By Stephanie Schwartz, Advertising Manager
March 27, 2013
On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, High Point University welcomed Seth Godin to campus. Godin has written 14 books about the way ideas spread, marketing and change. Founder of dozens of companies, Godin is an amazing example of “entrepreneur meets marketing genius.” Godin gave students, faculty and staff an amazing hour-long presentation on how to market and connect in such a hyper-connected society that we live in today.
Godin did a lot of comparison to the post-industrial revolution. He equated interchangeable parts to interchangeable people. If someone calls out sick from work, there is probably someone sitting nearby to take that spot. Rather than trying to fill a spot, Godin challenged the audience to connect. He said, “Connecting is the thing we do better than anything. Connecting creates value.” To connect, Godin instructed that we need four key elements: coordination, trust, permission, and exchange of ideas. Permission, in Godin’s terms, means having the ability to talk to people who want to be talked to. We can only connect if we have generosity and art.
Later in his presentation, Godin talked about how we are guilty of flying too low. People do not want to be vulnerable, so they put their goals lower than they should. Godin encouraged us to fly high. He said, “If failure isn’t an option, neither is success.” You cannot succeed without hitting a few speed bumps. Overall, his presentation was very inspirational and gave great and new insight to marketing and connection.
In an exclusive interview with Godin, he talked about how graduating seniors can only prepare for change in the workplace by starting now. He suggested talking to new people, listening to a new genre of music or taking a different route to work or class. An interesting fact is that aside from his routine breakfast and other habits, there is no “typical day” for Godin. Each day is a new and exciting experience unlike any other day. Godin said the hardest task he’s faced thus far was working 20 hours a day trying to keep 70 employees employed in a situation that was somewhat out of his control. He said that he took it very personally and that it was hard for him. When asked if he would change anything about his career, he said that if he changed anything about it, it would not be him, Seth Godin. He wouldn’t change anything, even if it was a horrible experience. His advice to the graduating seniors – don’t wait!