Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Club: Then Came You

I'm behind on my book club updates. It's been about three weeks since our last meeting... yikes!

But we had a great turn-out in June, and with everything going on these days, it was so good to catch up with everyone. We enjoyed a perfect summer dinner, thanks to our host, E. -- kabobs and baked potatoes off the grill, plus a big salad and margaritas (for those who could partake).

We discussed Fascinate, and those of us who had taken the survey to find out our top triggers -- that is, what makes us fascinating -- shared the results. Overall, the group had mixed reviews. Some wanted more examples that could apply to individual personalities and brands, rather than larger corporate brands. Some wanted more examples of actual application. But I was glad to hear that everyone found certain aspects to be really interesting, whether it was the idea of fascination, the examples, or the descriptions of the triggers.

As a business owner whose brand is essentially me, I found the online survey to be a helpful tool in understanding what strengths I have and what sets me apart. For those who are curious, I am considered a "Diplomat" -- with a primary trigger of Trust and a secondary trigger of Prestige. Common themes here: consistent, dependable, detail-oriented, ambitious, has high expectations. That sounds about right to me!

The tough part is the application. I've found with my business that once people work with me one time, they want to work with me again and again. Or they'll recommend me to other people. To make my triggers of Trust and Prestige apparent -- to show that I'm consistent, detail-oriented, and all that -- isn't an overnight process. I have to build a relationship, do the work, earn that trust. So I try to focus on the progress made, the relationships I've cultivated, and look back to recognize how my hard work translates to business successes -- because it often takes time to pay off or come to fruition.

I'd recommend the book for some marketing food-for-thought, but how helpful it'll be to you will depend on your situation, your knowledge base, and your needs or interests.

Next month (meaning this month!), we'll be reading and chatting about Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner. We figured July was a good time for a beach read, one that still had a little bit of substance and could prompt an interesting discussion. I think this book fits the bill!

Barnes & Noble Overview:
Jules Strauss is a Princeton senior on a full scholarship who plans on selling her “pedigree” eggs to help save her father from addiction.

Annie Barrow, a struggling Pennsylvania housewife, thinks that carrying another woman’s child will help her recover a sense of purpose and will bring in some much-needed cash.

India Bishop, thirty-eight (really, forty-three) and recently married to the wealthy Marcus Croft, yearns for a baby for reasons that have more to do with money than with love. When her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to Jules and Annie to make her dreams come true.

But each of their plans is thrown into disarray when Bettina, Marcus’s privileged daughter, becomes suspicious that her new stepmother is not what she seems . . .

Told with Jennifer Weiner’s trademark wit and sharp observations, Then Came You is a hilarious, tender, and timely tale that explores themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and charity, the rights of a parent and the measure of a mother.

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