Poke the Box

At some point you were a child and probably were given a box like this. And like most children your first response was to probably grab it and poke it.

Or pull it.

Or throw it.

Or shake it.

Whatever. You get the point. You explored. You tested the limits.

You found out what was inside. And it might have even scared you.

In Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box, he explains that something happens between childhood and adults where we stop being curious. In essence, we stop poking the box.

He goes on the explain their are 7 imperatives to a successful product and most businesses do the first 6. They are as follows:

#1. Be Aware – aware of the market, of opportunities and of who you are.

#2. Be Educated – understand what is around you.

#3. Be Connected – Build trust as you engage.

#4. Be Consistent – So the Market knows what to expect.

#5. Build An Asset – Have something to sell.

#6. Be Productive – So, you can be well priced

But the 7th is what got me. And it’s what causes most people to fail. Or more accurately; to never start.

# 7. Go – ship, do, act, initiate.

My favorite part of the book came when he challenges people to answer the question “What do you do here?” He said he got alot of answers but not a single person said “I start stuff”. Or “I say yes”. I think it’s a great question. Who is initiating ideas and better yet, action in your company.

I hope one day, I can truly answer that by saying “I start stuff (and of course finish it :)”. Or I say YES. As a manager, i love when employees bring me ideas. I love it even more when I say “go for it” and they actually do. It’s surprising how rare initiative is these days.

I read alot of books. Lately, i’ve been blogging book reviews. Nothing in this book is revolutionary. In fact the true irony is that most people will buy this book, actually read it and then do nothing to act upon it.

The advice is sound. The examples are good to back up what he says. But this quote at the end says it all

There are 2 mistakes one can make along the road to truth.

Not going all the way, and not starting.

Siddhartha Gautama

Earn Your 2011 Girl Scout Badge

Today, I went to a luncheon to honor distinguished women in the Tampa Bay area. It was to raise funds for the girl scouts.

Now, if you are like me…

You may have some luke warm memories as a Brownie but mainly Girl Scouts ellicit one response… “Cookie Sales & Cookie Time”. Can I get an Amen?

But today i learned it’s so much more. I actually learned the girl scout motto.

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law

Good stuff for young girls to learn. And if you are wondering what the Girl Scout Law is click here b/c frankly I don’t have time to retype all that.

My point is this. What they teach young girls is good. Like the Revolve Tour which I wrote about here. The point is when girls (or people in general) have people that invest in their lives at a young age, they turn out better. Plain and simple.

At the end of the event they challenged us to earn our Turn, Push, Catch badge for 2011.

The concept is simple.

Turn to someone and inspire them to be who they are.

Push someone towards their goals when they are scared of failure.

Catch them if they fall.

I hope someone tries to earn that badge on my behalf this year.

Can you imagine if everyone does this for just one person in 2011?

The World would be a much better place.

Use Your Words

Went to the Revolve Tour this weekend. Since I used to work there and they were in Florida I wanted to check it out and visit my friends. Great conference especially for teenage girls. I wish there was something like this when I was a teenager. They really tackle some tough issues facing teens and they do so with real life stories and a whole bunch of grace.

I knew I’d enjoy myself. What surprised me was i found it relevant at my age.

 I did. The most profound thing that struck me was when one of the kids in a drama about teen suicide said “Use your words”. 

USE. YOUR. WORDS.

Doesn’t that immediately bring you back to your childhood? I recently said those same words to my nephew (3 at the time) when he was sobbing so hard I didn’t know what was wrong. “Use your words, Noah. (aka – tell me what’s wrong so I can help?)”

USE. YOUR. WORDS.

Frankly, communication is the #1 issue I hear about. At work. In personal relationships. In life in general. I think most problems happen from lack of communication. It seems communication is frustrating for alot of people. Maybe b/c we communicate differently? Or maybe because very few of us communicate effectively. Regardless, whether perceived or real, lack of communication is a problem. And so often, people are too scared or too intimidated or too something to talk about the things that matter. The things that save relationships, or jobs or just fix problems in general.

USE. YOUR. WORDS.

Are you talking to those you care about and who care about you? Are you talking to your boss or co-workers at work when there are issues? Are you talking at all?

USE. YOUR. WORDS.

Personally, i think life in general would be better for all if more people took those 3 words to heart.

Super Moon

One of the reasons I love Twitter is b/c I learn about things I would never know. Like the Super Moon out tonight.

To the left is the shot of it from my balcony.

What is Super Moon?

Well, i had no clue but it was the talk on Twitter so I google’d it and found this from NASA. I figure if anyone knows about the Moon it should be NASA right?

Anyway, that’s not why I’m blogging. I’m blogging b/c I just had a conversation that’s longer than 140 characters and it went like this.

Scene: Just finished walking the dogs with the man. Getting in elevator at my condo. In walks 3 kids that seem to be heavily inebriated. It’s 8:30pm on a Satuday.

Kid#1 : Whoa dudes, did you guys see the Moon? it’s totally so freaking close. 

Kid #2: I must be higher than I thought. It IS close. It looks like it’s coming down on us.

Me (trying not to laugh at them): Actually, it’s a Super Moon.

ALL 3 Kids: Giggling. Repeatedly. To Each Other (think Dude, Where’s My Car):

Kid #2: “Super. Moon. Cool”.  Kid #1 To Me: What’s a Super Moon?

And that’s where it ended b/c they got off the elevator but I really had no idea how to answer other than what I had heard on Twitter which is the moon is closer and bigger tonight than it will be for the next 20 years. Which is why i’m now online blogging about this. I had to know.

Amazingly, if you read the NASA article above, my twitter pals got it right.

So now you know. And I know. And the elevator boys probably don’t know and never will know b/c they are high 🙂