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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Showing 3 comments
  • Breanne
    Reply

    What is one of my biggest dreams? My biggest dream really doesn’t make sense since I have never even been on a mission trip and the only non-profit thing I have done is recently by making shirts for a cancer patient. My biggest dream combines both. I want to become a surgeon and travel to different countries in need of medical treatment.I don’t just want to be there for a brief time when convient time of year for me or another doctor to be there. I want to set up something perminent, have doctors and providers constantly rotate. And then, who know, start that in every country.

  • Kinley
    Reply

    One of my biggest dreams is to stop sex trafficking. I cant even imagine what girls my age must feel like. Knowing that I’m so blessed to not be a part of this AWFUL industry, I will not sit around a dwell on it, but help other people have the right to feel blessed too.

  • Kinley
    Reply

    One of my dreams is to help the people within my reach know that they are LOVED greatly by an amazing God. So many people have no idea how much He loves us. Many people are hurt, and feel abandoned by others from the past. In middle/high school years, it’s a tough environment. So many bullies, cliques, and loneliness happens. This can lead to future thoughts of suicide. But, if people knew that there is a mighty God who loves them through all of there past screw-ups, hurts, and frustrations, that He offers forgiveness everyday, and loves you more than the span of this universe. Then, people would know that they have a reason to live. And I’m starting to live by the quote “Be the change you want to see.” because if I don’t help people understand, who will?

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