Featured, Personal Branding

I Own Seth Godin

July 31, 2009

Yes, it is true. I now officially own the marketing guru himself Seth Godin. After spending just over $10, I now own Seth Godin along with a copy of “The Little Book of Marketing Secrets.” While I might never be able to read “The Little Book of Marketing Secrets” because of it being no bigger than my thumb, I already feel smarter and full of confidence. This is what a 5.375″ action figure of Seth Godin does to you. It makes you feel like a champ.

While I may never be as popular and famous as Seth Godin, when I saw his action figure starting at me while browsing through a local shop on vacation, I knew that I had to have it. Seth Godin would be pleased to know that he was in good company. To the left of him was an action figure of Jesus and to the right of him, Albert Einstein himself. While I hadn’t purchased an action figure since I was 10 years old, Seth should feel rest assured that he will be joining an elite crowd. He will joining the likes of Wolverine, Batman, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Now that I own Seth Godin, although I know he can’t fly or walk through walls, as an action figure, Seth Godin has reached a level that few can ever hope to attain: becoming timeless. Years from now, when cars fly and gas is a thing of the past, when people see action figure Seth Godin, people will be reminded of “permission marketing,” Tribes and Squidoo.

During one’s lifetime, people are constantly gauging one’s success. While many may judge one’s success based on how much money they make, others dig deeper.

Although money is important to a certain degree, the amount of money someone makes shouldn’t define them and how they lived their life. When we are long gone, money doesn’t stay, but what the legacy we leave behind does.

How To Keep Your Brand Alive

Staring at Seth, I come to the realization that what I hold in my hands is not just any action figure. It is part of the Seth Godin Brand. While many so called personal branding experts will point out the importance of leveraging one’s personal brand in making money, what many fail to say is how to build your brand into not only a monetizing tool, but into a brand that can live on even after ones death.

A great example of this Jim Valvano. While some may know him for running up and down the court during the 1983 NCAA Championship, many more remember him for the work he did toward the end of his life and the legacy he left behind. Stricken with bone cancer, Jim Valvano became a symbol for the fight against cancer. It didn’t matter how many games he won on the court, because to Jim, what he left behind was more important. At the 1993 ESPY awards, in one of the last speeches before his death, Jim Valvano talked about his cancer. In it he said one of the most memorable lines that I personally will remember:

Everyday you should think about where you started, where you are, and where you wanna be.

For Jim, he knew where he came from and understood the situation he was in. Still, looking forward and wanted to leave behind a legacy that people would remember. Long after his passing, we still remember him. The Jim Valvano ‘brand’ lives on through not only the Jimmy V Foundation, but through others who still remember his words.

What Kind Of Action Figure Will You Be?

Seth Godin comes with “The Little Book of Marketing Secrets” along with his trademark mismatched socks all dressed up in business casual attire. So the question now becomes, “What kind of action figure will you be?” Will you have muscles the size of tree trunks or cool catch phrases?

An action figure is supposed to resemble the ‘persona’ as closely as possible. While some of us may hope to be GI-Joe’s in the making, not all of us will. Some of us may be the next Seth Godin and some of us may be the next Albert Einstein. Either way, when the day comes, we must remember that while an action figure may seem like just a “toy,” it is much more than that. Long after we are gone, it will still be represent our brand.

Photo by Zoomar

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  • Reply Seth Godin July 31, 2009 at 7:19 am

    this is a great post. Thanks for buying me… ps all my royalties go to the Acumen Fund!

    (and the personal branding riff is an excellent one)

  • Reply Yu-kai Chou July 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Hahaha, great post! Super catchy title. So catchy that Seth himself feels like he has to be the first one to take a look at what this crazy guy is muttering about 😛

    I just hope my Action Figure is not a Panda!

  • Reply Olina August 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Great blogpost! I especially like it when you mention: Everyday you should think about where you started, where you are, and where you wanna be. Is it a question we need to ask ourselves every day! 🙂

  • Reply Olina Qian » Meaning of Life August 1, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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  • Reply Toni lamb August 10, 2009 at 12:24 am

    That was one hell of a blog post that demanded to be read! That was great, and who knows maybe you will be the next seth godin!

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