I came across this book, Refuse to Choose, while I was looking at different VA services website and one of them had recommended this book. I am so glad I found this book. It’s a lovely book about how to follow all the things that interest you and you are passionate about. The author calls these people ‘Scanners’ and it makes being indecisive and wanting to do everything acceptable.
The things that she suggests you do are not really new concepts but they way she writes about it makes it all feel ok. As with nearly every single book or course I read now, they all start with buying a brand-new journal in which to write in. For this book, your notebook or journal needs to be new and special for you to write, draw and doodle all your fantastic ideas. Something like Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. I dutifully complied.
Even though I did start my new notebook, I haven’t actually kept up to date with it. It’s currently sitting pretty in my bookshelf along with my notebooks on accounting, tax, blogging, writing and the 3 page a day(!) diary.
The book is split up into two parts and 19 chapters. The first part describes what is a scanner and the second part describes what kind of scanner are you? These are the chapters in the book:
1. All about Scanners
2. What’s Wrong with me?
3. Scanner Panic
4. Commitment Phobia
5. Too busy to do What I Love
6. I won’t do anything if I can’t do everything
7. I can’t get started
8. I never finish anything
9. About Cyclical Scanners
10. Are you a Double Agent?
11. Are you a Sybil?
12. Are you a Plate Spinner?
13. About Sequential Scanners
14. Are you a Serial Specialist?
15. Are you a Serial Master
16. Are you a Jack of all Trades?
17. Are you a Wanderer?
18. Are you a Sampler?
19. Are you a High-Speed Indecisive?
Type Of Scanner
In Part two, at the beginning of each chapter is a list of questions about that particular type of scanner and if you can answer yes to a lot of these questions then that is the type of scanner that you are. You can be more than one type of scanner. When I went through this, I got Jack of all trades and Double Agent. It then gives a few examples of people in that group and what they do and then lists out potential careers of types of careers and finally what type of tools a scanner needs. There is a list of tools for a scanner in the appendix which is useful as most of these things I’ve not really ever heard of. Some of favourites are the portable dream deck where you can keep several different projects going at the same time, the scanners day book, A ring binder for all your different projects and a catalogue of ideas with potential. Actually, I think I would probably like them all.
The Good Enough Job
Another big theme I found in the book is to find a good enough job if you can’t find the perfect job and then you can spend the rest of your time pursuing the things that you enjoy. There are several chapters that I want to go back and read again but it really does make you feel better that its ok not to have a niche figured out and pursuing. You don’t need to be a specialist and focus all your energies on the one thing, if you enjoy doing several things at the same time.
If, like me you are wanting to everything that you find interesting without giving up anything, this book is for you. I can see why the VA feels like this book is a must for all other VA’s out there because you can offer lots of different services that you are good at as a VA.
The author, Barbara Sher, also has a website and mailing list which can be found here: http://barbarasclub.com/
Go and enjoy this book as I try and figure out how to organise my life so I can do everything I want to pursue!
Buy the book from amazon here: