Originally Published on 6/28/19
Friends, I remember why I picked up this book so many moons ago. It was the first self help book I read because the rest of them made me roll my eyes so hard they damn near got stuck. I could relate to this woman who went from broke skeptic to badass millionaire on her own terms. If she could do it, why couldn’t I? The first time I read this book, I was in a job I loved, but was overworked, working long hours and still disappointing people because I was so overworked and couldn’t meet their unrealistic deadlines. I was killing myself to make other people happy, and it wasn’t working for anyone. I needed a change, so I ordered the book on Amazon, finished it in a week, gave my copy away to a friend I thought could use it and bought like 5 more to give away. No lie. That’s when I started my side hustle on Etsy and working to get freelance graphic design work so I could eventually run my own show – which makes up most of my income now, 3 years later.
The book: You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero
This time around, I’m in a different life place, and I think it’s important to evaluate where you are in life before you go into reading a book that’s all “you can do the thing, just put your mind to it!” because you may have some life stuff you’re dealing with that makes it more difficult to put your mind to anything. For instance, if I would have read this book a year ago, it would not have resonated and I would have scream-cried at the pages like, “Oh yeah, how did I MANIFEST THIS BULLSHIT HURRICANE? RIDDLE ME THAT, JEN.” But that’s because my husband had just died suddenly and I was in a difficult and confusing headspace. Now I’m in a more clear metal state and can take in helpful information to level up my life, business and happiness, while also having a crystal clear perception based on experience that our one life is precious and fragile and could end without notice, so why not live as best as you possibly can?
On to the book review and discussion.
Leave your thoughts in the comments – here are a few questions to get you started, with my answers below.
I started the book club. So, yeah. This question is meant for literally everyone but me, however I chose this book as our first one because I remember the feeling I felt the first time I read it and I wanted to feel that way again, and help you feel that way too.
Inspiration to GO OUT AND DO THE DAMN THING DAMMIT. And yes. Exceeded, even.
I have, about 3 years ago. I’ve read half of You Are A Badass at Making Money, and plan to finish ASAP.
There isn’t a chapter I didn’t like or gain something from, but there are a couple that stood out.
There are so many quotable moments in this book! I like “Done is better than perfect” because I’m a habitual procrastinator, re-reader, editor and fixer, and a hesitant launcher and doer. All things I’m working on and rolling with, but that quote is a great reminder to just DO THE THING. Put it out there and tweak it later if necessary.
Nope. Loved every word of it.
It was exciting to read, but I had to get in the habit of forcing myself to make time to read it because of the month-deadline. It was easy to do with this book because it was an easy read, but I didn’t get to finish You Are a Badass at Making Money (our bonus book, also by Jen Sincero), which I had aimed to finish this month as well.
1000% yes. Kinda already doing it. I like her conversational and to-the-point tone.
Yes. Reading this has reinforced a lot of what I already believe and offered some concrete steps to level up. I’m getting over myself and becoming the badassiest version of me.
First, I set an alarm and woke up early today. When I sleep in past 9am (it’s summer and I work from home, it’s allowed), my day is never as awesome or productive. This mostly stems from staying up too late because I can’t fall asleep/want to binge something on Netflix. How do I get over myself to be better? I realized that nothing on Netflix is going to level me up, so I took some melatonin gummies, because pills are for suckers, and went to sleep by 11 – my goal was 10, but hey progress is progress – so I could get a solid 8 hours of sleep and still get up early. I set my alarm for 6:30 and actually got out of bed a little after 7. I made coffee, cleaned up my kitchen and started some laundry before I sat down to work. On any other day, I would have also gone to exercise, but that brings me to my next thing:
Secondly, I hired a housekeeper and she came this morning. I haven’t had one since I had a whole crew of people living here and I couldn’t even with the mess 7 humans created. It was like a tornado of cereal crumbs, questionable blue stains, glue and dirt hit my house every day. Now that it’s just my son and me, it was easier to keep it clean ourselves, plus I didn’t know where I would be financially after Jason died. For the past year, we’ve cleaned almost every weekend, and I usually clean up on weeknights too. I took a good look at what I do every day and how I could make my days more awesome and productive, and this is what I came up with:
What makes me happy: Cleanliness. No clutter. No questionable sticky spots on the counter. No bath tub rings. Vacuum lines. White sinks. Clean tile. Everything in it’s place.
The solution up until now: Either we clean ourselves, or I wind up in a stressed-out mindset because I legit can’t even with clutter and mess.
The problem: Cleaning takes time and energy, and so does everything else we need and want to do.
The new solution: Hire a housekeeper at a fair rate confidently negotiated ahead of time. Before, I would have agreed to whatever price she gave me. Now, I negotiated down because there’s only 2 people in my house so it’s less mess than a typical family. She’s happy about her new business and cleaning a house that isn’t super messy to begin with, and I’m happy that I don’t have to stress about cleaning because every 2 weeks I’ll get to press the reset button.
Note: Cleaning is a valuable skill that I believe all children need to learn, so we will still be doing chores between housekeeper visits. We vacuum 2-3 times/week anyway, so that won’t stop. My son has his specific chores that he still does weekly – taking out trash and recycling, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the hamster cage, etc. It’s important to teach kids to value their space and their things, and to take care of them.
I guess a lot of people must have a messed up relationship with money, because the entire time I was writing about wanting more money or hiring a housekeeper, which some may see as a frivolous expense, I felt the need to defend myself and my choices – not only for judgy keyboard warriors (“Um, as a single mom, shouldn’t you work 80 hours a week and still come up short…? That’s like, the rule.”), but also to set an example for people who are in the same boat. You have clothes, food and shelter, is it greedy to want more things and experiences? NO. You do you. I’ll do me. We’ll all be happier for it. Issa process though.
My goal is not to work myself to death to make a buck. My goal is to have enough bucks to live the life I want to live and enjoy it. I want to sip my coffee outside while I look at my plants and flowers. I want to go on at least 2 trips per year to show my son the whole country and world, and to see new things for myself. I want to soak up the sun in the summer and laugh over hot cocoa and a fire pit in the winter. I want to watch the sun set every night from a house on a hill. I want to take my son to pick out pumpkins from a legit pumpkin patch, get my hair done every 6-8 weeks and buy those cute jeans I saw online without worrying about the cost. When you put it that way, does it sound greedy? NOPE. Do you need money to do all of those things? YEP.
Overall, this book gave me the ass kicking I needed, reinforced my beliefs in what I should be doing, pushed me to create better, sustainable habits and made believing in something (God, the universe, source energy, whatever you want to call it) more realistic for me. I’m not a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, etc. but I do believe in something. The way this book was based on having a non-traditional, non-religious belief system was super relatable for me, personally. It’s okay if you don’t agree. It’s okay if you do agree.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is in a rut either with your job, romantically, financially, or otherwise. I enjoyed it and dog-eared at least a third of the pages so I can go back and soak up some bite-size wisdom every now and then.
I know I said I’d announce it first via email then on the blog later, but then I started thinking that that’s too many book emails for those who dgaf or don’t have time to read or just don’t want to. Instead, I’ll just announce the next month’s book at the end of the book review post, like this. I’ll still send emails with freebies, discounts and fun motivation, so definitely sign up for my email list!
For July, we’ll read Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I haven’t read any of her books, but I have seen her Ted Talk, Netflix special and interview at the Mom 2.0 summit this year. 10/10 would recommend all of the above.
I won’t be doing bonus books any more, because if you’ve already read our announced book, it can be useful to re-read it because you may be in a different life phase or pick up different things from it, so going forward we’ll just do 1 book each month. You can always find our book club picks by visiting the blog tag “Nerky Book Club” or my Amazon page here where they are all linked.
If you prefer audio books on your commute, while you workout or on your evening stroll, you can get a free trial with Audible, including 2 free audiobooks by hitting that link.
If you’re in the Nerky Book Club, can you pretty please leave a comment below? Even if you didn’t read or finish this month’s book, but definitely if you did! It helps me to see how many people are joining in, and if I need to create a better way to talk about the books, like a Facebook group. Thanks, friends!
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