What if you could, with a little effort, live an extraordinary life? A life in which you felt deep passion for everything you did, and always had time for what matters most? A life in which you had the power, the daring, and the will to make your boldest dreams come true, all while you happily left feelings of inadequacy or guilt behind? Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: May 2016
From the cover
say good-bye, ordinary
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
What if I told you that, with a little effort, you could live an extraordinary life? A life in which you felt deep passion for what you did and you always had time for what mattered to you? A life in which you made your most important dreams come true, all while happily leaving behind feelings of inadequacy or guilt, discarding them as if they were corsets from the 19th century?
These days there's a lot of discussion about whether women can have it all. This book isn't about having it all; it's about having what matters most—to you. This is a book about achieving your boldest dreams and ambitions, but doing it on your terms. I wrote this book to help you find your own version of extraordinary—to help you dial up the sound of your own voice so you can tune in to your authentic dreams and develop the will to make them reality.
Now, let's just get this out there . . . it's a tad presumptuous of me to tell other people how to be successful, isn't it? Doesn't it mean I think I'm successful enough to be an expert in the matter? Well, I do consider myself successful, but not for the reasons you might think at first glance.
I've done a lot that I am proud of. I graduated from Stanford, and I've been on the cover of the New York Times, called out for being a serial entrepreneur and founder of two successful companies: Della & James, which became WeddingChannel.com, and the company I currently run, the Stella & Dot Family of Brands. And I've had some amazing life experiences—I have been on Oprah, I've gone to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen of England, I've been in the Wall Street Journal, and I've had my face broadcast eight stories high in Times Square after ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ for the Stella & Dot Foundation. (That was fun!)
Did sheer luck have something to do with my success? Yes. I was born in the United States, where education is widely available to both genders. I graduated from college in 1994, right around the time women in the United States began earning college degrees in equal numbers with men. Oh—and lest I forget—I went to college in the heart of Silicon Valley right before the commercialization of the Internet and right after the economy recovered from a recession.
Since I sought my first job when the economy was strong, it was easier to take risks, knowing I could always go back and get a safe job. The way society looked at work was changing too. There was a decided shift away from looking at a twenty-five-year tenure at one company and a gold watch at retirement as the pinnacle of success to seeing dropouts and innovators as business heroes.
I was also born into a time when women could play more than menial roles in the workforce. Though our ancestors were around for about six million years, modern humans evolved only about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started in earnest only in the 1800s. The 20th century saw the Great Depression, two world wars, and the Vietnam and Korea wars; with all that hardship, women finally began to enter the workforce. (Remember Rosie the Riveter?) But only with the feminist movement of the 1960s did women begin to enter the professional world in great numbers—and we've been gunning to break the glass ceilings ever since.
So, of the 200,000 years in which I could have...