In my previous blog post I talked about being fearless, which isn’t easy. Being fearless means trying something new, travelling the road less travelled, doing what others won’t do, and even putting your ideas and thoughts out there for others to ponder (which leaves your theories open to criticism, to be dismissed or even outright lambasted). Many people don’t like to be criticized, or told their ideas are bogus, or they’re wrong – which is understandable – but at the end of the day, this does you no favors. You can only grow and flourish by knowing that what you believe is good, bad, sound, or weak and then improving upon it. And that means putting yourself out there.
Now an excellent example in fearlessness is Chris Anderson (editor of wired magazine and author of the bestseller the Longtail). He is about to release his second book called FREE – The future of a radical price, which posits the idea that in today’s digital marketplace, the most effective price is no price at all. Now Malcolm Gladwell (best selling author of the Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers) swoops in with a review in the New Yorker and says Chris’s whole premise is flawed and that the whole idea of free is actually failing as we speak. Then Seth Godin counters and says Malcolm Gladwell is wrong and states that regardless or what you think about free it’s happening and is changing the world right now, as we know it.
Now from my perspective whether Chris, Malcolm or Seth is wrong or right is besides the point. The more relevant issue at hand is that these gents understand being fearless. And they understand being fearless requires proposing new experiments, proto-typing your ideas and postulating your arguments (right or wrong) in our current brave new world that most or many people are simply not willing to be brave enough to do – because people don’t want to be wrong or don’t want to be seen as having made a mistake and proposed the wrong theory or approach. But as the old cliche says. . . nothing ventured nothing gained.
Now the plain reality my friends is that we are human beings, susceptible to not always being correct. Its a reality. The only answer is if you happen to be wrong, ok fine, take you licks and then get right back in the ring. This is the only way.
Now if you are serious about wanting to successfully build a 21st century brand, I suggest you get fearless quick and start conducting you own new experiments now