Sincerely, Your Future Self : altMBA Letter

Dear Self from 30 Days ago,

Hey you! I mean Me... You didn’t know you’d be writing this, but one of our last altmBA assignments was to write an open letter about our experience over the last month, so I decided to write to you and give you a heads up of what you should expect from this experience.

I know right now you’re super excited to have gotten accepted. I mean geez, you were chosen to be a part of an exclusive group of 100 people from around the world and approved to be in this prestigious program with Seth Godin as your teacher. I know you’re feeling the excitement but, I’m going to burst your bubble and encourage you to get excited about a different bubble. The bubble of truth! The bubble you’re in right now is making you feel special. Well, that feeling of being picked will be the only time you feel that way during this entire course (except for being recognized for a quality post in the later weeks). You might be confused and that’s understandable. This feeling you have now is one you’ll be getting more comfortable with over the next month. This program has nothing to do with getting picked or making the cut or having the right answers. Seth nor anyone will even be your teacher in the traditional sense. All of that ‘authority’ - that typically comes with our education and work environments, the forces privileged to be picking, deciding and generating answers - will be assigned on to you, forever. From here on out, you’re the boss. Your promotion to boss won’t be immediately clear, rather it will be presented to you with a phrase like ‘use your best judgment” or "reassurance is futile".

That’s it.  

Is that still too vague? Again...get used to that feeling. This is your upcoming reality.

Aside from bursting your bubble, I want to share some exciting ideas with you about what you’ll be learning.

  • You’re going to learn about how to truly clarify your goals.
  • You’re going to learn about the power of a small group of minds coming together for a common cause ( mastermind anyone? ).
  • You’re going to be shocked at how little instruction there will be from the surprisingly non-existent ‘authority’. Your typical day will consist of showing up to a small learning group discussion and talking about what the hell the prompt means before jumping head first into the abyss that is every project.
  • You’ll share your work with the world and because there isn’t a clear instruction, and because you had to create it FROM yourself, because it wasn’t rehearsed or expected and you made and shared it anyway, we’ll call you an Artist and what you made Art.
  • You’ll learn about the feeling of emotional labor and the forces that oppose it.
  • You’ll learn about the power of using tension to get others to change themselves for the better.
  • You’ll learn about how to leave thoughtful, generous comments that expand on the Art others have presented and you’ll be grateful when someone gives that feedback for your own work.
  • You’ll learn more from yourself and with a small group of strangers than you would have ever guessed. It’s truly incredible.
  • You’ll learn to observe and see the worlds of others from an empathetic perspective.
  • You’ll also learn to see the deeper purpose of the things that exist in our taken-for-granted life experience. 
  • More importantly, you’ll learn to ask yourself about what you see. Deep...I know.
  • You’ll learn how to keep moving at a pace that seems unrealistic, only to find that you were able to do pretty great work under pressure.
  • You’ll learn about humans and their fear of almost everything and how to quiet that voice that says you shouldn’t, can’t or will die doing something.
  • You’ll learn how to make more objective decisions to help you pick from options that serve you better.
  • You’ll learn to appreciate complete strangers in grander ways than you ever would have thought.
  • You’ll learn how effective change is stimulated, not only through the prompts and self-teaching, but through observing the process of altMBA itself. They practice what they preach without telling you, so keep your eyes peeled.
  • You’ll learn that Seth Godin isn’t going to be your friend or mentor just because you signed up for the course.
  • You’ll learn that your worldview is subjective and it’s up to you to decide what worldview you choose to live with.
  • You’ll learn that change doesn’t have clear instructions.
  • Most importantly you’ll learn that even without clear instructions, you have what it takes to make that change happen.

I know that’s a lot of learning in such a short time. You should be feeling more excited now than before! Just remember to be yourself, be open-minded and work your butt off. Oh yeah, and the second you get the box of books, read through as many as you can. If you can’t finish them all, read the summaries online. One more thing, when you finish your altMBA program, you’ll be feeling a little nervous, but also extremely excited and confident about the change you’re going to make in this world. It’s time for me...I mean us, to go make a ruckus!


Your Future Self