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A Preview of Selfish Scared and Stupid with Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Selfish Scared and Stupid

A summary of things you should know about Selfish Scared and Stupid according to Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory:


In this episode Kieran Flanagan and Don Gregory take a deep dive into their book, Selfish Scared and Stupid, where they demystify the behaviors behind the failure and success of business ideas.

In their book, Flanagan and Gregory will help you design your business effectively with strategies to understand why the public fails to engage with your brand and why your product is falling short. The goal of the book is to teach you product survival tactics, how to offer customer strategic reward programs, how to turn fear into action, and how to make products hard to resist.

This book is perfect for entrepreneurs who are struggling to get their product or service engaged with the public and need a proven system to increase their customer reach and sales.

The Book’s Unique Quality (3:47)

We have been told that it was funny which our intent wasn’t to be necessarily funny but human beings are funny by nature. It’s real and it’s not speaking to ideas but instead its dealing with what is true and real for human beings.

The Best Way To Engage (5:13)

This book is a fairly easy read and written in the order that you would approach an engagement program. It probably works best read in order but I have had people say to me that they dip in and out as well.

The Reader’s Takeaway (18:20)

We need to design for success rather than just hoping for the best and relying on short term strategies. It’s also about swimming with the current of human nature because if we don’t we get exhausted, we go nowhere and we often give up.

A Deep Dive Into The Book (8:18)

We start the book off explaining why we really need to be thinking selfish, scared and stupid. We make the distinction between acting selfish, scared and stupid which is human beings default position. It is why we survived, thrived and evolved as a species and ended up in this dominant position on the planet and it’s just that they don’t sounds like particularly good things. We tend to deny those things in our decision making but our primitive brains still drive a lot of our decision making. The survival thinking drives the fundamental thinking beneath our decision making.

From there we move on to how to do it. We section the book into think selfish, think scared, think stupid and dive into each of those points. Thinking selfish is fundamentally about coming from a place of what’s in it for them, and we need to move from what’s in it for me to what’s in it for them. So often in business we see that people are so caught up in what’s in it me. This section is about how to understand the extraordinary power of flipping your mindset to how you can filter the world constantly into what’s in it for someone else. And by doing that you can engage your staff with not only your goals but there’s as well.

In think scared the reality is that fear drives us a lot of the time. We look at how to flip that fear that has a stay in inaction to how to create a fear of not taking action. It’s about minimizing the fear of action and maximizing the fear of in action. So what we look to do is how to make change seem less fearful and part of the way we do it is by linking it to the known. Thinking scared isn’t about making people afraid, it’s about understanding how fear drives us and making sure that fear is on the appropriate side of the ledger in terms of stimulating action.

Then we look at thinking stupid and for a lot of people this is the most challenging one. Again it’s not about being stupid, it’s about thinking stupid and what that means is looking for the most easy way to achieve an outcome. It’s about making sure that our tasks are really easy and how to reduce resistance to those tasks. We spend a lot of time on why failure happens and how to make failure difficult. Instead of relying on these ideas, relying on short term strategies, the fundamental idea of the book is how we design for success.

Notable Quotes From The Book (20:52)

“We are all selfish, scared and stupid.” – Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

“Make failure difficult.” – Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

The Credibility/Inspiration Of The Author (0:41)

We have a long history in advertising and spent a long part of our lives getting a better understanding of what drives human behavior. Most of our careers have been in entrepreneurial startups and our interests are in what drives human behavior. We have a business called The Impossible Institute which is a research, innovation, and think tank where we look at the gap in what people say they do and what they actually do. In that gap we find interesting stuff about how to motivate, how to get results, and how to help entrepreneurs.

We saw so much inspiration around what was driving human behavior and so much of it was based on ideas. What we wanted to do was step back and take a look at what was really driving human beings and generating results.

Other Books Recommended By The Author (22:17)

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

More Information About This Book and The Author

Buy Selfish Scared and Stupid by Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory on Amazon today

Visit TheImpossibleInstitute.com to learn more about the book

Follow Kieran Flanagan on Twitter and Facebook

Follow Dan Gregory on Twitter and Facebook

More Information About This Episode

Download the full transcript here (coming soon)

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher , and SoundCloud

Related books: Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez | Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers by Justin Mares | Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Relevant advice and tips: 5 Simple Ways Entrepreneurs Can Attract Customers | 5 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks

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Wade is a 4-time serial entrepreneur and is the Founder/Host of The Entrepreneurs Library. With a long time passion for reading books, Wade created an online resource and podcast for entrepreneurs who love to read personal and business development books. His long-term goal in life is to start an entrepreneurial home schooling program for children of business-minded families.