How To: Start Something That Matters

Our March Better World Book Club pick was Start Something That Matters, by the Founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie.

We featured the book as the subject of one of our quarterly in-person events – in sync with the TOMS One Day Without Shoes event worldwide on 4/10/12.


At our “Barefoot for Books” gathering, 30 book & social enterprise loving Atlantans came together – barefoot – to discuss the book, Blake’s story and how we, too, can start something that matters.

Many BWBers spent the entire day barefoot as well.


It was an eye and heart opening exercise which I strongly encourage you to take part in next year.

Now, to the book.

Start Something That Matters is great! TOMS has provided a compelling teaching guide for you to work through here.

One take-away that we spent much time discussing at the event is a series of three questions that Blake poses to help you discover your passion. Once you find your passion, you can then focus your life on achieving goals that are meaningful to you, and hopefully find a way to make a living while making a difference – just like Blake has through TOMS and our Founders, Xavier Helgesen and Kreece Fuchs, have done through Better World Books.

Here are the three questions to consider:

1. If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do with your time?
2. What kind of work would you want to do?
3. What cause would you serve?

We’d love for you to share your answers below and also your thoughts on the book, the TOMS and Better World Books social enterprise models and your ideas on how to do good and do well at the same time. Thank you for joining in the Better World Book Club fun!

April Book Selection

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

Have you read “Life of Pi” yet? What did you think about it? Would you like to contribute to our April Book Club blog? Email me at 11@betterworldbooks.com if you’re interested.

Back to Blake’s book, can you recommend any other books that give great advice in finding your passion and making it a reality?

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