Mar 14 2011

I didn’t buy it, but I wanted to [day 292]

I met Guy Kawasaki yesterday at a book signing.  Not only is he an extremely talented communicator and writer, he’s just a really nice person.  Just look on Twitter, hashtag #guykawasaki, and you’ll see what I mean.  Now I’ve been thinking, it’s kind of odd to go to a book signing without a book.  Knowing that he would be at SXSW, I decided to go to the used book store to find his new book.  I knew my chances were slim to none on finding his new book Enchantment, but I thought maybe I could find one of his older books.  I’ve been following Guy for a long time on friendfeed and he always has great stuff out there.

I had to go to a few locations before I found one of his books.  I found The Art of the Start. I bought it and I was happy that I would have a book for him to sign, although I wondered what I would say to him as I asked him to sign my not-so-new book with a red half price sticker on the front.

Yesterday, I found myself in a long line of people to have my book signed.  It’s pretty safe to say that I was the only weirdo in line without a fresh-off-the-press copy of Enchantment.  Soon, it was my turn.  I proceeded to the table and quickly explained my story.  “I’m doing a year of no retail shopping, so I can’t buy your new book, even though I really want to.  I bought a used copy of one of your older books, so could you sign this one?”  First, he laughed a bit and said he wouldn’t last a week without shopping.  Then he asked where I got the book.  I told him I bought it at a used book store and showed him the bright red price tag on the front.  He then proceeded to tell me that The Art of the Start never came out in paperback.  Mine is a paperback.  Either it’s a illegitimate copy or an unmarked advanced reading copy, intended for bookstores.  Either way, he said that was the best reason he’s ever heard from anyone as to why they’re not buying his book.

He signed my book and he even allowed me to have a photo taken with him.  I have to say, if there were more people in the world like Guy, the world would be a noticeably better place.  I plan to buy his new book and I found 3 used copies on  If anyone should teach us about enchantment, it should be someone that understands it and lives that way.  Guy seems to get it.

If you’re interested in his new book, here’s the amazon link.  There’s 2 used ones left, the 3rd one is mine, so leave it there.  😉

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions

I had the opportunity to just buy a new copy of his book, and I wanted to, but I didn’t.  I might be waiting a little longer to read his amazing book (prejudged from his awesome session at SXSW), but it goes to show that with a little pre-planning, you can have what you want while saving money and being good to the environment.  Thanks Guy!

Dec 27 2010

the story of stuff [day 214]

I have an idea.  I know, no surprise…

I stumbled upon this little video called The Story of Stuff.  It’s a little over 20 minutes long, but I watched the whole thing.  Before I get into the details here, take a look if you haven’t seen it.  If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, skip around and take a quick look.

Although I like the overall message, I was questioning the statistics as I was watching it.  The presentation is awesome, the content easy to follow.  Again, the overall message here is a good one, but I have a few things to discuss and challenge.

The big picture of stuff. The message here is that we, as Americans, are abusing our planet, taking advantage of the disadvantaged and that we have all fallen victim to materialism.  On many levels, this is true, but some of the statistics seemed a little off to me.  After a bit of research on this video, I found they are using it in schools to teach children about materialism and “stuff”.  I’m not opposed to that at all, but this video is not just creating awareness, it’s trying to impose a guilt trip, and as Fox News stated, “Other critics have called it a “firehose of paranoia” meant to scare children into becoming environmental activists. They say the video romanticizes poverty in its attack on industrial nations and corporations.

I hope we’re teaching our kids to watch something like this and process it in a healthy way, as they should do with everything.  My kids question things, think about everything they take in, and sometimes have a viewpoint that even I haven’t thought of.  This video’s overall message is a good one, and unfortunately, it does paint an accurate “big picture” of our wasteful society.  The reason I say that, is because this video could be remade without all the statistics, showing both sides of the message about consumerism.  That’s a hint for my idea…   Continue reading

Aug 25 2010

1/4 year into the challenge!! [day 91]

Where does the time go???  It’s been that long already?  Today I’ll just do a few updates on the challenge.

What have I learned?

Many good things, but mostly that there are good alternatives to a lot of the purchases I would have normally made without the challenge.  I borrowed tools and gardening equipment, things I would have normally purchased.  (Jeff and Thad, I don’t have the missing shop vac.  LOL)  I also seem to lend out more of my stuff to people that know I’m doing this, as they are rethinking purchases as well.

What’s the biggest change?

I would have to say impulse buys.  With the challenge, I’m not even inside too many stores, but before the challenge I would buy things I just didn’t need, or want for that matter.  I do this thing with my kids when they want something, I make them wait 24 hours, then if they still remember it and still want it, I will take them back and let them buy it.  (with their money)  I will do this myself too, even when the challenge is over.

Where there any surprises?

I’m constantly surprised by the number of people reading my blog and how they have changed some of their shopping habits.  I didn’t expect so many people to follow my progress, and some of them I don’t know very well.

I’m also surprised by the amount of money I’ve saved.  I must have spent a lot on junk I didn’t need!  I have no debt and I won’t even consider changing that.  I didn’t have a lot before the challenge, but I would justify making a purchase before I had the money for it.  I live more within my means now and have money to help others when I have the opportunity.

My house is easier to clean. I just don’t have as much stuff… well, the garage is not included in that area yet, but as soon as it’s not 150 degrees out there, I will be making it into an art studio.  I have taken loads of stuff to the resale shop, and I still have several more to go.

What happens after the challenge?

I get this question a lot.  Hopefully I will still keep many of the lifestyle changes I have made to do this challenge.  I plan to, as that’s the purpose.  I might buy something retail afte it’s over, but that won’t happen without looking for the item second hand or trying to make sure I really need it.

If you have a question about the challenge, post a comment here and I’ll answer.  Thanks for following the challenge!!!!!