January Business Book: Start Something That Matters By Blake MyCoskie

I  mentioned last week that one of my goals for 2013 is to read a business book and blog about it every month.  It seems easy enough, right?  I hope so!  Part of the reason I’m blogging about it, honestly, is because if I’ve said I’m going to do it on here then I’ll probably be more likely to actually do it.  Feel free to remind me if I slack off throughout the year!

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Start Something That Matters By Blake MyCoskie

This book was an enjoyable read because of Blake MyCoskie’s strong storytelling vibe.  He begins by telling his own story, which is totally amazing!  While vacationing in South America a few years ago, he sadly observed that many of the children there weren’t wearing shoes.  They didn’t have any, and when you don’t wear shoes you are so much more prone to infection, disease and orthopedic problems.  His company, TOMS, is a for-profit that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need whenever a pair is sold.  One for one.

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Mycoskie is honest about his goals as an entrepreneur while also telling the stories of other social entrepreneurs who have created sustainable businesses and organizations based on their passions.

Here are some of my take-aways …

live your story .. why are you doing what you’re doing?  Just asking yourself this is powerful.

Surround yourself with inspirational quotes.  Like this one about facing your fears:

“Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade-winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.” -Mark Twain

And…

“Change your thoughts and you change your world”. -Norman Vincent Peale

LOVE this one …

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” -Winton Churchill

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More take-aways …

Remember Kaizen – the Japanese concept of how small improvements made every day will lead to massive improvements overall.

Be resourceful without resources: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”-Einstein

Check out www.lifehacker.com .. think about how to increase productivity everyday

Keep it Simple

Schedule, schedule, schedule so you can be present

Don’t let technology enslave you.  Amen!  More on that here: http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together.html

Clean up and donate

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For every book purchased, Blake MyCoskie and TOMS will donate a book to firstbook.org.  I highly suggest getting your own copy!!

Most importantly, Blake’s story has inspired me to think about ways I can use my skills to help others.  I have some ideas and I really look forward to sharing them soon!  In the mean time, check out Fotostrap.  It’s a company that was inspired by Blake MyCoskie’s social entrepreneurial spirit.  I met the owner and designer last week at Imaging USA in Atlanta, and was so inspired.

Happy reading!

-Regina

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  • Kate O'Neill - January 30, 2013 - 10:33 pm

    The inspirational quotes you picked are really great.. I love reading those. I have a friend who traveled through Vietnam for 6 months last year and he really cracked me up when he said that he never saw any poor people with TOMS on their feet!ReplyCancel

  • Kate O'Neill - January 30, 2013 - 10:34 pm

    …and of course i loved the photos!ReplyCancel

  • Mark Thomas - January 31, 2013 - 9:53 am

    This is a beautiful post. It is really well written and the photos are great. I look forward to reading more of you book reviews. Do keep it up because it can be difficult sometimes.ReplyCancel

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