Poke The Box

I've always said that "normal is boring" and I mean that if you are living your life just like everyone else expects you should, then your not really living it at all. I've always believed that each of us has to find our own path, chase our passions and live life to the fullest. Whenever I'm asked how I've achieved the success I've had the answer is always the same, "No one told me I couldn't."

Seth Godin is a big inspiration in my life and it was with great excitement today that I sat down to read his latest: Poke the Box.

Is it a book? A manifesto? A teaching aid? Who cares what label you slap on it, the simple answer is that once again Seth takes his beliefs, writes them down, shares them with the world and your brain will be challenged when you read it. That is a good thing!

Ask me anytime you see me who some of the people who have had a major influence over my career are and two names are sure to pop up: Seth Godin and Marcus Buckingham. While I have yet to meet either of these men in person, their thoughts and words have shaped me into the successful entrepreneur I am today.

Last year when Seth announced that he was no longer going to be writing books, I knew this meant he was up to something. He is far to prolific of a thinker to stop shipping and writing down his words. As we all later found out, he had just decided to publish his works on his own terms and started The Domino Project.

The concept of poking the box refers to the fact that far to many people see their jobs, careers and life in general as a big box that has defined corners, content and expectations. Most are fine with taking the box and moving along with their days. But, people like myself prefer to poke the box, find out how to get around it, how to make it do something different.

Now, I don't know how Seth does it, but his latest works always seem to come out when I'm pondering something. It has happened time and time again and this one is no different. I've been plotting and pulling something together and while I've been questioning myself a bit lately his concept of "soon is not as good as now" is really sticking with me right now as I've been wondering if I should plot things out more or not.

You've seen me talk about dangerous books before (most recently Evil Plans) and Poke the Box is certainly another dangerous book to add to your collection. It is a quick read the first time, but have a highlighter ready because you are going to want to go back and read certain sections again and again. Trust me on that.

Wondering what is up with the dandelion photo? Read the book and you'll understand. It is one of my favorite analogies from the book that hit home for me because I saw a lot of myself in it.

While my Kindle version has lots of highlighted nuggets of awesome, I want to leave you with my favorite thought from the book:

We rely on the disobedient few for innovation, but today, innovation is our only option.