Seth Godin’s Icarus Session

I attended the first ever Icarus session yesterday, a Global Meetup initiated by Seth Godin, and organised locally around the world.

Not only was it the first ever session, but I was the first person to speak.  I was nervous to say the least, but it was an extremely rewarding experience.

The talks are short – maximum 140 seconds.  I said this:

My name is Rob Young, and I’m going to talk to you about The Hundred Dollar Club – A community of people who inspire each other to make change in their lives.

It was inspired by a conference called the World Domination Summit, where I was given this. It’s a One Hundred Dollar Bill.

The instructions that came with it said:

We’d love to see how you can put these funds to good use.

Start a project, surprise someone, or do something entirely different.

It’s up to you.

I decided to follow suit and in turn offer 10 other people an investment of $100, in the hope that they would feel the same inspiration I did.

I was scared almost to the point of inaction:

  • What if no one applied?
  • What if people took my money, spent it on beer and laughed at me?
  • What would my friends think?
  • Was I insane to give away a thousand dollars to complete strangers?
  • What if didn’t create a community that worked?
  • What if I failed?

I wasn’t sure what to expect, or how it would work. I just knew once I’d had the idea, I had to follow it through.

We’re still on the journey, but in some small way it’s changing the lives of the members.

They all had it in them, but outside investment has provided them with the motivation to do what they are capable of.

I’ve changed by doing it.

  • I’ve learned that if you put something worth wile out there, people will respond.
  • I’ve learned that doing is scary in the short term, but inaction and missed opportunities are far scarier in the bigger picture.

I’ve changed enough to be able to stand here and talk, and not just listen and dream at the back.



  1. I’ve been thinking to myself all this while that you’ve got so much guts to just have faith in complete strangers, because as you said, we could just have blown the money on crap and not taken it seriously. But once again, I’m so immensely glad that you took this huge leap of faith, because it has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me. Before THDC, I had no idea where to start. Now I’ve got my fingers dipped in a couple of little pies, and I am constantly learning something new each day – which is my ideal way to live! You have started something amazing here, and I’m so grateful for that! :) I used to sit at the back of the room and just listen and dream too. Look how far we’ve come! :)

  2. What an inspiration! A great idea, and I’m awed by your courage to step up and make an offer. I was at WDS too, have been working on lots of changes. Seeing examples like you is a great way to ward off the lizard brain screaming inside;)

    • Thanks Akira, anything that can quieten the lizard has to be good right? I’m glad you’re working on change too, is there anything you can share with us?

  3. Bravo, Rob! I love how you took inspired action and not only paid it forward…but 10x forward. Dontcha love the ripple effect. Excited to see what seeds have been planted and what amazingness has come from Chris’s bold & generous challenge to us at WDS!
    I love a microfinance site which helps 3rd world entrepreneurs with interest free loans. I created a WDS lending team to watch the collective efforts of any attendees who wanted to join. To date, the team has about a dozen members & we’ve contributed to 93 entrepreneurs in need. We’d love for you to join us, or spread the word if you are feelin’ it!
    Way to BE the change. From another former dreamer in the back :)
    With gratitude,

    • Thanks Electra.

      Your Kiva project seems great. I’ll stop by there as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. This should be the impetus for me to get involved!

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