A perfect book for Thanksgiving.
“Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Quotes like these dot the text of Start Something that Matters. Its author, Blake Mycoskie, is the founder (or as he calls himself, ‘chief shoe giver’) of TOMS. For every pair of shoes that TOMS sells, it gives one away to a needy person. It’s this ‘One for One’ business model that Mycoskie discusses in his book. But Start Something that Matters is about much more.
Mycoskie asks: What matters most to you? Should you focus on earning a living, pursuing your passions, or devoting yourself to the causes that inspire you? And then tells his reader that s/he doesn’t have to choose, but can do all of these things. He, of course, is a living example. And the reason I so like this book is that Mycoskie shows how important it is becoming to be a creative thinker, to be a storyteller. Because without a memorable story, no one cares about your company or your charity, or the project you are trying to get your schoolmates interested in. Stories resonate with people in a way that facts wouldn’t.
To start something that matters, you will need to move beyond story and face your fears, do the thing you didn’t think you could. You can’t wait until the time is right because it never is. You have to be frugal and imaginative. You have to allow a broad forum of ideas, give free speech to those working with you. You must have an environment of trust. With trust, even mistakes can lead to good outcomes.
Best of all, you should start early. Like now. In high school. Work on your dreams. Start that club, that service project, whatever. Check out Start Something that Matters for hints on getting it all going. Create the model by which you intend to live your life.