REMOTE and REWORK

remote, rework, book, book review

I picked up the book REMOTE: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson after reading their first book REWORK.

The title of this book describes exactly what the book is about: working remotely. Now, I’ve worked from corporate offices and remotely from home in my past life. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to do so, there is ups and downs to it.

This book talks about the positives and the negatives and how to keep your employees working on all cylinders while also giving them the freedom to work autonomously and not as structured and monitored as if they were sitting in an office 9-5pm.

As a gallery owner, I have learned that if you can control your business and transactions pertaining to your business from practically anywhere, your business has a better chance of succeeding and growing. I work just as hard sitting on my couch at home, from a hotel room in Paris, France, or from a friends home in Tampa, Florida as I do sitting in my gallery.

Many galleries in the last 10 years have closed their brick and mortar locations and opted to just do art fairs. This is as mobile as you can get, and many are profiting from it. Dealers pop up at a different art fairs around the globe, set up a booth filled with work of artists that they represent, then after the event is over, pack it up until the next big event. This is a savvy business model for some, but not all. I do think there is something to be said about having a permanent location, but that doesn’t mean I always will.

REWORK on the other hand, was a much better read. There were a lot of motivating quotes that I pulled out of it that made sense, not just for business-minded individuals. Here’s a few good ones:

“Workaholics aren’t heroes. The real hero is home already because she figured out a faster way to get things done.”

“Be a curator.  Stick with what’s truly essential.”

“The real world isn’t a place, it’s an excuse. It’s a justification or not trying. It has nothing to do with you.”

“Standing for something isn’t just about writing it down.  It’s about believing it and living it.”

Both of these books are easy reads. Start with REWORK, then decide if REMOTE is needed.

The Boston Globe and Instant Connections

“Jason Landry…an irreverent and irrepressible presence.”

I’m grateful to Jan Gardner and The Boston Globe for featuring my book Instant Connections in their Sunday edition. Someone told me that they almost never review books that are ‘indie’ or ‘self-published’.  Well, for those authors out there that were worried about that……..things are looking up!

boston globe, instant connections, jason landry, book, book review

My Life in Heavy Metal

steve almond, heavy metal, book, authorI may be a late bloomer to Steve Almond’s book My Life in Heavy Metal, but I’m glad I picked it up on my most recent trip through the Harvard Book Store.  I sat in on a session with Steve at this year’s Muse and the Marketplace literary event hosted by Grub Street and found him quite funny.

I grew up listening to heavy metal––Ozzy, Metallica, Ratt, Poison, G&R, Aerosmith––you name it, but wasn’t as adventurous with the ladies and my relationships as detailed in the first chapter of his book. Maybe I should’ve waited to finish the book so that I could have given you a more detailed review, but if the rest of the book reads as the first chapter did, well, I’d make it one of my suggested readings to all of my friends.

His more popular book, Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, is a non-fiction story about small candy companies doing it the old-fashioned way. My candy vice growing up was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Can’t wait for Halloween. Hopefully I can score a few freebie style!

But back to heavy metal, here’s an essay flashback of one of my metal stories for you to read when you got a minute: Driving Around With Metal Heads Without Seatbelts.

Reinventing You

dorie clark, reinventing you, bookI met Dorie Clark a few months ago at a literary conference called The Muse & the Marketplace, hosted by Grub Street in Boston. As I sat in on the session that she was leading, I was drawn in by her upbeat and powerful speaking voice and enthusiasm. Following her session, I went out to the mezzanine level where the booksellers had set up shop, but was bummed out when I found that Dorie’s book was sold out.

On one of my recent strolls through the Harvard COOP bookstore, I purchased and read her book Reinventing You. Now, I didn’t read this book because I recently added a new job to my resume (which I did): I read it because the points that Dorie makes within the book can be retrofitted and used to better your life, regardless of whether you are changing jobs, or looking for something new in your current career.

As the owner of a gallery, I spend a great deal of my time mentoring and guiding artists in their careers. Some ask me: How do grow as an artist and How can I connect to a broader audience. This book seeks to help people who are interested in defining their brand and those that are looking toward their future. It starts off with a simple first sentence: Are you where you want to be professionally?

Some of the chapters hint at certain things that I preach to artists. A few chapters that are pertinent are: Recognize Where You’re Starting, Who’s Your Mentor?, and Building Your Narrative.

Here are just a few of the lines of text that I underlined in the book that I didn’t want to forget:

“Everyone has a personal brand.”

“Just as your contacts are helping you, you want to try to add value to their lives.”

“Another valid reason (to head back to graduate school) is when you want to expand your skills and network.”

“It’s your demonstrated expertise––not your academic credentials––that counts in the business world.”

“There may not be one perfect person to be your mentor. Instead, you can focus on creating a broad-based “personal board of directors.”

“There are often underlying themes that guide us professionally.”

“Patience––and being honest with yourself about your real interests, personality, and brand––can pay inspiring dividends.”

“Your status is portable and transferable.”

“Develop Validators”

“One of the most important ways you can maintain your positive brand momentum is to be consistent.”

“You can’t buy goodwill…you need to build it up over time.”

“Taking control of your reputation and making sure it reflects the real you is a critical starting point.”

I highlighted two quotes above that I feel are extremely important for everyone in their careers, regardless of who you are. Think about who is on your “personal board of directors” and who your validators are. They are the key!

Follow Dorie on Twitter @DorieClark

Back Bay by William Martin

back bay, william martin, book, historical fiction, fiction, bostonI spent the last week banging through William Martin’s Back Bay book. This historical fiction story was based right in my neighborhood. Boston’s cool people! There were many plot twists, and with that said, I think the book could have been about 100 pages shorter. It was a “rip-roaring page turner” as the Boston Globe described, but I found that there were too many characters to keep track of.  I guess that is why Martin put an extended family tree in the front of the book.

I have no idea what I’m going to read next. Maybe I’ll take a breather to work on editing my book and take some notes for the future book.

If you’re interested in historical fiction books, try Martin’s latest book The Lincoln Letter.  Less twists, better read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Book Day: Read Some Memoirs!

jenny lawson, let's pretend this never happened, author, book, world book day, memoir, taxidermyToday is World Book Day.  Mostly geared toward children and young adults, I don’t see why it can’t be geared toward everyone.  Everyone should know how to read, right?  I used to hate reading.  I always had a list of better things to do with my time.  Later in life I learned that relaxing with a good book is a good way to spend my time.

Since I’m writing a memoir, I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs.  I’d like to share with you a few books that I thought were particularly interesting.  My selections are all over the map: business, cooking, comedy, music, movies––because when you are trying to write a memoir, you need to get various points of view.  By reading, you learn new ways to say what you want to say.  I’m not looking for big words…I’m looking for the right words.  The right words take time and come when you least expect them––when you’re out walking, running, grocery shopping or even on the toilet.

My wife isn’t going to let me go back to college to earn any more degrees, so my MFA in Creative Writing is going to come from the books that I buy on a weekly basis from all of my favorite bookstore haunts, and a few workshops through Grub Street.

Here is a list of my:
Top 8 Memoirs to Read if you’re Trying to Write a Memoir.

1.)  Patti Smith, Just Kids
2.)  Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential  — Twitter @bourdain
3.)  Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. — Twitter @TheBloggess
4.)  Tina Fey, Bossypants
5.)  Kevin Smith, Tough Shit — Twitter @ThatKevinSmith
6.)  Nikki Sixx, This Is Gonna Hurt — Twitter @NikkiSixx
7.)  David Sedaris, Me talk Pretty Someday
8.)  Mitch Albom, Tuesday’s with Morrie — Twitter @MitchAlbom

Oh yeah.  You can follow me on Twitter too if you feel so inclined. Twitter @Lanrod

 

While we’re on the topic of…

While we’re on the topic of the presidency – seeing that yesterday Barack Obama was sworn in for his second consecutive term as President of the United States, I’d like to share with you a recent read, The Lincoln Letter by Boston-based author William Martin.

The Lincoln Letter, William Martin, abraham lincoln, history, historical fiction, book, author, writer, readMartin, who has written a number of other successful works of fiction such as Back Bay and Harvard Yard brings us this fast-paced tale that takes place outside of the confines of Massachusetts and into Lincoln’s term in Washington, D.C.

His character sleuths, Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington, are on a mission to find a historically important document: Lincoln’s diary.

No ‘spoiler alert’ here.  It was a great read that brought you back to the days of the Civil War.  It intertwined significant events and dates with historically significant people and places – just as a great historical fiction novel should do.

“I’m down to the raisins.” You’ll get it once you read the book.