I Interviewed Seth Godin: “My Failures Are As Important As My Successes”

I have a real treat for you today. As I start up the new foundation to give grants and resources to ParentPreneurs, I’m featuring remarkable people on the blog.

There are not many people more remarkable than Seth Godin!

A little back story before I get to the interview with Seth. A few years ago I got an email from Seth Godin when he was on my business website and it wasn’t working properly. When the email came thru I pinged him back and I was like, wait, is this THEE Seth Godin?

He was like, “Yep, it’s me.” Needless to say I was completely embarrassed. Seth was gracious then and he is gracious today by agreeing to answer five questions to inspire you guys in life and in your business.

Below are Seth’s answers along with my occasional $.02.

I Interviewed Seth Godin: "My Failures Are As Important As My Successes" #ParentPreneur Click To Tweet

1. What is the most common marketing mistake you see solopreneurs make? 

“Marketing isn’t advertising, it’s the story we tell, the people we serve, the things we make. And the biggest mistake is doing what you think is easy or personally interesting, instead of making something that people need, want and choose to talk about. Get that choice right and suddenly so many other things get easier.”

2. What mistakes have you made on your entrepreneurial journey that you wish you could do over?

I don’t want to do anything over, because my failures are at least as important as my successes. My failures taught me what I know and enabled me to do what I do. My failures have cost me more than a billion dollars, but that’s okay, because they were all part of the journey.

I think what I’m trying to teach others is a mix of marketing (see above), resilience, patience, empathy, and the desire to make things just a little better

Wait, he said billion. With a B. All of this answer is so inspiring.

3. As it relates to your business and your brand, what keeps you up at night? How are you handling those challenges? 

Without a doubt, my biggest misses are the things I didn’t do, the opportunities I walked away from, the chances to help that I avoided. And while I spend much of my time on optimizing and building things like akimbo and the altMBA, I reserve my best worrying for the things I’m not doing or not seeing.

For me, this is where Seth’s humanity really shines through.

4. May is mental health awareness month, and in my experience so many entrepreneurs struggle with depression. Can you please share what you do to maintain excellent mental health? 

“If you think you’re dealing with depression, go get a therapist. If the therapist isn’t helping, get another one. People don’t hesitate to go to the dentist for a toothache, and there’s no shame, none, in getting help. If you’re simply dealing with frustration or ennui, my instinct is to ask, “who can I help?” and go do that.”

I 100% agree with Seth. Get help. And here’s a great mental health video series on Brad Feld’s blog presented by global startup accelerator, Techstars.

5. What is the best advice you ever received?  

“Advice without enrollment is pretty worthless. Search engines now offer infinite amounts of advice. The hard part is deciding to shift, to listen, to open up to possibility.

Love this.

Seth thinks entrepreneurs need to do three things to move forward during Covid-19:

1. Embrace change.
2. Find your minimum viable audience.
3. Forget authenticity and just be human.

To learn more about these three points, check out this Inc. article.

Thank you, Seth, for stopping by and inspiring the TrepLifeDad community today!

P.S., If you’re a ParentPreneur and want a chance to get grants and other resources to help make your life easier, head over to the ParentPreneurFoundation.org to get notified with updates.

I Interviewed Seth Godin: "My Failures Are As Important As My Successes" #ParentPreneur Click To Tweet

Feature image credit: Steve Jurvetson


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