Seth Godin doesn’t drink coffee

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts, especially Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week made up with a collection of podcasts and interviews with generally very smart and colourful people, so last week I was delighted to see and hear that one of my favourite authors, Seth Godin, had featured on Tim’s Four Hour Work week, mainly because it saved me having to think of some creative and quirky blog post idea.

The podcast is 2:00 hours long, so I listened over two afternoons for an hour. About 00:34 minutes into it, I realised it would probably take me longer to actually nail down a blog topic (out of so many covered) than actually writing the thing.

For those of you that don’t know Seth, firstly, you should. Secondly, he generally writes and posts about business, ideas and the way we perceive things. However, it’s very rare that we get the opportunity to get into Seth’s head, hear about his breakfast routine, chocolate preferences, or views on family time, so this podcast was like gold.

The first thing that puzzled me, was how a genius like Seth, doesn’t actually drink coffee. I’m 2 double espressos down, and I’ve had writer’s block, and banged my knee, on the desk, really hard. Seth goes into quite a bit of detail of how he doesn’t actually drink coffee, but spends the time finding the best way to make it (apparently the key is to roasting your own beans). He also recommends what sounds like a delicious recipe for Honey Roast Vodka. I admire his willingness and motivation to learn and share his wisdom.

On a more selfish note, it was slightly comforting to know that Seth and I share a love for dark chocolate. From one dark chocoholic to another, it’s always useful to hear about a great provider of chocolate that’s worthy of purchase. I listened to this part twice, and apparently the chocolate he buys is called Askinoise — it’s so refreshing to hear that he buys from people he actually meets with good cause. It’s so much more authentic.

It was really hard to choose a topic to focus on from this podcast, in between family, meditation, sending emails, his best and worst decisions and saying no to things. You really have to listen to the whole thing to be honest.

“Who points out when Seth Godin is wrong? Who does Seth Godin lean on for the truth?”

There’s two kinds of people that Seth considered in his answer… There’s those kind of people he’s blessed to have been surrounded by. Those skeptical people who criticise things and have those reservations towards almost everything. 
 I’d never thought about those skeptical people in my life in that way. Being around those skeptical people highlights those wonderful people who believe in you, which is an invaluable discovery. 
 
Over the past say, six months, I’ve learnt to not focus on proving wrong those people who didn’t believe in me, or hesitated when I tried to code, when I tried to meet the right people, or worked to get where I am now, but to focus and invest time into those people who always supported and believed in me. I mean it is slightly satisfying to bump into those people who didn’t have faith in you when you’ve gone over and above what they ever expected of you……

The second kind of person that Seth Godin leans on for the truth are much rarer. It’s those people who “get” you. They understand you and know how you work. They approach things with such care and generosity, and they’re honest about things. They’ll tell you when something can be done better, and encourage you to look at things differently. Basically, those people who dish out the ‘tough love,’ even when we don’t want to hear it. 
 
 It’s all about the consistency, and they are the ones you should keep close to you. So we all need a “Steve from 1981.” I’m not sure if this stands for everyone, but I’ve had those people who I thought were gold, however, it didn’t last very long. There a handful of people, who have truly stuck by me, when things were a walk in the park, and then stuck by when I was unstable (I’ll be the first to admit it), questioning every life decision I’d ever made, and strongly considering packing up and joining the circus. It’s those people who tell me when I shouldn’t rush into sending that email or tell me when my blog was absolutely horribly written and littered with spelling mistakes. Do you know what though, it is sometimes those people who just sit and listen. And those people who have supported me through bad, good and questionable decisions, I cannot thank you enough and I hope one day I can give back and help you.

For those of you, like me, who tend to borrow and seek people’s ideas and recommendations, or those who purely don’t have time or patience to skim and shuffle through the podcast to find Seth’s recommendations, I’ve posted a link to them here:

  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith — “The single best Audiobook ever recorded
  • Debt by David Graeber — apparently people got bored of carrying goats to trade, so they invented money!
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