CNLP 395: Seth Godin Shares His Secrets Behind Creative Work, Top Tips for Communicators and How He Learned to Think the Way He Thinks

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Legendary marketing expert Seth Godin explains how he learned to think the way he thinks, shares top tips for communicators (and why peeves make bad pets), and why he continues to travel to Algonquin Park in Canada every year to teach kids how to paddle a canoe solo.

Welcome to Episode 395 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about why content alone won’t generate future growth for your church or organization.

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Seth’s website

Akimbo—A Podcast from Seth Godin


The Marketing Seminar

The tumblehome

Linchpin by Seth Godin

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

The Practice by Seth Godin

All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin

The Dip by Seth Godin

Tribes by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

The New Scarcity: Why Content Alone Won’t Generate Future Growth for Your Church or Organization by Carey Nieuwhof

Carey’s favorite podcast interviews with Seth:

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


1. If you want to say or write meaningful things, slow down, organize your thoughts and then communicate

A lot of people would say that Seth’s masterful ability to speak and write is a gift. He disagrees. Anyone’s ability to speak or communicate well is a skill they’ve developed, not a gift they were given. Seth learned to develop his skill by slowing down, organizing his thoughts, communicating well and then speeding back up as he improved his skill.

2. As a communicator, look for stories everywhere

If you follow Seth, you know that he seems to have a never-ending well of stories through which he communicates. He has a simple 2-part hack that enables him to continue finding new stories to tell every day.

Part 1: If you see anything in the world that you don’t understand, don’t move on until you have a thesis of how it works. Learn the story of how it works.
Part 2: Ask yourself, “Is this a story that I can tell somebody in the future?”

If you want to teach people anything, use this method to gather more stories.

3. “Do what you love” is for amateurs, “Love what you do” is a mantra for professionals

When you live with the mantra that you need to “do what you love,” that says that the world owes you its attention and support, and that you just need to be aware of your feelings enough to plot a course before you engage with it. This almost always leads to disappointment.

Instead, you can choose to keep the mantra of “I will love what I do,” and decide to practice and commit to loving your craft then, by definition, you will always be doing something you love.

Quotes from Episode 395

If people are on the journey with you, you are leading. If they are doing what you say, they are complying. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet ‘Do what you love’ is for amateurs. 'Love what you do’ is the mantra for professionals. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet If you see something in the world and you don't understand how it works, do not move on until you figure out how it works. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet Our fear is nothing compared to the boredom of 1,000 people. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet Walking through the world with wonder is different than walking through the world completely befuddled. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet What it means to be a creative is to solve an interesting problem in a new way that benefits people around you. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet If you have a story to tell and a change you want to make, then what are you waiting for? @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet What people are looking for is confidence and connection. They want to hear confidence from you, they want to have confidence in themselves, and they want connection with their community. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet Don't steal the revelation. You want the recipient of your teaching to figure out the last step on their own because that burns it into our brain. This is the difference between education and learning. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet We don't need to worry so much about whether the status quo thinks we're doing it right. We need to worry about whether we're touching somebody and making them better. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet We live in a digital world where people can hit rewind. I would rather have them hit rewind than have them hit fast forward. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet What happens when you're paddling a canoe is the paddle stays still and the boat moves forward, and that metaphor really helps us capture the world that we live in. @ThisIsSethsBlog Click To Tweet Quantity can sometimes lead to quality. Click To Tweet What used to be valuable, isn't. Scarcity creates value. Click To Tweet Fundamentally, value is about perception. If people perceive value, they're happy to pay for it or line up for it and if they don't, they won't. Click To Tweet Content is everywhere, but community and connection are very scarce. Click To Tweet The goal of content isn't consumption, it's community and connection. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 395

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Next Episode: David Salyers

David Salyers started the marketing department at Chick-fil-A when he was 21-years-old. He explains how he discovered that sales were as controllable as costs, how Chick-fil-A adds value to customers and suppliers, how to add value that produces 10x results, and how to create a job you don’t want to retire from.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 396.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.