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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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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

Is Passion Overrated?

quote For our discussion on passion today, we talk with one of the most awesome people we’ve met since we started BIGG Success: Jim Bouchard. He’s a black belt turned motivational speaker. He does a great job helping you get in touch with your personal power. Recently, Jim turned the table on us – instead of us being the interviewers, we were the interviewees!

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take the opportunity to send a few questions Jim’s way – we love to hear his fantastic insight! So today we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you.

Let’s check into the conversation as we talk with Jim about passion …

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jimThere’s a lot of rhetoric about getting into a business that expresses your passion. The business I’ve been involved with for a long time is the martial arts business. Most martial artists will go into business – start a school – because it’s our passion, but it’s not always the best way to make money. I think that’s a very important, and often overlooked, factor when entering an entrepreneurial life. Passion is necessary, but it’s not the only ingredient that’s necessary.

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georgeThat’s a great distinction. It’s the old story – I have a hobby I love that I turn into a business. Now I don’t love my business or my hobby. Think about your hobbies, but also reflect on the elements of that hobby that you really enjoy. Teaching has been my hobby, because I had my businesses full-time. What I got out of it was the joy of helping people and seeing the light bulb come on. Bigg Success fulfills me in the same way.

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jimThat’s what people really need to look at. When you open these doors, you find passions that you never knew existed. I didn’t set out to get into the speaking business. I did always have the ambition to write a book at some point, but I never thought I’d go out into the speaking world. Like you, George, I found it was just a natural extension of the teaching that I liked to do – in my case within the martial arts world.

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marylynn You’re such a great presenter, Jim. How did that happen for you … that you ended up getting into the speaking business?

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jimThat’s a great question – it actually came from some of my martial arts students. I was sharing the martial arts philosophies that helped me create an anchor and a sense of value and worth in my life. They found themselves applying these philosophies to their business and personal life. A few of them encouraged me over the years to take my message to a different audience – not everybody wants to learn how to punch and kick, but everyone wants to learn how to develop their personal power, their capacity to act effectively. That’s how it got started. Then one of my mentors told me that I was already presenting every day anyway – I went on the floor and taught! So for me, it was a very natural transition. But I’m going to mark it this way … one of the greatest gifts that I learned from the martial arts was the idea of beginner’s mind. The whole world is open as a learning experience for us and we should never stop to pat ourselves on the back too long. Perfection is not a destination … it’s a never ending process. So I’m going through the same process as a speaker that I went through as a martial artist. I want to learn, I want to grow, and I want to be a better presenter every day. And I know you guys feel the same way!

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georgeAbsolutely, Jim! The thing that strikes me from your story – you said some of your students made a suggestion. With that one little suggestion, and you listening carefully and then processing it, you found this opportunity. That’s something we all need to be aware of – opportunity doesn’t hit you like a train. In most cases, it’s very subtle. But that’s where you’ll find that thing that you really want to do!

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