How to Overcome Resistance — Seth Godin

How to Overcome Resistance — Seth Godin

Start (00:00:00)

  • Seth Godin, author of 21 international bestsellers, discusses overcoming resistance to change.
  • Resistance is a natural response to change and can manifest as procrastination, self-doubt, or fear of failure.
  • To overcome resistance, identify its source and address it directly.
  • Take small, consistent steps towards your goals and have a support system or accountability partner for motivation.
  • Persistence and embracing failure as a learning opportunity are crucial.
  • Godin's latest book, "The Song of Significance: A New Manifesto for Teams," addresses team dynamics.
  • Sitting is unhealthy, and podcasts are often consumed while stationary.
  • The video encourages movement and walking as an alternative to sitting while listening to podcasts.

Writing a provocation rather than a prescription. (00:06:29)

  • Treating blog posts as questions or provocations, rather than answers or prescriptions, can make them more engaging and effective.
  • Condensing complex ideas into short blog posts can be challenging due to resistance to simplifying information.
  • Blogs are good at creating sketches that allow readers to fill in the gaps and actively participate in the dialogue.
  • Proofreading should focus on whether the writer is asking the right questions, rather than just fixing errors.
  • A blog post can be broken down into a series of shorter posts, each focusing on a specific aspect of the topic.
  • Using concise and memorable phrases can help readers visualize and remember the key points.
  • Blogs allow readers to think about and interpret the author's meaning, creating a puzzle-like experience.
  • The risk of being misunderstood can lead to negative responses and the author feeling the need to over-explain or stop blogging altogether.
  • Asking for clarification or revisiting the blog later for further discussion can help address misunderstandings.
  • XKCD, a blog in graphic form, exemplifies this approach.

Divvying up concepts. (00:13:23)

  • The speaker is considering writing a series of short pieces exploring ideas and clarifying their thinking.
  • They are unsure whether to make each piece a standalone or connect them as a series.
  • The speaker wants to make their writing sustainable and avoid exhausting themselves or their readers.
  • They mention the importance of genre and how readers need to understand what to expect from a piece of writing.
  • The speaker suggests that writing a series of shorter pieces may be more sustainable than writing a single long piece.
  • They use the example of David Letterman's TV show, which had a regular recurring segment called "stupid pet tricks" to illustrate the concept of genre.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of giving readers a clear idea of what to expect from a piece of writing, so that they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

Comprehension over complication. (00:16:40)

  • Seth Godin suggests adopting a comprehensive approach rather than overcomplicating things.
  • He uses the example of a tennis lesson where the coach advised him to focus on hitting the ball straight up instead of trying to hit a home run.
  • Godin proposes setting boundaries and rules to overcome the tendency to overcomplicate writing.
  • He encourages creating self-sustaining, independent pieces rather than relying on multi-part series.
  • Seth Godin identifies resistance as a common obstacle in writing.
  • He points out the use of parentheticals as a protective measure against potential criticism.
  • Godin suggests establishing boundaries to ensure that work is completed and shipped efficiently.
  • He proposes specific rules, such as having a tagline under 18 words and limiting footnotes, to encourage clarity and conciseness.
  • The idea is to present information as if having a phone conversation, focusing on clear communication within a limited time frame.

How Seth fulfills a blog post’s purpose. (00:19:13)

  • Seth writes blog posts in advance and reviews, rewrites, or deletes them the night before.
  • The rule is to get points for making the post shorter, not longer.
  • A blog post is done when it can't be boiled down any further without being deceptive.
  • The purpose of a blog post is to tell people something they already know in a way that they would be grateful to share with others.
  • Blog posts should provide insights that resonate with people and can be shared with friends and colleagues.

Claude AI vs. ChatGPT. (00:22:43)

  • Claude AI is significantly better than ChatGPT at certain functions, such as reviewing and critiquing writing.
  • Claude AI doesn't read the web, so it's not easily distracted.
  • Seth uses Claude AI every day to critique his writing and get insights.

How Seth Godin as a Service (SGaaS) maintains consistency. (00:23:56)

  • Seth Godin maintains consistency by playing the character of "Seth Godin" when writing his blog.
  • He only publishes blog posts that align with the character's voice and doesn't publish posts that are just him being tired or annoyed.
  • Godin writes blog posts every single day, whether he uses them or not, to ensure he has a reserve of content.
  • Resistance is the enemy of consistency.
  • Resistance can take many forms, such as fear, self-doubt, and procrastination.
  • Resistance is not something to be overcome, but rather something to be managed.
  • To overcome resistance, it's important to:
    • Identify the source of resistance.
    • Acknowledge and accept resistance.
    • Take small steps forward.
    • Celebrate progress.
    • Seek support from others.

Simplification over exaggeration. (00:27:38)

  • Tries to reduce ideas to their essence without becoming hyperbolic.
  • Avoids parentheticals unless absolutely necessary.
  • Creates tension and then releases it with an idea.
  • Example of a short blog post: "You don't need more time, you just need to decide."
  • Example of a longer blog post: Teaches details about something in a way that the reader can relate to.
  • People who feel overwhelmed often say they need more time.
  • The solution is not more time, it's making a decision.
  • Close the open loops and get things done.

Working with Isaac Asimov and getting a Clue. (00:32:10)

  • Isaac Asimov was a prolific writer and a humble person.
  • Seth Godin's experience working with Asimov on a VCR game project was positive, as Asimov trusted him and gave him creative freedom.
  • In contrast, Seth Godin's experience working with Stanley Kaplan on a test prep book project was negative, as Kaplan micromanaged the project.
  • Seth Godin and Peter Alatke invented a murder mystery game that could be played on VCRs.
  • The game was a success, selling over a million copies.
  • Kodak and Cisco bought the rights to the game, and it was advertised during the Olympics.
  • Seth Godin's only real job before the VCR game project was at Spiner Software, where he invented educational computer games.
  • He worked with Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Crichton on various projects.
  • He also worked with Byron Price on a team of programmers to create illustrated computer adventure games.

How Seth moves life’s story forward (even when he loves the current chapter). (00:37:08)

  • Seth Godin views life as a series of projects rather than a job, emphasizing the need to create a vacuum by ending successful projects to make way for new endeavors.
  • Godin's focus is not on maximizing income or audience size, but on ensuring that his work solves interesting problems and brings value to those he serves.
  • He advocates for deliberate decision-making when choosing new projects, avoiding multitasking, and embracing discomfort and uncertainty during the vacuum period.
  • Godin suggests taking time for reflection and exploration before filling the vacuum with another project to identify the most worthwhile pursuit.
  • The speaker struggles with resistance to shipping work and finds joy in the invention cycle but needs the satisfaction of publicly sharing work to overcome this resistance.
  • The speaker used to package books and accumulated over 800 unfinished book proposals, believing that a finished proposal requires an unfinished one that hasn't been shipped.

Why does Seth write? (00:43:43)

  • The biggest payoff is the reduction of noise in his head.
  • He writes consistently because he decided to 24 years ago, not because he reconsiders each day if it's good enough.
  • He would still write even if no one read his blog.
  • Having a consistent platform (his blog) has professional value, as people know what to expect from him in that lane.
  • He describes his blog as a "sinecure", a safe haven, a niche, a place to hide, a fortress.

Is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of sinecure? (00:45:14)

  • Seth likes the word "sinecure" and plans to use it more often.

Parting thoughts. (00:45:30)

  • Seth Godin's blog post highlights the negative impact of clever marketing on species extinction.
  • Tim Ferriss's "Five Bullet Friday" newsletter shares interesting discoveries and recommendations weekly.
  • Eight Sleep's Pod Cover optimizes temperature regulation during sleep, improving sleep quality and deep sleep percentage.
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