July 10 th


Live with Seth Godin: Lessons for Everyone, from a Marketing Genius


I had the good fortune to see Seth Godin live in Seattle on June 24. Seth’s particular genius is marketing, which really just means communication about goods and services that provide value. But if you have been following his work, you know that his ideas and wisdom are not just for entrepreneurs. They are for everyone.

A master marketer and serial entrepreneur, Seth’s goal is to “fail more than anyone else” which has rewarded him with numerous successes and earned him permission to talk to lots of people.

He has written more than a dozen best-selling books and writes one of the most widely read blogs on the internet. According to his official bio: “he writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.”

He is a prophet in this new economy and his ideas are game-changers for anyone willing to listen, think critically, and take action.

Seth did not disappoint on Friday. He began by asking: “How Dare You Waste This Revolution?” and his challenge was: “What are you going to do?” He reminded us that we are facing the opportunity of a lifetime. That revolutions like this don’t come around often. Seth has been chronicling the current revolution and he packed his opening with examples.

Here are 10 of my take-aways from his talk:

  1. When you see an opportunity, move forward. It’s not about getting it right. People will criticize your ideas.
  2. Everyone is in the project business now.
  3. The goal used to be to own a factory because factories were scarce. Factories are no longer scarce. The new model is about capturing attention. Attention is scarce now. Attention is precious. You need to earn the privilege to talk to people. It’s called permission marketing. Organize a tribe that needs to connect and create content for that tribe.
  4. This revolution is aboutsilly gimmicks and telling stories. They will resonate with some people but not all.
  5. Marketing is having a great product. The question is: Would you miss them if they disappeared tomorrow?
  6. When a revolution occurs, there is no map. The people profiting are making maps. And making maps means you will be wrong. You need to be okay with being wrong. A linchpin is a map maker. This is the one we’ll miss when they’re gone.
  7. If failure is not an option, then success is not an option.
  8. Art is when someone solves a problem in an interesting way. Artists are busy doing the work. Artists give gifts not transactions. Gifts bring people closer together. The internet makes it easy to give gifts. Be generous. Advance the conversation. Everyone has the ability to be an artist. How dare you write anyone off?
  9. If you’re focused on scarcity, you can’t be focused on abundance. “My boss won’t let me …” is scarcity. Take more responsibility. Be an artist who creates abundance.
  10. Work is a blessing. How can you make work a blessing?

After his talk, Seth took questions for close to two hours. Here are some nuggets from the Q&A session:

  • Build products people want. Understand what your audience wants to buy. What is their worldview?
  • The first thing change agents need to do is align the worldviews.
  • Give kids interesting problems to solve. The goal is not conformity or memorization. Teach kids to be kind, tell the truth, solve interesting problems, and skip television.
  • About the amygdala, the lizard brain, Seth says: “I do the opposite of what the voice of resistance tells me. I use it as a compass. I listen to it and get to know it.”
  • Being an imitation is the product of fear. Make the thing you’re the best at small enough that you can be the best at it.  
  • Figure out how to be an impresario. The internet is not about getting picked. Pick yourself.
  • About Seth’s personal style/habits:

◊ I write like I talk.
I go to work regularly, every day. I don’t wait for lightening to strike.
I don’t let the criticism bother me.
I invite people into projects.

  •  About social media, the question to ask is: “Am I using the noise to hide?” The blackberry is designed for the lizard brain which is constantly asking “is everything okay?” Needtime for my own creative work. Breakthrough work does not happen on a Blackberry.
Rachel, Seth, me and Loralee

Rachel, Seth, me and Loralee

So, why am I sharing this? Because Seth Godin totally inspires me. And because I love taking notes and sharing my learning. If any of his wisdom inspires you and moves you to take ACTION, please share below. I’d love to hear about your next step.

For my part, I have been on the verge of starting my blog for months and Seth’s talk finally pushed me over the edge. I have dozens of partially complete blog posts sitting on my computer. Why? Because my lizard brain has been filled with fear and indecision.

For some people blogging is an effortless affair. For me, getting started has been like moving a mountain.

But I was so moved after Seth’s talk that I wanted to collect my notes and share my take-aways. So, welcome to my first official blog post.

Take action. Be of service. Make mistakes. I am doing my work. One step at a time.

I invite you to take action nowWhat nugget will YOU take action on this week Share your next step below.  

Categories : Marketing


  1. pat novak says:

    Great post! You really captured some key points for those of us not able to attend. ” Take more responsibility. Be an artist who creates abundance.”

    What a great quote from Seth Godin. I will be saving this article. Thank you!

  2. Sounds like it was an awesome talk and well done on getting your blog up and running. I think it looks fabulous and the momentum is going to build.

    Thanks for sharing the talk and your takeaways with us.

  3. Fawn says:

    Laurie, so many gems here!

    “Take action. Be of service. Make mistakes.”: My #1 strength is action, I am firing up my design business so that I can serve the world and I need to move into making mistakes!

    “If you’re focused on scarcity, you can’t be focused on abundance. “My boss won’t let me …” is scarcity. Take more responsibility. Be an artist who creates abundance.”: Very present for me right now. With a pending divorce and move, a special needs child, a “normal” child who seems to be more work than the one with special needs, and having a job I love so much that I am going out on my own so that I can do more….I really don’t have the luxury of letting fear get in my way by focusing on scarcity. I used to live in scarcity mentality, I’ve learned my way out of it and LOVE it. I love knowing there’s enough for everyone, that there really is no competition because we can’t and don’t want to serve everyone. However, when faced with fundamental life challenges, I can easily go back to the old thinking.

    Well done! I’m going to go check Seth’s schedule now and see when he’ll be in Boston. 🙂

  4. Jana Martin says:


    Really enjoyed reading your post. I’ve just recently gotten hooked on Seth, his blog and books. It sounds like an amazing opportunity.

  5. Jenn Burton says:

    Laurie, I love that you shared all of this. Your enthusiasm about Seth is contagious. I too struggle with my reptile brain. So I have to say thank you for sharing his wisdom. Your website is Beautiful!!!! Hugs!

    • Hi Jenn, thanks so much for your kind feedback! I am so glad you enjoyed the post and my site. I find Seth to be contagious! His is one of the few blogs I read every day. So inspiring. He walks his talk. I really appreciate your commenting. Sending hugs right back to you!!

  6. Mindy says:

    Congratulations on diving in to blogging! This is great content, too. I wasn’t familiar with Seth before this, but his words resonate with me. I especially like your first take-away. If I wait until every detail is right, nothing will happen. Projects of any sort need to be enacted and in a constant state of revision. Some people will always focus on what’s wrong (which, while painful, can be helpful) but we can’t let them keep us from moving ahead. Thanks again, Laurie, for sharing this!

    • Thanks Mindy. I appreciate your popping over to see this. You have been a great model for me for blogging! You just jumped right in! Congrats! Although the fear Seth talks about can come in many flavors, mine comes in the form of perfectionism. In fact several people caught a few typos in here and I laughed as I corrected them. 🙂 That perfectionist mindset fueled by the lizard brain can really keep us from moving ahead. Glad you can relate and glad to see that we’re both moving forward anyway.

  7. Kathleen says:

    LOVE this post, Laurie! Oooooooo what I would GIVE to have been in that audience. So THANK YOU for showing up and sharing the lovewisdom this man embodies. Especially in THIS moment, I too am in the fires of creation and because this forum is new to me as well, there have been outrageous fears and doubts which have threatened stop the whole show. So I need the Seth Godins and the Marie Forleos and the Steven Pressfields to inform me that this is in fact the lay of the land. Resistance and fear point to the accurate direction! not the other way around, which our thoughts would have us think.

    So, Bravo, Laurie! Congratulations on a post well-written. I value the info deeply.

    • Kathleen, I am SO glad this post resonated for you. I love Seth, Marie and Steven too and am glad we have the benefit of their example and wisdom! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Means a lot to me. Wishing you a day filled with abundance!

  8. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for the summary of that event! I bet it was fascinating. He is such an interesting guy with amazing perspective. I agree that it’s a revolution and I hate to see people wasting it – that’s why I try to help people take advantage! Great article, Laurie.

  9. I have heard about Seth’s work for a while but only just begun to look into it. I am blown away by all he does and his words. I loved your post and all you learnt as it has inspired me to question my lizard brain… thanks for your insights.

    • Claire, thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and that you’ve been checking out Seth’s work as well. Lately, I am aware of how sneaky my lizard brain is. Its messages are often subtle but they appear everywhere. I think Seth is brilliant when he suggests using it as a compass. It’s a great guide if we are willing to listen. Wishing you all the best in questioning your lizard brain. Thanks again for stopping by.

  10. Laurie,

    Congrats on stepping out with your blog. And thanks for the great post. Love Seth, always offering the perfect reality check! Be Well!

  11. Brandy says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Congrats on putting yourself out there…typos & all 🙂

    I very much enjoyed this post–thanks for sharing your experience. Next step? Instinctively, to print out this post & post at work…so I can have a direct knocking on my door of consciousness while there–collaborating, & widening my frame to include the blessing that it is.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Brandy, thanks for reading and enjoying this post, and for sharing your next step. Printing it and posting it to keep these nuggets top of mind at work is a great idea! A blessing? Wow, thank you. That means a lot. 🙂

  12. Helen Herman says:

    I have long followed Seth and his particular brand of marketing brilliance. Your blog post is fabulous and definitely captures the essence of what Seth speaks about time and again! So glad (and slightly envious) you were able to see/meet him in person. Awesome post, Laurie- please keep it up! 🙂

    • Hi Helen, thanks for visiting. Yes, he’s brilliant and it was fun to see him live. Wish you could have been here too. Thanks for your encouragement. Even in the midst of updating my website, I intend to keep on blogging. Getting started may have been the hardest part (at least I am hoping so)! 🙂

  13. Sabine says:

    Hi Laurie,
    I’m joining the party a little late, but just found your blog because your facebook page fascinated me! And now I’m here, totally happy reading your post about this talk from Seth Godin, so glad you were there and got so inspired! This has inspired me. Congratulations on moving the mountain that was your blog. Hurray! Will definitely start to read more here and come back.

    • Hi Sabine, thanks so much for finding me here and for letting me know you found this through my facebook page. That’s great to know. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed reading this and especially glad to hear Seth’s ideas inspired you too! Feel free to share your biggest take-away if you feel moved. Thanks so much for your kind words. I really appreciate them. And if you read more of my blog, I hope you’ll continue to let me know how the posts land with you. Have a great weekend!

  14. Sherold says:

    Laurie – this is a great post and a good warmup for me to read. I love your writing – it’s concise, useful and interesting. Please keep blogging. I want to read your posts on Strengths and will do after I get back from NYC.

    No more hiding. Come out so we can learn from you.

    • Sherold, thanks for reading and for your kind feedback. You are a gifted writer so your comment means a lot. And I am working on not hiding out. I appreciate your encouragement. 🙂

      I am really looking forward to hearing what you take away from your in-person coaching session with Seth Godin! As busy as you are prepping to go, thanks for hopping over here to read and comment.

  15. Alex says:

    This was a brilliant post! Thank you so much for sharing all of the nuggets of wisdom you learned with us :). I am a huge fan of Seth Godin and one day hope to see him live, too! Oh, and great first blog post! You rock!

    • Hi Alex, thanks so much for popping in for the feedback. It’s exhilarating to see Seth in person. Whenever you can, do it. 🙂 Your comment and rereading this post almost one year later reminds me that it’s time to return to blogging.