Start Right Where You Are
by Sam Bennett



New World Library, 2016. ISBN 978-1-608-68443-4.
Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore
Posted on 01/18/2017

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Creative Life

Sam Bennett has learned from experience and shares her wisdom in short, snappy chapters—sixty-five of them. The sub-title of the book is: "How little changes can make a big difference for overwhelmed procrastinators, frustrated overachievers, and recovering perfectionists." Bennett has used those descriptions about her own behavior and shares her life lessons as an enthusiastic coach.

Her intent for the book is "to help you make the little changes that will lead to big joy." Because so many of us feel overwhelmed, "Start right where you are," is good advice. Bennett finds that "overwhelmed" is an overused work and has suggestions for mitigating it. For instance, you may have too many ideas so write them down. Maybe you call it "overwhelm" but you're actually "underwhelmed"—or maybe even "overwrought."

Bennett says: "Challenge yourself to take only the simplest, easiest, most affordable next step toward something that feels overwhelming. That's one of what she calls a "Little Changes Action Step" at the end of each chapter. That makes good sense to me because things will get done with a bit of time spent each day. Even less than fifteen minutes Bennett suggests. "All the things you keep telling yourself you want to do, be, or have are possible for you, if you are willing to take it one step at a time."

I know from experience that it does feel good to have a project moving, however slowly, rather than spending time being anxious about it as an "overwhelmed procrastinator."

Among Bennett's tools are an effective breathing pattern to help panic attacks (in her own case) and other bumpy sorts of situations. Making "5-minute art" to respond to a frustrating situation is another of her suggested tools.

Many chapters contain several tips, such as "Six Ways to Take Control of Your Time" and "Ten Ways to Cultivate Your Intuition." The book is a boost to valuing yourself, taking excellent care of yourself, and finding the positive in what you once referred to as mistakes.

Read an excerpt from this book.


Sam Bennett is the creator of the Organized Artist Company and the author of Get It Done. (See review.) In addition to her multifaceted writing and performance work, she specializes in personal branding, career strategies, and small business marketing. Bennett grew up in Chicago and now lives in a tiny beach town outside Los Angeles. Visit her website & the book's website.

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