3 Reasons To Read This Book:
- Helps you determine if your “stupid idea” is actually a smart idea
- Learn to overcome the three biggest excuses for not starting your idea now: “I need more time/experience/money”
- Learn to break down your lofty big-picture idea into small projects that give your idea legs to begin walking
Game-changer. That’s what this book will be for your mindset. Richie Norton wrote this book from his own experiences in starting ideas that others thought were “stupid”. The author also explains the genesis for his thinking found in this book—-the unfortunate loss of two family members who were very young in age. Richie opens the book with the stories of his two wonderful family members—stories which remind us that life may be shorter than we anticipate and therefore now is the right time to pursue our dreams.
At just 29-years old, Richie was one of Hawaii’s Top Forty Under 40 “best and brightest young businesspersons” (Pacific Business News). He has started several organizations and is currently the CEO of Global Consulting Circle, a boutique international business development consultancy. He is an adviser to several companies and a speaker and consultant for the personal development and corporate growth industries.
Outline Of Book And What You’ll Gain From Each Section
Part 1: Stupid Is the New Smart
There is no greater time than now to start moving toward achieving your goals. Don’t wait. Start stuff. Live to start your stupid ideas, and start to live a life without regret—a life filled with meaning, freedom, happiness, fun, authenticity, and influence. After all, now is, in all actuality, the only time you’re truly guaranteed. Life is too short not to start something stupid. ~ Pg 14 of The Power Of Starting Something Stupid
I really like the above quote by Richie Norton. It also describes the overall message of this book. However, you might be questioning Richie’s definition of a “stupid idea”. He explains in the book that by “stupid” he does not mean “lacking intelligence and common sense”. He calls this “unhealthy stupid”. Richie goes on to explain that he is talking about “stupid” as “the new smart”—ideas that are labeled stupid by you or others because of doubt, fear, confusion, or not understanding the idea properly.
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. ~ Pg 22 of The Power Of Starting Something Stupid
After showing us that we should follow our instincts and passions to pursue what others might call “stupid ideas”, Richie shows us that we don’t need to wait any longer to begin starting. We don’t need to wait for the perfect time. In fact, the “perfect time” will never come. It seems common for many people to live their lives saving money until retirement to then launch their dream idea. Richie clears up some of this faulty thinking with this definition:
Retirement confusion: When people confuse the importance of saving money with the need to postpone pursuing dreams. ~ Pg 40
I suggest reading this book especially if you’re dealing with the retirement mentality trap. Richie does well explaining the negative consequences of falling victim to this thinking and how to get out of it.
The author ends Part 1 with this sentiment:
There is a great saying, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, which poignantly reminds us, “Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
Part 2: The Time Has Come
The second part of The Power Of Starting Something Stupid expands on the first and delves into the three most common excuses for not starting something:
- I don’t have enough time.
- I don’t have enough education or experience.
- I don’t have enough money.
This “TEM Gap” (time, experience, money) seems to be the biggest barrier to going from an idea to starting to take action on it. The author delves into each excuse and debunks them one-by-one. By the time you finish reading his debunking of each excuse you’ll realize that you have zero reasons left to wait until the “perfect” time.
Part 3: The Business Of Stupid
My favorite chapter of the book is chapter 7 on Stupid Projects. Richie Norton gives away huge value to the reader by explaining how you can give your stupid idea legs. He shows us how to break down the barrier of starting on our idea by breaking our lofty big-picture goals into small projects. This section was a huge benefit to me. The biggest hurdle for me in taking action is being able to have the right mindset that ensures I feel comfortable do so. The process that Richie lays out in this chapter made me feel comfortable knowing there’s a low-risk way to start implementing a new idea.
Here are the sub-sections within this chapter. Each one provides more insight on this concept of turning a new idea into a project so you can immediately begin taking action:
- Overcoming the Psychology of Stupid: Moving from Idea to Project Phase
- Projects Increase Overall Fulfillment
- One Thing Leads to Another: How a Simple Project Turned into Much, Much More
- How to Turn a Free Project into a Paying Gig
- Experiment with Stupid Projects
- Use Personal Projects to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Big-Picture Dreams
Part 4: Making It Happen
This last part of the book is all about helping you accelerate your success in turning your stupid idea into a budding reality and beyond. Richie Norton says he wants to help you overcome the Time-Education-Money Gap by showing you how to “get out of your shell, get into the scene, and make dreams happen.” Below are the major sections of this last part of the book:
- Get Out Of Your Shell
- Overcome Fear
- Overcome Pride
- Overcome Procrastination
- Be Authentic
- Get into the Scene: The 5 Actions of the New Smart
- S – Serve
- T – Thank
- A – Ask
- R – Receive
- T – Trust
- Make Dreams Happen
- Leverage Existing Resources
I’ll end this review with the words of Richie Norton:
May this book be a source of inspiration for some of the coolest and most meaningful projects and experiences of your life! It all starts with a tiny, stupid idea, then one thing leads to another, and suddenly, you find something amazing: yourself. ~ Richie Norton
This book is one of my favorite reads this year. I highly recommend buying and reading it because it’s not only a motivational book, but also one that shows you the way to comfortably begin realizing your loftiest dreams. If you’re someone who has been planning to work and save money for the next 40 years, retire, and then pursue your dreams—read this book. You’re fooling yourself and going down a road you’ll regret when you’re 80. Please stop and re-evaluate.
Also, this book is great if you think your idea is stupid and not worth pursuing. Your friends, relatives and enemies love to criticize your ideas for many reasons both good and bad. This book can help you think differently about your “stupid idea”. It may turn out to be a smart idea. This is one of those books that have been a game-changer for me in the way I think about pursuing my ideas.
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