Upon the arrival of the last new year, I vowed to read more books. Flash forward to January 2017. Two lonely books reside in my nightstand, that haven't been cracked in months. Sound familiar? As you can tell, reading more didn't exactly happen. However, I did listen to over twenty audio books. Taking in a new story during the commute, sure does make it more enjoyable. That's got to count for something right? At the time, I was looking for inspiration, and started down a rabbit hole of non- fiction, self development, and some funny auto biographies. These sparks, combined with other factors, would later set my soul ablaze. Several reads (listens, rather) were a catalyst for beginning my small business, Krisen Home. I am sharing them, in hopes that if you need that extra push to do the thing you think you cannot; one of these will speak to you. Without further ado, here are a few you should peruse. If you happen to have read all five, then call me because we are obviously meant to be best friends. Dig in!
#Girlboss- I may have been a couple of years late to the "Girl Boss" party, but was all ears for the entirety of Sophia Amoruso's story about building the extremely popular multi- million dollar business, Nasty Gal. It is the epitome of a success story. The entrepreneur gives a no nonsense description of how the company progressed from selling vintage clothing out of her tiny California apartment, to building a highly profitable e- commerce site. This book definitely contributed to my revisiting a favorite pastime of treasure hunting at tag sales and thrift stores.
Big Magic- Liz Gilbert, author of the ground breaking Eat Pray Love, does it again, with this one. She emphasizes the importance of expressing yourself through creativity, which leads to what she calls, "Big Magic". She suggests staying open to the ideas that will not leave you alone; and describes ideas swirling around us, looking for a human to put them out into the world. Gilbert also uses the analogy of having an affair with your creative pursuit, and delving in every chance you get.
The Power of Vulnerability- I discovered fellow Texan, Brené Brown, after hearing her contribute to Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic podcast. Brené is a self described shame researcher, and social worker. My favorite point in Brown's book is the idea of a "slash career", which ensures that you are cultivating creativity that brings you joy. If you don't have a career you are passionate about, create one. She says keep the job that feeds your family, and have another that feeds your soul. Brown expands by saying pursue an idea, even if there is nomonetary return. This opened my mind to creating for the sake of creative expression. When you do that, what is there to lose?
Year of Yes- Shonda Rhimes, creator of TGIT (Thank God it's Thursday) night television, talks about being consumed by work that she is highly passionate about. However, she came to an abrupt realization that she needed to make changes, and carve out more space for her personal life. Deciding to go an entire year, only saying yes to opportunities that arose, was Shonda's solution. When she started saying yes to the things she would previously not make time for, adventures ensued. I really enjoy hearing Rhimes tell her experience, in a way that only she could.
The Magnolia Story- Written and narrated by Joanna and Chip Gaines; it is entertaining and comical. Living in Texas, it is nearly impossible to not know of the couple and their latest booming venture, Magnolia Market. How I have managed to only catch a few minutes of their hit show, Fixer Upper, is beyond me. The audiobook is a first hand account of Chip and Joanna's background- how their experiences include renting homes, remodeling, decorating, flipping, developing, retail, and a hit TV show. Accomplishing most of this while raising four kids is astonishing! It is evident that hard work, a down to earth mentality, and having a kind heart pays off.
Each account in itself is motivating and inspirational. Collectively, they encouraged me to stop doubting and start doing. Checking them out one after another really helped get the wheels turning for Krisen Home. Putting in the work, taking small steps towards my goal, and immersing myself in creative community have also been extremely helpful in getting my small business going.
Whatever your endeavor, go all in!
Is the motivational genre too cheezy or just not your thing? Have a listen to these dark and mysterious tales: In Cold Blood, The Girl on the Train, and Wilde Lake.