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The Icarus Deception

Posted By: Randy GageFebruary 28, 2013

Back in the 90’s I was conducting a Central European Business Congress in with Nicolas Hayek, the rumbustious founder of The Swatch Group.  At the time, Nicolas was probably in his mid seventies, worth over three billion and had single-handedly rescued the entire Swiss watch industry.   But it hadn’t mellowed him any... 

We were conducting a press conference for the event when a young reporter asked him when he was planning on retiring.  Nicolas actually seemed taken aback by the question.  Then in his gruff, irascible style he proclaimed,

Entrepreneurs are artists.  And artists never retire.

At that very moment, two truths instantly dawned upon me…

One, I knew I would spend the rest of my life, wishing I had been the first person in the world to ever utter those words.  And two, I now had a label to describe my angst.

The entrepreneur as artist…

So imagine my delight to pick up The Icarus Deception, the latest book from Seth Godin to discover it’s all about unleashing the artist in you.

Just when you think you’ve got Seth figured out, he surprises you with another turn, and this book is no exception.  It’s definitely his most challenging book to date.  There are sure to be a lot of people who don’t get it.  And others who will be disappointed because he doesn’t connect all the dots on how to sell more mass consumer goods.  But critical thinkers will absolutely love this work.

It’s a brilliant call to action to wake up, take risks and treat your work like the art it really is.  If I wanted to write a companion volume to Risky Is the New Safe, this book could easily be it.  Here’s a brief excerpt:

We’ve been trained to prefer being right to learning something, to passing the test to making a difference, and most of all, to prefer fitting in with the right people, the people with economic power.  Now it’s your turn to stand up and stand out. 

If there is one lesson to be taken from this amazing book, it is this:  Don’t waste the platform you have.  Stop playing small.  Don’t leave your talents untapped.  And most importantly, don’t deprive the world of the art that only you can do.

The Icarus Deception is a magnificent book.  Get it now and devour it.

- RG

P.S.  Bonus material:  Here’s a great interview that the artist formerly known as Bob Burg did with Seth to discuss some of the concepts in the book.  Listen to it here.

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  • 52 comments on “The Icarus Deception”

    1. Randy, terrific post! And, thank you for your very kind mention of - and link to - my interview with Seth about his great new book! - Best Regards, the artist formerly known as me. 😉

    2. Randy, terrific post! And, thank you for your very kind mention of - and link to - my interview with Seth about his great new book! - Best Regards, the artist formerly known as me. 😉

    3. I never considered myself as an 'artist' being an entrepreneur... Intriguing thought... I think I'll explore that more. Thanks for the insight!

    4. I never considered myself as an 'artist' being an entrepreneur... Intriguing thought... I think I'll explore that more. Thanks for the insight!

    5. Well to me living is an 'art' since it requires being in touch with your Source for direction, Truth and purpose. And like all arts, living creatively is key. Paying attention to every single inspiration no matter how small or large...And always asking, "What else is there?" while staying present is the key. So yes, the entrepreneur is an artist, but we are ALL artists in our own right.. I know a few that are extremely good at BS and we all know what they're called, LOL

    6. Well to me living is an 'art' since it requires being in touch with your Source for direction, Truth and purpose. And like all arts, living creatively is key. Paying attention to every single inspiration no matter how small or large...And always asking, "What else is there?" while staying present is the key. So yes, the entrepreneur is an artist, but we are ALL artists in our own right.. I know a few that are extremely good at BS and we all know what they're called, LOL

    7. Either work or art that we aren't familiar with might be perceived as something awesome, so why not consider both as an expression of creativity, or an extension of art?

    8. Either work or art that we aren't familiar with might be perceived as something awesome, so why not consider both as an expression of creativity, or an extension of art?

    9. Seth Godin is such a wild, wise, & wonderful man.  Not only does he have great insight, but he is the best at packing his insight into pithy, powerful, and persuasive punditry.

    10. Seth Godin is such a wild, wise, & wonderful man.  Not only does he have great insight, but he is the best at packing his insight into pithy, powerful, and persuasive punditry.

    11. Words are power, baby!
      Risky is the new safe
      entasart (entrepreneur as art)
      trasatner (backwords)
      TRA Y SAT NER (gotta add the Y, the decision, the FEMALE CHROMO, the VESSEL, connector)
      you get:
      tray
      satner - shatner (as in Captain Kirk)
      saturday
      ren (rename - oooh - "ah come on Joe, you can always change your name! Thx a lot son, just the same"
      (ren is NER backwards)
      I could go on all day with this - a la George Carlin rant (chortling)

    12. Words are power, baby!
      Risky is the new safe
      entasart (entrepreneur as art)
      trasatner (backwords)
      TRA Y SAT NER (gotta add the Y, the decision, the FEMALE CHROMO, the VESSEL, connector)
      you get:
      tray
      satner - shatner (as in Captain Kirk)
      saturday
      ren (rename - oooh - "ah come on Joe, you can always change your name! Thx a lot son, just the same"
      (ren is NER backwards)
      I could go on all day with this - a la George Carlin rant (chortling)

    13. "Don't leave your talents untapped"... so true with successful Entrepreneurs who maximum the use of their own talents.  Great post!

    14. "Don't leave your talents untapped"... so true with successful Entrepreneurs who maximum the use of their own talents.  Great post!

    15. So true about not leaving your talents untapped! We are all different and all have different talents that we are meant to use in this world. Thanks for the insight Randy!

    16. So true about not leaving your talents untapped! We are all different and all have different talents that we are meant to use in this world. Thanks for the insight Randy!

    17. Sometime I'd like to see the Artist as an entrepreneur article. It's one thing creative minds such as musicians, painters, writers, etc. tend to be very bad at or they think it's "selling out".
      For some reason being a struggling artist is ok, but when you start to get paid for it, you're a "sellout".

    18. Sometime I'd like to see the Artist as an entrepreneur article. It's one thing creative minds such as musicians, painters, writers, etc. tend to be very bad at or they think it's "selling out".
      For some reason being a struggling artist is ok, but when you start to get paid for it, you're a "sellout".

    19. I'm telling you, it's like a "start shipping" tidal wave between Risky Is The New Safe, Do The Work, and Icarus Deception! Talk about a juicy three-legged kick in the pants!

    20. I'm telling you, it's like a "start shipping" tidal wave between Risky Is The New Safe, Do The Work, and Icarus Deception! Talk about a juicy three-legged kick in the pants!

    21. "Don’t waste the platform you have.  Stop playing small.  Don’t leave your talents untapped.  And most importantly, don’t deprive the world of the art that only you can do."  Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    22. "Don’t waste the platform you have.  Stop playing small.  Don’t leave your talents untapped.  And most importantly, don’t deprive the world of the art that only you can do."  Thanks so much for the inspiration.

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