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Seth Godin’s Blog on marketing

Noticed vs. missed

Will they notice that you’ve left?

There are lots of ways to be noticed. You can be loud. Argumentative. You can be sour, difficult, a bit of a diva. You can take umbrage at every opportunity, crack jokes at the expense of others, or merely scowl.

You can use hyperbole, drama and shame to get your way.

You can spam people, yell a lot, interrupt our day. You can create a scene, engage in a scandal and bully others. Your brand or your personality can be the one that we’d all prefer never to hear from again soon.

Or…

You could be the one we’d miss if you were gone.

It takes quite a bit of emotional labor to pull this off. Consistent effort to contribute, to see possibility and to be patient. If it were the easiest or most direct path to a short-term goal, everyone would do it.

Because we live in a world now based on connection and trust, because we work with our ideas and our emotions instead of our muscles, because our reputation is what we have to offer, the effort is probably worth it.

       

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Is the noise in my head bothering you?”

The monologue that runs in our brain is loud. It’s heavy-metal loud compared to the quiet signals we get from the rest of the world.

All day, every day, that noise keeps going. It’s the only voice that has seen everything we’ve seen, believes everything we believe. It’s the noise that not only criticizes every action of every other person who disagrees with us, but it criticizes their motives as well. And, if we question it, it criticizes us as well.

Is it any wonder that projection is more powerful than empathy?

When we meet people, we either celebrate when they agree with us or plot to change or ignore them when they don’t. There’s not a lot of room for, "they might have a different experience of this moment than I do."

That noise in our head is selfish, afraid and angry. That noise is self-satisfied, self-important and certain. That noise pushes intimacy away and will do anything it can to degrade those that might challenge us.

But, against all odds, empathy is possible.

It’s possible to amplify those too-quiet signals that others send us and to practice imagining, even for a moment, what it might be like to have their noise instead of our noise.

If we put in the effort and devote the time to practice this skill, we can get better at it. We merely have to begin.

       

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Status roles

"I don’t have much, but I have more than you do…"

The second episode of my podcast is out today, and it’s the result of perhaps fifty blog posts I wrote but didn’t post, because the topic is too important and it’s too nuanced for something as short as a blog post.

Status roles are at the core of who we are. They change how we spend our time, our money and most of all, our imaginations.

We define ourselves in relative terms, not absolute ones. More stuff, more power, less this or less that. Who’s up and who’s down?

It’s about the Godfather and professional wrestling, about business cards and politics.  It’s about Baxter and Truman. And it’s about how fiction works, and real life as well.

Everywhere we turn, we see status roles on display. Some people are moving on up, while others are moving down. This creates tension, drama and the need for resolution.

Here’s a page with all the ways to listen and subscribe for free.

Ask a question and see the show notes about this episode on our show page.

       

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The Luckiest Lottery Store…”

Really?

That’s the headline in the paper.

  Luckiest lottery store

Of course, there’s no such thing as a lucky lottery store. And rational, long-term citizens never buy lottery tickets, because it’s a lousy bet.

But the idea of the lucky store is precisely what someone is paying for when they buy the ticket. That this time, just maybe, luck will turn out the way it’s supposed to. That a hunch or a scratch or a slight change in habit will pay off. That’s what people are buying, not the net present value of a series of transactions.

They’re buying the thrill of possible luck.

       

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A changemaker’s triangle

Editor, publisher, instigator. The instigator is the author, the dreamer, the writer. She creates a screenplay, founds a non-profit, says what needs to be said. The editor curates. Picks and chooses. Amplifies the essential and deletes the rest. And the…

       

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Building, breaking, fixing

We spend some of our time building things, from scratch. New ideas, new projects, new connections. Things that didn’t exist before we arrived.

We spend some of our time breaking things, using them up, discovering the edges.

And we spend some of our time fixing things. Customer support, maintenance, bug fixes… And most of all, answering email and grooming social media. The world needs fixing, it always does.

You’ve already guessed the questions:

a. where do you personally add the most value?

b. how much of your time are you spending doing that?

 

[If you want to spend more time in building mode, I hope you’ll take a look at the altMBA. It’s designed to upgrade and recharge your commitment to building things. Final deadline for applications for our next session is tomorrow, Monday, the 19th.]

Last week, a small group of our worldwide coaching team got together. It reminded me of how much Kelli, Marie, Alex, Sam, Fraser, Anne, our extraordinary coaches and our thousands of alumni have contributed to evolving the altMBA. Thank you.

 

altMBA coaches in newport

altMBA gathering 2017

       

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Quick or smart?

Your smartphone makes you quick, not smart.

Every time you pick up your quickphone, you stop inventing and begin transacting instead.

The flow of information and style of interaction rewards your quickness. It helps you make decisions in this moment. Which route to drive? Which restaurant to go to? Which email to respond to?

Transactions are important, no doubt. But when you spend your entire doing them, what disappears?

We can’t day trade our way to the future we seek.

       

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I’m not selling anything”

Of course you are. You’re selling connection or forward motion. You’re selling a new way of thinking, a better place to work, a chance to make a difference. Or perhaps you’re selling possibility, generosity or sheer hard work.

It might be that the selling you’re doing costs time and effort, not money, but if you’re trying to make change happen, then you’re selling something.

If you’re not trying to make things better, why are you here?

So sure, you’re selling something.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "I’m not selling something too aggressively, invading your space, stealing your attention and pushing you to do something that doesn’t match your goals."

That’s probably true. At least I hope it is.

       

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Looking for seekers (who are looking for you)

"Don’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry."

The reason is obvious–when you’re hungry, you’re likely to buy things. The risk is that you’ll buy something you don’t need, because, of course, all that buying isn’t actually making you less hungry.

The same thing is true for just about anything we seek to sell. Selling water to a thirty person, education to someone seeking enlightenment, goals to someone eager to move forward—this is dramatically easier and more satisfying than first having to persuade someone that they should actually care about the difference you’re trying to make.

Obvious? I think so.

But most marketers make this mistake on the very first day and keep making it for their entire career.

You might be in love with the change you are trying to make in the world. Best to begin with an audience that’s rooting for you to succeed.

       

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Akimbo, my new podcast, launches today

Akimbo is a posture of strength and possibility. The chance to make a difference, to bend the culture.

It’s at the heart of my work. Your work too. The work of making change that we’re proud of.

And so, a new podcast. A different kind of podcast. No guests, no fancy production, it won’t remind you of NPR or sports radio either. 100% organic and handmade.

And yes, I’ll be answering your questions about each episode, submitted at our showpage.

Special thanks to founding sponsor Ziprecruiter.

The first episode launches today. Subscribe and listen on iTunes and on Overcast.

Not a grand opening, but a start. I hope you’ll join in.

       

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