10 Solid Business Lessons from Marketing Genius Seth Godin
There may have never been a better business book title than “All Marketers are Liars”.
Author Seth Godin is the reason I studied marketing as an undergrad, and is directly responsible for changing the way marketing is perceived today. To say he’s an innovator is an understatement. He’s the Steve Jobs of marketing and a trusted name in the midst of all the “gurus” out there.
1. The only thing worse than starting something and failing…is Never Starting
Failure is always an option. If you read every successful entrepreneur’s story, a majority of them started a business and experienced failure at some point. However, these entrepreneurs were brave enough to pick up all the little pieces and do their best to turn things around.
It’s better to try and fail than not to have tried at all.
2. There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them
Humans are naturally gifted and every second, new business ideas are formed - the ability to think is definitely not a problem.
The biggest challenge of all is willpower. Without the latter, business ideas and goals will never become a reality. It’s hard to consistently have the will to act because entrepreneurship is a scary place, but you should overcome this fear to become successful.
3. You have to go where the other guys can’t
If you try to fit in and go where the flow goes, you will never taste sweet victory. Oftentimes, starting a business that is unique and out-of-the-ordinary will yield greater results.
Be different, take the road where other entrepreneurs won’t dare to venture and only then will you realize how rewarding it is to have gone to the road less traveled.
Godin explains, “The key to success is to find a way to stand out, to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome holsteins.” After hearing about the purple cow concept, I knew being a little different is the right way to become extraordinary.
4. Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making Progress
There’s no perfect timing when it comes to starting a new business. As long as you’ve done your part by studying your chosen industry closely, there’s no point in waiting and prolonging things.
Before someone takes action on your idea, there is no reason to wait for the perfect time. It simply doesn’t exist.
5. Playing safe is very Risky
The business industry is no place for the weak and fearful. Remaining in your comfort zone will never get you anywhere.
If you truly want to succeed, you have to take risks. Sometimes bigger risks than others. Sure you can fail, but you also have to remember that there’s also a huge possibility of success. Taking risks isn’t the same as taking unnecessary risks. But you’ll never move forward without putting yourself out there and taking a chance.
6. Vulnerability is to be Expected
In the world of business, only those who are willing and courageous enough to expose themselves can share their innovations with others.
Sometimes, being transparent in business is quite difficult because you always want to protect your business, but this is the only way to share your products or services and gain loyal customers.
7. You don’t need more time in your day - you just need to Decide
Part of business is making a lot of decisions; the earlier you are able to make up your mind, the better. Sometimes we feel stuck. What’s the right answer? What do we do next? What if I make the wrong decision?
But more time isn’t the answer. Create swift but well-informed decisions and keep moving forward. Don’t get sucked into an endless loop of indecision.
8. A tattoo is a forever decision, but most of your decision are not
If you made a wrong decision and it didn’t turn out like you wanted it to be, don’t stress out. You can always find a solution and make new decisions.
Decisions are just temporary and while making the wrong choices will hurt you a little, it likely won’t kill you or your business. Sometimes it takes a lot of minor mistakes to get to where you want to be. Pivot if necessary, but don’t freak out over the small stuff.
9. Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity
Change is often viewed by entrepreneurs as their enemy and not a challenge that can help them become better. Nothing is constant in business and if you’re threatened by change, you will always feel like running for your life.
Change should never be something you should avoid. It should actually be confronted and embraced. You have to take advantage of it because it will make you a better entrepreneur.
10. Doubt is a Killer
Second-guessing yourself all the time will not allow you to grow and improve as an entrepreneur. If you’ve done the necessary preparations, it’s time to execute your plans and launch your startup.
The only cure of doubt is mind-conditioning. Nobody can help you except yourself. To be successful, you have to be very firm and have confidence in your decisions. It’s easy to say and hard in execution, but once you’ve overcome this level of self-doubt you’ll open doors you never knew were possibilities.
From Mediocrity to Greatness
Seth Godin’s business lessons are very simple and easy-to-understand, they can even be applied to life in general. However, we often neglect or fail to apply them in our daily lives.
The world is filled with negativity and most of us are affected by this. As a result, we settle for mediocrity, give up or never try in the first place. In the words of Seth Godin, “How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be great.”