The Ultimate Challenge for Idea Entrepreneurs—Practicing What You Preach

file3421312043166Idea entrepreneurs are people with a mission. They want to influence the way that people think and behave. This mission comes at a steep price—the challenge to live your ideas. Those who fail at this alignment will undermine their credibility.

For example, consider Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat. Who would take her seriously if she were obese?

Who would believe Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, if she dominated conversations?

Who would listen to Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth, if he drove a Humvee?

During an interview for Forbes, John Butman talked about the need for idea entrepreneurs to model their ideas. In short, audiences expect you to practice what you preach.

When they don’t do this, idea entrepreneurs can create some heavy karma. Cases in point: Martha Stewart and Greg Mortensen.

So ask yourself:

  • If you want readers to practice inbox zero, then how many emails are in your inbox right now?
  • If you’re promoting the virtues of being debt-free, then how much debt are you carrying right now?
  • If you’re writing and speaking about a system for habit change, then what habits are you successfully changing right now?
  • If you advocate failure as a path to learning, then how do you react when people make mistakes?

P.S. Saying that you “teach what you most need to learn” won’t cut it.

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