8 great ways to "get shit done"

In a new book, leading entrepreneurs, artists, authors and designers (and Yoda) provide actually-wise words to motivate you. Read some here.


I get sent 'motivational' books all the time, packed with identical nuggets of often contradictory wisdom: “always be yourself” and “live up to other people’s expectations of you” appearing on the back cover of one recent tome – which went immediately in the bin. One book I’ve received is full of things worth reading.

Under the appropriately blunt title of Get Shit Done, entrepreneur Lauris Liberts – aka Startup Vitamins – has brought together well-tured quotes on the central theme of making. The phrases cut through the reasons why we don’t produce what we want to the standard that we want – irrelevant meetings, people (including ourselves) telling us we can’t do it, or waiting for some impossibly perfect finished piece before getting the damn thing out the door.

The quotes are split across six chapters: Get Shit Done, Think, Plan, Build, Lead, Sell, Persevere, Evolve. They are drawn from the current start-up builders made good from Tesla Motor’s Elon Musk to Biz Stone (Twitter), to authors like Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, Steve Jobs and Pixar’s John Lasseter. Even Yoda an appearance makes.

Here we’ve collected eight of our favourite quotes from the book. Get Shit Done is out now on Penguin for £7.99.

"Creative process:

  1. This is going to be awesome.
  2. This is hard.
  3. This is terrible.
  4. I'm terrible.
  5. Hey, not bad.
  6. That was awesome."

Kazu Kibuishi (1978-), graphic novel author and illustrator of Flight and Copper


"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."

General George Patton (1885-1945), US Army

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"Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple."

Steve Jobs (1955-2011), co-founder of Apple


"Do, or Do Not. There is no try."

Yoda (birth date unknown), Jedi Master


"Less meetings. More Doing."

Jason Goldberg, founder Fab.com and Hem.com

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"Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we're gonna make it happen."

Elon Musk (1971-), founder Tesa Motors


Almost everything important is at first opposed by stakeholders in the status quo. Be relentless, persistent and tenacious."

Steve Blank (1953-), entrepreneur, E.piphany