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Start Something That Matters

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When I was chosen to be a part of the Books for Bloggers Program for Blake Mycoskie’s new book, Start Something That Matters, I immediately couldn’t wait to get my copy of the book in the mail. I had heard of TOMS shoes and became more intrigued with the TOMS story when I heard Blake speak at Catalyst this past October.

Blake is the Founder & Chief Shoe Giver for TOMS. My anticipation to read Start Something That Matters was met with an absolutely incredible book filled with not only the TOMS story, but practical insights to literally starting something that matters!

When you look at the TOMS website or hearing about the TOMS story, it’s really easy to think, “Wow. That Blake guy sure knows what he’s doing. That was just a kick-start success. There’s no way I could ever do something that really helped people like that.” Trust me, this is certainly not the case. TOMS is a very simple, yet extremely successful idea: one for one. You buy a pair of shoes (and now glasses as well!) and a pair of shoes is given away. Simple, yet makes a huge difference.
Start Something That Matters outlines several steps to, as Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” After sharing the TOMS story, Blake talks about finding your story–

“Facts are neutral until human beings add their own meaning to those facts. People make their decisions based on what the facts mean to them, not on the facts themselves. The meaning they add to facts depends on their current story . . . facts are not terribly useful to influencing others. People don’t need new facts–they need a new story.” -Annette Simmons

What were key factors involved in the TOMS story that helped make it so successful? And how can those same principles be applied to your story? Broken down into six steps, we can start something that matters:
  1. Face your fears
  2. Be resourceful without resources
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Build trust
  5. Giving is good business
  6. The final step
Initially, I was excited to read this book because I wanted to learn more about TOMS. But as I kept reading (which by the way, I literally couldn’t put this book down once I started!), I began to take ownership of my very own story…and I began to start dreaming and seeing possibilities take shape.
I am extremely excited to incorporate these principles into my goals for 2012. As I launch EC Photography & dream big about writing opportunities in this new year, I will be going back to my notes in Start Something That Matters frequently!
I HIGHLY recommend this book….so much that I am actually giving a copy away!

What do you have to do to win? Choose 2 of the following!
  1. Follow me on Twitter (@emilybcummins) and tweet this article with a tag for me (@emilybcummins) and TOMS (@TOMS) in your tweet.
  2. Leave a comment on this post, sharing what one of your biggest dreams is.
  3. Share this post on Facebook & send me an email ([email protected]) to let me know that you did!
A winner will be chosen randomly & announced on January 1st!

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