Those Who Cannot Think, Do. Those Who Can Think, Teach.

Author: Gab Goldenberg

That’s a pretty inflammatory statement, isn’t it? But why is it any less inflammatory than “Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.” You hear that all the time in internet marketing circles (especially affiliate ones) and it’s pretty silly.

I was preparing a syllabus for a course I called “How To Learn Internet Law For Fun And Profit”. The above thought occurred to me as I was reading for the basic section on ethics I needed to design.

Some Greek philosophers’ argue that the “happy man being a self-realized person and one who thus necessarily does what is good.” That jives really well with how I see some of the awesome profs I’ve had, like Rod Macdonald, Jill Guedon, Morteza Danechrad, Michael Duckett and Yossef Attoun. All of them are the epitome of what I think of as self-realization.

I don’t think a single one of them knows the others, yet I’d say they’re all kindred spirits in that they

  1. Are ethical
  2. Give back to their communities (implicit in 1, but felt it should be mentioned anyways)
  3. Are brilliant
  4. Teach with rare skill – it’s truly their calling
  5. Have a toughness/resilience that is remarkable (I know each of them personally, and can tell you that they’ve not led the easiest lives).

What particularly gets my goat is those macho affiliates who act tough and think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread just because they generate profits online. When they say that “those who can’t, teach,” they’re dismissing people of the highest quality, in every sense of the word.

The simple truth is that those who cannot, write inflammatory pieces on blogs nobody reads ;). Seriously though, I think both my version of that line and the better known version express two extremes that are rarely seen in reality – most people fall in the middle of this [bell] curve. What say you, you who can think?

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  1. Totally agree with you about most people falling somewhere in the middle. There are some people that just have a natural ability to share information, and there are also some very skilled people that just don't have the patience or ability to communicate their process with others. But, for the most part, it seems like the majority of people are willing to at least give a few pointers or pass along a little bit of their knowledge when someone asks. This hardly undermines their actual ability to accomplish things on their own. If anything, it usually helps make them more effective "do-ers".

    Comment by Jason - January 13, 2009 @ 7:06pm
  2. You're right on the money there Jason. Nice to see you drop by the blog btw. Will you be at SMX West?

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - January 14, 2009 @ 8:34pm
  3. No, I won't be able to make it to SMX West. I should be at SMX Advanced though if you're planning on coming to Seattle this year.

    Comment by Jason - January 15, 2009 @ 12:39am
  4. Heh, depends if I get accepted to speak or not. My spending this past year was unrestrained (in a bad way) and I need to budget better in 09. I'd love to meet ya though!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - January 15, 2009 @ 1:59am

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