Home owner, blogger, life coach, google employee and yoga instructor extraordinaire, all by age 26. To say that Jenny Blake inspires me is an understatement and she has now written a book based on her aptly titled and popular blog Life After College. I was sent an advance copy of the book to review for her publishing debut and I have to say I really enjoyed it.
Essentially the book is a portable life coach, with each chapter consisting of a main aspect of life: Big Picture, Work, Money, Home, Organization, Friends & Family, Love, Health, Fun & Relaxation and Personal Growth. It is written in Jenny’s unique voice and you basically feel like her best friend by the end (aka I sent her a TMI email after reading, kind of like a drunk dial. Not that I have firsthand experience there).
From the high energy cover, to the high quality paper and pages sprinkled with fun symbols and red font. Each chapter stands alone so you don’t have to read the book cover to cover. In fact, it can actually act as a reference tool, to be revisited as needed at relevant times.
The format is awesome and unique with personal stories and deep dives from Jenny herself, along with quick tips from her twitter followers, other college graduates and famous quotes. The most valuable and unique content in the book are the many coaching exercises that lead you to ask the right questions in order to brainstorm solutions to improve every facet of your life.
The Book Saves the Day – 3 Personal Uses
Comparing Values with Mr. Energy: he had expressed interest in getting his life organized and setting some goals or focus. I had just started reading the book and thought the first chapter on values was just what he needed. But he didn’t want to do it alone so on one of our dates, we both did some exercises and compared notes. Perhaps it was a bit much for our fragile courtship but it made me realize where our values were similar and different. It’s actually a really nice memory.
Getting Schooled on Moving Out: I had heavily considered a rental property that came to my attention via facebook – room mate included. Completely clueless in that department, the book provided some key questions to ask myself as well as my potential roommate before signing on the dotted line (among other things), which I did. While I didn’t take the plunge (had nothing to do with the roommate), I know I will refer back to this chapter.
Handling the Break Up with Mr. Energy: Jenny actually has a “Break Up” Template with a series of prompts that she originally published on her blog. The prompts allow you to let it all out (remembering the good, the bad and the ugly) but more importantly have you focused on the positives behind the break up and how to move forward. I hope I don’t have to refer back to this but I’m happy to know it is there.
Learn How Jenny Became a Published Author
Jenny has a special newsletter for those interested in the behind the scenes scoop on the publishing process. Not only that, but she also posts links to relevant interviews including the Author at Google Talk she gave about what she learned. The 38 minutes are worth it but here are my takeaways:
On understanding Your Value – How to Demotivate Yourself
It took Jenny 6 months to begin writing the book – she saw so many other competing books in the category and wondered what value she could add, what information she could give, that wasn’t already said. She realized it was her unique voice and take on the subject that matters.
I’ve talked myself out of screenwriting thinking that my movie idea isn’t that unique, it’s been done before, who cares what I have to say? Hell I still think that sometimes with this blog, but you have to GET OVER THAT in order to do great things.
On Standing Your Ground – A Book Cover Story
Authors typically don’t get to final approval on their book cover and Jenny was told hers was final. It didn’t fit with her vision and after slaving for months on her passion project, she boldly sought to provide feedback and in the end, was more than happy with the end product.
On giving yourself time to rest – The Sprint and Rest Stop Approach
Jenny had a complete melt down 3 weeks before her book launch because she had been operating in Gear 6 for months on end without giving herself a break. I totally empathize with taking on too much and being too afraid to stop and let balls drop. She believes life isn’t a marathon but a series of sprints and rest stops and I couldn’t agree more!
I know for certain you can buy this book on Amazon and highly recommend it! What else are you reading this summer? I’ve got Bossypants and Your Voice in my Head on the roster.