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Seth Godin and Productivity: Shut It. Ship It. Build It.

So how much work do you still have pending today? Emails still piling up? Assignments left untouched?

Tell you what. Relax, take a deep breath and listen up. Reading this will take just ten minutes of your time. If you can extract value from this post, you might just increase your productivity for a lifetime.

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Seth Godin. Author, Entrepreneur, Legendary Marketer and Speaker.  Seth has a brilliant mind which allows him to tap into ideas hitherto unexplored by anyone.

His blog, which looks like the private diary of a marketer, contains less than 100 words per post but still commands rapt attention from millions of people around the world.

Seth Godin
Photo by Joi Ito via Flickr CC

In short, he is a guy who gets a lot done in little time. He has been doing exceedingly well in all of his projects. I felt that there is a reason for it. When examined closely, there are some patterns of behaviour which have helped him to be highly productive and consistent over the years.

Shut It

Seth Godin, though being a successful Blogger doesn’t believe in Twitter or letting people comment on his blog posts. Why? Because blogging for him is the crux of his activity.

He doesn’t bother trying to convert people into liking him. He says either they get what he says or they don’t. And endlessly haggling with people who may have a thousand opinions of their own doesn’t help him in any way. Not when he already has a powerful network of his own.

Seth Godin Productivity
Photo by Evan

Oh by the way, he doesn’t believe in watching TV either.

The obvious thing to learn from Seth is get rid of things which are non-value adding to your life and take you away from your primary focus.

Admit it. How many times have you clicked on a link or a photo and wandered off into the woods of the enchanting cyberspace? Only to return after an hour wondering where all the time went and waking up to all the work lying around you.

Your multiple to-do lists can wait. The power of Focus can only be harnessed when you can eliminate activities which take away your mindshare. Make a list of five things which are stealing away precious minutes from your life and distracting you from your purpose.

Shut them off and watch your productivity improve immediately.

Ship It

Seth is a strong believer in the power of shipping. Every professional is respected and trusted due to his ability to deliver the goods on time, everytime.

Seth Godin Productivity
Photo by Kamyar Adl (Flickr CC)

Whether it be a Manager, Blogger or a Techie, one mistake which we do when executing our task is over-thinking it. We often have fears whether the work we submit is good enough to be accepted, whether it’ll be praised or trashed away or even the illusion that the fate of humanity depends on it!

The problem of living with this mindset is that you end up refining and reviewing each work hundreds of times! And everytime you do this, you’ll spot one or the other thing which needs changing, tweaking or re-wording. Imagine the amount of time wasted in this activity!

A better option would be to review your work once and ship it off to the concerned person. Remember, unless you are selling a final finished product which cannot be recalled, you almost always have the option of tweaking or changing what you do in the first attempt.  If they don’t like it, you’ll get feedback soon enough on what needs to be improved (Probably saving you hours if not days!). If they do, they’ll like you for being on time and may even appreciate you for your speed of execution.

This style of working also ensures you have a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t. It helps you adapt and improvise much quicker by getting faster responses from your stakeholders.

Build It.

All the focus and quick shipping won’t be of any use until you can pick up what works and rapidly scale it up. Successful people and organizations who have followed this and reaped astounding results. Think Amazon, Alibaba and Flipkart.

Seth Godin Productivity
Photo by The Magic Tuba Pixie (Flickr CC)

Once you find that a particular flavor of working generates results, start to build on it. Whether it’s your style of working, type of blogging or even your way of presentation, start noticing what clicks. Once you find these things, work on building this as your strength and refine it to make it your capability.

With these set of capabilities within you, you can make yourself an asset no matter where you are. They will help you remain super productive and at the top of your game.

Seth Godin TED Talk
Photo by Steve Jurvetson

Seth also talks about the emergence of Tribes and want of leaders to guide these tribes to meaningful action. He says the ability to connect disconnected and yearning individuals is what will create the next big ideas and revolutions.

And it takes highly productive individuals, capable of guiding both themselves and others towards transformative action to lead this kind of change.

So what are you waiting for? Start shipping now and let me know how it turns out for you!


Published in Life-Hacks Psychology Self-Development Strategy


  1. Rohan Chaubey

    Rohan Chaubey

    Hi Nik,

    I am always ready to learn and understand something new from you whenever I visit StumbleUpon. Thanks for sharing the Seth Godin’s Ted Talk on twitter. :)

    You know what… I had visited his blog before but now I know him much better. And yeah his blogs are so short in length but they have a deeper meaning.

    I liked the advice of listing 5 things that consume most time and increasing the productivity by stopping to do them. I will try doing it… but will exclude internet usage from the list. 😛

    It is nice to read that he does not believe in watching TV. I also don’t like watching TV except a few shows.

    Okay so I am shutting it quite well lets move on to shipping it. Nice advise there as well.
    Review once and ship it off.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post Nik. I will try to remember these tips.
    Shut it. Ship it. Build it.

    Have a great evening.
    – Rohan Chaubey.

    • Glad to share my learnings Rohan and hope it will make you highly productive! :) You will need it as you have so many things to juggle – Blog, Study etc.. Good Luck!

      • Rohan Chaubey

        Rohan Chaubey

        Thanks and wish you the same. :)

  2. Tulika


    Nice blog Nik….. Loved it..

    • Thank You Tulika and welcome to SUL (StumbleuponLife) :) Hope you stumble upon great content here!

  3. Swadhin Agrawal

    Swadhin Agrawal

    Hi Nik, a wonderful one indeed!
    I like your posts, the first I had read on shoutmeloud. Inspirational and motivating.
    Seth Godin has closed his comments but that works only when you reach a stature as his. I don’t think that could work for me or someone other, but the point of view you have writen for it is awesome. Its true..either take it or leave it..there is no bargaining on whose opinion is correct.

    I will start shipping right now. Lets see how this turns up :)

    • Swadhin, welcome to SUL!

      You’re right. Seth Godin is Seth Godin because he does things no one else can. The point is there are things like this which are unique to everyone. After a certain point in time, imitation only helps to a certain extent and what’s needed is originality!

      Do Ship and tell me how it turns out 😀 thanks for stopping by! Much appreciated!

  4. Roopesh


    Hi Nik

    Great blog, I am already a fan of your writing skills.
    Good Luck!!

  5. Harleena Singh

    Harleena Singh

    Hi Nik,

    That was a wonderful post , with good lessons to learn from Seth Godin :)

    However, Seth IS Seth and one can just about learn from his experiences, and not be like him, at least not yet! Perhaps he has gone through the phase we are all in presently, and later come to the stand and stature he is today. He has built his world and readership, so doesn’t need the comments, shares, tweets etc. because he knows without it all – he’d still do well.

    I guess with us, it isn’t the same. We really cannot shut it up yet! If we did, we’d never visit each others blogs, comment, share, nor have met each other, isn’t it? But I get the point you are trying to make in this point about prioritizing the tasks and focusing on what’s important and closing the rest, and that IS essential for everyone.

    Ah…I don’t watch TV either, though I just manage to ‘listen’ to it, while others are watching! And there are many who believe in it, so each to their own.

    Regarding shipping – well, I’m a bit extra careful there, ask my guest authors about…till the post is not near to perfect, I’d not put it up, and yes, it takes hours to set it up right, but I don’t think I’d have it Seth’s way!

    For that matter, his 100 words are not even close to any of my comments 😀 ! Jokes apart, that small a post can easily be put up without much thought, unlike the well researched, 2000+ worded ones, as we have on this blog, which do take time before they are shipped!

    However, I get the point you are trying to make here for bloggers, that they shouldn’t stop themselves and just go for it, which is true, or else you lose a great deal. Yes indeed, we need to see what works for us and do just that, without wasting time on other things.

    Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Have a nice weekend :)

    • Your constant advice and support is a nourishment for so many Bloggers Harleena :) Please keep doing the awesome work that you do.

      And I am really glad you liked the post. Thanks for sharing!


  6. ankita


    Hi…. nik sir.. great… i like tour writing skills and very knowledgable post

  7. Thank You Ankita and Welcome to SUL! Do keep visiting and commenting your views!

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