An Ode to Seth Godin: Or, What Do You Want From Me?

20 Jan

If you talk to me for ten minutes any time between the hours of 7: 30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, I guarantee I will bring up Seth Godin at least once. I can’t help it.

I’ve bought and read his books. I cling to each blog post. I covet his action figure. I even walked my own talk and emailed him last month. (He wrote back, utterly generous in the face of me telling him he has changed my life.)

He’s my guru. So I consider his philosophies. I think about what he would do in x, y, z situation. I’m all, What Would Seth Godin Do? And I mean it.

When I read the following list in Brainwashed: 7 Ways to Reinvent Yourself (one of many of his amazing, free e-books), I was immediately inspired to think differently about this blog.

According to Godin, there are seven levers available for anyone in search of reinvention:

  1. Connect
  2. Be generous
  3. Make art
  4. Acknowledge the lizard
  5. Ship
  6. Fail
  7. Learn

If this list means nothing, that’s OK. If you want to understand, read the 14-page e-book I’m referencing, or Linchpin. Or don’t, it doesn’t matter. Here is the most important part:

I want to be candid with you, I want to connect and be generous and make my art, however profanity-laden and blunt that may be sometimes. Once upon a time, in another reincarnation online, I did that. For four years, I felt safe enough, and then I spent one year feeling unsafe and so I quit.

But that doesn’t mean I ever stopped wanting to connect with you, and it doesn’t mean I don’t miss it sometimes. I didn’t lose my voice — not exactly — but I lost the outlet, the channel I used to reach you and to hear you reaching back. I cut the phone lines, and we stopped talking, and I stopped shipping, and failing, and learning, and now that I’m here again it just feels stilted, stunted by all I’m not saying and not doing and holding back.

That’s not art. That’s not anyone’s art, and it’s certainly not mine. I feel it. And I know you can feel it, too.

So, listen. I want to give more than I take. I know that’s surprising to some people. I don’t care.

So level with me, truly: what do you want from me? If you could come to Blue Truck Book Reviews and see exactly what you wanted, what would that be?

I’m not asking what you look for in a book blog – I’m asking what you look for in my book blog.

Be honest with me. I’m acknowledging the lizard. I really want to know.

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6 Responses to “An Ode to Seth Godin: Or, What Do You Want From Me?”

  1. Camille January 20, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Maybe I’m biased, but I already feel like you give way more than you take, and I love your blog just the way it is. Tell me what you feel you’re holding back and maybe I could be more helpful.

    I’ve also resolved to stop thinking ‘that guy sounds cool, I should check him out’ every time you mention your guru. Going to download the eBook right now.

    p.s.—SQUEE! I just noticed you’re reading Notes from a Coma! Can’t wait to read that post. 😉

  2. tysdaddy January 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Hmm… I don’t get over near as much as I should. Just subscribed to remedy that. As for what I want? From you?

    You.

    Your insights. What grabs you. Moves you. Pisses you off. Makes you blush with anger. Those sorts of things.

    As for Godin? Is he the one that wrote Trust Agents?

    • Sarah January 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      Oh, Brian, thank you for your comment. I’m honestly touched. In the good, non-creepy way.

      As for Trust Agents, that was Chris Brogan.

  3. Kathryn (@Kat1124) January 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    So, I love your book reviews, and I loved your old blog where you wrote. I guess if I had to say “change anything”, I’d say write again. Not just book reviews, Sarah writing.

    But it doesn’t matter because whatever you write, I’ll be here reading it.

  4. Fran January 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Honestly I don’t think Seth wants you to worry about what I want. I think what you’re offering is outstanding already. I’m glad you “unveiled” in the Twitter environ. What I’ve always loved about you is … you. Your passion and your ability to express that passion is your art. I consider myself blessed knowing that when the lizard’s voice compelled you to take “May I Be Blunt” underground I’d already latched onto you and we stayed connected.

    You generously give of your opinion with an understanding and tacit acceptance that not all will agree (i.e. you could “fail” or be laughed at). I think you’re on the right track. And now that you’ve compelled me to read Brainwashed, I’m compelled to go e-mail Seth. See how you’ve influence me? I love being a member of your tribe.

  5. Sarah January 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Kathryn and Fran, thanks for your incredibly kind comments. I’m working on something right now that will be more Me. I don’t want to give up on Blue Truck Book Reviews, because it’s fun, but it’s still a work in progress. Thanks for your feedback!

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