start something that matters

I wore my TOMS a lot & are now a bit (okay a lot) ragged

I recently finished reading the first book by Blake Mycoskie, the found of TOMS shoes:  Start Something That Matters.  I would not have taken this book as ‘something for me’, however I was surprised by how many things Mycoskie spoke on that can be applied not only to the business world, but my own life as well.  Though I am not on the verge of starting anything, I really enjoyed this book.  It takes you from the story and history of TOMS through several other people and/or companies that began with the purpose to help others (one being his mom).  Blake touches not only on resources to tap into but also core issues such as trust, simplicity and fear.

Throughout his book, Mycoskie continues to come back to the core of what TOMS is all about: giving may be the best investment you’ll ever make.  He shares with you right off the bat the impact his very first shoe drop had on him, how such a simple idea could have such a strong impact and something as elementary as a shoe could create so much joy.  That is Blake’s story and he encourages his readers of the importance of finding their own passion before doing anything else; knowing and articulating what drives each of us forward.

About halfway through the book, Mycoskie speaks about simplicity, on keeping it simple.  There was a portion that jumped out at me as I live in this world, this country, this island of abundance.  As I try to raise my daughter to understand needs vs wants (even how our needs vastly differ from needs of people across the world) and find a balance among all the material things.  It was straight forward and got me thinking:

How much do you really need in life?  How many clothes?  How many toys?  Look around you.  Maybe … you need to create a simple environment in which to live and work.  (p.115)

I don’t want life to be bogged down by stuff, because that is what happens when we continue to acquire things.  “The fact is, the more you have, the more effort and money you have to spend taking care of it, which distracts you from enjoying it.”  There is a fine balance in keeping it simple, one that I am aware of and strive to find the right path.

this was taken at Monserate in Bogotá, Colombia; V’s second time there

There was more to the book than what I am sharing, however I am sharing what reached me.  My favorite part was the end of the book, however the end was also the underlying theme throughout the book.  Blake constantly shares about the importance of giving.  He sums it up with this, “You don’t have to be starting something to make a difference.  Whoever you are and whatever you do, giving is important.  If whatever you do helps just one person, you’ve done something wonderful!”  I have been challenged in my running journey about the importance of helping others.  I have been challenged that this is not something you do here and there, but an active, daily walk.  I want to lead by example to my daughter what loving others looks like.  It is not always easy  and I don’t always know how, but Blake has reminded me of the most important step, the first step: to start now!

  “I firmly believe that every person alive can make this world a better place.  I also believe that we are all equipped to help one another.  We are all born with the ability to improve another persons life.”

I believe this as well, that we all can make steps towards tackling poverty, providing clean water, eliminating sex trafficking, overcoming addiction, protecting children and so much more!  This is part of the reason why I run, to help children in need, if it’s through someone sponsoring a child or just through bringing awareness to others of the need that is out there, I want to make use of my abilities to improve another persons life.

V’s first pair of TOMS looking a little worn; we’ve learned to steer clear of sparkly shoes, they don’t last as long on her feet

Perhaps you would like to take that first step (or another step) by starting now, consider sponsoring a child through Team World Vision.  And a little tidbit for you, World Vision is one of the organizations TOMS works with when doing a shoe drop.  I love seeing how people reach across the table and work together for good!


NOW ONTO THE GIVEAWAY!!!  This giveaway is part of TOMS Books for Bloggers contest they conducted almost a year ago.  My little blog was one of who knows how many that was chosen to receive 2 copies of Blake Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters.  I am a little behind but have finally gotten around to reading the book (better late than never) and thought the giveaway fit in perfectly with all that I am doing with my first marathon and Team World Vision.

TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A HARDCOVER COPY of Blake Mycoskie’s Start Something That Matters, answer the following question in the comments below: (this is a question Mycoskie posed in his book)


Remember, to answer in the comments below this post (not on Facebook).  For a second, extra entry, at the top of the blog is an opportunity to subscribe via email.  Subscribe to me ol’ blog for a second, extra entry and leave a second comment stating you did so (or if you already follow, just say that).  Make sense?

Oh, and you have until FRIDAY NIGHT EST to enter.  Winner will be drawn/announced Saturday, after my run!  =)

17 days till the ING NYC Marathon

One thought on “start something that matters

  1. I’ve always wanted to start a non-profit design firm that creates materials for organizations striving for social change. So perhaps that is what I would do with my time if I didn’t have to worry about money.

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