My Most Important Takeaway from Seth Godin’s Pick Yourself Conference

One of the most important things that I do to process new ideas, thoughts, challenges, and perspectives is to verbally share them with a few people that I trust and admire. What I’ve discovered is that my ideas almost never completely formed until I spend some time verbalizing them and walking them through with someone else.

This has been one of the greatest features of being married to an incredible woman who has helped clarify nearly every important decision that I’ve had since I’ve met her – something as simple as a conversation brings everything into focus and the result is that my businesses do better, my decisions are more full of wisdom, and I am more patient and hesitant to pull the trigger on needless experiments because of it.

She (and my partners) have saved my bacon and helped make it incredibly crispy many, many times.

So as I processed the many great things that I took away from Seth Godin’s Pick Yourself Conference I have been able to clarify some of the more important takeaways that I received during my time with him and the many other linchpins in attendance.

Here’s what has come up time and time again in my conversations:

Seth Godin has earned the right to speak challenging truth because he’s been executing (or shipping) for a very long time.

When Seth stands up and says “Guys, I’ve been doing this for 30 years!” you have to take him seriously. You also have to realize that it’s the truth and it’s the one thing that he has that many of us do not have – and there’s nothing that we can do to shortcut experience or time!

The guy is 51 – and many people would never think he’s that old because he’s so nimble, dynamic, and relevant to what’s going on in the major industries at large. The guy is incredibly informed, if nothing else!

But the result was my biggest takeaway which was an acute reminder that my greater success and the development of my own personal platform is the cumulative effort of years of experience and years of shipping. I will not be able to say that I have 30 years in any industry or in a focused area like Seth until, well, a few more years to be sure.

And that’s what separates me and you from a Seth Godin – and again, there’s not a darn thing we can do about it!

Except this one thing: Execute. Ship. Go and do. Stop whining about what you don’t have “yet” and start building it today.

Maybe 10, 20, 30 years from now we’ll be able to sell out a packed auditorium of entrepreneurs, leaders, Fortune 100 brass who had flown in from across the US (and from other countries) to hear us talk for a few hours. Not today, but perhaps tomorrow.

But if we don’t start building it today then it will never happen.

We have no excuse. We have no reason not to start. If we want to do what Seth does then we have to start today. If we want the platform, the success, the “whatever,” just like Seth has, then you have to take that first step toward it and not stop. It might take years, decades even, and there’s nothing you can do to change that formula.

I was humbly reminded that I’m in this thing for the long-haul – I can’t shortcut it and I can’t hack my way to it. That’s one reason why I blog, every single day, for the last 10+ years.

I’m working hard now (and not quitting) so in 30 years I can stand on stage and share with others the success of “doing” so I can inspire the next generation to do even greater things.

[Images via Creative Commons, squid11]

  • Jeff Luce

    Great post. Sounds like an awesome day. I have often fallen into the trap of believing that I’ve earned the right to be listened to without actually doing anything to earn it. Thanks for the reminder and challenge.

  • Charlie

    Nice! I’ve experienced the same… A lot of my best ideas come to fruition as I verbalize them to a few. Thanks for sharing!

  • Deborah Watson-Novacek

    This article references one of my biggest roadblocks – trying not to be stopped by excuses and putting my butt in the chair each and every day to produce. Thanks for the rundown and the reminder!

  • Jack Sander

    Sharing out thoughts and ideas with other is a great way to improve them, as they might come up with useful suggestions. From my own experience, I consider it is a great thing to see an issue from more perspectives at once, therefore I always involve my close friends in my projects.

  • Doug Smith

    Loved this! Thank you!

  • Garth Beyer

    Awesome post. I am an avid believer in the saying do what you need to do now, so you can do what you want later. I think I got it pretty lucky that I started so young at 19 years old. Thanks for the reminder to ship. ship early. and ship often.