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Great extract from Seth Godin’s Poke The Box

Seth Godin has been an incredible inspiration to us. This extract from Poke The Box is a great one for anyone who wants to start doing something they love, but needs a kick up the ass.

We’ve all been stuck in the situation where you coast along, unsure of what direction to take. Before EscapeTheCity I did two jobs that I didn’t really do by choice but stumbled into, and each position I moved to was less my own doing, and more of an influence of the environment around me.

I know its hard, not knowing what you should actually be looking for is probably the hardest part, or at least it was for me. But as Jack London famously said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club!”

How did you end up with this job?

Almost any time I ask someone that question, they answer with, “well, it’s a funny story.” And it’s not usually a funny story.

Instead, it’s a story that juxtaposes a few unlikely breaks with unadorned initiative. People get good gigs because they stand up.

Annie Duke is a former World Series of Poker champion. She has won more than $4 million playing poker professionally.

The interesting question to ask someone in this line of work is: how?

How did you get into it? How did you get good at it?

Hint: you don’t get picked.

Annie was broke, living in Montana and trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Encouraged by her brother, she went to a poker game in Billings. No permit, no permission slip, no connection to the game. She won two thousand dollars.

At this point in most poker careers, the winner takes the money, goes home, and goes back to work. There isn’t a career because there isn’t persistence. There isn’t a career because as soon as there’s a big loss, it ends. That didn’t happen to Annie Duke. Annie set out to fail often enough to get good. She approached the challenge as a professional would. She studied, budgeted, and failed. Often.

Is there a better way? Probably not.

- Seth Godin, Poke The Box