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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:
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

You’ve Heard of the Purple Cow, but Have You Seen The Purple Tree?

One of the most frequent questions we get is how we come up with show topics. So we thought we’d give you a peak behind the curtain and show you how we arrived at today’s show idea.

We were eating!

That’s why today’s show topic is really … I can’t believe I ate that whole thing! Plop … plop … fizz … fizz!

Mary-Lynn recalled …
We were at a family diner. I started reminiscing about when I was a kid. There was this restaurant that we would go to when we went to visit my grandma. It was called the Hen House. The outside looked like a big red barn. The inside had a country décor and a fun little gift shop that my sister and I would always visit after eating. They had games and books and candy …

George added …
We’re showing our roots here. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it (which is likely most of you), the Hen House was a Midwestern chain. Sort of a smaller version of Cracker Barrel.

I have a book by William Dooner, the guy who started the Hen House chain. And to me, the most memorable thing from his book is when he talks about the purple tree in the forest.

Hence the subject of today’s show!

The Purple Tree

Dooner says to picture yourself walking through a lush green forest. In the middle of it, you come upon a tree that is painted purple. You keep walking, but you can’t get that purple tree out of your mind. Most likely, your impression is negative … because it doesn’t fit. Why someone would paint that tree that color?

Mary-Lynn …
When I heard this story, I wondered if this is where Seth Godin got his idea for The Purple Cow. Because I’d never heard this purple tree story before, but I’d definitely heard of the purple cow.

We can’t speak to Seth Godin’s inspiration, but they are different concepts. William Dooner said to look for something that stands out because it doesn’t fit. It probably leaves a negative impression. Seth Godin encouraged us to purposefully not fit in so that we stand out. By doing that, we make a positive impression.  

In either case, purple tree or purple cow, you remember it.

So, as it applies to real estate, the purple tree in the forest means properties that may be run-down, out-of-the-way, unused, underused … that sort of thing. What Dooner did with the Hen House chain is a perfect example (see, we’re about to make it all fit … you were starting to doubt us, weren’t you?).

The $10 million purple tree

He saw this vacant land next to gas stations along the interstate. It was ugly, smelly, littered with junk, no landscaping. A purple tree. 

This land had never been used commercially. At that point in time, there often wasn’t any place to eat when you stopped to fill up with gas. So Dooner had a bigg idea – he invested $15 thousand to start a restaurant chain on that unwanted and unused land. He later sold that chain for $10 million!

Beyond real estate

We highly recommend Dooner’s book. It’s called How to Go from Rags to Riches in Real Estate. It’s a must read if you’re interested in real estate investing, but this purple tree concept goes beyond that.

Think about customers nobody wants to serve, employees nobody wants to hire, jobs nobody wants to do. Maybe one of those is your purple tree! So look around today … where do you see purple trees?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

How Opportunity Often Presents Itself

6 Factors to Help You Succeed When Opportunity Knocks 

(Image by Mailjozo)

You've Heard of the Purple Cow, but Have You Seen The Purple Tree?

One of the most frequent questions we get is how we come up with show topics. So we thought we’d give you a peak behind the curtain and show you how we arrived at today’s show idea.

We were eating!

That’s why today’s show topic is really … I can’t believe I ate that whole thing! Plop … plop … fizz … fizz!

Mary-Lynn recalled …
We were at a family diner. I started reminiscing about when I was a kid. There was this restaurant that we would go to when we went to visit my grandma. It was called the Hen House. The outside looked like a big red barn. The inside had a country décor and a fun little gift shop that my sister and I would always visit after eating. They had games and books and candy …

George added …
We’re showing our roots here. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it (which is likely most of you), the Hen House was a Midwestern chain. Sort of a smaller version of Cracker Barrel.

I have a book by William Dooner, the guy who started the Hen House chain. And to me, the most memorable thing from his book is when he talks about the purple tree in the forest.

Hence the subject of today’s show!

The Purple Tree

Dooner says to picture yourself walking through a lush green forest. In the middle of it, you come upon a tree that is painted purple. You keep walking, but you can’t get that purple tree out of your mind. Most likely, your impression is negative … because it doesn’t fit. Why someone would paint that tree that color?

Mary-Lynn …
When I heard this story, I wondered if this is where Seth Godin got his idea for The Purple Cow. Because I’d never heard this purple tree story before, but I’d definitely heard of the purple cow.

We can’t speak to Seth Godin’s inspiration, but they are different concepts. William Dooner said to look for something that stands out because it doesn’t fit. It probably leaves a negative impression. Seth Godin encouraged us to purposefully not fit in so that we stand out. By doing that, we make a positive impression.  

In either case, purple tree or purple cow, you remember it.

So, as it applies to real estate, the purple tree in the forest means properties that may be run-down, out-of-the-way, unused, underused … that sort of thing. What Dooner did with the Hen House chain is a perfect example (see, we’re about to make it all fit … you were starting to doubt us, weren’t you?).

The $10 million purple tree

He saw this vacant land next to gas stations along the interstate. It was ugly, smelly, littered with junk, no landscaping. A purple tree. 

This land had never been used commercially. At that point in time, there often wasn’t any place to eat when you stopped to fill up with gas. So Dooner had a bigg idea – he invested $15 thousand to start a restaurant chain on that unwanted and unused land. He later sold that chain for $10 million!

Beyond real estate

We highly recommend Dooner’s book. It’s called How to Go from Rags to Riches in Real Estate. It’s a must read if you’re interested in real estate investing, but this purple tree concept goes beyond that.

Think about customers nobody wants to serve, employees nobody wants to hire, jobs nobody wants to do. Maybe one of those is your purple tree! So look around today … where do you see purple trees?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

How Opportunity Often Presents Itself

6 Factors to Help You Succeed When Opportunity Knocks 

(Image by Mailjozo)