Episode 008

Finessing a Healthy Competition
& a Healthy Community

with Dorie Clark & Jonathan Fields

We are, indeed, wired to aspire. But what is it that drives you? A need to do better than the person next to you? Or are you in competition with yourself, battling against your own personal best? And how do we balance our ambition with the need to be a part of a community?

Jeffrey is exploring these ideas with marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker and best-selling author Dorie Clark of Clark Strategic Communications and serial entrepreneur, growth strategist and award-winning author Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project. They discuss their childhood identities as a passionate environmentalist and creative maker of ‘Franken-bikes,’ examining how those early instincts inform who they are today. Jonathan offers his take on internal competition as a motivator, and Dorie shares her mission-oriented approach to achievement. They speak to the role of jealousy in inspiration, suggesting that a healthy dose of benign envy can serve as a positive incentive. Listen in as Jeffrey, Dorie and Jonathan delve into the fundamental human need for community, the significant benefits of belonging in terms of creativity and health, and how to build an authentic community around a set of shared values.

Our Guests:

Dorie Clark

Dorie is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, and Forbes. She’s also an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Dorie’s latest book, Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive, has been praised for its simple, step-by-step blueprint of proven strategies that any entrepreneur can apply.

» DorieClark.com

Twitter: @dorieclark

Jonathan Fields

Father, husband, serial entrepreneur, growth strategist and award-winning author, Jonathan Fields inspires possibility. He currently runs Good Life Project®, the mission-driven media and education venture, where he and his team lead a global community in the quest to live more meaningful, connected, and vital lives. Jonathan’s latest book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science and Practical Wisdom, offers its readers a wake-up call and a path to possibility.

» JonathanFields.com

Twitter: @jonathanfields

Key Takeaways

[5:16] Dorie’s young genius

  • Obsessed with environment
  • Demanded that family recycle

[6:48] Jonathan’s young genius

  • Inadvertent environmentalist
  • Made ‘Franken-bikes’ from parts at town dump

[11:40] Jonathan’s insight around competition and drive

  • Competitive gymnastics taught to compete against own personal best
  • Provides powerful motivational edge, risk of constant discontent

[15:08] Dorie’s take on the role of competition in achievement

  • Winning is nice, but not necessary
  • Driven to accomplish by sense of mission

[16:45] The role of jealousy in motivation

  • Envy points to something you want
  • Healthy dose can be great motivator
  • Research differentiates between benign and malicious

[23:57] How to determine your USP

  • Let it play out in course of doing things
  • Procure feedback from friends, colleagues
  • Ask to describe in only three words

[31:16] The fundamental human need for community

  • Sense of belonging important to health, creativity
  • Huge swath of people missing sense of belonging
  • Brands should seek organic connection around shared values
  • Difference between building audience vs. community
  • Magic happens when people build relationships around idea

[40:53] Dorie and Jonathan’s advice around building community with integrity

  • Invest in making ideas findable, articulating vision over time
  • Appreciate work involved in building fiercely committed, intentional community

[48:54] How Jonathan honors his introversion in a community setting

  • ‘Long walks in the woods alone’
  • Gives self, others permission to wander

[50:47] How Dorie has seen community develop in small groups

  • Facebook community grew from online course
  • Live events arose from audience connection

[52:30] What Dorie and Jonathan are working toward in 2018

  • Dorie is declaring 2018 The Year of Optimization
  • Jonathan is going ‘back to the junkyard’


Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists – all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and – yes – wonder.