We unlock our greatness by working on the hard things.

How to Begin shows you how.

“A goal-setting book like no other, this is an intensely practical manual for figuring out what to do with your ridiculously finite time on the planet.”

– Oliver Burkeman, New York Times bestselling author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

I’m Michael Bungay Stanier.

With The Coaching Habit, I wrote the bestselling coaching book of the century. With The Advice Trap, I showed you how to tame your Advice Monster.

Now, I want you to think differently and boldly, about your goals, your ambition, and the difference you want to make in the world.

My new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters will help you find, define and start your own Worthy Goal.

Before I tell you about the book … let me show you your bonus for pre-ordering it.

Having people pre-order books helps the author enormously. It gets traction online and on the charts, and creates a buzz that’s impossible to ignore. (So a big thank you, if you do this 😊.)

I’ve done something special to make pre-ordering the book … not just tempting but, I hope, irresistible.

And I’ve done it by teaming up with some extraordinary friends and colleagues.

Begin, Grow, Pivot & Learn

1 Book = Exclusive Event Access

When you pre-order a single copy of How to Begin before January 10thand register your purchase hereyou gain access to this extraordinary online event with:

Apolo Ohno

(yes, the legendary Olympian and speed skater)

Whitney Johnson

(one of LinkedIn’s most influential voices)

Pamay Bassey

(the Chief Learning Officer of KraftHeinz)

And me

Michael Bungay Stanier, aka MBS

(author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap)

The Bonus Tiers


When you order just one copy of How to Begin, you get two pretty fabulous bonuses. First, we’ll send you immediate access to the ebook, so you’ll get to read the book before anyone else. Second, you’ll get a ticket to the Begin, Grow, Pivot & Learn online event on January 20th.

Buy the book / Register for your bonuses!

Start Something That Matters Special

How to Begin: Claim ambition for yourself and the world, and learn to set a Worthy Goal

by Michael Bungay Stanier

Buy this book

I’ve bought my books, how do I register?

Hard Pivot: Draw on an Olympian’s hard-earned wisdom to manage change.

by Apolo Ohno

Buy this book

I’ve bought my books, how do I register?

Smart Growth: Utilize the S-curve to create more impact for yourself and your team

by Whitney Johnson

Buy this book

I’ve bought my books, how do I register?

Let’s Learn: A journal to help make learning one of your superpowers.

by Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey

Buy this book

I’ve bought my books, how do I register?

Buy any three books, and as well as access to the ebook and the BGP&L conference, you unlock access to unique experiences from each of the four teachers. More details below on what exactly that awesome content is!

Buy the books / Register for your bonuses!

The Dozen-tastic

For 250 people only, you also get 6 unique letterpress cards with envelopes, and 10 postcards, each with a unique design of my catchphrase, “You’re awesome & you’re doing great”. I’ve only had 250 sets printed, so … if this takes your fancy, don’t wait too long!

Buy the books / Register for your bonuses!

I already bought my book...where do I register?

Let me tell you about my new book, How to Begin

A new year approaches. How do you start doing something that matters?

You want that: to be the best version of you, and to be working on stuff that matters.

And yet, it can feel daunting…

  • You might feel lost, not knowing where to look.
  • You might feel stuck, not knowing how to get started.
  • You might feel frustrated, not knowing how to get traction.

2022 Can Be Different

It’s been a hard couple of years. We’re all taking a deep breath and asking ourselves: What was that? How have I made it through? And is it over yet?

If you’re feeling tired, or overwhelmed or perhaps a little lost, well, you’re not alone.

And also … if you’re feeling excited, you can taste the possibilities, you’re growing and getting back to your best self, and your mojo’s rising … you’re also in excellent company.

The good news is 2021 is wrapping up soon enough. 2022 beckons. A new year can be a fresh start.

It Won’t Be a Fresh Start Just by Accident

You already know that the magic doesn’t just happen when the calendar page flips over.

It becomes a fresh start by you consciously, courageously and kindly deciding to begin shaping something that matters … and gathering the spirit and the tools and the community to make it so.

You need to know How to Begin.

This book is the practical guide to set a Worthy Goal, to find the focus and the courage to do something Thrilling (it lights you up), Important (it serves a bigger game), and Daunting (it will stretch and grow you).

This book is for you if you’re ready to claim ambition for yourself and for the world

  • You’re at the start of your adult life, and you’re fired up to live a life of meaning and impact.
  • You want to claim more control, autonomy, and ambition in your current career.
  • You’ve achieved things in your career, and it’s now time to “climb the second mountain” and think about legacy.
  • You’re unhappy with how the world is working right now, and you want to change your part of it for the better.
  • You’re a coach, and you want to support your clients to be great and do great things.
  • You’re ambitious, but feel you’ve never been given full permission to find and strive for a Worthy Goal.
  • You’re ready to begin, and start doing something that matters.

Here’s what some of the early readers are saying about it.

Of particular appeal for those of us who instinctively recoil from self-help woo-woo and just want to get on with doing Great Work that leaves the world a bit better than we found it.

Courtney HohneChief Storyteller for Moonshots, X (formerly Google X)

A friendly voice and a guiding hand

Austin KleonNew York Times bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist

Piercingly frank, funny, gorgeous, vulnerable, and ultimately really damn helpful.

Julie Lythcott-HaimsNew York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult

Eminently practical, clever, delightful, and beautifully rendered––a non-fiction Where the Wild Things Are for adult dreamers and doers.

Whitney Johnsonbestselling author of Smart Growth and Disrupt Yourself

I loved this book, and that's coming from a gal who's never been big on goals.

Liz WisemanNew York Times bestselling author of Impact Players and Multipliers

This wonderful guide is his most personal, powerful and vulnerable work yet.

Dolly ChughAuthor of The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias

This could be one of the most important books you’ll ever read.

Jim KnightAuthor of The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching

A wonderful ode to purposeful ambition.

Anne-Laure Le CunffFounder, Ness Labs

This book is legendary

Leanne HughesHost of the First Time Facilitator podcast

Pre-order and get exclusive access to BGP&L

Pre-order and get exclusive access to BGP&L

Join a unique online gathering to share principles and practices that will make your 2022 extraordinary. This gathering will be an interactive experience with a rich blend of teaching and sharing that’s both practical and gorgeous.

Apolo, Whitney, Pamay, and Michael will teach alone and together for over 90 minutes. You’ll leave with new insights and new tools for the year ahead.

BGP&L will be broadcast at 1pm – 2:30pm EST on January 20th, and be available for replay for 30 days.

PLUS you’ll get the How to Begin eBook (Nov 15th) so you don’t have to wait for the printed book to arrive!

Tickets are available by buying just one copy of How to Begin.

Four extraordinary teachers

Kickstart 2022

Four extraordinary teachers will help you ask and answer the critical questions that will help you lay out a clear path towards what you want.

  • What am I ambitious for?
  • How will I begin something that matters?
  • How will I maintain momentum?
  • How will I pivot when needed, will I stay resilient?
  • How will I make the smart choices?
  • How will I navigate this complex world?
  • How will I become my very best self?
Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno is America’s greatest ever Winter Olympian. In his new book Hard Pivot he shares five golden principles, principles that have allowed him to change, adapt, reinvent, and find renewed purpose as he’s managed his life as an athletic superstar and beyond.

Pamay Bassey

Pamay Bassey

Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey is the chief learning and diversity officer for the Kraft Heinz Company. In her new book Let’s Learn Our Way Through it, she provides a step-by-step vibrant learning practice to fuel transformation.

Whitney Johnson

Whitney Johnson

Whitney Johnson is ranked by Thinkers50 as one of the top fifty management thinkers in the world for her insight on change and leadership and the CEO and founder of Disruption Advisors. Her new book Smart Growth deepens and expands her award-winning work on the S-curve, a profound tool that helps people and organizations understand and manage growth.

MBS - Michael Bungay-Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier is the author of The Coaching Habit, the million-selling book on coaching. In this new book How to Begin, he lays out how to find and start a Worthy Goal: something that is thrilling, important and daunting. It will help you reclaim ambition for yourself and for the world.

Why January 20th?

It’s a powerful time of year.

For some of us, it can be the moment when those New Year’s Resolutions have finally slipped away (again), and you’re in most danger of slipping back to making this year much the same as the year before.

For others, it’s the time we’re ready to be bold, build momentum and light the touch paper.

I hope we’ll see you there.

Tickets are available by buying just one copy of How to Begin

Any 3 Books Unlocks Exclusive Content to Start Something that Matters

Buy three books in any combination (it could be three books from one of the teachers, or one each from three of the teachers) and you’ll gain access to additional tools and resources.

The Four Permissions by Michael Bungay Stanier. A six-part video course, encouraging and provoking you to be more courageous, more human and more adventurous. $79 value

Ready to Grow: a diagnostic from Whitney Johnson to measure yours and your team’s readiness to move up the S-curve.

Olympic Secrets, an exclusive conversation between Apolo Ohno and a fellow Olympian.

CLO Roundtable where Pamay explores how to jump start a personal or organizational learning transformation.

These books will be classics

Any 3 Books Unlocks Exclusive Content to Start Something that Matters

Buy 12 Copies of How to Begin - A Dozen-tastic Gifts!

Buy 12 Copies of How to Begin - A Dozen-tastic Gifts!

Get everything from above plus art!

When you buy a dozen books, you’ll get a bonus of 6 unique letter press cards and 6 postcards, each with a unique design of my catchphrase “You’re Awesome & You’re Doing Great”.

I’ve only had enough for 250 sets to be printed and they are simply gorgeous. Whether you keep them all for yourself, or choose to send them to people you love, this is a special bonus and thank you for ordering a dozen books.


Can’t make the live event?

No matter. We’ll share the recording of it for 30 days after the event. But after that … it’s gone!

Register and Claim Your Bonuses

Thank you so much for supporting me and buying How to Begin early. I’m very grateful to you for that.

One book unlocks access to the Clear Path Gathering (Begin, Grow, Pivot & Learn) on January 20th. It will be streamed live, and available for viewing for 30 days.

Here’s how you do it.


Buy a book, three books or a dozen from your favourite retailer. The links below offer a choice of different retailers.


Register below to claim your bonuses.


We’ll send you details of the Begin, Grow, Pivot & Learn and a calendar hold.


Add Conference meeting invite to your calendar from the email.

While you’re waiting for your books and our conference in January, I’ll be in touch with your bonus material and ebook!