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On Starting Somewhere : now available on Amazon

On starting Somewhere is now available on amazon for download. http://amzn.to/1j9v7DC

Entrepreneurship is not only a career choice, it's a way of life and a state of mind. The early stages of any venture will bring us face to face with issues that can help us and our businesses evolve in unexpected ways. 
On Starting Somewhere is an account of entrepreneurship during the tumultuous time before success. Author Lee Anderson came into entrepreneurship with a non-traditional background, and shares her experience on how to navigate the first steps of this arduous but life changing adventure.

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If you don't have a kindle, you can read kindle books on kindle cloud reader, or on several apps available through your web browser. 

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On Starting Somewhere : E-book excerpt

On Starting Somewhere addresses the beginning phases of an entrepreneurial life, before success. As designers and entrepreneurs our lives are made up of questions and experiments, successes and failures. But what drives us to first choose that path, and then to continue down it despite the hardship? There are endless accounts of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, but what about those years during which we know only failures, it can feel like we're doing everything wrong while we perceive others to have all the answers? On Starting Somewhere is an account of this phase of my own career, what I have learned and why I keep going. Release date May 19, 2014 on amazon

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It sometimes feels indulgent to step away from work, but in the end we have to turn ‘off’ sometimes. We have to revitalize. There is a misconception across many industries, and pervasive in the startup world, that the more you work the more dedicated you are. The less you sleep the more passionate you are. Like I’ve said, I am not fully functional without my sleep, so if I am really thinking of what is best for my business and for myself I will force myself under the covers. It also seems to me that if we are really working all the time, we might just be terribly disorganized. There are most definitely exceptions to this rule, and I have known deadlines to keep me working around the clock. But I would never make a habit of it, and I definitely don’t consider it a badge of honor.   

In between all of this work, there are the moments when we have to be out in the world exposed to inspiration. Without taking in information from the outside world, our internal monologue becomes self-centric and unrelatable to others. Business ideas that don’t connect with the public are not worth a whole lot. Similarly, most artists feel satisfaction only once they’ve made a connection with others through their work. Before establishing this connection, it is a lonely place. A business without customers is lonely, as is a leader without followers. The more that we understand of the world around us the more convincing our argument can be to get people behind our cause.

I especially love cross-disciplinary discussions because the world has a way of leading many of us to the same conclusion at the same moment in time which we than express through a wide variety of media. The thoughts in this book, for example, relate to thoughts that have been trickling out into the world recently in conversations, various arts and writing, which I think has propelled the urgency of these words. It is a conversation that is happening right now, and the transparency of my rhetoric is only to point out the fact that we have developed this engrained sense of immediacy in our commentary. If we join the conversation, we can find connection, and that is the ultimate satisfaction for the designer, the artist, and the entrepreneur alike.

Many creative thinkers find this kind of connection difficult without using their work as a conversational tool or vessel. Relating to the humanness in us and around us, we find people who relate to the work we produce. Until first experiencing this recognition, it can feel like a very vulnerable act to produce creative work. But in the end, once we take that risk we satisfy a visceral need for expression that when suppressed can cause all kinds of unhappiness. Once released, offers a strong sense of empowerment.

While that soliloquy might resonate more with the pure artists, starting a business has much the same effect. It begins when we identify something within ourselves that leads us to seek something more, usually not in the material world, but in the immaterial. It is scary to think of taking that leap, but if we deny it we end up feeling a sense of loss for something we never had. 

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Book Cover Research

I've never looked at book covers as a graphic designer before, I've only ever looked as a reader and an aesthete. But this past week I've been delving into the digital world of cover art and coming out with some pretty inspiring examples and a great direction for the book cover of On Starting Somewhere. 

I am definitely someone who is biased towards beautiful cover art. Even different editions of the same book will fall into a hierarchy of design in my eyes. Another think I looked at was the list of best sellers on Amazon, where I'll be releasing the book on May 19. They will tell you themselves that good cover design is all important for an online purchase, because it is what makes your book stand out from the others amidst a whole lot of words.  

Here's to hoping that the result will sell some copies and get the book out into the world! For now here are some book cover examples that I love with a nice retro vibe. I think I'm focusing on the Alvin Lustig model: Suggest, don’t explain.

Alvin Lustig: Suggest, don’t explain

Alvin Lustig: Suggest, don’t explain

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On Starting Somewhere : E-book excerpt

May 2014 will be the release date of my first E-book: On Starting Somewhere.

The book addresses the phase of entrepreneurship or a creative endeavor before success. This usually means in the midst of failure, or a few failures, that we build ourselves back from. 

This first excerpt is from the introduction, which recounts some of my personal experiences leading to the concept of this book.

Once, in one of my first seasons as a correspondent for a New York based fashion website, I was outside of the Ecole de Medecin near Odéon in Paris, waiting for the Martin Margiela Mens’s Fashion Show to begin. Actually, waiting to even get inside to take a place where I would then wait some more for the show to begin. I was surrounded by fashion heavies and fashion up and comers  and fashion wannabes . I don’t know where I fit in in all of that because in my mind I just didn’t belong there at all. As privileged as I felt to be in attendance, I felt terribly uncomfortable as part of the scene. I wished to be invisible. I wished so much to be invisible. Just to take my place and watch the beautiful show and write my article and store it away in my mind bank of experiences. But I was not invisible. (I am still not). So I stood there, out of place and awkward and unsmiling and tense and trying not to make eye contact with people or stare too long at people who were too obviously dressed with the hope of being stared at. 

From  WeAreTheCoolKids  (which makes my point for me)

From WeAreTheCoolKids (which makes my point for me)

When through the crowd I see the Fed Ex delivery-man. He walks purposefully through the mob of people in between his truck and the door he’s heading towards and I thought to myself: “Why can’t I just be a Fed Ex delivery person?” 

He has a sense of purpose, and at the same time can blend into any setting without self-awareness. His workday consists of a list of tasks just like the day before. An unadulterated comfort zone.

From  IBT

From IBT

I truly believe sometimes that this would make life so much simpler. I am so tormented (it sounds dramatic, but it does feel terribly dramatic a lot of the time). If I could just have a simple job that was the same every day, where nothing will be asked of me tomorrow that I don’t already know how to do today. My God, what a life that would be. 

Would I be bored? Would I wonder: “There must be something else?” Is ignorance bliss? And once tasted, does a life of building and problem solving become your curse? Futile questions. The Boss knows it, too. A Jersey boy looking for more: “There's something happening somewhere, baby I just know that there is.”

And it’s not as if, after gaining a certain amount of experience, the questions stop. With every new day comes a new set of unknowns. There is an evident propensity for tackling these daily impediments within the entrepreneurial class. Otherwise we would not get past day one. But this is also that pivotal moment of no return. We can always take the easy way. And so we ask ourselves: “What am I after?”

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