Date: April 3, 2013

Author: JT

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What I’ve Read Lately: The Power of Starting Something Stupid

jtpedersen_321 Ignite_Power of Starting Something Stupid_Book Review_Cover"The Power of Starting Something STUPID: How to Crush Fear, Make Creams Happen, and Live Without Regret"

Author: Richie Norton
ISBN: 978-1-60907-009-0 (hardbound)

When the publisher first suggested this book for review I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the title. Most likely a play on words, for certain, but perhaps a bit more light-hearted than most business books, too.

To my surprise, this proved to be a very impactful book. If you are someone who has an unfulfilled, lifelong dream of something you want to accomplish this book is for you.

The gist of the title flows from the realization that a huge number of today’s ‘brilliant’ achievements originally started out as someone’s stupid idea. Real-world examples are used liberally. Some are well-known, like computer companies started in garages becoming world powers, many are much easier to relate to.

One of the core messages he drives forward is Stupid is the New Smart.  By undertaking your own ‘stupid’ idea today, there’s a good chance tomorrow it will be hailed as having ‘been really smart.’

It helps that Richie provides a clarifying view on what he means by stupidUnhealthy stupid is what you find in the dictionary, "lacking intelligence and common sense."  He points out, "Unhealthy stupid indicates that a thing or idea is inherently faulty, meaning that the stupidity is a permanently ingrained and inseparable element."

Healthy stupid, is that, "…nagging hunch…that if it weren’t so seemingly "stupid," might actually have the chance to become something truly significant."

Stupid as the new Smart infers that while an idea may appear to be inherently faulty, the idea is, in reality, sound and in your best interest to pursue.

To this point, one might wonder what makes this book engaging. After all, if you’ve read many business books, you know most get about this far…  What makes Richie’s book so engaging, so impactful, is that it is founded from his own life’s experiences (in part, by the death of a child). He also addresses the major roadblocks you will (or have) face, discussing how to overcome them.

The Time Has Come.

He describes the ‘Bezos Test.’  Will you regret ‘it’ when you’re 80? How much of your life will you spend waiting for the right time, place, finances, education…whatever?

This, he describes as the T.E.M. Gap. The No Time, No Education, No Money = No Excuse.  He uses a clever, and very pointed example to illustrate that TEM really is not a valid excuse.  The example? The Wright brothers. No high-level connections, no advanced degrees, nor even college education. They were (at the time) referred to as, "…a pair of crazy fools."

If two young men with nothing can do something that continues to be a definitive human moment 100 years later… Well, what’s your excuse? (I find my own seem rather sad<g>).

Making It Happen

Everything I have highlighted so far, gets you to about page 100 (of 244 on my iPad).  Over half the book, from 100 onward, is focused on Making It Happen.  If you’ve drank the Kool-Aid™ it helps if there’s a supply of sugar to go with it.

Richie discusses crushing fear, ending Pride, leveraging resources (you didn’t know you have), and the 5 Actions of the New Smart.

Perhaps the one to act on now: "Overcome Procrastination. Break the Tomorrow Habit." So, go get a copy of the book to read, today! I think you’ll enjoy it immensely.

disclaimer: The book was made available by the publisher for review. No financial considerations exist.

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