How Seth Godin Manages His Life — Rules, Principles, and Obsessions (#138)

Seth Godin (Photo: Brian Bloom)
(Photo: Brian Bloom)

“We can’t out-obedience the competition.” – Seth Godin

I expected this episode to be amazing, and Seth 10x’d expectations. He’s incredible.

Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog) is the author of 17 bestselling books that have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the way ideas spread, marketing, strategic quitting, leadership, and — most of all — challenging the status quo in all areas. His books include Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, and What to Do When it’s Your Turn (and it’s Always Your Turn).

Seth has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “Seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. In 2013, Godin was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. Recently, Godin turned the book publishing world on its ear by launching a series of four books via Kickstarter. The campaign reached its goal in just three hours and became the most successful book project in Kickstarter history.

If you only have a couple of minutes, you should definitely listen to this segment on how to handle life transitions.

In this episode, we cover dozens of topics and stories, including some he’s never discussed publicly before. Here’s a small sample:

  • A list of the audiobooks he listens to repeatedly, some once per month
  • His morning routine, breakfast, dietary habits, and email processing
  • Meditative practices
  • Why he’s fixated on and mastered coffee and vodka, despite the fact that he consumes neither
  • Suggestions for going from “wantrepreneur” to entrepreneur
  • How to determine if you’re better off a “freelancer” or “entrepreneur,” and the differences in his mind
  • Why he has the most impressive cookbook collection our mutual chef friends have ever seen
  • His rules for saying “no” to opportunities, how he thinks about public speaking, etc.
  • His recipe for honey oatmeal vodka, and his favorite chocolates in the world
  • Thoughts on improving how parents educate their children
  • General philosophies and guidelines he uses for life management


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#138: How Seth Godin Manages His Life -- Rules, Principles, and Obsessions

Want to hear another podcast related to leadership and marketing? — Listen to my conversation with Derek Sivers. In my conversation with Seth Godin, he mentions that this was his favorite episode. “I love Derek,” were his exact words. In this podcast, Derek discusses developing confidence, finding happiness, and saying “no” to millions (stream below or right-click here to download):

#125: Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying "No" to Millions

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What advice from Seth did you find most helpful? More importantly, how will you apply it to your life? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • How Seth Godin prepares coffee and vodka [5:05]
  • The story behind the most impressive cookbook collection [9:37]
  • Seth’s most recommended cookbooks and methods [11:32]
  • On railing against various industrial complexes [15:07]
  • How Seth Godin consumes media [18:07]
  • Seth Godin’s rules for speaking engagements and why he developed them [20:42]
  • How to navigate big transitions in life [28:07]
  • On the decision to publish a daily blog [31:24]
  • Seth Godin’s writing process [33:07]
  • Seth Godin’s top business decisions [38:44]
  • Discerning between good and bad ideas [42:44]
  • Determining if you should not become an entrepreneur [48:30]
  • How Seth Godin processes email [51:44]
  • The philosophy of categorically saying ‘no’ to specific distractions [57:32]
  • Why everyone should blog every day [1:01:42]
  • The opportunities Seth Godin is happy he said ‘no’ to [1:04:49]
  • The story of money [1:06:38]
  • When you hear the word successful, who is the first person that comes to mind and why? [1:09:49]
  • Things that Seth Godin has changed his mind about [1:10:40]
  • Things that Seth Godin believes that most people would find crazy [1:11:52]
  • Most gifted books [1:12:24]
  • What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted Seth’s life [1:24:34]
  • Seth Godin’s eating habits and morning rituals [1:30:34]
  • The value of having an office [1:32:37]
  • What would Seth do to educate children [1:34:22]
  • Suggested practices for overwhelmed parents [1:37:34]
  • Seth Godin’s current projects [1:38:52]
  • Who helps tell Seth Godin when he is wrong [1:43:32]
  • What advice would you give to your 30-year-old self [1:45:49]
  • How Seth Godin gets over periods of discomfort [1:47:29]
  • Seth Godin’s meditation process [1:49:47]
  • If you could put one billboard anywhere, with anything on it, where would it be and what would it say? [1:53:01]
  • Seth Godin on commencement speeches [1:53:02]
  • Asks or requests of you, the listener [1:54:58]
  • Talking about the almond cookies [1:56:38]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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142 Replies to “How Seth Godin Manages His Life — Rules, Principles, and Obsessions (#138)”

  1. People try so hard to get one of the top search results on Google, so the fact that simply typing in his first name will bring you directly to his blog is incredibly impressive! I hope for that kind of success someday. The show notes are very helpful, as I don’t have the time at the moment to listen to the whole thing in its entirety, but I am interested in skipping ahead to a few of these topics.

  2. I am 29 years old and I hate reading books online. I order hard copy books almost every week if not every day. I think books are evolving and I hope that hard copy books are around for a long time. Thank you Seth for all of the wisdom that you have shared and thank you for being a trailblazer. Excellent episode.

    1. I am the same way, though, I have adapted some. I think that it would be a great business model for a company to print on demand ebook files. That way, if you wanted to read a book that was only digitally offered, you could send your file over the abcprinting and they would send you a hard copy.

  3. One of my favorite episodes so far. I love thinkers like Godin and Sivers. I always get so much soul nourishment from these types of guests.

  4. Great listen and as with audiobooks a definite listen again episode.

    I listened to Graveyard Shift a wonderful book thanks Tim and have read most of Seths books so loved listening to you both.

    I clean driveway and patios with a powerful noisy pressure washer, but with a decent pair of ear protectors I listen to these podcasts and lots of audiobooks.

    I haven’t listened to Zig for a few years but know I have quite a few of his recording somewhere, so will make sure to dig them out.

    Thanks again and love finding your podcast every week and seeing what genius you are getting the best out of.

  5. Hey Tim,

    Love your work. Interview suggestion – Tucker Max. He has a new blog and has some interesting takes on entrepreneurship and disruptive business strategies, on top of his success as an author.

    Sorry for posting this here, I know it’s unrelated, but I also know this will be a more effective way to reach you. Keep producing great work!!

  6. Brilliant interview Tim. Like Derek Sivers, Seth Godin is a gem and a wonderful character. Really enjoyed this interview.

  7. Imagine waking up somewhere in Sweden, getting ready for work, checking what’s new in the world and finding this interview…fresh and untouched. Today’s gonna be a kickass day!

    Cheers Timbo for doing what you do and delivering quality each week. I salute you buddy!

  8. This was such a great podcast. I’ve only recently discovered Tim’s podcast and in just the past few weeks it has changed my whole outlook. What was most interesting about this one was Seth’s DEMEANOR – he was so smooth and confident and caring. I love his attitude and want to read his books.

  9. Great conversation, lots of material to dig into!

    Who recommends The War of Art Audiobook over the Hard copy? deciding if I should get started with audible… or finish my hard copy reading list first..

    Thanks Tim!

    1. Audio really was amazing (but it may be like watching the film before reading the book – it spoils you) and like Seth said, there’s something enchanting about hearing Pressfield’s actual voice!

    2. I haven’t given the audiobook a listen, but because the book is fairly dense and also a really short read I would recommend reading it first.

  10. Seths Books Are Amazing. Your podcast is amazing. Thank you for everything. This is one for the books. Keep up the good stuff Tim, you’re helping an inconceivable amount of people every day. Your achieved passive income and now you’ve achieved passive help.

    Much appreciated.


  11. Blown away there’s only been 4 comments posted so far after this episode being out for 12 hours. This was amazing! Seth is such a brilliant writer and marketer, as is Tim behind the scenes – so this was really great to dive into, so many great takeaways! Thanks for this, easily in my top 5 episodes along with Ramit, Noah, Sivers and Rubin!

  12. Loved it! Thank you Tim! Thank you Seth!

    I love love love daily Seth’s blog!

    Thanks a lot. I love Seth even more now. I saw his more human side. It’s an episode that I would come back again, and again…and again.

    It’s like a good wine, which taste opens up the more time you spend with it.

    Lots of takeaways. But the ones that needs to be digested to be fully understood and absorbed.

    Chocolate. My never ending love and biggest passion. Got bigger after spending a couple of month in a house/lab of a professional chocolatier as his health coach. Chocolate is magic.

    “You are much bigger than you think you are. Act accordingly.” – My biggest takeaway.


  13. Wow, i’m soooo happy this here happened! Brilliant interview, you guys knocked it out of the park!

    Seth speaks of a talk he is going (or by now has given?) to give to musician’s at Carnegie. I am a musician dedicating my life to music, is there any Chance the talk exists as a transcript or recording?

    Keep rocking, love from germany!

  14. Hey Tim Thanx for your great work, iam always exited to see who you interview next. and it gets better and better 🙂 We are building a App-business in Switzerland, so the advice is always great. Cheers from Zurich

  15. Brilliant Podcast, listened to it twice already!

    How does Seth come up with this stuff?

    My favourite piece of advice from the show? Well, definitely the conversation about entrepreneurial fear. Very important and it hit a real note with me.

    And how can I apply that to my life? Well, as Derek said, it’s probably time to stop hiding behind the business advice books, put some blinkers on and get running.

    Thanks Tim. Great work. As always

  16. Two of my most favorite people, Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin talking for almost two hours. What a treat. I might listen to this over and over again rest of the month.

    In the middle of the podcast I had to pause and buy The War of Art – even though I have read the book before, I needed to read it again. The next in line is Art of Possibility – also read before and must read again.

    Two takeaways:

    – take a class in chocolate making

    – buy four hour chef

  17. This was the first podcast I’ve tuned in to and I’m hooked. I most enjoyed the discussion about education and how we need to continually home school our kids, in addition to traditional schooling. I have a 10 yr old and loved what Mr. Godin had to say. We’re doing what we can to make sure our son can earn a living 10-15 years from now – without the need to be an employee.

    1. Hi Kathy, just wondering what kind of things you’re doing to help your son. I have an 8 year old boy and I love doing different fun projects with him like helping him design and build a container out of recycling to protect an egg falling from a first floor window 😉 I’m always on the lookout for new projects

  18. hey all, what android app do you use to play these “talks” on … so frustrating, can’t find a way to play it, pause it, come back to it later and pickup where I left off!

  19. I appreciate his comments about sending your kids to public schools – because of the diversity of opinions and the student body. And also supplementing with “home-schooling” for the remainder of the day, encouraging interests and creativity. Dinner together, walks with your kids, giving kids problems to solve all while supporting our public schools? Now that’s a recipe for a great next generation!

  20. Outstanding podcast. Honestly had my mind blown a couple of times during that conversation. I will be listening to it again immediately. Thanks Tim and Seth.

  21. I also think the 2 podcasts with Derek were great ones! But I think it was Chris Sacca who introduced the idea to pause and think if you are on “offense or defense”.

    Thank you for the amazing podcasts!

  22. Great Quote I captured from Seth Godin on this interview. “If it doesn’t align with the thing that is your mission and you say yes then now it’s their mission, there is nothing wrong with a wondering generality instead of a meaningful specific but don’t expect to make the change you seek if that’s what you do.”

  23. Excellent podcast! Of course, with Seth Godin & Tim Ferriss, who could expect anything less? Seth is such an interesting person. Thank you, Tim, for digging deeper with your questions so we got to know a little more about Seth. My thanks to both of you for always causing a ruckus!

  24. Great interview. Love that Zig was Seth’s mentor. Great example of not having to agree on every point in life to have a great respect for each other and have life long impact on someone.

  25. That was the best 2 hours 2 minutes and 41 seconds of my life. Tim, Seth, I love you both – huge inspirations to me. Thank you.

  26. Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors!

    I’ve received tremendous value, concepts, and new perspectives related to many fields from his books, especially marketing.

    Excited to see him here on your podcast, Tim!

  27. I really loved this episode. I can’t tell you how amazing I’m finding your podcast to be. Thanks for the hard work on creating this epic podcast.

  28. It is amazing hearing that guy talk.

    My dream conversation is a debate between Seth Godin, Derek Sivers, Will MacAskill, and Eric Weinstein on the future of education.

  29. I about lost my mind when I saw this pop into my Overcast feed. Seth has always been one of my all-time thinkers, and to have you both converse was incredible. Wish it could’ve been a 4-hour episode.

    Props Tim. Bring him back for more.

  30. Seth is always a fantastic story teller. This is one of the best podcast I have ever heard. The best take away for me, was Seth’s reminder to find unplugged ways to interact with your children (anyone, for that matter). We always eat dinner as a family, but I think we need to find some more one on one time with our kids and just listen and let them direct the conversation. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and leveraging it in a way that allows most of us to get in on the conversation that we would likely never be involved in.

  31. Seth Godin??!! You have one-upped yourself big time Tim!

    Reading Linchpin and 4HWW back to back WRECKED MY LIFE!!!!!

    Still assembling the scattered pieces post Godin/Ferriss, but you guys are my drug of choice lately. Great to hear your behind the scenes struggles (Seth’s “existential crisis” experiences and Tim, your back-to-the-wall hail marys in the recent Daymond John interview).

    I am still going through that muck of reinventing self and work, but thankful for the experience because of the light you guys hold out there.

  32. I’m 24, kindle is a life saver for me. There’s no way I could lug around hundreds of books back and forth to China the way I can with .mobi files.

    I had a strong start early in school with a higher reading level but hated books throughout the other 8 or so years due to the drudgery of forced government schooling.

    I don’t associate eBooks with e-mail. They are still books for me and I love having them digitally. I do prefer physical highlighting, but carrying and storing books just doesn’t suit a 4-hour lifestyle .


  33. This episode makes me reconsider how I spend my time and encourages me to marshal my cognitive energies for more meaningful purposes. Thank you Seth. I have great respect for your ability to make such great coffee and not drink it!

  34. Seth Godin was the foundation of marketing my first business, a tanning salon in a mall up in Canada. He’s brilliant and still changing the rules and delivering insight to me 12 years later in my new industries. Just pure common sense wisdom that works.

    Was looking forward to this one Tim, thanks!

  35. Thank you Tim for another enlightening podcast. I am devouring them- such great reflections and learnings and so many actions to take from here.

    Specifically from this podcast, I’ll take on that daily blogging challenge. And my goal is to fail frequently. What an inverted strategy!! 🙂

    Ps something you might find helpful, my meditation teacher told me to never, ever judge the quality of a meditation. Whatever happens during the mediation is right for you. I just thought you might like to know that.

    Thank you again. Extremely grateful!

  36. Probably your best ever, Tim! I’ve heard and read about Seth for years, but have never actually read one of his books or heard him talk. So now I’m hooked. I plan to listen to all the audiobooks he recommended, as well as his own books. I love how you don’t hesitate to ask him to clarify things you didn’t quite get, your intelligent questions and responses. These podcasts enrich my life in a massive way. Thank you, thank you!

  37. Dreams do come true! Thank you so much Tim for interviewing Seth! I wish you could have seen the smile on my face and heard my audible elation when this popped up on podcast feed yesterday. I’d buy 10 boxes of almond cookies to send to you if I were in New York right now 😉

  38. My favorite podcast episode you have ever done.

    Seth is an inspiration for me: Heart, Brilliance, Energy, Compassion, Generosity, Grateful!

  39. amazing artisan chocolate, Tim you should try to speak with Willie Harcourt-couzeBased in south west England but with a cacao plantation in Venezuela. His story was shown on UK channel 4 the show Willies Wonky chocolate factory. Great entrepreneur who risked a lot, interesting insights into the of cacao like the effect of theobromine

  40. “If you think hard about one’s life most people spend most of their time on defense in reactive mode in playing with the cards they got instead of moving to a different table with different cards instead of seeking to change other people they are willing to be changed and part of the arc of what I’m trying to teach is everyone who can hear this has more power than they think they do and the question is, What are you going to do with that power?” -Seth Godin

    About 25 mins in. This rules.

  41. This is the only podcast I listen to anymore. Not enough time for many but always make time for this one. Just love the variety of guests.

    Thanks for all the inspiration Tim. It’s crazy how far you’ve come (and myself) since your Expanded 4-Hour-Work-Week launch when I was invited to party with you on a warship in SF. Crazy.

    Looking forward to the next one!

  42. Awesome interview. It was like sitting around a campfire having one of those honest natural and profound conversations with friends that leaves your worldview changed. I relish those moments and am thankful for friends that create them. Thanks for allowing the room for this conversation to take its natural course.

  43. He kept emphasizing how to learn and work with fear instead of avoid or ignore it as a key to becoming the empowered person you are meant to be and that was the hard thing for his younger self to understand. My favorite segment of this whole interview was when Tim asked about how to respond to those asking him about how to be come an entrepreneur. I love how clear Seth gets about what that means. Seth is a very clear speaker that whole response is quoteable because you can tell he has thought about this and this is why he is such a good writer because he has clear concepts and insights that are easy to connect and see and reshapes how you see it from then on. He first clarifies the difference between freelancers and entrepreneurs and then clarifies deeper into two types of entrepreneurs the one who applies a systems thinking to a clear need verses the one who creates a business to change people. This segment really stuck with me. Especially where him and Tim were tying to help create that line that is always a struggle to define tha judgement call of did your idea failed because it is a bad idea and people don’t need it verses you have not persisted enough and after the 27th no you are going to hit that home run like Tim with the 4 hour work week. This is an important question and I think the art to business and the glamorizing of it as well. It is like gambling you keep playing the game you are going to lose a lot of money but hopefully you will get to that jackpot at the end and I think that is why entrepreneurship is hot right know because more people can play that game and it is an addictive one.

    Anyway I am in between an entrepreneur and a freelancer and so this was very helpful and something I have spent a lot of time thinking about. I have always been driven to do meaningful work as I think most people drawn to Tim are and allure of having a business that changes people I think is why so many dream of entrepreneurship.

  44. Listening to this episode reminded me of a weekend I took with my dad when I was in early teenager. We went to Boston to see the Chicago Bulls play the Boston Celtics.

    Michael Jordan and Larry Bird on the same court at the same time. Unbelievable, unmistakable , uncommon, unforgettable.

    If I don’t go out and do something with my life after hearing this, shame on me.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tim and Seth.

  45. Tim a Question for Seth about his statement about kids. What interesting problems would you give them? can you give some examples? I have 3 small children and want to give them interesting problems to solve.

      1. A few things I have done with my boys…when we travel they look at maps and figure out places to visit, things they may want to do in a new city etc. Trips to the grocery store turn into opportunties for them to make decisions about which vegetables to buy, meal planning, etc.

        It may sound harsh but now that they are older I don’t let them complain. I tell them that if you just focus on problems–you are whining. Now they know to present potential solutions and we can discuss the merit of those…

  46. The War of Art was a game-changing book for me. I luckily acquired all of Stephen Pressfield’s writing books over the holidays and have been devouring them over the last month and a half.

    Seth made it clear that I won’t lose anything if I restart from the beginning.

    The point about publishing to a blog everyday was also a light-bulb moment.

    Watch out for more videos and posts from me. I just need to generate some social pressure…

  47. Loved this episode more than normal. Seth’s the best. I’ve already listened to it three times and can see myself coming back to it over and over again.

    Thanks for what you do, Tim.

  48. Hello, i just finished my audible 4 hours body, really helpful! But i can not find the PDF exercises he mentions there ,where can i see them??

  49. I began listening to your podcasts in the last month or so and I have to say that this is without a doubt, the BEST one to date. What makes Seth such an interesting person to listen to is that he is such a realist. He became successful on his terms and never gave up his sense of self. The comment that I wrote down is how you can choose to be a “a wandering generality or a specific mission.”

    A question that you always ask your interviewees is “what defines success and who do you consider a successful person.” A few episodes ago Amelia Boone answered the question by saying something along the lines of “someone who successfully makes a career transition.”

    My question to both you (Tim) and Seth is, in this day and age, what do you believe are the necessary steps to take in order to successfully make a career transition? Resources, networking, industries, personal experiences, etc.

    Thanks for everything you do!

  50. A thank you note –

    I wanted to e-mail this to you Tim but it’s difficult to locate an e-mail address. Inspired by Seth’s request, I am itching to give you a warm thank you.

    I started reading your books and following you when I was 15, during a terrible period in my life. In a lot of ways, I raised myself using your books and what you taught. When I struggled and had questions that needed answering I would return to your writing and posts.

    Like most teenagers I had a period of rebellion where I moved away from your work because I felt our values no longer matched. Funnily enough, I landed back on your podcasts a few months ago only to find that the shift in values had aligned once again. You were meditating and discussing much of what was on my mind. Funny how that happens. I am so glad to have you back.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I really wish you all the best

  51. Thank you Seth for doing this podcast with Tim. Much appreciated. Thank you for mentioning The War of Art.

    For those who haven’t read this book(or have but didn’t take notes) Derek Sivers took some excellent notes that can be found on his website

  52. Dear Tim,

    I wrote this with love on this very day, on Valentines Day.

    Tim, as I am listening to your podcast with Seth on my train to Tokyo, I realize that you have many hardships you are dealing with. I realize that I was getting so much help from you, but not supportive in a way that can contribute to reducing the difficulties. I realize that you are under enormous pressure to establish direction of your work. As a fan, we have relied so heavily on you, and not supportive enough. But I wanna tell you my story and how your work helps me find my direction, because I couldn’t think of any other way to be supportive to you.

    I am 22, a graduate student at University in Tokyo. I live with a dream of establishing culture of dancing at work. Why and how can be discussed other times, but I belive this is a way to overcome learned helplessness. So I hold this belief, but living in Japan, no one likes to believe something that is not what the majority believes in. I am sure you know how it goes in here. So I feel great isolation everyday.

    But when I listen to your podcast, your thoughts, your voice, the interaction you create with your guests… It calms me down. It gives me a sense of direction, it gives me strength to be nice to others who claim that I should be working and contributing to the world rather than being at school forever using up parents’ money.

    What you do and say create capacity for us to imagine and dream bigger. You are a great man, Tim. No matter what you do, I will support you. We will support you. You have created enormous trust and belief among us that will not be broken so easily.

    With love,


  53. Tim, as always a really fantastic interview! Your podcast/books and all of your stuff is slowly, because I’m stubborn, changing my life.

  54. Probably one of my favorite podcasts (along with the one you did with Naval). His comments on cognitive load are such a great reminder to check yourself and your distractions. We need to use social media as a tool not a distraction. Naval had some good words about it too. A few months ago I deactivated everything to limit my distractions. I created one new Twitter to stay in the loop and a Facebook account I only use to manage my business pages. I’ll reactivate at some point, maybe. But not until I’ve accomplished a few things. Thanks for providing us some access into the minds of people like Seth and Naval (and Chris Sacca!!!) !

  55. One of my favorite of your podcasts! So glad you got him on the show! I’m not sure it was advice, but I really enjoyed how he described himself as “thoughtful” instead of meticulous. I would find it hard to emulate being meticulous, but thoughtful is something I can aspire to be, — especially in regards to crafting your life. I think about how many times I settle for “good enough” (which is rarely even good) instead of taking the time to do something thoughtfully, like the way Seth makes coffee. It really just takes a little more thought, not that much more energy and it creates a far more enjoyable experience.

  56. None of it. Seth is a genius to be studied in a lab and poked with a stick until we are able to grasp one tenth of the guru. I underlined and reread Linchpin to the point of near disintegration. I recommend you just buy his books and study them for a year before you listen to this podcast.

  57. I’ve been reading Tim Ferriss’ work since 2009 when I came across the 4-Hour Work Week, and it has been a blast following him since then. This podcast with Seth definitely goes in my top 3 favorite episodes; but, I’ve gotta say, I’ll always have a soft spot for The Random Show (I purchased the Way of Life after the most recent one, and it really is as great as Kevin Rose says!).

    Today I had quite a treat when listening to this episode with Seth – I heard a shoutout to the company where I work, Help Scout!

    Tim asked Seth how he processes email, and within Seth’s answer he mentioned that unless you work at Help Scout or in a customer support role, if all you’ve done all day is be on email you probably haven’t created an enormous amount of value. His point makes total sense and I agree (& I know I am definitely guilty of sometimes mistaking urgent for important #workingonit).

    One thing that popped out to me is that we know that processing conversations in a support mailbox can sometimes lead to the the very same feeling of inbox overload on a support team – even when it’s truly your job & you are adding value by answering conversations with customers!

    [Moderator: link removed]

  58. The most profound learning I’ve gotten from Seth was from his book The Dip, which he read to me personally (it was an audiobook!).

    I often reflect on his message about pushing through tough things while also having the courage to know when it’s time to call it quits. It’s had a profound impact on how I have conducted myself and made career/business decisions for many years.

    Ravi Raman

    [Moderator: link removed]

  59. awesomeeeee episode Tim! Love Seth and all his stuff, and was super great to hear the more personal side of him. Loved the insights on school/parenting, cooking, projects, books.

    But the biggest takeaway … is that Chocolate is a vice/hobby that can be picked up! Much more interesting than wine and coffee IMO, without the undesirable side effects of it.

  60. Can you do a podcast on Donald Trump?

    I want to understand him better, from his business’s as a young man to the ignorant bigoted politician. But a very critical interview as he uses psychological techniques to manipulate most of his interviewers with rhetorical questions based on sketchy data that if you refuted makes you the bad guy. I’d like to know his methods and reasons for business and politics and psychological tactics in politics

  61. I’ve been reading Tim Ferriss’ work since 2009 when I read the 4HWW. I’ve had a ton of fun following this podcast (and the continuation of the Random Show! I just downloaded Way of Life that Kevin Rose mentioned in the New Year’s show, and it’s great.). This episode with Seth was really fascinating.

    To top it all off, I had quite a treat when listening today when I heard Seth shoutout to the company where I work, Help Scout!

    Tim asked Seth how he processes email, and within Seth’s answer he mentioned that unless you work at Help Scout or in a customer support role, if all you’ve done all day is be on email you probably haven’t created an enormous amount of value. That makes perfect sense to me, and I know I am sometimes guilty of hiding behind seductive urgent tasks like email instead of digging into truly important ones.

    When listening to Seth’s answer, one thing that came to mind is that a support team can feel inbox overload – even when they are definitely adding massive value by engaging in customer support conversations! On the Help Scout blog we talk about how customer support folks can handle their email inboxes in a post called The Empathetic Path to Inbox Zero if you’d like to learn more – hope it’s helpful if anyone here happens to struggle with this!

  62. Amazing to listen to you Tim as always. Have discovered your podcast recently and have listened to a few of them. Plan to hear out the whole set.

    Great points by Seth, especially with regards to parenting, as a father to a 4-year old could totally relate to that.

    My copy of the War of Art is already on its way.

    Love from India,


  63. This was priceless and gave me much pleasure and meaning. Too many important concepts, mantras and ideas that touched me to mentioned examples here. And these must be heard again and again and ought to be relearned and revisited daily for a life time. Mr. Ferris, Seth, all I can say is that listening to this today, for sure made the number one entry on my grateful list tonight. Thank you!

  64. A 26 year old book-lover dropping in. My dad recently wrote a book and sent me a digital copy. I helped him go through the whole process of self-publishing it, just so I could get a paperback copy printed out. I simply cannot read anything for more than 5-10 minutes on a screen, and I love the smell of a new book. A favorite book The Shallows has studies on how we retain less information when learning off screens, and I’ve always felt that true.

    1. I would also like to thank Tim for having Seth on his podcast. I do not normally encounter opportunities to hear authors vocally talk about their books and favorite books.

  65. I’ve been listening it Tim since 2009, and I’ve loved the podcasts so far. I saved this full episode with Seth for my vacation, and ended up getting a great treat in not only a badass episode, but also in that Seth mentioned the company where I work now, Help Scout!

    We’re a help desk (working to help you build a company your customers love!), so Seth mentioned us in the context of email management. This reminded me that we have a piece on our blog called The Empathetic Path to Inbox Zero. It’s focused on a support mailbox, but there are great tips for anyone!

  66. upon finishing this podcast, i went on youtube and downloaded a zig ziglar audio. tricky guy that ziglar. he uses a lot of hypnotic language and technique to get the listener to keep listening to his motivational stuff. eg suggesting people forget and having to listen over and over to pick out the advice they have forgotten, nested loops in story telling (induces amnesia), metaphor of kid with cerebral palsy carrying a tape player to listen to motivational tapes etc and other more subtle tricks. ziglar has some good ideas but his best was how he entranced listeners like Seth Godin (making him spend $500 that he couldn’t afford)!

  67. Dear Mr. Godin & Mr. Ferriss,

    Thank you for creating a podcast that I intend to listen to at least 10 times – as Seth has recommended to do with certain types of audiobooks. I find this interview to be in that wheelhouse.

    Thank You Seth, for letting us know you a bit. And Thank You Tim for setting the stage to make that possible. So many things I resonated with. Thank You for being fully You on my planet.

    A bit sad about us slow deep learners being left out of Seth’s teaching process. But I totally understand the “why” and saying “no” to everything that doesn’t serve your Highest Purpose.

    I am great and full that both you and Tim are teaching others to reach the fullness of themselves and rock this planet into a better world in which to reside. Deeply great & full.

    Thank You,

    – Michelle

  68. That comment about fearing for our medium because twenty-somethings only see books as a reminder of high school drudgery with the obscure, repeated reference turned me off. How it *sounded* was that a fanboy was interviewing some old half-a-fag who got lucky. Maybe this just isn’t the niche for twenty-somethings who aren’t fanboys or half-a-fag.

  69. Thanks Seth for The War of Art. Fantastic book about showing up and doing the work. I read it all in one sitting. Any books you recommend on teaching my 16 year old daughter leadership skills?

  70. Is Seth able to manage his life is this manner because he has been so successful (in the monetary sense) or is he so successful because he manages his life in this manner? I struggle with this in many of Tim’s interviews. The life management hacks given by Seth (and many other guests of Tim’s) are spot on, but I find it hard to believe that I am alone in being slightly (okay, sometimes completely) overwhelmed at the thought of putting them into practice in my life.

    Big stuff, I suppose almost by definition, has the potential to overwhelm, but the hack/catalyst that is most interesting is the one that gets/has gotten these people off of their keisters, out of their grind, and into meaningful work.

    Seth, Tim, I’d be much obliged if you could make it a point to address this in a future interview…or point me to spots in interviews where this is covered. Tim, thanks for doing what you do.

  71. Have to say I didn’t like this podcast. Tim did a great with a guest who was came off very aloof. The comments about Stephen King’s pencil and not saying what works for him came off very distant. Yes he’s a East coast guy and clearly comes off that way, but when you hear a guy like Gladwell do interviews he seems to want to give genuine answers not pseudo-intelligentsia crap like Seth does.(“olive oil and salt is cheating” huh?)

    Tim tried admirably to get him to answer his standard podcast questions (which as an aside lead me to believe that Seth never once listened to the podcast or else he would have been prepared for the $100 question, the Billboard question, and his totally bs answer what he would tell his 30 year old self). I also question if he read 4HWW as he didn’t even make a comment on his approach to email vs Tim’s…

    What I took from this with Seth is that he is a great idea man. Truly good ideas and can make fantastic general observations and can be witty in his books ,but does he have good, practical advice for the small business owner or entrepreneur? Absolutely not.

    P.s. Tim really let him off the hook on Seth’s “I don’t believe in quantifying my life” comment as that is the exact opposite of all of Tim’s books, I was surprised by that comment.

  72. My goodness this was great. Something I will listen to at least a couple more times… How are there not a sh1t ton more comments?! This interview is brilliant, full of lots of nuggets… Thank you for this.

  73. I. Want. A. Second. Part. Asap!!!! This was just SO insightful and the first of your episodes I listened to again right after I finished it. Thanks so much, Tim.

  74. Love the part about teaching kids to solve problems and encourage them to do so, because we can’t outcompete others on obedience.

  75. “It costs very little to find out.” This is very true. My mom used to tell me before, that when she started to learn how to bake, she did all sorts of stuff. There were times where the cake she baked did not taste as good as she expected. Then she would always try and try again until it tasted good. Now, my friends would always want to go to our home and eat the cake my mom baked.

    I just found this blog. I learned a lot of new things. Looking forward to listening to more podcasts.

  76. The Zig Ziglar revisit was one of many takeaways. In the 80’s, my father had the tapes littered in front and backseat. He would beg me to listen to them–Maybe my old man was onto something. Better late than never.

    As for applying it, I will keep you posted.

    Thanks for keeping

  77. Seth said something important. Money is not the same as value. It reminded me of my disappointment around the Shopify promotion. It would be inspiring to see a metric that coorelates with value–that rewards entrepreneurs measuring success using a different “metric”.

  78. Great interview. One of your best. Agree with corollaries from other listeners, lots of similarities with D Sivers interview.

  79. Really enjoyed the freelancer/entrepreneur segment. This is something I had to grasp in my own life. Instead of trying to build web businesses for my own benefit, I learned the skills needed to help others build their ideas and it has led to me quitting my job while more than doubling my salary (and working <25 hours per week).

  80. What is the name/spelling of the woman that Seth mentions as meeting his definition of successful? It sounded like Jacqueline Overgrats with the Ackerman Fund but nothing came up in that search. Thanks so much. Moving and brilliant podcast!

  81. Game changer. So many amazing moments on this podcast …. my “why” is shifting dramatically from listening to this. I am no longer able to use money as my driver. Happiness, fulfilment and a good life are far more important and I have that whether I make boat loads of money or not. The driver is shifting to service. Gratitude for this content. Thank you!!!!

  82. This is one of those few post I will like to have as a morning alarm tone to hear it every single day. Pure gold Tim. Congrats. I´m a huge fan of Seth, but your questions were incredible to unfold his mind. When a tennis match is amazing? When none of the players drop, miss or throw out the ball so the ball is kept on play long time. That´s what you both did on this podcast.

  83. Probably the best episode of TTFS Podcast to date. I have listened to it 4 times this week already. Thanks for your wisdom, Seth; and thank you fo r what you do, Tim. Have a great week. MG

  84. Seth briefly mentioned a social worker in the podcast. I can’t remember where the person was mentioned. Can anyone help me with the name?

  85. Tim,

    I heard you share your love for answering emails, yeah right! I don’t expect you to reply, so I didn’t bother getting your address. I don’t need you to invest or speak or do a meeting…does that cover it (the stuff Seth said:).

    Dude, you stretch me. We’re the same age and you have lived a life that many dream about.

    There are two things I want to thank you for –

    1. Your interview with Seth was the best conversation I have found yet. I have trolled YouTube for Seth interviews and yours was the best. I listened to him on the AskGaryVee show right before your podcast. Yours took the GaryVee interview to a much, much deeper level. It blessed me big time. Thank you!

    2. I’m in a position where things could take off and I LOVED how you learned the hard way about saying “Yes” to everything. It’s so tempting to do that. I don’t know yet, but I can imagine it will be hard especially when dollars are attached. Thank you!

    A friend in Upstate NY,