Updated: Jan 15, 2021
I used to read A LOT. I was the child tucked away in a corner with a book instead of going outside to play. I'm still a homebody, but somewhere along the way I lost my voracious appetite for reading. I read, but it's much less than what I'd like it to be. I read about 4 books start to finish last year and dabbled in countless others. When did I become a dabbler?
I came into 2021 thinking I was going to go from 0 to 100 and read a book a week. I realized that that wouldn't be feasible given that I don't plan to just read, I plan to read practical things and implement their teachings into my life immediately and I want to document that, so a book a week does not fit into my schedule. Tom Bilyeu's brilliant one liner on why reading is important for entrepreneurs, "Ideas in equals ideas out", is my current reading mantra. I live for a simple super fact. I've decided to take things a little more slowly and focus on 2-3 books a month depending on how heavy the material is. This month I've chosen The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook by Rupert Scofield and Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee De La Foret.
I'm about a quarter of the way through The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook and that's because I'm 3 days behind on my reading goals for the week. Am I going to stop reading because I'm behind? No. I'm going to get through the book even if it takes me longer than I thought it would. Anywho, I love that Mr. Scofield gets straight to the point. Literally by the 3rd sentence he's giving guidance ("...identify your constituency, a group of people who are getting a raw deal") and he just continues to drop wisdom and relevant anecdotes from there. I admit that I'm a little bothered by some of his wording, most notably the use of the phrase "poverty experience" when referring to the need to understand the popluation that you're dealing with on a ground level, but I admit that I know little to nothing of the jargon used in his field or the field in general.
The most practical thing that I've pulled from this book so far was inspired by this passage:
"The big relief organizations are designed to respond rapidly to short term emergencies and disasters ...These are worthy causes, but the emphasis is on short term responses, not prevention or making the victims of these tragedies sufficient..."
The big guys are giving out fish and it gives the little people the opportunity to step in and teach the people how to fish. In the long run, I hope to build a company that teaches people how to fish, meaning, we want to be a stop on the path to self acceptance, self love and self care for our following. I want people to know that it's ok to be themselves and that they belong. Self acceptance is a huge obstacle on the path to growth and it's my hope that Equali Tees can help some folks with that.
The most motivational thing that I've read so far is:
"Be prepared to have total idiots smile at you condescendingly as you present your brilliant idea and dismiss you with a cavalier, "It'll never work".
Entrepreneurs need to hear people that have made it say things like that. Discouragement is a part of the deal. There will be people that tell you your doing things wrong or that your idea is just flat out bad. I remember having a meeting with a "mentor" and he literally smiled as he told me that it would never work in the middle of me giving an example of a company that has made it work. The audacity! You have to believe in what you're doing and know in your heart that it's for you. Setbacks, failures and hard times are part of the game and something that you thought would take a few weeks or months will take years, but you've got to know that it's worth it.
I got Alchemy of Herbs from a friend (thanks, Nicole!) and I'm really excited about it. Because of the work that I'm doing to expand Equali Tees into the self-care arena, it is important for me to know what my new products are and what they can be. Incorporating more herbs into my life is something that I've been interested in taking up for a while now, but it wasn't until Equali Tea came into the picture that I was pushed to actually do some research.
Pictured: I had to learn the properties of dill weed, German chamomile and lime blossom in preparation for the debut of one of the newest self care products, Equali Tea
I'm excited to learn more so that I can be more informed about and more present in future product development. As I learn about different herbs I can request specific things instead of describing things and leaving it all up to interpretation. I also dried the rose petals from a bouquet that was given to me and I plan to make bath teas with it. I want to get some more herbs to add to the look and utility of the teas, so I'll be doing a curbside pick up at one of my local herb shops soon. How fun, right?
Clockwise from top left: A beautiful bouquet that I received upon my return to teaching, (Thank you Katie and Tyler!), drying the petals out, my first attempt at a mini bath tea (LOL! I will do better) and the dried petals stored in airtight containers.
What are you reading and how is it impacting your life? I know that one thing I want is to mix up what I'm reading and get some non fiction in there. I used to love reading psychological thrillers and fantasy. Any suggestions there?
I foresee that I'll be successful in my endeavor to read more this year, but I know there's a possibility that I'll fall off a few times. I won't be hard on myself, I'll do the best that I can. Don't sweat where you're at. It's ok if you've had to start over 3, 4, even 20 times. No matter what your goal, how many times you fail doesn't matter. What matters is how many times you get up. You can't win if you're not in the race and the race should be against the old version of yourself.