Book Review: Imperfect Courage

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Let me tell you about the first time I met Jessica Honegger, the founder of Noonday Collection.

You see, I had started my business without ever having met another ambassador, let alone going to a trunk show. I slowly connected more with others, and especially with the vision Jessica laid out for us: sisterhood, collaboration over competition, and boldly stepping into our story and owning our voice. Through seeing her relationship with Jalia and other artisan leaders around the globe, I saw what Jo Saxton described to us as "partnership, not projects." The way Jalia regards Jessica shows that true friendship and mutual respect underlies Noonday's foundation story - as well as the way I want to regard others and characterize the message I bring through my voice. And their friendship, and parallel stories of owning their voices as leaders, has driven my own story - and now it's embedded in a book that takes this story and turns it on the reader.

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Starting my Noonday journey had been a step of courage. I saw myself as a sales failure. My chronic fatigue surely made it ridiculous to even consider starting a business. But I decided to start even though I didn't know how the whole journey would play out. I decided to listen to the voice inside me that said, "Go scared," instead of the voices that said "sit back down." That "yes" changed my life - and this community has kept me on a journey toward making courage a part of my everyday life.

So when I went to Noonday's conference for the first time, about a year into my journey, Jessica opened with an invitation to take her "courage quiz." As I took it, and saw my results, it hit me how far I've come. The results said what I intuitively knew: I am courageous, far more than in my pre-Noonday days.

And so when I met her that night, I just about burst into tears. I told her that my answers to the courage quiz were vastly different than they would have been 18 months earlier - and thanked her for creating a community that isn't just changing lives around the globe, but is changing lives right here at home.

I had the pleasure of traveling with Jessica to Vietnam just a few months later, where she made sure every one of us felt seen and included on the journey, and to Nashville after that, where she poured into 40 coaching leaders to encourage us forward.

And now that she's released her first book, here's what I need you to know: this book is very Jessica and very Noonday, but it is not about Jessica and Noonday. It is about you. Through her story of adoption, scrappy beginnings of what would become the biggest fair trade jewelry company in the world, body image struggles, and more...as well as stories of Jalia and other world-changers and changed lives she's met along the way... she takes specifics and makes them general and accessible to anyone interested in living a life of impact. 

And that's why I want you to get your hands on this book. In its pages, you'll find a gentle kick in the pants - or rather, a hand reaching out, beckoning you away from comfort and into a life where "going scared" is an everyday thing. You'll find inspiration to start with love and compassion for yourself, continue with seeking community where you can be vulnerable and find belonging, and finish with a life filled with compassion for all people - and a plan to step into your calling as you discern what exactly that will look like.

To anyone interested in entrepreneurship, impact, or courage, you'll find wisdom and inspiration to make your dreams a reality through a journey of self-love, community, active compassion, and going scared. 

I feel this book is an opportunity for those outside of Noonday's ambassador community to get a taste of the inspirational Kool-Aid we all drink every day, and experience a transformation like what I've found and continue to journey through.

And so my review of this book is intertwined with my own story of being gentle with myself while being bold to push myself to greater things. Of finding a place of belonging in collaborative spaces where intimidation could make me feel small, such as my time in Vietnam with "Noonday-famous" ambassadors who regularly top the sales lists. Of not comparing my Chapter 2 with someone else's Chapter 10. 

This book helps me continue my journey - and I want it to help you on yours as well.

What people are saying

An exec at International Justice Mission, a fashion CEO, an expert in bridgebuilding across racial lines, and Brene Brown, a leader in research on shame and vulnerability...these and more have weighed in. Scroll below to take a look!

 

How to order

This book is available wherever books are sold, as well as on Audible - but if you purchase it through a Noonday Collection trunk show in August, you'll get free shipping on your whole order! Need a show to shop? Go to bit.ly/NoondayForEveryDaughter and your purchase will also support local outreach to exploited and trafficked women here in the Madison area.