Don't Miss a Thing
Free Updates by Email

Enter your email address


preview  |  powered by FeedBlitz

RSS Feeds

Share |

Facebook: Seth's Facebook
Twitter: @thisissethsblog

Search

Google


WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

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.

ONLINE:

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.

ONLINE:

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

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

ONLINE:

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.

ONLINE:

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

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.

ONLINE:

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

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

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:


THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 08/2003

« September 2011 | Main | November 2011 »

How to get a job with a small company

Most advice about job seeking is oriented around big companies. The notion of a standard resume, of mass mailings, of dealing with the HR department--even the idea of interviews--is all built around the Fortune 500.

Alas, the Fortune 500 has been responsible for a net loss in jobs over the last twenty years. All the growth (and your best chance to get hired) is from companies you’ve probably never heard of. And when the hirer is also the owner, the rules are very different.

1. Learn to sell. Everyone has sold something, some time, even if it’s just selling your mom on the need for a nap when you were three years old. A lot of people have decided that they don’t want to sell, can’t sell, won’t sell, but those same people need to understand that they’re probably not going to get a job doing anything but selling.

Small businesses always need people who can sell, because selling pays for itself. It’s not an expense, it’s a profit center.

2. Learn to write. Writing is a form of selling, one step removed. There’s more writing in business today than ever before, and if you can become a persuasive copywriter, you’re practically a salesperson, and even better, your work scales.

3. Learn to produce extraordinary video and multimedia. This is just like writing, but for people who don’t like to read. Even better, be sure to mix this skill with significant tech skills. Yes, you can learn to code. The fact that you don't feel like it is one reason it's a scarce skill.

Now that you’ve mastered these skills (all of which take time and guts but no money), understand the next thing about small businesses--they aren’t hiring to fill a slot. Unlike a big company with an org chart and pay levels, the very small business is an organism, not a grid. The owner is far more likely to bring in a freelancer or someone working on spec than she is to go run a classified help wanted ad.

And many small businesses are extremely bad at taking initiative that feels like risk. They’d rather fill orders than take a chance and go out prospecting for a person who represents a risk. And that’s your opportunity.

When you show up and offer to go prospecting on spec, offer to contribute a website or a sales letter or some sales calls--with no money on the table--many small business people will take you up on it, particularly if they are cash-strapped, profit-oriented and know you by reputation. (Please don't overlook that last one).

Hint: don't merely show up and expect a yes. It's something you earn over time...

The rest is easy. Once you demonstrate that you contribute far more than you cost, now it's merely a matter of figuring out a payment schedule.

This is probably far more uncertainty and personal branding than most job seekers are comfortable with. Which is precisely why it works.

PS Nancy is hiring.

The paradox of expectations

Low expectations are often a self-fulfilling prophecy. We insulate ourselves from failure, don't try as hard, brace for the worst and often get it.

High expectations, on the other hand, will inevitably lead to disappointment. Keep raising what you expect and sooner or later (probably sooner) it's not going to happen. And we know that a good outcome that's less than the great one we hoped for actually feels like failure.

Perhaps it's worth considering no expectations. Intense effort followed by an acceptance of what you get in return. It doesn't make good TV, but it's a discipline that can turn you into a professional.

Questions for a new entrepreneur

A few things came up over coffee the other day. His idea is good, his funding is solid, there are many choices. Some of the questions that don't usually get asked:

Are you aware of your cash flow? The thing about a fish in the stream is that it doesn't care if the water is six inches deep or a foot deep. As long as it never (ever) goes to zero, it's fine. What's your zero point? What are you doing to ensure you get to keep swimming?

Are you trying to build profit or equity? A business that builds a brand, a footprint, a standard and an audience might end up being worth millions (witness Tumblr, which has many millions of value but zero profitabilty). On the other hand, a business with no exit value at all might spin off plenty of profit (consider the local doctor's office). It would be great if you could simultaneously maximize both the value of your company and the profit it produces (in the short run), but that's unlikely.

What's your role? Do you want to be a freelancer, an entrepreneur or a business owner? A business owner is the boss, but it's a job, a place that is stable and profitable. An entrepreneur is an artist of sorts, throwing herself into impossible situations and seeking out problems that require heart and guts to solve. Both are fine, but choose.

Are you trying to build a team? Some business owners want to minimize cost and hassle. Others are trying to forge a culture, to train and connect and lead.

Which kind of risk is okay with you? There's financial risk, emotional risk and brand risk (among others). Are you willing to put your chips on the table daily? How about your personal reputation?

And finally, and most important, why? Why are you doing this at all?

If committees told the truth

"Hi, we're here to take your project to places you didn't imagine.

With us on board, your project will now take three times as long.

It will cost five times as much.

And we will compromise the art and the vision out of it, we will make it reasonable and safe and boring."

Great work is never reasonable, safe or boring. Thanks anyway.

Arguing with success

"You can't argue with success."

Of course you can.

Conventional wisdom says you shouldn't bother. But arguing with failure is dumb. Failure doesn't need to be argued with, it's already failed.

It takes guts to argue with success, guts and insight. And it's the best way to make things better.

Your agenda

Most of the time, if you ask someone about their agenda, it turns out that it involves doing what's on someone else's agenda.

I need to do this for my boss, this for my husband, that for the PTSA and this other thing for the kids. As soon as you turn over your agenda to others, you're giving up one of the biggest opportunities you have to contribute. Setting an agenda is often as important as checking the boxes.

Obviously, you can't be part of any system without engaging with other people and their agendas.

But perhaps we've absorbed that habit so completely that we've ceded all responsibility and in fact don't even have an agenda any longer...

Memories of bitterness

"I don't like that guy," she said.

"Why not," I wondered...

It turns out that she had done some business with him years ago and it hadn't gone well. When pressed, though, she couldn't actually recall what the problem had been, or how much financial or project damage had been done. All she remembered was that she didn't like him.

That's the way it usually is. You read those letters to the complaint columns in the paper or online, and the actual facts are often pretty trivial. What we remember isn't the financial hit, we remember the injustice, the disrespect, the way we felt at the time.

Your accountant might care about the facts. You, the marketer, need to care about the conversations and the memories.

Shubh Diwali and digital lights

Diwali is a national holiday in many countries around the world. It is a celebration of light and family.

The digital connections we're now making are a different sort of a light and create a different sort of family. Knowing who is out there, what they need and what they can offer inevitably makes the world smaller, safer and more productive.

On a commercial level, when you know who your customers are, you can stop propositioning strangers and get down to the serious work of satisfying the needs and wants of those you know. A light goes on and you are no longer stumbling in the dark.

The digital light also transforms medicine. Alert readers have heard about the push to swab, to light up the truth of your DNA by swabbing your cheek and registering for a database. Painless and fast. Not merely on behalf of one person, but for everyone.

Bone marrow transplants are misnamed--they should be called bone marrow transfusions, because most of the time, that's exactly what they are. No organs, no surgery, little discomfort. The most difficult part is registering, the shedding of light, sharing information about yourself.

It's hard for me to remember how disconnected the world was 25 years ago when I started out on my own. It really was a dark ages--information, people, relationships--finding just about anything was most of the work. The world is lighting up, and just in time.

Happy Diwali.

Buying earned media

The term has been around since 1988, but it's not truly understood by many.

You can't buy earned media.

It doesn't arrive on schedule.

Earned media isn't free media, because the amount of time and energy and risk you have to expend to get it is hardly free.

It's like all the other things we earn. It is worth more precisely because you cannot simply command it to comply.

[An aside: throughout the history of advertising, ad agencies have rarely, if ever, bought ads for themselves. Worth noting that firms that would seek to help you generate earned media are much better at taking their own advice.]

Form and function

When the form changes, so does the underlying business model, which of course changes the function as well.

Mail ---> email

Books ---> ebooks

DVD ---> YouTube/Netflix

1040 ---> Online taxes

Visa ---> Paypal

Open outcry ---> Electronic trading

Voice call centers ---> forums and online chat

Direct mail ---> permission marketing

In each case, the original players in the legacy industry decided that the new form could be bolted onto their existing business model. And in each case they were wrong. Speed and marginal cost and ubiquity and a dozen other elements of digitalness changed the interaction itself, and so the function changes too.

The question that gets asked about technology, the one that is almost always precisely the wrong question is, "How does this advance help our business?"

The correct question is, "how does this advance undermine our business model and require us/enable us to build a new one?"

There are projects that are possible with ebooks or Kickstarter or email that could never have worked in an analog universe. Most of the money made in the stock market today is via trading approaches that didn't even exist thirty years ago.

When a change in form comes to your industry, the first thing to discover is how it will change the function.

« September 2011 | Main | November 2011 »