Throw Starfish

Some months ago, Jonny Douglas (my business partner) and Ruth Amos (frequent collaborator and close friend of many years to both Jonny and I) had an idea to ‘do’ something together.  We love spending time together, and our conversations are mostly about the latest ‘this’ and have you seen ‘that’… in our very unique and geeky way.  We are all interested in business, making a difference and being all that we can be (at least in theory anyway).  Our Throw Starfish blog and podcast is the outcome of our discussions.

We know we are very fortunate to have the access and insight into the knowledge and people we come across, and often find ourselves on stage in some way presenting, compering or training, and are often asked for our opinions and insights.  These being our common ground from a business perspective, we decided to share it all to a wider audience.

Our podcast explores ideas and experiments with little actions that can make a difference to anyone’s life. We’ve all read that book, blog or attended a course that’s supposed to accelerate our career, or make us more productive, win more business, give us more energy, or predict the future way we live, work or play together.  How much of it do we take on board?  How much of it works or is practical?

We chose the name for our project based on an original story titled The Star Thrower, as not only is it inspiring, it accurately articulates through metaphor what we hope to achieve through by sharing our thoughts, knowledge and inspirations with you.  We hope that you share what you discover here, in doing so, you too will be throwing starfish.

“We share our findings with you, discussing what we believe are the big trends and ideas of our time, expressing our multiple views on each topic and importantly giving you the best bits. Get a multigenerational view- I’m in my 20s, Jonny’s in his 30s and Pennie’s in her 40s- on each idea and practice, along with some good ol’ friendly advice.” ~ Ruth Amos

“We’re three friends, each with quite different stories, talking about how things actually work (or don’t) for us in the real world…our Podcast will hopefully give perspectives and insights that’ll encourage people to give things a go themselves.” ~ Jonny Douglas

The Throw Starfish Story

Click to listen to our Podcast

Here are our Show Notes for your easy reference.

The Throw Starfish Story

Pennie was introduced to the story by one of her mentors who became a dear friend, I dedicate this version to her.  In loving memory of Jeni, here is the Starfish Story as told by Jeni herself.


“He often walked along the beach in the morning, planning out his day. Abruptly, one time he went in a different direction. This stretch of beach was more isolated, though still bleakly beautiful. He thought he had the place to himself – until he saw a solitary figure way ahead in the distance. She seemed to be collecting shells, or other objects. Curiously, for each prize she won, she cast it straight back into the sea. He wondered why, and quickened his pace to catch up with her…

Then he saw clearly just what she was doing.

Not shells, he thought, starfish. He smiled to himself. Admirable, of course, to want to give the poor things a chance to be back in the ocean where they could thrive, but surely it was pointless in the face of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of starfish littering the beach? Not a chance of making a difference to that number.

The star thrower looked up for a moment, almost as if she read his thoughts. She smiled. He smiled back, a little embarrassed, and carried on walking.

Days passed. He spent some time in the city, which he also loved, working. At first, he didn’t think much about the star thrower as he strove to solve problems, meet demands. Somehow very little got solved and the demands seemed even greater than usual. He often felt like giving up. More and more, the image returned to him of the woman reaching down and throwing starfish in a smooth arc to where the sky and the sea and the sunlight joined.

By the end of his long week, the image was too insistent to ignore and he returned once more to that stretch of beach.

The star thrower was there. This time, he stood beside her and bent to reach for starfish. His cast made a precise arc in the bright, harsh sky and he thought to himself – well, we made a difference for that one.

He reached again…”

The Starfish Story was first told in The Unexpected Universe in 1968, and has been told and retold by many a motivational speaker, in articles and publications – it’s the story that keeps on giving.  It’s simple yet beautiful message is sure to inspire many for decades to come.

In our Podcast we share with you the story that inspired our podcast series and blog, and share how it has made a difference to ours and other peoples lives.

Loren Eisley

Life Coaching for Dummies

Lollipop Leadership

The Throw Starfish Team         @PennieRaven        @JonnyDouglas              @RuthAmos