June 2017

GRIT by Angela Duckworth

Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig 

May 2017

The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant

 

April 2017

Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal

Expert Secrets by Russel Brunson


March 2017


impossible2inevitableImpossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

 

psycho-cyberneticsPsycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

 

February 2017

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DotCom Secrets by Russel Brunson

conversion_code_bookThe Conversion Code by Chris Smith

January 2017

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Shoe Dog By Phil Knight

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How To Close Every Sale By Joe Girard

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Getting To Yes By Roger Fisher and William Ury

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The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

The_Game_-_Penetrating_the_Secret_Society_of_Pickup_Artists

The Game by Neil Strauss

ready_aim_fire - bookReady, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson

December

November

October

September

August

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.59.44 AMTiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

fanatical_prospectingFanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount

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Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

July

book_cover2The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

ego

Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

June

book_coverMoney and the Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks
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platform_revolutionPlatform Revolution by Sangeet Paul Choudary 

7secretsSeven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

vortex

The Vortex by Esther and Jerry Hicks
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May

enders game

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Mark Zuckerberg lists this book as his favourite so I had to check it out. I think the reason he says that is because he relates to Ender who is essentially this genius kid who they plan to use or train to save their world, he becomes their only hope. When I was reading the book I was captivated by the whole idea of battle simulation and even how his sister and brother were so advanced in their thinking but then I watched the movie and it kind of ruined the book for me. I think the movie is too close to reality where as the book let’s you paint this picture in your mind of something super abstract that never existed before. It’s a good book, I’ll probably have to read it again to get everything out of it but I’d recommend it if you’re in the mood for sci-fi.  

 

blue ocean strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne & W. Chan Kim

If you are planning to use this book as more of a guide to creating strategy and not an idea generator I would recommend buying the physical copy of it. Personally I found the ideas in here fantastic, it instantly got me thinking of ways of differentiating and creating an entirely new market for multiple different businesses. I also love their philosophy in general of being able to provide more value for less cost. Another key point of the book is the idea of minimizing risk. I’ve heard the idea of peeling back layers of risk from Paul Graham but didn’t fully grasp the importance of this until hearing it come up over and over again recently. In general you aren’t doing yourself or your business any favours by taking unnecessary levels of risk, using this theory you should actually be able to lower your risk by creating uncontested market place rather than just trying to be incrementally better in your space.  

codebookThe Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani

exponential_organizationsExponential Organizations by Salim Ismail

love_yourself bookLove Yourself by Kamal Ravikant

Short book, fairly self explanatory. I liked his analogy of thoughts being like water running over a rock. If you occasionally think about something there is no impact but if you train yourself to believe in what you’re saying with repetition, pretty soon you’ll have a river. He gives a really good speech at a-fest if you want to get a quick overview of his message.

 

April

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Principles by Ray Dalio

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The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark

This book gives some interesting background into not just the history of how a school teacher became one of the most powerful people in the tech world but also behind some of the acquisitions and business relationships alibaba found themselves in. For example it was interesting to me that they gave away so so much of the company early on, managing to get some of it back but it was a long haul to get even to relevance never mind where they are today. For example at one point Goldman Sachs had a deal on the table to buy half the company for 5m and decided it was too risky (1998), they ended up lowering their stake to 37% and bringing on Fidelity and some other investors to cover the remainder of the round. 5 years later Goldman sold for 20m, Fidelity held on to the majority of their stock to equity. That just goes to show you how far from a sure things these companies are. Definitely an interesting read, especially if you’re interested in the Amazon/e-commerce world I think it’s good to get another perspective on things.  

March

originals_adamgrant
Originals by Adam Grant

This book is packed full of so much gold I would go so far as to say it will end up in the top 5 business books of the year. I was initially skeptical of Adam after watching some youtube videos of him giving keynotes but after reading Give & Take and now this book I’m sold. If you have any hesitation just read Sheryl Sandberg’s lengthy foreward praising Grant. Inside the book he takes you through the management philosophies of world class organizations like the Bridgewater group. He highlights the qualities that producers used to pick shows like Seinfeld after they had been passed over by all the conventional thinking execs. (hint: it has to do with enthusiasm towards execution not the idea). He even gives parenting advice when talking about the fact humans naturally have a favourable bias towards their own character and are rarely influenced by an instruction to not do something as opposed to threatening the association towards an unfavourable group (eg. Don’t drink & drive vs. don’t be a drunk driver. If you’re looking to build a highly productive organization or just want to communicate better with people do yourself a favour and put this book at the top of your reading list!

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#AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk

Between Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone I don’t think there is anyone else out there putting out as much content on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Not only are these guys blowing up your social feeds, they have the energy levels to pull you out of bed in the morning which is what I love. When it comes to Gary he’s known for being high energy and brash but I feel like after all these years of him repeating the same things over and over again only now is the world starting to get that he’s for real. For me this book was Gary’s Never Say Never movie. Meaning; everyone knew Justin Bieber could sing before that movie he was already famous, the difference was after the movie everyone got behind him and wanted him to win because they saw he was a person too. If you listen (it’s a must listen, don’t buy just the written version) you can’t help but fall in love with this guy. I knew he was speaking honestly every time he was answer questions live but for some reason when you hear him freestyle on questions in the audio book you have no choice but to be like OK, yup, you were right. He goes off on tangents about things that are happening right now in the tech industry and every answer is painfully honest. Everything from where he pulls motivation from (hint: he gets dark and thinks about worst case scenarios of health for friends and family and draws gratitude from the fact everyone is OK), to the somewhat egotistical answer of why he’s documenting his life right now (hint: he can do the math and understand there’s no chance he will be around to see his Grandkids grow up and thinks they might want to see how he built his empire). Because of that comment I’m forever going to look at Gary as a young Carnegie and treasure the fact we get to watch the master plans unfold in front of us. It should spark some motivation in yourself to start thinking really long term. There’s also a ton of solid business advice like how to uncover someone’s individual motivations. His theory of caring about your employees first, then the CUSTOMERS of your clients, then your clients in that order. If you don’t know and love Gary already I’m not sure you’ve ever used social media before but do yourself a favour and get this audiobook, it will be a great introduction to him.  

adversaries_into_allies
Adversaries Into Allies by Bob Burg

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February

boron_letters

The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert

I can remember back to high school thinking that Language Arts classes were a waste of time and I was never going to need to write short stories in my career. Underestimating the usefulness of written communication might be my biggest oversight while in school. I can’t tell you how important this stuff is. Being able to grab attention, tell a story, persuade and inspire action is going to be necessary no matter what you do in life. As for the book/letters Gary opens your mind up to different ways of approaching problems. He’s speaking in relation to direct mail but almost all the content still applies today. In fact you’ll probably draw similarities between some of the most popular google advertisements and his tips. I love when I hear about non conventional pieces of content that get recommended and are actually extremely useful. If you are in sales or if you’re ever trying to persuade someone or something or have to write sales content you have to read these letters.  

 

sing to me

Sing to Me by LA Reid

I can’t say for sure why I decided to add this book to my list but I’m glad I did. You probably know LA Reid from some affiliation with a musician or from the X Factor but what not a lot of people know is his story to the top of the music industry. Because I’m not a musician and am not really familiar with the music industry I instead drew a lot of similarities to startups and venture capital. LA started off doing his own thing playing drums in a number of different bands like ‘Essense’ and ‘The Deel’ where he had some moderate success. It turned out that his passion fell more on the side of discovering talent and helping to nurture them into their own. I won’t go too deep into the story but I was a big fan of how he talked about finding acts that had “style”. He didn’t care too much whether they had one specific hit song or talent per se he was looking for a style that was completely unique to them. He saw countless people with talent but the ones that really stood out for him were those with vision. For example a 14 year old Usher who knew he was going to be a star and how he wanted his style to be portrayed to the world. It’s interesting to hear how the idea of having a vision can be used in other industries beyond tech. Of course some of the best Venture Capitalists will tell you the same thing. Finding great programmers or executives are a dime a dozen, finding someone who has a clear vision of what they want to achieve is rare. One example he gave was an early meeting he took with Puff Daddy to be a potential partner or even employee. After a short lunch it was clear to him that ‘Puffy’ was thinking much bigger than he was considering and rather than try to employ this guy he was going to do everything in his power to help him achieve that vision. Unsurprisingly someone in the music industry went through a lot of personal turmoil over the years but definitely interesting to hear about how he goes from playing for burgers and getting evicted to private jets back to his home town and keeping his moms house empty long after she passed because he “can’t bring himself to sell it”. Oh and there are also some crazy stories of things like him and Jay-Z, Beyonce, Usher all happening to be in St. Barts at the same time and getting together smoking, drinking all night.. what someone wouldn’t give to be at that table for an evening. 

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Venture Deals by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson

If you are even considering taking on venture capital I would highly recommend reading this book. I’ve been following tech and new investment rounds for a long time and over half this book was brand new to me. Everything from investment tranches to how to spot a zombie VC (seriously). It’s no surprise that first time founders commonly fall victim to some type of clause they didn’t know about or understand in their term sheet. If you’re serious about learning this stuff I would recommend following the pdf version as well as the audio at the same time. Here’s the pdf http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/venture-deals.pdf  I think the number one thing I took out of this is if you are serious about taking funding do your homework and come ready with all the information that is necessary as well as your opinion on certain clauses that will commonly come up in negotiation. Not only will this speed up the process it will potentially make it less likely that a VC tries to haggle over ridiculous things like long term no-shop agreements or high multiples on liquidation preference.  

traction_book

Traction by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares

If you’re an engineer and have the ability to quickly build a product or have a product already built but are struggling to find your first customers read this book. I think a lot of the advice in here is fairly common sense but they’re read most startups fail because of a lack of paying customers. There’s a great overview of the book in this post on Zapier’s blog if you don’t have time to read the whole thing. Personally I thought their points around engineering as marketing were the most interesting. I tend to assume that big companies were always big and they never had a scrappy stage but that’s not the case. As an example they talk about Hubspot and the marketing grader tool they released that was a huge driver of initial traffic to their marketing automation software and helped them sign up a lot of their early customers.  

 

 

January 2016

merchants of doubt

Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway

This is a long book about how big-industry created doubt in the minds of the public and basically ignored health and facts in the name of profitability. The biggest case study was of course on cigarettes. I get that they were a big business but the fact the tobacco companies would literally just find the most respected doctor they could who was willing to take money in exchange for expressing an opinion that favoured them was ridiculous. I’m not really sure why I started reading this book in the first place I would just skip it and watch the movie Thank You for Smoking. My main takeaway is that if you hear people completely avoiding facts and repeating vague statements about inconclusive research it might be worth taking a look at what their personal incentives are aligned to. 

on_becoming_a_leader

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis 

This is a great book, putting it on my list to re read. A couple of the main things I pulled from this book are: You shouldn’t aspire to become a leader, you should aspire to become yourself. Embrace and enjoy your own process of becoming. Another good point is when thinking about personal ambitions it’s easy to quantify your desire in ‘things’ but the most important question you should be asking is how do you ideally want to live your life. The most basic answer to which is by fully expressing yourself. One of the last things was the analogy he uses to explain the best way of setting goals. He compares the process to a mountain climber. They don’t just start up by the wall on a whim, they look at top and work backwards to find all the possible routes. They’ll then plan out these individual routes and iterate on each one. They’ll then objectively look at their route plan as if someone else had suggested it and make a decision as to which path is the best.  

Highly Recommended!

wisdom of success

The Wisdom of Success by Andrew Carnegie & Napolean Hill

This book is a life changer. Super fortunate to have read these two books on leadership back to back. I was constantly replaying and book marking sections of this. I’m going to write a more in depth post referencing his 17 principles and expanding on some of the ideas. There were a couple things that still stuck out in my head worth mentioning. One was the power of positivity. The number one thing he Carnegie looked for when hiring people is a positive attitude. Another is the idea of forming a mastermind group. Believe it or not but Carnegie knew very little about steel when he went into the business other than it was extremely over priced. Lastly and most importantly, you must follow a definite sense of purpose. He repeated those words probably 100 times in the book and for good reason. Find your definite sense of purpose then figure out how you make that a reality.  

when_breath
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

I stumbled upon this book because it had amazing reviews and I was up for a change of pace. The reviews were really accurate, it’s a great story. The narrator tells his life story from University days to finding his purpose and marrying his wife Lucy to over 10 successful years as a neurosurgeon to his long battle with cancer. Besides expanding my vocabulary at least 15 words (prior to a life in medicine Paul wanted to be a writer, might be a reason for his amazing articulation) this book makes you think about some of the most fundamental life questions. Namely what is the meaning of life and how you should think about time. Beyond just taking in the story the biggest things I took away from this book were from some of the quotes. For example “we are never so wise as to live in this very moment” or “You can’t ever reach perfection but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving”. There was also a portion of the story when he is very very sick and his oncologist is away on vacation. 10 other specialists take over to try and come up with why his body is reacting so badly to the medication but the situation becomes a cacophony. It isn’t until the oncologist gets back that they can make any definite decisions. When there are too many cooks in the kitchen nothing gets done.  His oncologist was named Emma in the story and I thought it an important note to mention that when he was initially diagnosed with terminal lung cancer he was unsure where he had 6 months or 10 years to live. Emma encouraged him to make decisions with what to do with the remainder of his life based on his values. She would never consider the probability charts, she always wanted to know what was most important to him. If he wanted to get back into surgery, he could, if he wanted to become a writer he could. Time shouldn’t matter, but obviously it did and this was one of the biggest dilemmas he dealt with in his remaining years. Lastly the quote by Samuel Beckett that he needed many, many times throughout his journey “I can’t go on, I will go on.”  

 

December 2015

biz_stone

Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone 

I thought this book was very interesting. Most people know the story of Twitter’s creation in a general sense but Biz goes into more detail about the early days even prior to Odeo. I had no idea that he originally worked at Google and only got a job there because his friend Ev Williams advocated for him even though they had never met in person at the time. I had previously heard that Twitter was a hostile work environment and that there were a lot of internal struggles so it surprised me to hear how much time Biz spent thinking about culture and keeping everyone aligned to a mission. I’ve been on twitter since 2008 and only now did I internalize all the effort they put in to supporting different causes and the impact of their work. It was also interesting to hear how the company grew up and the struggles it went through to get there. For some reason once a company gets to a certain size you only think of it as this monster organization when in reality it was once a tiny startup just like any other company. The main reason I liked this book is because I resonated a lot with Biz he made a tough decision early in his career that was a financial risk for him and his wife but ultimately his chase for fulfillment and impact led him to help create twitter.  

young mr. roosevelt

Young Mr. Roosevelt by Stanley Weintraub

I haven’t ever spent too much time researching American politics, being from Canada, but ever since I read this post on the art of manliness I’ve been fascinated by the best presidents and the way they led. This book was a bit dry but gives you a good idea of his character and why everyone was so devastated when he died. I recently did a post on leadership highlighting FDR on medium. It doesn’t go into the timeline of his history but some general principles he led by that you may be able to use in your own life.  

referral_engine

Referral Engine by John Jantsch

I came into this book without having read Duct Tape Marketing or the other more popular titles from John but thought he packed a lot of value in here. He talks about some fundamental things like customers need to be able to trust you and your company before they will refer you. But also some more tactical ideas for creating a business that is “talkable” and how to create a process for creating consistent referrals. The biggest things I took from the book were; 1. his mentality and 2. blending offline techniques to bring referrals to your online business. By mentality I mean rather than constantly thinking of ways you can get people to send you more business why not think about ways of helping others to get more themselves. He offers suggestions like partnering up with other company’s who service your ideal customer and start a co branded marketing plan. 2. An example of an offline technique he talked about was sending a few cards with adiscount coupon or gift certificates to a new client or someone who just left a great testimonial so they can write a hand written note and pass them out to their network.  At the end of the day getting referrals is an outcome of having a strong culture built around doing whatever it takes to exceed your customers expectations. It’s kind of funny that these books and tips have been out for so long but so few people are putting them to work. If you’re a small business owner I’d highly recommend reading this. 

endless_referrals

Endless Referrals by Bob Burg

Bob Burg has quickly become one of my go to sales influencers solely based on his mentality of the whole client interaction. Endless Referrals reiterates his notion of delivering more value than the customer thinks they’re paying for except this time leveraging the trust and rapport you built by tapping into their network. He mentions some specific tactics like getting specific about who you ask for referrals into rather than just the common “do you know anyone you could refer me to?”. His version of the question would align to the customers interests, if they had mentioned they were part of an association or a mastermind.. is there anyone specifically in that association you think I should meet with or who might be able to benefit from my services? I’d read all of Bob’s stuff at least twice.  

Highly Recommended

give and take

Give and Take by Adam Grant

I’d highly recommend this book. Not only do I love Adam Grant’s perspective on success but he has done an insane amount of research to back up his claims. It was also refreshing to hear that the people who really do act with other people’s best interest in mind do get rewarded in the long run. (he gave an example of a VC who would go out of his way to help entrepreneurs and give them favourable terms rather than only seeking profit). A couple other main points I took from this book were his belief in the strength of weak ties, meaning that many referrals for job positions and new business actually came from people who the recipient would consider an acquaintance not a close friend. I also liked his point about treating people as if they have already reached their potential. The book can essentially be summed up by a quote from Martin Luther King that he included, “every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”  

 

November 2015

magic_words

Magic Words by Tim David 

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This book isn’t bad. It’s interesting to hear a magician talk about the way certain words impact people and their perception of reality. He uses the words as a basis for connecting with other humans. The words are mostly common like;  because, but, thanks, yes, no.. the one thing that stood out for me in the book is that if you want something done pose it in a question rather than an order. For example if you wanted your kids to take out the trash. Rather than having to tell them to do it over and over again say it seems like our trash is filling up every three days what do you think would be the best solution so it gets emptied? In a work place setting this is beneficial because you are going to hear ideas that you may not have considered and even if you had the fact that your employees are coming up with the ideas on their own will make them way more committed to actually completing the task. 

the_secret

The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne

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steal the show

Steal the Show by Michael Port

Buy on Amazon

Michael Port is an expert at what he does. His previous success in acting gives him the perfect experience to teach people how to give excellent presentations, or performances as he calls them. I’d definitely recommend reading this book even if you have something small coming up like a wedding toast or a work presentation. There is a ton of unique content in here but I took out three big things. 1. Everyone screws up presentations. He tells a story about how the lady who played Elsa from from Frozen was giving a live performance and she missed a note on a freezing old evening in New York. She got asked about it after and said that she’s more than the notes she hits. She goes out and lays everything on the line every time and whatever happens, happens. There were thousands of different notes in that performance she understood she wouldn’t be 100% perfect every time. 2. Just tell good stories. Michael quotes Edgar Rice Burroughs – “I have been successful merely because I realized I knew nothing about writing I just tried to tell interesting stories.” 3. The purpose of the presentation should be organizing ideas into a compelling performance that delivers on a promise. This promise needs to apply to your audience and there has to be a reason for them to want to pay attention (ie. what will happen if people don’t adopt your idea)  — I think being good at presenting or public speaking is something everyone wants to be good but few take the time to learn.“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
Jerry Seinfeld 

Highly Recommended

go_givers

Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg & John David Mann

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This book is an extension of the world famous Go Giver story. It talks about how to apply the giver mentality to the circumstances someone will come across in sales.
The three big points I’m taking into my daily life are;
1. If you find yourself in a situation where you are presenting, either publicly or one on one, rather than worry about how you look or are sounding first think about what your audience is looking for. Why are they listening to you? What would value them the most?
2. In any conversation when an objection arises rather than be argumentative, acknowledge the comment then try and understand where the person is coming from. You don’t have to agree with them but you do have to acknowledge them. If they think your price is too high: “I’m hearing that price is your main concern, if I may ask …what type of results would you need to see in order for that price to make sense. You are not trying to “win” you are on the same side as your prospect you are just trying to help them find the best solution.

3. Ultimately you do have to ask for the sale. The difference is with the giver mentality you are excited about helping your client receive the solution to their problem you aren’t pushing something unnecessary on them.

This is a short enough book that I would highly recommend reading it no matter what. You will likely pull out something totally different than I got from it and hopefully that advice will serve you and your life for the better. 

 

October 2015

malcolm

Malcolm X A life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

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I didn’t finish this book, not because it wasn’t good or interesting but just because it wasn’t directly adding value to me at this very moment. The portion that I did listen to was intense, he overcame an insane amount of adversity as racism in that era was 10x what it is today. At one point the tells a story about how people in their neighbourhood literally lit his house on fire and left his family homeless because they didn’t want them there. So much admiration for his resilience,  I suppose that’s what happens when you are aligned to a purpose and devote everything you have to that single purpose.“The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities — he is only reacting to 400 years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth — the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to.” Malcolm X

PV

The Entrepreneur’s Blueprint to Massive Success by Peter Voogd

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Summary

 

 

epic_content

Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

Buy on Amazon

To be honest I didn’t read this book cover to cover. There were a few chapters that were a bit fluffly. This guy definitely knows his stuff but the book probably could have been a bit shorter. The important ideas that I did take away were that a lot of the companies that are doing content best are turning into media companies. Some are going as far as buying media companies or creating an entire media company internally. I can definitely see that becoming more and more popular. One other big thing was that you really need to think about your end goal when it comes to things like gating your content. If the goal is to actually get it out to the most people does it make sense to deter them from seeing it in the first place? At the end of the day this is a good overview to the idea of content marketing and definitely gets the ideas flowing if you are stuck for ways to get started with content marketing.


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The Content Code by Mark Schaefer

Buy on Amazon

Personally I think this book has more actionable tips than Epic Content Marketing, naturally i’m comparing the two. The author starts off the book with an interesting insight about the 5 reasons why people share content. For reference they are; 1. To be useful 2. To define ourselves to others 3. To grow and nourish relationships 4. Self fulfillment 5. To get the word out about causes and brands. That tip in itself would have made reading this book worth it. From there some of the other interesting points that I took away were that everyone loves to talk about themselves, 80% of all tweets are about the author of the tweet. If you’re a business or a brand your goal should be to not talk about yourself at all. The author actually packs a ton of other ideas inside this book, if you are stuck on what type of content you should be creating I would highly recommend this one. One other tip worth mentioning is that by nature people love to compare themselves to others which is why those quizzes you see online about personality tests are so popular. I haven’t seen too many other companies using quizzes as marketing content but I’d imagine it could be extremely effective if used correctly.  

Predictably_Irrational_Book_Cover

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Buy on Amazon

This book is definitely interesting, has a lot of useful tips if you’re looking to create pricing structures for a new product or even if you’re in sales and trying to understand why people buy in the first place.
Two interesting things I pulled out of this book are.
1. Do you know why CEO’s in America are paid so much? Partially because they deserve it, sure. But the reason they initially started ballooning out of control was because company’s were forced to release the numbers and people could see what their peers were making. As soon as one guy knew he was making less than the guy down the street he demanded a raise.
A large part of the book is dedicated to this idea that everything is relative. Company’s have been using high watermark price anchors for decades because then you have something to compare the medium/”most popular” package pricing to. Next time you go to make a big purchase, if the salesperson tries to show you the most expensive version first be aware they are subconsciously using that as the anchor. Later you will be able to justify making a purchase since it’s “way less than the first model”. 2. The second thing was the idea that everything is either a social or a market relationship. When you try to mix them you run into a grey area and it almost never works out in your favour. He gives the example of a guy footing the bill for numerous dates and then decides to complain about how much he has spent breaking the social contract. It’s the same reason it’s acceptable to bring a bottle of wine as a gift to a dinner but if you hand the person $50 then you break the social contracts.

That’s not to say that you can’t have relationships with the people you do business with you just can’t mix them. Ie. Don’t expect payment back for favours or people to be friends with you since you paid them for service.

All in all good book, well researched. I’d recommend it if you’re interested in psychology.
 

 

September 2015


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The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster by Darren Hardy

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I think Hardy is one of my most admired non tech entrepreneurs. The guy is so charismatic and well spoken that it’s impossible not to be compelled by his audio book.
As you’d imagine there were a ton of different take always but two things really stood out for me.
1. Awareness is the first step to change.
You may have heard before that the same actions will never result in different outcomes. I thought I understood that until I started writing down how I was spending every minute of my day. I could easily see where the hours of unproductive time were going. When it’s written right in front of you it’s impossible to say well I just need more hours in the day or if I only quit my job then I’d have more time to x. Darren talks about how writing down exactly where he was spending he money was the single biggest success tip he’s ever got. It works in exactly the same way. All of a sudden you become conscious and accountable for your own actions. 2. There is no secret.
I loved this explanation. Maybe because it gave me a bit of reassurance for my actions but he talks about what ultimately results in success and it isn’t a quick fix. It’s simply the accumulated effect of the choices you make.
Darren gave an analogy in a different talk I saw of someone making the choice between $2m today or a .01 today but it will double every day for the next 30 days. Clearly some people will want the instant gratification and it will be hard for the person who’s making better, more consistent choices because their results don’t pay off until much later.
1 week in they don’t even have a dollar.
2 weeks in less than $90
3 weeks in ~10k, still A LOT less than the 2m
But the magic happens at the tail end of your compounding returns
Day 30 you’ll have $5,368,709. He’s saying that all those small choices you think aren’t a big deal at the time because they’re seemingly small, they matter. The only problem is it might take months or years for the actual results to show.
   

 

cc_img

The Challenger Customer by Brent Adamson

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While this book starts out really slow it includes some very important insight, especially if you’re a sales professional. One of the main ideas I took from the book is that thought leadership doesn’t induce action. Today’s buyer will agree with you all day on everything from the benefits of your product to the differentiators in the market then not take any action. What’s important is to sell them on insights about their business they didn’t know before. You need break their current mental model with these insights about their customers. From their you will ideally position yourself as the company with the unique solution to this problem that the insights identified. Another interesting point that the book mentioned is that the best sales people sell directly to a certain type of personality within the organization. This person can be at any level of the organization but they are what Mr. Adamson would classify as a mobilizer. In essence they are capable of actually driving action within the organization.    

Predictable-RevenuePredictable Revenue by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler

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I decided to re read this book because it seems like you can’t talk to a person in SAAS (software as a service) without them bragging about implementing this method. Because it’s been a few years already since this book came out I thought I could easily re read it and find some glaring holes with Aaron’s theories. I think what the main problem is with this book is that most people haven’t actually read the whole thing cover to cover. It’s almost assumed that it’s strictly a guide to set up an outbound cold calling machine. So every CEO who wants more growth and isn’t able to get it in other areas will point to this book and say well let’s just do that. Unfortunately an outbound strategy doesn’t solve company or product problems. If you were to actually go through the text Aaron spends a lot of time talking about talking care of employees, building culture and training people internally to build the best team you can. All things that are quickly overlooked when the objective is just a bump in the bottom line. I’d definitely recommend reading this book, if for nothing else but to have an opinion the next time you’re at a tech conference and it comes up in conversation.   

 

miracle morning

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

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I saw this book come up for a long time in recommendations but always skipped it assuming that it was just going to be generic advice that I’ve already heard. Don’t get me wrong there was a lot of content in here that has been mentioned in similar books but that didn’t stop it from being extremely valuable. I think one of the biggest things I learnt from this book was that there’s a reason the same ideas and rituals come up over and over again in success books, it works.  It might take a few different types of delivery for something to click in your head but once it does you will be worth picking up another book that didn’t immediately speak to the curiosity you had to learn something brand new.
In general Hal does a good job of laying his method out there for his audience. I had been trying a routine with a few of his 6 steps but the points I was missing alone were worth reading this. His six steps are; 1. Take time for silence 2. Affirmations 3. Visualization 4. Journaling 5. Reading and 6. Exercising. When I would get off track with a previous morning ritual and ask myself well ‘why’ am I even bothering. The answer ended up being that I feel my best and perform my best when I start the day off with purpose. Not only do these steps make you physically better but you feel better knowing that you are mentally strong enough to stick to the things you said you were going to do even though it might mean waking up a little earlier.

 

 

August 2015


626

6 Months to 6 Figures by Peter Voogd

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Don’t let the title of this book deter you, if you are at the start of your entrepreneurial journey this is a must read. There are a lot of things I took away from this book but increasing clarity and the intention behind what you’re learning was huge. He also stresses having your plan written out and reading your goals every morning and night. Nothing really new there but he goes on to mention things like focusing on being present with every interaction, every task and not just staying busy but being so deliberate with your actions that you are 10x – 20x more productive. If you take the time to plan out your days and your weeks you will start to gain confidence as you complete these tasks according to plan.  Not only will your confidence go up but you will be able to enjoy things outside of “work” rather than being there all the time without getting anything done because you feel guilty. There’s plenty more to learn from Peter I’d recommend not only reading this book but following him online and following his podcast.  

advertising effect

The Advertising Effect by Adam Ferrier

Buy on Amazon

There is a lot to be learnt about human behaviour from this book. A notable take away: foot-in-the-door technique, get someone to agree to something small will greatly increase your chances of getting them to agree to the next request. If you’re trying to influence a behaviour change in your customers I would recommend reading this.  

 

wgsd

What Great Salespeople Do by Michael Bosworth

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This book is basically summed up by teaching people to become good story tellers in a sales setting. I definitely agree with the theories here, very powerful when you’re able to put them to use correctly. One tangible tip is the author recommends you have three stories on hand 1. A story about who you are 2. A story about what you’ve done (or the company) 3. A story about what you can do for that person.

pirate huntersPirate Hunters by Robert Kurson

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I picked up this book thinking it would be an interesting story and more of a relaxing read but it turned out to have a lot of overlap in business/life. One of the most interesting things I found was how Pirates managed their crews. Apparently in most cases they didn’t lead by dictatorship at all. The leader was chosen by the crew and that was based heavily on trust, respect and ability. Everyone had their lives on the line so if at any point they thought the best person  wasn’t in power they would make a change, immediately. Their “management” style was also completely flat, the leader would do every job along with their sea mates. Besides this point the book was an interesting look at how to solve problems in general. If you’ve ever fantasized about chasing treasure I’d recommend taking this with you on vacation.

 

jim rohn

The Power Of Ambition by Jim Rohn

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This is likely one of the most important books I’ll read this year. Jim has so much wisdom you’d be crazy not to read this. Some of the highlights I pulled out include; “Don’t wish for better wind, build a better sail.” The idea that every other life form will grow to its capacity except humans. Your goal should be to continue to grow to reach your individual capacity. The fact that people of power and importance will be much more willing to help you if they know you’ve tried to help yourself first. Also, his definition of success which is steady progress towards your own personal goals.  

 

 

July 2015


 

thank_you

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Gary implores you to start actually caring about your customers, getting to know them on a personal level and treating them like real humans not just a blip on your income statement. Among many other tips and tactics he suggests playing virtual Ping Pong when interacting wither customers via social media. Rather than always using it as a bulletin board interact and engage with people creating back and forth dialogue. I think this is an important book for CEO’s to read because it can be hard to justify such an investment into social media if you want to do it right. 

selling

Mastering the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins

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This is a quick audio recording of a live keynote. Good delivery and some decent techniques about getting people on a “yes train” and some other sales tactics. Not overwhelmingly good.

Highly Recommended

relentless

Relentless by Tim Grover

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Highly recommend this! Tim trained Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and many other professional athletes. The book is a story about what it takes to be a “cleaner” (the word he gives people on the highest level of their game).  

Summary

 

 

whybeautiful

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters by Alan Miller & Satoshi Kanazawa 

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I picked this book up mainly because I had seen it come up so many times in suggested lists. I personally didn’t think it was that great. Apparently the book that this is based off of, The Moral Animal, is better if you’re interested in evolutionary psychology. One of the most interesting points for me was the idea that because our society is progressing faster than our brains/bodies can adopt or evolve. For example our brains can’t comprehend that images of people aren’t real on tv or in movies. This is one explanation why we tend to get so emotionally involved in situations that aren’t real.  

sales_pro

Becoming a Sales Professional by Tom Hopkins

Buy on Amazon

This guy definitely knows his stuff. This is a very tactical book. It’s a recording of a seminar of his, definitely worth listening to though. One of the main takeaways for me was answering all their objections with questions, he used the real estate example of a wife asking “does the playground come with the house?”..he responds; “would you like it to come with the house?… we’ll see what we can do.” 

door2door

Door to Door Millionaire by Lenny Gray

Buy on Amazon

This guy has an insane amount of drive and hustle. I figured if you could learn to sell door to door you could sell anywhere and it paid off. There a ton of great tips in this book. First off, he changed his mindset to him being the one with valuable information and something important to offer every homeowner. Other things he mentions like not mentioning price until you have the decision maker end up being incredibly important. It’s especially important because otherwise the person you were talking to is charged with doing the “selling” to the the decision maker. Another not so obvious tip is to knock out any objections first. For example he wasn’t discouraged when he would see an alarm sign on someone’s lawn. He would calmly knock the door and compliment them on their choice of being smart enough to have a security system. From there he’d point out why his system was better and end up getting them switched over, incredible salesmanship. 

 

 

June 2015


 

ari

The Gold Standard by Ari Gold

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If you ever need to get pumped up for a meeting, a date, a VC call, a golf game .. listen to this book during the commute, you’ll have an unstoppable mindset by the time you get there guaranteed. I wrote a full post about this one it was so good, read it here.

automatic

The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow

Buy on Amazon

unselling

Unselling by Scott Stratten & Allison Kramer

Buy on Amazon

 

aziz

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Buy on Amazon

May 2015


 

rightonce

You Only Have to be Right Once by Randall Lane

Buy on Amazon

Interesting book if you haven’t scoured through every tech success story out there already. The whole book is the author recounting the most popular stories of founders rising to Billionaire status via their tech startups. I found the most interesting stories to be of Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel and the WhatsApp founders. Evan was heavily criticized for famously turning down $3B from Facebook but the narrative between him and Mark behind the scene’s definitely adds some drama and admittedly new found respect from me for the young CEO. As for the WhatsApp story you can’t help be happy for Jan who literally went from collecting food stamps to signing an acquisition offer of 19B in the exact same spot only a few years later.

Summary

willdurant

The Lessons of History by Will & Ariel Durant

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I found the book fairly interesting however it’s definitely not riveting by any means. I found the most the most interesting part to be chapter 8 about economics. He says simply; “the natural and inevitable concentration of wealth must be periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable redistribution.”

 

elon

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vancl

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I would highly recommend this book. You will guaranteed to be left with the feeling of being able to do anything. It’s almost unfathomable what this guy has accomplished already in his lifetime. He couldn’t buy rockets cheap enough from the Russian’s to try going to space so he built his own. He wanted to rid the planet of it’s reliance on fossil fuels so he commercialized solar power. He wanted to popularize the idea of solar cars so he built Tesla. He says he’s going to colonize mars and based on his win record I’m not so sure I would bet against him.

April 2015


 

hyper

Hyper Sales Growth by Jack Daly

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I’m glad the title of the book didn’t deter me from reading it because there is a ton of value inside. It’s refreshing to hear someone talk about putting employees first and empowering people who has been operating massively successful companies for decades. Many people still think of these ideas as foreword thinking and untested but as Jack proves that’s far from the case. Two interesting points he makes are; your success as a sales person is reliant on the information you get not the information you give and you should throw parties for new hires not people who are quitting.

bold

Bold by Steven Kotler

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One of the first reviews of the book on the amazon listing says “BOLD is an essential navigation tool for any proactive CEO who wants to remain relevant.” It’s written by Jim Moffatt the CEO of Deloitte Consulting and basically sums up what you’ll find. I previously wrote apost on Steven Kotler’s book the Rise of Superman which is why this book caught my eye. I like his intense style, the type of person that can bring energy to any conversation because he’s always thinking of really big ideas. This book is no different, it challenges you to think about the world as you’d like to see it not as it is. He wants you to think of the most outrageous, moonshot idea you can come up with that will impact a huge number of people and go make it happen. They give numerous examples of all the ways it’s absolutely possible to do so; from crowd funding to offering prizes to outsourcing and 3D printing a prototype there really isn’t anything stopping you. If you’re thinking of a big idea and nervous about whether you can pull it off or even if you’re looking for some inspiration towards something bigger read this book.

5

The Five Sysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

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Not exactly sure why I picked this book to read. It comes in the form of a story about a fictitious company. The company was extremely relevant to me because they were building software, slightly bigger than the company I currently work at but kind of funny how the same problems come up. The five dysfunction are listed here if you’re interested. There isn’t anything really surprising there, trust is extremely important obviously. For me the big takeaway is how the interim CEO dealt with conflict. The book highlights this very “grown-up” company, who has already gone public. But even at that stage things can still be “fun” with a level of professionalism where you address all issues almost immediately removing layers of sarcasm or politics.

 

oprah

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

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If you’re looking for purpose or meaning in what you’re doing you should read this. It can be a bit cheesy in spots but anytime a billionaire takes the time to write down the things she learnt over her career I’m going to listen. There is a lot of valuable stuff in this book, I’ll probably read it at least a couple more times. The most powerful story in the book for me was when she was considering retiring after 20 seasons. She gets this note from a kid who has terminal illness, it reads something along the lines of “I hope you continue for another five years. You have an amazing opportunity to spread your message to many more people over that time. A lot of people have heard my message and it will live on after I’m gone but I wish I had more time so I could know that for sure.” The kid was 12! And she did, she retired after 25 seasons.  Interesting idea of you are your message, or in other words; what do you stand for?

March 2015


hiltons

The Hiltons by J. Randy Taraborrelli 

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This book was looong. A lot of stories about Zsa Zsa Gabore and Conrad Hilton’s marriages. I found the interesting parts to be around the fact that his first venture in the hotel industry was just renting rooms out of the family house (just like airbnb). It proves that the same problems keep coming up but the solutions to the problems change. Another interesting fact is that a lot of the purchases Conrad made weren’t for hotels he could afford. He was always pushing himself to do better and expand the Hilton franchise. This relentless pursuit of improvement is the most common trait amongst the biographies I’ve read and also mentioned by Justin Kan (the founder of Justin.tv & Twitch, sold to Amazon for 1B) in his AMA on reddit.

sales pe

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

Buy on Amazon

Great book if you have a SAAS company or are running an inside sales team. A ton of actionable content from a full hiring formula, including interview scorecard, to sample comp plans and sales scripts. It’s really interesting to see how he was able to so many things while building the sales team at Hubspot. Presumably all of the dashboards he was working with were custom built, I’d guess there are at least 3-5 potential SAAS companies waiting to be built just from the ideas he gives in the book. “Companies should strive to adopt technologies that enables better buying for customers and faster selling for salespeople.”

reinvent

Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux

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This is a really long book mainly filled with a ton of examples of companies that have implemented the “Teal Organization” format. Colour is used as a spectrum to describe the way our management philosophies have evolved over time. In general, he explains how we went from a state of ego and making decisions based on external factors to a heightened sense of self and making decisions based on internal factors. It’s hard to argue against this as everywhere you look businesses are being built around some type of social cause. Companies are spending more and more time explaining “why” they are doing what they’re doing as opposed to just “what” they do. Even employees would now rather work for companies who share their same values as opposed to who would pay them the most money. I think Teal is a great way of thinking about a company’s make-up but it would be dangerous to try and implement this without doing your research and having answers to all the questions you know would immediately come up. Like Charlie Munger says until you can argue both sides don’t join the conversation. All in all I’d highly recommend reading the book, self management is clearly the way many massively successful companies are going, especially those trying to breed a culture of innovation

February 2015


 

theonething

The One Thing by Gary Keller

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This book was surprisingly good. To be honest I thought it was going to be straight forward but based on recommendations I read it anyway and am really glad I did. If you still haven’t found your “one thing” I would highly recommend reading this. Even if you think you have but find yourself bouncing between different tasks all the time this book is going to be extremely useful. Here’s a couple takeaways or ideas from the book: The task that you’re working on .. are you doing it the best that you can  do or the best that it can be done? “We are kept from our goals not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal” Finally the idea that you have two types of time allocation, maker time or manager time. You should be a maker in the morning and a manager in the afternoon. It’s a similar concept to what’s found here written by Paul Graham

the greatest

The Greatest Minds and Ideas Of All Time by Will Durant

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This book is pretty ‘high level’, it’s mostly lists of what Durant would recommend you study if you were on a path to enlightenment. Lists of hero’s, 100 most important books, of music, 12 most important dates in history etc etc. For me the most interesting was thelist of books, doubt I’ll ever get through all of them but it’s a good list to reference if you’re looking to study history.

selfmade

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect by John Sviokla & Mitch Cohen

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Anytime someone takes the time to study 120 self made billionaires it’s worth taking notes. This book is extremely valuable, will likely read it again at some point. Some of the most important take aways for me were: These guys don’t ask themselves or their employees is this the best you can do, they ask is this the best it can be done. Most self made billionaires built their businesses with someone who complimented their skills and in almost all pairings there was a ‘producer’ and a ‘performer’. Producers tend to have the crazy ideas, rather than wondering why they are constantly asking themselves why not. Performers execute. The other common traits among the group were a sense of empathetic imagination, a relative view of risk, the idea of inventive execution and patient urgency.

 

 

January 2015


 

thelife mike

The Life by Roland Lazenby

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Loved it. Really interesting hearing about his childhood, growing up playing high school basketball, college etc. Awesome to hear how he wasn’t always “Michael Jordan” even as he entered the NBA he still had to prove himself as a great player.

Highly Recommended

total recall

Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger

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You can’t read this and not have an extremely high level of respect for Arnold. What he’s accomplished relative to where he came from is almost unbelievable. The idea instilled in him early of having to earn everything really defined his whole life. Before breakfast he would have to do pushups. Before playing with toys, pushups. Imagine how productive you would be if you were doing that since 5!

Highly Recommended

jerry weintraub

When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub

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Narrated by the author himself, this recount of stories from his own life was amazing. Originally made famous by taking Elvis Presley out on tour he had also represented artists like Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin. However, being an agent and a manager was only a small portion of what this guy accomplished, I’d imagine he could tell stories for days. Very, very interesting story. For me the main takeaway was every time he felt like he was falling into a comfort zone that was a sign to make a change.

 

zen

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance  by Robert M. Pirsig

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I’m a big fan of this book, I’ll probably end up re-reading this on vacation at some point as it’s really thought provoking. One of the biggest takeaways for me was the analogy of motorcycle maintenance to being able to solve your own problems and not being ignorant to things just because they intimidate you to begin with. By being proactive about learning how to handle different situations (ie. a broken down motorcycle) you start to take charge and determine the outcomes rather than just being a victim to unforeseen events.

 

Highly Recommended

sam walton

Made In America by Sam Walton

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This book reminds you that so called “overnight success stories” are almost always a product of many years of hard work. Sam was a self proclaimed merchandiser his whole life and made a point to get up everyday and improve on something in his stores. There are a million things you could take away from this book but I thought it was cool that in his earliest days, as a variety store owner, he made a point to start conversations with everyone on the street, always greeting people first. His sincere interest in community and his customers lives is what initially helped him get his start. I find that similar values or rules get repeated over and over again but if you don’t get a chance to read this book here are Sam’s top 10.

 

December 2014


dietcults

Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald

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manalonewith

Man Alone With Himself by Friedrich Nietzsche

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I was a big fan of this book. The advice is so simple but so commonly neglected. Too many people are stubborn to their path not to their destination. There are probably a number of different ways you can get to your end goal but it’s critically important that you keep that as a focus and treat everything else like a hypothesis that is yet to be proven.

 

managing oneself

Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker

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This is a must read if you’re trying to figure out what career path to take or if you’re frustrated where you work/ what business you should be starting.

 

civilization

Civilization and Its Discontents by Peter F. Drucker

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Tai swears by this book and ranks it in his top 5 of all time. It’s a short enough book that you can re read it a few times which I’ll have to do because it was fairly ‘deep’. But in general he talks about why people are unhappy (discontent) and how becoming happy doesn’t happen by just focusing on one aspect of life, it boils down to fulfillment which is made up of many things.

November 2014


 

Highly Recommended

behind the cloud

Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff

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If you have a SAAS company you need to read this book. It’s literally a playbook of exactly how Salesforce was built. The one thing I was surprised about was how much of it was focused on culture and hiring. Another good take-away was their strategy of aligning to the market leader (alternatively you could align yourself against the status quo).

contagious

Contagious by Jonah Berger

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The author has definitely put a lot of research into this topic but I found a lot of this to be repetitive and common sense. I’m more on the side of the fence where you just build useful products rather than try and manufacture virality so I could be bias.

the score takes care of itself

The Score Takes Care Of Itself by Bill Walsh

Buy on Amazon

This book was reeaallly long but it had a ton of good leadership advice packed inside. If you are a coach or a manager I’d definitely recommend this one. One of the main takeaways was if the best athletes/performers in the world are still working on the basics, you should too.

 

October 2014


 

smart cuts

Smart Cuts by Shane Snow 

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Good book, basic idea is that you shouldn’t take things as they are given. For example typically an entry level employee based on their experience makes $XX,XXX/year but why? Some sports athletes who are younger than all the other players make more than them, they probably just have more to offer.

war of art

The War of Art  by Steven Pressfield

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Worth a read if you are feeling “resistance” from an idea, business or anything you want to pursue. The book can be summed up by a narrative that one of the characters has with God while getting a sneak peak into heaven. They are talking about the famous people that are up there, then God points out the most famous wartime general of all time. The character mentions he knows that man, he’s just a construction worker. God corrects him, he might be just a construction worker but if he were to be a war general he would have been the best that ever lived.

do the work

Do The Work  by Steven Pressfield

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Don’t read this book and use it as an excuse to keep doing what you’re doing. Obviously anything worthwhile is not going to be easy out of the gate but if you need justification that other people have had similar struggles this book might be useful.

zerotoone

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

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MUST READ! This might be the best book I’ve read all year. Peter’s ideas are original and insightful and even better all the tips and strategies are actionable. There is almost no “fluff” in this book. The general idea of the book is that to be really disruptive and innovative you need to do something that has never been done before, hence zero to one. Ask yourself his favourite question; What is one thing that you strongly believe in that very few people would agree with you on?

September 2014


 

close that sale

Close That Sale by Brian Tracy

Buy on Amazon

Definitely important tools to have on hand. Depending on what type of sales position you’re in you might only find half of the directly useful. Search through the free pdf and commit those ones to memory.

secrets of

Secrets of Selling by Grant Cardone

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Classic Grant here, this is a live taping of one of his sales conferences. It’s reiterating a lot of the same stuff that he has said before, dominate don’t compete, but always motivating listening to him deliver the content.

crush it

Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Buy on Amazon

“A step by step guide on how to cash in on your passion.” – Talks about how you need to be a brand no matter what and use all the tools available to be an expert in your chosen niche.

red book of selling

The Little Red Book Of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

Buy on Amazon

sales mastery

Sales Mastery by CHuck Bauer

Buy on Amazon

 

August 2014


 

Highly Recommended

semper virillis

Semper Virilis by Brett Mckay

Read for Free

This is formatted as a long blog post but I highly recommend reading it! I overview it in this post briefly but a lot more important points in the post itself here.

selfish gene

The Selfish Gene  by Richard Dawkins

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The book has an ironic title as it’s actually aimed at proving the hypothesis that individual selflessness and altruism are best for society. In general it’s kind of a long read I think the idea that selfishness was fundamental to evolution is kind of obvious, you might find it interesting if you’re into zoology but wasn’t my favourite.

accelerated_learning

Accelerated Learning Techniques  by Brian Tracy

Buy on Amazon

If you’ve ever tried to learn something and gave up or failed you need to read this book. I’m guessing this book will have the biggest impact on me of anything I’ll read this year. It’s absolutely packed with actionable advice on how to learn faster and more efficiently. It’s funny that when I’ve looked to tackle a new skill I’ve never taken a step back and thought about how I would approach learning but it’s a crucial step.

July 2014


 

Highly Recommended hard thing about hard things

The Hard Thing About Hard Things  by Ben Horowitz

Buy on Amazon

If you’re CEO of a SAAS company, or you plan to be,  you need to read this book. Takes a first hand account of his own experience running big companies and the hardest decisions he’s had to make, a lot of which were very unpopular at the time. This book isn’t high level it gives very specific things that you should be doing when hiring, managing and firing employees at your company. A couple big take aways; Hire for strength rather than lack of weakness, people come from two different lenses me or we (you want the later on your team), hold people accountable to results, effort and promises separately. Finally, a leader should be judged by the quantity, quality and diversity of people willing to follow her.

mysterym

The Mystery Method  by Eric von Markovik aka “Mystery”

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The basis of the book is quite manipulative and cheesy at times. I wouldn’t recommend you use all of the lines in it as you will come off looking like a douche (in my opinion) but the underlying social dynamic tips are no doubt invaluable.

daring greatly

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

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If you haven’t seen her TED talk on vulnerability yet you need to. This book is more closely related to her talk on shame but it’s great. She’s honestly one of my favourite people, so authentic it’s impossible not to like her.

lean in

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

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I definitely respect where Sheryl is in her career and even where she’s coming from with a lot of her points but I think the book was a bit feminist for me. It’s still a good book to read to get a woman’s perspective on the professional working world. I can’t argue that they aren’t under represented in general but I do think the opportunities are there and not just for the sake of saving face. I’m of the opinion that in a lot of cases women are much better employees than men; they are typically more mature, better at managing their time, better at saying no, have no problem asking for what they want and are typically fiercely competitive yet selfless at the same time. Believe me, you need them on your team.

flashboys

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

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Detailed explanation of how HFT was born and how a select few made a ridiculous amount of money. Just re-iterates that fact that Wall Street pretty much creates zero value. Read a book by an investor like buffet or soros not this one, it will just spark ideas about how to make a quick buck which will never pay off in the long run.

 

June 2014


 

fight club

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

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Good book, about a lot more than fighting. If you haven’t seen the movie it has a lot to do with finding purpose/ belonging and being confident enough to take what you want out of life as opposed to accepting what you are given.

48 laws

48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

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Worth reading. Found it a bit ruthless and manipulative at some points but definitely good to know if people are purposely trying to use the tactics on you.

 

artofsteal

The Art Of The Steal by Frank Abagnale 

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He exposes some ridiculously obvious loopholes in security and identity theft. Main point is be proactive and use credit cards to mitigate your liability.

 

Highly Recommended pitch anything

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Buy on Amazon

If you are planning on going into a negotiation/presentation of any kind in the near future this is a must read. I had accidentally been using a couple of the four “frames” that Oren highlights in the book but the combination of all of them is undoubtedly the most powerful. It’s also good to hear the idea of using values as a main point in a pitch validated even when presenting against big investment banks on huge deals.

alchemy of finance

Alchemy of Finance by George Soros

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George Soros (looks like the full audiobook is available here) I’m going to have to listen to this book about 8 times to get everything out of it but interesting to hear how he includes the psychology of purchase decision and other intangible factors when considering an investment. Sparked an idea about doing the same type of research into the tech industry and more specifically SAAS companies.  (DEF: alchemy by definition is a scientific term referring to transforming matter. In general it can be defined as “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.”)

closers survival

The Closers Survival Guide by Grant Cardone

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Listen to Grant narrate the book, he’s intense it will get you fired up. The content is scripted “closes” basically taking objections and turning them into opportunities to close. Also highlights about how selling is really about the exchange .. salespeople aren’t paid to sell, they are paid to close. “even an idiot can learn from the experiences of a lifetime but a wise man learns so that he can create the experiences he desires.”

May 2014


obstacle

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

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Great book loosely referencing Stoicism throughout the whole thing. Can be summed up by this quote. “My definition of a Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking” –Nassim Taleb

meditations

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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Deep stuff, recommended by Ryan Holiday again talking about Stoicism and the path to virtue

 

 

 

April 2014


 

 

trying not

Trying Not To Try by Edward Slingerland

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I found chapter 6 (chapter 8 in the audiobook) the most valuable.

taote

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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More of a list of paradoxes that define the way of the Taoist, still interesting either way though.

tao of chip

The Tao of Chip Kelly by Mark Salveit

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The principles that Chip Kelly has used with his players on different teams. Really interesting book, talks a lot about how he focuses on the present with his slogan “Win the Day”.

the alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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Good book, basic take away is follow your omen.

 

March 2014


 

superman

The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler

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Summary Post

abundance

Abudance by Steven Kotler

Buy on Amazon

anything you want

Anything You Want by Derrick Sivers

Buy on Amazon

This is the real 1 hour MBA, great book.

pop

The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

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Big fan of Adam Braun, very interesting and relatable story. His message is be the change you want to see in the world.

 

 

February 2014


 

maverickselling

The Maverick Selling Method by Brian Burns

Buy on Amazon

play it away

Play It Away by Charlie Hoehn

Buy on Amazon

first last

If You’re Not First You’re Last by Grant Cardone

Buy on Amazon

Highly Recommended. Talk’s about how companies and individuals should go into a space to dominate not compete. A couple good quotes; “Doom & Gloom, time to boom”, “Rich people buy time poor people sell it”, “Contacts turn into contracts”.

 

 

January 2014


 

wtp

Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian (founder of Reddit)

Buy on Amazon

leadersel

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek 

Buy on Amazon

Video

Highly Recommended

10x cover

10x Rule by Grant Cardone 

Buy on Amazon

Among many other things he says people don’t buy books because they think they’re worth ~$30, they’re looking for a million bucks. In short, meaning that there’s something to be learnt from every book, every person you meet, every experience you have.