If you are an entrepreneur and don’t follow Seth Godin’s blog, you are missing out. I look forward to his daily blog posts more than my morning coffee, which is saying something. Seth has a great sense of what makes for good sales and marketing. Even better, he is a huge advocate of entrepreneurs and tailors his message to those folks taking the risk with their startup ventures.
As I started my company in 2009, Seth provided me with pearls of wisdom and encouragement. In the spirit of his 3000th post from last year where he referenced his collection of best blog posts, I want to give fellow entrepreneurs a list of what I think are his best inspirational posts from 2009 so that you can get energized for 2010.
1) Seth Godin says, “Don’t Try to Get a Job.”
My number one inspirational post is strangely not posted on Seth’s blog. Rather it is a guest blog he wrote for the “What Would Dad Say” blog by JobDig founder GL Hoffman. This post says you should not get a job, rather go start something, have fun, and make a difference. GL commented on my blog post about the irony of Seth’s post. Seth was telling an audience presumably looking for a job – not to get a job and instead go out and start something themselves. Great advice!
2) First, Ten
Seth’s post about the power of ten is hugely inspirational. It starts “This, in two words, is the secret of the new marketing.” He’s right. The post says to go find ten people that crave what you are selling. Do they love it? Enough to tell three or five or ten other folks? If so, you have already won. Your idea will spread organically and quickly rather than marketing to the masses.
3) Where have all the agents gone?
This is a great post to spur your thinking about disruptive business models. It’s about how the business model for middle men is changing such as travel agents, real estate agents and stock brokers. This post directly affected me since it was analogous to what I was trying to do with my company Yigdigs. Yigdigs is a homes For Sale By Owner website for those that want to sell their home and avoid paying a full 6% commission to a real estate agent. Rather, they can use the services they need from an agent like listing their home in the MLS and getting help with contracts – for a small flat fee rather than a huge commission, saving them thousands of dollars.
4) What are you good at?
A lot of Seth’s great blog posts start as questions. This post asks you to figure out what you are good at from a process perspective, rather than domain knowledge. Successful entrepreneurs understand the process of what it takes to start a company like managing priorities and thinking strategically. Process knowledge is a unique and highly valuable skill. Domain knowledge is learnable.
5) The goals you never hear about
This post says to think about the unsaid goals you have that might be getting in your way, like “I don’t want to fail”. Overpower these with breakthrough achievement goals like failing fast and asking lots of “stupid” questions.
The key take away from this post is to think about your business from your investor’s or B2B customer’s perspective. Does your business look like an imminent success? If not, it should. You need to make it that way.
7) The right size
Seth’s post will make you rethink what size of company you really need to succeed. Bigger is not always better. Many successful web ventures are no more than half a dozen folks.
This post simply states that to be loved (not demonized) you should open up. Be transparent. It’s hard for people to hate what they are close to.
9) The reason they want you to fit in…
This pithy post in totality is this: “The reason they want you to fit in… is that once you do, then they can ignore you.” For some reason, this post resonates with me. To me it says “be different”. Get noticed. Shake things up. This is especially true for entrepreneurs.
10) Some people are better than others
Some types of customers are better for your organization. They spend more, spread the word more, or have other tangible benefits for your company. This post challenges you to go find those types of customers.
There are many other inspiring Seth Godin posts last year, but those are ten that benefited me personally. You should find these more than worth your time to read and inspire you to succeed in 2010.