[Note: this post is not sponsored by Moleskine. It is based on actual, real life events. That being said, if Moleskine wants to hook me up with a coupon code or lifetime supply of notebooks after reading this post, I will not object].
I’ve always had an obsession with notebooks—lined or unlined, college-ruled or graph paper-styled, bound with wire, or without. I loved them all uniquely for what they were. But nothing ever topped the elegance and sheer simplicity of a classic Moleskine notebook.
Quality. Originality. Authenticity. The Moleskine notebook was all of these things and more. Something about the perfectly smooth texture and subtle vibrance of its crisp, cream-colored paper, had such an allure to me. Couple that with its methodical range of colored covers, hard or soft, and beautifully bound pages, and this one mere book embodies what every hand longs to hold, and every pen yearns to touch.
You probably think I have hundreds of them—but it’s actually quite the opposite. For a long time, I mulled over getting a Moleskine notebook, but would never allow myself to buy one. I bought every other cheaper notebook, from every other store, but refused to give in to my impending need for this one particular brand. Why?
Worthiness. I didn’t feel “worthiness.” Bizarre to have this sentiment toward a notebook, I know. But it was true. What could I, a writer by heart (and now profession), be worthy enough to write about in a coveted Moleskine notebook? I didn’t have a clue.
But one day, I caved. I found the most beautiful, sunflower-yellow Moleskine notebook up on a Barnes & Noble bookshelf, and I had to have it. So I bought it.
Admittedly, it sat on my shelf, then in a drawer, or box, for years—with no story, other than the simple story of finding it. Until the day I decided to more seriously pursue my entrepreneurial dream, and dabble in the idea of having my own small business.
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Picture it. Phoenicia, NY, July 2015. (I love The Golden Girls, by the way). It all started with the best pancake I ever ate at Sweet Sue’s in Phoenicia, NY—a tiny town, with the biggest (think, dimensions of a large, oval-shaped diner plate), most delicious buttermilk pancakes. Fluffy, thick, full of flavor, with toppings and mix-ins abundantly available, but never needed for purists like me. Sue’s is a sweet-spot for locals, and a destination for people visiting the area for hiking, outdoor activities, ski trips—or just the pancakes themselves. I mean it. These pancakes are indescribably perfect.
And love at first bite got me thinking...wouldn’t it be cool to have my own breakfast or pancake place? I’ve always considered myself a foodie, and thought of having a restaurant, but these pancakes turned my fleeting thought into a more tangible concept. They were (yes, the pancakes) my inspiration for finally tapping into my entrepreneurial side. And they were quite literally how I “bit” the “I want my own business!” bullet.
And right beside me, was my yellow Moleskine notebook. Not for looks, good company, or collecting dust. But because I finally had a passion worthy enough to be captured on its perfect pages. From notes, ideas and brainstorms, to records, reminders and recipes. As I wrote on the pages of that notebook, it was as if my dreams were coming to life. Like I was the author of my own story, creating a “new me” and new path for myself to follow.
I’ll spare you the details of the pancake/breakfast business, franchise idea, commercial real estate searches and pre-mature property visits—but as you can see, I didn’t quite take the pancake path. Though, at the time, I did very much enjoy making new pancake recipes weekly with my mom while living at home.
My yellow Moleskine notebook was where I first started capturing all of my pancake recipes too. And when the pancake pursuit didn’t quite pan (had to say it) out, I put that dream on a shelf along with my favorite notebook.
It wasn’t until the idea of Noomi surfaced, via text message about two and a half years later (1/17/18), that I dusted it off the shelf. I bought a “How to Start a Business” book—a little more legit than the caution tape-colored “‘Whatever’ for Dummies” series—and began reading it. My yellow notebook was to my right, cracked open to a fresh new page for my fresh new dream.
I started writing recipes in my favorite notebook again, in search of my one true peanut butter (PB) love—striving to create the exact taste of what PB means to me. And it’s been with me, in my little-8-foot-galley-kitchen, or by my side, ever since. My notebook never feeling anything less than worthy since the day I began fearlessly pursuing my nutty dream.
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I tell you all of this because I truly believe that everyone needs to find that one thing that makes them want to use a Moleskine notebook.
No, not literally. (Well, maybe, actually yes; they are such beautiful books)! But it’s the idea of what this one simple notebook represented to me. Significance, inspiration, creativity...passion, goals, ambition. And so much more.
Every day, for three months straight (since having the idea of starting my own peanut butter company), I diligently captured my PB recipes in this yellow notebook—with steps, sticky notes, comments on the taste, ideas, and more. And every time I wrote a new recipe, or scribbled on its silky pages, my dream felt more real, my pursuit felt more inspired, and my passion for having my own business, and owning my own consumer product, continued to unfold. To manifest.
Together, my yellow Moleskine notebook, food processor, and 110% belief in my vision, were all the motivation I needed to just keep going. To just keep processing over 100 peanut butter recipes until I found the one (or in my case, the 100th). And within six months of having the idea that most would call nuts, I brought Noomi to life.
What's one of your biggest dreams or goals? What inspires you to keep moving toward it?