I’m a voracious reader – business books, marketing books, psychology books, science fiction mainly. In this post I’m sharing new business book reviews about the books that are currently on my bedside table and why you should read/ listen to them too.
So, what’s on my bedside table to read?
I have been ordering books like it’s going out of fashion. I absolutely love reading. I’m getting to the stage now where I am ordering books faster than I can read them, which is a little bit of a shame. But here are some books that I’m either about to read, have read just recently, or am reading now and really, really enjoying.
The first one is Monopolise Your Marketplace by Richard Harshaw. I first came across this book in a webinar with Frank Kern and – I can’t remember his name – Diego something. “Diego something” is cleaning up in the area of Boise, Idaho on local business marketing, and a lot of the concepts that he was talking about in the webinar were from this book. They mentioned it a couple of times. It was three o’clock in the morning, I was awake because I had indigestion, and I realised that Frank’s latest webinar was on so I was going to watch it and listen to it. Might as well, seeing as how I was awake anyway!
So, I immediately ordered this book, while I was listening, from Amazon. That is a symptom of someone who does not suffer from procrastination – as I’ve talked about in other blog posts – because I took action straight away. I ordered this book and I got it for $8 in the used-book marketplace. When I came to look at this book later on a couple of days later, the only ones available were $1,400, which was a bit of shock. So, I’ve now put a big fat note in that book to my daughter saying, “Do not sell this book when I die” because it’s worth $1,400 on Amazon.
It really is an incredible book. It’s one of the best marketing books I’ve ever read. It’s up there with the J. Abrahams and the Dan Kennedy kind of marketing books. I can’t quite believe this guy isn’t better known. But I’m sort of glad he isn’t, because it gives me a serious advantage. It gave me not only lots of ideas on how to market ClicksandLeads.com, but also how to attract new clients, and then to help those new clients by taking them through our processes to market their business online. Excellent book. If you can get a hold of it, in between it being $8, $1,400 or $600 (or whatever), I surely recommend you do.
I’ve also just finally ordered a book called Driven to Distraction, which is a national bestseller on recognising and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from childhood to adulthood. I’ve been pretty aware for a while that I suffer from ADD. Well, actually I don’t suffer from ADD, I have ADD and I work with it. This book was recommended by Rich Schefren, my mentor, on one of his weekly calls with clients. He talks about it quite a lot. I just thought it would be very interesting to read it and see –I’m 50 odd years old now, so it’s very unlikely that I’m going to change my behaviour, especially in light of the ADD I think I have.
I also think I’ve got number dyslexia, and certainly have got letter dyslexia to some degree. I can’t file anything in alphabetical order to save my life, and I’m always mixing up numbers on telephone numbers and things. However, that hasn’t hurt me. I’ve written two books and am working on a third. I was also a wealth coach, as you know, with The Money Gym. I was able to do quite complex sums as long as I had a calculator. Got Grade III CSE maths, which was a bit tragic, but I suspect now that that was because of this number dyslexia. So, I’ll let you know how I get on with that book and do a more in-depth review of it when I have read it properly.
Another book I’ve got is from a new client of mine, Conrad and Susan Potts, Assertiveness: How To Be Strong In Every Situation. It’s not out on Amazon yet, but I’ve got a copy of it in my hand here. It’s rather nice. It says on the back: “You don’t have to be pushy to get what you want”. There are simple ways to assert yourself that will make you happier, healthier, and more successful. Assertiveness is about seeing the other person’s viewpoint and being prepared to listen. The more flexible you are, the more choices you have about how you relate to others; and the more opportunities you have to resolve conflicts. Packed with practical tools and techniques for dealing with a whole host of situations in work and life, you will learn to:
– Get the respect you deserve at work.
– Deal with your boss and say no.
– Get the best out of people you work with.
– Handle difficult behaviour and cope with conflict.
It’s something we are not good at in our family, I have to tell you. We hate conflict and we hate confrontation as well.
– Be self assured in meetings and presentation.
– Deal with your family, friend,s and neighbours, and challenging social occasions.
– Get the service you deserve from retailers, trade people, and public services, and
– Sustain your assertiveness and maintain your well-being and balance.
“Don’t be a pushover, learn how to make your voice heard and deal with any tricky situations with self assurance and confidence.”
It looks like it’s going to be a really good book. I’ve met both Conrad and Susan personally and they are lovely people. They are confident, they are assured, they are assertive, but they are very, very charming. They are not pushy or aggressive or nasty. So, I really think they walk their talk on that one.
Couple of other books: I’m going to do a more detailed review of this book Lean Analytics. Lean Analytics is by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz, and it’s all about how to use data to build a better startup faster. Now again, this is something I’ve been doing for many years anyway – managing your metrics, knowing how many unique visitors you’re getting to your site, how many of those convert to subscribers or take the most wanted action.
But this is a fourth book in a series of lean startup kind of books. I’ve talked about all of those before. They are Getting to Plan B by Komisar and Mullins, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Running Lean by Ash Maurya, and now Lean Analytics. I’m really, really enjoying it. It sounds dull as ditch water, and dry as anything, but it isn’t, I promise you. It really shows you what kind of metrics you should be focussing on what kind of business. You don’t have to read the whole book through. You can jig about to the part of the book that suits your business best. So, a more detailed review coming on that.
Just on a personal note, I’ve just read most of Seth Godin’s All Marketers Are Liars, and that seems to have been renamed to All Marketers Tell Stories, because I think it was putting people off. It’s really, really good. It talks about how you have to tell stories, and it’s more about how the customer lies to themselves when they buy something by telling themselves they need that thing rather than they just want it for emotional reasons. If you’re a marketer, I think it’s pretty much a must read for you.
The other book I’ve read that I really enjoyed is The End of Faith by Sam Harris. Sam Harris is a really interesting guy. He’s an atheist and he’s the most erudite, amusing, witty, atheist I’ve ever come across. My friend Steve got me into him. He lent me a couple of his books. But The End of Faith is really an amazing book. It’s so logical. I really enjoy it for its logicality because I’m someone who is drawn inexorably to the idea that there might be more and that there might be universal energy and all that business. All I know, if there is or if there isn’t, Sam pretty much debunks every religion on the planet, although he does like a few of them more than others. I just find the way he expresses his opinions and his beliefs very, very amusing, entertaining and irresistible.
So, if you’re not a very religious person and you swing towards “it would be really nice if there was something, I’m not sure if there is,” this is for you. The thing I found is that I tend to lean towards wishing there was something externally that was driving my life, but it meant that I was less likely to take total responsibility. I have to say, taking total responsibility for my life is the one thing that has made me happier than anything else. When you know “if it’s to be, it’s up to me,” and I do say that quite often, you can’t blame anyone else. Blaming other people for things is just a road to nowhere. It really is. Worse than that, it makes you not a very nice person to be around.
I was in victim mode until I was 38 years old. I always thought everything was conspiring against me. But as soon as I started taking responsibility I started to take action. I started to do things better, I started to want to learn about why I wasn’t as successful as someone else that was 5’7” with brown hair and two children. It opened my mind to the fact that I needed to learn more stuff, do more stuff, and things might change. They did change, and they started to change really, really quickly. And I think this is the most encouraging thing for anyone who is on the business success journey or the wealth creation journey.
It’s astonishing how fast things can change. As soon as I got my head sorted again after we closed The Money Gym and I went through that year or so of not knowing what to do next – feeling like confidence was at an all time low and I hadn’t got anything else to give – as soon as I got my head sorted on that one and started to take responsibility again, I moved forward and opened my mind. As I start learning, start hanging out with cool people, things have really dramatically changed for the better in the last year, and they’re going at the speed of light.
I fully expect by the time my blog post goes out about finding a techie VA, I will have found one. I have just attracted them somehow, because that’s putting out the intent and then taking the actions. It really does make things happen. So, this rather meandering discussion on faith and the law of attraction, “does or doesn’t it exist” brings me right back to Sam Harris. Go and look up Sam Harris on YouTube. I think the best introduction to him is definitely by watching him in action. There’s a rather interesting debate with him and Deepak Chopra and a couple of other people.
But just look for videos with Sam Harris in them and you won’t be disappointed. I think if you’re on the fence on this one, it will tip you over to the side of logic. Better than that, it will tip you over onto the side of “if there really is nothing else, I’ve got to make the most out of every day and take full responsibility.” That way has lead me to true peace and happiness.
- Monopolize Your Marketplace – Richard Harshaw – more info here >>>
- ROARlocal.com – more info here >>>
- Driven To Distraction – Living With ADD – more info here >>>
- The Money Gym – more info here >>>
- Assertiveness (How To Be Strong In Any Situation) – more info here >>>
- HowToBeAssertive.com – coming soon here >>>
- Lean Analytics – more info here >>>
- All Marketers Are Liars / All Marketers Tell Stories – Seth Godin – more info here >>>
- The End Of Faith (Religion, Terror & The Future Of Reason) by Sam Harris – more info here >>>
This book particularly (and Sam’s views generally) remind me how belief in religion and the idea of the law of attraction leads people to abdicate responsibility about their lives and how a lack of religious beliefs and the notion that “if it’s to be, it’s up to me” actually makes you happier and more at peace, as well as changing your business success results for the better!
What do you think of this selection of books? Have you read any? If so, which ones? And how did they impact your life/ business?
Have you read any that aren’t on this list, but you think I’d like? Let me know in the comments!