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Do the Work [Hardcover]

Steven Pressfield
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.66
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Frequently Bought Together

Do the Work + The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles + Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: The Domino Project (20 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936719010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936719013
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.5 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Pressfield is a bestselling historical novelist whose books include the classic Gates of Fire, Alexander: The Virtues of War The Afghan Campaign and Killing Rommel. He lives in Los Angeles.

His official website is

Product Description

Amazon Review

Product Description: Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don't know where to start?

The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, that will show you that it’s not about better ideas, it’s about actually doing the work.

Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance – a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door.

“There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us. Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours.”

Do the Work may be just what you need to get out of your own way.

For other titles like Do the Work, visit for more information.

Robert T. Kiyosaki Reviews Do the Work

Robert T. Kiyosaki is an investor, entrepreneur, and educator whose perspectives on money and investing fly in the face of conventional wisdom. His book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, ranks as the longest-running bestseller on all four of the lists that report to Publisher's Weekly--the New York Times, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today--and was named "USA Today's #1 Money Book" two years in a row. Read his review of Steven Pressfield's Do the Work:

Once again another brilliant book from Steven. Do the Work gives you step-by-step instructions on how to overcome and conquer Resistance--the biggest enemy of them all. The gloves come off! Do the Work explains who and what your allies are and how to embrace and utilize them in your creative life or in your day-to-day situations. The points and steps in this book makes it possible for anyone to go and achieve what they truly are striving for--may it be writing a book, a play, or starting a new business. A must read for anyone who wants to get ahead and out of their own way. Steven has done it again. --Robert T. Kiyosaki

A Q&A with Steven Pressfield

Question: What is the distinction between Do the Work and War of Art, the book where you first introduced Resistance? Does Do the Work take it a step further?

Steven Pressfield: Do the Work is structured to take the reader from A to Z. If the reader has a project they want to start or complete, such as a new business they want to open or a book they want to write, Do the Work is designed to take them from starting to shipping to hitting all the predictable resistance points along the way. I know you’re familiar with these moments; The beginning, the middle, and all the moments in between just before you ship and then just after you ship. Do the Work guides you from the start of the project and takes you all the way through.

It’s about getting off your behind and starting something. And Seth Godin writes about this, that once you start, you have to finish; you don’t get off the hook half way through. I recently got an email from a guy who said, "Help. I’m stuck." He was in a class and he had to write a screenplay and he was a quarter of the way through. Normally I would cheer him on, but just for fun, I gave him a little program to do; I put on my instructor voice and said, “Do this, do that, do this, do that.” It worked because right away he got over a couple speed bumps and took it all the way to the finish line. He loved it! I’d always been too shy to do that before, but I tried the assertive tone of voice and it really worked--he responded really well to it. So I thought, let me try that tone of voice in Do the Work.

Question: What did you tell him to do?

Steven Pressfield: One of the first things I told him to do was to banish the self-censor. I could tell he was frozen, worrying, "Is this going to be good? Is this going to be perfect? So I told him, "Take the next five days and write for two hours everyday. I don’t care what else is in your life--banish it. When you write for those two hours, start on minute one and don’t think for one second all the way through until minute 120. Just write, don’t self censor. Don’t do anything." That really seemed to get him moving and gave him permission to not be paralyzed with seeking perfection.

Continue reading our interview with Steven Pressfield

About the Author

Steven Pressfield is the bestselling author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire and The War of Art. The latter book spawned Do the Work, as readers kept asking, "What is this terrible thing called Resistance -- and how can I overcome it?" Mr. Pressfield (who rarely calls himself "Mr. Pressfield") will release his next novel The Profession, in June. He is a graduate of Duke University and an honorary citizen of the city of Sparta in Greece.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Endless collection of truisms 27 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Simply a collection of truisms, flat words and ideas thrown at the reader. A serious lack of helpful ideas. Just a series of stupid sentences like:
"Resistance is the shadow cast by the innovative self's sun"
"The enemy is Resistance"
"Break the sheet of foolscap into three parts: beginning, middle, and end."
It felt like an endless series of encouragements with no value: You can do it, do it, resistance is the enemy, fight the resistance, do it. And worst of all the book encourages people not to plan, not to think, not to prepare. Just DO IT!
That's how many companies went bankrupt - they did not think, they just did it. In the stupidest possible ways.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good advice but not too deep! 21 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good advice about how to approach writing a play. Not so useful if you're trying to write a book! I felt as if I was being shouted at - in a good way if that's possible - through a series of one-liners. These were very practical, but all the time I wanted to know more.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some people will find it inspirational 26 April 2011
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
It is very good of the author and Seth Godin to offer this for free on the Kindle.

Many people have found Steven Pressfield's book " The war of Art" to be very useful in overcoming resistance or procrastination and " Do the work" is basically a distillation of that book.

I do have very mixed feelings about his approach. For overcoming writers block I have found it to be somewhat useful . Even successful and prolific writers sometimes have problems and seeing this resistance as something to be fought and overcome can be quite helpful.

However I did find the writing to be overwrought, self-dramatising and often very inconsistent. Also it seemed a bit too personal to the author.

I have found books that give far more practical advice to be a lot more useful. Pressfield's approach only seems to deal with one possible reason for procrastination.

The psychologist Albert Ellis in his Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy approach has a lot of methods to deal with "Low Frustration Tolerance" (which seems similar to resistance) and these seem to be much more useful than the mystical approach that book uses.

For areas other than dealing with a writer's block I think that his ideas might actually be harmful and de-motivating. He makes everything seem really difficult and not really enjoyable. It hardly makes you want to start work on a potentially difficult project!

Edit: I wrote this review when it was available for a free download and gave it three stars. It is currently very poor value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you got the guts? 26 Aug 2011
A great book which I have to admit I haven't finished yet as it would seem to only really be of use when you have a serious new venture under-way or in the offing (which I don't). Whether it be writing an album or starting a business this book is a handy companion to keep you on track. Those expecting a detailed step-by-step manual for success will be disappointed though.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short motivational book 26 Oct 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's a fact that there are some people that can quickly get to grips with new plans, and within a short period they can be well on their way within a given project. Others find it much harder to get started and may take considerable time to do much more than the most basic steps if they achieve anything at all. For all of the second group of people, this book tries to help you get yourself into the swing of things as quickly as possible.

As far as it goes, it's not too bad; I found some of the aphorisms quite useful. However, I wouldn't describe it as unique; there are many other books (some much longer and more detailed) that I feel provide better advice and much more of it. However, the most important thing is if the reader finds it of value, and that comes down to personal taste.

I downloaded it when it was free, but it seems that it now comes with a price tag, and I'm not entirely sure that I feel it worth even the relatively low price currently listed. However, I did enjoy reading it, so I still feel comfortable giving it 3 stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ok but could have been 100 pages shorter 29 Jun 2014
By Andy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
couple of good points to take away - a lot of waffle and superfluous info, the salient points coould have been expressed in a much more refined, shorter book. the book only took me 40 minutes to read though so worth it if you need a quick kick up the backside on a train journey!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and interesting 16 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed reading this book....good concepts, powerfully written and inspiring! Useful for anyone stuck in their lives or wishing to move a project forward.
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5.0 out of 5 stars sassy 4 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy to read,straight to the point no messing ! I read it in a day and should of read it years ago, wow it all makes sense now. Thanks Steven... Get your butt to Stockport do a workshop or something , I love your sense of humour !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Do The Work, One of THOSE books well worth Reading
What's stopping you from achieving the things in life that you need/want.

This book, which is an easy read has short sharp sentences with highlighted phrases that makes... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Keith105
5.0 out of 5 stars Truest of books
I love this book. As soon as it was delivered I read it from start to end without putting it down! The 'home truths' in it really hit home! Everyone should read it.
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Procastrinating
Was going to buy the book to help with writer's block. But, instead of wasting time reading a book telling me not to procrastinate I just sat down and worked.
Published 1 month ago by Jayne
5.0 out of 5 stars People assign value to those who meet their needs ...
... and this book is required reading for anyone who feels they are doing battle with an unseen force that seems to scupper the RESULT of their creative efforts ever 'getting to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Shillito
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-changing!
An absolute bible for anyone in the creative field. Or any other field, for that matter. All I ever needed as an artist is in there: how to slay that dragon of procrastination and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Eliza Kettner
4.0 out of 5 stars A handbook to have by my side
What I love about this book & War Of Art is they are short, too the point and keep reminding you that they represent the resistance in so much as they represent good intentions and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ms Anne K. Scott
3.0 out of 5 stars useful to any artist
The strength of the book is the guidance on struggles against one's own demons.
The style is very stirring, but overly so in parts. I would recommend, esp. Read more
Published 6 months ago by J.Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars solid insight but exceedingly short, if that bothers you
This is a very short book designed to motivate people to complete projects, such as writing a book or starting a business. Read more
Published 7 months ago by tallmanbaby
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it for the 3rd time
My time is precious so the fact I read it again says a lot. If you struggle with fear or you're an artist of any kind you'll probably love this book. Inspiring.
Published 7 months ago by Rachel Henke
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Just a great, short, witty little book on how to work harder and smarter. It's not a self-help manual, it's a call to arms - to get on with whatever project or plan you have been... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Eager reader
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