Poke the Box

Poke the Box review“When was the last time you did something for the first time?  How did it feel?”  – Seth Godin

I just heard Seth Godin talk about his latest book, Poke the Box, in an interview by Mitch Joel on his Six Pixels of Separation podcast.  I loved the interview, and I can’t wait to read the book.

Godin’s message in Poke the Box is nothing new, but something we all need to be reminded of.  Here it is, in a nutshell:

Do something. Take action.  Don’t wait for permission. Take initiative.  Take risks. Do something new.  Don’t wait for people to tell you you have something worthy to say.  Start saying it and see if anyone follows.  Ship something.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  If you fail, do it again a different way.  Make a difference.

We live in a risk-averse culture.  People want to play it safe.  The problem is, when we play it “safe,” it costs us.  We’re all poorer because of it.  Why?  Because we miss out on the creative ability of millions of people who have an idea inside of them that could make the world a better place.

Why Don’t We Take the Initiative?

Godin says “Initiative is scarce.  Hence valuable.”  Why?

It seems like most of us are trained at a young age (intentionally or by default) by our parents, teachers and employers to wait for direction from others, avoid taking risks, go with the status quo instead of following our own creativity, and not launch into new things or stand up for an idea.

According to Godin, “The relentless brainwashing of our fading industrial economy has created an expensive misunderstanding. Creative people or those with something to say believe that they have to wait to be chosen.”

So we wait for others to tell us what to do. And we wait to start something new until it seems completely safe and fail-proof.

Ironically, as I’ve written here before, sometimes what we think is the “safest” thing can actually be the most risky, and the thing we think is more “risky” can actually be the safest and best route to take.

So what’s the solution to this problem?

Godin says the simple solution is take action.  Don’t wait for others to tell you what to do.  Take initiative.  Act on an idea.

This doesn’t mean everyone needs to start their own business.  Whether you work for yourself or someone else, there’s action or initiative that you can take that will help make a difference for you, your boss, your customers, your community, and your world.

What’s one thing or idea that’s been burning inside of you for a while?  Why not do something about it today?

–>>Buy Poke the Box

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