Posts tagged book
Book Review - Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guides to Building a Business with Impact

This month I am reviewing another book from the 99U Make Your Mark series put together by Jocelyn K Glei: Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guilde to Building a Business with Impact. Last month I reviewed Manage Your Day-to-Day

I found this book a little bit harder to get into than Manage Your Day-to-Day which I couldn't get enough of and read super quickly. I think part of the reason for that was the first half of this book it really felt like it was talking about tech start ups and companies that had grown quite big and so I guess it didn't feel super relevant for my little one man band 'company'. But when I did get into it I think this book did have a lot of valuable advice and ideas. 

Like Manage Your Day-to-Day (and I am guessing the other book in this series too) It was divided up into 4 sections which then each contained articles by various authors. These sections were 1. Defining your purpose, 2. Building your product, 3. Serving your customers and 4. Leading your team.  Again the book was peppered with lots of inspiring quotes too. The one below is one of my favourites.

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity"

- Simone Weil – The creatives guide to building a business with impact

The bits of this book that really had an impact on me and got me thinking about how I want to run my business was section 3 about serving your customers. It got me really excited and inspired about things I can start doing now in my little business to make the customer's experience as good as possible, and as a result I am going to sit down and brainstorm ideas to make sure that when people receive products from my shop that they feel delighted that they shopped with me. 

The other bit I found really interesting was section 4 about leading a team. Now, I don't have a team right now but it made me realise that actually I would love one day to grow my business to the point that I could employ a small team. There was so much good advice for leading a team and how to inspire and nurture your team. I think this is a book that I will keep on my shelf and although some of the content didn't feel totally relevant to me right now, I think as my business grows this will be a really helpful book to come back to time and time again. 

I think what I really do love about how these books are laid out is how easy they are to dip into and how the essays are by a variety of really interesting authors and in really manageable chunks. They also have a spread at the end of each section with the key take away points from each article which is so helpful. 

All in all I would definitely recommend this book to people. I didn't get as into it as Manage Your Day-to-Day but there was a lot of wisdom packed in the pages. 

Next month won't be another book from this series..I will move onto something different. I hope you all have a great Friday and weekend!

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Getting my attention span back

There is just too much going on. My poor little brain is so used to being constantly bombarded with information and stimulated that now if there is a moment of quiet - a moment of peace it FREAKS OUT...I don't know how to just stop and be, to enjoy quiet moments. When they come around I immediately grab my phone..log on to twitter or instagram for lots of little bits of information to keep my brain entertained and busy. 

For a while now it has been bothering me just how short my attention span has become. I have noticed it getting worse over the last couple of years and now I actually feel kind of alarmed about it and so I have decided to do something about it. I think in the past I haven't wanted to deal with it because I knew I would find it hard, but I have realised that actually all these amazing tools that I use and love, like twitter, instagram, email etc are controlling me rather than me controlling them and being in control of how I use them. I am their slave, when really I should be the master of these tools. They steal my attention and my focus to the point that I pretty much can't go more than 10 minutes without checking one of them. It is starting to have a negative effect on my life. 

A lot of people give them up for periods of time to have a break and although I think that is a great idea I want to tackle this in a slightly different way. I want to change my habits over the long term and the way my brain works. I want to take back control and use these tools to enhance my work, my business and my relationships - but I want to determine what that looks like, rather than being a slave to them. 

The catalyst to making me really want to make a change was reading this book (I will do a review soon on the blog). I am going to try and make regular time where I am completely offline. I won't check anything, and spend time really focused on something. Now this will be hard to do during my 9-5 because I am at my computer all day, but as of this week I have gone down to 4 days a week (hurrah!) so on that day and on the weekends I am going to designate a chunk of time and force myself to focus my attention on something. 

Now I am under no illusions, this is not going to be easy... so I am starting small. I am going to start off with an hour chunk. I am not going to check my twitter, instagram, my emails - nothing! I will do something that doesn't involve a computer - so paint, take pictures, draw ideas and really give it my full focus. I think I will probably be a bit twitchy when I try it tomorrow for the first time but I will let you know how I get on. After I have done an hour I am going to try and build it up to longer and I guess my eventual goal is going to be a whole day without checking my phone or computer and not even being bothered about it - (just the thought of that makes me feel a bit ill right now) 

As part of this little self improvement project, another thing that I have been thinking of doing is getting into the pattern of writing regularly. I have always loved journaling but have not been good at doing it all that often. I don't really think that I need to be writing about anything specific and not for anything particular, like this blog, but just writing every day - getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. You never know, maybe as a bi-product some good blog posts will come out of it. 

I think that all of these things I have been thinking about and re-taking control of the tools I use is going to be a long ongoing project, so I will keep you updated on how I get on.  Also I would love to know what you guys think about this particular issue - please share your thoughts with me in the comments if this is something you struggle with or have been working on.

Don't forget you still have until Friday to enter the greetings card giveaway! Happy Monday!

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