Poke the Box - Review of Seth Godin’s new book

Do Salespeople want more sales leads? Yes, indeed! (paying homage to the late great Dr. Seuss.)

B2B Lead Generation by taking Initiative

What is Poke the Box and what does it mean to you?

I recently hosted the B2B track at the Aprimo Marketing Summit, where one of the keynote speakers was Seth Godin, the famed management guru and best-selling author.Poke the Box

Upon arriving home, I picked up Seth’s new book, Poke the Box, on my Kindle and read it. Very interesting.

The title of the book comes from a toy that was placed in Seth’s crib. It was a handmade wooden box with lights and made noise and he loved to play with it - poking it.

You may be thinking, “So what? What does this book mean to me?”

What is this book really about?

It’s about three things: Start Something, Failure, and Something Worthwhile. Let’s look at each.

Start Something

Have you every regretted something? Failed to ask out that pretty girl? Not writing that blog post? Not starting that business (despite your brilliant idea?)

Seth GodinSeth attributes this to fear - our “lizard brain” - which is trained by evolution to fear. But we always regret our failings to do something.  So instead of kicking yourself down the road for things that you didn’t do, take Seth’s advice and Go Do Something. Go Make Something Happen.

“Initiative isn’t given, you take it” - Seth Godin

Fail at Something

Another problem we have is that we are afraid of failing. This is why we often don’t start something. But as Seth points out, so of the world’s most successful people failed over and over before they were successful.

It turns out that failure is a very important part of human nature - it’s how we learn.  In fact, Harvard Business Review had a great article on how important failure is to business - as success blinds them to what is really happening.

We give this book 5 stars (Out of 5)

My personal story

Fortunately, I took Seth’s advice before he released this book.

I dumped my former business partner and founded the B2B lead generation company Find New Customers in early 2009. We failed for months and months - Find New Customers made almost no money that year, making a good bit in 2010 and looking forward to a really good 2011. The future grows brighter and brighter.

What if we had chickened out in 2009 and not bit the bullet on Find New Customers? We’d not be ready for a great year. Where would we be today?

  • We’d not have had the remarkable supporters we have today, such as the 40 glowing recommendations on our Linkedin profile.
  • We’d not have appeared as a guest on HubspotTV.
  • We’d not have hosted a Focus.com roundtable on B2B lead generation.
  • We’d not have hosted the B2B track at the Aprimo Marketing Summit.
  • We’d not have appeared on Intrepid Radio.
  • We’d not have been invited to SLMA radio.
  • We’d not have learned we were a  talented professional writer and have written 3 terrific white papers (and about to start the 4th), Link to download one is below.

So champion failure and learn/do something useful.

Do Something Worthwhile

Seth believes, and I agree, that passion is a critical element in success. You simply must be willing to throw yourself into the initiative.  Passion draws in others. You want people to want to join you in your quest.

I can tell you with total sincerity, I believe passionately in my company, Find New Customers. It ‘s my own blood, sweat and tears invested here. We’ve got so many wonderful supporters behind us too.

I’d be honored if you would join us too. (Follow @fearlesscomp on Twitter or like our Facebook page.)


It’s short book and a quick read. I agree when Seth says “No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.” Amen!

I can sum Poke the Box up with one word:


What do you think? We love your comments and when you share on social networks. Thank you!

Click to subscribe to Fearless Competitor on your Kindle.

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York. Follow Jeff on Twitter or download the free white paper on B2B lead generation.

How to Find New Customers

Find New Customers helps companies like yours(with 150 to 5,000 employees and complex products)implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in onlinelead generation. Quality sales leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generation experts at Find New Customers. Use the form below to send me a personal note or Leave a Reply to post a permanent comment on this article.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s