by Robyn Spizman
Bestselling author Jon Gordon considers his recent book “The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change” a commentary on the world as we know it during a global pandemic. “It’s a great analogy for life, and the coffee bean is the perfect example for the embodiment of what we are going through, facing and ultimately how to overcome our challenges.
“We can create change from the inside out and not be a victim of our circumstances. We can overcome obstacles and create amazing opportunities in our challenges. No one creates success alone.”
The former Atlantan who writes about leadership, culture, sales and teamwork is the guest speaker at an upcoming “Positively Charged” fundraiser for JELF, the Jewish Educational Loan Fund. JELF provides interest-free loans to students in need of educational financial support.
JELF CEO Jenna Shulman received Gordon’s book as a gift and said she thought its message, filled with hope and the power to change lives, was timely. She believed it would resonate with students and the JELF community.
Gordon, whose recent book was published in 2019, lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He received his master’s in teaching from Emory University and lived in Atlanta for seven years. The invitation to speak at a JELF event for him was “full circle,” he said. In addition to educational systems and student athletes, Gordon has worked with the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Dodgers and Rams, Miami Heat and Tampa Bay Lightning as well Snapchat and Dell. His books have sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Gordon told the AJT, “‘The Coffee Bean’ is an inspiring tale and illustrated fable that teaches readers how to transform their challenges, circumstances and create positive change. Becoming more like a coffee bean, we discover the power inside us to change our environment.”
For students, or those who want to succeed, he offered these tips:
■ Don’t seek happiness. Decide to work with passion and purpose and happiness will find you.
■ Never stop learning and growing. If you stay humble and hungry, great things will continue to happen.
■ Commitments are greater than goals. It is your commitments that lead you to your goals.
■ Being a great leader requires service, sacrifice and humility.
■ When you appreciate, you elevate your mood and the people around you.
■ Love is more powerful than fear.
About his upcoming speaking engagement, Gordon said, “JELF is an organization that helps fund college support and me being 98 percent Ashkenazi Jewish, when I was asked to speak at the event, I felt it was such a purposeful opportunity and an honor for me to make a difference … I want to invest in the people that are working for it, show support and accomplish the mission. Donors make a difference to impact this world and the legacy is clearly the lives they touch along the way.”
Shulman said of Gordon’s June 1 appearance, “Jon’s message shares strategies for success that are relevant to students as they forge on through school, as well as any individuals looking to grow through this tough experience of the past year. We look forward to gathering virtually and raising crucial funds that are needed for Jewish students to succeed.” ì
The free “Positively Charged” fundraiser will be held 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 1.
Robyn Spizman is a New York Times bestselling author, media personality and author of “Loving Out Loud: The Power of a Kind Word.”