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Believing is Seeing – Part 1

vision_boards.jpgWe were thrilled to visit with Christine Kane on The Bigg Success Show today. Christine has sold over 100,000 CDs and her songs have been sung by a number of Nashville stars. She was recently featured in First magazine for her innovative strategies for taking life to the next level. If you listen to the show, you can hear part of her great song, “Right Outta Nowhere.

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georgeWe heard you perform live at SOBCon a couple of years ago and I have to tell you … you rocked the boat!

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christine_kane
Or the boat rocked me!

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georgeIt was a little breezy in the Windy City that night.

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What is a vision board?

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marylynnOne of my favorite girlie magazines is First magazine. So, when I saw your picture in the March 30 issue, I said to George, “Look, Christine is featured.” You were talking about how vision boards have helped you achieve your dreams. So, let’s start with, what is a vision board?

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christine_kaneVision boards got really popular after The Secret. I’ve been doing them forever. In the late 90s, a friend of mine was trying to change her career around. I was trying to uplevel my career in music. So the two of us and another friend did them. I ended up getting the house I put on my vision board. It was completely effortless. Then I noticed that, after my shows, I’d end up having a circle of women, and sometimes men, around me asking how to follow their dreams. So I started doing women’s retreats to answer that call. The first day we work on intention. The second day we look at what blocks our intention – the little patterns that come up. So by now they’re deeply connected with who they are, what they want and all their old patterns. After that, we do vision boards. We just take poster board and a huge stack of magazines – I have hundreds of them at these retreats. They grab photos that speak to them. Sometimes they speak to your soul and you don’t know why. Sometimes they are totally in alignment with what you want, like a new house or a new car. I tell them not to get uptight about it. You tend to know which image is right for you. I don’t give huge instructions because I think our creative side – that’s my songwriter side – knows where you’re going to put those images and how you’re going to lay out that board. I like to have people put a picture of themselves in the middle of it. Then you put that board above the desk in your office, your walk-in closet, in your bedroom behind the door. You just let those images be with you every day. The idea behind it is you’re welcoming in new images from a new paradigm that you want to create. That’s the power of our subconscious. As a creative person who has created a songwriting career out of nothing, I believe in the power of these kinds of tools. I don’t put everything on the idea of a vision board, but it’s one of the many ways that we can create better things in our life.

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Blocking out mental blocks

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marylynnChristine, let me go back to something you said early on – we have those “blocks.” As you were creating your vision board to help you take your career to a new level, what was a block that you recognized and what was something you put on your vision board to get past that block?

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christine_kaneThat’s a really great question. You have to take this to your own career. For my career, there’s a point where every songwriter, artist, or entrepreneur gets to where they have let the original people who showed them the ropes give them all the “here’s how it is in your business” or “here’s the only way you’ll be able to do it.” I had that and a lot of it was very negative. I was playing at bars. Sometimes I was at a festival playing on a rickety stand. I truly had this mindset that it was the best I could get. I was lucky to be an artist. I sat down by myself to do my vision board on New Year’s Day, which I do every year. Now this was not my first vision board; this was when I had been doing them and really got it. I pulled out the image of Celine Dion on stage in Vegas.

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marylynn
That was quite a stage!

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christine_kaneIt didn’t mean that I wanted to be Celine Dion because I don’t. It represented that I wanted to start playing on stages that are substantial, that didn’t smell like spilled beer, that weren’t a pile of wood thrown together for some make-shift festival that someone put on.

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marylynn
That weren’t rocking!

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christine_kaneExactly! If you’ve ever walked backstage at a great theater, you know what it feels like. You feel those spotlights come on. That image of her stage was the center of my vision board. Literally within six months of doing that board, I got an invitation from a ballet company. They had seen me at a showcase and fallen in love with my music. They choreographed a ballet to my songs. They wanted me to tour with them. The tour lasted for three years. From that point, I was on those stages. We were around the country at performing arts centers. Those spotlights. That strong sturdy stage. After that, a lot of the performing arts centers that I went to with the ballet company had me back as a solo artist. So my career literally did a u-turn. I got more money. I really got what it felt like to have imagined that thing on my board. It required that I get really deeply in touch with what that picture represented to me. It wasn’t just, “Hey I want to be Celine Dion and do cool things.” It was, “What does this stage mean to me?” It means no longer saying “yes” to anything that is less than this image. I really got what that felt like inside of my body.

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Don’t know what you want? Do you know what you don’t want?

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georgeThat’s such a great story, Christine. This was part of the article from First magazine. And by the way, may I say that I’m man enough to read Mary-Lynn’s girlie magazine! One of the things that jumped out at me reading that, and now hearing it again, is that sometimes we get to what we want by, first, knowing what we don’t want.

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christine_kaneOh yeah. You know it’s funny – my retreats have become so popular that I created an online course and then it turned into a coaching program called The Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program. It’s a seven-week program. One of the exercises in the first week is about getting in touch with what you want. So many people say they don’t know what they want. So we start with writing down what they don’t want. That is a perfectly valid place to start. That’s what has to start turning around. That awareness that I didn’t want to play at places where people were drinking. That was my first thing.

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Learn more about Christine and download her free vision board e-book by visiting her site, christinekane.com. Also check back tomorrow when Christine tells us about the three kinds of vision boards.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Dissing Plan B

success_and_failure Here’s a great quote by entertainer Steve Harvey …

“Don’t live by old sayings that don’t apply to you. For instance – ‘Have a Plan B.’ Having a Plan B means you believe that Plan A might fail. Having a Plan B requires that you put time and energy into what you could’ve been doing for Plan A to make it work. And if Plan A doesn’t work, guess what, get a new Plan A.”

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There’s some real wisdom in his quote. We’ll look at it line by line:

“Having a Plan B means you believe that Plan A might fail.”

Believe

He’s emphasizing how much we have to believe in success, not in failure. We have to believe, in ourselves and in our plan, in order to succeed. The first person who has to be on board with our plan – the first person who has to follow us so to speak – is ourselves. If we’re not in line, we’re in trouble!

Throw away the security blanket

There’s another thing that comes to light with this quote. Think Linus van Pelt, Charlie Brown’s best friend and Lucy’s younger brother. He never went anywhere without his security blanket. 

We can’t succeed if we hold on to our security blanket, or blankets, as the case may be. We have to throw it away once and for all if we’re going to succeed bigg.

A lot of times we hold on tightly to that security blanket just in case. Just in case, things don’t go as planned.

Well, here’s the brutal truth – no matter how good we get at planning, things never will go as planned.

That’s when we have to hunker done. We have to double our efforts to make our plan work. We have to overcome all the obstacles that we will face and keep the faith.

The covenant with Nature

We must keep on believing that we will succeed because we have no choice but to succeed. When we reach that level of resolve, the forces of Nature begin to conspire with us, instead of against us.

It’s not a miracle. It happens too frequently to think of it that way.

It is no accident. Because that implies a randomness that doesn’t exist.

It’s isn’t luck because it happens more often to people whose thoughts lead to certain behaviors. The more determination we have, the luckier we get!

It’s more like a covenant. Nature says, “This is how much you have to believe. Here is what you have to let go of in order to have my blessing.”

Now, let’s look at the next line …

“Having a Plan B requires that you put time and energy into
what you could’ve been doing for Plan A to make it work.”

Setting priorities

Since we only have a certain amount of time, we can’t afford to waste it if we’re going to succeed bigg.  It’s all about priorities.

We tend to think that:

  • we’re super-human
  • we can do ten things at once
  • we don’t need to focus on just one or two major objectives at a time

The bare naked truth is … all of that is a lie!

We do have to determine what is most important right now in pursuit of that bigg success of which we dream. Then we have to focus all our energy on only that.

In the last part of his quote, he says,

“If Plan A doesn’t work, get a new Plan A.”

So the question is, how do you know if Plan A isn’t working?

One way to judge it is if you keep running into the same wall over and over again.

You’ve tried to climb over it.

You’ve tried to go around it on one side.

Then you tried the other side.

You tried to dig under it.

You even tried to blast through it.

You’ve tried five times, but the doggone wall hasn’t budged.

Plan B is like Step 2

It may be time to start thinking of your alternatives. And here’s where we deviate slightly from Steve Harvey. Because we think Plan B is like Step 2 on your path to bigg success. You have to have a clear picture of what bigg success looks like to you before you start. Then you need to map out the steps to get there.

With your plan in place, you’ll focus all your time and energy on Step 1 before you begin to take the second step. So we’ve thought about it before we start, but we don’t worry about it until it’s time.

We think Plan B is just like that. Before we start working on Plan A, we should have thought about Plan B. We’ve prepared for the contingencies. But that’s where we stop.

And the important distinction is this ….

Plan B doesn’t send us back where we were before. Plan B moves us ahead in a way that Plan A didn’t. It makes that wall insignificant.

The only path to bigg success

But it doesn’t pay to spend too much time thinking about Plan B because the wall we face probably won’t be the wall we expect. So now we’re back on track with Steve Harvey.

Think about it a little, but don’t dwell on it. While you’re pursuing Plan A, keep Plan B out of your head. Because you have to if you want to succeed bigg.

Your mindset has to be, “This is my only path to bigg success.” By thinking that way, you will find bigg success. 

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Thank you for checking in with us today. Join us next time as we begin a two-part series on the ten early warnings of a business in trouble. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Profitable Passions – Part 2

career_renegade Today, we continue our conversation with Jonathan Fields, author of the great new book Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.

Last time, Jonathan discussed why it’s so important, especially in tough times like these, to understand how to operate online because it’s an inexpensive way to swap work for money. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeJonathan, I believe that really good entrepreneurs are masters at minimizing risk. I think one of the great secrets of being online is that you can test concepts with a relatively small amount of money compared to what it used to cost us in the real world. You find out fairly quickly whether or not that concept can get traction. If it doesn’t, you move on. If it does, you keep funding it.

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jonathanThat’s such a great observation. We were talking briefly before we started recording. You said that it seems like everything I do is a success. And I said, “No, everything that lasts that I do is a success.”

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Test, listen, adapt

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marylynnBecause you have two successful blogs, you have this book and then you have best yoga center in New York? You have the magic touch.

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jonathanI do a lot of different things. I’ve had failures offline and I’ve had failures online. I will continue to have many more failures in both worlds. I can tell you, hands down, that I have lost so much less money in my online failures. I’m able to jump back in to the next adventure in the blink of an eye online. Whereas when something goes wrong offline, you have a substantial amount more money, overhead or time invested in it. Everything is recoverable in my mind, but it takes longer. It may take months or years. In the online world, I’m sort of off and running. I have tried and failed online too many times to count, but that’s just part of being an entrepreneur. You’re constantly testing. The ability to listen and adapt are critical to survival, whether you’re online or offline.

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Getting started online

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marylynnSo for our audience, Jonathan – they may be thinking, “This sounds interesting. I may like to explore this online world. But I have no idea how to build a web site. I have no idea how to get started with an online business.” What would be some critical, career renegade, first steps for someone like that?

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jonathan
Step 1 – Buy my book!

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marylynn
Ha-ha, good suggestion! Does your book help walk people through that?

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jonathanIt’s interesting. When I started writing this book, I didn’t intend for it to have so much online advice, but it turned into a massive encyclopedia of references answering that question. So, if you’re interested in blogging, starting an information business, or figuring out how to turn your knowledge into a revenue stream – not just little products but real businesses – the book offers a ton of information. It also offers a ton of links and resources to other places where you can go a lot deeper because I don’t believe any one book is capable of covering the entire space. Beyond that, though, there is so much free information when you start to explore the blogosphere. I would start out with an idea, with what interests you. Search on it. Find the blogs where people write on a regular basis. To me, one of the critical things for almost anybody who is trying to build a reputation as a leader in any field is blogging. That’s something you can leverage into working for someone else or starting your own business. To me, it’s an amazing way to position yourself as the go-to person in your field of interest in an astonishingly short period of time. Anybody can start a blog, probably in less than an hour, and it costs almost nothing to do.

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georgeI became a renegade because I couldn’t find anybody to pay me what I thought I was worth. Then I found out I couldn’t afford to pay myself what I thought I was worth. What do you do about that? I had to adjust the value a little bit, but over time it’s been just fine!

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A very special offer

Jonathan amazed us with a special offer for you. He’s put together a sixteen-hour video training course called Career Renegade Flight School. You could expect to pay $1,000 for similar programs. He’s giving it away for a short while with proof that you’ve purchased his book. Go to Career Renegade to learn more.

Thanks, Jonathan, for the great advice!

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Thanks so much for stopping by our site today. Next time we ask, “Is your idea worth your money?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image in today's post by Career Renegade)

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

tribes Today on The Bigg Success Show, we continued chatting with Seth Godin about his great new book Tribes. Last time, Seth told us what a tribe is, what the leader does, and why the quality of a tribe is more important than its quantity.

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Why Seth became a leader

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marylynnSeth, you said that a leader connects the tribe and gives them a voice. Obviously, you’re the leader of a tribe. What motivated you to be a leader?

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seth_godinWhen I see things that are broken or aren’t the way they should be, when I see wasted resources and talent, it bothers me. I want to do something about it. I want to talk about it. I want to point it out. I want to help people see that there’s a different path. What I discovered, mostly from my blog over the last six or seven years, is that there are other people like me who are itching to make a difference. All I do is tell people stuff they already knew. All I do is give names to things that are already out there. But by giving it a name, by talking about it, I’m allowing people to say, “That’s right. The emperor has no clothes.” I’m allowing people to go to their boss and talk about remarkable products in a clever way or go to their boss and talk about treating people with respect instead of spamming them. By giving people this ammunition, what I’ve discovered is that I thought they were doing something for me, by letting me influence the discussion. They’re actually doing something for themselves because they, even more than I, want to see these things fixed and improved so they reach their potential.

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The Power of One

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georgeWell Seth, you’re being very humble when you say that you’re just saying things that other people have said. I think you say them in a way that cuts through and clarifies so we all understand. One of the things you talk about in Tribes is the power of one.

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seth_godinHere’s the bad news – there’s all this leverage. There’s all this opportunity. If it doesn’t cost any money to find and lead and connect a tribe, if you can start your own online radio or TV show, if you can have your own blog, if you can use Meetup to connect people in 500 cities, if it’s all available and then you don’t do it, you can’t blame anybody else. That’s your choice. The punch line of the book is this is now an obligation. It’s an obligation – for anyone who cares, for anyone who wants to see change happen – for them to go make that change. One person is all that it takes to change the agenda, to keep people out of poverty, to change the way your school district works, or to get elected. One person is able to now leverage the work and enthusiasm and passion of hundreds or thousands of people.

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The future is about leverage

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georgeWe’ve gone through this recent financial crisis. Partly it’s a result of too much leverage. So in a financial sense, we can look at leverage as perhaps a bad thing. But you talk in your book about leverage and how leverage as a leader can help you impact change for the good.

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seth_godinWell, let’s be really clear though. Leverage isn’t good or bad. Leverage is the way tools work. If you have bad intent, if you have selfish intent, if you have non-transparent intent, you can do all sorts of horrible things with tribes. We’ve seen racism and all sorts of other things amplified by this sort of leverage. The problem in our financial community is not because of leverage. The problem in our financial community is that selfish individuals made short-term decisions in the dark without telling everyone what they were doing. Leverage is the only thing that’s going to get us out of this financial problem and it will. Our future is now all about leverage. Our future is about the fact that one person in Tucson can have a clever idea and have it designed by someone in India, built by someone in Guatemala, and sold by someone in Buenos Aires. That’s extraordinary because we can do that in two weeks instead of two years. If we have good intent, if we’re willing to stand behind what we’re doing, then I’m incredibly optimistic.

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marylynnHere’s another thing that’s really exciting about this day and age. As you say in the book, marketing used to be about advertising which is expensive. Now to get the word out about that product you created in two weeks, it’s about engaging your tribe. So that makes it less expensive and easier.

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seth_godinIf you look at the most popular blogs in the world, almost all of them did not come from the mainstream media. The people who had all the money, all the access, and all the power, they all failed. Nobody’s going to CBS, The Today Show, or NBC online to hear unique, honest voices. They’re visiting real people, or groups of people – like the “Huffington Posts” of the world – because great ideas win. Great ideas attract enthusiasm and passion. So corporate money doesn’t work the way it used to.

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Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes.

Next time, we’ll wrap up our conversation with Seth. He talks about how change and chaos are creating opportunities for all of us today. We’ll also learn what keeps Seth going. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

tribes Seth Godin joined us on The Bigg Success Show today for the first of a three-part series to discuss his fantastic new book, Tribes. Seth is well-known to most of us, but here are some of the details: He is known as the most popular business blogger on the web. He also has written 10 best-selling books, including three of our favorites: Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, and The Dip. Here’s a recap of the first part of our conversation:

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marylynnI have to tell you, Seth, that your book The Dip was very influential in my decision to leave radio to build my own brand. You talked about how the industry forgot they were in the relationship business, not just the radio business. That really helped take me over the top and I said, “Yes, I’m going to start Bigg Success!”

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seth_godinI’m so glad to hear that and Tribes is going to help you even more because I talk a lot about the difference between having faith in a vision, faith in the future, or faith in the content about what you do and abandoning the rules or the religion of the status quo.

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What is a tribe?

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georgeWe love this book, Seth. We see some of the themes from your previous books and you pull it all together, which is fantastic. Why don’t you start by telling us what a “tribe” is?

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seth_godinA tribe is a group of people that are connected by a common goal, a common language, and common rituals. Usually they have a leader and a movement – they’re trying to make something happen. A tribe is very different than a crowd. A crowd is just a bunch of people. A crowd is people coming to your Grand Opening Sale, people clicking through to your web site, or people looking at your ads on TV. Marketers love crowds, but they have to earn a tribe, which is a totally different thing.

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marylynn
Because a tribe interacts with each other and that’s what starts creating the movement.

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seth_godinThat’s exactly right. Tribes are always bigger than the leader himself. We can look at some famous ones, like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. Clearly it was the movement and the tribe that made the difference, not the person at the front of the room. We see tribes in everything from marathon runners or triathletes all the way to the Red Hat Ladies, the fifty- or sixty-year old women you’ll see around the world at cafes or the women who have now taken up roller derby and do it in the evenings instead of watching TV.

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Engagement comes from quality, not quantity

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georgeOne of the things in your new book goes back to the crowd theme. It’s the quality, not the quantity, that matters.

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seth_godinExactly. What we’re seeing is there’s a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk, who has his own TV show about wine. Gary has a tribe. It’s only a couple of hundred thousand strong, so it’s tiny compared to what any TV network would want. But Gary has benefited enormously, both in terms of revenue and public appearances but also in terms of his impact on society and the people he wants to reach. It’s far more effective than if he had a spot on The Today Show.

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marylynnIn your book, you point out something about Gary that I thought was very interesting. What he does is narrate his tribe’s passion. He doesn’t push it on them; he just leads the passion.

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seth_godinThat’s right. Almost every tribe was there before you got there to lead it. Almost all the things that human beings want to do, they’ve already figured out. What they’ve been waiting for is someone to connect them and give them a voice. My friend, Jacqueline Novogratz, runs the Acumen Fund, a very important philanthropic venture out of New York. She has trouble finding people who all along believed there was a better solution to the developing world. Once she finds them, all she has to do is point them in the right direction and they’re eager to get on board. It’s not about persuading the undecided; it’s about connecting the committed.

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Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes.

Next time, we’ll continue our conversation with Seth. We’ll learn what pushed Seth to become a tribe leader. He’ll also tell us about the power of one. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00253-102908.mp3

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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3