Posts tagged Book Reviews
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 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.