I mentioned in a post earlier this year, how I enjoy reading different types of books from business books to fiction and memoirs. For me, reading is one of the best ways to get through my own writer’s block (yes, it happens to everyone), while you lose yourself in a great story along the way. Drawing from the category of memoirs, which is a new favorite of mine, here is my review of one book that tops my summer reading list: Becoming Ginger Rogers, How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and a Smarter CEO, by Patrice Tanaka.
Becoming Ginger Rogers is a very fast read with a lot of relevance and significance for me. The author, Patrice Tanaka, is a PR industry leader, so I can certainly relate to her passionate story, after I’ve spent 27 years in PR and marketing, as an agency owner and now as a consultant.
For the sake of transparency … I consider Patrice a friend. She’s a colleague and someone I’ve known and respected for years. It wasn’t until recently that we met up at a conference through a dear friend, and later spent time over coffee getting to know one another better. Regardless, for me, the book was a page turner.
Here’s what I appreciate about Patrice’s book. The story outlines the steps Patrice took to find what she calls “unimaginable joy.” Patrice, like many of us in our careers, was caught up in the PR and marketing “rat race,” owning an agency and working 24/7. This vicious cycle of work, work and more work, is just a bad habit, or a substitute for pursuing your joy in life. Many of us say that our work is our passion, but at the same time you have to truly carve out your purpose. Patrice took bold steps to “reclaim her life” by finding joy on the dance floor, pursuing her love for ballroom dancing.
Patrice shares how her executive coach initially helped her to find the path to purpose, which took the form of ballroom dancing. Throughout the book, Patrice’s story evolves from overworked agency executive into fantastic agency partner and smarter business professional, all while increasing her skills as a ballroom dancer. Her transition is as breathtaking and as beautiful as a Samba or a Rumba. The more Patrice danced, the more she added color, clarity and purpose to her life, increasingly finding the joy she set out to achieve. Her journey is that of a butterfly; a true metamorphosis, showing how she transitioned and grew as a dancer, which at the same time helped her to become a happier woman, better partner and a smarter CEO.
Becoming Ginger Rogers teaches you that you can’t wait to pursue your purpose; you should do it now and do it wholeheartedly. This isn’t just a lesson for PR and marketing professionals. It’s a lesson for anyone who wants to find a greater sense of spirit and true happiness in life. I recommend Becoming Ginger Rogers, so you can truly find your path to incredible joy, right now. You don’t have to wait.
Also, listen to my podcast with Patrice Tanaka on Women Worldwide