Beginner's Pluck is the kind of book that will have you flipping pages so fast you may accidentally get a paper cut. This wildly entertaining, motivational “how to” on living a life with purpose and impact is written by Liz Forkin Bohannon. The thing that makes it different than other motivational “how to's” is one, Liz's hilariously authentic footnotes, and two the no sugar coating, approachable, attainable guidelines she so wonderfully unfolds chapter by chapter.
You may recognize Liz as the founder of Sseko Designs, an ethical womens apparel and accessory brand. Sseko is one of the brands I stumbled upon in high school when I was yearning to learn more about my decided pursuit of all things ethical/ sustainable fashion. It was one of the brands that sparked curiosity and affirmed my interest in pursuing this as a career path. All of that being said, I don't know how it has taken me this long to read this book but I was not let down, that is for sure.
So many of these pages sparked insightful realizations in me and I hope it did or does the same for you. There were a few chapters, and one particular concept, that I gleaned the most from:
My Four Major Reflections
Chapter #3: Dream Small - While is sounds so contradictory, this chapter reminded me that in the midst of deciphering my purpose, call or even next step, dreaming small is a wonderful place to start. Sometimes I can get so overwhelmed by the large, macro scale of my purpose or career that I am numb and forget how to even take one step. When we make our dreams digestible it allows us to take our first steps more easily.
Chapter #5: Be On Assignment in Your Own Life - This is advice I wish I would have gotten in middle school. I think this concept is brilliant for even day to day life as we get to know ourselves. Step out, ask questions, engage with the world around you. If you have a passion for something, act like a journalist who is going to write about it and investigate the matter. Who knows what you will find. It reminded me that if I am bored or dissatisfied with my own life I can pivot and go on assignment.
Okay so this next one wasn't actually a chapter, but it was a major call out for me that took a few days to digest.
Don't Play Savior - For the past two decades western business has infiltrated vulnerable, third world communities and either exploited these communities and peoples, or proclaimed themselves “savior" over them. I realize now how easy it can be to fall into either narrative and how strongly I desire not to. To me, it all comes down to choice. I have the choice to source materials or source work from anywhere in the world. I choose to pay workers what they are owed and to invest in people working hard to build THEIR life of purpose and impact. If I get to partner with that, well there is no greater honor.
Chapter #11: Stop, Drop, and WOW - One of the final chapters of the book reminded me that in the process of building my impact and ideating new goals and dreams, I need to revell in them and give them the joy, excitement and attention they deserve. Stopping and honoring the “WOW” of the dream and depositing all of the joy and excitement over it is so necessary for the days when the “HOW” of bringing them to life are hard.
Passion is something you build. It is the journey of putting in the work and it is built choice after choice. There is no true “find my passion” mark I am missing, with each small dream, each assignment, each choice and each idea I build my life of purpose and impact.
Dang, thank you Liz Bohannon for sharing your journey with the world, with women like me who are just trying to figure it out and are moved by the dreams that keep me laying awake at night. Thanks for being such a good example of what it truly looks like to create a brighter, more sustainable future.
Until Next Time,