A world class sentence

Could you write a world-class sentence – one that wouldn’t look out of place in a classic or a bestseller? Here are a three for free: “She turned.” “He scratched his head.” “The sun went down.” World class sentences. Very simple. Easy to write. Write some more.

Cohort (2): Seth Godin on peers and practice

Cultural standards and normalisation have enormous power over whether we choose a practice and how we find the guts to commit to our work. Bob Dylan moved from Minnesota to Greenwich Village for a reason. Most of the famous painters of the renaissance came to Florence for a reason as well. When you’re surrounded by respected peers it’s more likely…

If they knew what you know (2)

“I’m an imposter. If they knew what I knew I’d never work again.” This may be true. If it is, you’ve got some work to do. (Even if it isn’t you’ve got work to do anyway). At the same time it’s worth bearing in mind that you don’t know what they know or see what they see. It’s possible that…

First from the source, then from the sides: Seth Godin on how change happens

Your wishes are pure, the change is important, and it’s going to make things better. And you probably believe that things would be better if everyone got on board. But everyone won’t. Everyone won’t hear you. They won’t understand you. And most of all, they won’t act. … Sooner or later, the culture changes. But not because you brought everyone…

If they knew what you know (1)

Sometimes it feels awkward to ‘sell’ an idea or product, but persuading people to agree / sign up / buy what you’re selling is fine under the following conditions: You’re respectful: your briefest of pitches is an invitation-to-give-you-an-invitation to share. You avoid interrupting, and ask for permission. You’re honest: you tell the truth about what you’re selling. You believe: you…

Seth Godin: Generous doesn’t mean free

Too often the market pushes creators to give away their work, and too often we come to believe that giving it away – removing money from the interaction – is the most generous thing we can do. But that’s not the case. Money supports our commitment to the practice. Money permits us to turn professional, to focus our energy and…

Seth Godin on the gift of fundraising

Let’s say you were head of fundraising for a cause you really care about. Whether it’s buildings on campus, or the ACLU, or anything in-between. Clearly, free is not an option, because then it’s not a donation anymore. Why would someone give $100,000 to have a building named after them? Is it rude to ask a billionaire to spend $100,000…

Seth Godin: “This might not work.”

“This might not work,” is at the heart of all of our most important work, but often we let the possibility of failure put us off, or we make the equal-and-opposite error of not making a proper go of something so that we have an excuse if it falls flat. Risk is part of the game. Interesting and important problems…

It could have been better (3): Seth Godin on “good enough” and the pursuit of perfection

The pursuit of perfection gets in the way of doing the work that we need to do. … What does perfection actually mean? … It is entirely possible that, as a marketing effort, your definition of “good enough” is “much better than people expect”. If you define “good enough” as “remarkable in the way that customers experiences it,” you’ve still…

It could have been better (2): Seth Godin on limits to quality

We must never accept shoddy work – it doesn’t make any sense to make something not as good as it should be. But we are always making things that are not as good as they could be, because if we have unlimited time and unlimited money of course we would make something differently. But we don’t have unlimited time, and…