Book Review: The Niche Movement

8gnwvxVb This past weekend I finished reading my digital copy of the new book from Kevin O'Connell, The Niche Movement: The New Rules to Finding the Career You Love. I'm really excited for this book to finally be out into the world, since I've been a long supporter of Kevin's and also proudly donated to his crowdfunding campaign last year to help publish the book.

Simply stated, this book is great. It excellently captures the frustrations many (myself included) feel with the status quo of job searching and workplace culture and gives some fantastic insights as to how to control your own destiny and do work that is fulfilling, whatever that may mean for you. Kevin weaves his career advice with unique stories of people from all over the country working in all sorts of fields that help send home and support his points. To top it off, he sets you up for success by giving out contact info for everyone mentioned in the book, so if you want to keep the discussion going with someone who really intrigued you, you have the means to do so and are even encouraged to reach out.

While I supported the effort to get this book published, I had no creative input in the production of it, but I trusted Kevin to create a superb product and he delivered tremendously, and that is my objective opinion. Many of the points he mentions I've heard before, which only further provides credibility to his work here. It has helped inspire and motivate me to get some things ramped up for my life, and I know it will do the same for you.

Check out The Niche Movement site for more awesome stuff, and reach out to Kevin to connect about the book. He's a pretty cool dude!

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review: Start Something That Matters


"A leader can create a company, but a community creates a movement."

My latest review is for the 2012 book by Blake Mycoskie, Start Something That Matters, which chronicles the beginnings of his company, TOMS, and the lessons he has learned from the journey.

I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read with some great takeaways, good stories, and a positive message. It's a message I can certainly get behind and have believed in for a while now. I always try to vote with my dollars and make globally conscious purchases. Every company should incorporate such tenets into their organization, seeking to make the greatest positive social impact they can with their efforts, whatever it is. They can donate money, time, or resources to help others, and we'll all benefit in the end. It just seems that it is far easier for a lot of people and groups to be selfish and not empathize with the struggles of others (especially if they cannot relate, and never went through such struggles). The good part about all this is that it is never too late to start making a difference in people's lives.

Some of the other quotes I took away from this book were:

"...To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. [Often attributed to Elisabeth-Anne Anderson Stanley]"

"In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow"

"Today’s successful leaders are those willing to share credit as much as possible, who give away as much as they can, and who promote an environment of creative cooperation instead of rabid competition."

What I like about TOMS is that it is a for-profit, social good company. They can exist, and they can do just as much good in the world (if not more) by working to make a profit. Their shoes and other items are desirable and valuable, and by working to make money, they can use those profits to make a positive social impact. A lot of other companies have followed in the footsteps of TOMS in recent years, and I think that's a beautiful thing. I love my TOMS shoes and my Warby Parker glasses, and my Krochet Kids hat. They all have the added benefit of helping others in need around the whole world. What's not to love?

Check out Start Something That Matters at any of your favorite book retailers!

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review: Think Like a Freak


"The modern world demands that we all think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally; that we think from a different angle, with a different set of muscles, with a different set of expectations; that we think with neither fear nor favor, with neither blind optimism nor sour skepticism. That we think like—ahem—a Freak."

Think Like a Freak is the 2014 book from Freakonomics bloggers and podcasters Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. This time around, they focus on capitalizing on their previous works and showing us all how to think a little differently.

I'm a big fan of the Freakonomics podcast, and I wanted to check out some of their writing so this recent work seemed like a great placed to jump in. I appreciated the idea of taking their perspective into action, since a lot of articles and books will simple present a viewpoint and then not give examples of how to put it into action, so I'm glad they took it the next step here.

Topics in the book include incentives, problem solving, metrics, and knowing when to step back when you don't know something. The authors showcase very different perspectives on conventional wisdom, which I think we can all use more of in our lives.

"Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you’ve decided beforehand it can’t be done."

The advice I gleamed after reading the book is be more curious, be less stubborn, and measure success. All of these can be easier said than done but it is crucial to simplifying our complicated world to do our best to do our best to live these values. We can't assume success, assume we know all the answers, and stop asking questions. We'll become stagnant in a world that will quickly leave us behind.

"...the stakes get higher when we routinely pretend to know more than we do."

I encourage you to check out all of the Freakonomics stuff out there. It is great stuff to get outside of the normal framework of how we look at our world. I know you'll get some valuable advice from their work.

Thanks for stopping by!