September Favorites

September ends today. October, well, I’m not quite ready for you, yet. But I’m excited that Fall is here and that pumpkins and squashes are making an appearance. I’m also really excited for what the remaining three months of the year mean for me, personally, and S2 Stationery and Design.

This month, I start out with a great article from the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” issue. The article is actually an interview with Anne Sweeney from Disney. She starts off by answering the question, “How do you define power and influence?” with, “I look at power and influence differently. I look at power as the ability to get people motivated and to get them to do things that maybe they don’t think are important but, in the end, are in pursuit of something greater than themselves. But influence, as distinct from power, is really something quite different. To have influence, you really don’t need to have power. But what you need more than anything else is to have that almost uncanny understanding of what matters to people.”  That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the article. I think her answer is great and I agree with her 115%! Power and influence are two very different things. I’d rather have influence than power any day.  Read on here:  http://www.forbes.com/2011/08/30/powerful-women-interview-disney-ann-sweeney-moira-forbes.html

YOU:

I’ve mentioned Sherry Ott before on this blog. She’s an inspiration! She is a freelancer, photographer, blog and travel writer, adventurer, do-gooder, and many, many other things. On the last day of August, she posted the following article about Career Breaks and I loved it so much, I have to share. I am eyeing a career break at some point in my future. Whenever I’m down about not being able to take a break now, I look at this article and feel renewed with hope about when I do take it. Life is amazing and we get from it what we want and by what we give: http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/how-a-career-break-changed-my-life/

Chris Guillebeau strikes again! This article is BOMB.COM. Seriously. I want to share this article with everyone. Even more importantly, I want to print copies of it and give it to people on the streets, I want to turn it into a Christmas card (hmmm..maybe I will!) You’ll have to read to find out why, but the premise is simple and while he’s speaking about writing, it is easy to adopt for whatever is your passion/art. Enjoy!  http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-write-300000-words-in-1-year/

SUCCESS:

I really enjoyed this article! It’s a great read on the men (yes, they’re all men) who are well-known in history for being sharp, successful, and victorious when it mattered most (history dictates this). I especially love that the author, Paul Johnson, points to learning from history (something I wholeheartedly believe in) and to having a vast network of people to learn from as tools for success.  http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0822/opinions-paul-johnson-current-events-lessons-from-great.html

What is an entrepreneur? I like Craig Dwyer’s answer: “Two words: action people” in the article “Our Startup Summit With Michael Dell” in an August issue of Forbes Magazine (I know, I read a lot of issues of Forbes this month!).  I think the open communication approach between Michael Dell and this young group of entrepreneurs is insightful and inspiring. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0822/best-colleges-11-dell-noer-hamilton-dwyer-fu-startup-summit.html

WORKING HAPPY:

I think this article is extremely important. Why? Because I’ve learned recently that being happy matters. Not just for your personal life, but for your work life. After all, many of us spend 8+ hours a day in offices, so we should be happy about that time. When we’re not, it’s often a sign that we need to move on and in a new direction. This article just confirms it, but I think it shows more of what is necessary for companies with unhappy employees than employees themselves. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/do-happier-people-work-harder.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

What do companies that have the happiest employees have? They have great working environments! This article on Harvard Business Review does a great job of pointing out the 12 attributes of a great working place. I realize that a lot of companies aren’t going to go this road, especially if they are steeped in “old” ways, which is why it’s so important that entrepreneurs and individuals opening small businesses that they hope to expand in the future, take heed and figure these details out at the very beginning: http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/09/the-twelve-attributes-of-a-tru.html

WORDS:

I put this one under words because it has a lot to do with the language we use and how it affects our thoughts and actions. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/this-time-its-different/

Following up on the post by Chris is this post on American Express Open Forum. Talk about the power of words! I think you should all read this and adopt the practice in everyday life. I know I definitely have used these words when I meant to have more action behind them and I know I need to stop. Good luck changing your tone and creating action! http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-power-of-language-5-wicked-words-that-are-sabotaging-your-success?extlink=em-openf-SBdaily

INSPIRATION:

What is an “a-ha!” moment? I know I’ve had one, maybe even a few. The one that broke everything has me in my current position – as an entrepreneur, business owner, stationer, designer and artist. Yep. Incredible isn’t it? I think my experience was a bit different and my “a-ha” moment was definitely a dream, but I think that I was open to the three ways that the author suggests in this article. Be curious and open, that’s my take! http://www.openforum.com/articles/how-to-get-insights-and-why-its-important-that-you-do?extlink=sm-openforum-tw

Speaking of “a-ha” moments, the October issue of O Magazine is about changing old patterns and finding breakthroughs to make your goal and dreams  a reality. The first article that definitely inspired me was the list of 15 people who O Magazine has been wowed by and has labeled them “Thinkers, Dreamers and Doers”. Maybe it’s because I see all three of those in me. Regardless I hope they inspire you, too. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-2011-O-Wow-List

The second article from the October issue that I think is worth reading is titled, “How to Spark a Breakthrough”. It’s 9 tips to help. I’ve earmarked the pages in the magazine to review them time and time again, but also to share with friends of my own who are stuck and unsure. This IS a must read and I’m including it in the September issue of my favorite articles from the month because you shouldn’t wait to be inspired.  Get going! http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Making-Your-Ideas-a-Reality-Whats-Holding-You-Back

SOCIAL MEDIA:

I read this article this morning on the bus (9/21/11) and got REALLY excited. It’s not that amazing of an article, but I really like it’s points and I think they’re helpful to the small business owner who is still scratching their head about social media. The Forbes site for the article isn’t that friendly and I was a bit confused by the layout, but just click to be taken to the second, third, etc pages and you’ll see the five points the author is making. You’ll be glad you did, even if you’re whispering under your breath how Forbes.com should get a better web design/layout. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0926/entrepreneurs-social-media-myths-expert-rodriguez.html

BUSINESS:

I love DailyWorth! They give some great concrete tips and I love that they are open to sharing money stories between women. It is important that women  talk money and talk about it honestly, so I’m glad that they are building a community of sharers and of action.  This post on the other hand is more about helping you find ways to make your business aspirations happen. Quirky, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are all platforms I’ve heard of recently and I’m excited that they help entrepreneurs and artists make things happen. Check out the DailyWorth posting and the sites after. http://dailyworth.com/posts/909-Monetizing-Your-Big-Ideas

Ah, Steve Jobs. His leaving Apple has left a lot of speculation and a lot of people wondering what is next for the company. I’ll have to say that I’m not sure what to expect from Apple in the coming months. I hope that the legacy of Steve Jobs does continue to push the company in a creative and innovative direction, but I, too, am wondering what the future holds for a company I regard highly.  While this article is about Steve Jobs, it is also about the role of the creator and founder of a company, which is why I’m marking it as a top article for the month. Yes, I believe that serial entrepreneurs should walk away from projects as they both grow, but maybe that’s also a sign that the time for that company and idea have ended and maybe it’s time to move on completely rather than bring in a new CEO? Not sure. I just know I’m glad I’ve got a small business that I hope grows, but never at the expense of its founder and/or future employees. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/09/steve-jobss-law-why-founders-make-better-leaders/244439/

ENVIRONMENT:

For every good thing I said above about Forbes Magazine, I have one article that I read and it really made me mad – Drilling Into Eden. It’s about Chevron drilling off of Barrow Island off of Australia. They claim to be taking all the precautionary measures, but forgive me if I don’t believe them or any BIG OIL company. At the end of the day, they want money and nothing is going to stop these companies from going after it, even if it is the possibility that an entire ecosystem could die thanks to their greed. However, I’ll let you read the article and make your own decision. Just know that we have a responsibility to this planet NOW, not later when the damage is done.  http://www.forbes.com/global/2011/0912/barrow-island-drilling-into-eden.html

There you have it-September in a nutshell! I wish you the very best and most awesome October. Trick and Treat your loved ones and get ready for an awesome fall!

Until next month, be inspired and do great things!

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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