It’s less than a week to go until Christmas so, ordering your gifts online is now pretty much a gamble. If the thought of braving the madness shops this weekend makes you want to crawl into a dark hole, fear not – I’ve got some ideas that will hopefully keep you in the festive spirit.
The gifts here are all things that you can buy, right up until Christmas Day. They are organised by interest so, hopefully you’ll be able to find something appropriate for all the people on your list – whatever they fancy!
July 2020 update: 6 and a half years after sharing my success reading list, it’s still relevant! I found myself thinking about it and wanting to update it with more gems. See the update below.
New journeys require new tools
When I embarked on journey of self-employment, almost 5 years ago, I went on a mission to educate myself about success. I got caught up in all the fantastic things I was learning about business, finance, personal effectiveness and ultimately, about myself. So much so that, I can probably count on my 2 hands, the number of fiction books that I’ve read during this period.
Over the past few months, as I establish my second business, I find myself ramping things up and making this reading part of my daily routine – at least 30-45 mins every day. The difference I’m experiencing in my mindset, my behaviour and my results is not a coincidence. When wiser, more seasoned and more successful people talk about swapping some TV time for reading – they’re not trying to rob you of joy! They know how they got where they are. So I’m going to retrace their steps (these days I catch up on TV on Sundays when I’m doing my hair … but, that’s a whole other post).
Below is a working success reading list – books that I’ve found very useful, as a creative entrepreneur.
We can have both (creative satisfaction and prosperity). Here’s to no more starving artists!
At a friend’s recommendation, I recently read Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn and it was so timely in so many ways:
- It offered the very affirmation that I needed in order to make the tough decisions that will propel me forward in terms of my well-being, my business and my life as a whole
- It reminded me of the importance of lessons previously learned but forgotten (or foolishly ignored)
- It inspired me to make these few remaining months of the year count like never before!
The things that had prevented me from reaching this point of confidence and conviction: excuses, that don’t really stand up in the light of day. For that reason, this post is for me – as a very public reminder for the times when I find myself falling short in terms of the respect, graft and love that I owe myself. It is also for any of you who can relate to the situation of your activity and/or results not matching up with your ambition. Here’s some of that good old tough love, seasoned with some of my favourite quotes from Jim Rohn’s book. In no particular order …
The Momo's experience in London, UK, involves North African cuisine, an eclectic African and diaspora music programme (that pulls in major stars and up-and-coming artists alike), beautiful decor and a relaxed boho-luxe ambiance. The restaurant/café/outdoor terrace/basement bar/disco was opened in the late 1990s by Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz.
Africa Writes, the Royal African Society's annual literature festival runs this year from Friday 5th through Sunday 7th July, at the British Library in London, UK. The programme includes several panel discussions, poetry readings, book launches, workshops, parties and more. I'm already working out my plan of attack! Meanwhile, here are books from some of the participating authors, many of them new titles that will be launched during the event.
Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman
A collection of stories about what it meant to be young, gay and Somali. A reading experience fusing hip hop, graphic illustrations, Arabic calligraphy and folklore studded with Kiswahili and Somali slang.
Paul Sika is a fine art photographer based in Côte d'Ivoire, whose psychedelic creations have gained attention from around the world. Paul's work has received glowing press from the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, Forbes Afrique, ARISE Magazine and many more. Furthermore, his self-published book, At the Heart of Me, is an Amazon Bestseller.
Today, Paul shares his journey and inspiration and discusses the "visual linguistics" of our continent.Paul. His story proves again what several other Afri-love interviews have: following a traditional training path (e.g. pursuing a particular course of study in an educational institution) is not always necessary in order to successfully follow your dream. It may be more powerful to interrogate your excuses and perceived barriers and, destroy the illusions you hold.
As with my African fiction reading list, here is a working list of non-fiction books that I'd like to read. Unlike with the fiction list, the criteria for what makes a book 'African' in this instance is a little bit different (and potentially less contentious – you tell me). This time classification has to do with the subject matter of the book rather than with the heritage of the author.
African Lookbook is an online space for discussions in the format of oral histories and for selling cutting edge African products. The site was co-founded by Aaron Kohn and Phil Sandick, a couple of American guys who have both lived and worked in Africa for several years. Here are a few eclectic finds from their site.
Over the past four years or so, I've hardly touched a book of fiction. Although I've thoroughly enjoyed all the stuff I have been reading and the learning its facilitated, I miss the experience of getting lost in another world. I've been noting down recommendations here and there and keeping lists on my beloved Evernote but I thought it would make sense to create one central list here on the blog.