I know exactly why seeing the scrawl inside of this book makes me want to cry. Because I was crying when I wrote it. Hell, I’m crying now. I pulled out this book tonight because I’m going to mention it in the e-book I’m writing about applying to business school, and I wanted to refresh my memory. I was completely taken aback however, to find what I had written on the first page.
3/29/2011 was ten days after my dad passed away. His death was so sudden, all I could do with the time off work was read, drink a lot of coffee, and cry, cry, cry. I had been reading this book, Trust Agents, well before my father passed, but finished it shortly after. It’s written by Julien Smith and Chris Brogan, and the front cover definition of the book says it’s about “using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust.” But really, it’s about so much more than that.
I remember buying it because I was a big fan of Chris Brogan, and wanted to learn a little something about building a reputation on the web. This was around the time I’d just started loving the internet and had been thinking about starting my own business doing something cool.
Essentially, this book took me from thinking about wanting to do something cool on the web, to actually doing it. It taught me “how to use the internet”, it taught me to play nicely with others (on the web), and how to ask for something without asking for it. It taught me patience. It taught me to “let them want to come to you” in terms of building an audience. It literally gave me the confidence I absolutely did not have to start this blog, to tell people “I want to start my own business!”, and to take advantage of all the opportunities the web had to offer. This book is the reason I went from partying and a 9-to-5 job to partying, a 9-to-5 job, and a bazillion side projects. It provided light in the darkest time of my life, and I think I realized that after finishing the book. What else would have driven me to write such a thing on the very first page? I do admit however, I was not in my right mind at the time, but that’s neither here nor there.
Every day we live, we are changed. Certain things happen to us, people influence us, yell at us, and misfortune says hello. All of it reshapes the way we think about things, no matter how subtly. Every once in a great while though, one huge event, one great circumstance, rocks the center of our being and shakes the ground we stand on, and in the heat of the moment, we usually don’t have a pen or a pencil to write it down with.
Finishing this book was my heat of the moment, and I wrote that shit down because it shook me.
Pray tell, has there ever been a book that shook you?