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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!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

Like, If You Want to be Liked, You, Like, Have to Read These 5 Traits!

Some people are just likeable. There’s just something about them. You sense it instantly and it draws you to them.

Being likeable is important personally, but it’s also very important professionally. Here are five things we’ve observed from meeting people who are likeable:

#1 – People who are likeable are confident in themselves.
This confidence exudes from inside themselves. They are comfortable with themselves and as a result you feel comfortable with them. If you want other people to like you, you have to like yourself. That’s the starting point.

#2 – People who are likeable are welcoming.
From their posture, their body language, and how you see them interact with others, they seem to invite other people to reach out to them.

#3 – People who are likeable give you a warm reception.

They have a good handshake and let’s face it, there is such a thing as a bad handshake. They smile and greet you sincerely. They instantly make you feel like a friend.

#4 – People who are likeable are engaging.
Sure, they have plenty to say, but they don’t dominate the conversation. They ask you a lot of questions and listen attentively to your answers. They take a genuine interest in you.

#5 – People who are likeable are just plain fun.
They’re light-hearted. They don’t take themselves too seriously – often exhibited by a certain self-deprecating humor. Or they just look at life through a lens that brings a comedic sense to the things we all experience.

The underlying secret to being likeable
The thread that holds all of these things together is that people who are likeable …

… make other people feel good about themselves.

It’s really very simple, if you make people feel good about themselves, they’ll feel good about you. They’ll like you!

And the reward is that by being genuinely interested in other people, you’ll learn more from them than you can learn any other way. From what they do, to what they’ve experienced, to their philosophy on life. You’ll come away from almost every conversation enriched.

What do you think makes people likeable?
Leave a Comment below!

Our bigg quote today is by Mark Twain, who said,

“He liked to like people, therefore people liked him.”

So to connect with human beings, enjoy humans being.

Next time, we’ll blog about the billionaire and the batboy. What Warren Buffett learned from Eddie Bennett, perhaps the most famous batboy of all time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by GiniMiniGi)