Acclaimed speaker, blogger, and author of 18 books, many of which have been international bestsellers, Seth Godin is a globally recognized thought leader on multiple topics and the founder of both Yoyodyne and Squidoo. Born in Mount Vernon, NY in 1960, Godin studied computer science and philosophy at Tufts before receiving an MBA in marketing from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
He worked briefly as a manager for Spinnaker software before leaving to found Seth Godin Productions in 1986. Soon after, he met Mark Hurst and the two co-founded Yoyodyne – and internet-based direct marketer – which was acquired by Yahoo! in 1998. Godin went on to found Squidoo in 2006, a community website which allows users to create pages for subjects of interest.
In addition to his business endeavors, Godin is perhaps most well known for his prolific writing career. His Blog is one of the most followed on the planet, and many of his books have become international bestsellers. The Dip (2007) made both Business Week and New York Times bestseller lists, Free Prize Inside!: The Next Big Marketing Idea (2004) was Forbes Magazine’s Business Book of the Year.
Here are some of Godin’s most compelling thoughts on creativity and entrepreneurship:
1. The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.
2. Credit isn’t the point. Change is.
3. How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable.
4. Soon is not as good as now.
5. The habit of doing more than is necessary can only be earned through practice.
6. You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.
7. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.
8. Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.
9. If you can’t state your position in eight words, you don’t have a position.
10. An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.
11. If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.
12. Here’s the truth you have to wrestle with: the reason that art (writing, engaging, leading, all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map. Don’t you hate that? I love that there’s no map.
13. Perhaps your challenge isn’t finding a better project or a better boss. Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.
14. Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.
15. Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.
16. The tragedy is that society (your school, your boss, your government, your family) keeps drumming the genius part out. The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.
17. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Godin made further waves in 2012 when he launched the Kickstarter campaign for The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art? – when, in just under 3 hours, the campaign was fully funded and went on to raise more than a quarter of a million dollars in the first week. His newest book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn is already climbing the bestseller charts.