The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


What Is 'Controversy'?

Controversy means publicly taking a position that not everyone will agree with, approve of, or support. Used constructively, it's very effective to attract Attention.

If you agree with everyone, your position is boring and no one will care.

It's okay to disagree, call out or position against something, because it provokes discussion, and discussion is Attention.

Controversy with an ethical purpose is valuable. Controversy for the sake of controversy is not. Always keep your goal in mind.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Controversy'

Controversy is taking a position that not everyone will agree with, approve of, or support. Used constructively, controversy can be an effective way to attract Attention: people start talking, engaging, and paying attention to your position, which is a very good thing.

The Personal MBA itself is a good example of the power of positive controversy. The Personal MBA is about fundamental business principles-what you need to understand about business in order to succeed. I firmly believe that anyone can learn whatever they need to know about business independently, without mortgaging their future earnings by enrolling in a traditional MBA program.

Some people vehemently disagree with that position-particularly graduates from Ivy League business school programs. MBA graduates and candidates are often quite vocal in their disagreement, which usually takes the form of denouncing the Personal MBA approach to business education on their own Web site or publicly disagreeing with me by leaving comments on my Web site.

That's not a bad thing: this consistent level of mild controversy has allowed the Personal MBA to grow year-after-year without any form of paid advertising. By making their thoughts known, the Personal MBA's detractors are spreading the word to people who may not have been aware that there are alternatives to traditional business school programs.

The controversy leads many new people to investigate and examine the Personal MBA and make up their own minds about its usefulness. More than a few of them stick around, read my free content, then decide to purchase a book, take a course, or hire me as a consultant. As long as my detractors keep things civil, I welcome the disagreement.

It's okay to have an opinion and take a strong stand. Everyone has a natural tendency to want other people to like them, and disagreement is often uncomfortable. In an effort to be unobjectionable, it's easy to water down your opinions to the point where they offend no one. If your position is agreeable to everyone, it becomes so boring that no one will pay attention to you.

It's okay to support a position that not everyone else supports. It's okay to disagree with someone, or to call someone out, or to position yourself against something, because controversy provokes a discussion. Discussion is attention, which is a very good thing if you want to attract people who will benefit from what you're doing.

That's not to say all controversy is good controversy: there's a fine line between being constructively controversial and creating a soap opera. Controversy with a purpose is valuable; controversy for the sake of controversy, or controversy that belittles and demeans, is not.

Controversy won't help you if you lose sight of the purpose behind your actions. As long as you're able to maintain a sense of the bigger picture of how you're trying to help, creating a bit of controversy can be a very effective tool in encouraging people to seek out more information about what you're doing.

Questions About 'Controversy'


"If you want an audience, start a fight."

Irish Proverb


From Chapter 2:

Marketing


https://personalmba.com/controversy/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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