Each summer I hold a summer book club for any of 20+ employees who want to participate. Books we’ve read in the past were: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero (5 stars!), 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (1 star), and Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard (5 stars!). This year, we chose “I Dare Me” by Lu Ann Cahn (2 stars).

This year’s summer book club served two purposes, though. With weddings being pushed back and postponed, this was my monthly check-in to see employees face to face and keep up the positivity and good rapport because I wasn’t seeing them as usual. Even though the book wasn’t my favorite, it was PERFECT for the season we were in…while life felt limiting, enclosed, and a little shut off for a while. This book encourages readers to do something outside their comfort zone, which was the uplifting task we all needed during a LONG pandemic quarantine.

The author did something for the first time for 365 days in a row. She did things like learn to hula hoop, eat a scorpion, learn to dance, etc. Some were hilarious and outrageous and others were very do-able and basic. It seemed like the perfect book to encourage Hitch Studio employees to have a little fun while quarantined at home.

We met three times throughout the summer, each time reading 1/3 of the book. After finishing it, I encouraged all employees to come up with their “Top 10 Firsts” as goals to meet in a week, month, year…their choice. That was the best part of the entire book club!!

My list included things like:

  1. Buy coffee for the person behind me in line [DONE!]
  2. Spend an entire day giving strangers sincere compliments
  3. Stick with golf league [DONE!]
  4. Don’t say anything negative all day
  5. Meditate
  6. Back a trailer into the water [DONE!]
  7. Drink half my weight in ounces of water for an entire week [DONE!]
  8. Ride across the Chamberlain/Oacoma Bridge [DONE!]
  9. Give up sugar for 30 days
  10. Learn to drive a stick shift
  11. Close my Apple Watch rings for a week straight
  12. Write a book about my grandmothers

Other employees included things on their lists like:

  1. Learn how to fillet a fish
  2. Spend a day without looking at my phone
  3. No online shopping for one week
  4. Cook brussel sprouts
  5. Go a day without cussing
  6. Schedule a dentist appointment by myself
  7. Eat a peanut butter burger
  8. Create a charcuterie board
  9. Watch all of the Jurassic Park – and Jurassic World – movies in one day
  10. Make an Italian dish while listening to Italian music

We started a private Facebook page where we can share our firsts as we accomplish them long after our book is over, which is so fulfilling to me. We are going to stay connected based solely on us doing firsts! I just love it.

I highly encourage your office/team/business to start a book club. I try to choose a fun, but personal/professional development book to make it interesting for all levels and ages of readers (from college age to retired).

This book could have been a bit deeper emotionally, but overall a GREAT read for a time when we all need to re-examine the routines we live in. When given the chance, I have a new motivation to say YES to any first that comes my way!

p.s. My used copy I bought online was even signed by the author! Your loss is my gain, Tammy. 🙂

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