I have been a fan of Seth Godin’s for a long time. I read his blogs, buy his books, and frequently recommend them to friends. (In fact, we celebrated my birthday this year at Max Brenner’s restaurant, in part due to reading about Max in Seth’s books.) So when Seth told readers on his blog that they could get an early copy of his book by making a donation to the Acumen Fund, I eagerly signed up.

I really enjoyed Linchpin, and you can see my earlier reviews here. I would love to sit down with Seth and discuss his Lizard Brain concept further, taking into account the development of the brain as we go from kids to adults and how that process may impact creativity. But despite any nitpicking I might do on neurology, it brought home the point that you have the best chance to succeed when you are involved and engaged in your work.

When I came home today from a client meeting where being engaged and responsive had made a big impact, I was surprised to see a package by my door. Inside was another copy of Linchpin with a note from Seth that read :

“Generosity is a key piece of being an artist. It gives each of us a chance to connect, to make a difference and to do indispensable work. You were generous enough to make a donation to the Acumen Fund, an organization that focuses on trade, not aid, building communities that work because each member contributes more than they get. A few weeks ago, I sent you a preview copy of Linchpin, as promised. Now, in recognition of your generosity, I’m giving you another. I hope you’ll share this one with someone you care about.”

What a lovely surprise! I’m speaking to a group next week, and I’m going to make sure someone in the audience gets this gift, along with the hope they will pay it forward as well in the future.

I know Seth is a fantastic marketer, and this is an additional chance to help the word spread about his book. Since I found myself quoting the book frequently after reading it, I’m doing a pretty good job of that already. But this gives me an additional chance to share Seth’s words with others, and it was a terrific and thoughtful gift to find on my doorstep. It was like finding a handwritten note, that chocolate on the pillowcase, the extra secret surprise than reinforces the concept of getting through the process of giving.

I know I always find the more I give and help others, the more I seem to get in return. The return comes in many forms, but whether it’s volunteering or taking a moment to help a friend, or doing great work with a client, I always seem to end up
feeling that everything I put into a project, I get at least that much, if not more, out on the other side. Even in cases where things don’t work out so well, I always find there’s often a lesson I needed to learn in the process.

The bottom line here is that I’m already a huge Seth fan. He doesn’t need to “re-sell” me, really. I’m already happily playing on his team, so to speak. But this gesture reinforces the message that Seth not only stands behind his work, but he wants to make it easy to share with others who may not be fans (yet) the same way I am. And it’s another lesson to me that these small moments of surprise can be touching- moments of delight that work on many levels, including encouraging me to invest in any of Seth’s future projects. Not because of any “What’s in it for me?” reason, but because he always seems to find a way to surprise and delight me, and I’ve always been thrilled by anything I’ve done on his recommendation. I always learn something from Seth, or am reminded of things that are important that I may have put on the back shelf. So I’ll continue to invest in Seth, because he’s never afraid on investing in his audience and fans.