The Tim Ferriss Show #343 Seth Godin How to Say “No,” Market Like a Professional, and Win at Life

  • How Seth deals with being overwhelmed: There is too much information in our immediate environment. Figure out how to clear six hours a day for your life. You will have an enormous return on investment. Seth does this by not going to meetings, not watching television, and not looking at Facebook or Twitter. 

  • Most people can not manage themselves: Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses. You manage how you sell your services and the way you talk to yourself. Odds are, you’re doing it poorly. [From his post The World’s Worst Boss]

  • What is the difference between long work and hard work? Long work is what the lawyer who bills 14 hours a day filling in forms does. Hard work is what the insightful litigator does when she synthesizes four disparate ideas and comes up with an argument that wins the case–in less than five minutes. [From his post Hard Work vs Long Work] People who are willing to do the hard work are the ones toiling with no obvious applause. They are confronting things that feel risky because they understand that over time they aren’t risky. They are generous and useful. . . The extra hour at the end of the day is no longer necessary because you have built an asset. You are no longer on the clock. You are creating value from the thing you produced. 

  • Seth’s counterintuitive point about evaluating what to work on: I showed people an idea I had and at least half of them didn’t get it. I thought now I am on to something. If everyone said it is a good idea then it is probably banal. 

  • Professionalism > Authenticity: I don’t want an authentic surgeon. One who says: Oh I don’t feel like doing knee surgery today. I want a professional that shows up no matter how they feel. There are days when I write when it is not my authentic self. It is me being a professional. Being a professional means I am going to do what I said I would do. 

  • Why Seth wrote this bookWe don’t need this race to the bottom. [Privacy prying, spammy, every page on the web looks like a porn page] Instead we can go in the other direction: There is a group of people who need me. If I can find that group [the smallest viable audience] and delight them they will tell the others. 

  • What the attention economy teaches us: You are not in charge of what people look at. They are. If you go where people are looking you will do way better than if you insist people look at you. 

  • Raise your prices: If you rent housing to low-income people or you sell health care to the masses please lower your prices. For everyone else, this idea that people can’t afford [what you’re selling] is crazy talk. 

  • Book recommendations: Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World by Scott HarrisonA Second Chance: For You, For Me, And For The Rest Of Us by Catherine Hoke, Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World? by Jim Ziolkowski, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected Worldby Jacqueline Novogratz, and Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul by Shawn Askinosie

  • Full podcast here.