Poke the Box – What are you ready to start?

Go. Start. Initiate.

Today I took myself out to lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant. I needed a break from my computer and took my Kindle because I just bought Seth Godin's new book, Poke the Box. While I savored my spicy noodles with chicken, I read about about 20% of the book (hard to know how many pages on a Kindle).

Godin's message is about being an initiator. About starting something. Ideas are a dime a dozen but those who actually start and initiate are few and far between.

When I finished my meal, I received a fortune cookie and laughed out loud…

Good fortune - start something new.

I bought 5 copies of Poke the Box to share with clients and I've decided to give away three of them now. Here's how you can enter to win a copy…

In the comments below answer this question (adapted from Seth Godin):

Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn't do.

If you lived in that world, what would you do to get your business in front of more people, get more visibility, so you can touch more lives and make a big difference in the world?

Go. Do that.

Post your big idea in the comments and I will randomly choose 3 winners to receive a copy of Poke the Box, onFriday, March 11.

By declaring publicly what you will do, you are getting one step closer to making it happen. You may also attract the attention of someone who can help you or offer resources. And I really want to know what you're ready and willing to do to attract more business opportunities.

Go. Don't wait or think you won't win. You never know unless you take the risk and put yourself out there.


Get your Free eCourse with 7 Tips to Boost Your Visiblity on the Web – easy to implement right now!

"Get Blog Updates"
Receive an update straight to your inbox every time I publish a new article. Your email address will never be shared.
Enter your Email:

Google+ Comments

Powered by Google+ Comments


  1. says

    If such a world existed, I would follow my heart and do my best to bring happiness and love to as many as I could through my services and products. Obviously, without so many hassles in between, I can better concentrate on my passionate work and not worry about bottom-lines and cutting costs..!

    In short, I would pass on the accrued results (money-wise and stress-wise) in addition to the already existing advantages of my services and products to the users….

  2. says

    I guess I missed your contest by a day — seems somehow fitting: I tried to get the ebook of Poke the Box from my local public library but they say they can’t lend it to me because Amazon won’t let libraries lend ebooks. Godin chose to offer the book exclusively through Amazon. My library (in British Columbia, about 3 hours from Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle) is still waiting to receive the hardcover, but there’s already too many holds on that edition. Hmm….

  3. says

    The winners have been chosen… Carrie, Linda Harbin and Donna Ward… I have posted a reply to your entry letting you know how to contact me so I can send you the book. Congratulations!

    I used random.org to pick the winners. Thanks one and all for your participation…blog on!

  4. says

    I’d get my ass into gear, buy a Flip camera and start creating videos to put on my blog, on my website, on YouTube etc., to spread the word to soul-inspired entrepreneurs about how to write compelling, juicy marketing messages and devise creative marketing strategies. Because it drives me nuts and makes me sad when I see bad marketing.

  5. says

    Currently we’re building up a resource syndicate Mastermind Alliance whereby fellow professionals (10-12 members) in the “Social Networking, Internet Marketing, and Small Business Education” spaces can share highly valuable information, leverage & collaborate on promotions/events, disseminate resources/information to each other’s readership, and build a strong following of passionate buyers through the group’s expanded network.

    We are only looking to form relationships with people in our market who have influence, integrity, and a desire to grow their companies through the organized efforts of the fellow mastermind members. I think if everyone we reach out to is on this page, we can do something HUGE.

  6. Tracylyn08 says

    I would publish my memoir without the fear of being sued by someone for telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The First Amendment would reign supreme.

  7. Anonymous says

    I decided that I should change my response to I WILL finish my book and publish it on Kindle by the end of the year.

  8. says

    Greetings Denise, Great coaching question! I would start an internet radio show and interview people who are as passionate as me about being ALIVE! at work. Love seeing all the cool responses. Bravo :). Siobhan Murphy, The Quest Connection.

  9. Carmen says

    It’s funny that we would have to envision a world without barriers when really there are none. I know for a fact this is true for me. The only thing I have to do is take action. I already have lots of ideas, lots of support, and lots of resources, like your blog, Denise, but the thing I need to do is ACT now, and then do so every single day. Simple, but it does take commitment, dedication and courage. So then this is the day when I trade hesitation for action.

  10. says

    I have started a project that I have wanted to do for years and that is document the World War 2 Era of survivors. I want to find out from as many people who lived during that time what it was like and what they would be willing to share with me about that time. Now, I have a Facebook page called WW2plus70 and have started a YouTube channel. I am just talking to people since I do not have any money to put into this project, and limited time.

    My advertising will be word of mouth, and contacting people who other people say might have something to share. It is amazing what is out there. I am not in this for anything other than to capture memories of a generation that is growing old, and I hope that they will realize how valuable they were and that we want to preserve their memories.

    It will be interesting to see where this takes me.


  11. says

    I’ve always liked the DooDah parade in Pasadena. I’d get a brigade of friends dressed in/as Dots to showcase Social Media Dot Connection. It used to be televised locally, not sure if it still is. But it’s fun and social and for me that is the key element.

  12. says

    Hi Denise, thanks for the exercise, it’s good to get the gears in motion…

    The first thing I would do is to contact everyone in my network ask them what it is they want to achieve, when they want to achieve it, WHAT THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE to work towards their goal and then figure out between us what I could do to help them move forward.

    Of course by this point they would be so overcome with gratitude and amazement at the level of service and dedication that they would not only tell their friends, but that they would become and advocate… It’s a start… :~)

  13. says

    If money was not an issue I would buy commercial time on the top-ten highest rated tv programs and the commercial will be better than the super bowl commercials. Americans watch a lot of television, and hopefully enough would see, and an impact would be made.

  14. says

    I have a dream that is still in the dream stage and hasn’t taken form yet. It has to do with making the most of my energy and resources in the last 1/4 of my life.

    In Canada the Stephen Lewis Foundation has a mandate to end HIV/Aids in Africa and “The Grannies” are groups of women that help the grandmothers in Africa who raising children orphaned by this disease. My dream is a twist on this model but turning our attention to our own country. My idea is to harness the resources of grandmothers in First Nations communities in a collaborative effort with grannies in non-native communities to do whatever is needed to help the children in those communities. I am not looking to reinvent the wheel here so the best plan may be joining forces with some organization that is already in existence.

    The dream is still emerging but an elder once told me that it takes 100 cups of tea to build a relationship so I am going to have cups of tea at every opportunity and try to listen way more than I talk as we have them. I want to get some clarity and turn the dream into a strong compelling vision that will excite action at a grassroots level.

  15. Anonymous says


    I am relaunching a website. This time I am going to bite into the dreaded being visible and market daily. It looks good, it has a good angle for local small business, so I just need to get the marketing plan together and go for it.

  16. Chris says

    I am reinventing the way I work with clients in my sixtieth decade. I am writing an e-book, a book, running workshops and designing a new blog. I am having a ball researching social media and ramping up my on-line presence. Not too bad for a 5 time Gma, eh??

  17. says

    In my desire to be more visible so I can impact more lives and make a real difference living my own life I have stopped listening to the way I am “supposed” to market. Instead I freely give my time, energy, money and resources to people in need. I don’t give away my business expertise but I instead support a foundation with my ALL. In doing this, coincidentally, I have seen my business grow and more people are coming to me. I simply had decided to put everything I have into this foundation and as a direct result of caring, connecting and committing to a cause much greater than my business, my business dramatically expanded. So now I get to do the work I love and help others and at the same time am able to make a significant difference in the lives of the children and families I assist with my foundation.

  18. says

    I offer high-end coaching and advanced masterminds, but know that some of my newer members aren’t ‘there’ yet, ready to pay high-fees for their success. They’re just not used to that level of commitment or paying significantly for their higher education. I’m thinking of offering a free “Mastermind” (of sorts) for those who demonstrate and prove their commitment to growing as a person by giving back to the community or a local charity. If they do that for themselves and the community, I will give them a ‘taste’ of what ‘higher-education’ is for the dedicated committed entrepreneurs.

  19. Daria says

    Write a humorous dramatic one-woman show that shares my ideas and insights, and take it around the world.

  20. Linda Katz says

    I would develop a class that worked with kids in high school to explore and identify their gift/passion and then show them ways to make a living doing just that. The class would be a mastermind group of sorts and they would support each other with ideas. It would be mandatory in every school and would begin to infuse the entrepreneurial spirit into our schools.

  21. says

    It so happens that I have personal circumstances that are challenging me to act because you never know how much time you have to achieve your goals. Since I live in Mickey Mouse’s backyard (Central Florida), I would find a way to land on Cinderella’s tower with a big banner that says “procrastinate no more” and my url.

  22. says

    I currently am not hampered by publishers, HR folks, bosses or middlemen. There isn’t anyone telling me things I can’t do.

    What stands in my way is the ability to prioritize correctly and manage time. So I’d immediately create a Priority Mastermind Group where the only function is to present your list of “to-do’s” and have a group discussion on what should be the priority of accomplishing the tasks. (Shoot, this IS a good idea. I may have to change my current mastermind).

    With priority in hand, I’d take to the streets like a mad man on December 21, 2012. There is no limit to a solo focus, prioritized day and massive amounts of energy.

    • says

      I have to agree with Dan here!
      I too do not feel hampered by anyone in creating my business. Most training and resources I use & share are free.

      But, boy oh boy, pulling it all together, getting organized and making it all productive…that is a project worth doing…Priority Mastermind!

  23. says

    I’ve got many things going on; 3 of them are:
    1. Going to wrap my vehicle with geeky advertising.
    2. Launching my new website in the next two weeks.
    3. Working on starting a new business, based on the idea of computer repairs – pay what you can afford.
    oh and after Hugh has tatooed Charlie’s forehead, I will shave my URL in his hair at the back of his head. I know its a copy cat!

  24. Ruth says

    I’m going to start by reading the great diversity of notions already submitted, then revisit the notes from the various workshops I’ve taken over the last several years, plus re-read Joan Stewart and Dan Kennedy for inspiration. Perhaps put it all in a blender :) and press JUICE IT!!!!

  25. Nanospectrum says

    I have a book already written. What’s the point of publishing it if I have no means of alerting the world to its existence? The thought of social media cripples my mind. “Kindle” however rekindles my fire. I would …. no, I WILL disseminate my book into a thousand tentalising little morsels and feed them to the masses, creating a mass frenzy even Charlie Sheen would envy me for. A “niche” is for the birds. I am going for a “mansion”.

  26. Beebar says

    If you include bank bosses in that list (of ppl telling me what I cannot do) then I would be on my way. Wow I could pay ppl to do all the stuff I know nothing about and stop chewing my fingernails down to the elbow.

  27. says

    I’m in the very very beginning of shifting my wellness business to focus on entrepreneurs and solopreneurs with soul. As a wellness & personal growth strategist, I want to show entrepreneurs and solopreneurs how their health and well-being choices impact the success of their business. I am working to refine the way I view this shift to a new target market and the way I describe it. Any feedback is welcome.

  28. says

    I would write my goals and the type of person I want to be in business with me. Gather my marketing materials (flyers, business cards), traditional marketing still works, put ads in newspapers or business magazines, place more ads in the internet, share educational videos such as marketing strategies and inspirational videos, talk to at least 30 people a day regarding the opportunity I’m offering and placing qualified people in front of the opportunity (through conference calls or recorded presentation) and follow-up with them.

  29. says

    I have been wanting to launch an initiative over on my flagship site, http://www.brightwings.com, where people can get products or services from us when they either contribute hours to community causes, or donate the products to a needy group (can’t be family members.) I am calling it Bright Wings Bucks — because it’s a way to extend more goodness out to people who can really use it.

    I think it’s time. This was the kick I needed to get me to finish it and launch it. Thank you!

  30. Nichole says

    I would open a school for children whose singular mission would be to tell stories. We would find and tell the story in everything — math, science, music, art. We would raise world-class storytellers who appreciate and love the power of words.

  31. Anonymous says

    Denise I would love to show People how to do what they love to do from anywhere they choose. It is so important to love what You do but more important to love where you choose to do it. Denise thank you for inspiring me!

  32. Anonymous says

    Id start stepping a bit away from the “me” of it all. I’d define exactly how I’d want to make a true difference and touch more lives FIRST, and then work my way through the how. Lets face it, when we draw our last breath, it’s not the job I held, the position or notoriety I received, it’s about building true, meaningful relationships and, if we are lucky, really helping others along the way. Everything else may just be a means to an end. I’d get really creative and tell my “give-back” story through “Edutainment”. Id share the wonderful stories and experiences that are truly making the difference that are aligned with my cause and educate others of my services as a secondary fact. I’d stay away from “What is in it for me” related marketing and blatant self-promotion, keeping my ultimate goal in mind. I’d engage, endear, respect and move people (the business with come). Id learn how to share this with others in the world (I choose social media) and take clues from leaders like at Zappos (customer service), Disney Memories, Porsche Family tree (sharing and relationship building). Alias, I just shared my 2011 focus with you all!

  33. Rosalind Sedacca says

    I’d share my vision in life with all my friends, ask them to share it with their friends and keep that vision powerfully in mind every day. All that energy would manifest tangible results that would grow powerfully week after week!

  34. says

    Thank you for this great idea – I am already getting better at sharing my message with my target audience in a way that is meaningful for them. So, become a world class copy writer, communicator, and get my message in front of more people directly would be and is now my goal – write and write more. :)

    • says

      Donna, I used random.org to pick the 3 winners and you are one of them! Please send me a private message on Facebook (denisewakeman @ facebook.com ) with your mailing address so I can send your copy of Poke the Box. Thanks for playing!

  35. says

    Be like Seth and self-publish seems to be a thread that weaves through this batch of “What would you do, if…”
    Should you decide to make your intention a reality, please recognize that it is up to you to (publisher or not) to market what you have written. If you are well connected, like Seth, implementing your integrated marketing (paid search, SEO, email and social media) will be the key to generating the word-of-mouth advertising necessary for volume sales. As Seth says, “Small publishers and self publishers have as many tools to reach readers as big publishers do.” What will be published in the future will have more to do with what readers tell each other about new books.

    • says

      I agree with you, John. For the self-publisher, it always comes down to how much they are willing to promote their book. Publish and they will come, doesn’t work. You must take massive action to get your book in front of your ideal reader.

  36. Alyse Parise says

    I heard on John Stewart show that Howard Stern is going to have Charlie Sheen on his morning program next Wed March 9. Now he will be in for a roast.

    On a lighter note – thanks for the inspiration and synchronicity as I embark on new endeavors to reinvent my business….. brandingyouressence.
    Thanks Denise


  37. says

    I would give away more of my marketing time to three or four farms or small food businesses. I’d offer my services specifically to people who have no clue about marketing, nor any idea how their businesses could grow and thrive if they devoted some attention to telling their stories. I would tell their stories for them and use the dramatic results as part of my portfolio for fully launching a marketing service to support the organic farming and local food movement.

  38. says

    Thanks Denise for this thought-provoking question. I have always been one who gets satisfaction seeing all the pieces of a puzzle fit together congruently to make something “work”. I have a creativity gene that has manifested itself in different ways at various times in my life. Presently I use this creativity to make videos and help small business owners figure out what their message is and get it out to their target audience. I also feel strongly that dedication, hard work, and integrity should lead to our desired goal. Unfortunately because of middlemen, publishers, bosses, HR folks, disingenuous people, and others telling us what to do, this is often not the case. In addition, so many small business owners (My target market) find themselves in a rough spot trying to stay afloat because of the massive amount of competition and their lack of resources to be able to compete on the web. In a perfect world, I would continue to provide quality content and creative, compelling videos for myself and my clients, and would get a call from Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, and you :)

  39. Robert Medak says

    I am working on just that. I am writing and putting my words online, working a writing a book, and searching for quality clients for my services.

    I am on social networks and have a website. I will answer questions when people visit my website and use the contact form.

  40. says

    I would stop being so embarrassed about asking for financial support. Sponsors, fans, you name it I feel guilty when I suggest they support us. This is a big barrier for our growth that I need to get over.

  41. Eydie says

    To be honest, Denise – the limitations in my life stemmed from myself. I was standing in my own way. I had to get over myself, my fears and what I thought was lack of confidence/low-self-esteem – and get on with the business of building my business.

    With that said – I’ve created 8 Hour Blogging Bootcamp (a monthly bootcamp I facilitate locally), launched my own mastermind group (Mastermind Summit), and hired assistants to free up my time so I can focus on bringing home the bacon – whether it be workshops, mastermind, my newspaper column, coaching, etc!

    I’m far from finished – I’ve only just begun! I’ve gone through a major crisis this past October – and was put in a position of do it or die!! I chose to do it – I had to… I had no other choice. Giving up is not what I do. So, I removed my limitations – my fears – and just jumped in and did what I needed to do.

    Whether or not I’m one of your winners is not important (don’t get me wrong – I’d love to win Seth Godin’s book), I already know I’m a winner for what I’ve accomplished since October 2010!

    Thanks for allowing me – all of us – to post our thoughts and goals. Major cool!

    Eydie :)

  42. says

    What will be published in the future will have less to do with what bookstores carry and more to do with what readers tell each other about new books. “Small publishers and self publishers have as many tools to reach readers as big publishers do,” said Mr. Godin, whose next book is “Poke the Box.”

    What will be published in the future will have less to do with what bookstores carry and more to do with what readers tell each other about new books. “Small publishers and self publishers have as many tools to reach readers as big publishers do,” says Seth Godin whose next book will be published via an alliance with Amazon. Big publisher or not, authors still have to employ integrated marketing (paid search, SEO, email and social networks) to get the book sold through word-of-mouth advertising.

  43. DeBorah Beatty says

    OOoh, great idea – if there were no things in the way – I would do a national tour, meeting and greeting as many people as I could to tell them they can have their dreams and live their own lives. I’ve worked long and hard and fallen down tons doing it myself and perhaps I can make it a little easier on them, but I want to get face time to do it. Writing about it just isn’t enough!

  44. says

    Years ago, I did what I will continue to do. I went to a dog show and showed my dog themed art. I sold nothing at that first show, but I did that show with a friend who was mentoring me and saw what sold for her. I went home and started working on more and better work. I kept going to more and more dog shows and showing and selling my work to more and more people. People liked what I did, and told others about me and my work. I haven’t sold at a show in several years, yet people are still looking for my work.

    Time to go back to the shows and add all the new technology that is available for getting my work out there. In a nutshell, do what you do; do it really well, and get it in front of as many people as you possibly can.

  45. says

    To build my business I would attend at least one networking event every day in my area. . . and then follow up with those I met through social media and SOC. And I would travel to at least one national event each month to learn and do more networking. I would be productive each day and get at least 4 things done to help finish the project I’m working. Still trying to see my way through to doing these thing before my kids head off to college (they’re very distracting and time consuming in a good way . . .LOL).

  46. Helenthistlethwaite says

    If I lived in that world (stated above), I would wear a front and back, message placard like the old newspaper sellers used to wear, and I would walk the city malls with my head held high, hand out BCs and flyers, and promote my business in an old fashioned way!

  47. says

    .. can I send my wife away too.. :)

    I am a WORLD Famous Hotel Advisor and Social Media Strategist that will capture changing attitudes, have fin, make your day and be present..

    Open Sesame – an let the treasure of ME be shared with the WORLD..

    That’s what I would do :)

    Cheers.. Are

  48. Anonymous says

    Hi Denise,

    Thank you for encouraging us to put our goals out in the Universe and play full out to achieve them.

    To touch more lives and make a difference I would offer powerful workshops and retreats around the world to encourage women to go after their dreams. So many women have settled for less than what they want while they devoted their lives to helping husbands, kids and others go after their dreams. The content of my workshops and retreats would be so life-changing that word of my work would go viral and turn into multiple streams of income and accessibility. Soon, school districts would require a course that honored individual worth and stimulated students to identify and go after their dreams.

  49. says

    I haven’t read Seth’s book yet, but I think that ‘poking the box’ is a trust in your decision and instinct, as well as an ability to ride the process without regret but with learning and new knowledge. It is also a bit of a gamble.

    I took a big gamble 7 yrs ago and designed a new way of looking at nutrition – I am a dietitian.

    The gamble was not only financial but more scarily, professional – I didn’t know how my peers would react. I went ahead regardless because my personal clients and I had belief in my concept and, guess what, the book won a professional award for innovation in 2005. I am now updating and expanding that book – not a small task.

    Last year I finally finished a 2nd book using the same concept but focussed on parents with overweight kids – such a sensitive topic. It too won silver and was highly commended at the Australian Food Media Awards in 2010.

    But who knows about my books? You do now, but not many others. I have neglected my audience reach and I have been researching the topic of blogging for far too long now. My e-commerce website simply doesn’t have the flexibility for me to deliver the ‘guts’ of the topic.

    No bars, no barriers? I will launch my blog to showcase my books and share nutrition and dietetic gems more widely so that not just my personal clients benefit. I want to reach others who don’t have the luxury of being able to personally see an expert dietitian.

    I will also grow a few more brains or clone myself so that I can run with all the other ideas I have bouncing around in my head.

    There’s one thing holding me back a little from launching a blog and that’s where to start with professional indemnity insurance for blogging dietitians. Maybe I just need a legal site disclosure? Where’s my fortune cookie to answer that question?

  50. Tree says

    Step #1 Remove from my vocabulary “cant, someday and but” and replace it with “can , fearless and possible”
    Step #2 leap off the mountain and know i can fly
    Step #3 instead of doing temporarily consulting and project management projects while i look for a real job (since being layed off ) have the faith that I am good, no I am damn awesome at what I do, incorporate, put my name on the door and own it!

  51. Luciana says

    I’ll make a list of my projects for changing the world (practical education for life). Then I work and finish asap only one project at a time, go and present it during conferences, or other public appropriate occasions, and hopefully many people will register so we can work it out… Then I’ll take the next project and go through the same process which, in the end, makes my clients successful.

  52. Linda Harbin says

    If I could choose a method to get my art out to the world, I would create a video to show my unique techniques and how I express my own imagination through mixed media and collage art. Then I would advertise this video through social media, print advertising and target art organizations and galleries too. I would start classes in my home for beginning artists too.

    • says

      Linda, I used random.org to pick the 3 winners and you are one of them! Please send me a private message on Facebook (denisewakeman @ facebook.com ) with your mailing address so I can send your copy of Poke the Box. Thanks for playing!

  53. Abba Anderson says

    Wow, such a great question, and a telling answer popped up in me: I would pay someone to do some of the technical stuff that is sucking up most of my time and brain energy so I have juice to crank out the ebooks and posts that are now rough drafts and lists on my white board, ie I’d so what I’m good at, which is writing! I’m close to getting my wordpress websites in decent enough shape, and it’s time to get help with the CSS details I can’t handle!

  54. says

    I would go straight to the local TV, radio and newspaper folks with a promotion of what I have to offer for small businesses, non-profits and charities. Plus, I would suggest that they (and insurance agents/brokers) could sponsor me to do presentations to their clients. They could support non-profits and charities by paying me to present no-cost ideas for improving their operations.

  55. says

    I am good at poking the box though I haven’t always had successful results. My idea this time is to go straight to the state dept., Ohio Legal Rights and the Parent’s advisory counsel to force an emergency meeting on residential alternatives for adults with severe disabilities. I’ll continue to use my blog and connections to talk about the crisis in adult care. I’m going to have to find some emotional strength to overcome my fear for my son. It is probably a losing cause–but I’ll just have to try…again…and again.

  56. Frank Daley says

    Traditional books are great for all the obvious reasons (portability, weight, the ability to make marginalia and notes etc.) but we need to reach readers (and people who don’t read very well for various reasons from illiteracy to learning disabilities –and there are plenty of them) so we have to rethink this whole question. I would publish (via blogs, websites, articles etc., shorter, more topic-specific books at lower prices. Get JV partners in the traditional way and some unusual ones (no reason books can’t be sold in places other than bookstores). Get corportate co-ventures to distribute helpful material to schools, prisons, to people without funds, much education or hope. Use different modalities (audio, video, print, the web, etc) to distribute material for people whose learning styles are not solely (or even mainly) print-related. Use links in ebooks to related material. Put the writer’s personality out there–not afraid of offending–the people who don’t like you wont be your clients anyway. Be aggressive in distributing ideas, not in tone of voice. And more like that!

    • says

      I must chime in here! I am a reading teacher without a school. I have started a website where I hope to help kids who have reading problems, and some who can’t read at all, even if in an upper grade. There are so many!

      I’ve spent a year now getting things ready to teach kids online, because personal injuries don’t let me teach at school anymore.

      I have organized a plethora of online resources, gotten access to software that is perfect for kids like this, and prepared tons of things to work with. I’ve been gathering audio materials which I will send to the child, and I have thousands of books to choose from to pick the right materials for each one. I’ll mail a packet weekly to the parent, and include instructions about how to work with the child. I’ll meet with the child briefly each day for brief lessons, reading time, and more.

      Problem is, I’ve been so busy working on the back-end of the site that nobody sees, because it is for my future students, that the front end has been totally neglected. Very little is posted there, and nothing is there to attract parents with kids who need me.

      So my “plan” is to focus on the front-end, and write dozens of posts answering questions that parents with a child who is a struggling reader, or a slow reader, or a child who is behind in school due to any reading failure or delay, would possibly ask and maybe find my site, and hopefully sign up to work with me.

      I want to provide prices that will give me a living, but will also accomodate poor children as well as those whose parents can afford help.

      I am so ready, so ready! But now I need to focus on “selling.” As a teacher, that is the last thing I know how to do! I didn’t go into it to earn a great living, because we don’t, contrary to what the Koch Brothers would have us believe. So…since this is a perfect world, in the coming months I will find and (miraculously) be able to buy the things I need to turn me into a salesperson for my site.

      I will HIRE a person to help me promote my services, because the honest truth is I am an outstanding teacher for kids with problems and disabilities, but I am not a promoter. I need a pro. In this perfect world, we will work together to get my skills and gifts out there, and we will find people who need it. I have a gift. I need to use it. I really need to! I’m being wasted while I don’t have kids to teach.

      Denise, I don’t know that I met your requirements here, but it’s the best I can do for now! I want to work on the lessons, videos, and teaching materials. I just don’t seem to “get it done” on promotion.

      Heaven help me? 😀

  57. says

    Needed this~! “When should you get started on that project, that business, that work of art only you can deliver to the world?” Get your business in front of more people, get more visibility, touch lives, make a difference.

    Launching this month~! Need someone who knows how to put ads in vBulletin.

    Jumping in the water. The bathing suit may sag, but it is bound to be refreshing! Only I can deliver it to my world in just this way.

  58. says

    Hey Denise,

    If I was in the world where all was possible I have loads of things on my list some of which are :

    1. Be an author of some great inspiring books by self publishing
    2. Being a motivational by organising workshops in difffernt parts of world
    3. Writing columns for various magzines and papers
    4. Blogging and writing articles online

    etc etc..loads on my mind this is just to start with…aim….be a name where I don’t need to describe myself :)

    Love your inputs :)

    Coach Nupur

  59. says

    OK, wow. I see that I am in good company with all of the others who are in the process of writing a book. As a writer and web content creator, publishing my book and promoting the crap out of it would get me a ton of visibility.

  60. says

    I would finish writing my ebook on women and their everyday struggles and battles, and how God can help them overcome them with victory (will come out soon!) and I’d continue giving webinars for women to tap into the power of prayer, discover their great purpose, and pursue their passion. My desire is to be so blessed financially that my husband I get out of debt, go on short term missions trips and pleasure trips to Africa and other nations, and to give generously to those in need like my sister who’s a single mom of 3 and a pastor we know in Africa who lives on very little but has five children to support.

  61. says

    Hi Denise!

    Hey Denise!

    I would contact each of my favorite celebrities or charities (local, national, international) who own their own businesses either through entertainment or what brings them passion – and offer them a special deal to allow me to work with them to communicate that passion to the world (or their specific audience.) I enjoy “making it happen” and look forward to initiating that step!

    Love what you do…thanks for sharing your passion with us. :-)


  62. says

    I have written and published my first book, “Life’s Just Not That Complicated” through Create Space. The experience was wonderful. Self publishing isn’t what it sounds like.
    I have been a motivational/inspirational speaker for many years and find that my life’s experiences can move people to action. Due to some health issues, I’ve been a little “out-of-commission’ lately and am ready to move forward with my speaking. My second book will hopefully be complete by year end. I want to take story to the next level through better marketing, writing and speaking engagements.

  63. says

    I would write a book, create a dedicated website and blog about it and related topics, arrange a speaking tour, and also create a video and social media campaign surrounding the book and its topics. I would also explore some new media I haven’t had a chance to yet, such as podcasting, audio, and related info products.

    • says

      Carrie, I used random.org to pick the 3 winners and you are one of them! Please send me a private message on Facebook (denisewakeman @ facebook.com ) with your mailing address so I can send your copy of Poke the Box. Thanks for playing!

  64. Ursula Maxwell-Lewis says

    It seems to me that I lived the life you describe by starting, building and selling my own newspaper.
    In my case, I accepted the bet. My side of the bet was it couldn’t be done, based on enormous newspaper competition in our area. I ended up working 24-7, learning FAST that Editorial wasn’t the only department in a publication, multi-tasking and becoming VERY aware opf how other similar businesses operated.

  65. says

    Write high quality content that addresses the needs of a fast growing population. Let the users of the content do the PR, marketing, and social engineering.

    Bob De Marco
    Alzheimer’s Reading Room

  66. Karen says

    First I think I need to stop being reactionary, and doing what comes next across my desk. I recognize Im moving, Im usually productive, but its scattered so loses impact :(

    whoever it was lower down who said take the time to figure out what i want to do — well, Im right with you.

  67. says

    I would re-work my book into a second edition, aggressively look for a publisher or self publish and then aggressively and un-bashedly promote it.

  68. says

    I would love to travel all over the US and Canada and then the world teaching students in junior and senior high and college/universities how to clean, cook and organize properly. So many people aren’t taught these basic necessities.
    I want to make the world cleaner and happier.

  69. Toni says

    I would speak in front of as many groups as possible, for free, for fee, for fun… I love helping people to think outside the box and yes, I love Seth Godin’s work as well and would love to win his book – I’d even take a Kindle copy :-))

  70. says

    This is PERFECT! This morning while meditating I came up with a zillion dollar idea, discussed it with my husband, and we’re going to run with it. The plan? Sketch out the idea in a mindmap–protect it with a simple non-disclosure agreement, and approach a software developer I know (a previous client) who specializes in cloud computing to JV with me in developing it. I’ll reach out to the Universe for Angel investors, and see where this takes us. This could be my mark–the way I help others achieve success in my field! Right now I’m using Masterson’s “Ready, FIRE, Aim” to help with some of the planning, and whether I win your copy of “Poke the Box” or not, I think the Universe is telling me Seth’s advice will fit right in. Funny how you have one of those instant inspirations, and suddenly the tools for it drop into your lap? Wow… Exciting!!! Thanks, Denise–you’re a peach!

  71. says

    My BIG idea was started three weeks ago. I wanted to build a platform where girlfriends can meet either virtually or in-person. I did a test group on Facebook and started with 15 women that I knew. In less than three weeks it has gone from 15 to over 200 women. We support, inspire and celebrate all there is about our girlfriends. We will have our first “virtual party” on March 10th and our first “Get Together” on March 19th.

    This BIG idea started as a little idea. I planned a dinner get together from a group of friends who I have not seen in some time. The beauty of the gathering was that my friendship with each of them was the common denominator. A good portion of them didn’t know one another.

    The little idea is now the BIG idea…DIVA (Destined Inspired Victorious Attitude) Girlfriends.

  72. says

    I would step back and take some time to remember what inspired me as a child and then I would build upon that to create a project that would 1) inspire and excite kids and 2) remind grown-ups what it felt like to be a kid.
    I believe each of us has huge potential – no matter our age. I would love to do work that helps kids discover their potential earlier in life and helps grown-ups RE-discover theirs. Each of us has a dream, but finding the courage to believe in our own abilities can be tough. I’d like to help bridge the gap between the dream and the reality.
    I think that working with kids would be the best way to get more visibility – take the mission/project/story directly to the kids … let them spread it amongst themselves and then share it with the adults in their lives, too. Kids are naturally “viral.” When something catches fire with the younger set, it gets more than legs – it gets wings. So … that’d be my plan. Do something to help them be amazing, and then give them tools to share their stories with other kids, and so on and so on and so on.

  73. says

    I think the one thing I would do would be to delegate. If I delegated more, then even more of my ideas could come to fruition. I have these brilliant plans to help people but get so bogged down with details.

  74. Anonymous says

    I would make a documentary film about the work my Rotary Club is doing around the world with bringing clean water and eradicating polio in even the most remote places, and show how my business makes it possible for me to be a part of this. I have already self-published three books, and contributed to two others, so I would include this information in my film. I want people from around the world to know that having your own business is the first step to healing our people and our planet.

  75. Kathleen Gage says

    I would begin by making a commitment to do something each and every day to get my name out to my market. I would connect with every colleague I know who has a great market reach (yes, that would be you Denise) and brainstorm how we can all benefit one another. Together we could create a super campaign that would bring great benefit to each and every person we connect with.

    I would host a live event set up to benefit either animals, elderly folks, or children. I would designate a specific amount to be donated to worthy causes. Based on this I would then contact as many people I know including media to get the word out.

    I would host a “Come as who you most admire” conference. Everyone would have to actually take on the persona of the person they most admire. Imagine the conversations that would be initiated at a conference like this.

    I would do exactly what you did Denise and create a fun way for people to contribute their ideas and post on my blog. :-)

    • says

      Kathleen, of all the people I know, you are the best initiator. You have an idea and you GO. That’s one of the things I admire and love about you.

    • Nano says

      Kathleen, I had been thinking along the same lines but was wondering if you would be open to the idea of collaborating with someone yet unknown.

      In the next couple of weeks I will do something each day to put my ideas into a cohesive format and I will then approach you and see what we can cook up together. So watch out for me.

  76. Sabi Grivec says

    I’m a VA who is passionate about all languages, especially Spanish. If there were no restraints, I would concentrate on improving my level of the language by totally immersing myself in the culture of one of the many countries where Spanish is spoken. Whilst doing this I would like to learn more about the social media practices of the Spanish speaking world as a means of bridge building between the English and Spanish markets. I’d then like to work on bridge building between countries where there is tension, using the power of language and social media. I’d be a kind of online diplomat, I suppose!

    (I have signed up to Gravatar and I do hope that my photo shows up, if not, apologies I think I need to revisit Gravatar to see what I have/haven’t done!).

    Thanks for this opportunity Denise.

  77. says

    I’d publish two of my books, one right after the other, and create an online community to support those interested in them, and products and services that assist them as well. The first book will teach readers to become change agents by sharing conscious creations that fulfill their soul purpose. The second will show them how to tell their unique stories through written and spoken words so they can create change by touch people’s lives with their life experiences and wisdom. I’d then go on to publish the rest of my books…and follow them up with more products and services. Of course, I’d speak, connect through social networking, continue blogging, etc. In this way, I’ll fulfill my own purpose.

  78. says

    So many great intentions are being posted. One question comes to mind…what’s stopping you? Everything I’ve read so far in the comments is do-able.

    Time is not a good excuse for not making things happen because we make time for what is important. Lack of money? Lots of resources and training are free or low cost. Lack of knowledge? Again, there’s an infinite supply of training resources thanks to the web: videos on YouTube, free reports, free teleseminars.

    What’s the first step to make it happen. Do it. :-)

    • Eva says

      Hi Denise:

      I agree with your comment 100% . Most of the comments talk about “I would do this and that”. What about actually doing it? A lot of the ideas are great ones. So much talent and goodwill…

      Good luck to those that go ahead and start making their dreams a reality.


      • Frank Daley says

        Eva–of course! But the instruction here was to put it in the conditional tense. “What would you do…if..”.

    • Nano says

      What’s stopping us?

      So many bits and pieces to learn. Sifting through the relevant ones from the useless, the appropriate from the inadequate, the good from the shoddy, the trustworthy from the charlatan. And the worst of the lot, all those freebies that rob you of your precious time.

      What we need is a one-stop shop. Someone who has done all that and has a team and a system into place which they can be duplicate, for a prospective client, at a cost or joint venture. You may have different modules to suit different requirements and budgets.

      Do you supply such a service? Do you know of anyone who does?

  79. says

    I would self-publish my book and connect, connect, connect. Getting visibility to your business is all about relationships and connections, I would use social media, and grass roots efforts to get the word out about my business.

  80. Dr.Lisa says

    Your question Denise (and Seth!) has started me thinking… I’m working on a book due to the publisher this summer. But what if there were no publisher?? How would I get the content out. The book I’m writing has two goals: 1)to help people with its content and 2) expand my reach and visibility. I’ve heard you talk about using a blog to create book content, but haven’t been doing that… But why not??? Why not start sharing content on my blog — creating buzz early about the book. I had a fear about “giving it away early” and limiting sales, but in the abundant universe I live in sales would not be diminished by this sharing of content, but expanded.
    Thanks for helping me re-vitalize my blog, get my book moving even faster, and expanding my reach!!

  81. DSpaulding says

    Write a book. Then people will say that YOU wrote the book on XXX. I wrote my first book in 1997 and have written three more since. They are great ways to showcase your talent.

  82. says

    I love those special fortune cookie moments, don’t you? LOL. I would have laughed out-loud too if I got that message.

    As to Seth’s question, I’d (try) to believe that I was in that world, where HR overhead, publishers, bosses, etc. did not exist and pursue the apples of my eye.. I believe that we should stop letting our gifts die inside of us and let all hang out, lol. So my answer would be to get my business out there by doing.

    Planning, creating and keepin’ it movin’. :)

  83. Francesca Frate says

    I would take the time to really stop and think about the direction I want my business to go into. I used to call myself a VA but, by the terms and descriptions I really wasn’t. I would really take a hard look at my skills, my capabilities and my strengths and really market myself to the hilt.

    I would take the time I need to market. To network. To promote and plan. To really focus myself without being pulled in several directions. The time would be there. The tools would be in place. I would know who I am and what I am capable of.

  84. says

    How ironic Denise (re: the fortune cookie). And great question at the end. It’s much easier envisioning a building than it is to actually build it. When many people get involved in the building process and realize the work and dedication that is required to create the building, they simply abandon the mission. Dreaming is easy–the follow-through is the tough part

  85. Leigh Harris says

    Offer seminars and focus groups around the continent based on my book subject. I have an active blog and facebook page (which I do). People could track my seminar locations through those pages, interact with me online and in person. My book would be published with the equivalent of a “Hay House” stamp of approval (it would be a NYTimes bestseller).

    If there were no regulations, I also see no financial limits. I see abundance for everyone. Therefore, people pay me for my seminars with their abundant finances and I am able to fund non-profits with my abundant profits.

    I love “Tribes”, by Seth Godin. Crossing my fingers… and I’ll go to The Domino Project link you just posted.

  86. Joan says

    I would get out and speak to groups, sharing my insights on career and workplace issues, and help people make the best choices for a happy life. It would be a stretch for me, but I’m sure it would help build my coaching business by allowing me to reach more people.

  87. Mercedes S. says

    We started a company a few years ago, it is a manufacturing company and therefore we need to rise a lot of money and are subject to some SEC regulations as to who can invest and who cannot invest. Unfortunately, the people who can invest have to be people with a high net worth and finding them in this country has been a challenge to say the least. If there were no rules that we need to obey by, I would go to the street and put a sign asking people to invest, if each person we talk to can invest say $100 we would have funded this company already and would be well on our way to making dreams come true.

  88. says

    I would create ‘Action + Action = Satisfaction’. An online platform where to upload ideas which will not be categorized according to its potential, but to a definition based on keywords (ever heard of that concept?). Those definitions will help people find people with similar ideas. And by teaming up with kindred souls, those people will engage each other in a chain of actions that will make their idea evolve into something real.

  89. says

    I would go to more conferences and trade shows. I just started my own VA Firm after working for another amazing VA for a year and a half. I have received infinite praise and I know once I get more clients, the rest will come from word of mouth. My rentention rate is phenominal, and it’s all because I love what I do and forge real relationships with my clients. However, I’m just getting started, and the trouble is getting known.. thats where trade shows come into play! I also LOVE learning, so I would really enjoy not only touting my services, but learning new strategies, tips, and tricks at a conference. Maybe even help other entrepreneurs by speaking at an event. Who knows, skys the limit!

  90. says

    I would like to start an organization that will help people start their own businesses and motivate them to follow their heart. Most of the people are not able to get the most out of their lives just because they don’t follow their heart. So my mission would be to help people and motivate them to take the first step towards their dreams no matter what they are.
    A Happy Satisfied World. 😀

  91. Tracey Warren says

    I started a business almost a year ago helping local small businesses with their social media marketing. If there were no obstacles, I would love to attend a conference like sxsw our similar to hob knob with like minded social media geeks.
    Better yet, I would like to be a speaker or emcee! The sky is the limit!

  92. Melissa Agnes says

    Great question!

    My issue isn’t so much bosses or HR people or middlemen. It’s more financial and time-wise. Right now we’re a small company in a big world, and although we have the expertise, the talent and the drive, there never seems to be enough time in any given day or week to get everything we need/want to get done to move ahead quicker… so what would I do? Add a couple of hours to our days/weeks and grow our team in order to get ahead and position ourselves more quickly where we want to position ourselves within our market! We’re getting there, but like I said, time is a restriction!

  93. Ericpenn says

    I would spread the word about how my business has so much integrity that you can’t go wrong by having your vehicle serviced and repaired here. As the business is profitable, we would then be able to help those in need (church families, military families, single moms/dads etc with their service and repair work at a huge discount or even in some cases totally free.
    M E