Books are flying off the shelves and landing on my desk, and for the first time in a long time, I can’t read or write fast enough. I also have WAY too many projects on my plate, and I can’t do them all.

So, I think I need your help.  I have no idea where to start and I realized — a midst the stress and panic of not being able to do it all — why not ask all of you?  I’d love your help and feedback about what to read next, and also, what to do next.

In short: what should I focus my energy on?

In exchange for your help, I happen to have extra copies of three different books in this post — so I can give them away to you! If you want to win a free copy of either The $100 StartUp by Chris Guillebeau, The Work Revolution by Julie Clow, or Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons, I’ll be giving them away to three readers (More details below). 

First, the books!

Here’s a list of the books I have in front of me, many of which I’d like to review on this blog.

Ask the readers: Which book should I review first? 

  • The $100 Start Up — by Chris Guillebeau launched May 8th, and Chris is on his multi-city book tour at the moment–join us in San Francisco on May 29th! As Pam Slim wrote in her review, the book “delivers exactly what a new entrepreneur needs: road-tested, effective and exceptionally pragmatic advice for starting a new business on a shoestring.”
  • The Fire Starter Sessions — Danielle LaPorte’s recently released book based on her hit digital series–a brilliant mastermind that gets behind who you are to figure out where your power is.
  • Get Lucky – the precursor to their kickstarter campaign (tagline: “Go Luck Yourself”), Becker and Muller co-authored the book, “Get Lucky: How To Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business.” Can’t wait to read it.
  • Imagine: How Creativity Works — by Jonah Lehrer. One of my favorite authors, Lehrer looks at the psychology and strangeness of why we do what we do–and how to embrace our processes to get better at what we do. I’m so excited to read this book!
  • Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins — by Annette Simmons. From the description: “Story telling is a powerful communications tool that is becoming more and more recognized in the business community. These stories are not the usual speech openers or ice breakers, but stories that will influence others to trust the storyteller and shape decisions and actions that are important to both individuals and organizations.”
  • Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet – by William Davidow. What are the luxuries and pitfalls of the connected age? And, are smartphones and mobile internets making us smarter–or dumber?
  • The Work Revolution – by Julie Clow.  The premise: “The Work Revolution is about changing the way the world sees work. By making simple changes to improve our relationships with work and each other, we can systematically ignite a work revolution everywhere.”

Next, I need some help figuring out my next project.

In figuring out what to do next, I often go on long walks to figure out which step is the right next step, and what sits well in my heart for me. Fortunately or unfortunately, all of the projects below seem intriguing, exciting, and worth chasing. The problem is I can’t chase them all at the same time. (Darn it!). I can only work on one or two side projects at time and stay sane enough with writing and work. Like it or not, I need sleep and rest to remain sane. So I thought I’d pull a quick “ask the audience” and ask for your help in this decision-making process.

Question 2: Which of the projects below sounds the most interesting to you? 

  • Do Something.  The presentation I did over the holidays has over 90,000 views. I’d like to make a physical book out of it, per a few requests. Would you be interested in a hard copy of the notebook as inspiration?
  • Beautiful Email. I have a collection of tagged emails that look at the art of introductions, blind (“cold”) emails, pen pal letters, short targets, and designing user responses. I’m thinking of curating them into a PDF template of communications via email.
  • Email Ninja: A ten-part email template with specific tips for how to get better at email and get what you want from other people!
  • Moving Through Water: Swimming Book. I’m about halfway done with a book about swimming, and I want to finish it this summer. Should I start with this project?
  • Get Writing: 30 Day Writing Prompts (for new bloggers): I have a collection of prompts and ideas for people who want to start their own blog. I’d like to turn this into a 30-day email series to help people start writing their own blogs, with cues, tips & to-dos for each day to get you from zero to blogging.
  • Manipulate the Monkey Brain: Book Proposal. I’m working on a book proposal that looks at the psychology behind how and why we do what we do — and how we can pattern disrupt our own selves to create better habits that break down the barriers to action, helping us re-think and re-wire our own minds.
  • Stories from Cities — Urban Patterns: This is a second book proposal that I’m working on with a colleague. It’s still in flux, but it would look at six major urban environments (cities) across American and tell case study stories of urbanism throughout the American landscape.
  • In and Out of Buildings: Photo Project. I’d like to develop a website that looks at the patterns and shapes of buildings and how people–and things–move in and out of them. This would be a joint project with a few other designers I know.
It’s fully possible that I will do ALL of the projects, above. As you can probably tell, though, I can’t possible do them all right now, as much as I’d like to. So please tell me what you think! Where do you think I should start?

Here’s how you can help: Help me out by voting here: it’s a very short survey asking what book I should review, what project I should do, and of course, which book you’d like to win.

Now, about winning those free books. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Answer the survey before Thursday, May 17th at Midnight Pacific Standard Time. Tell me what book you think I should review and which project I should start.
  2. Tell me which book you would most like to win (and leave a note in the comments about why!).
  3. I’ll pick 3 winners at random on Friday, May 18th and send your books your way.

Thank you!