Many of my business and marketing friends pride themselves on having read every word Seth Godin has published.  I am not quite there yet, but I read his blog daily and have read at least 8 of his books.

I bought one of his recent titles, Poke The Box, as a hard copy and read it in one hit.  That is the beauty of Seth’s books, he is very succinct.   Poke The Box is only 70 pages.

By the way, Poke The Box is Seth’s term for giving something a go, doing something, starting.

Ideas are NOT enough. There are millions of ideas, everyone has them.  What we struggle with is implementing them.  Seth’s solution is to ‘poke the box’ and START.

You don’t even need to know how you’ll finish the idea or even if it’s worth finishing, but get in the habit of starting.  The gap between having an idea and doing something about it (ie. starting) is usually the failure point where we leave most of our intellectual capital on the table, wasted.

The notion to “get started” is simple but it’s certainly not easy.

What did I learn?
You don’t wait for initiative ‘to be granted’ . You must take it.   So start something.  Imagine if their were no bosses or middlemen, what would you do?   Go do it!

For example, magazine publishers have conceded to bloggers.  The bloggers have taken the initiative, not had it handed to them.

In fact Seth goes as far as to say the difference between organisations growing and dying is ‘initiative.’  He urges us to get in the habit of starting.  It doesn’t even matter if it goes wrong. In fact mistakes are a necessary part of the process.

Why do we usually do nothing?
Easy, FEAR.

It’s scary starting something new. And it’s easier to do nothing.  You fear it may not work, you fear you may get ridiculed, it may be too successful and you fear that.

Having 1000s of ideas and starting none is fear too (under the guise of self-protection).  And so is setting yourself up for failure.  Seth’s example is seeing Elton John at a bar and asking him to sing for free at your daughters wedding.   Of course he’s most likely to say no to a stranger’s request.

What must we do, aside from ‘get started’?
Invest in your relationships before you need to ask.  Earn the permission to ask!

Start Now workbook


Here is a gift from Seth.  A free, short, 23 page e-book to help you get started – Start Now: Poke The Box workbook!

If you like it, try reading Seth’s daily blog. Or get it delivered in my preferred format, via Seth’s iPhone app.



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