How to “get things done” like Seth?

Not sure if you know this already — but I’m a HUGE Seth Godin fan!

Some may think I’m trying to emulate him (you know — short posts, rants, raves, and uncensored opinions) but that’s so far from the truth. He’s my hero and having loved and followed his blog, books and talks over the years… I can say this with absolute certainty — I cannot ever be like him! But that is just fine.

But sometimes I wonder where he gets all his ideas from. Maintaining a daily blog with over 7,000 posts for almost 20 years (possibly more) is not a joke. If you’re curious, that’s worth a study. No?

Here’s what Neil Patel has to say about Seth’s observational skills:

 

You have to wonder where he gets all of his ideas. Let me tell you. He pays attention. And he notices things.

For instance, if he sees something that doesn’t make sense to him or he doesn’t understand…he will try to figure it out. That may turn into an insight that may land on his blog.

The same applies to you. If you are going about your workday and come across a challenging situation…try to figure it out.

If you don’t have time to do it right at that moment, then jot the thought down and come back to it. You will know that you need to definitely return to the idea if you do nothing with it and it sticks with you for days.

Then, it’s worth shipping.

I found another fan, Robert Katai, share his thoughts on Seth:

He is constant (Day by day by day by day)

And that’s one of the things that impress me the most when it comes to him. This man is simply always constant in everything he does. From the books he releases to his blog. I am probably saying this based on the things I see around me. A multitude of rules and laws followed by an incomprehensible chaos. It seems like there is too much chaos and no one wants to be constant in what they do anymore. It’s like no one wants to grow anymore, they all just want to explode. As an exception, Seth Godin is not a man that wants to explode all of a sudden through gossips and newsflashes. He is just making his work day by day by day by day…

Seth’s day-by-day-by-day approach is what makes him prodigiously productive allowing him to do all the great things that he does. Including maintaining his daily blog. His an excerpt (from a transcript) from his conversation with Tim Ferriss:

  • It’s has been one of his top 5 career decisions.
  • Have a practice that resonates with the people I need to resonate with
  • Leaves a trail, no promoting, analytics, comments
  • “This is what I noticed today and I think I’ll share it with you” (approach)
  • Writes 5x a day but posts 1x/day

Check out this interview on The Writer Files where Seth delves a little deeper into his writing process.

What’s your best advice for overcoming procrastination?

The deadline focuses the mind, of course. The curse of the traditional writer is that the publisher wants a book no more often than once a year. So procrastination is part of the process.

But blogging? Once a day. Not every minute like Twitter, which provokes mediocre writing because there’s so much of it. But every day? Better write something, better make it good.

The crux of it all is this — show up every day. It’s not easy. I can say that from first-hand experience. I’ve tried hard and have failed multiple times. But the key is to keep getting up after being knocked down.

Going back to my short posts (I mention that because one of my dear friends got annoyed and related the size of my posts to my admiration for Seth Godin — not fair, I know… but what can you do?) — I think Joe Pulizzi said it the best.

People often ask me how long their blog posts or newsletter articles should be. My answer is always this: “as long as it needs to be.”

— Pulizzi, Joe. Epic Content Marketing. 

Having no limits have literally set me free to focus more on writing and expressing myself than impressing readers (or Google!) with my skills. There are two specific reasons for that:

  1. I don’t think I’m a great writer. And becoming one is not my goal. (Not that I won’t welcome that possibility but let’s get real. For now.)
  2. I don’t want to make money from this blog. It’s purely a passion project and I want to keep it that way. I’m a firm believer that money ruin things — our habits, relationships and the little-big things that we’re truly passionate about. This isn’t any different.

I guess Seth agrees with that too.

–maybe you will, one day, figure out how to achieve the much-heralded monetization. But if that’s your primary goal, the compromises you make along the way will likely cause your efforts to backfire.