Whatever Your Fear Tells You – Do the Opposite (Seth Godin)

So you know the book that made me cry. Now for the speakers that made me tear up (I don't cry that often). There are 2 that are business speakers (not counting religious speakers).

1. Guy Kawasaki – with his story about flying first class (I can't recall the details but he got and earned a standing ovation)

2. Ben Zander – while singing happy birthday to a stranger with such feeling that she was crying, and then again when we hear someone put his soul into playing the cello. He taught us how to really give.

I found out that Ben Zander is friends with Seth Godin, who I heard speak today (thanks to Kelly for bringing him to Utah: http://startupprincess.com/sethgodin). Now Seth isn't the kind of speaker to make you cry because you're moved. He's more the type of speaker to make you LAUGH. But not the kind of all out that's so funny kind of laugh. The sort of laugh that you get what he's saying and it's funny but at the same time the truth of it worries you a little. As in OH NO.

When he talks it's like he's playing with ideas and he bends your mind. But overall he's a master storyteller except his stories are a portend – he's reading us the future and we're not quite ready to hear it. But since we're laughing and we like the stories, we go along with it.

All along we've been groomed to try to fit in. But rather than trying to be perfect or following instructions we should try to stand out. To be artists – not the kind of artists that paint paintings but the kind who take on things that require us to do difficult work – the kind of work that can stand out.

When Ben Zander teaches he starts by giving his entire class an A which they then work to earn. Seth Godin on the other hand tells us to start out giving ourselves a D. That's because the only way to go from there is UP, if we stand against our fear.

I've heard Seth Godin speak before and this isn't the same speech from last time. Totally different material. Original thought.

Seth's premise is that what got us here won't get us far. That is, conforming. If you're good at doing what you're told and playing the rules your income potential will be essentially stagnant. Because if what you do can be replaced by something cheaper it will be replaced.

  • You don't need a publisher to write a book
  • You don't need the FCC to host a radio show
  • You don't need a degree in broadcasting to air the news

What you need is about $800 for a laptop and you can do just about anything. So what does it make us? Afraid. So here's some parting advice: whatever your fear tells you to do – either ignore it – or do the opposite. It's your signal to press on.

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