112 Books

My Lessons from The Spark and the Grind

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I selected The Spark and The Grind by Erik Wahl as the inaugural selection of the View 112 Summer of Business Books Reading Challenge because the concept leapt off the dust jacket and struck me so abruptly.  I was casually browsing the business section of my local Barnes and Noble and there it was well placed in the center of the section, eye level.  I picked it up and have been compelled ever since. Check the top of the inner dust jacket: “We’ve been conditioned to think about creative genius. As a dichotomy: dreamers virus doers, creativity virus discipline, the spark vs the grind.  But what if we’re wrong? What if it’s the spark and the grind.”(Wahl). I highly recommend you read this book in its entirety as it is FULL OF GEMS.  Here are a few for me:

1. There is danger being all grind and no spark.

This book validated my evolved perspective on creativity. Many professionals idolize the super grinder and the concept of hustling. Although I am also writer, I have never considered myself a creative. In fact for many years, I’ve ignored writing as a childhood dream turned adult hobby.  I have taken much more pride in being a “grinder”. Having a strong work ethic is a career characteristic of which I am most proud. It’s an incredible feeling to be known to execute.  Contrarily, I have always viewed creatives as people solely walking around with their head in the clouds dreaming all day. While creatives are inspiring, to be labeled and known as a super grinder seemed much more aspirational. After all these years of working, its taken age and experience for me to build confidence in the fact that I am truly a creative grinder. When I made the decision to cherish creativity, I took one step closer to living a limitless life. I am no longer just a leader, great sales person, business woman, or writer. I am all of those things and MORE.

“If you lean toward being a Grinder, stop using focus as an excuse to ignore other opportunities around you.” p.55

The Spark and the Grind-Erik Wahl

 

2. Aggressively pressure the unfamiliar.

While I’ve not always been able to define it, I’ve always believed there is something more in life than my current experience. The book makes a compelling case that the only way we find that nagging “something more” is when we go beyond the familiar. In sales, I’ve seen the benefit of curiosity. The deals I’ve been able to close or rooms I’ve been able to enter from remaining curious has been proven repeatedly. We must be curious in all aspects of our life. Innovation is born of curiosity. Self doubt in our ability, manifests itself in the form of editing curiosity.  How often do you convince yourself a reoccurring thought or idea is not of value? How often have you compared a wild thought to your normal environment and dismissed it as “crazy”? We all possess creativity.  We just need to stop trying to make creativity convenient to our ordinary lives.

“By introducing ourselves to the unfamiliar, we open up our network to novel possibilities for efficiency. This is called innovation.” p.64

The Spark and the Grind-Erik Wahl

 

3. Don’t let insecurity stop you

Embrace your rookie season. Even publicly if need be.  If we are committed to life long learning, we will always have rookie seasons. In order to be an expert, you have to be a rookie.  Develop the vulnerability and patience to appreciate being a novice. I think often times the obstacle is the fear of looking like a beginner versus actually beginning. It takes a lot of courage to do things when you are not confident. I will stop robbing myself of amazing opportunities because I’m insecure about how I may appear to others while I’m figuring it all out. How many more incredible experiences will you miss from not working through the awkwardness of the beginner phase?

“We fight not to appear foolish. Stop fighting that fight. Let go of your self-consciousness and fear of humiliation. There are far greater things to lose than a little ego now and then.” p.198

The Spark and the Grind-Erik Wahl

 

This book really inspired me to look differently at how I pursue my life and career.  It is certainly one of my favorite books I’ve read in 2017 (I have all the highlighted passages to prove it.). Erik Wahl also has a pretty cool YouTube Series in which he highlights people who epitomize the concept of The Spark and the Grind.  Check it out

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Summer of Business Books Challenge

Summer of Business Books Reading Challenge

Hi there!  It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted here. Just incase you didn’t know, I have started another blog beyond reading 112 Books.  Its called View 112.  I’ve been spending a lot of time curating great content on view112.com and I have the View 112 Podcast on iTunes. I’m working on something special for the summer and thought you’d like to know about it.

I am THRILLED to announce the View 112 Summer of Business Books Reading Challenge!

Guys. You know how much I love to read. This summer I want to encourage you to join me in reading a business book in June, July, and August. That’s right, I want to read 3 business books with you this summer. I’ve been working my way through the business isle at my local book store and I think I’ve got just the right combination. My goal is for us to leave Summer 2017 better in our careers and businesses. When you sign up for the Summer of Business Books Reading Challenge you will receive exclusive updates from me each week, info on opportunities to engage with other people doing the challenge, and gain perspective from others with like minded goals to be better in business this summer. I’m excited to engage with you around these books, learn what you are doing differently, and build together. My vision is to cultivate a virtual book club of fun, goal getters!

I am reaching out to the 3 authors to encourage a “Tweet the Author” event.  Hopefully they will join us.  I’d love to get their perspective.

Sign up for the View 112 Summer of Business Books Reading Challenge here: https://www.view112.com/view-112-summer-of-business-books-challenge/

-Jeanita

Journaling: Think. Say. WRITE. Do.

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I’ve had a long love affair for reading and writing.  In high school and even more so in college I used to write all of my thoughts and brainstorms into a composition notebook.  If you’re anything like me with thoughts running through your mind all day long, journaling (and meditation!) will help you leverage those thoughts.  Here are my favorite benefits of journaling:  (more…)

112 Books: The Top 12

One of the most frequently asked questions of me is “What has been the best book you’ve read this year?”  I have had a hard time answering the question as I’ve read so many fantastic books.  (My list was sensational!) Narrowing down 112 books to 12 was hard.  Allow the disclaimer that I could give you another 12 beyond this list.  That being said, here at my top 12 books I’ve read in 2016: (more…)

It’s Official: 112 Books

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Excited to share that I’ve completed the reading of my 112th book this year! *throws glitter*  I’ve been an avid reader since a child and I decided to stretch myself on my 38th birthday (1/12/16) to read 112 books before my next birthday and I’m done nice and early!  Y’all: I’ve read almost 30 THOUSAND pages in 2016. That’s a lot of words lol!  For my 112th read I picked another book written by a book lover and avid reader.  I’ve enjoyed reading about reading. Funny how this writer relates books to his life. I’ve gone through so many highs and lows this year and reading through it all has been the best birthday gift I could have ever given myself.  I am happy to have completed the challenge. So happy!  But I am not done reading, never done reading or learning.  I have also always been a writer and I feel this light to write burning inside of me. I can’t wait to share more with you about what I’ve learned from doing this 112 Books challenge.  Thank you for starting this journey with me! 

-J

Book 100: Ego is the Enemy

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Well guys its official.  I have read 100 books this year.  I only have 12 books to read between now and my birthday on January 12, 2017.  I didn’t know when I selected Ego is the Enemy to be my 100th read that I would get so much perspective about this journey of reading and blogging about reading 112 Books.

Many things stood out to me about this book but one that really struck me was the section under Aspire. This section called out a lot of things for me such as talking about what you are going to do versus doing it first then sharing if you must.  I think I am pretty action oriented, but something hit me like a ton of bricks after reading the Aspire section:  (more…)

The Concept of Grit

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Genius or Hard Work?  Cue Allen Iverson: “We talking bout practice?”

This book makes a compelling case about the value and benefit of hard work.  Psychologist and author Angela Duckworth profiles subjects from all walks of life: sports, business, education and more. Think of all those people thriving at the top of their game-you may be surprised at how they really got there.  This book argues a particular factor that separates those who excel and those who do not. Excellent vs Average could possibly be boiled down to one trait if you will… (more…)

The Idea of Wellth

Wellth

Most of us want to work hard, achieve a level of success and build wealth.  At what cost though?  What is being wealthy worth if you don’t have a real life?  In this thought provoking book titled: Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life Not a Resume the author, Jason Wachob explores the idea of wellness based on the following:  (more…)