There have been times over the years that I have made reference to books and other periodicals. Do not ever recall writing a review of a book. It is appropriate that I am trying something new by reviewing Poke the Box by Seth Godin.

There have been times over the years that I have made reference to books and other periodicals. Do not ever recall writing a review of a book. It is appropriate that I am trying something new by reviewing Poke the Box by Seth Godin.

This year was the first time I have paid much attention to Godin’s work even though I had heard of him years earlier. I started off by reading Permission Marketing and later heard him speak at a leadership seminar in Atlanta.

“Poking the box” is trying something new - poking the box to see what will happen. Poke is all about swimming outside of one’s warm-water zone. It takes a thoughtful look at moving beyond the day-to-day work of running a business or working a job and looks at seeking out new possibilities. Godin provides many examples of success and failure as he explores the careers of people, including himself, who have seen the future and then made it happen.

While citing examples of regular people who discovered extraordinary things, Godin places a great deal of emphasis on “starting,” or as he says, “shipping.” How many of us have thought up solutions to problems but never executed on them? He encourages the kind of behavior that is typically reserved for only the nerdy or genius. He thinks there is a little mad scientist in all of us, but many fail to start for a lack of confidence, fear of failure, or the desire to conform.

I am a fan of and enjoy the writings of really smart people who can spin a tale in terms I can understand. Godin would fall into the category of brilliant if not genius, but his writing style is easygoing while his passion for the message comes through. He is writing about something he believes in and wants to share.

In today’s economy, like all economies, there are people and businesses who are doing well and many who are struggling. Many of us know we need to be doing something different to jump start our enterprise but are unsure of where to start. Time to move is now. Time to start, ship, and poke the box.

Whether or not you need the encouragement to start something, I recommend Poke the Box by Seth Godin.