Bas and I spent the past 7 months playing/working to create a storybook together. And it’s now finished! Woo hoo! Read it for free here:
Optimized for the iPad, the book at the link above also works on smart phones and most browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox at the moment). Kindle people can also purchase the book for $0.99 (US) on the Kindle. Proceeds go to KIVA to help small business people on the road to work they love.
Please share the book with anyone you think could use it. Our marketing plan = relying on the abundance that is our communities.
Bas gets 100% credit for the fact that the book works in different places and devices, is easy to use and visually beautiful, and has audio and video woven into and co-telling many of the stories. On my own, written stories within a Word doc is as high-tech as I get.
I created the book because I knew it’d be fun to do, and I strongly suspected it’d be fun to work with Bas despite our 9-hour time difference and even though we’d just met.
I created the book for the stream of people in my life whose stories feel stalled in a loop of “I hate my job/employer/work” and who are trying to figure their way out of that loop. Friends. Family members. Community members. Neighbors. I wanted more stories than just my own to tell people, because my story doesn’t work for everyone.
When Bas and I started last fall, it didn’t occur to me that this book would be where I myself turn when I have a bad day. That these stories would help me fall asleep on the nights I think “What the hell am I doing? This is stretching me too far. This is crazy. I can’t do this!” Didn’t know that it would be these voices reminding me that I’m more than the scared little individual I sometimes imagine I am. That they’d remind me we are all more than we can imagine and make real on our own. I spend time with these stories to remember who I am. And to remember who we are together. And to watch myself say “Wow” again and again and again. As my dear partner Daniel said, “You say ‘Wow’ a lot!” Yes, I do. For me, that’s different work. That’s recognizing that you love the people you’re with right now. That I love the work I’m doing. Right. Now.
The e-book is a collection of stories from people who deeply love their work (most days). People who are working beyond their own “I Shoulds” and who are changing what work looks and feels like for themselves and their families, organizations, and communities. For example, bike messengers serving their neighborhood and honoring their own love of riding bikes. A rabbi, a pastor, and an imam who are best friends, working together, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. Several different independent consultants and speakers who love their work and their communities. An indie lounge pop duo listening to the creative muses within themselves. A non-profit CEO who helps others laugh out loud and battle addiction. A conflict mediator and an artist who love their work and each other. A businessman/avid learner making friends all over the planet through his love of learning. Factory workers free to become and do what they want. And more!
I was going to stop there. But I just read Bas’ blog post about the book, and he said that the book changed him. Actually, he said it twice:
This changed me.
So I’ll add this last part to my story here:
This work changed us.
As my friend Doug Nathan said in the book, doing work you love keeps you on your learning edge. As Chas said, beyond work, this is a LIFE-changing company for us. As the amigos said, we continue to go deeper into relationship, into friendship, into our stories and into what we believe. As Wendy said, it isn’t easy, but its worth it. It can add up to a really meaningful life. As Diaz said, most of the time, JOY is the last of it all.
In my own life now, there are still moments where my I Shoulds rule. Moments when the story I’m telling myself isn’t really my own story. Moments when work sucks.
But most days now, these moments are just that. Moments. A few seconds or minutes, nothing more. Most days I can even see these moments as the gift they are: points of potential closer connection between me and others. “My work $#%*!@ sucks!” used to be my story for weeks and even months at a time. That’s not my story anymore. This is.
Photo by Simone Peerdeman.