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Brand Conversation with Seth Godin – Part 1

by Mohammed on February 2, 2010

Today, I spoke to Seth Godin, Seth is the author of Linchpin: Are You Indispensable, as well as the bestselling author of Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, and other international bestsellers that have changed the way business people think and act.  His books have been translated into +20 languages. He’s the most influential business blogger in the world and consistently one of the 25 most widely read bloggers.  He’s also the founder of Squidoo.com. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and The Prime Minister of Permission Marketing by Promo Magazine. He holds an MBA from Stanford, and was called “the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age” by Business Week.

You can connect with Seth via @Facebook @Twitter @Blog

Mohammed: You defined Art as “The act of bringing humanity and connection to change someone else.”, how can we build an artist personal brand?

Seth: I guess the goal is to make connections through generosity and to make change by pushing the envelope. None of that is easy, but it’s really the only way.

Mohammed: When we were children, we dreamed big and visualized things we never imagine to have it now. Why we stopped dreaming when we become older?

Seth: I think there are two reasons:

1.  As we get older, we sense we have more to lose.

2. School burned it out of you. It’s a lot easier to run a school if everyone is compliant.

Gift: Seth free ebooks can be found here.

Mohammed: You said: “You are not your resume. You are your work.” with the rescission around the world. What do you advice jobseekers who don’t have a job but have time, energy and unique perspective?


I think if you invest your time instead of spending it, you can come out the other end as indispensable.

A report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual student survey said that 20 percent of 2009 college graduates who applied for a job actually have one.  So, what should the unfortunate 80% do?

How about a post-graduate year doing some combination of the following (not just one, how about all):

  • Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
  • Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery. [Clarification: I know you can’t become a master programmer of all these in a year. I used the word mastery to distinguish it from ‘familiarity’ which is what you get from one of those Dummies type books. I would hope you could write code that solves problems, works and is reasonably clear, not that you can program well enough to work for Joel Spolsky. Sorry if I ruffled feathers.]
  • Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
  • Start, run and grow an online community.
  • Give a speech a week to local organizations.
  • Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
  • Learn a foreign language fluently.
  • Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
  • Self-publish a book.
  • Run a marathon.

If you wake up every morning at 6, give up TV and treat this list like a job, you’ll have no trouble accomplishing everything on it. Everything!

Brand Word: Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. You don’t wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.

— —

Spotlight: His latest book LINCHPIN hit the top ten on Amazon the first day it was released!

“This is what the future of work (and the world) looks like. Actually, it’s already happening around you.” ~ Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

“If Seth Godin didn’t exist we’d need to invent him-that’s how indispensable he is! You hold in your hands a compelling, accessible, and purpose-filled book. Read it, and do yourself a big favor. Your future will thank you!” ~ Alan Webber, Founder, Fast Company

“Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still – one, to be exact – can boast his own action figure… Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun.”  ~ BusinessWeek

— — —


This post has been mentioned by Hajj Flemings Founder of Brand Camp University on his post: The Super Bowl Guide to Building Brand Buzz

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1 Julie | Resume Services
Twitter: JulieWalraven
February 2, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Mohammed, thanks for another great interview! As you probably know from my Facebook pages, I have always been a Seth Godin reader. Well-done interview and as usual, Seth makes very good points that would take many people, young or old, very far if they chose to execute the plan.

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2 Mohammed Al-Taee February 2, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Julie | Resume Services: Mohammed, thanks for another great interview!

I’m happy and honored that Seth give me part of his time, a humble man. I’m planning to read “Tribes” and “LINCHPIN ” very soon.

Thanks Julie :)

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3 Ryan Rancatore
Twitter: ryanrancatore
February 4, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Awesome stuff, Mohammed. Keep it up.

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4 Mohammed Al-Taee February 4, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Ryan Rancatore: Awesome stuff, Mohammed.Keep it up.  

Thanks Ryan … your staff is Awesome too :)

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5 David Sandusky February 15, 2010 at 9:16 PM

I appreciate the question to Godin about not dreaming like kids anymore. Why did you ask that question, Mohammed?

It is true of course. I will tell you from my perspective teaching Creative Problem Solving in a college we launched in Denver, there are some uncomfortable students in my class right now. Thinking different, asking exploring questions (like we did as kids) and digging deep to uncover why a problem exists are processes that even the willing don’t take seriously. Why? Need to conform and acceptance of being average. At what age does the need to conform and acceptance of being average happen for most?
.-= David Sandusky´s last blog ..TechCrunch: Hands-on Video: Windows Phone 7 Series in action =-.

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6 Mohammed Al-Taee February 15, 2010 at 9:28 PM

David Sandusky: I appreciate the question to Godin about not dreaming like kids anymore.Why did you ask that question,

I read in Moments of Forever by Dr. Bill Path that our dreams when we were kids was unlimited and with no scope > Forever.

I was thinking why? I am still having the same dreams but why I stopped believing in the big ones. Even Seth’ answer was short, I think he is right. Do you agree?

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7 Justin McCullough February 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM

A while back I wrote about how we are encouraged to dream as kids. I think one part of the dreaming is that once you become capable of living your dream (meaning your are a teenager or young adult), no one Wants you to live your dream because they never lived theirs. You encourage kids because they can’t act on it, you don’t encourage adults because that means they might actually do it and show you that you never did.

I’m trying to do more dreaming and to help others dream too. Linchpin is a great book. Check out The Linchpin Way and the Linchpin 2.0 Manifesto as well. I’d like to see a movement of artists.

Great post.


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8 Mohammed Al-Taee February 16, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Justin McCullough

Nice comment, I will read your blog and happy to make connection with you :)

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