My turn (and yours)

Maybe a decade ago, my then-partner opened a package at work and found a book. Someone had sent it to her because she wrote about small businesses, and this was a book of advice for businesspeople. Well, for people. And for businesses. But not, she thought, for her audience.

She called me: “I got this book about business. You’re a business writer, maybe you’d like to read it.”

“Who wrote it?”

“Some guy named Seth Godin.” He edited it, she said, from contributions by a long list of people. She reeled off the names, the A-list of business writers: Dan Pink, the speechwriter who branded freelancing as a profession. Malcolm Gladwell, the brilliant social analyst whose work I first found in The New Yorker. And then, amid the who’s who of business literati, one name leapt out. Not a business expert – as far as I knew – but someone I’d definitely heard of: My ex. Well, “ex” may be putting it a little too strongly. Someone I had dated after college and since lost track of.

And that’s why I read The Big Moo. Not because of the subject, not because of the famous co-authors but because of this trailmix-munching creature I met at an old friend’s party in the latter part of the 20th century.

They say you get something valuable out of every relationship. It took a few decades but that post-collegiate fling led me to Seth Godin, and I am very glad for it. I recommend his work constantly, especially to people who believe that “sophisticated” has to mean “complicated,” that “smart” and “readable” cannot coexist.

Seth’s most recent book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn), has some powerful things to say about fear and change and action. “Action,” for a writer, means writing – something I have done only spottily on this blog, something I have determined to do more of in 2015.

And that brings me to Monday, Day 1 of a challenge to “ship every day” – blog every day for a week. Winnie Kao, the Godin-phile who created it, calls it the Your Turn Challenge. Join me. I expect to learn something about myself. Maybe you can too.