Seth Godin vs. Donald Trump

[Originally published on August 3, 2009]

What if you were given the opportunity to have lunch with Seth Godin or Donald Trump but you could only pick one. Who would you dine with? Would the choice change if you were paid $5,000 to sit down with Donald but it would cost you $5,000 with Seth?

If given that choice I would chose Seth gladly paying the $5,000.

Why would I make that illogical choice when I could have been PAID $5,000 to have lunch with Donald Trump? Because it’s not about them it’s about me.

I would chose Seth Godin because he has had a bigger impact on me and my business. In my opinion, he is also more humble and approachable. I believe that I can become like Seth but it would be very hard to replicate the same business playbook as Donald Trump. I can start a website that makes money by connecting people. I can’t, and don’t want to, build a 50 story skyscraper in the OC and call it Mobley Tower. I think that best way to make your first billion today is different than when Trump did it. Maybe that belief comes from the fact that I’ve done experiments with Seth’s teachings but I don’t have a lab that would work for doing trial and error in major real estate development projects (once again all about me). I can have a feature page on Squidoo but becoming the next “The Apprentice” isn’t high on my priority list.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a bash Trump and praise Godin post. They have written two of my favorite books (All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World & Trump: The Art of the Deal). The both are successful entrepreneurs and I’d like to meet them both in person some day. I’ve learned a lot from both of them and I will continue to in the future. The same decision might be different for you and that’s o.k. because when it’s your choice it’s all about you.

Fortunately, you didn’t mention the haircut issue. I think it would be a great lunch, but I’m wondering if it’s possible to have Donald’s bankers pick up the check...
— Seth Godin (August 3, 2009)