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If you're stuck at the starting line, you don't need more time or permission. You don’t need to wait for a boss’s okay or to be told to push the button; you just need to poke.
Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking-–in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organizations (and most careers)-–the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.”
Poke the Box just may be the kick in the pants you need to shake up your life.
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Seth Godin has written 12 books – all bestsellers – that have been translated into more than 30 languages. He has long been a provocative proponent of changing the way books are created and marketed. Godin writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. American Way Magazine calls him, “America's Greatest Marketer,” and his blog is among the most popular in the world written by a single individual. An entrepreneur since the age of 16, he founded Yoyodyne, his first internet company, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 1998. It pioneered the use of ethical direct mail online, something Seth calls Permission Marketing. He was VP of Direct Marketing at Yahoo! for a year. His latest company, Squidoo.com, is ranked among the top 90 sites in the U.S. (by traffic) by Quantcast. It allows anyone to build a page about any topic you’re passionate about. The site raises money for charity and pays royalties to its million plus members.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Quotes from Poke the Box
We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them.
Poking doesn’t mean right. It means action.
“This might not work” isn’t merely something to be tolerated; it’s something you should seek out.
If you don’t finish, it doesn’t really count as starting, and if you don’t start, you’re not poking.
If you never fail, either you’re really lucky or you haven’t shipped anything.
Risk is avoided because we’ve been trained to avoid failure.
Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.
Why not sell your boss or your colleagues on being the initiator? It’s your job. You start things. Ask once, do many.
Where did curiosity go? Initiative is a little like creativity in that both require curiosity. The difference is that the creative person is satisfied once he sees how it’s done. The initiator won’t rest until he does it.
Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them.
The people arguing on behalf of accepting the status quo are the ones who, years ago, set out to change it. As disillusionment sets in, people stop poking. The irony is that the act of creating and shipping remarkable ideas is the very thing that can change the status quo.
Aimless is where we end up when we don’t care so much about where we’re going, or we try to hide and limit our contributions. I’m pushing for the opposite of that—for “aimful,” if you want to coin a phrase.
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