Inspiration (Links I Love)

This is where I will share my sources of inspiration from the past week: it could be from books, podcasts, blogs, films, artwork, food/recipes, etc. I hope you find some encouragement here as well!

Trees

Yes, you read that right! Trees. There is research to support what we know–that being outside does a body good. They help us de-stress, benefit our overall health, and even help us socially. Read this article!

Podcasts

This week I listened to some notable podcasts! How I Built This with Guy Raz is a podcast featuring owners/founders of successful companies like Burt’s Bees, Lyft, and Zappos. I am usually inspired by their stories of starting small and building something big and all the obstacles and struggles they had to overcome along the way.

My recent favorite is the episode with farm-to-table movement founder Alice Waters, who’s been cooking at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA since 1971. What a lovely woman with such a lovely vision for local, sustainable, ethical food. Listen here!

This What Should I Read Next episode featured Michele Cobb, publisher of AudioFile Magazine talking all things audiobooks with Anne. She gave some great recommendations and also talked about the free summer audiobook program for teens called SYNC. This is fourteen weeks of free audiobook downloads: two each week! If you have teens at home, see if they know about it.

Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, had an episode that I wish every person would listen to, but especially entrepreneurs, small business owners, and thoughtful people everywhere. In the episode BREATHE, Seth talks about the status quo and the environmental crisis the world is facing as a result of marketing gone bad. Please listen to this one, think about it, and have conversations with friends and family. The planet’s future is up to us.

Books

I just finished On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. I listened to it on audio and the main character, Bri, a teen who has a gift for rapping, definitely grew on me as the book progressed. The narrator does a fantastic job of bringing all the characters’ personalities to life. The parts about her church experiences are very entertaining and I could definitely relate to some of it-especially the length of the services! Highly recommended–especially in audio. I listened to The Hate U Give also by Angie Thomas last summer and it opened my eyes to experiences that are part of everyday life for some people that are very different from mine. Also recommended on audio!

As far as poetry goes, I finished Otherwise by Jane Kenyon. I’ve been featuring plenty of her poems in Evening Poetry probably because the subjects she writes about: living in the country, her family, her religious upbringing, her mental illness, and her everyday experiences hit home. When poetry “gets you in the gut”, as my friend Britt wrote to me a few weeks ago, then you know it is speaking your language.

Music

English folk singer/songwriter/musician Kate Rusby’s album just came out!!! It’s called Philosphers, Poets and Kings and it is just the sort of beautiful, original music fans that like me love her for. This is a must listen!

Alright, that’s all for this week! I’d love to hear about what’s been inspiring you lately in the comments.

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin (Book Review)

I don’t have a business degree and have never taken a marketing course in college. Everything I learn has been through podcasts, books, articles, blog posts, and a few videos on Lynda or Linked In Learning, as it’s now called.

Seth Godin’s books have been invaluable to me over the past eight years since I discovered him online. His insight, encouragement, and knack for getting to the core of each idea he talks or writes about has been invaluable in my actual everyday life, before I started a business.

When I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mother I read Seth’s books and blog. His message about “work that matters” has always inspired me. I’m an INFJ, so doing work that matters is pretty much as important as breathing. On page 14 of his latest book, This is Marketing, Seth Godin writes:

“Marketing is the act of making change happen”.

And he shows us how we can use the principles of marketing to share our meaningful work with the world and bring about change. All through this book, and, indeed, all of Seth’s work, you will hear him talk about doing “work that matters for people who care” and that we, as marketers, are meant to serve people and add value.

This is not the way marketing was seen in the past. It is no longer considered a good marketing practice to selfishly demand that people (who don’t know us) give us their time and attention as we try to sell them something. Instead, we are to start by showing up consistently, bringing our best to people, and serving them.

Then, if we earn their trust and we become part of a “tribe” or community of people who share interests, we can offer what we have. And they might actually choose to listen to our message and, possibly, to buy from us. One very important point Seth makes in Chapter 20 “Organizing and Leading a Tribe” is this:The tribe doesn’t belong to you, so you don’t get to tell the members what to do or to use them for your own aims.” (p. 230)

I hear a lot about “building your tribe” and “growing your followers on social” from successful influencers, but Seth is right: if you are lucky enough to have a group of people who want to listen to you, that’s great! But you don’t own that community–you are there to serve them, not use them.

I’m jumping around a bit, but Chapter 9, “People Like Us Do Things Like This” is about people’s desire to fit in and their perception of status. Seth explains why it is so difficult to bring about change. I found this chapter super helpful to understand why marketing can be so difficult.

Chapter 10 is about the creation of tension, as a marketer, in order to bring about forward motion, and, thus, the change we want to make. He explains “pattern match” and “pattern interrupt”. This was helpful in understanding what to do about the resistance people have to change.

Other valuable and practical insights can be found in his chapters “A Better Business Plan”, “The Funnel”, and “Status, Dominance, and Affiliation”.

I always appreciate the generosity with which Seth shares his wisdom and the clear way he explains marketing principles so that anyone can comprehend them. Throughout the book, just like in everything else he shares with the world, Seth’s message is about being generous and doing your best work. Not perfect work, just your best. And then ship it. And then tomorrow you can make it better.

If you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or involved with marketing in any organization, including non-profits, you need to read this book. Buy it here or at your favorite bookstore or borrow it from your local library, but definitely put it on your TBR list! Oh and one final book nerd note: at 5.3 inches by 7.3 inches, the size of this book feels just right to hold in my hands.

There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This means if you choose to make a purchase through a link, the cost to you is nothing extra, but I will receive a small compensation. This helps me pay for the costs associated with running this blog, as I am determined to keep my blog ad-free (you’re welcome!).

Weekly Inspiration (Links I Love)

This is where I will share my sources of inspiration from the past week: it could be from books, podcasts, blogs, films, artwork, food/recipes, etc. I hope you find some encouragement here as well!

Podcasts

The Brendon Show

The best quotes I heard all week and possibly all month so far are from Brendon Burchard’s podcast The Brendon Show. This is what he said in the episode entitled Best Of: How to Deal With Self-Doubt.

“We don’t think of doubt as a choice, as a decision”. (Brendon Burchard)

We think doubt just happens to us, Brendon says, “(but) You’re choosing it. Be aware: the next time you’re choosing doubt, say, ‘Oh, wait, I’m choosing doubt. Why am I choosing doubt right now? How is that going to serve me?’”

I honestly never looked at self-doubt as a choice before—I just assumed it was part of life. Thank you, Brendon for enlightening us!!!

If you struggle with self-doubt as an entrepreneur, creative, or just in everyday life, you definitely should listen to this episode and put these truths into action!

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/brendon-burchard/the-charged-life-with-brendon-burchard/e/60370867

Getting Bookish with Shawna and Lizz

I listened to a new podcast called Getting Bookish with Shawna and Lizz. In this episode they interviewed Tiffany who started a fire when she was interviewed on What Should I Read Next a few months ago and talked about her Literary Society. Of course hundreds of book lovers wanted to know what on earth was a Literary Society and how could they start their own.

In this episode, Tiffany shares all about Literary Society. I should mention that her interview with Anne Bogel prompted me to start the FLX Literary Society and our first meeting is on May 23rd! You can find out more on our Facebook page or email me at FLXLiterarySociety@gmail.com

Books

If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or in charge of an organization, and you have never heard of Seth Godin, stop whatever you’re doing and go to his website. Subscribe to his podcast Akimbo and to his daily blog. Buy his books. Sign up for his courses. Seth is a genius in the entrepreneurial, marketing space. He will challenge you, open you to new ideas, push you to do good work and ship it. And then to do it better.

I just finished reading Seth’s latest book This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. There is so much practical and inspirational food for thought and action to be found within these pages. I’m going to write a more in-depth review soon, but I had to mention in now.

Chapter 9-11 were quotable throughout and worth the price of the book alone. Some of what you’ll find in chapter 9: “Everyone always acts in accordance with their internal narratives. You can’t get someone to do something that they don’t want to do, and most of the time, what people want to do is take action (or not take action) that reinforces their internal narratives.

Marketers bring change and a lot of folks are resistant to change, Seth shares, and there are two ways behavior can be changed: our desire to fit in and our perception of our status.

I wish I had understood this twenty years ago! Anyway, I’m not going to tell you anymore before my review–go get yourself a copy and start learning how to market better.

I’m loving the quiet simplicity of Wendell Berry’s poetry collection Given. I shared one of these poems for Evening Poetry a few days ago and there are more to come.

If you’ve never picked up and read a Wendell Berry book, then crawl out from under your rock and get reading!

I am currently reading The Art of Loading Brush and even the introduction moved me. Another one of his I recommend is Our Only World. He is a plain-spoken, intelligent, reasoning writer with love for people and the planet. Everyone needs to hear what he has to say.

Instagram

One of my favorite accounts for poetry, book quotes, and photos from the UK is Sarah Clarkson’s Instagram. She is an author, book lover, and was homeschooled, so she is definitely a kindred spirit. I was inspired to start Evening Poetry because of her. During Lent, she would do a Live video each evening and read poetry. Her latest book is Book Girl, which is, well, about books and reading.

Another favorite is Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Instagram. She has a Live video each week where she makes a recipe from one of her cookbooks. I am purchasing her latest cookbook, Eat What You Love, after checking it out of the library. I made a few recipes and there are dozens I want to try. For gluten-free, dairy-free folks, cookbooks like this are valuable and a real boost for when you’re feeling a bit glum about the work and monetary investment of this lifestyle. After a quick glance through the cookbook, I was inspired to keep it up!

OK, lovely readers, that’s some inspiration for your weekend. I’d love to hear what’s been inspiring you lately.

Links I Love

Here is where I will share my sources of inspiration and food for thought from the past week.

Podcasts:

Roxanne Coady’s Just the Right Book had two fabulous episodes I listened to this week: Searching for America’s Moral Imagination & ” The Common Good” in which Roxanne interviews former Secretary of Commerce Robert Reich in a very interesting conversation that includes Capitalism, Progressivism, Trump, and more.

The second episode was her interview with author Dani Shapiro about the uncovering of a family secret that led to the writing her latest memoir The Inheritance.

And Dani Shapiro now has her own podcast, in its very first season! It is called, very appropriately, Family Secrets. Give it a listen!

I discovered another new podcast this week: Flowerlounge with Katie Hess. I listened to the latest episode about the dangers of the birth control pill. And as someone for whom the Pill was not an option, due to miserable side effects, I am glad there is information and discussion about alternatives, if you know where to look.

Blog posts:

Seth Godin’s post How big is your unfillable hole will take some time to think about. What are my weaknesses and how can I learn to dance with them?

Books:

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein. I haven’t read this yet, but I have many questions. I have a small business and a big dream for serving people in our community and much to learn!

Building a Storybrand by Don Miller. I listened to him interviewed on Amy Porterfield’s podcast this week and immediately set to work clarifying my message. I need to get a copy of this book to work through the steps and make sure I’m doing the work to tell my brand’s story in a clear way that is easy for potential customers to engage with.

So what is inspiring you this week? I’d love to know!

Day 30: Find Your Gumption Button

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Did this Monday find you with its cold, windy, cloudy song? I got up later than I wanted to because it was darker than I expected. Then, the sound of the recycling truck whizzing by and honking made me bolt up from slumber, remembering that we forgot to take the recycling bins to the road last night. Sigh. I had such good intentions before I fell asleep last night, too. I planned to wake early, go to the gym, and be at my desk by 9. There’s a little thing called an alarm on my phone that I forgot to set though, so that’s the story.

What I do with the rest of my day will be where the real tale lies.

Last Friday, while eating lunch, Alan and I talked about motivation and how some of us have more than others. People like Seth Godin seem to never run low, but perhaps it’s because he practices daily; he is self-disciplined and drives himself to produce and ship. Whether he feels ready or not. That’s one of Seth’s messages.

There are high-profile people in the music, visual art and writing fields that we know or know of who continually produce and ship. They are on Instagram multiple times per day showing us their quality work. We admire them. We wonder what their secrets are.

As far as I can tell, though, it’s up to each person to find their gumption button, to pull up their boot straps and get to work. You can only talk and think about it for so long and then you need to just do the work.

We have all kinds of excuses–not good enough, lots of people do it better, I’m not creative enough, no one will read, see or hear it–and what you mean is, you’re afraid. That’s ok. We are all afraid. But we have to tell Fear where to sit, as Elizabeth Gilbert says. Fear can’t be in the front of the room or in the driver’s seat. Fear can take a back seat or sit in the corner. You can recognize it and acknowledge it, but you are in charge. You. And nothing is stopping you. Not really.

Here are three yellow books I am reading that are kicking me in the pants, feeding me knowledge, and showing me there is another way of seeing. If you need encouragement to get your priorities back where you want them,  to do work you’ll be proud of, read these books.

Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time? by Seth Godin. I read this one before, but am reading it again. Short blurbs or passages with on-point messages are presented in Seth’s one-of-a-kind style. You can’t help but wake up and realize your goals are within reach and the time is now. Here’s an excerpt from pages 24-25,

“The relentless brainwashing of our fading industrial economy has created an expensive misunderstanding. Creative people or those with something to say believe that they have to wait to be chosen…’pick me, pick me’ acknowledges the power of the system and passes responsibility to someone else to initiate. Even better, ‘pick me, pick me’ moves the blame from you to them. If you don’t get picked it’s their fault not yours. If you do get picked, well, they said you were good, right? Not your fault anymore. Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.”

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. I heard about this author and this book on Modern Mrs Darcy. Since I was actually at the library in Ithaca yesterday, I grabbed this and one of her other books. In the introduction and first two chapters, she destroys the common belief that the modern person tells themselves: we don’t have enough time. We do, she insists, and she has science and our own schedules to prove us wrong. What an uplifting and life-giving idea. We can do what we want to do, what we dream of doing. We have all the time we need.

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. I’m only in the third chapter of this one, but can tell it’s going to rock me. This was one of Todd Henry’s recommended reads at the beginning of 2017. They bring up the concept of scarcity-thinking and talk about how it’s shaped our culture to think in terms of limited resources, shrinking reserves and other people as competitors. And how the world of measurement has framed our thinking. Then they use the terms “generative” and “the universe of possibility” and ask us to step outside of those frameworks and consider that anything is possible.

 

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