Tuesday, June 28

Find Your Extraordinary

Have you ever picked up a book expecting it to be fair, and been pleasantly delighted to find it far exceeds your expectations? At first glance, Find Your Extraordinary looked like another average business/positive thinking/self-help book. I figured it would be good for a few fun quotes, but didn't have terribly high expectations.

What I found, once I got started, was a funny, upbeat and refreshingly down to earth book that I'm so glad I had a chance to read. A veteran of the tech industry now happily founder and CEO of the Stella and Dot family of brands, Herrin is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In FYE, she reaches out to set others (primarily women) straight about what being successful is (and is not) and what takes (and what you'll need to leave behind) to get there.

Along the way, she covers a smattering of the usual subjects but - much more importantly- tells readers the kinds of unvarnished (but positively portrayed) truths they need to really find success. (Pursue your own definition of success, not others'. You can't have it all, but you CAN have all what's truly important to you. You will fail and have setbacks; it's not the end of the world - get up and try again.)

Best of all, she completely sidesteps or intentionally diffuses some of the bitterest and oldest standing feuds in the field: working moms vs. stay-at-home-moms, glass ceilings, work/life balance, and how women treat each other personally and professionally. Direct and firm, but kind, she lays waste to most of the things that women get hung up on and lines readers up on a healthy path to a better future.

All things considered, I think my favorite quote from the book encapsulates both Herrin's upbeat and encouraging writing style, and the pragmatic perspective that makes this book worth every penny and minute spent reading:

Do not confuse passion with fantasy. Living your passion will include doing things you detest doing. Things you are not good at. Things that scare you. Things that bore you. This is because you live in the real world, not on a unicorn farm.”

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