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Books

An Idea Entrepreneur Read in “Breaking Out”

In his newly released book, Breaking Out: How To Build Influence in A World of Competing Ideas, John Butman focuses on idea entrepreneurs: people who are dedicated to and passionate about spreading an idea to the world. With a small taste of French Women Don’t Get Fat in the book, I thought the entrepreneurially minded among our French Women Don’t Get Fat community might enjoy the book as well as it offers a how-to guide to breaking out as an idea entrepreneur. For those of you who enjoyed  Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire and are interested in reading more about my journey to becoming an author, there are plenty of tidbits such as the following quotes:

"I'd go out to restaurants and they were always guilty about food: 'I can't have dessert. I can't have that--it's sinful.' I was shocked," Guiliano told Anna and me. When she traveled back to France, she was particularly struck by the differences, which only seemed to get more pronounced as the years went by. "I'd get together with friends there, and they would plan great meals." Eating in France was fun, convivial, angst-free, and, oddly enough, did not seem to lead to weight gain as it did with American women. (Of course, there are fat women in France and their numbers are increasing, as they are worldwide, but that doesn't negate Guiliano's message.)

Watching her friends and thinking about the issue, Guiliano's iconic moments as a teenager in Weston came back to her. She realized that her personal fascination was deeply relevant to the problems of her American friends. "I remembered how miserable I was when I struggled with my weight," she said. "I was seeing my American friends in pain. So I started helping them." Informally, one on one, she began sharing the ideas and practices that she had lived, interpreted, and experimented with since she was a young woman in France.

When an idea entrepreneur reaches multiple audiences, it is evidence that the idea pertains to an essential human need, addresses an important social issue, and connects to a fascination that many others share. Guiliano is about weight loss and the French lifestyle, of course, but more deeply, she is about self-control and self-management, and eating is one of the most basic manifestations [And, I will add, pleasures] of those characteristics.”

Breaking Out can be ordered here