I think whenever someone starts a business – whether it’s to make and sell something, provide a service, or create an empire – there’s a blend of not knowing anything about what to do and wanting to learn about the tools and principles that might work, but also having some sense of what you DON’T want to do or be. For me, I want to know about the tools and principles, but chafe at the notion that there are things I’m “supposed to” do in order to do it correctly. Correctly for who? No one knows my business and what I want it to be better than me, so how could anyone already have the formula that is best for me and my business?
This book was a gift from a good friend and colleague, arising from a discussion last year wherein I'd said that I did not especially enjoy Manson's previous book as it didn't flow well (that book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, was essentially a compendium of his blog posts and so was disjointed such that it didn't seem to be about anything). My friend enjoyed this one and so gave it to me for Christmas.
The overall premise of the book is this: while hope is an essential motivator for humans, in the modern (i.e. first) world, it is almost impossible to hope for things to get better as they are already so f*cking good.
The Gifts of Imperfection is from Brené Brown – author, researcher, and personal growth magnate (and TED talk star) – and describes some of her own personal growth and reflections on self-acceptance, past guideposts of authenticity, resilience, creativity (among others). These encourage and enable self-reflection by the reader along a similar path to recognize and celebrate (not just accept) one’s own vulnerability and whole self.
A medium-deep dive into philosophy - specifically, stoicism - this book was recommended by Kielyn Marrone, who I follow on social media after watching her the TV show "Alone" (where contestants are dropped off in the middle of nowhere and have to survive longer than other participants in order to win a big $$ prize). In Season 7, Kielyn stayed 80 days in the near-Arctic (shores of Great Slave Lake from mid-September through December). Watching her catch her first fish from the frozen lake was one of the most enjoyable moments on TV ever. She was the third last participant, and everything about her was intriguing and inspirational, including her frequent mentions of stoicism. On her Facebook page, she recommends this book; coincidentally, one of my current mentees is reading this book series by Ryan Holiday, and mentioned it during one of our earliest sessions. I took that as a sign.
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), by Seth Godin. Pub 2007
I was led to this brief book via this article. I'm dealing with some team issues at work (people leaving), and I am struggling to understand the choices that people are making. I wasn't (seriously) looking at quitting myself, but to make sense of why others were. The article didn't really help with that, but I was intrigued by the idea that smart people can realistically rationalize quitting, so I picked up this book. I'd read a few blog posts and articles (mostly in Fast Company) by Seth Godin, and a few books by the illustrator Hugh McLeod, so I was expecting something pretty good, if not great. Sadly, I was disappointed.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.