Many years ago (when I had just started the business), I picked up a book called, “The Creative Entrepreneur” by Lisa Sonora Beam. My friend Laura mentioned that she was interested in working through it, too. So, we both read the first chapter, did the specified activities and called each other on the phone to discuss. Little did we know what we had started!
Since that first book & first phone call, we’ve read our way through an impressive stack of books! Mostly business topics or ways to improve ourselves (we did a book on organization once – very helpful!). We’ve tackled Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles”, Brian Tracy’s “Goals!”, and a number of Jeffrey Gitomer’s “little books”. We’ve spent hours and hours reading, discussing and learning!
Some books were game-changers and some didn’t really resonate. But through it all, we have kept at it! My Ma once said that she figured our years of work had to at least make up an MBA by now. Well that’s sweet, Ma, but probably not quite accurate! Truth be told, I’m not after an MBA – just a better understanding of how to tackle the many daunting tasks of being an entrepreneur!
Along the way to business enlightenment, I found a steady, smart, funny, challenging voice on the other end of my phone who keeps me reaching for the next book. Laura and I have learned so much about each other and ourselves while figuring out how to sell a handbag! We gleaned early on that our discussions must take place over the phone, because if we get together in person, we have WAY too much fun! Staying on target becomes immensely more difficult!
Laura has learned that I can only handle a max of about 3 things at a time, and I’ve learned that she works much better when colored pens & post-its are at the ready. We’ve learned how to discuss very personal topics and when to call each other on our bullshit. We’ve both taken risks and taken breaks. But through it all, we’ve made it a priority to keep reading, keep working and keep doing it together. It’s an amazing partnership and I’m really proud of us!
Our latest venture is a book called, “The Right Brain Business Plan” by Jennifer Lee. And so far, we are really enjoying it! It is challenging us to take a good look at our businesses and express our goals in a colorful, creative way! (Love this idea!) And the truth is, I could easily read the book on my own. But, it wouldn’t be a quarter of the experience I’ll have learning it with Laura! She’s my safe place to feel dumb, be brilliant, and just think out loud. And every book is better knowing I get to discuss it with her!
Do you have a Laura? I highly recommend having a friend to learn with!