Taking A Page from Seth Godin, Others on Passion for What We Do

Feb 25

Taking A Page from Seth Godin, Others on Passion for What We Do

When did “I’m really busy” become an excuse for not getting something done, not coming through, not returning a phone call, shooting an email, doing a sloppy job, not paying attention to details? Not creating, innovating? On accepting less than? You get it. It’s a catch-all phrase that excuses a lot of behavior, or lack thereof.

I thought about this after interviewing Seth Godin (bestselling author, blogger, entrepreneur) the other day about his new book, POKE THE BOX. I interviewed Seth last year on his book, LINCHPIN. When I heard he had another book out, I got really excited, and contacted him right away. I got a response immediately, within an hour, I think. And within another hour, we had a day and time set up for the interview. Yes, Seth has a new book to promote as well as a new endeavor, The Domino Project. But the response was still immediate. I hadn’t spoken to him in a year. He talks to thousands of people, I’m sure; is interviewed by dozens, is on the road giving talks, reads a book every two days, writes a blog every day, started a publishing project, and is an-all-around really busy guy. But he made the time, and was gracious, made me feel like an old pal.

The same thing happened with Amber Naslund (Now Revolution), Pat Lencioni (Getting Naked), Luke Williams (Disrupt), Chad Meisinger (who I just interviewed about Internet Marketing, and who has so many different projects going on at the same time), Ishita Gupta (fear.less), Larry Neilson, Gregg Calistini (InStrategy), Rick Morgan, Pat Alexander.  Okay, you get it. These are busy people who are traveling around the country, doing their thing in their respective fields. And they make the time…two minutes. Even if the answer is “no”, I’m not available. They make the time to say “no”.

How many emails do you send out (to people you know) that go either unanswered, or you finally get a response after a few follow-ups? How many phone calls does it take to get through to someone? And then how many people are saying “I can’t” or “I have no ideas”?

It’s about respect for others, and yourself. It’s about having passion, joy for what you do and having it come through.


  1. John lansing /

    I totally agree with you Annie. It shows a total lack of respect. It’s an attitude that sadly permeates American culture. We are the ME generation and good business manners, well, manners in general, have fallen by the wayside.

  2. Kim McGraw /

    I agree with John.

    I’ve been in sales a long time, and I still get irked by people who don’t return my calls and emails. Some would say that if they don’t
    respond then they have no interest in doing business with me. I disagree. They could be missing a great opportunity besides it’s just bad manners.

    The same goes on a personal level. I expect my friends to respond to an email or phone call
    in a reasonable amount of time.

    My two cents.

  3. I can give so many examples that back up what Annie says as being true – I know for example in my dealings in business that the more responsible, the more successful if you like a person is the more direct and efficient they tend to be. Time wasters, people who ultimately are not the creators of the business and are basking in someone else’s glory, get off on their own self importance tend to be the least direct and the rudest and the ones most likely not to reply or to ask ‘one of their people’ to get back to you in due course. I have a blackberry attached to each hand and I like to know that I have responded to all my e-mails and as the decision maker and ultimately the culpable one, I like to know everything that is going on and that it has been dealt with – The old addage is never more true that if you want to get something done you ask a busy person – Efficient people understand the importance of time management and organisation.

  4. Sandy Patten /

    Right on! Reminding me of what my great pal, Jill Stewart once told me, “if you really need something, ask the busiest person you know, they are the ones who just have it down … just part of their life”

  5. I remember when I was in college with a two year old at home. My friends would complain about not having time to do homework. I’d laugh when I knew the only time I had to work was between naps! But I think having to organize my time to get it all done created a more focused energy. I try and remember those times when I don’t feel as though I have time to do what I need between work and creative endeavors.
    And answering a call or e mail I agree, it’s just good manners.

  6. Scott Weisenfeld /

    I know that it is always important to me to return calls and e-mails in a timely fashion. I make the effort in my business relationships to stay in touch. I realize that as much as I maintain phone calls and e-mails the face-to-face time suffers over the years.

    I have friends who I have known for years and although they are in close proximity, I never see them. Technology makes it easy to stay in touch without having to have the face-to-face communication. I have some on-line friends that I will probably never meet that I consider close to me.

    On some levels I communicate with people and develop a closeness yet never see their faces anymore. I feel sad that I don’t spend time with people but justify my actions by my schedule and figure if I send an e-mail or make a call I’ve kept the relationship going.

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