Need to Start? Poke The Box by Seth Godin

Did you ever have a great idea?

What did you do about it?

Did you start it?

Better yet, did you finish it?

Today’s post is a quick review of Seth Godin’s latest book entitled, “Poke the Box.”

It is all about starting new things.

Poking is Starting

What is “Poke the Box?”

According to Seth, poking is about starting. It is challenging the status quo.

It is about trying something new and seeing what happens.

Seth and I both seem to think that there is a drought of starting in today’s society.

Individuals and businesses are averse to starting new initiatives. New ideas. And thus new adventures.

Too many companies reward those that “stay in line” instead of those that challenge and create.

“Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them.” – Seth Godin

Seth’s book is a manifesto on starting.  He provides great real-world examples demonstrating how starting is the key to any new idea. In fact, he shows that starting is sometimes even more important than succeeding. It is often through an initial failure that future success and even bigger ideas come to fruition.

I have read many of Seth’s books over the years, but this one really resonated with me.

I too think that most companies discourage employees from starting new and great things. (See “The Difference Between Blue Tape and Read Tape.”)

Not Just Starting… but Shipping

Seth is quick to say that there are actually two steps to getting your new idea out there.

The first is to start, and the second is to ship.

Some people do start. But, finishing is another thing.

If you read Seth’s previous works, you are familiar with his theme of finishing a project or shipping a product.

Whether it is a project or a simple todo, finishing what you start is a key differentiator among those that are successful.

How many great ideas have you started, but then never shipped or delivered? Only to leave them drawn on a napkin or sitting in a drawer?

What Do You Need to Start?

Today, I want to challenge you to start.

What idea or project have you been sitting on?

Maybe you have been nervous to begin. Or you have been discouraged to start it.

I want to give you a little motivation.

I am giving away 5 copies Seth’s Poke the Box book. To be considered, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling us what “you need to start.”

Winners will be selected by me on Friday. You can choose whether you want the Kindle version or the hard copy edition. I recommend and prefer the Kindle one. (Remember, I stopped buying hard copy books.)

If you want to pick up your own copy of Seth’s book, you can get Poke the Box on Amazon. (affiliate link) It is a quick read at only 96 pages.

To be considered for the 5 FREE copies, please tell us below, “What Do You Need to Start?” What have you have been hesitant to do?

Check out my new Kindle eBooks: I have just released two new "Best of TMN" eBooks via Amazon. If you are new to TMN or want a compilation of some of my best TMN writings, then please check out my new ebooks on Amazon by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • crystal07091976@att.net

    I need to start on my music career, and become more productive as an independent contractor.

    • TMNinja

      @crystal07091976@att.net

      Interestingly… a small band trying to make it is one of the short stories that Seth Godin tells in his book. :)

  • SomediaCEO

    I need to start creating our blog calendar – I have so many ideas but none of them are being produced because they’re all in a big pile right now. :) Thanks for the inspiration Craig – we’ll start at our team meeting today! -Melanie

  • SomediaCEO

    I need to start creating our blog calendar – I have so many ideas but none of them are being produced because they’re all in a big pile right now. :) Thanks for the inspiration Craig – we’ll start at our team meeting today! -Melanie

  • ironclm

    I need to put my 5 year plan into concrete form. Basically to become debt free and gains the skills and training to move into the next phase…quit the job that is too much work bit pays ok to something that gets me up every morning but doesn’t pay as well.

  • crystal07091976@att.net

    I need to start on my music career, and become more productive as an independent contractor.

  • gerardvanstijn

    @TMNinja @gerardvanstijn Unfortunately it is not just my workspace, it is my entire house. But thanks, I strongly agree with you Craig.

  • gerardvanstijn

    @TMNinja @gerardvanstijn Unfortunately it is not just my workspace, it is my entire house. But thanks, I strongly agree with you Craig.

  • 3amwriter

    @TMNinja @3amwriter I have a few ideas for novels and even a couple first pages written…I’d also love to write a book that deals with my experiences mothering 2 kids and a business ;) But it’s so easy to get sidetracked. I’m a very practical person , so it’s must easier to justify time spent on food-on-the-table projects over food-for-the-soul projects. I’m very lucky to make a living doing what I love, too, and that fulfills the creative impulse. I know there is a book out there with MY name on it though!

    All the TMNinja stuff is great, sounds like we need some more tips on getting started and managing time for “dream projects!”

  • PetersonPaul

    I have been stymied with a large project regarding an aviation trade show and conference for northern California. The event idea receives positive comments from those who I have shared the idea with, but there are logistical items that I have not been able to get my hands around. The manpower required for this event also continues to baffle me as it would require many volunteers. I’ve been batting this idea around for almost two years now. I believe the event would be well received. I’m just not certain how to pull it off.

    • TMNinja

      @PetersonPaul Wow. Big stuff. Literally.

      It always seems, the bigger the idea… the more hesitant we are to start it. (Maybe it needs more momentum?)

      Sometimes, with a *big* idea it is beneficial to get some partners who are interested in doing the same thing.

      Best wishes!

  • codex73

    To start i need a push by a team, no only my own feeling that I’ll be succesful with the idea or plan. I’ve been hesitant to believe in future 100% due to past failures.

    • PetersonPaul

      @codex73 It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get back up. – Vince Lombardi…Setbacks are given to ordinary people to make extraordinary. – Paul Jeffers…Nature demands failure of nearly everyone to see if you really want it. – Brian Tracy…Forget those things which are behind, and reach forward to those things which are ahead. – Philippians 3:13…

  • graf808

    I need to de-clutter my garage do I have space to set up a home office – then I can start moving forward with other projects. Scheduled for This weekend, so wish me luck!

    • TMNinja

      @graf808 Best wishes! Hope it is a productive weekend! :)

  • PetersonPaul

    I have been stymied with a large project regarding an aviation trade show and conference for northern California. The event idea receives positive comments from those who I have shared the idea with, but there are logistical items that I have not been able to get my hands around. The manpower required for this event also continues to baffle me as it would require many volunteers. I’ve been batting this idea around for almost two years now. I believe the event would be well received. I’m just not certain how to pull it off.

  • codex73

    To start i need a push by a team, no only my own feeling that I’ll be succesful with the idea or plan. I’ve been hesitant to believe in future 100% due to past failures.

  • PetersonPaul

    @codex73 It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get back up. – Vince Lombardi…Setbacks are given to ordinary people to make extraordinary. – Paul Jeffers…Nature demands failure of nearly everyone to see if you really want it. – Brian Tracy…Forget those things which are behind, and reach forward to those things which are ahead. – Philippians 3:13…

  • graf808

    I need to de-clutter my garage do I have space to set up a home office – then I can start moving forward with other projects. Scheduled for This weekend, so wish me luck!

  • natesmithcomedy

    @TMNinja Thanks! Your site has definitely been helping. It’s been pushing me forward every day.

  • TMNinja

    @graf808 Best wishes! Hope it is a productive weekend! :)

  • TMNinja

    @PetersonPaul Wow. Big stuff. Literally.

    It always seems, the bigger the idea… the more hesitant we are to start it. (Maybe it needs more momentum?)

    Sometimes, with a *big* idea it is beneficial to get some partners who are interested in doing the same thing.

    Best wishes!

  • TMNinja

    @crystal07091976@att.net

    Interestingly… a small band trying to make it is one of the short stories that Seth Godin tells in his book. :)

  • TMNinja

    @ironclm I had a friend who had “5 year plan” that he never got around to starting.

    Soon, it was a 7 year plan. Then 8. And so on… :)

    Start today!

  • TMNinja

    @SomediaCEO Good luck! Better to start a few than leave the whole bunch untouched!

    Hope your blog lifts off! :)

  • TMNinja

    @jmkw Sounds like you have some big tasks and decisions ahead of you. :)

    Sometimes, the best way to attack them is to break off a smaller piece. Take one area that you can have immediate impact on… and go for it!

  • TMNinja

    @RossDenton Love the positive attitude!

    Sometimes it is as simple as you are saying… making a choice about what you want to do and pursuing it with all your energy! :)

  • TMNinja

    @verissimo Good stuff!

    I too find that sometimes I have “too many” ideas. And I want to do them all.

    As I have learned, you have to start with one. And get one going and successful.

    Then you can add more passions. :)

  • TMNinja

    @3amwriter Congrats Aileen, you were selected in the drawing. :)

    Drop me a line with info for your copy of Seth’s “Poke the Box.”

  • TMNinja

    @sandrakhen Sandra, congrats! You were picked in the drawing. :)

    Drop me an email with your info for your copy of Seth’s “Poke the Box.”

  • ironclm

    @TMNinja @ironclm Thanks again for the book! I’ve started the 5-year plan with very concrete steps. Looking foward to the journey.

  • sdruker

    I need to get back to the gym and consistently carve out that time for myself.

  • sdruker

    I need to get back to the gym and consistently carve out that time for myself.

  • Dan Cronin

    Great article, thanks Craig!

    Since reading this, I’ve been starting new projects at work that are involved with automating our current processes or making them more efficient! This involves creating scripts that would perform checks and operations that a human operator would usually do. Needless to say its tough finding the right people who can help you along the way. I’ve found the poking method to be very helpful, just asking the question and getting a conversation started with someone is the best way to eek out those hard to find people. I’d love a copy of the book if it’s still going!

    Dan

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Dan,

      Sorry, but this was a while back. :)

      You can still find “Poke the Box” and other great Seth Godin books on Amazon. I think Poke the Box is only $5.99 on Kindle.
      Craig