The other day I received a massive, 40 pound box full of goodies from Seth Godin.
I was one of the 4,242 people who happily jumped in to support Seth’s Kickstarter project to fund his next book, The Icarus Deception.
Of course, for $111 I didn’t just get the book. And I didn’t just get 8 copies of the hardcover book (to give away), which itself would have been a steal. Those 8 books took up a tiny corner of this massive box, which also contained two copies of V is for Vulnerable, a alphabet book for grown-ups, with wild, wacky, beautiful illustrations by Hugh MacLeod, about leaning in, creating art, and having the courage to ship; a delicate, hand-made mug by Lori Koop, with a hand-written note from Lori that reads “Seth asked me to make this for you….this is my art. –Lori;” an LP (yes, as in a record) whose contents I have yet to discover….I just need to get my hands on a record player; and a totally massive, 11 x 16 inch 800+ page full-color book that, impishly, has a bunch of rubber ducklings on the front cover. It is a collection of Seth’s best online writing from 2006 to 2012, and it’s literally the heaviest book I’ve ever laid my hands on.
My experience of this whole thing is joy. I can see Seth smiling as I smile; I’m wowed by the beauty and the irreverence of each and every piece, as well as the chance that each of them gives someone else – not just Seth – to shine. And the whole undertaking is, literally, delightful – my high expectations are blown out of the water; even with inklings of what might have been in the box I was surprised time and again.
It really is possible to delight our customers, to thank our greatest fans, to make them feel special not out of a sense of obligation but because you want to and you can.
And going back to the massive, 800+ page book, I also think back to my many experiences of sharing Seth’s advice with others – whether on publishing or on courage or on pushing through the resistance. Yes, tons of people get it and live it. And then there are the folks who say something like, “Well yeah, that’s interesting and that probably works for Seth because he’s Seth.”
When I take this book, which physically holds just a small portion of what Seth has produced in the last six years, the only thing I can think is: he’s Seth because he produced all of this. He’s Seth because any bit of advice he’s giving is something he’s already been doing for years; he’s Seth because he ships; he’s Seth because he’s not afraid to take risk, to show up, to fail, to shine, or even to look a little silly.
Finally, as homage to all of this (especially the silly part) here’s a little video that gives you a sense of the mega-tome. Of course it’s not just heavy, it’s also beautiful and it will transform the conversations you have around your coffee table. And it will remind you not of what Seth can do, but of what you can do if you show up fully every day.