Brad Feld is a prolific VC and blogger whose blog I read religiously. He had written a great piece at the start of the year “Give before you Get“. The important take away from this post is being aware of the practice of giving without making it transactional. This is much harder than it appears because most of us are wired to give with the expectation of getting something back in return. When we remove this expectation along with the thought of what is in it for me, it becomes a lot easier to give generously and genuinely!
Entrepreneurs as a whole, are a rut-busting community of individuals. We break away from the norms, challenge rules and more often than not, choose to walk down the path less traveled. This book intrigued me as it held the secrets of a woman who has achieved tremendous success in her life.
The book is Myra Janco Daniels biography. In it she lists eight secrets that have enabled her to become a life long rut-buster. She is an award winning entrepreneur, and ran one of the top boutique advertising agencies in America.
The book is an extremely easy read, I finished it in one sitting. It is full of stories from the authors life, in which she recounts how she came to uncover secrets that have enabled her to achieve the level of success that she has had. The introductory chapter starts off with stories of her childhood, and how her parents and grandmother were able to impart lasting and valuable advice to her from a very young age. Another early chapter has one of my favorite stories in the entire book, it focuses around how she was taught the important lesson of giving. In the world we live in today, I believe there is an disproportionate emphasis on ‘taking’. Everyone looks at every given situation, saying, what is in it for me, without taking into account any other person in the equation. The author says that the art of giving instilled in her at an early age brought about a way of thinking in her that greatly altered the path her life took.
Another very important lesson she mentions, is the importance of surrounding yourself with great teachers. This is another aspect I feel strongly about and am currently developing in my own life, it is one that everyone, no matter who you are, or what you do, should seriously be looking into. The ability to have access to a group of individuals, with years of experience, to guide you in difficult times can save you time, money and a great deal of pain. The author communicates these facts through some great stories from her life, which give one insight about their importance, and the consequences of not heeding to this particular piece of advice.
The final part of the book devotes an entire section to the importance of getting ‘lost’ every now and again. Sometimes, we become so ingrained into our job, way of life and thinking patterns, we get stuck in these ruts. In order to break free from them, we need to be able to take ‘breaks’ and go do something completely different from our daily routine. This could involve meeting and discussing people and things completely unrelated to our work, going for holidays and expeditions, or something as simple as cooking. The key has to be the ability to disconnect from our current thought patterns, and step back to take a look at the bigger picture.
A noteworthy aspect of the book is how one can sense the authors excitement and passion regarding advertising throughout the book. The manner in which she was able to come up with campaigns and artwork for her clients is an eye opener, and shows the power of hard work coupled with creative thinking. This book is perfect for someone who wants to bring about major change in their life, and learn a little bit about advertising along the way. It is an extremely interesting and easy read, and definitely gave me many ideas on how to run a media agency successfully.
“Don’t try to sell something if you don’t understand it or if you don’t believe in it” Myra Janco Daniels