Imposter Syndrome, Getting Unstuck and The Practice with Seth Godin
Hey, buddy, what's up? It's Chase. Welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis Live show here on CREATIVELIVE. You know the show. This is where I sit down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and I do everything I can in my power toe unpack their brains with the goal of helping you live your dreams and career and hobby and in life. My guest today is a very special man. He has been on the show before. We are lucky to call him a close friend of the family. And, of course, he's in his 19 bestselling books. He's written about everything from the Internet to marketing. He's in the Marketing Hall of Fame, the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, the Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame. I don't know. There's so many marketing hall of fames. He is a legend to say the least bestselling books and been on the show before. But we're here today to talk about Mr Talk with Rather Mr Seth Godin and about his newest book called The Practice, which to me is long overdue specifica...
lly because I feel like this is the book that Seth was meant to write. It's a book about finding your voice. It's a book about taking a chance on yourself about making the thing that you either do as a hobby or want to do as a living and making it a reality. And the book helps you figure out how to do it. And it turns out that creativity is the core of this thing, which is a huge hallmark of this show. One of the reasons we wanted to have Seth back on to celebrate this new book, learn a little bit more about him and it. And without further ado, please join us. Join me and the crew who's producing this for amazing conversation here with the one and only Mr Seth Godin. Yes. No, Seth, thank you so much for showing up. Great to have you on this show, my friend. Well, I'm definitely in your neighborhood with this project, and I have been thinking you of you a lot. I hope that you're doing okay. Well, everyone who is listening to this show if you for some reason missed the creative calling book long week, which I don't think many folks on this podcast missed it. But in case You're new here since September. Um, the last time Seth and I were together was in a room in New York City when he was kind enough to show up in the book, Uh, my creative calling release. And we had an amazing conversation that went longer than we anticipated. Uh, and to a sold out show in what was the name of that theater? Cool little theater. You point fabulous Helen Mills, either Helen Mills Theater in Manhattan, connection that you introduced me to the Helen Mills Theater folks, I think so fondly of that. And that evening, um, and I want to thank you very publicly here for contributing as so much as you did to, um you gave probably the the first and earliest on probably the deepest set of feedback that I got from anyone who read that book in advance. And it had a material impact on the book. And I want to say thank you. First of all, well, part of part of the lesson that both of us know is I got more out of giving you that feedback than you did. And I have been carrying it with me ever since So the thanks come from me? Well, I couldn't just to confess, you know, here, looking at your next project your new book called The Practice. Uh and I am. It is such it brings us fire up inside of me because it seems not only, you know, relevant And it is just a beautiful Venn diagram between what? The people who are, um I think already in this audience and the times right now, in the middle of a pandemic when you know people are reassessing priorities and this idea that you have, ah, voice. I look at your project and, like I am wickedly inspired. So I'm hoping you could start off our conversation with a little bit of what made you write this book. I'm always fascinated by the motivation and inspiration behind anyone's new project, but especially when you've got so many things going on and to be able to put all your marshall all your resource is in tow. One thing means it's very important. Very good reason for writing it. So let's start there. Why did you write this book? Well, the subtitles called shipping creative work, and I am super lucky that I spent most of my time engaging with people who realize that what they do for a living, a ship, creative work, shipping. Because if you don't ship it, it doesn't count work because it doesn't come easy and creative because it's something that might not work. And some of the people who are listening to this think that their creatives but they're not. They're simply doing a job over and over again under the guise of touching something that used to be a creative outlet but their colleagues in the system. That's a choice. It doesn't have to be that way. And the reason we don't always make the choice gets to the original title for the book, which my great editor, Nikki Papadopoulos, persuaded me to change. But I still have the eight hats I made, and the original title of the book is Trust yourself. And when we think about trust yourself, particularly in this moment of so much economic and social dislocation, long overdue focus on racial injustice, people dealing with illness, all these disruptions when all that's going on, we're being challenged to decide what's important, and we're being challenged to decide who we can help and where possibility lies. And the loudest voice in our head that's causing us to hold back is the voice that says It's not our turn. I'm an imposter. I don't know enough. It won't work. I'm not supposed to do this all of those things. So here's the question that I begin with as I started down this path. When you are talking to yourself, who is talking and who is listening because we're really clear. Everyone I've ever met that there are two. There's the talker and listener, but there's only you. So I want to argue that we have an industrial brain that's about compliance and conformance and fill in the blanks and color by number. And then we have the other brain. It's not very good at language, that brain has some instincts, and it wants us to make things better. And if we could learn to trust that part of ourselves to commit to a practice, I think it unlocks Ah whole bunch of opportunity. Why I got It's just such a beautiful framing of ah problem that has plagued so many and again so timely. But it makes me wanna a slightly different question It's like this idea of trusting ourselves. When did we forget? When did we stop trusting ourselves? Because there's a little toddler right? We realize that we're standing on our own two legs that when we move our right foot that it goes, you know, forward. Or we learned that if we articulate our point, that's the best way, you know, change the world around us. So when do we? You know, I guess maybe when we first Trustor and then when do we lose it? And clearly this is about reclaiming it. So if we're reclaiming it, we must mean we lost it someplace. Where do we lose that? Why? I don't think most species evolved toe have game changing innovators among their adults that, uh, there's a difference between a puppy in a dog, right? And if you watch a four year old who has never been in a swimming pool hesitate to jump in the water, that fear is there for a really good reason. Because if we didn't have that fear, we wouldn't make it to five that as soon as we start becoming ascension being there's a trigger of self preservation. But and there's a huge. But then we built 12 to 16 to 20 years of schooling to amplify that, that what we did was we built a system on purpose organized by the factory capitalist mindset to get people to do what they're told because it's a way more productive path toe hiring people. If you have people who want to do what they're told, we're not. You know, if you've ever spent any time with a four year old, they're not organized around doing what they're told. They do what they want. And so we all went to school so we would do what we were told. And that makes sense until the institutions that are telling us what to do are telling us the wrong thing until we lose our job until we miss opportunity until the best job, the best work, the best opportunities belong to people who don't do what they're told, and and so it's up to people like you and sometimes like me to say to them, Wait a minute, you have this inside of you. Let's let's reclaim it. Mhm this. I understand the connection of fear and of like the right kind of fear as you said if your four year old jump in the pool, you should be scared because that keeps keeps us alive. Biologically, I want to do a little bit more. Retrace. You talked a lot of it up to school, but part of a Zai reflect on my own experience. A lot of this was not school related, and it was I would call it cultural. And our parents are career counselors are friends or peers, their spouses or partners? There's this, um, it's almost a conditioning to not trust ourselves from. This is probably I could throw a rock at the school, but it's really hard to throw rockets, someone who love who, like they are scared for you. And by extension, we become scared. And I'm wondering, is it just school or a my unique in that experience? Or how would you think about the problem that I had trying toe, you know, free myself? Yeah, of course. You are completely right. I mean, school is a six letter shortcut for the cultural standard that I think if you grew up in Sparta, you probably would have been surrounded by people who are encouraging you to be a warrior, and this idea of what it meant to be in Sparta was throughout the culture. Well, in our case, we codified it in school. Parents want that sticker on the back of their car because it's built into the status driven culture that career counselors and people who have jobs in the bureaucracy have it built in because they mean well because the bureaucracy has made a promise and mostly kept it. And so the people you know, one of the things I talk about in the book is all criticism is not the same. And we gotta be really clear about this. People who care about you who say, Why don't you just go get a real job art evoking that they care about you? Not that they understand that deep down you might be better off not getting a real job. You need to ignore that because that's not useful criticism. Useful criticism comes from someone who says, I see who you are, and I see where you're going. What if you did it this way instead? Because you might get where you're going even better. And that criticism is gold, and that criticism is hard to find. But when you find it, your Onley responses, thank you. And it was interesting you mentioned a piece of software before we went on air in the person started the company, cajoled his way into a 30 minute virtual coffee with me, and I didn't know him on. He had a new idea for a product, and I was happy to give free advice because he was a friend of a friend. And for 30 minutes I explained how I saw where he was trying to go, and for 30 minutes he argued with me as if me liking the software was the purpose of the call. And, you know, I have a lot of esteem for my awareness of how software gets marketed in the world. But he didn't have toe like my suggestions, but he needed to hear them because that's why he set up the meeting. But he was viewing my feedback as a judgment of him. And if you do that, if you assume you are your work, you have a real problem. Because if you are your work, that means you can't change your work without changing you. And it means if your work doesn't resonate with the person you seek to serve. You now have to dislike the person you seek to serve. And not liking your customers is a really hard way to make a living. E think to put it mildly, right? It being service or something, you don't respect her. Appreciate her admire connect with, um all criticism is not the same. Is ah, like that is a very important lesson. And that's why I'm saying it again. Uh, I think you were one of the first people that I learned that from in a block post that you wrote. Probably. I'm thinking 2007 or eight and maybe a little bit later. And right on the heels of that, I can't remember the title of the block post. But I remember Uh huh. You know, it was talking about like, who matters. You know what voice matters. And it was a little bit about intern. I'm going to try and find this block post of how many thousands of black posts you have. 10,000 writing every day for 20 years. Change. But keep up. Keep at it. And we hit eight. No. Well, I remember that. And very sure that I sat down with a friend, Bernie Brown, and she she shared the Roosevelt quote. It's not cool accounts, it's the man in the arena quote. And it started. I recognized that doing the trusting yourself and that the criticism that we receive, whether it's how we spend our time or what we focus on, who we run around with, that deciding who you're going to listen to in advance of actually getting that information is so powerful because otherwise you have to evaluate it every time a new piece of criticism comes to you, which is this exhausting list of people, right? It's never ending. Only people do, you know. You know, let's say 505,000. I don't know how many people you know, but if you if you don't have a framework for whether or not you should pay attention to them, then ways you're always caught in this sort of this huge cognitive load of does this person matter or not? So I'm wondering, and this is this kind of, uh, references the book in like the concepts of choosing yourself of leaders, our leaders are impostors. There's all these sort of false, um, false icons that we've got. So I'm wondering if you could give us some guidance on how to set up a plan for who to trust and win. Because when I'm talking about writing, who do I trust? I trust Seth Godin. I trust God to give me feedback. Look, now, if I'm gonna, you know, I'm stepping up on the ninth T and it's a 320 yard par four with the wind of the right. I'm not sure I'm going to trust Seth Godin's advice. I don't know if you're a big golfer, but don't okay, but give us a framework that you see what I'm. First of all, I think I'm having a flashback of that post. I didn't look it up while you were talking, but I think what I said was I'm walking by a playground in New York City on the side. Yeah, because I was traumatic, right? And this four year older seven year old starts making fun of me as I'm walking by. And what it triggered for me is that when I was seven, that would have been devastating. That a kid on the playground who I didn't know my age. Who said something nasty about me? I would take me. I'm still not over it. Right? But in that moment, I was fine. Because in that moment, as a 50 year old, I'm like, you know what? Your seven. You were wetting your bed until a week ago. I have no issue with you not liking me. Have at it. You can't lay a glove on me right now. Man, I am so over you. And And it was a moment for me because I realized I could do that any time I want to. And if the feedback isn't helping, I shouldn't open myself to it. So the first thing I did after that was I stopped reading my Amazon reviews, and I haven't read one Amazon review of my book since then. And the reason is, I've never met on author who said I read all my one star reviews and now I'm better at writing because it doesn't make you better at writing. It just says this person didn't. Is that the kind of person who's gonna like your book? So as a creative, we're surrounded by people who the your opinion doesn't matter and so you can get stuck. And this is We see this in rock and roll all the time where some diva crashes and burns because they have trained themselves to ignore everyone and that that's not helpful. So when I'm sitting with someone like Nikki it at Portfolio, I have to stop myself from ignoring her because I've so trained myself to ignore so many other people. And in that moment, it's not. Oh, here's the list of people I don't listen to in that moment. Like I have a very small list of people I eagerly do listen to. And if someone earns their spot on that list, then like I said earlier, it's gold. And when it comes to, for example, writing, there are good days for me giving people feedback on writing. But I also know because I've had it happen to me firsthand. There are plenty of people who have succeeded who are terrible at giving feedback on writing, and the fact that they have succeeded in writing is irrelevant. And this is a story probably never said in public before. But remember the book positioning by trotting Greece. It's one of the most It's one of the most important marketing books ever written. Okay, that reveals my ignorance. I've been living under Iraq. I apologize. What do they call that position thing? Okay. And it was in the 19 seventies. It wasn't an original idea, but they definitely owned it in the way they wrote about it. And the short example is seven up, seven up is the UN Cola. Well, once you know what cola is just calling it. The UN Cola positions it in a different spot in your brain, whereas if seven up is light and refreshing, they'd have to fight against all the light. So they said, here's the grid were on the other side of the grid. It's that profound. It changes the way you show up. If you are a ah photographer and all your competitors bring in £3000 of gear and you run and gun with one little thing, that's your position. You don't have to talk about many other things. You're just the opposite of that. So when I wrote permission marketing, my agent sent one of the co authors of that book a galley and asked him to blurb it. And if you get a galley and you're too busy or you don't want to blow. But you just right back. I'm too busy. He wrote back a five paragraph note explaining that I was never going to be successful as a writer, that my idea was terrible. And I should just go back to what I was doing on. But that's not helpful feedback. And he yet he co wrote a really important book, So, uh, I can teach some people how to juggle, But I'm not that good a juggler and I'm bad a cough and a teaching golf. So you gotta pick carefully about what you're looking for. But what I'm trying to get at is if you sit down and say I'm going to do creative work that will please everyone, and I'm leading with my chin and the first person who doesn't like it, I'm going back to my whole. You're just hiding. You've got to be super specific because trust yourself doesn't mean whatever is on your mind is gonna work. What it means is, until you start shipping the work, you don't know what's gonna work. But you've got to go through this iterative process of knowing who it's for and what it's for bringing it to those people and not just listening to what they say about watching what they do. Because if you bring it to those people and they embrace it, regardless of what they say to you, you're on to something. And that is the that is the opportunity of shipping creative work. You had one word in there that I wanna hang on, which is so critical in case you missed it. We're going to go back process. You said the word process. It was the it was buried right in the middle. But I think it's one of the most important words that you just said. And I'm guessing that's one of the reasons you chose the title instead of trust yourself. The concept of practice because practice even even implies that it's not at rest, right? It's It's an active process. It's changing. It is, uh, you can wake up one morning and do it well in the next morning and not do it well. This is why things like yoga. This is why meditation is a practice because I don't get linearly better with my meditation. If you're anything like me. I don't have a terrible meditation this morning. Why did you choose the concept? Practice And And you orient that around process for us, right? So what it means to have a practice is that you do it. You simply do it. You merely do it. You do it without commentary. You do without drama, and you do it in service of whoever you're seeking to make a difference for. If it doesn't work today, you do it again tomorrow. This is the practice. So very few people have as their practice going out for ice cream. You need to be in the mood to go out for ice. You need to want You don't go out for ice cream every hour. But my blog's is a practice, and I would write it even if no one read it. Because I don't have my block come out tomorrow because I wrote the best possible post. It comes out tomorrow because it's tomorrow. That's the practice. And once you know that there's gonna be a block post coming out tomorrow, your subconscious freaks out as well. If you're gonna publish something, I must come up with something good because it realizes that it can't sabotage the practice by coming up with something bad by pretending to be blocked. There's no such thing as writer's block. There's just sloppy practice. Mm, keep going on that. No such thing as I know that's a a key piece of the book. What to talk to me about him. Eso I made these on my glow forge their handmade writer's blocks there. Maple 1.5 inch cubes, and they have little things on each side. But everyone, they're all different. But everyone says on one side, no such thing as writer's block. And what do I mean by that? What I mean is, no one gets plumbers block. Nobody gets check out at the supermarket block, right that if your job is to go to the supermarket and be a check out person, you do it. You don't get blocked. Writer's block actually means I am afraid of bad writing. I don't want to write because I am afraid that the writing I do will be bad. And if you can let go of your fear of bad writing and are willing to do bad writing if you do enough bad writing, and you can insert photography, make up architecture. Whatever it is your craft is, you do enough bad work. Sooner or later, some good work is going to slip through. It can't help it. And my friend Isaac Asimov, who I worked with on a project a long time ago, published 400 bucks back when it was hard to publish a book. He did 400 I said, Isaac, how do you do that? And he took me over to this little rickety typewriter in his apartment. And he said, Every morning I sit in front of this typewriter at 6 30 I type until noon, and then I'm done for the day and he doesn't have to type a book. He doesn't have to type anything brilliant. He doesn't have to invent the next robot, which he invented. He just has to type, and if he types long enough, a book is going to come out. That's the practice. Simply type mhm. Right now, there's, like 10,000 brains that are melting that just it's so you speak like a laser beam. Um, what, isn't it natural toe? Want to type something good isn't it like, doesn't it make us feel good about ourselves? And isn't that part of what we're doing by writing or putting creative work out into the world? How do we reconcile those things about, you know, our work and our worth and, um, just yeah, keep, keep keep because there's there's 10,000 brains right now that are going Oh my God, this is This is hard for me to grapple with, So give us a little bit of sugar with the medicine, if you will. Well, let's think about your arc as a writer of bicycles, because most people who are physically able could ride a bicycle. You are bad at writing a bike for weeks or months. Like the first time you rode a bike. You definitely fell off. That's a good reason to stop riding a bike. And yet you got back on the bike. You didn't goto bike riding school. You didn't get an A in bike riding. You didn't read the bike riding textbook. You didn't watch bike riding videos. You rode a bike. But now here's the other half of it. All of us may know how to ride a bike, but None of us has won the Tour de France because we didn't ride a bike enough. At some point we said This is good enough bike riding. I'm going to go do something else. There's a movie on Netflix. I'm not going to train to be even better at bike riding. Well, the same thing is true with your photography, and the same thing is true with your writing and everybody knows how to take a picture with their phone. But there are very few people who can take a picture like chase. What? What's the difference? Please do not tell me it's talent. There's no such thing as photography talent. It's skill and skill is different than talent because talent is something that you are born with and it's immutable. And skill is something you choose to put the effort in to learn and what I'm arguing in almost every field. If we care enough, we could get better because you already got better proof. It works. But then you stopped caring enough to get better still. So what story do we tell ourselves? And the thing is, I've written 7000 block post. Half of them are below average by any measure, right there below average and yield per per word in traffic in whatever compared to the others below average. If I knew which 12 block post I could have written over this period of time, I would have written just though. But I'm always surprised, always surprised because I'll write a blockbuster event ever. And then it becomes one of my best block post. So for me, the measure is, Did I maintain my streak? Did I push myself to a place where I felt nervous? Did I do it Not to be selfish, but to be generous? And did one person 12 years later remind me of a block post about walking past the playground on Amsterdam Avenue? Right, because then it was worth it. But what I am not doing and this is super important, I have never once had a block post one win the Internet. I have never had a block posted. Everyone looked at and talked about the same day. Great, that's the goal. Because as soon as you try to win at Mass, you start doing S c o u. Start doing list sickles. You start acting like buzzfeed and then you disappear because you become a wandering generality and mediocrity. Instead of saying I didn't make this for everyone, I made it for you and there. If you're wrong, at least you could make it for that person tomorrow. At the core of all of this, though, the person who's just listened to you give that sugar medicine combo is saying this, Yes, but I'm scared. Bond. If they're not saying it out loud, they're saying it in their head. Yeah, to what Do you respond? Um, so you can call these rants because I'm proud that I'm really I'm just giving you, like 10, giving you one liner after one line, own material and just letting you hit it with a hammer. It's amazing I love trying to do in this book because I have the luxury of doing so is to tell my version of the truth and not sugarcoat it, because plenty of people can help you say there's a muse. Bob Dylan says the ghost writes his songs. He just has to sit by and wait. I think that's all nonsense, and I think that we have evidence that persistent, successful creatives don't actually get touched by the muse. They're actually really hard working and resilient. People ask me about imposter syndrome and pasta syndrome is felt by a lot of people regardless of the way you appear to the outside world Imposter syndrome Is that feeling that you're a fake, that you're fraud, that you have no right to be doing what you're doing and that soon you will be found out and they say, How do I get rid of Imposter syndrome? And my answer is you can't because you're an impostor and so am I. Because what it means to be an imposter is you can't be sure you're announcing this is my new book, My New Block Post My new this my new this my new this and you can't be sure if it's gonna work. You can't be sure if it's certified. Guaranteed, etcetera. You're acting as if and so if you wanted to fight the fear and fight the feeling of being an imposter, you're gonna exhaust yourself. The fighting is what's making you stuck. If we stop fighting and say, Oh, yeah, I'm an imposter in service of other people and I'm afraid in service of other people That's like saying I'm running the marathon and it's mild 20 and I'm tired. Well, yeah, because you signed up to run the marathon. If you weren't tired, you're not trying hard enough. And so the message of the book is not everyone gets to be a creative. And if you wanna have a hobby, I think having a hobby is great. But if you want to be a professional at any level, for money or not for money for other people, you've got to acknowledge the fact that you're afraid and you have to embrace the fact that you're an impostor. Both those things are true, and both of those things were fine. Talk about leadership because I think there are a lot of people who pay attention to ship who Marshall, creators of their job. And they think of that. I think wisely so as creative in their own way. But the relationship between creativity and leadership. And, you know, I'm drafting off of what you just said with this impostor, like when we actually can all call ourselves imposters were just doing the best we can, and we prop your you know, our time is limited and If we don't show up today, then we certainly weren't. We weren't qualified enough to be here today and someone else showed up. But how does this relate to leadership and, uh, I don't know, tie these things together. The triangle of impostors, leaders and creativity. Okay, So first I want to say I don't think we're doing the best we can. I know I'm not doing the best I can. I don't think anybody does the best they can all the time. That if somebody is picking up a car that ran over a little kid and using superhuman strength and give themselves a hernia and saved the kid's life, I'll grant you that in that 60 seconds they were doing the best they can. But the rest of us are in a long haul, and in the long haul, we're conserving energy. We're protecting ourselves. We're saving it up for another day. And if you can let yourself off the hook and say, this might not be me at 11, but I can persistently train and contribute at eight. That might be a lot better than hiding out it, too, because you can't be 11, right? Because we need to be realistic about that. But going back to leadership leadership is not the same as management. Management is a very specific job that industry needs, where you tell other people what to do and get them to do it faster and cheaper than they did it yesterday. And management is important, but you don't have to be a manager. And most people listening to this or not leadership, on the other hand, is totally optional. And leadership is exploring the unknown, voluntarily volunteering to lead or volunteering to follow someone who is leading. And if it's not voluntary, then there is no leadership. Then you want to be a manager and some managers lead. But not all of them. And some leaders manage, but not all of them. So what I'm saying toe leaders is it's a creative act. It's a form of art because you don't know if it's gonna work, because if you knew it was gonna work, it would be management. No, it's leadership. I'm going over there. I'm not sure how to get there who wants to come and that leadership has to make us feel like an impostor because we just agreed We don't know exactly how to get there, and therefore, who are we to do it? And as a result in our society, a lot of people say Not for me. Someone else I'll wait for. I'll follow them instead. And when we look, you know, I've been on the Internet since 1976. I've been doing it professionally since 1980 something. And we believed in the beginning that lots and lots of good, caring people would take advantage of the fact that the gatekeepers were gone and show up with their songs and show up with their leadership and show up with their writing. And it would be, Ah, huge net positive. And what we saw are two things that happened in addition to some people showing up that way. One troll showed up people who want to manipulate the system to make things worse and to ah, lot of really capable good people didn't show up that most of the people use Twitter. For its 1st 10 years, Onley followed people. They didn't tweet. More than half the people use Twitter did not tweet, they were receiving it. And here we have this medium and you are such a pioneer back in the beginning, and you've consistently done this to say Wait a second. You mean I have a camera and a microphone? Let's go. And to any other people said, Who can I follow? And we're now in this moment of 2020 or so many things went sideways, and my argument is the only way to make things better by making better things. And the only way to make better things is by leading and you can lead in any way you want. But you got to find a group of people who you can earn their trust. You can point somewhere, and as an imposter who means, well, lead. Because that, I think, is the only hope we've got. I think this is a natural segue. Um, kicked me in the shins if you feel otherwise. But this connection, you, it's you've already made it three or four times in our conversation. This Ah, this idea of uncertainty and leadership, what you just gave you said I'm going over there. I don't know how it's going to be. I'm going to put this on the Internet. I don't know how it's gonna be received I'm going to write 7000 block posts. If I knew which 50% of them were the right ones too, right? I would have only wrote 3500. But in all of those things is eyes, uncertainty and in the book, further than things will be uncertain. You've actually actively said of aid certainty. But aren't we certainty seeking machines? Isn't that part of like our DNA is like routine and simplicity and risk avoidance. And and so, I, uh how do you council someone whose DNA is that we should make as many certain decisions to make our lives a zoo long as possible. So let me begin by saying I only about this for 1% of the people in the United States, not by income, but because they're not eager to do what they're told all day, every day. And, you know, it was really interesting Dan Ariely to study in which, uh, you know, of course, college students get studied in, uh, cheap psychology experiments more than any other group. So your mileage may vary, but there are these toys. There are these toys called bionic ALS. They're like Legos, but they're action figures and he hired a bunch of students and he said, All right, I'm gonna pay you a dollar a bionic aeltus sit here and put them together. And after someone ordered, you know, uh, earned 10 box, he said right, You under 10 more so he could judge what the exhaustion rate was for getting paid a dollar bionic. All the exact numbers might be off here, but doesn't matter. Then he did the experiment again. But this time, while they were putting the bionic ALS together, the experimenter was taking the bionic ALS they just put together apart in front of them and putting them back in the box. So now we've got two jobs, one job where you're actually doing something that feels like a craft. And the other job where it is obvious that what you're doing is stupid because as soon as you do it, they take it apart in front of you. What he found is in the second experiment, really statistically well done, way more People quit early because even though it's your job, you're getting paid to do it. This sucks. I don't want this job. I want to do a job where I feel connected where I feel like I'm doing something that matters. And so if that's only 1% of the people in the world, fine with me. That group of people is saying, you know what? This uncertainty is not just ah hassle. It's a huge part of the deal. It helps me become a human. So one of my slogans is that reassurance is futile and it's the most controversial one. I think in the whole book, because I know lots of people who would like Mawr reassurance. Everything's gonna be okay and someone like me shows up. It is. Everything is unlikely to be okay. It's really unlikely that you're going to hit a home run with this. It's really unlikely that every person who sees it's gonna love it. It's really unlikely it's gonna turn out exactly the way you hoped, right, because here's the problem with reassurance. There's never enough as soon, you know, Oprah just called how much she loves the last thing you did she hangs up in, like, five minutes later, you're saying What about Renee? E didn't like it. She didn't call me. And then you need Grenada called it never ends, right? And if we can just acknowledge that whatever happens is okay, just another data point on the journey of shipping creative work. Then we can get back to the practice. I did that. It didn't work. My first years of book package, I got 800 rejection letters in a row. I was gonna have to quit. I was window shopping at restaurants and eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. I was failing and failed every time I open the mailbox. That's 234 letters a day with a stamp that someone had written to me saying, We don't like you every single day, right? And the only way I got through it was by saying, That's a no. For now, that's another data point this isn't about. They don't like me. They don't like that thing I just tried. And for free for the cost of two stamps, I found out they don't like that thing. I just tried. What a gift. Now what? And that is where the practice lives. That's how you develop the practices. Don't look for reassurance. Look for sign posts that let you know which way to turn next. For some reason you just fast forwarded to this part of our conversation. I'm obviously sitting here with Seth Godin talking about his new book, The Practice. And what does this felt to me? This, you know, when you first shared that you were doing in a book with me some time ago and through the course is conversation like, uh, this got a super pellet. It's like a pill of all of the best stuff, because there's some of this is marketing. Some of this is mindset. Some of this is creativity, some of its heart and soul and and trust. And like, if you are a creator and you have not yet bought this book well, a do Seth solid and pre order it because prayer is really, really mad. Authors having just come out of this and been coached by Seth and some of our mutual friends that this is just it's essential reading. I'll leave it at that essential reading. Now, it's important for me to try and, uh, find a hole in your armor as your friend and s. How How? But how? How do we reconcile? For example, another theme of the book is it is probably too strong a word. It's another, uh, topic of the book is being paranoid about mediocrity. So how can we simultaneously put work out and not be the man or woman in the arena? The he she or they just throw it at us? Let's go, I'm willing. It's a process. It is a, um I'm It's a habit. It's a practice. It's all these things. And yet back in. Not necessarily that. Maybe it's the reptile part of our brain. We also are judging. We need to have taste. We need to be able to sniff out mediocrity. You know? How can you reconcile this stuff for me? Such a juicy, such a juicy question? Exactly what I was expecting from chasing first, Let's talk about what is good taste, because I started talking about this and the Creators workshop that we run, and I did a lot of research on the definition. No one had a good one. Good taste is predicting in advance what your customers are gonna like. That's good taste. So if you show up at a party and you are dressed in a way that people admire, you have good taste. If you warn those close to a different party. You look like an outlier, but here you have good taste. You predicted in advance with the people you serve want. We develop good taste through practice. We develop it by seeing and noticing and learning toe. Understand what fits together. And what doesn't right next to that is the idea that perfectionism is different than perfect. Perfectionism is the idea of holding back because you don't want to ship and using as an excuse a defect that no one else could see. That is different than saying. Is it good enough because the words good enough mean what they say it is good enough. It doesn't have to be better, because if it needed to be better than it wouldn't be good enough. And so the rules are number one. We don't ship junk. If you believe it's junk, you don't ship it number to develop a better taste, meaning figure out what junk more accurately before you ship it. The way to develop good taste is by putting things into the world and seeing what resonates and what doesn't. And then we get to the Nike problem, which is the ridiculous slogan. Just do it because just do it can be read as what the hell ships junk. Just just do it. The answer is actually merely do it, which would not have sold any sneakers. But it's correct. Merely do it without commentary. Merely do it without drama because you can, because it's important. And so what I'm arguing is you have a reputation. Don't wreck it. You do not need to ship your work to everyone to find out. It's no good. You can ship it to a few people. Don't make promises you can't keep if you're a surgeon, don't do an experimental surgery on someone and said, Yeah, I just did it. No, not okay, because you made a promise to that person. You would do the best surgery, not something. You just start up on your way to the operating room. And so when we think about people, you know, if I make a list of you know people like you, people like Jill Greenberg people, um, like any Liebovitz people who have developed a look and a field to their photography just to pick an example. Their work, when it first appeared, was daring a ended a lot of people and was distinctive. And it was over time that a you all changed the culture and be your taste. God, ever better. But none of it would have happened if any of you have been perfectionists. All right, So for those of you haven't seen Jill Greenberg's work, once you see it, you say I recognize this. The very first photo that Jill Greenberg ever took was of me in 1970 six. She was, I think, 14 or something like that. And that picture pretty much sucks, even if though I'm in it, it's not a good picture. But if she hadn't taken that picture, she wouldn't have taken the picture after that one. And then the one after that one and on and on and on. And so you got to start, and then you got to say not. I made it inside the boundary. I am done exploring because now you're back to shipping mediocrity. You got to say, I found the boundary and I'm going to go outside the boundary because it's there that the juice lies. Uh huh. It's there that the juice lies. That's a that was a very good answer, because to me that's like I can understand now the concept of merely ship it. And over time, what you ship can be refined as refined by your taste, by your skill level your skill of the only increases through practice and through shipping. And this is it becomes a virtuous cycle rather than a be paranoid about sucking and then just shipping work. This is a It's almost a virtuous cycle. It seems like it the base of all this stuff. It comes back to trusting yourself, though, because if you're if you worry your you know your trust or your skills or your you know and is developing trust a process. Is that a practices? Well, yeah, and you already figured out the answer. I mean, the people in your life that you trust, who you do not who are not your parents. Everyone else in your life you trust you trust because you trusted them a little and they didn't let you down. And then you trusted them a little bit more and they didn't let you down. And that's how you learn to trust yourself is you discover and you know Julia Cameron's Morning pages, which I mentioned in the book, are really useful when you used the way they're supposed to be used. It's not. Here's where you practice your riel writing. It's just dump everything that's in your head this morning as soon as you wake up and then do it again tomorrow by writing down your inanities by writing down all the dead ends. You learn to trust yourself because you discover that rather than having to keep it off the page because it's so humiliating, it's not that bad, right? You're not gonna show it to anybody else, but, like that's the worst I got Okay, I could build from this. And realizing it's not fatal is so important because the four year old jumping in the pool that could be fatal, this work, not fatal mistakes, air fixable problems are solvable. The reason that problems are solvable is that's why we call them problems if they're not solvable than their situations than their laws of physics. So find a problem and start a cycle of solving it, and then you will trust yourself a little bit more, and you get to do it again and repeat so much of this stuff that simple and what you don't know about our recording is I had my Skype was not working and I had to restart. And this idea of restarting of just repeating I'm just like, OK, I'm going to do it again. And it worked the second time. So again, this is this connection between process and practice and repetition, and I wanna go way back to the beginning And why this work it's so timely is because what I have heard over and over in talking to friends and peers and mentors and students and about this crazy time that we're in is it just made me understand and sometimes subtle and sometimes very profound ways what is meaningful to me, how we spend our time, what we're doing with whom And, you know, part of maybe the lesson that we need to learn is we needed to have a lot of these stripped away. But this concept of finding your voice is so like and if you haven't found it yet, this is This should be your mission. Can you just like, can you riff on finding your voice to me? Because I do. I do think that this is e mean tribes, linchpin. Those were all ahead of their time in their own way. This to me because of the launching it in a pandemic when people are trying to meaningful for them. When they realized that creativity is such a huge force and that they can make some choices, they can see the world as it is. They can make change, learn new things, manage their fear, talk to me about the voice again, and this is something that I just the more we talk finding your voice. If you can't be parodied, then your peculiar peculiar has a very specific meaning. It means private property. It means yours. And if you sound like something when you are on the screen, on the canvas or on the page, that could be your voice. And I know when someone sends me a block post about 15 years ago that I don't remember writing. I can tell if I wrote it because it sounds like me. You can change that over time. You can go from being a playwright to a political activist, and you can find a different voice, but you can make it your voice when you decide you care enough about trusting that voice to share it with other people consistently and generously and persistently so that it stands for something so that it stands for you. That idiosyncrasy is essential because everyone else is taken. The Onley person who's left is you. There isn't just one version of you. If I had been born in the Ukraine, I wouldn't be talking to you right now and I wouldn't be talking in English. This is not dictated by my DNA. This is dictated by where did you grow up? What did you think? It's important. What have you been rewarded for? What have you been punished for? What do you think is in worth doing next? And we add that all up. And when we feel like we found our footing and we had a day well spent because we found our voice because we spoke up for someone who is facing injustice because we reached out to somebody who needed us because we put something into the world that made someone cry. Whatever it is you choose when you do that and I don't think we can announce you have found your voice and when you feel like you are losing your voice, which has happened to me, which has happened to others, don't act like it got put on you by an external force because external forces happened. But then we make choices. And what what we have is the choice to realize there are still people who are counting on us and it doesn't have to be a million people. It could be too two people waiting for us to show up as us as Onley. We can unsub stitched. Ooh, double! And that option is such a privilege to be the kind of person who is trusted enough that people are hoping you will show up with your voice. You said it was a choice. I think this is very, very important thing I want to underscore because this has always been present in your writing if and for those that do not have the distinct privilege of like hanging out with Seth and getting a meal or a drink, or you just feel this like this is just so in like indelibly you at the base of all this stuff is mindset. You said that was a choice just saying, You've also said that passions are choices like you choose to be passionate about something, that the attitude that you walk in any room with is a choice, and it's a choice you can develop. You can get better at walking in with a better attitude. How help us understand the role that mindset plays, and I'm a huge mindset freak, and I put it the base of my creative pyramid. If you don't start from a good foundation, and to me, this is mindset. Then at some point you know it's gonna be hard for you to show up because life gets hard and there's a million things external forces that you just talked about but the best defense that I've I am aware of. And when it's so pervasive in your writing and when you spend 10 minutes with you is or your mindset and how you decide Thio talk to me about mindset, Okay, so to be clear, I've had privilege in my whole life, and so many lucky breaks and lots of people have been misjudged and hurt and grew up in families that weren't as support of his mind and didn't have resources. But There are also people in the world who grew up with way more than I grew up with all all of those humans. Maybe you're dealing with a disability. Maybe you're trying to overcome poverty. Maybe you've been sick. All of those people had something happened in their life that happened. The question is, now, what should we do? Does that mean you have many choices? Is everybody else know? Everyone has a different set of choices. Okay, that happened. Now what should we do? And there are only two paths. One path is to say I have no choices. I have to do what I'm doing that feels really empty to me. It feels like that's not going to get you the life you want. Nor is it going to get you the day you want. And the alternative is just say, my choices are limited, Everyone's are. But given the choices I've got and the mindset I could adopt today, which one do I want because I'm entitled to whine about X, y or Z? Will it help? I'm entitled to be nervous or anxious about X, y or Z. Will it help? I'm entitled to be depressed and sad about X, y or Z. Will it help? Because if it won't help, don't choose to do it and the world will keep dumping stuff on us. The media will keep dumping stuff on us. Everything around us that happened. Now what should we do? And what I have found is that the most useful path is to say, now I can make a choice. Well, what a privilege to be able to make a choice. And, you know, I've worked with my friend cat, and she's worked in Pelican Bay and high Security prisons. That's the biggest place where healing start. Okay, that happened. Now what do I do? There's still a choice, even after things have been stripped away even after unlucky breaks. Even after tragedy, there's still a choice, and the flip side is also true. After I joined Yahoo long time ago, I worked with a whole bunch of people who had unlimited options. They were in the equivalent of Florence during the Renaissance. They had as many resources as they wanted. They could walk into any place and raise money. They could hire anybody, they could build anything, and most of them just faded away because they didn't want to make the choice. And it's the same deal on the up, on the down on the sideways. If you choose to make a choice, you get to own what happens next. And that feels to me like an opportunity and obligation. And it's thrilling to two final topics before we wrap up. Go for it. This is okay. Um mhm. The concept of shipping. Is it truly on the book? Right? Shipping creative work. Why don't we just get credit for doing creative work in our parents basement for being a lot of them? I can carve a canoe paddle in a way by hand, out of a piece of cherry wood that makes me very happy. And I will not sell it to you because the minute I sell you a canoe paddle, I've elevated my hobby to do a profession, and they're separate. So you know him a off Clint who had that big show at the Guggenheim. I think you and I may have seen each other right around that time. I'm controversial in thinking that she sort of blew it because she painted 10,000 really important paintings. No one ever saw them. She wouldn't let her nephew showed them to the public until 20 years after she was dead. Like what would have happened if it was one year after she was dead? I'm not sure. 20 years after she was dead because she had a hobby. And so the art ends up being important. But the art isn't brave and her taste didn't develop and her taste didn't develop because she didn't ship the work and I could Onley imagine how the world would be different today if everyone from Duchamp to Victor Vasarhelyi had seen her work as she was making it and how her work would have changed if she could have seen how people saw what she made. So, yeah, go have a hobby. I will not dismiss that at all, but it's also not gonna make the world better until you shift the work. Is it all about making the world better, or is there any medicine or is that still than qualified or good free up oxygen mask come before other people? But it's not professional. And that's the distinction, E. You know, I wrote something the other day that I was surprised to write, which is, um And this is why we share the planet with you. And we don't usually think about it that way that we have this party going on for billions of people and we're sharing the punch, and we're sharing the carbon, and we're sharing the air. And I think it's really important that we're looking out for everyone except number one because we're sharing the planet. And so if you're not here to make things better, why exactly are you here? Because I'm not sure anyone has the right to just take whatever they could get away with. I think what we do is have the right to choose to make things better. Yes. Okay. You have this way of putting a bony You speak like finished written prose. It's so sorry. I'm no, it's beautiful. Like I wish I hate and encouraged, Like moving to rant mode. I'm sorry. No, I mean, this is why people around the world they're going crazy right now. As you listen to this in the best way, they're motivated and inspired. And you can clearly tell that you are a writer because you speak in these found narrative arcs with a very strong period at the end of it. And then you set your pencil down. So cool. Alright, Last topic. Seth, I'm not gonna let you off with a one sentence type. Precise. Allow answer here. And it's the concept of joy that pervades through the book. This, like this just there's like a levity. And and again, this is the the another thing that is so great about spending time with you and that you see in your writing your here. And you know, the videos that you've made is just There's just a joy, a playfulness, and you're all you're very clear in this book about this is it's your job to seek it because it's not necessarily going to smash you on the head, or there's an awareness, maybe component to it. But what role does that play in? Maybe in your life, And how would you prescribe it? Thio. Anyone who's listening or watching. So I recently did a podcast about GPT three, which is a non artificial intelligence install that's going to change the world or the things that come after. And if you are engaging in a back and forth or reading some writing that this AI has done. You can't tell that a person didn't write it. And like I've been studying a since 1976. So I'm pretty good at telling. It was very hard to tell. And the argument I made in the podcast is Maybe it doesn't matter that if you are reading something or being amused by something, we're watching something, and it turns out it was made by a machine, not a person. Maybe it doesn't matter because you got the benefit of it. And the authenticity and the pain and the turmoil of the Creator is secondary to what did it do for you? And I got to tell you, there are definitely days when I am not filled with joy and optimism. But every time I fake it, I feel better. I do better work and I have a better day. So if you can't tell the difference between a day when I'm really filled with joy and optimism and 11 I'm not, then I'm probably doing my professional work, and the same thing is true. If you have a lawyer or surgeon or veterinarian or anybody else, if you go to see a concert back when in the future when there's concerts, you don't want the musician to come on and talk about what a lousy day. They haven't not play very well. You want them to come on and give the best show they ever did. And I guarantee you that when a musician comes on and does the best show they ever did after a lousy day there, they just got better. And so don't put me down for the authenticity camp. Put me down for the camp of people who care enough about their work to show up. There's something also so about the presence you have to be present in order to really feel that joy. And that's what I've I loved. And it does. I just I think about that one. I read your writing that it feels so present. As you said, you get up. This is part of the practice, right? We're full circle here, you get up and I'm writing because it's tomorrow, not because this is my best work and there's some again triangle that is, this Joy presents doing like fulfillment. Is this me reading into your work? Something that wasn't intended. Or is this part of what a what a creative practice gives us? Yeah, I think that, you know, I've talked to some really extraordinary creators, and the ones who are in the most turmoil are the ones who don't want to own. They're creating a magic. They're the ones who are sure that if they look in the eye, it will disappear. They're the ones who are obsessed about this agent or that editor or that gatekeeper that didn't get that thing. They're the ones who are bitter because they, their gift doesn't feel like it will continue to be present. And as I was working my way through writing this book, which was, you know, 15 years in the making in several weeks in the writing was what do they have in common or different from the people who are joyful professionals who just keep showing up so so glad that they get to work indoors, make a difference for other people and even get paid for it? And it keeps coming coming down to where is the source? And if the source is unknown, unnamed and somehow we've involved building a shrine and you know taking mushrooms, then you're always going to feel like a double for odd because it's not even your work. And the alternative is to say no, this is this much workers digging a hole. I give me a shovel and let's go. And it seems to me that that story we get to tell ourselves is the most productive way I know to do this work. I want to read three quotes to you that you said about joy. Okay, the most successful givers aren't doing it because they're being told to They do it because it is fun. It gives them joy. This is This is what I want people toe think about like this thing that you do, of course, it. It has all of the properties that are suddenly some of the properties that bring you joy. But this idea of shipping it of putting it out there in the world of creating mawr joy. That's part of the thing that we're doing. Even if you create a a dark piece or a melancholic piece, people who we'd or watch or connect with that art, it ultimately can bring them joy to know that they're not alone. in their suffering or that they're connected with other people on the planet. That's just like the part of again. This this book really does feel like the culmination of, like, 17 books that you've you've written. I'm gonna give you two more joy quotes. The joy of art is particularly sweet, though, because it carries with it threat of rejection of of missed connections. It's the precisely the high wire act of quote. This might not work that makes original art worth doing. And then the last one. And then I'm gonna ask for your comments, your final comments about joy here. Corporations, particularly large scale service and manufacturing businesses, are organized for efficiency or consistency, but they're not organized for joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and a new it's m Am I reading into this again? Or is Joyce that you're seeking personally? And this is your pouring it on the page to create more of it. More connection, more awareness? Or is this joy? Is this joy? A foreground thing? Is that are you actively cooking on this, or is it simmering in the background for Seth Godin? I really like to solve interesting problems and the problems I like to solve are almost always about helping someone get to where they've always wanted to go. And maybe they didn't even realize that's where they wanted to go. And when I see that happen in the workshop, some money I get to see it up close or later, after someone's read something I wrote. That is what I do. And that is what I remember. And that is what I want to do again tomorrow. I remember the first time it happened when I was 17 years old, and I want to have it happen again to be ableto unlocked potential for people to get to where they wanted to go so they can feel that joy of also solving an interesting problem for someone else because people don't like to be alone. We've learned that the hard way in the last nine months. People want to be connected. Connection is at the heart of who we are but connection and creates problems and create connection creates opportunities and art art. Really art is simply connection. How did I make something that helped the connection and happen, And so I think I'm hardwired for that part, but I might be seeing it a little different than some other people. And I'll just add one more thought about joy, which is, uh, back when I was getting on planes, I gave the keynote speech at the National Funeral Directors Association, and I gotta tell you, the top 10% of the people in that industry get joy out of funerals because they didn't make someone die. That person was going to die anyway, but they got a chance put on a service to put on an interaction that gave that family solace and memories and possibility. And can you imagine being a funeral director who didn't get joy out of it? And you're gonna do it every day for 50 years, just for the money, Please can be the other guys. Instead, I'd much rather work with them. Thank you so much for your time, Seth. And for anyone who, uh, if you if you missed it all, this is largely, I think, the culmination. I think that's the best. Uh, and it is in his new book. It's a tidy little package that's easy to pick up. You have to do is press a button on the Internet. It's called practice Shipping. Creative work. Um, I'm not quite sure when we're gonna be able to drop this. I think we're gonna try and time it us in a sophisticated and timely way with the launch on November 3rd. So whenever you're listening to this would encourage you go pick up a copy. It's truly extraordinary helping us people identify as creators or entrepreneurs risk takers or want to beam or of any of those things to help you find a voice to do your best work. And, um, to realize that, uh, everything is there for us if we apply ourselves And if we take appropriate action. Seth, thank you so much for being on this show. I'm I long for our us to be able to be in the same room again soon. I just wanted to say thank you. Oh, you're such a mensch. Thank you, Chase. It was really a privileged really, truly keep making a ruckus. Alright. Signing off until next week or in a couple of days or maybe even tomorrow I bid you Yeah,