Here it is. The perfect Business Beach Read. It’s Marianne Cantwell’s Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9 to 5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills.
You know that annoying thing you do compulsively, that thing that makes the people around you say “enough already”? No, not THAT thing, but perhaps it’s the fact that you can’t stop singing, or that you try to fix every problem that your friends have, or maybe that you always build on someone else’s idea until it’s been transformed into something new? Or are you too witty for your own good? It’s that predilection that you’ve always regarded as a personal weakness because you’ve never been doing it in the right place with the right tools.Cantwell says “it turns from a weakness to a strength when a) you do it in the right environment (ie: not unasked among family or within an organisation that truly doesn’t give a damn) and b) you step into it and own it.” Cantwell’s book (there’s also her blog at http://www.free-range-humans.com) presents a series of exercises to determine your secret, untapped, irritatingly buried abilities. Her first question is wonderfully whimsical: “When you were about 8 years old, [what were] the three things you could generally be found doing for play”?
If you think about it, that really is rather telling. Were you building Lego? Now, was that to see how high you could build, or was it to create a scene you could play X-men in? If you were riding your bike, was it as a means to go visit friends, or to fly down the nearest hill? Why you did these activities is as important as what the activities were.
This is a quirky book, so be prepared for it. Enjoy the process! No more singing only in the shower. Get out there and let them hear you!
Originally posted in the May 2014 edition of the Business Bridge.