Books Worth Reading: Start Something that Matters

Over the years I have surrounded myself with inspirational books about inspirational people. I love reading, and more than that, I love finishing a book that makes me want to start something or help someone.

I recently reread Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS. If you haven’t read this book, you should. It is a quick read, and I always feel more motivated to pursue my dreams as I’m reading it.

Specifically, this book is great of anyone in the nonprofit sector or for anyone who wants to pursue their dreams of helping others.

I want to share with you a few quotes from the book and I hope that they inspire you.

Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie

The Power of Stories

“When you have a memorable story about who you are or what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. It is key not only to starting a business but to clarifying your own personal identity and choices.”

“A story evokes emotion, and emotion forges a connection.”

“Stories resonate more than facts.”

“The more strongly you feel about what you do, the more likely you are to push yourself to be good at it and find a way to make success of it.”

“Commit to telling your story at every opportunity.”


“Setbacks and fear are inevitable. The thing that distinguishes the ultimate successes from the ultimate failures is this: What do you do with them?”

“Instead of focusing on the fear itself, which you cannot control, focus on what you can control: your actions.”

“By starting small, you can work through your story, try out your idea, and test your mettle.”

“If you wait for the timing to be right before you make a move, you may never make a move at all.”

Creativity and Resourcefulness

“Be resourceful without resources”

“Imagination trumps money… emphasize creative problem-solving and [be] scrupulous with your expenditures.”

“Without resources you will need a lot of other people’s help, and the best way to get that help is to stand for something bigger than yourself and your business.”

Keep it simple

“The easier it is for someone to understand who you are and what you stand for, the easier it will be for that person to spread the word to others.”

“Early on in TOMS’ shoe drops, I noticed that the people we met who seemed the happiest were most often those who possessed the least. The kids in the rural areas we visited, who owned little, often radiated a kind of joy about life that we saw far less frequently in the urban areas. The more I thought about this, the more obvious it seemed: Complicated lives and heaps of possessions don’t necessarily bring happiness; in fact, they can bring the opposite.”


Okay, I get it. This book is great, but why should you take time out of your busy day to read it or even read these quotes? I don’t know about you, but when I read something like this, it is empowering. I want to get to work and I want to make an impact. That is something we all want to do in the nonprofit sector.

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