I recorded 10 years ago because I need to hear a past version of myself about what could be possible and one of the things that is a problem for me on social media is that I don't handle anonymous criticism well, you don't No, you don't like it, no, it completely weakens me because I want to do things right and I can't because that person has already behaved well and you know, Zig Ziglar used to talk about that person who interrupts you. traffic and you're honking and mad at them they don't even know you exist they have loud music they're gone where is God? but you're sitting there living with the toxicity of that right, but then the other thing I love about the name is the word school because you don't mean school in the sense of education and then I'll give you a you mean school in the sense of learning of if you're signed up for this journey and you're doing it for the right reason here you might learn something but you don't need to be pressured or pressured you'll self-enroll you'll keep going and you know the online workshops I've been on creating for the last five years, delta mba, that's it.
About that, the reason it works so well is because the only people who pick it up really want to do it and that's why books are so great because the only person who buys them is no one who accidentally buys a book, so You can start by saying this. That's where I'm going, do you want to come? And it seems to me that that's one of the critical elements of greatness: being open to only going with people who want to go with you. Yes, I love the word inscription you use. I use that word a lot because I firmly believe that life is a game of enrollment: we are either enrolling people in our vision or we are unenrolling them every moment and it doesn't matter if you've been enrolling for 30 years, you could unenroll someone in a moment. or lose trust at one point in your relationship or whatever and then need to sign up again for a long time to get it back.
Do you think that creative people are born with a creative gift or talent more than, say, less creative people or can some kind of creativity be learned over the years, yes, so thank you very much for preparing me for this, okay, Number one, almost no one has talent, talent is completely overrated, I would say. that you were born with certain physical talents that allowed you to excel in sports that I could never have acquired no matter how hard I tried, even that said, although Larry Bird was not born with the kind of talent that Michael Jordan had, Larry Bird was simply punished he came out and he shot more practice shots than anyone, that's a skill and he hustled, yes, yes, but the good kind of hustle, yes, exactly, so it seems to me that talent is a betrayal, it's undermining all the people who They put all that work into the skill.
I don't call someone skilled talented because they aren't, they are skilled, so we can agree that playing the piano is a skill in the sense that if you work at it you get better, but I would like to believe that being enthusiastic is a skill and so is being creative it's a skill you can improve on you can choose to work in any way necessary we're not talking about graphic art here unless you want it to be graphic art to gain the skill and if that's true they're really good news because it means you're not stuck where you are, it means you can go wherever you want and it's really good news because skills can be acquired and that makes me optimistic about it.
A lot of things in our world, you know, we can point to the human condition and say that people are just doomed to hate and despise each other, but I can point to a culture where that doesn't happen, so how did that happen? Well, it's because it's a skill. What are the three most important skills that you think all human beings should acquire, whether it's creativity or some kind of attribute, to make them better human beings, happier, quote-unquote,
successful, longer lives? rich, yes, with relationships, health, everything, what are those three skills? You are 20 or 60 years old, what three skills should we acquire to live a better life?
I love this, okay, how about this? Number one is the ability to see that things could be better. Skill number two of empathy, the practical empathy of understanding people. I don't know what you know I don't want what you want I don't see what you see they have a noise in your head that's different from the noise in your head and that's okay and then the third is the skill of learning to learn to be open to saying. I see possibilities I see people that need to be served that are not who I am and if I put enough into this I can figure out how to make a contribution, I think that's three skills, yeah it's really just understanding emotional intelligence and people and putting yourself in their shoes. of other people and having compassion, why did you choose those three skills instead of writing?
Well, I have personal finances. There are some next level tactics, like decision making is a skill. Almost all Western humans are terrible at it, why are we terrible at it? Because some costs are something that are probably built into us. What a sunk cost means is that the harder you worked to have something, the harder it will be to give it up. and we see this error happen all the time. The example I will give is, pre-covid, you have two tickets to the cinema and they were very difficult to get and you told your girlfriend that you were going to the cinema together and on the way you bump into a friend who says I have two seats in the first row. queue to see Hamilton you want to go that means your tickets are worthless and a lot of people are going well no no there is no good no matter how much the tickets cost you they are sunk you have already made that decision you cannot undo it and that is why we are left with the job more time than we should or we stick to one way of thinking about the world longer than we should because we had a hard time going to law school so now I have to be a lawyer, no I don't.
The law school degree is a gift from your old self, you don't have to accept it, you can say no thanks and do something that brings you joy. instead, sunk cost is a giant skill-based area and then what goes right next to it is the skill of saying that was a good idea, but now I have a better one, and that takes experience to explain, so I pitched this idea and It started working and I gained momentum for a few years, but now this is actually a better idea for the moment or for my life or whatever, so I want to put that aside and move on to this, well, it's not like that, It's definitely true. some cost, but beyond that, okay, I'm the boss and I built this organization and this is how we do our expense reports, but now we're going to do expense reports this way because it's better, but usually what happens is that someone says that problem. solved, I don't have to revisit it, so if I think about the auto industry, the auto industry said it took us 90 years to develop the internal combustion engine, which was a lot of cycles and a big sunk cost, and someone comes along and He says why not, don't we make electric cars?
And you know, because the internal combustion doesn't break down, because I can show you that if we compare one of the first electric cars to a next-generation Lexus, the latest-generation Lexus. It better not be a problem, whereas what would have transferred billions and billions of dollars in assets away from Elon Musk is if they had said no, you're right, we're just going to copy all the things you're doing that They work and make it It's even better because we have an improvement system, a dealer network, we were confident that we could go to the races, but the top executives who make seven figures said no, nothing could be better than this.
Yes, I'll tell you what I have: a Tesla. a few years ago and it's hard for me to think that I would ever want to buy a non-electric everyday car again personally, but let's think about Tesla for a minute because Tesla made a lot of decisions over a few years ago they refused to reconsider what is right: that the interior of the car should not have cupholders of a certain type, that the interior of the car should have these things on the dashboard, but not these things that the service needs to be the most guilty of the same thing, they gave one leap, they hired a thousand people and now they are stuck on their sunk costs, right, that's right, that's right, and they will stay stuck until they innovate or continue to open up, why, why do we need reassurance, why?
It seems like a lot of people need this reassurance every day? We need some kind of tranquility and why we should avoid tranquility. So that's the second side. Tranquility is too difficult. The tranquility feels very good. So we get out, we get out of this call. The phone rings and Kai walks up to you and says, Hi Louis, good job, it's Oprah and Oprah was listening, she just wants you to know what a great job you did, so you're flying for two hours, maybe three, and then you need. hearing it from someone else because what it means to have peace of mind is that someone is telling you that the future is going to be good and it feels good because we would like the future to be good, but deep down we know that that person is not We don't know that the future It's going to be okay, so as soon as the calm appears, it reminds us that we are facing an uncertain world and we want more, we want to be kept safe and it doesn't escalate, you can't get it.
Enough is enough, so what is the alternative? The alternative is to reject tranquility. So when someone says you did a great job, Seth, it was amazing. It was the best thing I've ever seen in my entire life. How can we refuse that? Well, the answer is thank you. I appreciate you being there and giving me that feedback, but it's reassuring if you then say that your book launch is going to go great because you can't know that, yeah, right, that's the second half of that, what's implied I'm going to go. to tell them about tomorrow and what the alternative is, the alternative is to say that no one knows about tomorrow and seek external validation that I'm going to catch that fish, that what I hope is going to work, that other people will get the joke.
Not only does it not help me, but it undermines my self-confidence, it undermines all the things that I need to just do the job, so you know that you've been seduced by people like me and everyone else by just doing it from Nike. and the problem with the word simply is that some people think it means what the hell you do whatever you want it doesn't matter just do it and I think it should be changed to just do it do it without comment do it without drama just show up and do the thing focus on the practice, not waiting or wishing for the result you need to calm down, but practice the best you can do because if there was anything better than the best, you wouldn't be able to do it, nothing, so learn from that. what works and then do it again, but seeking reassurance distracts you from doing a better job than you set out to do in the first place.
I saw it somewhere. I don't know if it was an article or a video about Oprah talking about almost 100 of her guests, not all of them, but I think many of them at the end of the show would say the same thing. I think you know, I'm going to say that if I did it right, that was good enough for you, yeah. Did you like that and is it this kind of reassuring mindset, like knowing that we got the approval of the person interviewing us or working with us or our editor? Where is the number right?
Were sales good? How do we gracefully eliminate that? from our way forward so that we don't have to ask if we did a good job and we learned to just say thank you very much for having me or I'm grateful and whatever else, how should we end? a project like that, well I'm really afraid of the word I should think I should and shame go side by side so I'm just going to tell you that there are practices you can implement to help you isolate yourself from comments that aren't I'm going. to help, so here's an interesting story.
A bunch of years ago, a famous electronics company held a focus group the same way focus groups work: you set up a trailer next to a shopping center, pay people some money, and they come for an hour. there ishidden glass windows and the customer can see people touch the product and they had a clock radio and it had all these gadgets on and everything else and they had eight people there and they were all looking at the clock radio and they were all talking about how much they They love the clock radio and at the end the organizer tells them thank you very much for being here, or they can get the twenty dollars that we promised them or the hundred dollar clock radio that they would prefer and each of them.
The person took 20 dollars why because that was the truth, that was the moment when they were actually telling the truth. Oh, so they thought the watch wasn't worth as much as the 20, yeah, and what I discovered is that I have an ego. As much as anyone, maybe I like it more when people around me say you did a really good job when Oprah says that was good, but I want to see three years later if people are still talking about this idea or I just want to see. In the afternoon after a blog post, did someone interact with it in a way that changed them when they didn't know it would be noticed well because it's not a performance at that moment?
You had an impact, so if you go to Dear Beacon. uh in upstate New York and watch what happens when people walk into a Richard Sarah sculpture that weighs 2 million pounds. I hope Richard saw that because it's a genuine service. He did this. The curator doesn't matter. The merchant doesn't matter. This person. They took their breath away, that's what was supposed to happen and that was it and so we played this game with everyone around us: do I look fat in this dress, etcetera, etcetera, and some of it is totally legitimate, It hides our momentary insecurities and there is nothing wrong with that, but when it comes to the practice and the art that we seek to make I think it makes sense to surround ourselves with people who say I respect you, you are doing something that you can do even better and let's start a cycle of what happened when this came out into the world because when it's out in the world and people had choices.
What I learned? How can I help a different group of people or this group of people make a different decision? And you know, in the workshops that I do I can see everything because I'm like up here you can see all the interactions, that's different than looking at test scores because you're seeing how people come back. Yeah, I think I heard our good friend Gary Vee talk about how when he started in his dad's wine business. I would sit there and watch people walk through the store and say, "Okay, what happens if I move this this way and put this in front?
Do people not pick it up or walk past it looking at the results and the impact?" that you believe in people, whether it's experiential design or physical design, whatever it is. I'm curious. I'm going to try to be aware of the word. Is it more powerful for creatives to have goals and deadlines or is that destructive? to the creative process, so, deadlines are a weird word because they have the word dead in them. Finish lines, our lodge lines, whatever. I am super disciplined with deadlines. I have never missed a deadline because I simply decided that some people need that tension.
It comes from being five minutes late, I hate not wanting to go anywhere near that, so for me it's fuel, for other people it might be turbo fuel because they need that extra five minutes, but there are other people for whom that completely destroys their job, so You I have to figure out how you engage with that, but goals are a different thing, so I was talking to someone who I wish I could give credit to and who was explaining to me that goals are externally focused and this is one of the things that made me they carried.
For me, writing about this in the book, it means that if you say my goal is to be a millionaire, that's not up to you, it's just partly up to you and the rest is luck, so if you're going to say I'm a good person because I'm lucky and I'm a bad person because I'm unlucky now you're really in trouble instead, what we need are practices that we call our thing, what we call our goal is, I'm going to Be the kind of person that sends so much I work every day, who gets out of bed at this time, who manages his expenses so that they are always a third.
I mean, he can make a list of things that are completely under his control. Call them. your goals and eliminate everything that involves fish, everything that involves something external that makes you feel lucky, so, friends, I hear you say that you focus more on the things that you can control daily, the right habits, the practices, the actions, your energy, your way of being. compassion daily instead of the end result being right and back to where we started, which is why people don't do that because they don't want to hear their other voice, they don't do it because they don't want to be on the hook it's more easy to catastrophize it's easier to say I'm distracted it's easier to say oh the world is too much whatever all those are external things that free you and what I remember is that I was born a year and a half before the Cuban missile crisis, True, the world is really in trouble in 2020, but the world was 10 minutes away from disappearing in 1962, so the question is how do we get from that to Neil Armstrong walking on the moon?
Seven years later we didn't do it by saying well, we can't because Russia could end everything at any minute. We said well, if Russia is going to end everything any minute, we might as well send someone to the moon and my friend Roz Zander. she helped me learn the difference between butt and and so here we go if you go on a long planned vacation and it's raining, you could say I'm on vacation but it's raining, doesn't it suck? or you could say I'm on vacation and it's raining and it leaves you room to say it, so I can take a cooking lesson so I can have some quiet time with my spouse so I can figure out how to work for social justice.
All those things happened because it's raining, so yeah. It's raining right now, it's really bad and you can do something, you can fix everything, but you can make a person better, what are the habits that you think would support more creatives if they did these habits daily based on your 30+ years of experience? ? from what worked for you and what you've seen other people do that you've studied, what are those few habits that you think could really help them promote their inner happiness and hopefully accelerate luck on the outside as well, yeah, so we don't have to fool ourselves.
We'll get hooked on the outside, we'll pretend we're not, but deep down we're right, so, you know, Chong Young Trump Rinpoche said, uh, the bad news is that we're going on and on and on and on and the good news. is that there is nothing to hold on to and as soon as you recognize that there is nothing to hold on to, it becomes much easier to fall, you just let go and you don't have to keep trying to graph or anything, so it's holding on that's the most important thing. i write in the book a little bit about julia cameron's morning pages most people don't really understand how they work you're not supposed to get up and write three pages of good prose you're not supposed to write a get up and write three pages of interesting stuff, you're just supposed to get up and write three pages and that's it about anything rubbish, get it off your chest, it doesn't matter, just leave it because as soon as you do it for the rest of the day you try to get it out your subconscious said I already wrote it I don't need to revisit it it's already solved I wrote it down I downloaded it and so it's part of what it means to have a practice it's the practice defines who you are if you want to be a runner the best thing you can do is run every day yes you run every day for 30 days your runner you don't have to subscribe to running world you don't have to you have fancy equipment you just have to run it every day if you want to be a writer you have to write every day and you don't have to show it to people no one, you just have to do it and not showing it to people leaves you out of the way. it hooks on some level, but at least you can see yourself as that kind of person and then the next step, which I'm a big fan of and the internet makes this easier than ever, is to post it anonymously.
I think you should have a daily blog. but don't put your name on it and after having written 30 or 40 entries of your daily blog or having made five or six episodes of your podcast you will want to put your name on it and then you will only be able to begin. with and if your name isn't on it, it's so delicious because there's no pros or cons so you're just doing it and that's all you're going to get is that you did it, yeah, I want to ask you about money for a second because I think It's a topic that a lot of creatives avoid and I think this might actually be one of the most powerful things that people here talk about on the topic of money that you've had financial success that you've launched. a business 30 years ago that you sold and exited, you've had a lot of success in your books and businesses, you've made money as a creative, it's fair to say that how can creators think in terms of what if? they want to create great work but they also want to be rich they want to make millions they want for the fun of it to support their family their lifestyle they want to make money yes what should they be thinking about in terms of art and money? and marry both of them without it feeling bad or disgusting or I'm selling out and it's a bad way to make money, how can they mentally approach it so that it doesn't work out for them but rather they achieve the results they want?
My answer might surprise some people. but here we go the odds of you making a lot of money doing exactly what you want are zero to zero rounding error it's possible to make a lot of money now it's easier for privileged people to do it than for most everyone else in history because to the network effect because of powerful software because of tools that allow you to reach millions of people the way you make a lot of money is by finding out what people with money want to spend that money on to solve their problem now you're going to solve that problem and Then, over time, you amplify their need and let them do it again.
This is how everyone, with few exceptions, who has made a lot of money has done it. Those people can't say "oh, but me." I also have this idea and I need to express it because I think it's generous, those are different things and only in the last hundred years has it been conceivable that you can be paid money for doing what you love. This is a completely new idea, so I am. in favor of doing what you love and getting paid for it if you can because it makes you accountable it puts you on the spot creating tension in serving the people you want to serve and maybe you get paid a little but if you want to make a lot of the money listen to the market and present yourself with something that the market wants to buy because you can't insist that the market is wrong when you ask it to pay you something well, you need to become so desirable in what you are creating that it is a limited quantity or something that there is attention about around you and people want it right now, Pokémon cards are going crazy right now for whatever reason and they are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars because there is a limited quantity and people want it but they have created that desire .
Who would have thought that a couple of pieces of cardboard would be worth so much money? And baseball cards are going through the roof. I think one sold for four million dollars a pair. months ago for the record sale of a baseball card and they have created the desire for it, who would have thought that would be something you could do? What are some personal practices on managing money that you've learned as an artist? years into a creativity that you would prescribe to people, whether you learned the hard way or received some good advice from someone, so it's pretty simple, money is a story and anyone listening to this has more technology than the last king of France. that we tell ourselves the story of sufficiency or insufficiency that has been amplified by the marketing industrial complex to make us buy more things or work longer hours, so the first and most important thing, by far, is to get your story straight and I have worked with him and I have met him.
People friends who were addicted to debt needed debt to go to work needed debt to feel like there was a fire under them. I knew other people that I worked with at Google and things like that that no amount of money was going to be enough and I have to tell you that after you have 100 million dollars or 200 million dollars you don't need 400 million dollars, you can't even notice the difference, right, that doesn't matter, they are hooked on that every year when Forbes publishes their billionaires. list, they make hundreds of people very sad because those people come down like you really are a billionaire, why are you sad about that?
It's absurd, so getting your story straight is very important and then the second part is that debt is really a problem because debt accumulates much faster than interest and therefore what you should do if you really want to live The life of the creator who is not paid well is that he must drastically reduce his expenses, cut themlower than you think. rice black beans sleeping on a friend's couch do that for two years until you have enough money in the bank you'll never have to go into debt pay those dues early and then you'll be free to do the work you want to do I paid those dues for seven years and I wouldn't change it because what I learned there is that I don't have the right to do any project I want whenever I want and as soon as I don't owe anything to anyone, I had the freedom to say it.
I'm going to do this, whereas if you owe Chase Manhattan Bank or Goldman Sachs or Wells Fargo a monthly payment and you're paying off your student loans and you're paying this off well, then it's very easy to hide from the creatives. job you want to do yes, you are a prisoner. The third thing is that there are very few shortcuts with money. If someone says you can get rich quick, you should run away. What is the biggest mistake you have made in your last 30 years as a creative? whether it's in business or in art or in a relationship that happened and ended up being the biggest mistake you ever made and because it taught you a lesson, it got you out of something that you know, it made you more humble, whatever it is, what's that? big failure.
What happened was a mistake and was actually a great blessing for you. Well, the one that I eat out a lot is that I saw the world wide web before anyone else and I said it was stupid and slow and there was no business model and it was We'll stick with Prodigy and Aol, thank you very much, that cost like 40 billion of dollars and once you make a mistake of 40 billion, you start to forgive yourself for other mistakes that involve money, true, but I don't punish myself. about that because it worked really well for me and if I had half Yahoo I don't think my life would have been better.
I think the mistakes have been when I have had a creative instinct about how I can do things. better and I blinked and said I don't trust myself enough to lean on this and maybe the journey is too long or maybe too tense or maybe I'm worried about being blamed and that's why I didn't contribute the way I could have when I could. and it's That Omission Thing again now, maybe it's just a story I tell myself to start over, but this very tense moment will also be a moment where a lot of cool things will be built and you can look forward to it. but then we won't have your great things.
I tell people when I'm training other people that I'm a little harsh but I'm saying you're not doing any favors to the people who need your work. your friends your family humanity you like if you have a gift that you can share and you can help people and lift them up off the ground and you are afraid that it will not do you any favors, you are doing more right harm than good because of your insecurity of not sending right and you are also eating yourself alive and this is where the quiet cycle is so toxic.
If you're looking for peace of mind it's because you're trying to put out a fire inside of you that can only be put out by improving things and creatives that I know are interesting, I know 11 billionaires because of the whole ted world thing, they're not that interesting or that curious. They're just not, they're just proud of the fact that they figured out how to corner the market on something right and scaled it up, yeah, and I know a lot of creatives, I know people who have won Tonys and Grammys and Oscars and people you've never heard of. heard about and some of them have money problems and others are bitter. about this or that but when you talk to them about work their eyes light up because they don't look to me or you to reassure them and tell them that they are fine, they just know that they did a job and it is for you or it is not for you here I did this and that simple sentence here I did this for a lot of people that's what it means to be alive yes I have about four questions left for you to be respectful okay we'll do it a quick round yes yes exactly I love creative blocking writer's block, the physical block you have.
I'm curious because you have a lot more about this in your book and I want to make sure that people get the book, the practice, the submission of creative work that shares a lot of these things about finding your passion, being creative, especially when it's really scary. doing it, trusting yourself and your voice in a time where everyone is comparing you and judging you, all of these different things model being positive in your practice, which I am constantly. Trying to live being positive because I think you attract more a lot of other things that are great in the book, so make sure you get the book, it's called practice, you can get it online, you can get it anywhere except for people. who feel like they're just creatively blocked, whether it's writer's block, podcaster's block, business block, relationship block, how do we do it, where does that block come from and what are the steps to overcome? writer's block in our life, when in doubt, look for the fear you had.
I had an interaction with someone a couple of weeks ago and it was really brutal and difficult and I was defensive and also blaming him for not being a good human being and then I found out that this person's boss was kicking his butt regularly and for They don't have a problem with me, they were just afraid, they were afraid of what the boss would say when in doubt, look for fear, if people give you a hard time about moving forward, where is their fear? ? If you find yourself blocked, where is your fear? So there's an old expression that I find completely useless, which is: What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
What would you do? It's useless because you should only wish for invisibility and three more wishes, but here's a better question if you knew you were going to do it. fail, what would you do that would be worth doing? Do that ooh, that's interesting if you knew you were going to fail. What would you do? It's good. I like that question. If you knew you were going to fail, what would you do? I would write this. book yeah that's what I love you know so you know you're on the right path and you're following your passion okay this is a question I ask everyone at the end it's called the three truths it's a question hypothetical, so imagine it's the last day on earth for you, okay, on this earth, it's as many years as you want to live, you live until it can be a hundred and something, whatever, but you have to turn off the lights and say : "Okay, Im going". on this earth and you have fulfilled all the dreams you have had, where you have lived intentionally, you have done the practice and the daily work, you have shown the things you wanted to create, they were created, they failed or not, it is irrelevant to you.
I did, but for some reason, hypothetically, you have to take all your work and your creative stuff, your blog and your podcast, everything will go with you to the next place wherever you go, so that no one has access to your work. You don't have access to this interview at all and, hypothetically, you have a piece of paper and a pen, you can write three things that you know to be true from all the experiences in your life and all the lessons you've learned, and you could share three lessons for the world and this is all we would have to remind you of what you would say are your three truths.
I think narrowing the question makes it more useful, so I'm going to pick three truths that I'm particularly associated with as Contrary to all the truths in the universe, perfect people like us do things like this, that's the definition of culture. Find out who are people like us. Find out what things like this are. And that's how you can make something change and how you can do it. understand that the world is number two, attention is precious, they are not earning more, so earning permission to talk to people who want to be talked to is much better than having a megaphone and yelling at people, and the number three is the best way. making things better is making things better, those are powerful and you just reminded me of one of the first, I think it's the first time we met, where we were doing a photo shoot for a magazine in Times Square in 2009 and they had us holding megaphones , I'm sure.
I don't know if you remember this, that's what I told you at the beginning of the call, yes, exactly, and the whole idea about permission marketing and I refused to retain them, you said I wouldn't put this in my mouth and you retained I lowered it. and I thought this is something I really recognize about you, Seth, is your ability to do what you want to do, what your beliefs are, even if it's unpopular, even if it's frustrating to people, because the art director was going to me. to kill. very angry and then I said well it's like the cover of Abbey Road and I can beat John but the fact that you don't deliver or you're not signed up for something and you stuck to what you wanted to do, this is the only thing I've ever seen from you . what you've done in the last 11 years since I've known you since I met you that day and you let me rub your head thank you again for that, I know if you remember and I give you credit for constantly showing up every day for yourself for your passion because you decided because you made a commitment to yourself, not for anyone else, but for yourself and that consistency and your people know what they are going to get when they are with you the way you are willing to be confrontational in an interview sometimes even if it is going to upset to the host uh, I'm not talking about myself, but in past interviews you've done the things that you do.
I feel like people could really learn a lot from your way of being and your consistency over decades and me. I really appreciate you for constantly showing up and doing your best. I think you do it every day, so I appreciate that. I have one last question for you, and again I want to make sure that everyone gets the book, the creative shipping practice. work, I don't have a physical copy, I only have the digital copy, but if you have it, you can hold it. Yes, practice shipping. Creative work. I got it two hours ago and I still have that new book, oh you got it.
That's got to feel good, yeah, make sure you guys get that book. You can follow it. Seth on Twitter. This is Seth's blog. Instagram. Seth Godin and Seth Godin on Facebook and see him daily on his blog. I already answered it so let's see if you answer it again or share something new What is your definition of greatness? Would we miss you if you weren't here? That is beautiful. You put me in my heart instantly with that answer. I think it's beautiful. I'll leave it at that, Seth, you are a great human being. I appreciate you very much, you are very special, thank you for making this fun.
If you want to learn how to be happier in your life, be sure to watch this video here. The sky is the limit of possibilities, but if you look through the lens of who I am, it is this past history, this limitation, this person who tried to make it and failed, it is someone who is loved by failing over and over again, it is someone who has than to maintain a small importance when failing. good
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