Inspiring Quotes from Entrepreneur and Author Seth Godin

This month’s theme on the blog is business, so I wanted to start the month off with a bunch of quotes from one of my favorite entrepreneurial authors, Seth Godin. Previously on the blog I’ve mentioned Seth Godin, as a visionary who is able to explain the way the world is heading in easy-to-understand language. Godin’s books are usually short and they stick to one point. You could call them manifestos.

Godin believes that the old ways of suceeding don’t work any more. It used to be that businesses rewarded conformity and consistency. The world needed factory workers and you could get your message out by spraying a mass audience with the same broadly applicable ad. But, Godin argues, times have changed. The path to success is now individualized, both in the message you deliver and the product or service you provide.

Each of his books wrestles with one of these changes and how to tackle it. Each of the quotes below is from a different one of his books.

Purple Cow


 In Purple Cow, Godin argues that good products are no longer enough, you have to find an original idea that stands out from the rest. He says, “The system is pretty simple: Go for the edges. Challenge yourself and your team to describe what those edges are  (not that you’d actually go there), and then test which edge is most likely to deliver the marketing and financial results you seek.”

All Marketers Are Liars

"Your story is a symphony, not a note" quote from Seth Godin from All Marketers Are Liars

In All Marketers Are Liars, Godin explains why the branding of some businesses succeeds, and others fail. It’s all about telling a story that customers believe. And the best way to do that, is to let that story shape every aspect of your business.

Poke the Box

"Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance." Seth Godin quote from Poke the Box

Poke the Box inspires us to face the doubts and fears that keep us from succeeding. I just love this quote, like many of Godin’s ideas it seems so obvious in retrospect: anxiety is exactly like feeling failure, but before you’ve failed—what a terrible use of our energy! Better to try and do and experience real failure. This book is full of bite-sized servings of wit that are clever and helpful to realizing what you need to do, and getting it done.


"The reason that art (writing, engaging, leading, all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can't tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there'd be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.

In Linchpin, Godin calls us all to be artists, but he defines “artist” a little differently. He says an artist is anyone who is devoted to her job to the level that she is engaged in it, and does the job in her own way, reinventing it. “An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.” Therefore, any job can become art. He writes, “Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.”


The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.

Previously, people would make a product and then seek out customers. In Tribes, Godin flips this on its head and says to find your customers, your “tribe” first. In the new economy where we’re all trying to be weird and finding our purple cows, our tribe is the people who think the way we do. If your path is based on who you are and what you stand for, the business or service you provide will naturally draw like-minded people. Rather than trying to water your brand down so it appeals to everyone, reject the general. Find your niche among people who share your values and views. These people are waiting for you to lead them.


Seth Godin is the author of more than 20 books. We have them all at Alibris, and plenty for 99 cents.



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