The Dream of Finally Making Work Work

About Shola

It’s time to make work, work.

It has been a really fun ride.

Three and half years ago on Labor Day, I started a blog with a very funny name and with a very simple dream stuck in my mind:

I wanted to make the world a more positive place for as many people as possible.

For months and months, I would send my words out into the interwebs each Monday morning, and besides my family and a few supportive friends, no one knew I was there.

But I still kept writing anyway.

This won’t surprise you if you really know me, but I’m obsessed with helping people who are in pain. That may sound weird to some people, but I’m proud to say that’s how I’m wired.

My primary obsession in my life is finding a way to bring positive change to the working world.

I’ve personally seen too many professional lives from all over the world, that have been destroyed by toxic coworkers, bullying bosses, passive-aggressive behavior, backstabbing self-preservationists, and corporate cultures that value profit far more than they value their people.

For years, I waited for someone to do something meaningful about this issue that is hurting so many good people all over the world.

No one came to the rescue.

So, I kept writing.

I did it in hopes that my dream of creating a more positive working world would somehow become a reality…if I just kept showing up to write.

Recently, my dream took a huge step forward.

Making Work Work

I am thrilled to share that I recently signed a literary deal with Sterling Publishing in New York City (owned by Barnes & Noble) to write a book to address this issue head-on.

The book is called, Making Work Work: The Positivity Solution For Any Work Environment. Here’s a brief description:

“Workplace positivity is given a much-needed reboot as readers are invited to join the movement to revolutionize how we work, lead and live. In this empowering real-world advice guide, readers discover how to effectively transform their work environments without having a title, authority or a corner office.”

And in a bit of poetic, universal, divine awesomeness, the book is slated hit bookstore shelves exactly four years after the dream began:

Labor Day 2016.

The Unlikely Dream

Admittedly, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a published author.

While that’s true–if you had told me 3 1/2 years ago when I fearfully (understatement of the decade) launched my blog that it would eventually turn into a book deal, I would have laughed you out of the room.

Then after you were safely out of the room, I would have called the cops on your crazy ass, because you must be in possession of some seriously dangerous hallucinogenic drugs.

Sadly, I didn’t believe in myself. Here’s what I did believe in, though:

I believed that people need to be treated better at work. I believed that showing up to make a positive impact on our dreams (no matter how little it is) is better than doing nothing. Most of all, I believed that I would deeply regret looking back on a life where I let my fears become bigger than my message.

If you are reading these words and you have a dream or a message of any kind that you want to share with the world, do it. Please, do it. You will be shocked at what you can accomplish if you don’t let your self-doubt stop you before you start.

Speaking of which, here’s the real secret: It really doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in yourself when you start. Many people didn’t have self-belief in the beginning either. I know that I didn’t.

What I didn’t know then (that I know now), is that the self-belief usually comes later.

More specifically–self-belief will show up when we show up to do the work first.

Thank You SO Much

Most importantly, there is no doubt that none of this–none of it–could have been done without this incredible community of people.

Your kindness supported me through some dark periods of debilitating self-doubt, and it encouraged me to keep writing when it would have been so much easier to throw it all away and focus on a more “realistic” plan.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This one is for you.

The workplace revolution is happening, and I’m not waiting for someone else to lead it this time.

It’s time to get to work.

#MakeWorkWork
#KeepWriting
#LaborDay2016

P.S.

An extra special thanks to Donna Murray, Kathy McQuillan, and Sharon Ledwith–I really hope that you read this. The three of you have continually shown up week after week to offer your kindness and support to me and/or to this community. You have no idea how much I appreciate seeing your names in the comment section and consistently supporting The Positivity Solution in your own special way. Please expect to see your names in the Acknowledgements section of the book as a small token of my appreciation. Thank you so much for everything 🙂

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. I am so excited for you! I can’t wait to read your book and talk about it to every person who will listen!!!

    And thank you for the shout out. You gave me all the feels! As I was reading this week’s blog, I was so excited to comment my congratulations. When I saw MY name there, I just stopped. I didn’t know if I should cry or what!!!

    Shola, you have made such an incredible difference in my life, and I am amazed to think I have impacted yours.

    You better believe that, if you come to the east coast to sign some books, I’m gonna be there to get your autograph!!!

    I am so so SO excited for you!!! Congratulations!!!

    Kathy

    • Kathy McQuillan: I started reading and following Shola recently because of your shares on FB. You, my dear are an uplifting, encouraging soul.
      Shola: I am so excited for you Shola! You have touched many more than you realize!

    • Kathy, I owe so much to you! In the beginning when I would pour my heart out on this blog, and I was completely ignored by everyone, you were always there with a supportive comment and a kind word. I’m not sure if I would have kept going if it weren’t for you–I mean that. So, if anyone deserves a thanks, it’s you! And yes, when I make it out to the east coast to sign some books, please trust that I will let you know. I can’t wait to get a long-overdue hug from you!

  2. Thanks to you sir! Your optimism has helped me in ways I cannot even explain. I am happy for you, and I look forward to buying the book as soon as I can obtain it!!!

    • You’re so welcome, Lisa! I am humbled that you’re thanking me, because really, I feel like I’m the one who should be doing the thanking around here. There is none of this without your kindness and support. I am so grateful for you Lisa, and I am absolutely thrilled that my words have been helpful for you.

  3. Excellent news – congratulations!

  4. Robin Waterfield says:

    Dear Shola,

    Congratulations! This was exactly the news I was hoping to hear! I am so excited for you and for US! All of us who work have, certainly, encountered “toxic coworkers, bullying bosses, passive-aggressive behavior, backstabbing self-preservationists, and corporate cultures that value profit far more than they value their people.” Thank you for speaking up, for being positive!

    You have had such an impact on me and my life. I left a great job and family, moved a thousand miles away to be near my first grandchild. I have definitely stepped out on faith! It is a struggle, daily, but I am only 7 months into this gig and it IS getting better. But, I had to do it because I would have been filled with regret NOT doing it. I would have always wondered! Thank you for inspiring me to believe in myself.

    I am so excited about your book! I look forward to devouring it and sharing it with some people who really need to hear your words!

    • Right on, Robin! Moving 1,000 miles away from a secure job and loving family is no joke, and I deeply honor your courage. Living with regret is an awful fate, and thankfully that’s not a fate that you will have to experience. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us, and please know that I will always be rooting you on from Los Angeles!

  5. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read your book! Way to go!

  6. Way to go, Shola! So excited for you and the journey you’re on. I’m grateful you keep on pursuing your dreams!

  7. Congratulations Shola!! This is wonderful news. I love the book title too…Can’t wait to read it!! 🙂

    • Thanks Spring! I can promise that I am doing everything within my power to ensure that contents of the book lives up to its clever title 😉

      Thank you so much for your constant support, my friend!

  8. OMG! Ditto what Kathleen McQuillan said, except I CRIED! You are more than welcome. I look forward to your positive posts every Monday and share and/or tweet them out. Your words are valuable to this world, Shola. Always remember that. Words are power. I am so honored to be mentioned and will look forward to your book this Labor Day! I too, am a published author and know the trials of self-doubt. It’s mind-numbing. Congratulations on your achievement and wishing you so much success in the future. You’ve certainly earned it! Cheers and hugs and keep smiling!

    • Sharon! You are such a gem, my friend. You are the sole reason why I haven’t given up on Twitter! Thank you so much for the validation about the self-doubt, because you’re right, it IS mind-numbing. I am so honored to be able to stand with you as a published author in a few months, but please know that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy that honor without your unceasing support. Each re-tweet was like a shot of adrenaline that sustained me, and I hope that you didn’t think that it ever went unnoticed. I owe you a lot, Sharon. Thanks for being you, and if I’m ever in southern Ontario, I’ll let you know!

  9. WOW – what a fantastic accomplishment! So excited for you. I know there are plenty of people out there who will benefit greatly from your wisdom, I know I have. Look forward to the launch and maybe you’ll do a signing in Santa Monica and I can finally meet you!

    All the best and crazy sales.
    Kat

    • Oh Kat, count on it! There were definitely be an L.A. signing somewhere and we MUST meet. Also, when it happens, make sure to bring some of your art so I can check it out, I would love to see it. Thanks so much for your support!

  10. Congrats my friend. I really do believe you are making this world a more positive place and with so many dark things that can bring a person down you are the light that wants to make sure that we are all happy again. Thank you so much. Never give ip

    • Thank you, Jon! I really appreciate your kind words, my man. I promise that I will never give up, and I’m going to boomerang that message right back to you too. Keep fighting, because I will be right there with you every step of the way.

  11. Shola, Congratulations on your book deal, and heck yes, let me know your West Coast schedule. I am humbled that you welcome my input. I found this blog 2 years ago, when I was being bullied by someone that even the top bosses would not tangle with (I wonder what she has on them). It hurts to be bullied, plus the abuse activated wounds from an abusive childhood, and I started to fall apart. I was stressed out, blowing interviews for new jobs. With your guidance, and the support of this community, I hit my “re-set” button, and landed a great job. I am back to my healthy, resilient self. Even better, when I left my old job, I let it go. I did not hang onto anger. Through The Positivity Solution I understand that this person’s actions were about her problems, not mine. I’m fine, she’s not. I learn and grow, she does not. Now I am committed to checking in weekly, as you always have something valuable for us to think about, and work on. This blog matters, and your book has the potential to touch millions of lives. Hats off to you, Shola!

    • Donna, you have no idea how much your words and your story have inspired me! I don’t know what I did to bring you into my life, but damn, I am so glad that I did. You are such a special soul, and I have so much to continue to learn from you. Thank you for being here and for making this place more meaningful with your presence. I appreciate you more than you will ever know 🙂

  12. Hi Shola,

    Congratulations! This is such awesome news! When I was going through a difficult time in my life, I came across your blog. After reading “Stop Complaining”, I bookmarked your blog and began reading from your first post. Your blog has helped me to be a better, happier, positive person not only at work, but overall. I definitely complain less, learned about emotional intelligence, resilience, forgiveness AND I keep a gratitude journal. All thanks to you!

    I look forward to Monday’s now because of your emails and when my sister was going through a rough time, I got her into reading your blogs. There are days where my sister and I would refer to “Feeling Good Will Never Be Good Enough” blog and say “According to Shola, I was an A today. I need to be a B tomorrow.” There are a few posts that are my favorite so I have read and reread them.

    I cannot thank you enough for your posts and all the greatness it has brought to my life. I truly love your posts and cannot wait for your book to come out. You are doing such an awesome job! I hope some day I can pay it forward and help people be more positive.

    Thank you so much for this blog and all your positivity!

    Best Regards,
    Jenny

    • Wow Jenny, that was such a sweet comment! Knowing that my words have had a measurable, positive impact on your life makes my heart want to explode out of my chest (I know that sounded incredibly cheesy, but I’m serious!) That is exactly why I keep writing each Monday. I am here to serve you and your sister in any way that I can, and knowing that I’m doing a good job for you two is what keeps me going. Please know that your words hit me directly in my soul, and they will resonate with me for a long, long time. Thanks Jenny and tell your sister that I said “thanks” too!

  13. Truly inspiring, congrats! And thank you.

  14. Congratulations, Shola! Can’t wait to get a copy of your book when it comes out. Wonder how I can do so here in the Philippines. Thank you for making a difference in people’s lives! I found your blog during a very trying time, and it has helped me a lot in my journey to a more positive life. Cheers!

    • Thank you, Jean! Believe me, if you’re interested in getting a copy of my book when it comes out, I will personally find a way to get it to you. I am so happy to know that I was able to help you in some way–that sincerely warms my heart. Cheers to you too, my friend!

  15. Thrilling. Just thrilling. The MINUTE you have books available for purchase I want one! Immediately. Can’t wait. Proud of you brother.

    • Thanks Lee! From the moment that we met, I knew that I could always count on your support. Looking forward to catching up with you in person tomorrow!

  16. Why does this post sound like your very last post ever? It sounds like your grand finale. Hope that’s not the case!

    • Definitely not, Pete! The positivity train will not be stopped due to a book announcement. We are nowhere close to a finale, my friend–I’m just getting started! 🙂

  17. Awesome! So happy for you and I will definitely suggest it for my clients at my therapy practice!

  18. Michelle Ibanez says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Incredibly inspired to live my dream, and beyond happy for you. Thank you for this gem–it brightens up my Monday mornings–and sometimes on extra trying weeks I re-read it on Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri; can’t wait for the book!!!

    • Aww…thanks Michelle! If this has somehow inspired you to live your dream, that will make me SO happy. I believe in you, and there is no doubt that your dream is ready for you to claim it. Thanks again for your support, it means the world to me!

  19. Congratulations Shola!! I am very happy for you!! You are an inspiration and I sooo want to get your book and devour it!! I’m so glad I got to know this place, your posts have helped me so much to get my self-esteem back and bring positive things to my life! I thank you for that 🙂

    I wish you all the best in the world!

    • Yay! I really appreciate that, Sofia! I cannot help but to smile wide knowing that I helped you with your self-esteem–that is exactly why The Positivity Solution was created :). Congrats to you for stepping into your greatness, and here is to our continued positivity!

  20. That’s cool! Congratulations :)))

    I’m so grateful for your work, your blogposts, Shola! They bring me understanding that I can do sth for make my life a more positive story and – then – share positivity with others. I just try to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday and… it works! Yeeeeeap)

    • And I am grateful for you, Olenka! The fact that you think enough of my work to share it with others is quite an honor. Keep improving each day my friend, and know that I am on the same journey with you!

  21. Awesome news!! Congratulations Shola!!! I will definitely be buying a copy and if you ever do a book signing near Philly I will be there too! 🙂

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