That’s the question Seth Godin sets out get us to answer in his book Poke the Box.
This book has a simple message: Start Something. This book is a manifesto about starting. It’s about making starting a habit. The concept of the book is simple, yet it can be so difficult to actually do.
This book is full of catchy one-liners and here are few that stood out to me:
- This is a manifesto about starting. Starting a project, making a ruckus, taking what feels like a risk. Not just “I’m starting to think about it,” or “We’re going to meet on this,” or even “I filed a patent application….” No, starting. Going beyond the point of no return. Leaping. Committing. Making something happen.
- The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.
- The challenge, it turns out, isn’t in perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by. The challenge is getting into the habit of starting.
- The box might be a computer or it might be a market or it might be a customer or it might be your boss. It’s a puzzle, one that can be solved in only one way—by poking.
- When can you start? Soon is not as good as now.
- Those who fear risk also begin to fear movement of any kind.
- The more you do, the more you fail.
- Initiative is a little like creativity in that both require curiosity. Not the search for the “right” answer, as much as an insatiable desire to understand how something works and how it might work better.
- Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’re told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing.
- The person who fails the most usually wins.
- It’s easy to fall so in love with the idea of starting that we never actually start.
- If you never fail, either you’re really lucky or you haven’t shipped anything.
Grab a copy of Seth’s book. It’s a quick read (about 90 pages) and it will challenge you to “Keep starting until you finish”.