4 Things Seth Godin Taught Me About Making A Ruckus

How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?
— Seth Godin


Imagine you had the opportunity to attend a private seminar led by your personal hero. You are one of only 80 people to be invited, but the ticket isn't exactly cheap. What do you do?

Easy: You go. And then you tell everyone else what you learned.

Last weekend, I had a chance to meet legendary marketer and author Seth Godin. The seminar was called Ruckusmakers. Even though my head is still spinning, I'm going to attempt to give you my four biggest takeaways from the event for free.

I'll use examples from coaching, because it's what I know, but these are million-dollar insights for anyone who wants to make a difference with their work.

Let's dive in...

1. There Are No More Careers, Just Projects

Before the connection economy, we had careers. Careers were linear, continuous, and safe. The rewards went to people who stuck it out long enough to receive a pension.

Now all we have is a string of projects. Projects are non-linear, finite, and risky. The rewards go to people who are proactive.

Those of us who cling to careers will lose. Those who embrace projects will win. We get to decide.

When I started off as a coach, I didn't do a good job defining the scope of my engagements. I would just work with people session to session on whatever they needed from me in that moment. Now I only work with people who have (or are willing to co-create) a big, bold, 6-12 month project with a specific outcome.

2. Figure out the Hard Part First

Before we begin any project, we need to ask ourselves one question: "What's the hard part?". Then we need to verify that assumption with someone who has already done it. Because the part we think is the hard part might actually be the easy part.

Most new coaches come into the profession thinking that coaching is the hard part. It's not. The hard part of coaching is getting great clients.

If you know that ahead of time, you can ask yourself the next question: "Do I want to sign up for a job where the people who succeed are good at sales and marketing?"

Everything worth doing gets brutally hard at some point. This is what Seth calls "The Dip". We each have to decide upfront which dips are exciting and worthwhile for us.

3. "People like Us Do Things like This"

In his classic book "Tribes", Seth talks about the power of group affiliation.

Most of the decisions we make each day are influenced by a desire to stay in good standing with our chosen tribe. To be respected by that circle. To belong.

If the worldview of someone you want to change is "people like us don't do things like this", you have set yourself up for failure. Or at the very least an uphill battle. You don't want to be in the business of convincing people that they want what you have.

Most coaches spend a lot of time doing this (I know I have). But there's an alternative.

The alternative is to find a group of people who are open to the idea that "people like us do things like hire a coach". That's why the majority of successful coaches work with either executives, business owners, or other coaches. These people are already used to investing in themselves or their businesses.

4. It's Not about Talent, It's about the Ability to See

People who change the world aren't necessarily the one's with the most talent. They aren't even the one's that practice the most. The people who change the world have the ability to see what other people don't.

The connection economy isn't driven by talent the way the industrial economy was. Today, people with talent are almost always replaceable. What we value now is the bravery needed to develop a unique perspective and then to act on it.

Steve Jobs said, "No, this isn't good enough" to his employees so many times that he eventually created something remarkable.

According to Seth, 80% of coaching works because the coach says "I see you". And the client feels seen. My primary job as a coach is to see the untapped potential in my clients, show it to them, and never let them un-see it.

Ready to make a ruckus? If so, I want to hear from you. Send me an email at greg@gregfaxon.com or leave a comment below and tell me about your project.