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SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

alt.mba

altMBA

An intensive, 4-week online workshop designed to accelerate leaders to become change agents for the future. Designed by Seth Godin, for you.

ONLINE:

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

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IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

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IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

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IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

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IN STORES:

v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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Member since 08/2003

The gap

There's a gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Many gaps, in fact, but imagine just one of them.

That gap--is it fuel? Are you using it like a vacuum, to pull you along, to inspire you to find new methods, to dance with the fear?

Or is it more like a moat, a forbidding space between you and the future?

Listening clearly

It's entirely possible that people aren't listening closely to you any more.

There's so much noise, so much clutter... hoping that customers, prospects, vendors and co-workers will stop what they're doing and listen closely and carefully enough to figure out what you mean is a recipe for frustration.

Perhaps there's an alternative. Maybe, instead of insisting that people listen more closely, you could speak more clearly.

That's what great design and great copy do. They speak clearly so that people don't have to listen so hard.

Your social thermometer

Would you rather be the smartest person in the room or the least informed?

If you're the smartest, you can generously teach others. On the other hand, if you're the least informed and hungry to level up, you couldn't ask for a better place to be.

When you walk into a room, do you look around to see if you're the best dressed, the tallest, the most powerful, the richest, the prettiest, the best connected? Or are you hoping that people with some of those attributes are there, ready to share what they know with you?

Some people walk three steps behind the group, no matter how fast the group is walking. Others will tire themselves out, throwing elbows if necessary, to be first in line. Some people interrupt a lot, others are begging to be interrupted.

This changes over time, day by day even, depending on what we're looking for. And it happens in just about all the social settings in our lives. The challenge is finding a place that creates the change you seek. Too often, we go to conferences or parties or professional events where everyone is looking for someone other than us. Someone they can dominate or brush up against, someone they know or want to pitch...

It's easy to decide to level up. It takes guts to put yourself into a mix where it's actually going to happen.

Today's the last day for early applications for the April session of the altMBA. More than 1,800 people have enrolled in sessions of our small-group workshop so far, and it might be worth considering. After Monday, applicants pay a higher tuition.

Surrounding yourself with people in a hurry to get where you're going is a great way to get there.

Freedom, fairness and equality

Freedom doesn't mean no responsibility. In fact, it requires extra responsibility. Freedom is the ability to make a choice, and responsibility is required once you make that choice.

Fairness isn't a handout. Fairness is the willingness to offer dignity to others. The dignity of being seen and heard, and having a chance to make a contribution.

And equality doesn't mean equal. Equality doesn't guarantee me a starting position on the Knicks. Equality means equality of access, the opportunity to do my best without being disqualified for irrelevant reasons.

Perfect vs. important

Is there a conflict?

Does holding something back as you polish it make it more likely that you'll create something important?

I don't think so. There's no apparent correlation.

Instead, what we see is that, all things being equal, polished is better than rushed, but the most important factor is whether or not you've actually done the work to make something remarkable/generous/challenging/useful/artful.

More time spent on that is always better than more time polishing.

Please don't kill the blogs

An open note to Google

To the gmail team,

You've built a tool for a billion people. Most of my blog readers use it every day, and so do I. Thanks for creating an effective way for people to connect to the people and ideas they care about.

That comes with responsibility. The same responsibility that the postal service has... to deliver the mail.

I'm aware that you don't charge the people who use gmail for the privilege. In fact, we're the product, not the customer. Your goal is to keep people within the Google ecosystem and to get the writers and marketers who use email as a permission asset to instead shift to paying money (to Google) to inform and reach their audience.

So you invented the 'promotions' folder.

It seems like a great idea. That spam-like promo mail, all that stuff I don't want to read now (and probably ever) will end up there. Discounts on shoes. The latest urgent note from someone I don't even remember buying from. The last time I checked, you've moved more than 100,000 messages to my promotions folder. Without asking.

Alas, you've now become a choke point. You take the posts from this blog and dump them into my promo folder--and the promo folder of more than a hundred thousand people who never asked you to hide it.

Emails from my favorite charities end up in my promo folder. The Domino Project blog goes there as well. Emails from Medium, from courses I've signed up for, from services I confirmed just a day earlier. Items sent with full permission, emails that by most definitions aren't "promotions."

Here's a simple way to visualize it: Imagine that your mailman takes all the magazines you subscribe to, mixes them in with the junk mail you never asked for, and dumps all of it in a second mailbox, one that you don't see on your way into the house every day. And when you subscribe to new magazines, they instantly get mixed in as well.

It's simple: blogs aren't promotions. Blogs subscribed to shouldn't be messed with. The flow of information by email is an extraordinary opportunity, and when a choke point messes with that to make a profit, things break.

The irony of having a middleman steal permission is not lost on me. That's what you're doing. You're not serving your customers because you're stealing the permission that they've given to providers they care about it. And when publishers switch to SMS or Facebook Messenger, that hardly helps your cause.

The solution is simple: Create a whitelist. Include the top 10,000 blogs (you probably still have the list from when you shut down Google Reader). Make the algorithm smarter, and make it easier for your users to let you know about the emails that are important enough to be in their inbox. When an email sender shows up regularly, it's probably a smart idea to ask before unilaterally shifting it to the promo folder.

Of course, users are free to choose a different email client. Alas, senders aren't. And as a publisher, it hurts me that I can't keep the promise I've made to my readers.

And, while you're upgrading the system, what's up with all the weird sex spam we've been getting the last four months? It doesn't seem that difficult to distinguish it from actual human emails...

Google and Facebook are now the dominant middlemen for more than 85% of all online advertising. Along the way, Google has also dominated much of the email communication on the planet.  You get all the money but I think you need to up your game in return. 

Thanks in advance for fixing this.

My readers want to get the stuff they asked to get. You probably do too.

The four elements of entrepreneurship

Are successful entrepreneurs made or born?

We’d need to start with an understanding of what an entrepreneur is. They’re all over the map, which makes the question particularly difficult to navigate.

There’s the 14-year-old girl who hitches a ride to Costco, buys 100 bottles of water for thirty cents each, then sells them at the beach for a dollar a pop. Scale that that every day for a summer and you can pay for college.

Or the 7-time venture-backed software geek who finds a niche, gets some funding, builds it out with a trusted team, sells it for $100 million in stock and then starts again.

Perhaps we’re talking about a non-profit entrepreneur, a woman who builds a useful asset, finds a scalable source of funding and changes the world as she does.

The mistake that’s easy to make is based in language. We say, “she’s an entrepreneur,” when we should be saying, “she’s acting like an entrepreneur.”

Since entrepreneurship is a verb, an action, a posture… then of course, it’s a choice. You might not want to act like one, but if you can model behavior, you can act like one.

And what do people do when they’re acting like entrepreneurs?

1. They make decisions.

2. They invest in activities and assets that aren’t a sure thing.

3. They persuade others to support a mission with a non-guaranteed outcome.

4. This one is the most amorphous, the most difficult to pin down and thus the juiciest: They embrace (instead of run from) the work of doing things that might not work.

As far as I can tell, that’s it. Everything else you can hire.

Buying into an existing business by buying a franchise, to pick one example--there’s very little of any of the four elements of entrepreneurial behavior. Yes, you’re swinging for a bigger win, you’re investing risk capital, you’re going outside the traditional mainstream. But what you’re doing is buying a proven business, not acting like an entrepreneur. The four elements aren't really there. It's a process instead. Nothing wrong with that.

All four of these elements are unnatural to most folks. Particularly if you were good at school, you're not good at this. No right answers, no multiple choice, no findable bounds.

It's easy to get hung up on the "risk taking" part of it, but if you’re acting like an entrepreneur, you don’t feel like you’re taking a huge risk. Risks are what happens at a casino, where you have little control over the outcome. People acting like entrepreneurs, however, feel as though the four most important elements of their work (see above) are well within their control.

If you’re hoping someone can hand you a Dummies guide, giving you the quick steps, the guaranteed method, the way to turn this process into a job--well, you’ve just announced that you don’t feel like acting like an entrepreneur.

But before you walk away from it, give it a try. Entrepreneurial behavior isn't about scale, it's about a desire for a certain kind of journey.

Justice and dignity, the endless shortage

You will never regret offering dignity to others.

We rarely get into trouble because we overdo our sense of justice and fairness. Not just us, but where we work, the others we influence. Organizations and governments are nothing but people, and every day we get a chance to become better versions of ourselves.

And yet... in the moments when we think no one is looking, when the stakes are high, we often forget. It's worth remembering that justice and dignity aren't only offered on behalf of others.

Offering people the chance to be treated the way we'd like to be treated benefits us too. It goes around.

The false scarcity is this: we believe that shutting out others, keeping them out of our orbit, our country, our competitive space—that this somehow makes things more easier for us.

And this used to be true. When there are 10 jobs for dockworkers, having 30 dockworkers in the hall doesn't make it better for anyone but the bosses.

But today, value isn't created by filling a slot, it's created by connection. By the combinations created by people. By the magic that comes from diversity of opinion, background and motivation. Connection leads to ideas, to solutions, to breakthroughs.

The false scarcity stated as, "I don't have enough, you can't have any," is more truthfully, "together, we can create something better."

We know it's the right thing to do. It's also the smart thing.

Fake wasabi

Most sushi restaurants serve a green substance with every roll. But it's not wasabi, it's a mix of horseradish and some other flavorings. Real wasabi costs too much.

The thing is, if you grew up with this, you're used to it. It's the regular kind.

And that makes it real. Real to us, anyway.

Creatures don't like change, up or down. We like what we like.

The regular kind.

Before you design a chart or infographic

What's it for?

A graph only exists to make a point. Its purpose is not to present all the information. Its purpose is not to be pretty.

Most of all, its purpose is not, "well, they told me I needed to put a graph here."

The purpose of a graph is to get someone to say "a-ha" and to see something the way you do.

Begin there and work backwards.

[Only slightly related: I'll be in Orange County for an evening event on February 15. Details are here. Hope to see you there.]

The witnesses and the participants

Every history student knows about the tragedy of the commons. When farmers shared grazing land, no one had an incentive to avoid overgrazing, and without individual incentives, the commons degraded until it was useless.

We talk about this as if it's an inevitable law, a glitch in the system that prevents communities from gaining the benefits of shared resources.

Of course, that's not true.

Culture permits us to share all sorts of things without having them turn into tragedies. People are capable of standing up to the short-term profit motive, we're not powerless. We can organize and codify and protect.

It requires us to say, "please don't," even more than, "not me." Culture can be the antidote to selfishness.

In fact, it's the only thing that is.

First, de-escalate

It's very difficult to reason with someone if their hair is on fire. Customer service (whether you're a school principal, a call center or a consultant) can't begin until the person you're working with believes that you're going to help them put out the fire on their head.

Basic principles worth considering (are you listening, Verizon?)

The first promises kept are hints that you will keep future promises. Putting people on endless hold, bad voice trees, live chat that isn't actually live, an uncomfortable chair in the waiting room, a nasty receptionist, unclear directions to your office, bad line management... all of these things escalate stress and decrease trust.

Don't underestimate the power of a good sign, a take-a-number deli machine and a thoughtful welcome.

Don't deny that the customer/patient/student has a problem. If they think they have a problem, they have a problem. It might be that your job is to help them see (over time) that the thing that's bothering them isn't actually a problem, but denying the problem doesn't de-escalate it.

Leave the legal arguments at home. It's entirely possible that your terms of service or fine print or HIPAA or lawyers have come up with some sort of clause that prevents you from solving the problem the way the customer wants it solved. You can't do anything about that. But bringing it up now, in this moment of escalation, merely makes the problem worse. 

The goal is to open doors, not close them. To gain engagement and productive interaction, not to have the customer become enraged and walk away.

Empathize with their frustration. It's entirely possible that you think the patient's problem is ridiculous. That the customer is asking for too much. That you're going to be unable to solve the problem. Understood. But right now, the objective is de-escalation. That's the problem that needs to be solved before the presented problem can be solved. Acknowledging that the person is disappointed, angry or frustrated, and confirming that your goal is to help with that feeling means that you've seen the person in front of you. "Ouch," and "Oh no," are two useful ways to respond to someone sharing their feelings.

One minute later, then, here's what's happened:

  1. You were welcoming and open.
  2. You didn't pick a fight.
  3. You saw and heard the problem.

Wow. That's a lot to accomplish in sixty seconds.

Do you think the rest of the interaction will go better? Do you think it's likely that the person at the airplane counter, the examining table or on the phone with you is more likely to work with you to a useful conclusion?

Charisma, cause and effect

Charisma doesn't permit us to lead.

Leading gives us charisma.

Getting paid what you deserve

You never do.

Instead, you get paid what other people think you're worth. 

That's an empathic flip that makes it all make sense.

Instead of feeling undervalued or disrespected, you can focus on creating a reputation and a work product that others believe is worth more.

Because people don't make buying decisions based on what's good for you--they act based on what they see, need and believe.

Yes, we frequently sell ourselves too short. We don't ask for compensation commensurate with the value we create. It's a form of hiding. But the most common form of this hiding is not merely lowering the price. No, the mistake we make is in not telling stories that create more value, in not doing the hard work of building something unique and worth seeking out.

This is another way to talk about marketing. And modern marketing is done with the people we seek to serve, not at them. It's based on the idea that if the customer knew what you know, and believed what you believe, they'd want to work with you. On the principle that long-term trust is worth far more than any single transaction every could be.

[Today's the last best day to sign up for the current session of The Marketing Seminar. It started yesterday. I hope you'll check it out.]

Stuck on what's next

When confronted with too many good options, it's easy to get paralyzed. The complaint is that we don't know what to do next, because we're pulled in many good directions--and doing one thing with focus means not doing something else.

This is a common way to get stuck. After all, if you're at this crossroads, where more consideration means more possibility, while more action merely means walking away from a potentially better choice, it's easy to settle for the apparently safe path, which is more study.

No one can blame you for careful consideration. More careful consideration seems to insulate you from the criticism that follows taking action.

But getting stuck helps no one.

Here's an alternative:

Write up a one-pager on each of the five best alternatives you are considering. Use the document to sell each idea as hard as you can, highlighting the benefits for you and those you seek to serve.

Then, hand the proposals to your trusted advisors. They vote (without you in the room) and you commit to doing whatever it is they choose. Not thinking about it, but doing it.

Merely agreeing to this scenario is usually enough incentive to pick on your own and get to work.

Hiding from the mission

We do this in two ways:

The first is refusing to be clear and precise about what the mission is. Avoiding specifics about what we hope to accomplish and for whom. Being vague about success and (thus about failure).

After all, if no one knows exactly what the mission is, it's hard feel like a failure if it doesn't succeed.

The second is even more insidious. We degrade the urgency of the mission. We become diffuse. We get distracted. Anything to avoid planting a stake and saying, "I made this."

It's possible to spend 7 hours and 52 minutes out of an eight-hour day in doing nothing but hiding from the mission. And it's exhausting.

What sort of performance?

It's not unusual for something to be positioned as the high performance alternative. The car that can go 0 to 60 in three seconds, the corkscrew that's five times faster, the punch press that's incredibly efficient...

The thing is, though, that the high performance vs. low performance debate misses something. High at what?

That corkscrew that's optimized for speed is more expensive, more difficult to operate and requires more maintenance.

That car that goes so fast is also more difficult to drive, harder to park and generally a pain in the neck to live with.

You may find that a low-performance alternative is exactly what you need to actually get your work done. Which is the highest performance you can hope for.

Your theory

Of course, you have one. We all do. A theory about everything.

You're waiting for 7:20 train into the city. Your theory is that every day, the train comes and brings you to work. Today, the train doesn't come. That's because it's Sunday, and the train doesn't run on the same schedule. Oh. So you've learned something, and now you have a new theory, which is that the train comes at 7:20 on weekdays only. And you'll keep working with that theory, and most of the time, it'll help you get what you want.

And you have a theory that putting a card into the ATM delivers money.

And you have a theory that smiling at a stranger increases the chances that you'll have a good interaction.

And on and on.

Many theories, proposals about what might work in the future.

We can fall into a few traps with our theories about humans:

  1. We can come to believe that they are ironclad guarantees, not merely our best guess about the future. 
  2. We can refuse to understand the mechanics behind a theory and instead accept the word of an authority figure. If we fail to do the math on our own, we lose agency and the ability to develop an even more nuanced understanding of how the world works.
  3. We can become superstitious, ignoring evidence that runs counter to our theory and instead doubling down on random causes and their unrelated effects.
  4. We can hesitate to verbalize our theories, afraid to share them with others, particularly those we deem as higher in authority or status.
  5. We can go to our jobs and do all four of these things at once. 

[PS The Marketing Seminar is accepting new signups right now.]

Why we don't have nice things

The creation of worthwhile work is a duet. The creator has to do her part, but so does the customer.

One of the best airport restaurants I've ever encountered breaks my first rule of airport eating. The sushi bar at gate 34 of Narita airport is a special place (though I wish they didn't serve tuna).

The rice is extraordinary. The nori is crisp. The service is efficient but friendly. They have wonderful vegan rolls, flavorful shiso, and yes, it's hard to believe but true: real wasabi, grated to order. My guess is that the very best sushi restaurant in your town doesn't serve real wasabi. But I digress.

When I was there a few months ago, I apologized to the entire staff. I apologized to them on behalf of every traveler (many, if not most, from my country) that was dredging this extraordinary product in soy sauce, bathing it from top to bottom in the style created to mask the flavor of generations-worth of mediocre, lazily-created sushi. The Japanese equivalent of putting ketchup on your food in a fine restaurant.

I could only imagine how much it hurt for the caring artisans to watch their creation get wrecked by diners too oblivious to see what had been created for them.

And one day, I'm guessing, a new layer of management will wonder why they even bother. So they'll cut a few corners and few will notice. The race to the bottom.

Every once in awhile, someone steps up and makes something better. Much better. When it happens, it's up to us to stand up and notice it. Which means buying it and consuming it with the very same care that it was created with.

Movies, writing, sushi, safety ladders, high-powered magnets, saxophones... it doesn't matter. Every creator that desires to fly higher needs an audience willing to cheer them on and go for the ride as well. That's our part of the deal.

"We don't do rabbits"

One thing that's often taught in amateur internet marketing school is the idea of keyword stuffing.

List every possible thing that someone might want you to do on your website, so if they type that in, they'll find you.

It's an echo of something that freelancers and small businesses have been doing forever, "what do you need?" as an answer to the question, "what do you do?"

I was at the vet a few years ago, and he was busy trying to fix a rabbit. He's a good vet, but how many rabbits does he actually get to treat? I think everyone would have been happier if he had announced that the client should have taken her pet to a rabbit specialist.

You might be as well.

Good referrals are smarter than mediocre, distracting work.

Own your work. No need to do someone else's.

Today's the day

The fourth session of The Marketing Seminar is open for enrollment today.

No shortcuts, no magic spells, no secrets. Merely an effective, day by day approach to making a difference in the new year. A community of leaders, freelancers, managers and entrepreneurs intent on doing marketing that works. Modern marketing.

Look for the purple circle to earn a significant discount that peaks today.

TMS works, because peer learning works. Be part of a community that’s doing work we're proud of.

I hope you can join us. 

A sprint

Most of us have two speeds.

There's the grind, the day after day, a marathon, work work work.

And there's the recovery, the sleep in, Netflix and chill zombie state that we compartmentalize into a day like today.

But what about sprints?

Not sprints because the boss or the client insists.

Sprints that we take on merely because they energize us and remind us of how much we can do when we get out of our own way. Sprints that build our capacity. Sprints to embolden us.

The best way to improve your marathon is to learn to sprint now and then.

Maybe you can't sustain a sprint for a day.

But what about this afternoon? What could you learn or build or teach or contribute? What can you ship?

Acknowledgments

Even though it's usually at the end, the acknowledgments are often the most important part of a book.

This year, thousands of people have helped. They've inspired those they engaged with, built things that mattered, gracefully handled pain and loss, connected with ideas... and they've also spirited me through airports, welcomed me into their lives, shared honest feedback, made a commotion, set an example and showed up precisely when needed. They've written and been read, spoken up when it mattered and extended themselves. They've done their work in public or in private, from nearby or afar, but they've seen and been seen.

The thought of listing them (and alas, leaving out so many) is both exciting and enervating, but here's a very partial list, perhaps 5% of those that I owe so much to. Perhaps you can make a list as well.

Liz Jackson, Bernadette Jiwa, Amy Koppelman, Debbie Millman, Ishita Gupta, Frank Oswald, Sunny Bates, Fiona McKean, Andrea Stewart CousinsJacqueline Novogratz, David Wahl, Fred Wilson, Joel Lueb, By The Way Bakery, David Curhan, Cat Hoke, Nancy Lublin, Roger Gordon, Aria Finger, David Wilf, Marjorie Bryen, Kevin Kelly, Niki Papadopolous, Chunyan Teng, Paul McGowan, Mark Frauenfelder, Shawn Coyne, Ramon Ray, Emily Epstein, Harley Finkelstein, Phil Hollows, Tina Eisenberg, Sarah Jones, Simon Sinek, Bryan Elliott, Tom Kubik, Travis Wilson, Jesse Dylan, Rodger Beyer, The extraordinary team I work with every day at HQ, Micah Sifry, Steve Dennis, Sheryl Sandberg, Marco Arment, Adam Grant, Sam Saffron, Susan Piver, Michelle Welsch, Tim Ferriss, Brian Koppelman, Alex DiPalma, Willie Jackson, Shawn and Lawren Askinosie, Nicole Walters, Robin Estevez, Chris Meyer, Francoise Hontoy, Louise Karch, Acar AltinselShannon Weber, Michele Kyd Lee, Lodro Rinzler, Sarah Peck, Susan Schuman, Lisa Oswald, Danny Meyer and, of course, you.

Especially you.

Can't do it without you and the ruckus you seek to make every day. Thank you.

Granularity

You can't make an hourglass with a boulder.

But break the boulder into sufficiently small bits of sand, and you can tell time.

You wouldn't want to eat a baked loaf of ice cream, mustard, fish, bread, capers and cheese.

But separate them into their component parts and you can open a restaurant.

It's tempting indeed to build the one, the one perfect thing, here it is, it's for everyone.

But one size rarely fits all.

The alternative is break it into components, to find the grid and to fill it in. Not too small, not too big. Grains that match what we're ready to engage with.

New habits

I bought a CD yesterday.

That didn't used to be news. I used to buy a CD every week, week after week, year after year. It adds up.

Hi-rez streaming changed that habit for me, but it took about a year before the itch (mostly) subsided.

Old habits die hard, and it's entirely possible that your customers are on fumes, buying your old stuff now and then, down from often and on their way to rarely.

You can live on old habits for a while, but the future depends on investing in finding and building some new ones with (and for) your customers. Or your family. Or yourself.

The most powerful insight is that you can do it with intent. You can decide that you want some new habits, and then go get them.

Are you day trading?

The volatility of bitcoin turns the people who own it into addicts. At any given moment, it's up $100 or down a thousand.

When it's up, you think you're brilliant, that you somehow had something to do with it.

And when it's down, the world is about to implode.

Most people don't day trade bitcoin, but all of us day trade something. We're hooked into something volatile, easily measured and emotional. We overdo our response to news, good or bad, and let it distract us from the long-term job of living a useful life.

Your SEO results, your Facebook likes, the look on your boss's face when she gets back from a meeting--all of these things are rife with opportunities for day trading.

It'll be volatile with or without your help. Better to set it aside and get back to the real work of making a difference instead. 

The power of the possible

Next year is almost here.

And doing what you did this year probably isn’t going to be sufficient.

That’s because you have more to contribute than you did this year. You have important work worth sharing.

To reach your goals, you’ll probably need more effective and powerful ways to tell your story, get clients, gain market share and serve your audience.

I'm excited that we'll be offering the The Marketing Seminar again, beginning in just about a week. It teaches you how to push beyond your current constraints and truly see what’s possible. In 2017, more than 4,000 people took the Seminar. 

Many of them came hoping that they'd learn some new techniques from me in the fifty videos that are included.

Most of them were surprised.

They were surprised to discover that while there are tons of useful tactics and approaches in the videos, the real power of the Seminar is helping people see what's possible. The peer-to-peer connection that's built deep into the Seminar means that you'll spend far more time giving and getting feedback than you will watching videos.

It's this powerful interaction that changes the game. This is a future of education—community plus content.

We each carry around a frying pan, looking for just the right size fish to fry. We each have an expectation of what we've got, what we might get and what we deserve. And most of all, we each carry around limits, beliefs about what we're able to contribute.

The Seminar takes your impact at the edges and multiplies it by ten.

We’re announcing the next session next week, and giving people who subscribe to our updates a first look and a special discount in advance.

If you’re ready to do your most important work, we’d very much like to help you get there.

How much is 'smarter' worth?

No new costs, no new machines, no new resources.

Just smarter.

Smarter about the process, about the effects, about planning. Smarter about leadership, about management, about measurement.

How much is smarter worth?

In my experience, smarter is almost always a bargain, something you can buy for a lot less than it's worth.

Kindness scales

It scales better than competitiveness, frustration, pettiness, regret, revenge, merit (whatever that means) or apathy.

Kindness ratchets up. It leads to more kindness. It can create trust and openness and truth and enthusiasm and patience and possibility.

Kindness, in one word, is a business model, an approach to strangers and a platform for growth.

It might take more effort than you were hoping it would, but it's worth it.

Waste and the new luxury

Luxury goods are built on a foundation of waste. Using the center cut. Extra effort, often unseen. More space, more resources, more energy than is needed.

The front lawn is a luxury good, a sign that you don't need to graze your cows on every square inch, and that you're willing to waste the lawn. And the few bits of leather good enough to go into that luxury handbag sends a message about your ability to walk away from all the other parts of the hide.

There's a new luxury that's occurring, though, one that's based on efficiency. Saving you time, sure, but also the time and resources of the creator. A luxury that's based on investing in renewables, in resources that might be seen as endless, in smart design, in the satisfaction of knowing that others are benefitting, not paying, for the experience or the object you're buying.

Start small, start now

This is much better than, "start big, start later."

One advantage is that you don't have to start perfect.

You can merely start.