Uncertainty. Life's full of it. Question is, how will you handle it?

Idea terrorist, eh?
Knew that’d get your attention.

We’ll get to that in a minute, but first I want to introduce you to Jonathan Fields.

Jonathan Field’s first book, Career Renegade, was one of the first two books I read when I launched my business. I was an active listener to Jonathan’s blog and interview series after that, and exchanged a few emails with him from time to time – he actually invited me into a private forum group he had, where I met some very cool people.

It wasn’t until two years ago I met Jonathan in person at SXSW. No surprises, he was just as kind and genuine as in person.

And ever since then, I keep bumping into him. And every time? He introduces me to someone new, and tells them I’m the famous guy who knows everybody.

While I think he’s got that wrong, and this isn’t in the book, it’s important nonetheless. The way you treat other people is a direct reflection on how others look at you. Just sayin’.

Now… about those Idea Terrorists

The idea terrorists is a comment in Jonathan’s new book, Uncertainty, just released.  I was thankful for a sneak preview and devoured it over a long evening, because uncertainty is a topic even I have difficulty with.

The reason I bring up the idea of idea terrorists is because it drives home a good point.  Jonathan says:

“When I launched my last company, I was an idea terrorist.  Every two seconds, I’d have a brand new idea about what we were going to do, how to define the brand, whom we’d serve, what kind of lighting we’d have, the type of music we’d create, the people we’d hire, what they’d wear, the tiles in the bathrooms.  If I could get paid to do just that….”

Jonathan calls this finding your certainty anchors.  It’s the sage old advice, play off your strengths, which you probably know and aren’t doing.  But it’s also interesting to note that by working in ideas where you know you have core skill and expertise, doing the scary things perhaps are a little less scary.

Why Uncertainty is More Like Rock Climbing

Another zinger that really shifted my perspective with Jonathan’s analogy of risk and uncertainty to rock climbing.

“In rock climbing, each route from the ground to the peak is rated with a number.  A climb rated 4.0 or lower is considered nontechnical and higher requires ropes, harnesses, other protective gear, and a bit more experience…. The interesting thing about these ratings is that they aren’t based so much on the difficulty of the entire climb as on a set of moves known as the crux.  Crux moves are the most challenging moves of the entire route…. The manner in which you handle the thousands of smaller moment s of uncertainty and challenge along the way determines whetehr you get to the crux moves.  But the way you handle the crux mvoes themselves so strongly determines whetehr you’ll actually reach the peak that the difficulty of the most challenging crux sequence is often used to rate the entire climb.

Speechless.  Can’t think of a better way to sum up this book.

Find Your Tribe.  Or Whatever the F*** You Call Them.

I know a lot of people don’t like “tribe language.”  Whatever you call them, you need people around you to lean on.  You need to bounce ideas off of people.  You need skilled people to help you with expertise outside your zone.  You can’t read the label from inside the jar, so you need external perspective.  Find those trusted people, those true friends who, as Carol Roth would say, will tell you that you have spinach in your teeth.

And, tell those friends to grab a copy of Uncertainty.  Because we all have to deal with it.  And if we all start dealing with Uncertainty a bit better? We can change the world.

P.S.  IMPORTANT! My birthday pay-what-you-can sale ends midnight TONIGHT, so get your requests in ASAP!

Obligatory Disclosure: Those are my Amazon affiliate links, so if you decide to buy a BBQ grill while buying the book, I’ll be able to afford a coffee. Also, Jonathan sent me a sneak preview copy of the book. So, er, I didn’t pay for it, but would have if he had asked me to.