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Leap First; Creating Work That Matters (Audiobook Summary)

This audiobook will help you change how you look at work and help you understand what you work you are capable of producing.

This post is my attempt to summarise what you can learn from listening to the audiobook and more importantly how you can benefit from it.

Leap First; Creating Work That Matters (Audiobook ~2 hours)

This will be of interest to anyone who questions what they are working at and wants to understand the work they do better.

Like learning how you can enjoy work more, understand what work you are capable of and how to have a bigger impact with the work you do.

How It Helped Me:

For many years I acted or rather didn’t act in the work I did because of fear.

I thought that obeying the fear was playing it safe when it was doing the opposite.

Let me explain.

That fear holds each of us back from discovering what work we are really capable of producing.

If we act according to our fear then it will bury us.

Another description for this fear is resistance, it shows up when we are about to make an important change in our lives.

When we embrace that resistance and use it then as a guide then we can create art.

The more I read, listened to and learned from respected people the more I understood what was really happening. 

These people acknowledge the fear and often do exactly what the fear tells them they shouldn't do.

While the fear does not go away, you can become better at acting in the face of it.

There are lot of people whose work has allowed me to make important changes in my life.

Of those people Seth Godin is towards the top of the list.

Not Just Me:

It’s not just me who Seth’s work has impacted, he is one of the most respected and followed person in the world around leadership, change and personal development.

Really his work is about how we can step up and make an impact with the work we do.

It teaches us how to be more confident, take risks and then to understand what we are really capable of.

One of my favourite quotes is from this man;

You Are More Powerful Than You Think, Act Accordingly. - Seth Godin

The audiobook will prove to you that this is the case.

I have included a summary of the book for anyone who wants to find out more before they invest 2 hours in understanding how they can create work that matters.

Why Should You Care?

Everyone wants to make a dent on the world, to leave their mark.

There’s not a person who at least some stage in their lives had dreams of helping change the world for the better.

Of providing their little contribution to making the place a but better.See changing things for the better means simply changing someone for the better.

I don’t think you are any different.

It's not some big loud statement that is unrealistic and unattainable.

As Seth says in the book:

“Our goal is not to change everyone, our goal is to change someone.”

The work we do is one of the best ways we can do this.

What Change?

Change the way you view the work you do currently. 

And more importantly a greater understanding of the work you do changes how you work from here forward.

Work that has an impact on another person and helps them in some way to make changes they are looking for in their lives.

Through storytelling Seth breaks down what may be holding us back in our work lives and how we can address that.

What's Work?

Work does not refer to a 9-5 job, or anything we do that earns us money, work refers to how we show up everyday in our professional and personal lives.

It’s what we do regardless of if we are getting paid for it or not.

Work for this purpose is defined as emotional labour, the labour which is capable of giving us the greatest satisfaction in our lives.

At the heart of this work is human connection.

How we connect with the world and impact people around us for the better.

In having difficult conversations, creating new connections with people and any creative pursuit we embark on.

In changing how we think, act and feel consistently.

What’s Work That Matters?

Works that matters means it’s changing someone for the better.

Again someone, not everyone.

It’s work that might fail, if it can’t fail it’s not important enough.

This type of work is called art.

Art is bringing something into the world that did not exist before you made and shared it.

The sharing is key to calling it art or as Seth put's it, shipping our work.

How To Be An Artist:

In the book Seth states the one necessary step to being an artist is to create art.

Creating art for the sake of it rather than looking for monetary return, recognition, elevation of status and so on.

It’s a gift as Lewis Hyde says in his book titled “The Gift”.

It’s done for the act of doing it rather than looking for return, given unconditionally.

Gifts bring people closer together.

Like when we help out a friend or family member, we do it without wanting or expecting something back.

Why Be An Artist?

Artists are in the best position to create meaningful work.

Being an artist is in producing work based on all our experiences, observations and sharing them in our unique voice with the world.

We are all creative, beneath the resistance.

Working from that creative space produces art.

Art is self expression.

How Do We Create Work That Matters?

The title of the book is Leap First.

What he means is that we will never be ready.

Our ducks will never all be in a row.

We can remove some of the fears before we make the leap, by doing research, by asking better questions and by testing the waters.


We will never be fully ready, nothing but the act of leaping can teach us what that looks, feels and sounds like in our life.

In the end we must leap first when we are still not ready.

Is This Risky?


Every leap creates a risk.

Most major personal change comes from a place of desperation.

In desperation we tell ourselves that the risk of staying the same is greater than the risk of changing.

We don’t need desperation to change we just need to understand our situation better by having teachers who have done it before and helped many across the chasm.

Taking a leap of faith.

Holding two possibilities in our head as we leap,

This might not work.

At the same time, this might work.

What Is The Real Risk?

One of the biggest regrets the dying state is what they didn’t do in their lives.

In allowing fear to prevent them from fully exploring things they wanted to try in their lives.

Finding themselves at the finish line and being as curious as ever to something which was once within their grasp of understanding.

The paradox is that everything we ever wanted is by embracing uncertainty in our lives.

Everything you ever want is on the other side of fear. - Jack Canfield

Being open to change is the only way we will ever truly understand what we are capable of.

The Fear Never Leaves Us:

Change by it’s very nature means uncertainty.

Uncertainty means risk.

Risk naturally brings fear.

The fear never goes away, ever.

What Seth urges us to do is to acknowledge the fear and do it anyway.

Not acting represents the real risk here.

Does This Require Effort?

Yes, lots.

Is This Worth The Risk?

More than ever.

Are You Willing To Change?

Good question.

Final Note:

The people who I have followed in the past 5 years have allowed me to make massive personal change in my life which is the very reason I am recommending this.

The return I got from listening to this 2 hours was way more than what I invested in terms of understanding what I do for work and why.

Seth Godin practises what he preaches by creating work that matters so that it becomes infectious and more people can do the same.

I believe it can do the same for you if that’s what you want.

Here is the link for the audiobook if you are interested.

It’s not an affiliate link, it’s a gift.


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