Unfortunately, attention is a scarce resource. There are so many things competing for your audience’s attention. So, to be successful, there’s no choice but to make your ideas stand out.
The book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath aims to solve that problem. In the authors’ own words:
We wanted to take apart sticky ideas – both natural and created – and figure out what made them stick.
As someone who is dealing with communicating marketing ideas, this book really caught my eye. Let’s see what it has to offer.
Inside Made to Stick
The book consists of eight parts: Introduction, Chapters 1 to 6, and Epilogue. The six chapters deal with the six principles of creating sticky ideas: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Stories (the acronym is SUCCESs).
Introduction: What Sticks
First, of course, we need to define what is meant with “stick”. In this book, “stick” means “your ideas are understood and remembered, and have a lasting impact – they change your audience’s opinions or behavior”.
The premise of the book is that we can learn to create sticky ideas. The premise is inspired by the result of a research in 1999 that tried to classify hundreds of ads. Based on the research, 89 percent of the award-winning ads could be classified into six basic categories while only 2 percent of the less successful ads can be classified. The lesson is clear though surprising: Highly creative ads are more predictable than uncreative ones.
Chapter 1: Simple
The first principle to make sticky idea is to be simple. “Simple” means finding the core of the idea. It requires forced prioritization in which we should weed out ideas that are important but aren’t the most important. In addition, the main idea should also be compact. The less the amount of information in it, the stickier it will be. Great examples here are proverbs. Proverbs are both core and compact, and that’s why they have such lasting impact.
Chapter 2: Unexpected
This chapter focuses on two questions: How do I get people’s attention? And, How do I keep it? The answer to the first question is surprise because surprise gets our attention. The answer to the second question is interest because interest keeps our attention.
To create surprise, your idea should be unexpected. It should break a pattern in your audience’s guessing machines. Be sure, however, that the pattern you target relates to your core message. Otherwise the surprise won’t help you get your message across.
To create interest, you should ask your audience to follow a journey which ending is unpredictable. This is continuous unexpectedness. Make them curious by opening gaps in their knowledge which they need to close.
Chapter 3: Concrete
Abstraction makes it harder to understand an idea and to remember it. Concreteness helps us avoid these problems. How do we say that something is concrete? We say that something is concrete when we can examine it with our senses. For instance, “massage will help you be able to bend over so you can tie your shoes” is concrete while “relaxes muscles” is abstract. Sticky ideas are full of concrete words and images.
Chapter 4: Credible
Your audience must believe in your ideas if you want the ideas to be sticky. That’s why credibility is important. There are two ways to achieve credibility:
External credibility – An authority (an expert) or an anti-authority (someone who has first-hand experience) supports the idea.
Internal credibility – The idea has convincing details, accessible statistics, or testable credentials.
Chapter 5: Emotional
While believing in your idea is good, it’s not enough to get people to act. They should also care about your idea. For that, your ideas should have emotional value. There are three ways to create emotional value:
1. Use the power of association. Form an association between something they don’t yet care about and something they do care about.
2. Appeal to self-interest. Appeal to things that matter to them. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is helpful here to help you identify what matter to them.
3. Appeal to identity. Understand how people make decisions based on their identity and make your idea appeal to it.
Chapter 6: Stories
People love stories. We grew up listening to stories. Stories are useful to get people to act. The power of stories is twofold: it provides simulation (which tells people how to act) and inspiration (which gives people energy to act).
Research shows that when we listen to a story, we don’t just visualize it; we simulate it. That’s why story is powerful to give people a sense of how to act.
The good news is you don’t have to invent stories to have powerful stories to tell. You can just spot stories that suit your core message.
Epilogue: What Sticks
Spotting sticky ideas is just as effective as creating them. In fact, a good spotter will always trump a great creator because the world has more sticky ideas than what one person could ever produce.
For an idea to be sticky, first of all it should be simple. After that, it should make the audience:
- Pay attention (by making the idea unexpected)
- Understand and remember it (by making the idea concrete)
- Agree / believe (by making the idea credible)
- Care (by making the idea emotional)
- Be able to act on it (by making a story)
Made to Stick is a powerful book for those who need to communicate their ideas. As massage therapists, we definitely want to communicate our message of massage to our target audience. I really find the principles in the book useful. You may want to get yourself a copy of the book so you can better understand the principles of SUCCESs with the examples the authors give throughout the book. Of course, applying the principles takes practice and diligence, but this is the best book I know so far on making winning ideas.
Check it out and post your thoughts below.
Seth Godin’sTribes is a little book with a powerful punch.
Its message and concept is simple: a person needs to be part of a group and wants to bond with other people who share similar goals and passions. However, Tribes is not a how-to manual for creating great groups. Instead, Godin lays out the benefits of leading a group of people, communicating with people who share similar interests, and growing together with like-minded individuals. Through stories and analogies, Godin inspires readers to lead, unite, and change their world.
Godin highlights many points throughout the book but there is a common thread: we need you. The world needs you. The world needs the abilities and passion you can bring. And, believe it or not, the world is ready for you. Godin states, “What I’m saying is that one person – okay, what I really mean is you – has everything. Everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself. The people around you realize this and they are ready to follow if you’re ready to lead.”
Tribes is a call to action to lead with vision, purpose, and faith. Check out a few more tips in my video book review.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts?
I’ve been reading at least one business related or personal development book at least once a month for several years now. I actually try to read one book a week, but some are just for fun. I wasn’t sure if I could actually read a book a week but discovered I can do it!
A number of readers have been asking me for book recommendations, so I wanted to share with you what I have been reading. So each month, I will update what I have been reading. Be sure to check back often.
I hope you get on board with this challenge too. Destroy your TV and get your book groove on!
The Five People You Meet in Heaven begins when an amusement park accident tragically kills Eddie “Maintenance”, an eighty-three-year old man who dedicated his life to keeping the park safe for its thousands of guests. From the beginning, Eddie’s character is incredibly well-guarded. We learn very little about him other than he takes great pride in his established routine of reporting to work and caring for his family. Read my full review here.
Save Your Hands by Lauriann Greene. Lauriann suffered an injury while in massage school. Through her journey of healing she discovered things you can do to help prevent hand, shoulder and back injuries and exercises to strengthen your hands. She was also a guest on Massage Unwrapped
David Sites Garland shares shares specific secrets that made him successful in his book Smarter, Faster Cheaper. All too often, we try to market ourselves like big brands when we should be doing things differently. He started studying the people who were making an impact in their businesses and how they were doing it smarter, faster and cheaper. He also gives practical advice for how to become a trusted resource online and off, the 20/80 rule of online content and vlogging (video blogging).
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Karr. Diagnosed in 2003 with a rare sarcoma that affects less than .01 percent of cancer patients. This was the catalyst for a life-changing transformation in which Kris became the self-appointed CEO of her health and wellness. She embarked on an independent study in which Whole Foods became her second home and she devoured the readings of doctors and nutritionists and talked to the leading health and wellness experts to help heal. Crazy Sexy Diet is the wise and witty product of her study in everything from nutrition, meditation, cleansing and much more.
Before Kris was diagnosed, Kris “exercised, drank in moderation-ish, and ate ‘right’ from time to time.” Like many “healthy” women, Kris ignored symptoms such as allergies, depression, bloating, and constipation to name a few, and chalked them up to inconveniences that were just part of her busy life. That is, until, her cancer diagnosis required her to put her lifestyle under a microscope.
Unmarketing was written Scott Stratten, who goes by @unmarketing on twitter. UnMarketing is about the changes that are happening in marketing for all sizes of businesses. These changes are driven in large part by the push for more interaction, engagement and transparency via social media.
Linchpin by Seth Godin. The concept behind Linchpin is that many people need to take ownership of their jobs and lives, and demonstrate the value they can offer by becoming “indispensible”. People can become indispensible not because of their power or position, but because of the way they work – what Seth calls “emotional labor”, and what I like to call engagement and passion. He also goes into quite fascinating detail about the lizard brain and why our self talk gets in our way of doing things.
If you want to succeed in any business, you need people to remember and act on your ideas. Unfortunately, attention is a scarce resource. There are so many things competing for our client’s attention. So, to be successful, there’s no choice but to make your ideas stand out.
The book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath aims to solve that problem. In the authors’ own words: “We wanted to take apart sticky ideas – both natural and created – and figure out what made them stick.”
The six principles of creating sticky ideas: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Stories (the acronym is SUCCESs). I really find the principles in the book useful. Of course, applying the principles takes practice and diligence and maybe a little creativity.
Stuart Diamond, a Wharton School professor of negotiation and a former Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times journalist, illustrates his 12 core strategies of better negotiation
In the Embrace Differences strategy, Stuart writes differences are not to be avoided or ignored in negotiations. On the contrary, they can lead to more perceptions, ideas and options — as long as you value those who are different.
This is just one of the areas where Diamond demonstrates his commitment to ideas that occasionally go against traditional business thinking. While other business book authors wage a pitched battle over the merits of aggressiveness versus kindness, Diamond provides strategies that push readers to get results. Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World is a tactical book in the guise of an entertaining read.
Early chapters in the book underscore some of the important themes that drive his brand of negotiation: People are everything, perception and communication gaps are deal killers, emotion is the enemy of effective negotiations. Later chapters adapt the strategies and tools of the book to specific areas including family, work and travel.
More than 400 anecdotes illustrate one or more of the strategies, as well as the tools, such as role reversal, that help implement those strategies. The stories in this book alone are worth the reading. Many of Diamond’s anecdotes involve negotiations in familiar situations that we don’t realize are negotiable — how to get an airline pilot to open the closed boarding gate, for example — while others illustrate the power of the strategies in the most difficult, high-stake situations. Every reader will benefit from Getting More.
After surviving a car accident, Brendon Burchard has dedicated his life to assisting people in creating change and making a life that matters. That is why he created this inspirational parable about Henry, a young man who is unhappy with his job and stuck in his life. After his girlfriend Mary nearly dies, she sends him on a mission to an old amusement park which has been closed for 20 years. He must sign a contract to gain access to this place of miracles and ask no questions about how it came to be or what it is. His guide through the amusement park is a groundskeeper.
In the Truth Booth, he encounters his mother who gives him some wise advice. Then a wizard helps him see that for most of his life he has been under Society’s Spell that has made him “secretly feel inadequate and helpless for far too long.” Henry later learns that the themes of his life — the world is a dark and dangerous place, other people are unfair and hurtful, and you yourself are inadequate — have limited his capacity to become all he was meant to be.
Find out what his encounters with the screaming carnies, Harsh the hypnotist, Gus and the elephants, the Hall of Mirrors, the bumper boats, Larry the Lion Tamer, the Tunnel of Love, does to Henry and what he ultimately comes to find out.
If you’re looking for a beginner guide on how you can get started and leverage social media in your massage practice, look no further. Shama Hyder Kabani’s The Zen of Social Media Marketing is what you’ve been waiting for.
You’ll find great information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and online video. In addition, Shama talks about how to leverage this with your Web site (a must in her opinion…and mine) and blog. There’s also some good advice on how to behave in social media, and how to create a social media policy for your business.
As with any social media book, there’s always the concern that the book will be dated before the ink is dry. Shama has addressed that by creating the Zen of Social Media site where readers of the book can access updated information regularly.
Whether you’re just getting started, or you already have a Twitter account and Facebook fan page for your business, you’ll learn a lot by picking up a copy of The Zen of Social Media Marketing.
As you know, I like to mix in reading about business, metaphysical and self-help. This month I read Five Wishes: How Answering One Simple Question Can Make Your Dreams Come True by Gay Hendricks and it is both metaphysical and self help in nature.
There are so many life-changing lessons to be carried away from this book! With the most provocative and challenging Introduction imaginable, you hit the ground not just running, but running for your life…more to the point, running for the life you want. Momentum builds with each inspiring chapter as the reader lives through the author’s Five Wishes.
From the back cover of the book:
In my thirties I received the gift of a question that changed the course of my life. My decision to answer that question gave me a life in which all my dreams came true. Now I want to offer you this gift, so you can use its gentle power to create your own fulfilled life. – Gay Hendricks
The thing I loved most about this great book was the bridge the author built from his past to his future. In order to attain his own personal five wishes, Gay Hendricks didn’t stare starry-eyed into the future hoping that the wishes would come true. He first looked at his present – to find out exactly where he came up short. If things were perfect, the wishes wouldn’t be wishes, they’d be bragging rights! He had to take a good, honest look inward to learn why the outward wasn’t what he’d hoped or wished for.
Who wouldn’t want to receive Five Wishes? Even genies only give three.
I read I Will Teach You To Be Rich on the recommendation of David Siteman Garland of The Rise to the Top.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich is “highly tactical”. He doesn’t just encourage readers to find the best savings accounts, he walks them through the process. He provides scripts for requesting rate reductions from credit cards and banks. He demonstrates his method of automating his financial life. He describes how to come out ahead in salary negotiations.
Ramit has built his book around a six-week program of action steps. Each week highlights one aspect of personal finance:
Week one focuses on optimizing credit cards and improving your credit history.
Ramit’s book is great, but it’s not for everyone. The book is targeted toward a younger audience of twenty- and thirty somethings with a fair dose of irreverence, humor, and brashness.
This tale of The Five People You Meet in Heaven begins when an amusement park accident tragically kills Eddie “Maintenance”, an eighty-three-year old man who dedicated his life to keeping the park safe for its thousands of guests. From the beginning, Eddie’s character is incredibly well-guarded. We learn very little about him other than he takes great pride in his established routine of reporting to work and caring for his family.
As Eddie reaches heaven, the setting for the majority of this novel, this shroud of secrecy is quickly removed. While there, Eddie gains insight into his life and, for the first time, sees how his actions impacted so many others. As he embarks on his journey, he meets five people, each of whom have been anxiously awaiting for his arrival into heaven.
Some of the people who initiate these meetings offer an extensive introduction since, when Eddie was alive, he was unaware of their existence. For others there is no need for an introduction since they played a prominent role in Eddie’s life. Each person reveals how Eddie’s life choices dramatically impacted their lives and we, as readers, are able to eavesdrop on his journey of self-exploration.
The underlying message of this book is certainly one that has been tackled before. It explores the notion that we are all connected to another so that an action undertaken by one person is destined to have an unanticipated and possible an dramatic influence upon someone else. Along these same lines, the book reminds us of how easy it is to fail to express appreciation or gratitude to those we love until it is too late to do so. Readers will likely feel saddened by some of these stories, since most illustrate that Eddie lived his life completely unaware of just how much he was treasured by his family and friends.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, just like Mitch Albom’s bestselling predecessor, Tuesdays With Morrie, is a touching one, without being sappy or overly sentimental. Some may think it as sort of New Age piousity, but such characterization would be an injustice to the book. Albom does not purport to have had a vision or some special inspiration, divine or otherwise. Albom says his portrayal of heaven is based on a “guess” or “wish” and that the point of the story is to assist those like the Eddie in the book and Albom’s real-life uncle, also named Eddie (to whom the book is dedicated), who feel their lives unimportant, to realize that their lives really have an importance, a tremendous value and are worthy of appreciation. The value of his fable-like story is the insights it imparts about life and the meaning of sacrifice.
This book got me thinking about various instances in my life when people have told me that I influenced them to do this or that….
I remember one of my clients, Charlotte (not her real name) stopped coming. Up until then she had been a once a week regular client. Several months had passed and I got an email out of the blue. She was so inspired by my story of quitting my full-time corporate job to pursue my massage career that she quit her job, moved to Boston to pursue her passion.
Bob, a very dear friend, was also influenced by me. I remember him taking me to lunch and grilling (but not in a bad way) about massage. He wanted to know the good, the bad and the ugly. I think I was in my second year of business, so that first very rough year was still fresh in my mind. I gave it to him straight. I guess the bad and the ugly didn’t sway him. He was excited about what he saw me doing and wanted the same for himself…and he didn’t want to wait by going to massage school part-time while we worked a full-time job. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see his dream come to fruition. He died of a heart attack at the age of 39…a few months before he was scheduled to graduate. I did go to his graduation ceremony. His massage school held a special seat for him. So maybe he really did get to see his dream become a reality.
More recently, as I have been writing this blog, several people have thanked me for inspiring them to accomplish their goals and affecting their lives in one way or another. Sonia Hazard wanted to start a blog. After several of my blog post about writing blogs, she took the plunge and just published her first blog post. Ezekiel O’Brien was inspired by my blog post 2010: A Year in Books and has decided to take the challenge and start reading business related books to help him grow his practice.
And my last example, Cindy Gillick writes, “You were inspirational about this industry as well as being such a positive person. I needed someone to look to for an example and your personality fits the bill. I was trying to follow someone here locally and it seemed to bring me down. I think meshing with the right people helps keep us positive in our business. So thank you!
I have had a really rough time since becoming an LMP. My personal struggles have been so difficult but I know they are not impossible. You are a wonderful example and I feel that has helped me to overcome some of the fear of success. Specifically the first video I saw of you. I was so inspired to do more with my practice. I am shifting my whole plan to create a better marketing plan, better habits, better self care. I want to become more professional. I see that in you. I am not trying to put you in Idol position or on a pedestal but more as a really good example so dont take this as pressure. LOL You are the most fun of all the examples I could have chosen to connect with on this level.”
I might have inspired Sonia, Ezekiel, and Cindy, but their words have also affected me…made me feel appreciated, motivated me to do more, give more. So I thank you for that.
Who will you influence today? Whose life have you already affected? Share your stories in the comments.
Have you read the book? What did you think? If you haven’t read it, you should. Here’s the link to amazon (affiliate link). Get your copy today and then go affect some lives.
I try to read at least one business or personal development book per month, and really digest it. It’s hard for me to imagine what I would know and believe without all the books I’ve read.
Although I have read more than 12 books this year, I missed the mark on my 12 business/personal development books. I guess I was reading too much for fun (as well as working on some serious projects I wanted to get accomplished in 2010, but more on that in another post).
Here are the books that I did read in 2010:
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.
Gladwell focuses on success and the hard work, social context and cultural background that explains why some people excel and others don’t.
In a nutshell, Gladwell believes The Beatles’ success was due to the fact that in their early years in Hamburg, Germany, they had to play very long sets at clubs, in a wide variety of styles, which both helped them to get in their 10,000 hours and forced them to be creative and excel at experimenting. He notes the eerie correlation between who is a good pilot and what culture they came from. He explores why a little town in Eastern Pennsylvania has had zero heart attacks.
My greatest business takeaway was probably the 10,000 hour rule.
Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins
Claude Hopkins, the father of modern advertising techniques, believed that “Advertising is salesmanship,” and as such it should be measurable and justify the results that it produced. In Scientific Advertising, he explains precisely how to do that, and the principles he discovered and documented are as true today as when they were first written.
This business classic covers mail-order marketing, headlines, psychology, strategy, budgeting, and more advanced subjects like negative advertising and how to test an advertising campaign. Whatever advertising medium you use, from print to the Internet, the fundamental principles of Scientific Advertising are universal and timeless. Newly designed and typeset for modern readers by Waking Lion Press.
Goals! How to Get Everything You Want–Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
Based on more than 20 years of experience and 40 years of research, this book presents a practical, proven strategy for creating and meeting goals that has been used by more than 1 million people to achieve extraordinary things in life. Author Brian Tracy explains the seven key elements of goal setting and the 12 steps necessary to set and accomplish goals of any size.
Using simple language and real-life examples, Tracy shows how to do the crucial work of determining one’s strengths, values, and true goals. He explains how to build the self-esteem and confidence necessary for achievement; how to overpower every problem or obstacle; how to overcome difficulties; how to respond to challenges; and how to continue moving forward no matter what happens. The book’s “Mental Fitness” program of character development shows readers how to become the kind of person on the inside who can achieve any goal on the outside.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson
In THE LONG TAIL, business journalist Chris Anderson examines the revolution in the online world, identifying key trends that affect the way people sell and shop. THE LONG TAIL is an expansion and a rethinking of Anderson’s widely circulated 2004 Wired magazine article in which he highlighted the importance of niche markets in the new economy; his ideas are grounded in economics, mathematics, distribution curves, and marketing.
Using graphs, Anderson illustrates the phrase “the long tail,” which refers to products that, in the old economy, did not sell in large quantities, and thus did not merit space on the very limited shelves of brick-and-mortar stores; the blockbusters, or “hits,” which made profits and were restocked, fall into the “short head” of the graph. Anderson explains how and why, using virtual inventories, e-commerce sites can exploit the “long tail,” by recognizing niches–small pockets of high interest–since, as he says in his subtitle, selling less of more things can be profitable.
Anderson shows this to be true by means of examples drawn from the fast-evolving music and entertainment sectors. Essential to all of this are more sophisticated search engines–including Google–and “aggregators,” companies that assemble and organize information about products so that companies can sell further down the long tail. Anderson also sees a trend toward the greater use of filters and recommendations, including sites, such as Daily Candy, that do nothing but advise shoppers about what to buy. Anderson shows how enormous profits are being made by companies such as eBay, Netflix, Rhapsody, and others whose virtual inventories offer a selection of products many times greater than brick-and-mortar stores–independent videos, for example, versus Hollywood blockbusters. In THE LONG TAIL, it all comes down to “hits” and “niches.”
Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
I think I may have been the only one in the world who hadn’t heard of Gary Vaynerchuck until his book came out. Vaynerchuck is a wine connoisseur (I don’t drink wine, so that may give me an excuse of why I haven’t heard of him) and the man behind Wine Library TV where is gives his no-nonsense opinion on wines.
Here are just some of the topics I found interesting:
What real hustle looks like: I like this little bit on page 88 about hustle. Gary tells it like it is regarding how much effort and energy it takes to build a brand and a business – even when you are a gifted entrepreneur and are good at what you do AND know how to use the internet and social media. It doesn’t come easy. That’s why it’s important to love what you do.
Social Media Basics: The good stuff starts in chapter 10. There is a wonderful to do list on here that includes:
- Buying your name as a URL – the creative kick here is to use your personal brand to get a URL if your name is taken.
- Start a blog. Don’t laugh. There are still lots of small businesses and brand-worthy experts who haven’t done this. This is an absolute must.
- Get a “Flip” style camera and start doing videos (I started this in 2009. It’s been worthwhile for my business).
- Create a Facebook fan page
- Open a Twitter account with your brand name
- If you’re doing a video, open a TubeMogul account. (I still have to do this one)
- If you’re doing a written blog, sign up for Ping.fm (or I like HootSuite too) to automate your posts and social media updates.
These are all beyond basics. I’ve done most of them, but not all. How about YOU?
In fact, the whole book is really nothing more than basic tips, how-to’s, resources and examples that you may have already heard of, but may have never taken full advantage of. The benefit of reading “Crush It!” is in having a current case study of what one entrepreneur did to build his brand equity.
How To Attract 3,000 Fans In 30 Days, by Rick O’Neil is a simple guide to building your company’s presence on Facebook. This 75-page ebook teaches you: (1) all of the new features in the Facebook Pages product and explain how to use them; (2) How To Develop A Successful Brand, (3) Mastering The Art Of Conversations – Social media is a two-way conversation and Facebook is no exception to the rule. Some of the best strategies for more effectively engaging your audience are discussed, (4) Creating A Content Strategy That Sells (5)
Using Facebook Ads To Promote Your Page.
What You Don’t Know Could Kill You by Don Colbert, M.D. You may already know that a proper diet and exercise can keep you in good health. But what about some of the myths that we have been told countless times, like “Don’t forget to drink your milk.” Often times milk can be the cause of chronic ear and sinus infections. Or you are trying to eat healthy, but still are gaining weight. This could be because you are not eating the right foods at the right time or perhaps you are eating a food that you are allergic to. These can cause weight gain, or the inability to lose weight. I’ve also read his book “Seven Pillars of Health”. Both are excellent reads and information.
The Magic Touch: How to Make $100,000 by Meagan Holub
Megan ask you to imagine yourself…
Earning $100,000 per year or more as a Licensed Massage Therapist, while working only twenty hours per week.
She tells her story of a broke therapist barely scraping by until she did an about face and did what she had to do in order to make it. She gives tips and suggestions on how you can do the same thing.
Very inspiring and very doable.
Tribes by Seth Godin
Traditional marketing — think tv and radio ads — is about yelling at a crowds. Today, the people and companies that succeed won’t be yelling. They’ll be leading tribes. Tribes are better than crowds because they’re longer lasting and more powerful. But the most important thing is to understand the difference between a tribe and a crowd: “A crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication.”
Seth used Whole Foods to make his point. I admire Whole Foods for their inbound marketing and their content, but Seth argued that despite all this content and communication, they haven’t given customers the tools to communicate with each other – no meeting places in stores, online communities, or anything else. Instead, he says, they’ve created an amusement park for food.
31 Days to Build a Better Blog by Darren Rowse
The 31 Days to Build a Better Blog book has 31 tasks which you can do on a daily basis. For each day you’ll be given a task along with the instructions on both the WHY and HOW of the task of the day. This approach will help you to learn the task in a better way since along with learning you’ll have actually done something with the knowledge.
31 Days to Build a Better Blog book can be used by the newbie bloggers who have just started their blog, bloggers with an ideal blog which stalled in its growth and bloggers with bloggers block and lacking inspiration. But this book is not really for prebloggers who haven’t started a blog, since this workbook doesn’t cover any topics on how to create and setup a blog.
You can use the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog in your own way. You don’t need to force yourself to do the tasks given in the book daily. You can either go for one task a day or one task a week or even one task a month. The great thing about 31DBBB is that you can do it at your own pace and in your own way.
Have you read any or all of them? What did you think? Do you have other suggestions? Please feel free to comment below.
Are you living a simple life where you have know what you want and only focus on those things? If you are, this book isn’t for you. But if you are like most of us who are overwhelmed with e-mails, information massive to-do lists, cluttered desks, offices and minds then The Power of Less, the fine art of limiting yourself to the essential…in business and life is for you.
Written by full-time blogger and writer Leo Babauta, The Power of Less will show you how to:
• Break any goal down into manageable tasks
• Focus on only a few tasks at a time
• Create new and productive habits
• Hone your focus
• Increase your efficiency
Leo shares is own story of being an overweight smoker who was in debt who worked all of the time having little time for his family, friends and the things that he likes to do. Then, he made the choice to simplify his life.
First, he quit smoking by focusing all of his energy on that one goal. Then, he went on to work on other goals, one at a time, like becoming a runner, eating healthier, starting a successful blog, and getting out of debt. To date, Leo has doubled his home, decluttered his home (he works from home), run two marathons, became a vegetarian, and lost 45 pounds all one step at a time.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I covers the six principles of simple productivity:
1. Set limitations – at some point we need to stop saying “more, more, more” and set limits on what we have and want.
2. Choose the essential – Leo says, once you know the essentials you’ll be in a position to eliminate the chaos of incoming information, commitments, and clutter.
3. Simplify – once you know what the essential is then you must simply – get rid of everything else.
4. Focus – Leo says focus is most important tool in becoming more effective. Instead of being scattered in out thoughts and directions, through focus we can be less stress and achieve more.
5. Create habits – details why habits are important for lasting change and how to go about creating them.
6. Start small – When we find something new, we get excited about it and we want to go all out. The problem with this strategy is that we run out of steam. Leo touts starting small and gradually increase your momentum for longer lasting success.
Part II details practical strategies for implementing the six principles in key areas including e-mail, time management, filing, Internet, decluttering your work space and health.
Although the principles are simple, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy to implement. But after reading this book, you will have the tools and hopefully the motivation to simply your life (and business) to the essential – one step at a time.