Blake Mycoskie: Annoying or Adorable?

I’ve always been a Toms-shoe wearin’, Blake Mycoskie-lovin’, hippie-at-heart prepster. {Well, as long as Toms have been around. The hippie/prepster thing was before that though, I promise.}

My 6th Pair of Toms...the new flats!
A gift from my sister for my bday.

So last year, when Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie wrote a book called Start Something That Matters, I was equally thrilled and annoyed. Does everything this guy touch turn to gold?? I mean he’s adorable and so are his shoes, but really? I think I was not-so-secretly jealous because I want to publish a book and he does everything with such ease. Or so I thought...

I learned about the program called Books for Bloggers that he was doing--they send me his book for FREE, I read it, review it on my blog, and then give another one away for FREE. Goes right in line with Toms’ one-for-one concept, doesn’t it? Clever boy, that Blake (you like how I think we are on a first name basis now?)

I was excited because I really wanted to read it, as I had some ideas that had been stirring about a non-profit and giving back, etc. As soon as I signed up for it and was selected, doubt set in. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t read it because of this jealousy...would I give it a fair shake?’ But they assured the bloggers that a bad review of the book was just fine. Well then, sign me up.

So here we are. One year later. I suck at the Books for Bloggers program. I NEVER follow the timeline that others have for my life--in fact, I downright resist it at every turn. But hang with me...at least I’m honest.

The two FREE books sat by my bed for months (yes, months) as I struggled with my desire, curiosity, and apathy to read what he had to say. I honestly wasn’t ever in the mood to read about the golden boy and his life-altering story, especially when my own life was in the doldrums. Even if I HAD a million-dollar idea, I am living with my mom to pay off tons of debt. There would be no way to pursue it...so I’d probably get frustrated...so I just won’t read it. Mature line of thought, isn’t it?

Then one day, the guilt of getting 2 FREE books set in. I overcame my frustration with myself (which was ultimately the problem, not sweet little Blake) and started in on the book. I read pretty fast, so I was halfway through in no time. His style of writing and anecdotal emphasis made it read that much faster. What I thought was going to be a detailed recounting of his glorious story turned out to be nothing like it. Yes, he shares bits of how Toms gets started...but it is nothing like I expected. It was very inspiring, moving and informational at the same time. What I didn’t realize was that the book is less about him starting Toms Shoes & more about YOU starting something that matters. {Which it says on the back of the darn book, duh.}

Halfway through the book, he asks you to stop and put the book down so that you can let it resonate in your own life. ‘What matters to you?’ he prods as he walks you through the process of figuring that out. I genuinely took his advice, put the book down, and let it simmer. And simmer. It took a month or two for my personal inspiration to arrive. Once I wrote it all down and prayed through it, I picked the book back up and finished it in a day. He takes you from inkling to inspiration, all the way to implementation of your idea.

I have to say, you don’t need to wear Toms shoes, or give back to orphans or desire to solve world hunger to enjoy this book. But if you are entrepreneurial by nature {which I am!} or you long to work in line with your passion, then this book is a must-read. Take that advice from someone who let it collect dust out of ridiculousness and fear. I sincerely wish I had read this last year when I received it, but I honor the process that my mind took to be ready to receive the information. I am not re-counting all that the book entails because I think it is about taking a personal journey. Each person gets out of it what they put in, and I hope his book continues to inspire people to live out their passions. I know it has for me. I will let you in on my specific inspiration at a later date but know that it is in the works...

So, on that note, I am giving away the FREE book! (Finally, right? Sorry Blakie.) I would give away my copy as well, but he lists lots of resources that are helpful. Therefore, it is a book that you might want to reference from time to time in the future.

Who wants a FREE copy of Start Something That Matters? If you feel like it, you can also post a review on Amazon when you are finished with it (though that is not required in order to win the giveaway.)

Leave a comment by finishing this statement about your passions/life:

                     If money were no object, I would ______.

I will randomly pick someone at the end of September {yay for Fall!} and send you the FREE book. Feel free to share this post on your blog or Facebook page...or just send the link to a friend who might like this book for FREE. Did I tell you it was FREE?! Ok, thought so.