It was great to see you this week at The Art of Marketing event in Chicago. You’re not only kind with the audience, but you’re kind with your time and it’s always a pleasure to both see you speak live (I tweeted out that, "I could watch Seth Godin speak a million times and never tire") and to spend time hanging out socially and just catching up. I’m not sure if I ever told you this, but I consider you a mentor (don’t worry, no additional time or work required on your side of things).
I was first introduced to your work just prior to the launch of Permission Marketing (still, one of the best marketing books out there). At the time, you were giving a speech at one of the early Internet conferences (it could have been Internet World or a Jupiter Advertising Forum event in New York City, I can’t remember). After watching you speak, I remember saying to myself, "I think he just said that marketing should be everything that I thought marketing should be." From there, I read your book, Survival Is Not Enough (I still think it’s one of the best – and must underrated – business books out there). After that, the floodgates just opened up for me. I have read every single book that you have published. I often gift them to friends and colleagues.
I was trying to think of why you have had such an immense impact on me and it struck me like a bolt of lighting: you are a true incompatible. You see things your way and explain them in a very simple way that speaks less to what a business can do to manipulate someone to buy something, but much more from the standpoint of what is right and true. Along with that, I appreciate the fact that you don’t just talk, posture and/or offer punditry, but that you actually live your words and ship projects. While I’ve never been a big Squidoo user, I read, promoted and still talk about each and every book you self-published on The Domino Project. As someone who spent over a decade in the music industry, I loved The Domino Project because it was like my favorite artist signing and releasing their favorite artists’ music. It was (and still is) very exciting to me (I’m about to read Do The Work by Steven Pressfield for the umpteenth time).
Thank you, Seth. You have both helped me shape my thinking about marketing, business and leadership, but – more importantly – you’ve set a high benchmark for bringing integrity, creativity, originality and art into everything that I do. When people ask me what the best business book is for them to start thinking more progressively, I don’t hesitate: it’s Linchpin. I also want to thank you for being brave. Every so often, the online discourse about why you don’t have comments on your blog pops up (it actually happened while we were having lunch during The Art of Marketing!). For the record, I’m glad that you don’t have comments. Why? Because I’m just thankful to get a slice of your thinking several times a week (for free, no less!) while I wait (with bated breath) for your next book to come out. Before blogging, I’d sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for your next book.
Lastly, I don’t think I would have ever pursued public speaking without being so inspired by your presentation style (that includes everything from the mechanics of how you build your slides and work the stage to the way you tell stories, make people laugh and create a very human moment of true connections. There’s a reason so many people consider you one of the best public speakers (and yes, I’m raising my hand on that one too).
I hope this note finds you well and that you keep on keeping on. I’ll be here following, reading, doing and waiting for whatever it is that you’re going to do next.
I was very moved by the book, Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon. Especially the section titled, Write Fan Letters. The truth is that I used to always write a note to the author of the book that I had just finished. I guess I got too busy (or read to many books or became lazy) to keep at it. In Kleon’s book, he recommends writing a public fan letter and ends the section by saying: "The most important thing is that you show your appreciation without expecting anything in return, and that you get new work out of the appreciation." It’s a beautiful concept. With your permission, I’ll be using this space from time to time to write these kinds of letters. Welcome to Project: Public Fan Letter. Feel free to do a few of them yourself.