To Blog Fearlessly

by Rachel on April 9, 2010

I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin; he’s mainly a business and marketing writer, but really, anyone can be inspired by his wisdom. (And if you’re a blogger, you’re probably more of a business and marketing person than you think you are.) Reading his book Tribes was one of the first major tipping points for me and Shedding It. After I read it I really changed how I thought about blogging and readers, and I re-defined my intentions and goals.

Then I read Linchpin which I reviewed already. You can check out that post for more details on why I love it so much, but I basically talked about how inspiring it was and how it helps overcome fear in so many different ways. It helps me hit “publish” on the days when I sometimes wonder if I should or not. Linchpin caused my second major flood of inspiration, which led, in part, to me uniting bloggers and forming Hollaback Health.

His books are great. They are easy reads because the sections are short and quick, but they are packed with wisdom. It feels like reading the most interesting magazine article you’ve ever read. Trust me — when you read these books, you’ll just want to go out and change the world. I also downloaded Seth’s Vook (video + book, a new technology that’s pretty exciting). But until you can get to Borders, I highly recommend reading Seth’s blog. I subscribe to it and I get in my inbox every morning. It’s super short daily post with just a little burst of wisdom and inspiration that makes you think.

This morning I found the post particularly relevant. He wrote about business owners who are always talking about their “rights.” They are concerned with what they “have” to do — and, more often, what they don’t have to do. But he brought up the soda industry.

“Another thought: If I worked at Pepsi, I’d be actively lobbying for the obesity sweet soda tax (a penny an ounce) being proposed in New York. Instead, in a no-surprise knee jerk reaction, almost everyone in the industry is lobbying like crazy to stop it. This is dumb marketing.

The benefit of a tax is that it affects you and your competitors at the same time, so you all benefit from doing the right thing, as opposed to having to compete against someone who doesn’t care as much as you do.

Once people realize that excessive use of your product makes them sick and then die a long and painful death, it’s probably time to stop lobbying and time to start doing something about it. This industry should stop thinking it is in the corn syrup delivery business (which brings nasty side effects along with it) and start focusing on delivering joy in a bottle. Lots of interesting ways to do that without giving up profits.

If your success depends on sickening the poorest and least educated portion of your customer base (and the ones that buy the most from you), it’s time to redefine success.”

Now, I love this for two reasons. First, it’s a great point on a business and marketing level. But second, Seth Godin is actively hollering at the soda industry and calling them out for making people sick. And not just making people sick — but “sickening the poorest and least educated of your customer base.” Ouch. Godin is one of the most influential people in the world right now. He’s not a health blogger. He’s coming from a business point of view. But he also has the compassion and sense to call out the grossness of the “corn syrup delivery business.”

Blogging can and should be an act of courage. If you’re struggling to find that courage and inspiration or you’re in a blog — or work or life — slump, I highly recommend his blog and his books. Seth Godin inspires me to challenge what needs to be challenged and to lead when no one else is leading. One Web site describes him as “an agent of change.” What a beautiful title — let’s all aim for that, shall we?

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