Book Review – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

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As a business owner or manager, do you feel like you are expected to be an expert in managing stress and pressure? For myself, I feel as though every decision if make impacts not just my own life but the lives and livelihoods of my employees, clients, and stakeholders. So it is no wonder we tie ourselves up in knots of decisions, often under a state of overwhelm. It was a good while ago that I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and at the time, I found it to be, at least for the first part, a great kick in the a*rse. With the economy and state of the world, as it is at the moment, I thought I would go back and give it a review to give you insights on how the book can help you develop a mindset that allows you to prioritise what truly matters.

You will have heard of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson; it’s a very recognisable title and cover. It was a very popular book, so you may have had someone you know recommending it. The book offers an impactful delivery of tools to prioritise what really matters in life and business. This perspective shift can help us deal with the stresses and pressures of business life. The book has a message that is simple but powerful: embrace the inevitability of adversity and use it to your advantage.

Embrace your limitations

One of the core messages in the book is to embrace our limitations and imperfections. It is tempting in business life to camouflage the areas of our practice where we feel that we fall a little short, however, Manson suggests this is counterproductive. Instead, we should embrace our limitations and use them to our advantage. By owning our imperfections, we can learn from our mistakes and where we can improve and invest in our development.

Take Responsibility

Following on from embracing our limitations, Manson tells us we need to take responsibility for our life. This calls on the Growth Mindset concept of Dr Carol Dweck. In business life, it is convenient to blame the external environment and even other people for our problems. If we take responsibility for our own situation rather than blaming the economy, competitors, or other factors, we can make the changes required to grow personally and professionally. As a business owner or manager, this means being accountable for the success of our business and taking action to make it happen.

Values

Our values are the key to not giving a f*ck. Manson calls on us to think about our core personal values to guide our decisions and action. This also applies to our company values and making sure that every decision aligns with these values. This leads us and our employees towards a purpose that we can embrace and that can buffer us in turbulent times. Manson emphasizes that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it. By focusing on our vision, mission, and goals, and making decisions based on what aligns with these values. We have help in avoiding distractions, prioritising our time and resources, and staying true to our purpose.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a punchy and valuable read for business owners and managers who are looking to succeed. By embracing our imperfections, focusing on our own values and the values of our company, and taking responsibility, we can create a sense of purpose and control that can help protect us from the rigours of entrepreneurial life. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the pressure to succeed, however, the principles outlined in this book can help us find the balance and happiness we deserve.

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