Thursday, September 20, 2012

book club

I was having a conversation yesterday about some changes I am making in my work life(more on that in another post...) and I ended up referencing the inspirational/aspirational/motivational/spiritual/business/whole life improvement books I love to read. There has been quite a parade of them coming in through the library request system.  I wanted to share some of authors who fired me up this summer. These folks practice a new business style with loads of free content online and then information products, coaching and trainings that cost money.  The new policy to give away your ideas then leverage yourself as an expert works quite well for some of these sassy soulful entrepreneurs. And it provides a real gift to those of us who are living a rich life within a tight budget. As soon as I return the copies on my nightstand, they are all available at the Bellingham public library. And as I mentioned, each has a website with resources, inspirational posts and videos.

Danielle LaPorte  
Fire Starter Sessions. I love Danielle, subscribe to her list and was totally sparked by reading her book. I didn't get to all the exercises before it was overdue, but the ones I completed have already inspired some juicy change in my life. This is one I am going to buy. It is really beautiful to read and I got super pumped. While it is important to challenge yourself, it is also beautiful to choose things that are easy and graceful and enjoyable. Focusing on how you want to feel in your life, she helps you say "no thanks" to things that are no longer feeding your soul so you can say "yes!" to the greater gifts you can bring to the world. One of her beliefs is that Life Balance is a myth not worth stressing about. As a working mother I find this message so refreshing. She embraces the cycles of passion(where dishes pile up and friends are gently put on hold) and rest(where you honor your success or failure and seek out that which refuels your soul.) You can have it all, just not all at once.

Marie Forleo. I am always a little embarrassed to recommend her book Make Every Man Want You because of the title. But I do recommend it! It sounds like it's just dating advise but it is sort of pop Buddhism for your whole life. Reading it helped me shake loose some identity stuff I was clinging to to make room for authentic connection and calm. I love watching Marie TV every Tuesday. The clips are usually about five minutes long and by the end of each one Franklin has crawled into my lap to watch. Most of the "rich, happy and hot" talk goes over his head, but he loves when she does silly voices and hip hop dance moves. Plus Marie is always glamorous and sparkly. Some of her topics are directed at existing businesses like how to deal with pricing and customer complaints. But some of her stuff is just good inspiration for following your dreams.

Brendon Burchard   I admit that when I see him in video his enthusiasm and energy are a bit too much for me. Brendon is a big time life coach and runs a high performance academy, which feels so opposite of the Bellingham subdued vibe. But I checked it out and now The Charge is another title I want to buy since it is overdue. The Charge is a great one if you aren't necessarily trying to start a new career, but want a more fulfilling life. He talks about ten drives we have and how to activate them, things like friendship and control of time and challenging yourself.  Each of the areas could be revisited again and again as I implement some of his ideas into my life.  One of the things that really interested me was that he had a brain injury so he really had to retrain his own mind to get out of some depression. So his program is super focused on activities or patterns to train yourself to do these things that will help you be more fulfilled.

Chris Guillibeau $100 Startup and The Art of NonConformity    He is traveling to every country in the world and selling tons of online information about travel and being an entrepreneur along the way. I'm just reading $100 Start up right now. Even though I have a business going, it has new ideas for more successful business and online offerings. He leads you through the process of finding where your passions meet market needs and how to get paid for it. The thousands of people he interviewed for this project provide lots of success stories to feed our dreams.

There are so many people offering online courses and programs in this career/life coach market. And as with anything, different people will speak to each of our own styles and interests. I hope these are a fun place to start. If I were to summarize the general themes I would say despite the changing economy this is a fantastic time to do what you love. Get clear on your own values and interests and make space in your life for those things. Making time to do what you love can lead to unexpected business opportunities.  Many passions and overlooked skills overlap with existing market needs and can be transformed into profitable businesses or side jobs. The old rules of business are changing: technology and generosity are making previously unimaginable careers possible. Discipline and actual work are still necessary in the new economy, but when you are doing what you love you won't mind.

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