I’m Not Going To See Seth Godin Because….

I thought a lot about this post, and wonder if I’m crossing some line by writing it. I came to the conclusions that (a) Seth would agree with this (at least, I’m guessing he would), and (b) the information/logic is too important to not share. Enjoy 🙂

Click on Seth's head to go to his blogSeth Godin is coming to Salt Lake City today to speak and sign books. I’ll be there, and a few hundred others will be there, but some of my buddies won’t. Here’s why:

I don’t like to pay $50.00 to an extortionist … “buy 2500 of my books and I will think about coming”

and from another friend:

I read Seth every day, but I don’t feel the need to hear him speak, unless he wants to go one on one with me! I view him as a high end ad agency kind of guy. Highly effective, but he rants sometimes on goofy stuff like “the bread at my table was too soft”….(east coaster!)

I found it super-interesting to get replies like this from my buddies. I don’t fault them but I have an entirely different opinion on why one should go. Most of my thoughts are coming from some of the paradigm-shifting that I got while reading Never Eat Alone last year…

  1. I’m not going to see Seth Godin – I will, and it will be cool, but my celebrities are different (I met a bunch of my celebrities a couple of weeks ago at the SOB Bloggers Conference and Kennedy’s Recruiting.com conference). For me, watching a celebrity walk around in person and on TV is the same thing.
  2. I’m not going to get on Seth Godin’s radar – I would love to be on his radar more (heck, he contributed to last year’s blog carnival, and we’ve exchanged more e-mails), but I doubt this will happen. I wrote a post on my personal blog a few weeks ago about why Seth Godin should write about JibberJobber and e-mailed it to him. Nothing (although he replied to the e-mail, which I think is very classy). I doubt that 1/2 second of eye contact, with hundreds of others in the room vying for his attention is going to put me on his radar any more than I already am.
  3. I’m not going to hear an amazing presentation – although I’m expecting one, if it isn’t amazing I can still pick up his book(s) and study them. Or I can see his videos on YouTube. I saw Andy Sernovitz (Word of Mouth Marketing author) a few weeks ago and he had a terrific intro – he said “First of all, please lower your expectations.” He was awesome, and I was inspired to read his book. But if Seth’s presentation stinks for whatever reason I’m not going to feel like I was cheated out of $50, and I’m still going to read The Dip.The Dip - the book, from The Seth
  4. I am going to be in the right place – Keith Ferrazzi talks about fishing where the fish are. I know who some of the people that are going to be there today and these are movers-and-shakers that I want to develop relationships with. Even though they won’t have a direct impact on my business, I’m going for the relationships, and this is a great way to get to know some of them.
  5. I am going to strengthen my relationship with contacts that I haven’t met in person yet – similar to #4 but these are some of my blog and Twitter contacts that I haven’t met in person yet. It is always fun to put a face and voice to a picture and online persona. There’s even a guy flying in from Reno to be there – how cool is that?
  6. I am going to help put Utah on the map – not for skiing or MLM, but for other stuff. Getting Seth Godin here is big, and we should be proud. This isn’t Silicon Valley, and never will be. But we’re trying to build a strong culture of smart business, smart people here in Utah and pulling this event off successfully will contribute to that.
  7. I am going because it’s healthy for me – it’s better for me to get out and hang with excited people than it is to stare at blogs all day. Not necessarily more comfortable, but definitely healthier.

The next time you have an opportunity to go to something similar to this, don’t take it for face value. There are other reasons to go to events like this. I’m not missing out on it, even though I may be going for reasons other than “the main event.”

What do you think? Am I off my rocker?

One more thing – if you want to come but are in transition (read: don’t have $50 for this), let me know, I might be able to score you a ticket.

11 thoughts on “I’m Not Going To See Seth Godin Because….”

  1. Jason- I find it interesting that people so quickly find reasons NOT to do things that could lead to bigger opportunities. I just wrote a post on my blog about all the reasons people avoid going to events and or avoid networking. Your “buddies” who have all the reasons for not going are missing out. How are they missing out? While they might not be on Seth Godin’s radar, they could meet the person who offers them their next job or find another connection in the room that leads to a greater future.

    As for the cost of the event, $50 is not a large investment for the inspiration that could come from seeing someone who is at the top of their game. If you want to look for reasons to resist things, you cna always find excused. Instead, I think successful people live a life of “zero resistance” and look for ways to make things happen. Those “buddies” of yours who are giving you all the negatives will probably be the same ones complaining five years from now that they have not achieved much.

    Have a great time at the event. I know that you will gain a lot from attending, because that is the kind of person that you are, Jason. Ahhhh, if more in the world were like Mr. Alba!!!

  2. I almost passed on attending a fundraiser because the ticket price was $100, but I went anyway (snuck in, don’t tell) and scored an interview tomorrow afternoon from an acquaintance.

    You never know when something might break! I am attending a booksigning tonight with people I want to connect with.

  3. Interesting. I wont be coming cos..its bloomin miles away 😉

    Seriously, Im with what one of the previous commenters said, which is akin to you make your own luck in this life. If you aren’t in you cannot win either.

  4. It’s important to have some interest in the speaker and the subject at hand. Seth? Check.

    Once past that check, all the reasons listed make perfect sense. It’s always energizing (to me) to be around other people who are interested in what is being presented, regardless of the subject. It gives me the opportunity to learn something. Learning is critical.

    Hope you had a great time!

  5. I disagree with thom singer.

    $50 is a lot of money. It’s 20 loaves of bread. It’s 14 jars of peanut butter OR 17 jars of jelly. It’s 10 large cans of store brand instant oatmeal.

    Isn’t it enough that many people will buy the book that’s being hawked? Going on a book tour is the cost of the author’s promotion. It’s a lot of nerve asking the customers to foot the bill for someone else’s business.

    For some people $20-50 here and there means many skipped meals.

  6. I think people should go for the learning experience. When people like Seth speak, it makes you think more critically about what your doing and what you could be doing.

  7. Such a great post Jason!!! Like you, I always want to be around the people who want to be around innovators. Period. Making that happen is never boring, and is always productive in some unexpected way — either immediately or longer term.

    I’ve never invested in a conference or speaking gig where I didn’t come away some great new ideas, increased energy, new contacts with cool people, and a sense of “belonging in the real world” that helps in my solitary profession. (I, too am a solopreneur working virtually — I have a world of great “phone friend” clients, but seeing real faces, in person, is a treat — As was meeting you at the career Masters conference…)

  8. Great post. Normally, Utah only gets world-class speakers that are LDS. I don’t think David Ulrich would have come a month or two ago otherwise. I was really psyched to have someone like Seth, that has nothing to do with our “local culture” come to town. And, as Phil said during one of his introductions, it’ll be great if we can put Utah on the map enough that the Seths, Tom Peters, etc of the world come here to speak. Also, regarding “notgoingeither”‘s remarks, yes, $50 is real money to most people, and if its the difference between the seminar and the rent payment, I always chose the rent payment. We’re all grown ups with a need to make grown up decisions. But that does not lessen the value of the seminar – it just means we can’t afford it that week.

  9. There are certainly other factors including, education, networking, and supporting community events in order to see more. I traveled from Reno to see Seth Godin speak, and it certainly changed my perceptions of SLC and Utah to see all of the business professionals and passionate bloggers in attendance.

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