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Stop Talking Start Doing: A kick in the pants in six parts


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Chapter One: Tick Tock

Stop Talking Start Doing: A kick in the pants in six parts

  1. 1. ÁÁ “This book made me uncomfortable. Well done!” Author of Poke the Box ving ExplorerThe World’s Greatest Li
  2. 2. 20 ii SHÁÁ WASMUND SHÁÁ WASMUND SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON with RICHARD NEWTON with RICHARD NEWTON Waiting is futile. Starting is progress.“To achieve anything in life you have to start somewhere, be it writing a book,starting a business or climbing a mountain, this book will set you on your way.”SIR RANULPH FIENNES OBEThe World’s Greatest Living Explorer Have you got an itch to start your own business, go to the North Pole, retrain, retrain, n lose weight, get promoted, learn to play the ukulele? Or do you just have a nagging sense that there must be more to life? If there is something you really really l want to do, but secretly fear you’ll never do it, then you need this. This is your kick in the pants. To make your thing happen, you have to climb into the ring. You have to face e your fears and move from talking to doing. Of course, it’s right and natural to have fears, but understanding them will keep keep you on top. And then you’ll find that starting can instantly make things change. change. n So say farewell to the status quo. And that’s the trick, you see. Simply start somewhere. Anywhere. But do it now. now. For those working for others or for themselves, for those in love or out of love, love, v for those who are artistic or scientific, the busy and the clock-watchers… butt mostly for those with ambition: This is what you need to start. Available from all g good bookshops and online at p Read more online at Read more online at and and
  3. 3. 20 iii SHÁÁ WASMUND SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON with RICHARD NEWTON“To achieve anything in life you have to start somewhere, be it writing a book,starting a business or climbing a mountain, this book will set you on your way.”SIR RANULPH FIENNES OBEThe World’s Greatest Living Explorer join the discussion at
  4. 4. 20 2 SHÁÁ WASMUND SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON with RICHARD NEWTON“To achieve anything in life you have to start somewhere, be it writing a book,starting a business or climbing a mountain, this book will set you on your way.”SIR RANULPH FIENNES OBEThe World’s Greatest Living Explorer Extracted from Stop Talking Start Doing published in 2011 by Capstone Publishing Ltd (a Wiley Company), The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ. UK. Phone +44(0)1243 779777 Copyright © 2011 Shaa Wasmund & Richard Newton All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 4LP, UK, without the permission in writing of the Publisher. Requests to the Publisher should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, England, or emailed to
  5. 5. 3 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONPART 1 “What is past is prologue.” William Shakespeare “Eyes front!” Any drill sergeant in any army anywhereTICK TOCK
  6. 6. 4 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON The speed of life This book is about starting.Life has a sting in the tail. It’s about shifting from the static to the active state; the state where things happen because you initiated them.It’s shorter than we expect. It’s about shifting gears, moving direction, transforming what you do with your day, your week, your time and taking control;And it races by while we’re working out what’s it’s about deliberately putting one foot in front of the other andreally important and what actually isn’t. moving with purpose instead of being carried along by theAs time roars past our ears we drift, deliberate, doubt and current.take ourselves too seriously yet all the while we talk about There’s never been a better time to start something. Now morewhat we would, could and should do to make it better. than ever we live in a world of opportunity.And then it’s gone. But the downside to this world of opportunity – brought aboutSo let’s walk the talk. by new technology and new social and working conventions – is a world that seduces us into drifting through life.Because there’s never been a better time, or a moreurgent time, to start doing the things you want to do. Things like: shopping, web-surfing, casual tweeting, photo- commenting and status-updating. It’s not that these things aren’t fun or even good. But while it might feel like you’reLet’s dance. “doing” – in large part thanks to the power of billions of dollars of marketing – you might have a feeling that there’s got to be more to life.
  7. 7. 5 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON “Only put off until tomorrow You might have an itch.what you are Life is short. If you’ve got something you want to do…willing to die now is a good time to start. …Here are four reasons why… having left undone.” Pablo Picasso
  8. 8. 6 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON The wheels are greased. Our connected world makes it possible for people to actualize dreams, ideas and initiative in ways 1. our forebears Whatever you want to know is could not even accessible instantly. dream of. Want to collect fountain pens from around the world, want to learn how to collect truffles, want to find someone to build a mobile phone app for you in another continent, want to retrain, want to research how to bicycle across the world…? No problem. It’s all at your fingertips. 2. Need to locate expert help? Then connect with people who can help you. The soaring development of the social web has demolished barriers between you and the expertise you need. It empowers you to ask friends of friends (and friends of friends of friends) if they can offer advice, make introductions, share 9
  9. 9. 7 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON 5. You’re already at the centre of the universe. e. And if in fact you are starting a starting a business or collecting fountain fountain o The SECOND pens from around the world, the world, o global markets are wide open for open business. From your front room. front n reason to startThe fat is in the pan.Get cooking. something now… Unconventional is Conventional
  10. 10. 8 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONThe boat is being rocked.The conventions of society that dictated the correct way to 1. Sixty years ago a gentleman wouldn’t go to work without abehave and whose arched eyebrows used to hold people’s dreams hat on; ten years ago they stopped wearing ties. Now you don’tin check are vanishing. In the big cities they’re already long gone. have go into work to go to work… so who knows what people areThe world is too connected for that and it moves too fast. wearing. But the point is: who cares?! Society cares less about conformity than it used to. This makes it easier to swim against the current. Easier to do something different, to challenge convention. If you want to give up your job and travel round the world, learn to juggle, join a commune – your neighbours might cough and shake their heads but you can cope with that…Or they might just tell you how they always wanted to do the same thing. 2. The concept of a job for life is long gone. The tramlines that used to confine a career from start to finish; from apprenticeship to grave aren’t imposed by anyone but you. It’s not unusual to hold down three part-time jobs at once or to shift jobs every couple of years. In response to the absence of job security we have had to become more agile in our approach to work. Self- employment is soaring. 3. You are going to live a long time. Life expectancy goes up and up. If you’re going to be around a long time you might as well do something you enjoy for as much of that time as possible. Pimp your ride.
  11. 11. 9 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONThe boat is already being rocked. ySome examples of how lifestyle, work, society and leisure are changing. Folk escaping the cubicle on a daily basis 13.5m people telecommute every day in the United States.The most entrepreneurial country in the West is built on failure 33.7m telecommute at least one day per month.10% of US companies go bust every year. (Source: Telework Trendlines 2009 by World at Work using data collected by the Dierenger Research Group)(Source: economist and writer, Paul Omerod)Folk managing themselves and themselves alone Folk escaping the cubicle for a long time18m people work in non-employer businesses. Meaning they have Over 20% of companies offer a sabbatical program that allowsno boss and they have no staff underneath them. employees to take significant periods of time off to pursueThey just get up and do. personal interests.(Source: US Census Bureau) (Source: “Boomers Taking More ‘Life Sabbaticals’” by Jane Ganahl, May 10, 2011, Lots of people share the same starting lineLocations where work was conducted during the past month It’s estimated that one in every eight workers in the United StatesHome has at some point been employed by McDonald’s.Customer/client’s (Source: New York Times)place of businessIn the car …And lots of people don’t: being different is becoming theCafé or restaurant new normHotel or motelPark or other outdoor Measured in 2011, 34% of the population of Greater London in 2011location was born outside the UK. That’s up from 27% in 2001.On airplane, trainor subway (Source: Wikipedia,, train depotor subway platform 2006Library 2008Employer’s satellitelocationTelework center(not their employer’s)None of the aboveWhile on vacation 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%(Source: Telework Trendlines 2009 by World at Work using data collected by the Dierenger Research Group)
  12. 12. 10 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONSmall businesses are everywhere The dominant habitat of the global species is the city2% of enterprises in the UK have more than 50 staff. Percentage of population living in cities:88% have fewer than 10 staff.(Source: Office of National Statistics) 1910 10%You will live longer 2010 53%So do something you enjoy. 2050 75% (Source: London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society: The Endless City) Male Female 1930 58.1 61.6 1940 60.8 65.2 And yet people want to escape the concrete habitat and farm 1950 65.6 71.1 their own food…(but sometimes they have to wait) 1960 66.6 73.1 The average time on a waiting list for an allotment in Britain: 3 years. In parts of London the wait is 10 years. 1970 67.1 74.7 According to one survey, the London Borough of Camden has a 1980 70.0 77.4 waiting list of 40 years. 1990 71.8 78.8 (Source: Survey by LV Insurance 2009 quoted in “Allotment waiting lists: a barometer of our times,” David 2000 74.3 79.7 Derbyshire, February 15th, 2011. 2007 75.4 80.4 Requests for membership to the British Beekeepers’ Association Life expectancy in the United States rose 25% in 2009. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, 54(19), (Source: “Is urban beekeeping the new buzz?” Peter Jackson, August 5, 2009. June 28, 2006. Power is shifting East Buildings over 8 stories in ShanghaiAnd there’s a lot of us around 1980 2005About 7% of all the people who have ever lived are alive today. 121 10,045(Source: Carl Haub, “How many people have ever lived on Earth?” Population Reference Bureau) Population density in Shanghai: 26,000 people/km2 Population density in London: 4,800 people/km2 (Source: London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society: The Endless City)
  13. 13. 11 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONYou’ve no excuse not to find your tribe!Take MeetUp, for example. This online network of social groupsmakes it easy for people to connect with others who share thesame interests. They meet online and offline.Number of meetings per month: 250,000Number of different meet-up topics: 46,000Cities holding meet-ups: 45,000(Source: MeetUp) Tall buildings in London How the changes to London’s skyline accelerated The THIRD dramatically over the last 50 years 2012: reason to start The Shard, 1991: 310m One tall Canada 1980: something now… Square, 1962: NatWest 235m 1710: BT Tower, Tower, St Paul’s 189m 183m Cathedral, 1098: 150m White Tower, 27m(Source: The Feeling of EmptinessYou’re not who you wereIt takes seven to ten years for the human body to renew everysingle cell. Your body is younger than you are. Whose issues areholding you back?! Catch up
  14. 14. 12 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONIs that all there is?Indeed. Technology has brought the world to our fingertips and In response to the feeling of emptiness and a search for meaninghelped knock down the prison walls of convention but at the same we are witnessing the emergence of business entities created fortime it also threatens to suck the meaning out of life. The antidote reasons other than solely monetary profit. The writer Daniel Pink3is to take the initiative; to start something yourself; something that describes the movement as one of Purpose Maximizers – peoplehas purpose. Here are some examples of the areas to watch out for: and entities driven by things other than money:1. The shop floor. The meaningless grind of the factory The open-source movement has created powerful and valuableproduction line has now seeped into the world of the white businesses and organizations such as Wikipedia (the onlinecollar worker. As factory jobs moved from the West to the East encyclopedia), Mozilla Firefox (the web browser and email) andthe economies of the West have become dominated by so-called Linux (the operating system used by many large organizations).“knowledge workers”. The component parts of these jobs have Such businesses work because thousands of people freely givebeen fragmented just like assembly line work and have had the their time and skills. These are being formalized as “for social-satisfaction sucked out in just the same way. Rules and manuals benefit” organizations as opposed to “for profit”.govern every decision and reserve initiative and decision-making The US state of Vermont recently created a low profit limitedfor the computer and the head office. You become emotionally liability corporation. This allowed economic entities to bedisconnected from your job…You get an itch. created whose purpose was to create a modest profit, for sure,2. Long days. The working day gets longer and longer. The macho but primarily to create a social benefit. Look at it this way,pride in the length of the hours you work, in the end, means…what? company law generally requires businesses to be createdYou have less free time. So what are you going to DO with it? with the purpose of maximizing profits for the benefit of shareholders. Now they can have a different purpose –3. The banks and the financial crisis. The fruits of their labour, for enshrined in awful lot of people, was the ability to maximize their debt andbuy the biggest house they could afford in the area they wanted The Nobel Prize winning economist Muhammad Yunus4 hasto live. And then the market crashed. And your house price went created the concept of social businesses. Rather than being“sayonara, baby”. Which was when you began to think to yourself: “for profit” these are “non-loss” companies. They must beIs that all there is? Where’s my job satisfaction if it isn’t in the economically self-sustaining but are not created to make amortgage? What would I rather be doing with my free time? With profit for the founders but to provide some form of social money? How am I going to change things? It’s not that seeking profit is necessarily bad. Far from it. But this trend shows a growing appreciation of how people can be powerfully motivated and compensated by the intrinsic meaning of what they DO and not just by a financial bonus scheme.
  15. 15. 13 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON The FOURTH reason to start something now…Waiting for an urban plot of land to workon before you start waiting to leave the That Tickingcity and grow your own vegetables in yourown garden? Sound…Don’t confine your dream to waiting.Get your hands dirty.Start.
  16. 16. 14 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONTickOne thing technology hasn’t changed. 106 BILLION LESSONS WHYYou won’t live forever.You might live a bit longer but that’s all the more reason to start NOW IS THEpursuing the life you want, not just the one you’ve ended upwith.Another thing technology hasn’t changed: clichés about the RIGHT TIMEpassage of time. The thing is, clichés and truisms stick aroundthrough the generations for a reason…And the sands of time are running out even as you turn TO STARTthe page. Let’s get moving. Tock DOING…
  17. 17. 15 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON Question: Do you see yourself in this picture? 100 billion …and counting 6.8 billionThe number of human beings estimated The total number of human beingsto have died in the whole history of the alive today at the most populous universe and everything. Ever.5 time in the history of the whole world ever, ever. So far. ONE The total number of chances to live your life that you get in the history of theworld, the Universe and all the space time dimensions visited in all the episodes of Star Trek including spin-offs ever…before you are added to the 110 billion k or so gravestones ever put into the ground by the time you kick the bucket.
  18. 18. 16 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONInside the ropes, there are two guys fightingfor their dreams.Both dared mighty things and both have hadgreat stories to tell.And outside the ropes there are a thousandfaces watching other people fight for theirdreams.The point?You don’t want to be an anonymous face inthe crowd of your own life story.That’s a life of regret.You gotta face your fears and climbinside the ropes.
  19. 19. 17 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTONHow to Get FromTalking… Marshmallows START Whoosh by of time 4 Climb into the ring No hesitation Do what you say State of flow Get on with it Leave regret Propulsion 5 The danger of drift The DIScomfort zone Too much jam? Seize control Flush them away If only… THE ART OF Embrace fear 3 FEAR AND DECISION REGRET MAKINGThe speed of life 1 TICK TOCK What’s your goal? Would, could, should… Chunk it downCatch up Shifting gears Now what? 6 …AND ACTIONIf not now,then …never? Eating elephants A bit of planning Stop daydreaming? What do you want? 2 THE ITCH Know yourself What makes me happy? …to Doing Where are you scratching?vi vii Read more online at and
  20. 20. 18 SHÁÁ WASMUND with RICHARD NEWTON“To achieve anything in life you have to start somewhere, be it writing a book,starting a business or climbing a mountain, this book will set you on your way.”SIR RANULPH FIENNES OBE!"#$%&()*+$,#-.#+.$/01023$456(&# join the discussion at