Not too long ago I reviewed a book by Mallika Chopra about living your life with intent and discovering why you are here on Earth. What is your purpose? And not just your lofty ideas about how famous, well-known, or successful you’d like to be, but what actually makes you feel contented and fulfilled in the full sense of the meaning. Now, that may mean you do become famous for one thing or another or it just may mean you are raising your children to be pillars of this world or that you inspire others daily.
This book, “Find Your Extraordinary” by Jessica Dilullo Herrin, is along the same lines but focused on the business aspect. The two books are very much connected in message but if you really want to focus on the business side, this book will be a great addition to your reading list.
Throughout the whole book, you will be reading Jessica’s journey from the beginning of her life (literally her birth year) and continue as she moves through school and then becomes an entrepreneur with many successful businesses. Sprinkled in her stories are stories of others who have inspired her and who will show the reader the lessons that she is teaching to us.
I appreciate that in each chapter she has a page or two devoted to a summary of sorts of what she’s speaking about. I find these little guides helpful because it allows the author to story-tell how they really came about these ideas or lessons and it gives the reader a nice summed up version should they need to go back at any time. Plus, if you missed something in the story, you can re-read it without the narration.
While I have read a few business books, I like that this one isn’t and doesn’t claim to be a how-to guide to starting your own company or owning your own business. It’s more of a guide to help you find out what you are really meant to do, not just what you want to do. I’m sure that’s not popular with the set of people that want success the easy way (what Herrin calls the unicorn farm) and, as we all know, there’s no such thing. For them, this book isn’t it. You won’t find such a guide.
But if you’re really looking to sort out all your ideas in your head and get a clear picture of a path you can take to get to where you know you’d like to be, then you can definitely learn from her book. It will require hard work, sacrifices, some luck and some gambling, and even more self-confidence (lone eagle confidence to be exact), but if you’re willing, it’s possible.
The main things I’ve picked up from this book (which I really needed to read) are that anyone can be successful. You don’t have to come from a particular background, geographical location, have gone to an Ivy League or even university-type college, be in your twenties, or even single or without children. Some of those things, of course, make life easier and give you opportunity without a lot of sacrifice, but there are and will always be sacrifices.
You must find your why. Sounds easier than I think it really is, but this is all-important. Another big aspect is optimism. I think she had the best definition of optimism that I’ve ever read. Instead of optimism being the idea of positivity no matter what (I feel like I’m not optimistic because this is a majority of people’s definition of it), it is giving something your best shot with a sound mine (not being an idiot about things) and if it doesn’t work out or isn’t working out, move on and try something else. You are being positive in that you aren’t quitting because it didn’t work one way and so you’ll try again. It’s not about being blind to reality, but it’s about continuing on even if you weren’t rewarded the 20 other times you tried something.
Finally, though there are many points she makes, the biggest one to me is to not listen to the naysayers. For every one person who tells you that you can do it, there will be 100 who tell you the opposite or even go as far as to tell you to not even try because it’ll never happen. If you listen to these people, you won’t even give yourself a chance and that is the saddest part of all. So if you are feeling like you’ve let the naysayers get under your skin and you want to shoe them all away, pick up this book and be prepared to be inspired.
Find Your Extraordinary at Penguin Random House
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.