Seth Godin has the best comeback for when people say they have writers’ block: when was the last time you had talkers’ block?

Seth has a unique way of cutting through the noise and remind us that maybe we’re just avoiding to do the work. Writers’ block is often just another way for you to hide from shipping, hide from the world, and absolve you of responsibility shifting the blame on some magical thing called writers’ block.

Paul Oraflea once told me that he was “so good at getting out of doing work.” Paul is one of the most accomplished people I have been able to meet. This sentiment was hilarious, fun and, oddly enough, incredibly true. Paul was the founder of Kinko’s (now FedEx Office) which was in the business of selling copies from a copy machine long before anyone else did. Paul, to this day, claims he never learned to run a copier.

What Paul figured out was how to convince others to do the work for him and he was (and likely still is) world class at it. Paul had copier technicians’ block.

So which is it? You can avoid the work and be successful or you must do the work and be successful? I think it’s both. Steven Pressfield calls this concept resistance in his great book The War of Art. Our lizard brains want to avoid the work that makes us who were meant to be. Our lizard brain wants us to stay put.

Paul was a master at interrupting the lizard brain in others. In the middle of a giving talk at a university, he would interrupt someone writing notes and say “what are you writing? What is so important in what I’m saying you think you’ll look at it later?” This always got big laughs.

Ff you were to ask Paul a question in a class, he would often reverb the question right back at you. After you finished trying to answer your own question, he’d often ask, “are you single?” and then point to someone else in the room asking, “are you single?” and, of course, if both people said yes, he’d try to set them up on a date. This too got big laughs and probably more than a few dates.

Paul broke patterns and interrupted what we’re “supposed” to do. Paul helped people relax a bit, laugh, and generally have fun. Paul would help us ask better questions and think better. While doing this, Paul would uncover what what drives some people. This allowed Paul to help others “unblock” themselves and do the things they’ve always wanted to do. Paul got out of work because he figured out who wanted to do that work and helped them be flourish doing it.

So which is it? Do you do the work or do you get out of doing the work? That’s exactly the thing. I think you know what you are called to do and I think you know already know the answer.

Here’s a great video of Paul giving a talk at Stanford University. I also highly recommend his audiobook for Copy This even if you only listen to the last chapter.