What Seth Godin Taught me about Success

What Seth Godin Taught me about Success

It has been a year since I began the journey of starting a podcast. This happened mainly because I had an itch that I needed to scratch and the fact that my wife has been telling to start a podcast for years. When I started the Podcast, I had three guests in mind that I really wanted to have on my show: Gary Veynerchuck, (still working on getting our schedules to line up, but I believe it will happen soon) Hulk Hogan (I’ll explain why one day), and Seth Godin.
In the past year since I have launched Making Elephants Fly | Conversations with High-Octane Leaders, Dreamers, & Creatives almost everyone I have asked to be on has said yes, and said it right away. I’ve had a pretty exciting line-up of New York Times best-selling authors, creative leaders from companies like Disney, Yahoo, Marriott, Porsche, and Cirque du Soleil, and great friends doing amazing things. Past guests include Jeff Goins, McNair Wilson, Tim Sanders, Lee Cockrell, and John Acuff. You can listen to the show and subscribe here.
Recently, I reached out to Seth to be a guest on an upcoming episode. Here are few things I learned by the entire process leading up to having Seth on the show:

Be Available

I know that our time is valuable, but people are more valuable. At the end of the day, the only reason people are going to care about the awesome content you create, the product you want people to buy, or the great work your organization is doing is if they know you care. You could be creating the most epic content, but if you aren’t available to your audience, it doesn’t matter. I understand that time is limited, but an investment in others is the best investment you can do with your time.
In my quest of scheduling guests for my podcast, I received this from someone’s publicist: “Unfortunately, ________’s schedule is completely booked for the next few months with his book launch, and travel for launch events and speaking engagements.” Strangely enough, this person has built a seven-figure business by teaching people how to have influence online. Let me be transparent here: No one, I mean NO ONE, is that busy. It honestly scares me that people are taking his advice on having influence. Be really available to those that want to help spread your message and promote your products (for free).
So instead of replying with an angry rant email, I decide to do something productive instead. The night I emailed Seth Godin before I went to bed and asked about doing an interview thinking I would hear back within a few days. I should have known better because every time I have emailed Seth, I get a response the same day. Well, sure enough, twelve hours later, I received an email back setting up an interview for the following Tuesday.

Tear Down the Layers.

As excited as Donald Trump is about building walls, smart leaders are tearing them down. Be accessible. If you can answer a question, answer it… don’t be a jerk about it. You don’t need to hide behind assistants and publicists. Sure leverage professionals to do the work they are great at but don’t be so hard to reach when people want to connect with you. Seth and I both have phones with calendars on them and in one email could both figure out that we could make a specific time work. Getting two other people in the loop would have just added confusion, not effectiveness.
The guru’s on the Internet want us to believe that success is about having people. I believe success is about helping people. As the late Zig Ziglar reminded us, “He climbs highest who helps another up.”

Say Yes, and be a Human.

I am not naïve enough to believe that Seth can say yes to every request he receives but I suggest you take some of the best advice that I received on being a great leader from Andy Stanley, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” Life is too short to look at every opportunity as a ladder for you to climb to get to the next destination and every person as a step stool for you to stand on to get there.
Seth sells more books in a day than I will probably ever sell in a lifetime. He doesn’t need to grow his platform, but he understands that best path to success is to talk to those that are willing to listen. Seth didn’t try to sell or pitch anything on my podcast, but I walked away sold on him for sure.

Just give; it Works.

Generosity works. As my friend Tim Sanders taught us in his book, Love is the Killer App, “Nice, smart people succeed.” I’ve only had an hour-long conversation with Seth and a few emails over the years, but I can tell you this: Seth wins because he is generous.
No doubt, Seth is a brilliant writer, eloquent speaker, and wearer of amazing socks and cool glasses but what makes him one of the greatest is that he understands that platforms aren’t worth having unless they are a tool to lift up others.
Instead of spending an hour letting me ask him questions; Seth could have chosen to talk with someone with a lot larger reach, but there is no way that he could have made a larger impact on anyone than he did on me. I don’t want to spoil the show when it releases, but I can tell you this Seth’s response at the end of the show when I ask him what my listeners can do for him blew me away.
You can hear Seth on Episode 019 of the Making Elephants Fly Podcast so be sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss future episodes. You can subscribe via RSS, iTunes, Google Play Music, or Stitcher.

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