A lesson I learned from Seth Godin (by accident!)

August 1, 2022

A lesson I learned from Seth Godin (by accident!)

“Take risks, and know that things take time to build.”—Tristan Ahumada

Let me tell you a story.

Way back in 2016, I got the chance to listen to Seth Godin. You know, the famous marketer, wrote a ton of bestsellers (I think my favorite book of his is This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See). So, he did a morning keynote session, and it was massive, like 5,000 people in the room.

After the morning presentation, my friend and I went for a toilet break (because sometimes guys pee together, too), and on our way back, we noticed a store in the hallway offering free food.

My friend and I said, “Why not?” and went into the store for the free food. The place was empty except for a table way at the back, and there was one person sitting there, eating alone.

I was in the middle of eating my croissant when we realized that the man sitting at that table was none other than Seth Godin. So, my friend and I moved closer to his table, and Seth greeted us, saying, “Hey, you’re early!” and I was like, “Yes, I am,” but I don’t know what I was early for.

Anyway, we sat near Seth, and he asked us how the presentation was, and we talked about the keynote for a few minutes. Then, I decided to ask him a simple question. And I still remember his answer to this day because it changed my business.

I said, “You know, Seth, I love how you do this amazing thing with marketing, and how you help us understand who we can connect with, our individual audiences here, and not be so concerned about it being so massive. But I always feel like I’m doing too much. I feel like I am spread thin everywhere, and I just don’t know how to tackle that.

This is what he said: “Tristan, it’s not that you’re doing too much. It’s that you don’t have the right people in place to help you with all those things that you’re doing.

We dug deeper into that, because we were “super early” to this mastermind that just had seven people, and we just happened to be there by chance (and for free).

Seth said, “If you want to go this route in marketing, let’s say, Tristan, you want to write a book, or you want to go deeper into Instagram, or you want to create these amazing giveaways on PDF, you’re going to need somebody for each of these. Although the ideas and content should come from you, in order for it to take legs, you’ve got to build these out.

That was six years ago, but the idea kept growing in my mind. When we went through COVID in 2020, I had time to work on this idea and started building these out.

Sometimes, you have a lot of things you’re doing right now that you think you can do, but the moment you shift and pivot to do the next thing, it falls apart.

What I’m telling you is the same thing Seth told me. When you have an idea, and you believe in it strongly, and you put enough effort into it, once you have enough going in there, you’ve got to hire down that line.

That’s what I started doing with my business. I went deeper into building things out. I found people to help me give legs to my ideas and content. I want you to know that you can go deeper, and you should be going deeper. That’s the way to grow. That’s the way it is. If you want to go wider and you want to tackle everything else, you have to start with one thing, and you need help getting deeper.

That’s what Jeff Bezos did in the 90s when he was starting, and he saw the opportunity in the Internet and in books. That’s what Mr. Beast did, going all-in on YouTube and building a massive staff to help him execute his bigger ideas: better video quality, better thumbnails, and better YouTube descriptions.

Now, I’m asking you. What do you want to build? Where do you want to go? Are you hiring for that? Think 2 to 20 years out. Act quicker, but know that some things take a long time. And know that the more effort, and the more amazing people and talent you put behind something, the better you build it.

That’s the lesson I learned from Seth Godin, all by accident. Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.