'The Dip' and My 9-Month Quest to Interview Seth Godin

On February 20th, 2015, I sent a compelling cold e-mail asking Seth Godin to be a guest on my podcast, "The Learning Leader Show." He wrote back: "Thanks Ryan. Check back in nine months when you've got a huge following, okay? Good luck."

Initially I was upset and felt defeated. This was the beginning stages of my podcast (I didn't launch until April 10th) but I was determined to have great guests to launch in a big way. Seth is one of my favorite writers. I love the way he views the world. I really appreciate how he thinks. I love his honest voice. I love the fact that he writes without fear. And most of all, I love his consistency. Seth is a guy who has decided to write every single day and publish it for the world to see. I believed a conversation with him would help make my show more credible and it would also be a huge thrill for me.

Most People Quit

Most people quit. Most people find what Steven Pressfield calls, "The Resistance," and they quit. The average podcast lasts less than seven episodes. People realize it's really hard and they lose that initial enthusiasm and they quit. Seth explained, "It's not my job to help a podcast become successful. If a podcaster figures out how to get through the dip, then I have huge respect for that person."

I was determined to make it through what Seth calls, "The Dip." Going into this podcasting journey, I expected it to be hard. I expected to hear the word "No" far more than "Yes". This significant "No" from one of my heroes was simply part of the process. In fact, I didn't read Seth's e-mail as "No," I read it as "Not yet."

What happened during the next nine months? I recorded over 75 episodes with world class leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, CEO's, and best-selling authors. Some of them were: Gary Vaynerchuk, Dr. Henry Cloud, Kat Cole, Jim Tressel and Dan Pink among other greats.

Nine Months Later

I sent Seth a follow up note on November 20th. It read: "Now that nine months have passed (as you requested), I wanted to reach back out in regards to you being a guest on my podcast. I've recorded over 75 episodes and the show has hit No. 1 in three categories in iTunes (New and Noteworthy): Business, Education, and Society and Culture. It's downloaded in 103 countries and has become a global hit. I'd love to have you come on as a guest. Let me know your thoughts."

He replied quickly and said, "Well done sir happy to keep my end of the bargain. Pick some dates after 12/10 and we'll do it."

When Seth and I eventually spoke, I asked him specifically if he was testing me to see if I would make it through the dip. He confirmed my suspicion, and added, "I fully expected you to be back based on the quality of your cold e-mail."

You Must Decide To

It is critical you understand that the resistance will be there. YOU will hit The Dip. You must decide to get past the dip prior to even starting. Whether it's a new job, a new business, or learning a new language. The Dip will happen, and it's on you to be prepared for it and to push through it. It's the difference between people who sustain excellence over long periods of time and the people who don't.

If you aren't aware enough about the challenges ahead, then you shouldn't start it. As Seth put it, "Be aware enough to look down the field and see there's no way to get to the end."

What has resulted from this push through The Dip is the 86th episode of The Learning Leader Show. It is one that I'm incredibly proud of. As Shane Snow told me, "The best way to meet your heroes is to ask to interview them." To listen to this episode with one of my heroes, Seth Godin, click HERE.

Ryan Hawk is the creator and host of The Learning Leader Show. A podcast where he speaks with the smartest, most creative & inspiring leaders in the world. To listen in iTunes, click HERE. Or go to his website: www.LearningLeader.com