Seth Godin on How to Be Creative

If you are a marketer and haven’t heard of Seth Godin, for shame! But really, you need to look him up and pick up one (or many) of his books.

Seth Godin is the author of international bestselling books that have been translated into many languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing.

After years of reading Seth’s books, two of my favorites: Purple Cow and All Marketers Tell Stories, it was surreal to realize that I was hearing him speak in person yesterday at Digital Summit Atlanta.

I’m not much for celebrities, but when it comes to my marketing heroes like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, who spoke at this conference last year, I’m a total fan girl.

digital summit atlanta seth godin

Seth left us with many, many nuggets of wisdom. But one of the things that stuck with me from his keynote was his answer to an audience member’s question:

“How to you be creative, if you’re not a creative person?”

While I consider myself to be a creative person, I find myself constantly frustrated when I encounter people who aren’t. Or is it, who don’t believe that they are? This is what Seth had to say:

Everybody is an artist.

Think back to your childhood… those finger painting masterpieces, you created art that no one else created of before. When you moved on to crayons and colored pencils (and washable markers!), you created art that no one else created before. When you played make believe, you made up and acted out stories that no one else created before.

Then somewhere along the way, you were taught to be a cog in the wheel. BUT. You still know how to be creative, somewhere buried deep inside.

Why most people aren’t creative? They aren’t sure if their ideas will work. That’s when you need to have the courage to say “This might not work. And that’s okay”

Because here’s the thing: If you are simply competent, you can be replaced. Everyone can be shown the door at some point, but it’s the artists who will be the last to leave the building.

Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Be afraid to not be creative. Don’t ever stop being an artist.

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