This week, six heavy cartons of books arrived at my door. The first 250 copies of the first Your People book, Stand Out From the Crowd: The Your People Guide to Beside-the-Box, Funky, From-the-Heart DIY Marketing, PR & Social Media. Copies are available now only through my company but will soon be available on Amazon.

This is my sixth book and the only one I have managed from start to finish entirely on my own. Thanks to so many people for making it happen, but most notably, in the acknowledgements, I singled out my father, Norman Cohn, for teaching me to be a leader and an entrepreneur.

The lessons we learn subtly or out loud are the ones that guide us throughout life. My father first led by the example of hard work, going to work every day, making the bed in the morning, staying fit and prioritizing his relationship with my mother first, then us kids, then everybody else.

Today, Rosanne Cash’s The List CD arrived on my doorstep. Not only do I like the songs, I like the fact that this work of art grew out of her relationship with her father, the icon Johnny Cash.

We are interwoven with so many, for good and for bad, throughout our lives. Some are shackles we try to shake free of; others are gifts constantly inviting us to unwrap and discover what hides inside. Regardless, every single interaction, every relationship, every person who marches through the doorway of our lives has a lesson to teach us, so we’d better keep our eyes open.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned this week:

1. From my eldest son, that listening is more important than speaking and can be the deciding factor between nervous anxiety and peaceful equilibrium.

2. From my daughter, that connection is more sustaining than education, pragmatism or practical function.

3. From my youngest son, that passion can be tempered when necessary, but passion when expressed is so contagious.

4. From my parents, that family support is everlasting, like a bloodline.

5. From my husband, that a life together means dividing and conquering and also just standing beside one another.

6. From my clients, that trust endures when built on honesty, integrity and caring.

I’ve also learned not to play into other people’s drama, to buy a warmer coat when winter hits Michigan and to wake up early or stay up late to see what, exactly, can be eliminated from life and what is utterly essential. Some things are, you know.

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