Are You A Victim of The Icarus Deception?

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If you are a Seth Godin (@ThisisSethsBlog) fan, then you may already have his latest book, The Icarus Deception – How High Will You Fly, and if you’ve already read it – I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments on the book.

I received a review copy recently and decided to read it for review.   While I’m familiar with Seth Godin’s work, I wouldn’t call myself a rabid fan (as I know some of you are).  I check into his blog from time to time and I’ve read several (but not all) of his books.  That is the extent of my exposure to Godin.

I’m telling you all of this because this review is written from that point of view.  You may read this and think – DUH! You may read this and completely disagree with my opinion.   That is all terrific because that creates a terrific opportunity to discuss your opinions on this book as well.

On Godin as a Business Philosopher

I’m not sure if there is such a thing, but I’d say that Seth Godin is what I’d call a business philosopher.  When I first encountered his work in Fast Company articles and in the books Permission Marketing and Purple Cow, I put him in the same category as Reis and Trout, the authors of Positioning.  I had him sitting in the box of “marketing expert.”  But with the launch of his last few books and projects, I don’t see him as a marketing visionary (as so many do) as much as a business philosopher.

Wait – maybe even an economic revolutionary.

Seth Godin, to me, is first and foremost a big thinker of big ideas.  As his ideas are consumed and implemented, they take on a more pragmatic, systemic quality and before you know it, they are the accepted way of doing and thinking about business.  As I write this, I’m thinking specifically of his work in Permission Marketing.  It was a big idea that has evolved into standard marketing practice.

But it was in Linchpin, with it’s message that the old model of employees being nothing more than machines and the advent of work as an expression of art, that I first realized that Godin was seeing trends and thinking bigger than I had even realized or given him credit for.  He was pushing all of us to look at our world of work in a new light – through new lenses.

I’m sure you can say that he’s had this philosophy a long time, but it wasn’t until Linchpin and now, The Icarus Deception, How High Will You Fly, that I could really see and feel the urgency in his writing.  It’s as if with each book he’s trying to grab you by the shoulders, shake you and say:

“Hey!  The world of work is not what you thought it was – snap out of it!”

What is The Icarus Deception and Why Should We Pay Attention to it?

In the myth of Icarus is a cautionary tale.  Don’t challenge the experts.  Stay in your safety zone.  If you fly too close to the sun, your wings will burn and you will die.   The idea of “the artist” that Godin talked about in Linchpin is reinforced in The Icarus Deception.  In this book, Godin encourages everyone to get out of their safety zone and take risks, make mistakes because that is what todays economy will reward.

Read it for Yourself, Live it for a Successful Future

Usually, I would tell you about the different chapters in the book and what the book covers in detail.  Somehow, this book just doesn’t lend itself to that.  In his Kickstarter video and page Godin shares that this is his most personal book.  The passion with which he writes will be very rewarding for Godin fans and perhaps eye-opening to those who have watched him from afar.

There are people who like Godin and people who don’t.  If you’re a fan, you will love this book and cheer at every page.  If you fall on the other side of the spectrum, I would say read this book – but not because it’s written by Seth Godin.  Read this book because Godin is tearing down the curtain to reveal the true nature of the Wizard of Oz.  He’s doing his very best to show you something important and to prepare you for success in the future.  Read this book to challenge your thinking and to propel yourself in a direction that is not only satisfying, but rewarding.

Godin is telling you that you are so much more than you ever thought you could be.  You are no longer encumbered by what you thought were limitations.  You are only limited by your ability to overcome your fear of what’s outside your comfort zone.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."