Book Summary: Find Your Extraordinary

Jessica Herrin is a very extraordinary individual. She is the creator and CEO of Stella & Dot, a direct sales firm with revenues forecasted to reach $500 million in 2016.

Stella & Dot has sold over $1 billion in items and paid out over $300 million in commissions to its partners in the ten years since Jessica started her firm in her living room (aka "stylists").

Not bad for a firm that specializes in costume jewelry.

Furthermore, she is reshaping an outdated and misunderstood sector - direct sales (also known as MLM) - to benefit women who want to start and grow a business in today's fast-paced society.

In reality, 80 percent of those who join Stella and Dot do so while also working outside the house. As corporate positions grow less reliable and more individuals turn to "sidepreneurship" to supplement their income, this is a trend that will continue.

Jessica Herrin presents her 6 P's for business in her book, Find Your Extraordinary.

What is your PASSION?

A chef following her passion of cooking and making a vlog to showcase her talents.

It's not about the money.

Maya Angelou once remarked, "Pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you."

On the other hand, Jessica Herrin feels that if you want to live an extraordinary life, you must put your heart and soul into your work. Your passion should be fueled by what motivates you on the inside, not by money.

Jessica had to learn this the hard way.

In the first Internet boom, she left Stanford to establish an online wedding register for her first business. The company exploded in popularity, and she was featured on Oprah's show. It was finally sold for millions of dollars.

While most people would consider this a major business accomplishment, Jessica felt dissatisfied with her achievements. She understood that she just enjoyed the illusion of success since she wasn't personally committed to the company's objective and didn't feel gratified by her accomplishment.

Now fast ahead a few years...

Jessica is inspired to start her next business after an accidental meeting with a group of top Mary Kay saleswomen in a hotel elevator. She said their excitement for what they did was contagious, and she knew precisely what she wanted to do next when she got out of the elevator.

Jessica wanted to start a company where everyone had the same enthusiasm for their work. She also wanted to make entrepreneurship more accessible to women worldwide.

It's vital to remember that finding your passion is a process that takes time. To figure out what you like or don't like, you may need to try various items. If you persist and believe in it long enough, it will come to you out of nowhere, and you will know.

How do you create a PATH?

A male creating a path to his end goal, planning out what he needs to do to achieve it.

Once you've discovered your passion, you'll need to map out a plan to make it a reality. It's unlikely that you'll be able to find your way in a straight line, nor will it be simple to navigate. It will almost certainly be marred by setbacks, disappointments, and self-doubt.

But don't let it deter you; as Jessica Herrin puts it, you don't have to be flawless to begin; you just have to begin.

Most individuals will come up with a reason not to start or wait until the appropriate moment comes, but you don't have to. You can get started even if you don't think you have enough time (due to another work or a family to care for) or money.

You may concentrate on your ambition after the kids have gone to bed or establish a side business. Think of waiting tables or pouring coffee to supplement your income. Don't allow your circumstances to keep you from discovering your true calling.

To evaluate whether or not you truly want to achieve your amazing life, ask yourself the following three questions, according to Danielle Redner, Vice President of Training for Stella and Dot:

  • Do you have any idea why you'd like to do this?
  • Are you aware that this would not be a simple task?
  • Are you prepared to go to work?

You're ready to start creating your path if you respond "YES!" to these three questions.

There's basically nothing that can stop you from accomplishing your goals if you have a willingness to learn, an optimistic attitude, a propensity toward action, and the capacity to make mid-course changes.

Finally, I'd like to make one more point. It's a marathon, not a sprint, to build the life of your dreams. Make sure you can keep your momentum going for the long haul by taking good care of yourself along the road.

Do you have a POSITIVE mindset?

A buddha doing meditation, allowing him to have a positive mindset to keep being on the path.

Whatever happens, don't give up. If you want to keep on your path, you must have a positive attitude.

As Winston Churchill is known to have observed, "Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

We have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 ideas every day as humans, with 80 percent negative. You can bet that the small voice in your brain will tell you all of the reasons why you won't succeed.

"Your thoughts are not you, and they are not all true." Jessica Herrin writes in her book, and the sooner you recognize and accept this, the simpler it will be to overcome the obstacles you will surely face.

Mindfulness is a strategy that can help you quiet down your thoughts. Mindfulness comes in various forms, and you don't have to meditate like a Buddhist monk to receive the advantages.

Jessica, for example, takes a three-minute mental vacation every day when she just unplugs and concentrates on being present. She also finds it useful to associate this with activities during the day, such as her morning coffee, lunch, the trip home from work, or shortly before bedtime.

There are several advantages to practicing mindfulness regularly. Here are a few examples of what you'll begin to feel and experience:

  • Curiosity rather than rage
  • Appreciation rather than annoyance
  • Instead of distrust, trust
  • Rather than opposing, choose willingness.
  • Instead of dread, hope.

When you consider how difficult your journey will be, maintaining a positive attitude may differentiate between success and failure. If you have a hard time keeping a good mood, practice mindfulness every day.

Who are the PEOPLE who matter most to you?

A group of friends working together to launch a product. As they say, if you want to go far, work together.

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb.

You will never get there alone, no matter your ambitions and dreams; thus, it is critical to surround yourself with the appropriate people. Carefully and attentively select the individuals with whom you associate.

Get rid of anyone in your life bringing you down and contributing to a negative outlook.

Because it's so simple to get pulled into their negative vortex, these sorts of interactions and people may be extremely harmful to your health and well-being. Instead, surround yourself with individuals who will love and support you while assisting you in your development.

Jessica Herrin's father was one of those individuals. He pushed her to be her best, and while not being readily impressed, he was always encouraging. He told Jessica that if she desired something in life, all she had to do was pick up a book and acquire a new skill to help her achieve her objectives.

You'll also want to make sure you're surrounded by "A" players in your business.

When it comes to your business, how you grow as a leader will determine how successful you are because, as Jessica puts it, "become the leader you want to follow."

According to her, here are the traits of an extraordinary leader.

  • Don't be a jerk. Have a genuine desire to assist others in reaching their full potential.
  • Have more than just a strong work ethic; demonstrate a true passion for what you do.
  • Be daring in your goal-setting.
  • Maintain a cheerful attitude, be self-assured, and avoid drama.
  • Be genuine and mindful of yourself.
  • It's more important to you to make it right.

If you follow these steps, you'll be well on your way to becoming a leader that people want to follow.

Are you willing to develop the PERSEVERANCE to outlast your problems?

A female worker working hard to finish her deadline, persevering to outlast her problems.

Making the life of your dreams is a long and difficult path to travel, and you'll only be able to do it if you have exceptional stamina. It will take sacrifice to go where you want to go.

One of the first things you should do is figure out what you want to keep on your "don't quit" list.

For some, this may entail spending quality time with their family regularly. It may be a sport that they are really enthusiastic about for others. Whatever it is, once you've organized your list, everything else in your life becomes unnecessary.

Jessica did just that at the company's beginning (when it was still called Luxe Jewels). Even though the business's success was not obvious to the majority of those around her, she had ruled out the possibility of giving up.

To create room in her life for her company and her "do not quit" list, she had to give up other less essential things in her life, such as her guitar lessons. Your capacity to persevere in creating the life of your dreams becomes an unstoppable force when you accomplish this.

Here's an example to illustrate the idea.

Danielle Redner, the VP of Training at Stella and Dot, opted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's biggest freestanding peak, which we learned about only a few minutes ago.

She was handed an emergency card to fill out as she started her climb up the mountain.

She had to tick out the circumstances she wanted to be evacuated from the mountain. Panic, nausea, and cardiac arrest are among the options available. Danielle ticked only one box: "cardiac arrest," and she worried and became queasy as she dragged herself to the top of the mountain.

When the choice to quit is taken away, perseverance becomes the norm, and success is almost always assured.

To be more PRODUCTIVE, are you ready to say no to things that don't align with your values and goals?

A female saying no to junk food, to align with her values of losing weight.

Let's be honest: if you want to reach your goals, you'll need to get incredibly good at getting many things done. This is the right stuff.

One of the skills you must develop is time management. While most individuals spend their time attempting to squeeze more time out of their days, this is truly about mastering the art of determining what must be done immediately and what can wait (or not get done at all).

This is difficult since "being busy" may be used to justify many things in life.

It's a lot simpler to convince yourself that you don't have enough time to exercise than it is to acknowledge that you spend an hour a day idly scrolling through your Facebook feed. It's also easy to excuse yourself from responding to someone's email or phone contact because "things are chaotic right now."

The idea is that we all have 24 hours in a day to spend any way we choose. So, conquering your time is more about managing yourself than mastering your calendar.

On the other hand, you must value your time to produce value. Throughout the day, you'll be making decisions and considering whether you should spend your time doing what you're doing.

As a business person, you must devote your time to the highest-value tasks available at the time. It will rarely be watching repeats of your favorite program on Netflix. It will involve working with your team, following up with prospects, and virtually never watching reruns of your favorite show on Netflix.

Here are five things you can do right now to start mastering your time management:

  1. Make a schedule for yourself. You'll be surprised at how many 10-15 minute periods you have available for critical chores like personal growth and a fast workout.
  2. Make time for unplanned activities. This will free up time to consider long-term strategic concerns that are difficult to fit into your schedule.
  3. Assess your time by keeping track of it and reviewing it. It's crucial to know where you're truly spending your time.
  4. Make an honest assessment of your schedule. Don't feel bad if you can't "do it all" since no one can.
  5. Allowing others to take over your time and priorities is not a good idea. People don't mean to be rude, but they will take advantage of your time if you let them. Make certain that you are in charge of your schedule rather than the other way around.


With that, I'm hoping you won't be able to ignore Jessica's call-to-action at the end of the book:

"Are you ready to leave the ordinary behind? To say goodbye to the part of you that sees limits instead of possibilities? To the side of you that says no before yes? To the thought that extraordinary is only for someone else?"

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