Shutting Up and Jumping into Fear with Serial Entrepreneur Peter Shankman – Episode 45

Phil and I were thrilled when Peter Shankman hijacked a tweet Chris Brogan wrote the other month after appearing on our show that said “Shut up…” with a link to his episode. When Peter asked if he could shut up on our show, we gladly accepted. As you can tell from our show notes, Peter packed this episode with a ton of awesome shut up tips on redefining how we look at fear and the importance of taking calculated risks. BONUS: You’ll also get a short tour of Peter’s Manhattan apartment.


Watch the show (uncensored & unedited)
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Share Some Shut Up Love –> No one else believes how awesome you are if you are the one who has to tell them. @petershankman on @_theshutupshow #shutupshow (click to tweet)

Fun Facts:

  • Peter was born, raised and still lives in New York City with his beautiful wife and daughter, and NASA the Wonder Cat.
  • Peter is best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) which in under a year became the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources on deadline.
  • Peter is currently a Principal at Shankman|Honig, a consultancy designed to help corporations, businesses, and retail operations create stellar customer service that resonates in our new “conversation economy,” driving revenue, repeat business, and new customers.
  • Peter is a marketing pundit for several national and international news channels, including Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.
  • Peter is the author of three books: Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over, and Collaboration is in (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013); Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work–And Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons, 2006); and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Biz-Tech, 2010).
  • Peter is also a “B” licensed skydiver with over 400 jumps.
  • Peter completed 13 marathons, seven Olympic distance triathlons, two half-Ironman triathlons, and one full Ironman Triathlon.
  • He has promised to return to The SHUT UP Show if he loses another 30 pounds before the 2014 Louisville IronMan.

Defining Shut Up Moment:

At Mile 86 of the bike course of my first Ironman, I was doing the math in my head. If you don’t do it under 17 hours, you’re not an Ironman. I was gripped with this fear I wasn’t gong to make it. I was thinking about how everyone flew here to make this thing happen and now I’m letting them all down. I could feel my bike speed slowing down because I didn’t have the energy to pedal because I was so consumed with the fear of failure.

Something kicked me in the ass and said “You asshole, your options here are worry about it or just fricken pedal. Either you make it or not. But sitting here like a little bitch is slowing you down. How is it gonna help you at all?” I was in Cozumel, Mexico. I’m in the back of this island. There’s no one there and I’m cursing to myself in English. Surprised I didn’t get arrested. I finished the race with more than and hour to spare and I finished the Ironman. All I kept thinking was, “If you fail, you fail. If you don’t’ fail, you don’t fail. One thing’s for sure, if you don’t start pedaling again, you’re definitely going to fail.”

Shut Up Tips:

I love fear. Fear is the thing that keeps me going on a regular basis. I enjoy things that fear puts into you. To be able to use that fear and grow from it. Very few things are as powerful as that. – Peter

I’m a sky diver. Most people tell me that’s crazy. They never want to jump. I do it because the fear and balancing that fear makes me a better person. I can be stronger and I can be more creative. – Peter

Find out what scares you. That doesn’t mean risk for the sake of risk… that’s pointless. Calculated risk for a calculated reward is one of the smartest things you can do. – Peter

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. – Unknown (via Peter)

Imagine if you took all that energy you’re wasting on complaining and actually put it towards changing something. – Peter

I won’t jump with sky divers who claim they have no fear. Because they’re dangerous. If they don’t have fear, they don’t respect the sport. The concept of having fear, I hope that never goes away. – Peter

I remember the day when I bought this place and it was mine. And then I got a wife and a child and now I have half a closet. It’s pretty cool. – Peter

I have fear every day. I don’t wanna wake up every day and not be afraid of something. You worry about the things you can control, you change them for the better. – Peter

We were given instincts as a species. That thing has very large teeth, go away from it. That ocean has very high waves, do not swim in it. That woman is a gold digger, do not date. We learn by instinct. – Peter

Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. – John Milton in The Devil’s Advocate (via Peter)

Calculated risks have moved the world. Everything good in this universe is a result of a calculated risk. – Peter

Regret is usually a waste of time, as is gloating. – Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (via Peter)

You hate on my success like you don’t have the same 24 hours. – Unknown (via Peter)

All we have to do is live, pay taxes and die. What you choose to do above and beyond that defines who you are. I choose to start companies because it’s exciting. – Peter

I’m not afraid of it failing. I’m afraid of not learning something from it. – Peter

Here lies Peter and he hates Verizon. – Peter

Peter Recommends:

Check out Peter’s newest company at

Peter is a new bestselling author of his latest book: Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over, and Collaboration is in (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013)

Find Peter:

You can find more of Peter’s awesome at

Peter travels a lot and loves to meet people in the area. It’ll have to be before 9am, but he’ll even buy your first cup of coffee. Check out his schedule here.