Review: Poke the Box by Seth Godin

poketheboxI was turned on to the genius that is Seth Godin at a recent marketing conference. Apparently, he’s a pretty brilliant dude and well-respected in the business world. I started following his blog, which spouts daily words of wisdom in short bursts. 

I have a quote from Godin on my cubicle wall, which is from Tribes, another of his writings: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” True that, sir.

In Poke the Box, Godin explores the idea of starting something. Taking a risk. Putting yourself out there. Most of us are paralyzed by fear of failure and have all these great ideas that we’re afraid to try. Why? argues Godin. The most successful people in the world have failed at countless things, but the point is they have tried. 

Especially in a business environment where a wrong decision could mean your ass is handed to you, people are afraid to raise their hand with a new idea. If it goes wrong, it will all come back on them. 

I got this as an ebook, and I was constantly stopping to highlight the snippets of wisdom and motivation that Godin offers throughout. Here are a sampling of a few of the highlights I made:

“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.”


“Human nature is to need a map. If you’re brave enough to draw one, people will follow.”


“The more you do, the more you fail.”


“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.”


“Keep starting until you finish.”

As you can see, I took away some words to live by, and upon finishing this very short book, I feel motivated to start something! Anything! Something small. So today I worked on something at work that I have been pushing off because it’s a little bit out of the box. Still waiting on the results, but I’m glad I moved the needle forward a little bit. 


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