It’s OK to Be Ambivalent

I’m about to do a radio interview about my book here in San Francisco.

The interviewer just called me to confirm logistics and said something very wise. He said,

By the way, it’s OK to be ambivalent. We live in a cheerleader society. Everyone wants rah rah. You might be tempted to rah rah everything and cover your ass. ‘Entrepreneurship is the only way!’ Don’t. It’s good to be ambivalent about some things. It’s good to be skeptical. It’s OK to be uncertain. That’s where the nuance lies.

This is the first time someone has told me this. I like it.

4 Responses to It’s OK to Be Ambivalent

  1. maria says:

    Wow. That is really excellent advice.

  2. Ben, I totally agree as I have been through much of the same. Since I wrote eBay Millionaire or Bust, I’ve encountered so many competitors whose sole job is “rah rah” eBay and tell everyone they will be overnight millionaires with the click of a button. I’ve found that by being genuine, honest and upfront about the good, AND THE BAD, people respond very well. Good luck tomorrow!

    Corey Kossack
    author of eBay Millionaire or Bust

  3. nikhil suri says:

    the statement reminded me of something Henry ford had written about skepticism.
    Here’s the paragraph copy-pasted from the gutenburg project copy:

    I have no quarrel with the general attitude of scoffing at new ideas. It
    is better to be skeptical of all new ideas and to insist upon being
    shown rather than to rush around in a continuous brainstorm after every
    new idea. Skepticism, if by that we mean cautiousness, is the balance
    wheel of civilization. Most of the present acute troubles of the world
    arise out of taking on new ideas without first carefully investigating
    to discover if they are good ideas. An idea is not necessarily good
    because it is old, or necessarily bad because it is new, but if an old
    idea works, then the weight of the evidence is all in its favor. Ideas
    are of themselves extraordinarily valuable, but an idea is just an idea.
    Almost any one can think up an idea. The thing that counts is developing
    it into a practical product.

  4. I’m NOT ambivalent about your book. Bought two more copies, one for a friend, another for a client. when/where is the interview? Be great to hear our local Marty Nemko interview you

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