You’ve heard the expression “think outside the box.” But what about “poke the box?”
“People believe they have to wait to be chosen to do something” says Seth Godin, a marketing and business writer, author, entrepreneur and blogger. “Authors wait for a publisher. Entrepreneurs wait for an investor, employees wait for a boss. Reject the tyranny of being picked. Pick yourself.”
Godin’s latest book, Poke the Box (Do You Zoom, Inc.; 2011) is a call to action. He asks the reader to stop putting off work and life initiatives. To succeed in your profession, including real estate, or to reach your life goals, it often requires you being the one to say, “I want to start stuff,” Godin says.
Q&A with Seth Godin:
Question: What does it mean to Poke the Box?
Seth Godin: Conformity used to be crucial–fitting in, not standing out. Compliance used to be the heart of every successful organization, every successful career. The reason? We all worked for the system, in the factory, doing what we were told. Now, though, compliance is no longer a competitive advantage.
Poke the Box is about the spark that brings things to life. We need to be nudged away from conformity and toward ingenuity, toward answering unknown questions for ourselves. Even if we fail, as I have done many times in my life, we learn what not to do by experience and doing the new. This isn’t the same thing as taking a risk. In fact, the riskiest thing we can do right now is nothing.
I’ve had an extraordinary run, creating a dozen nationwide bestsellers, starting Internet companies and giving speeches around the world. The key thing I bring to the projects I take on is not more talent than most (I don’t) or even more hours than most (hardly). My contribution is a willingness to poke, to start, to lean into the project and to get it out the door.
Question: What will I learn from reading Poke the Box? Continue reading »
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
We need to talk.
Those aren’t my words. It’s from Catherine Blyth’s recent book, The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure (Gotham Books, 2009). In fact, she starts it off with that sentence.
According to Blyth, an English writer, the decline of this “art form” is more than just a mere cultural problem; it represents a nearly existential challenge to civilization itself. If a society doesn’t emphasize skill in conversation, it can result in social fragmentation, personal isolation, and a general loss of humanity.
Fortunately, the book is not all about making a case for conversation as a source of civilizational salvation. That would probably make for a heavy, tedious tome. Instead, most of it covers — in a light and humorous way — practical methods for improving one’s ability to verbally connect with others, from “Hello” to “Goodbye” and practically everything in between.
There are plenty of interesting suggestions here, but Blyth’s overall point can be summed up as follows: Great conversation does not equal great talking; it’s not a scripted performance, but rather a spontaneous, open give-and-take between two or more enthusiastic participants.
For real estate pros, who are ultimately in the relationship business, conversation can be a powerful tool for achieving success. Below are some of the key ideas they can take away from reading this book.
FROM THE BOOK: 5 LESSONS FOR THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY
1. Silence is (or can be) golden: Silence gets a bad rap, mainly because an overly long break in a conversation can create immediate discomfort among the participants. But disciplined, confident speakers know silence can be used to their advantage. Pauses can be a great way to emphasize a point, and an effective method for putting pressure on another party in a negotiation. Continue reading »