A dinosaur
a blog by Jarrett Retz

Book Review: The Practice by Seth Godin

by Jarrett RetzMarch 19th, 2022

The Practice felt like, at times, I was reading a knock-off of the book War of Art by Steven Pressfield. And, Seth Godin is aware of the connection. He mentions the author and the book multiple times, even recommending it.

I had to try and separate the apprehension I felt reading the book and constantly comparing it to War of Art from my ability to absorb what the book wanted to tell me.

Seth Godin is a writer, and this book is about consistent practice. His practice is writing. So, he's not going to hesitate when he thinks there is something to contribute to the conversation: shooters shoot.

Beyond just writing, he's going to be generous (a theme in the book) and share his work despite the little voice in his head that may be thinking; People are going to think I ripped off Steven Pressfield. Herein lies the point of the book.

Maybe even a minor part of his audience will find this book helpful. Therefore, it would be selfish for him to hold it back, in, or away from them. He believes that the artist should impact someone, not everyone.

"Our desire to please the masses inteferes with our need to make something that matters."

Seth Godin, The Practice

It took me reading a significant portion of the book before I could understand that, although I would recommend someone read War of Art instead of The Practice, he's writing for people that wouldn't. That realization is the wisdom and perspective that his book imparts.

In addition to the main themes in the book, I found other sections that caught my attention.

For example, his writings on getting better clients has caught my eye in book blurbs, emails, and in this book. To get good clients, the professional needs to be what better clients want. The freelancer, gig-worker, has to earn them. Doing better work for "lousy" clients is a waste of time because they don't want better work. That's why they pay less.

Finally, I enjoyed his perspective on learning and teaching.

"We can teach people to make commitments, to overcome fear, to deal transparently, to initiate, and to plan a course of action. We can teach people to desire lifelong learning, to express themselves, and to innovate."

Seth Godin, The Practice

"People around the world eat what they eat because of commu-
nity standards and the way culture is inculcated into what they
do. Expectations matter a great deal. When you have no real
choice but to grow up doing something or eating something or
singing something, then you do it. If culture is sufficient to establish what we eat, how we speak, and ten thousand other societal norms, why isn't it able to teach
us a process to make art? Isn't it possible for the culture to nor-
malize goal setting and passion and curiosity and the ability to persuade?
It can."

Seth Godin, The Practice

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