If you're looking for a quick, motivating read, this is it! Liz is witty and personable as she gives pointers (and permission) for exploring, dreaming, and DOING, sharing stories from her life and business along the way. If you're looking for a sense of direction and something you can dig into and apply that can potentially change your life (without frustrating you in the process), look no further. There is solid stuff here that you can learn from and apply if you're seeking a life of meaning and purpose! I found myself laughing out loud and tearing up by turns, and I think you will too. I loved this book so much, and think it would be great for pretty much anyone - students, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, and everyone in between.
I read the book over the course of just a couple days (I was blessed with one long nap and one early night for Miss E). It was wonderfully encouraging and entertaining, and sometimes that's enough. But I also realized it could be so much more. If you want to get even more out of your read, I would definitely recommend getting out a journal (or a laptop or a sticky note) and keeping some notes. I'm writing down my thoughts and asking myself some questions the second time through!
Beginner's Pluck starts off by helping you acknowledge that you're probably pretty average, which might not seem all that great at first, but the intent is to be freeing so you can ask questions, learn, and be a beginner! Then you can move forward, rather than being stuck waiting until you "make it," "find your passion," or have the "right answer." Which may never happen - or just might not look anything like you expect. Approaching problems as a beginner means being open to surprise, asking questions, and exploring possible answers. Spoiler: Liz didn't set out to start fashion company Sseko Designs, but she discovered that the solution she sought was both different - and better - than she could have expected.
It wasn't that long ago that I read When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, which is a rather in-depth look at some of the challenges facing those who would fight poverty, and how damaging common methods of poverty alleviation can be to both the receiver and the giver. It stretched my thinking in the best ways and I learned so much. (Read more of my thoughts on it here.) With that in the background, I loved reading Liz's story about her journey from wanting to help millions of people with millions of dollars, to just wanting to help solve one specific problem for a few, and her gradual acceptance that the best way she could do that was through partnering for business and creating jobs, rather than charity. One key ingredient? Being open to learn, ask questions and really listen, and recognize that the first idea may not be the "right" one.
Good habits take time to develop, and while some of Liz's words can impact your life today, other aspects are outlook or mindset changes that won't happen automatically. In one of the book's "Interludes" between chapters, Liz wrote, "But after nursing my disappointment for a minute or two, I started asking a question that, after years and years of practice, has become almost instinct to me in times of disappointment and frustration: What tiny miracle is there buried beneath this disappointment?" There were years of intentional perspective-changing here! However, if it means no longer being paralyzed by perfectionism, overcome by confusion, or crushed by disappointment, I think it's worth the time and effort.
Finally, if you're thinking, "Sure, being inspired is great, but can reading this really make any difference in my life?" My answer, "Yes, if you let it!" Since finishing the book, I've clicked "Publish" on a couple more posts, connected my domain name to this little blog, and added the link to my Instagram account. After all,
I hope after reading my thoughts on Beginner's Pluck, you'll want to read it yourself! If you decide to buy your own copy, purchasing through this link allows me to earn a small commission and also supports Sseko Designs' mission of providing employment and education opportunities for women in East Africa. Books are currently on preorder (with the audio book and a Sseko Brave Bracelet as preorder freebies!) and will begin shipping October 1, 2019. You can learn more about Liz and her book, including the upcoming book tour, at lizbohannon.co.