A while ago I had the opportunity to take part in the TOMS Blog Giveaway which was FAB because I love TOMS! They sent me two copies of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters and my job was simply to read and keep one copy, review it on my blog and then give one copy away. It sounded simple and it was…and I should have done it already but for some reason, whatever reason, life got in the way! However as the old adage goes: better late than never! And quite frankly the message in Start Something That Matters can never get old or out of date. So here goes…
I’m an advocate of TOMS model. I was desperate to get hold of a pair of TOMS shoes the moment I found out about them. Mycoskie had me at “one for one!” 🙂 This way of giving back really appealed to me. Practical not only because it helps those in need and puts shoes on feet but also because TOMS is a successful business which gives back to our economy and creates jobs. Additionally the shoes look great so it was win/win really!
Start Something that Matters is easy to read, perfect for a cozy Sunday afternoon, curled up on the couch with a mug of coffee. It’s also pretty good for dipping in and out if you’re stuck on a commuter train somewhere because Mycoskie’s positivity and enthusiasm come through quite clearly in his writing. And it’s surprisingly addictive and this is where I think Start Something That Matters really has some clout because you can’t stop thinking about it.
This book has the power to change the way you think about giving and change the way we are living! The TOMS one for one approach frees individuals from the burden of financial giving, which in a time of economic stress is tough on everyone. Instead the premise is this: what can you give back to society for FREE? What skills do you have that you can offer to others for FREE? I love that idea! It’s not just about money, it’s about using your skills and so it seems more personal, more genuine – to me anyway.
As I finished the book I knew I wanted to find a way to give back like this too. Eventually it dawned on me that I could put my acting training to use (finally) and get involved in reading books for free. I found a fantastic organisation locally called the Reading Resource which does just that. Here’s their link: http://www.readingresource.org/ They are responsible for producing hundreds of audio books a year which cover just about every subject and style you can think of! I was thrilled to get involved and chuffed to bits to be giving back in a way that wasn’t just handing over my credit card details.
The importance of this book is not how original it’s message is. In fact it’s not original at all really, philanthropy in business has been around for a long time. The importance of this book really is the timing: Start Something That Matters serves as necessary reminder. We’re a society which is being consumed by social media, we can make friends, purchases and even give online. Blake Mycoskie puts the “human” back into “humanitarian.” Giving is personal again and I think that’s a good thing.
Even if this book was useless and badly written (which is isn’t) everyone should buy a copy if only for the fact that with every purchase of Start Something That Matters, a children’s book will be provided to First Book and given to a child in need in the United States. So every home should have a copy gracing their bookshelves, virtual or otherwise!
And I have a copy to give away to one lucky person! 🙂 All you have to do is tell me who said this: “One person can make a difference and every person should try” (clue: assassinated US President – I’m making this easy for you guys!) and share one way that you think you could give back in the one for one spirit! I would LOVE to hear your ideas – hopefully we can all inspire each other! 🙂
To find a random winner, I will probably ask my four year old son to pick a number (unless I can work out how to do that electronic random picker thing) and then happily mail Start Something That Matters to anywhere in the world! Yes ANYWHERE! So come on everyone let’s do this! 🙂