Posts Tagged ‘books’

Book Review Tuesday: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

In Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shares some of the ideas and tools that he used to grow his family business from four million dollars to fifty million dollars in eight years.  Gary explains that if you pursue areas of passion, work very hard, and take advantage of social media outlets you can “crush” your area of interest.  You can become known as the expert in your area of passion.  At that point there are many ways to monetize your expertise.

Gary Vaynerchuk epitomizes passion.  If you’ve never seen Gary, watch this interview on Fox Business.  The Fox interview is not Gary at his most passionate, but it’s great information and he doesn’t cuss at all in that interview.  If cussing doesn’t bother you, watch some of Gary’s other videos on  The concepts are brilliant and may change the way you look at business, marketing, and even sales.  The internet has allowed a low cost of entry into business if you’re willing to hustle and put in sweat equity.

Crush It is not written by the most creative writer.  HOWEVER, Gary Vee’s passion comes through and he provides valuable insight that is easy to digest.  Well worth the 20 bucks.

Book Review Tuesday: Chris Widener’s The Art of Influence

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I picked up Chris Widener’s The Art of Influence in the Atlanta airport this week.  I like Chris’s books because they are short, fun to read, and always packed with practical insights to live a more successful life.  Chris is also an excellent speaker.  As I listened to the CD in this month’s Success magazine, I heard the news that Chris is running for the US Senate.  I wish him the best in that race and hope he hangs on to his values when he gets into the political arena at that level!

In The Art of Influence, Chris once again weaves an enjoyable, fast-moving story.  This time, he takes us through four principles of influence.

Four Golden Rules of Influence:

Live a life of Undivided Integrity

Always demonstrate a Positive Attitude

Consider other people’s interests as more important than your own

Don’t settle for anything less than Excellence

I highly recommend this quick read.

Book Review Tuesday: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

If you’ve never read Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss, you owe it to yourself to at least borrow it from the library no matter how old you are.  I recently purchased it for my 6 year old daughter.  She enjoys my reading it to her because it has the typical Dr. Seuss fun rhymes, silly names, and wacky illustrations.  I’m hoping the message of the book is sinking in and she’ll be able to recall it as she gets older.  It really is written for an older audience…in fact, my sisters will be receiving this when they graduate from high school in a couple months.  How’s that for motivation, Ginny and Joy?!

The book starts off with:

“Congratulations!  Today is your day.  You’re off to Great Places!  You’re off and away!”

From there we are treated to a series of encouragements even through some difficult circumstances.  It’s the kind of motivation we all need sometimes…does it matter that it comes in the form of cartoon characters?

“Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!

Book Review Tuesday: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself is the best Steve Chandler book I’ve read so far.  Based on how much of this book I’ve underlined, it is one of the most useful books I’ve read in quite some time.  As the title suggests, there are 100 short(2-3 pages each) topics that, if applied, will accelerate your personal development.  It has taken me a couple months to work my way through 100 Ways as I’ve been reading one or two a day and really absorbing and using the tools provided.  Some of my favorites:

  • “Create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that vision as if it were already true.”  –Arnold Schwarzeneggar
  • “The only thing over which you have complete control is your own mental attitude.” –Napoleon Hill
  • One hour of planning saves three hours of execution.
  • “Fear kills more people than death.” –General George Patton
  • “Make each day your masterpiece.” –John Wooden’s father
  • Advertise to yourself.  Posting pictures of your goals in various places that you’ll see them frequently.

Other books by Steve Chandler:

100 Ways to Create Wealth

The Small Business Millionaire

The Future of Reading?

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

enTourage eDGe

This week I attended a Tools Of Change(TOC) Conference in NYC.  The conference was about the future of publishing.  At this conference I saw several tools that could change book and magazine reading significantly.  Qualcomm will be introducing a new ereading device that displays vivid colors yet sips battery juice very slowly.  Ray Kurzweil demoed an ereader software he’s been working on in partnership with Baker & Taylor.  The software is called Blio and combines text, audio, embedded videos, and more in an interactive platform.  And by now you’ve heard about Apple’s iPad.

The most exciting thing to me was a dual screen ereader/netbook type device called enTourage eDGe.  So far I haven’t been too impressed by the Kindle and all the similar ereaders.  The Edge is different from the other readers on the market.  The left side is a touch screen ereader that you can highlight and make notes in.  The right side is basically a netbook.  You can check your email, surf the web, or tweet about the book you’re reading.  If you click a link on the left side (the book), the link opens on the right side where you will see the video, definition, map, or any other helpful tool that was linked in the document.  Meanwhile, the left side hasn’t changed so you still have your place.

I’ve ordered the enTourage eDGe.  I’ll write a longer blog after I’ve had a chance to spend some time with my new gadget.

Book Review Tuesday: Proverbs

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I’m staying at a hotel this week as I attend the Tools of Change conference for the publishing industry.  I’m meeting many great people, including some bloggers like Michael Hyatt, Lindsey Nobles, and Chris Brogan that I’ve been following for awhile.  It’s nice to be able to connect in person.  Anyway, back to the hotel…like many hotel rooms, some guy named Gideon left his Bible here.  Having been raised (reared still doesn’t sound right) in the Christian faith all my life, I happen to know that the Bible contains this great book called Proverbs that many believe was written at least in part by Solomon, proclaimed to be the wisest man ever.  Here are a few of my favorite proverbs:

18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly.

4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.

3:16  Length of days is in [wisdom’s] right hand, in her left riches and honor.

18:22  He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.

Book Review Tuesday: The Principle of the Path

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

This week I’ve been listening to Andy Stanley’s latest book on audio.  I’ve talked about Andy before.  In his latest book, The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Andy explains that direction, not intention, determines destination.  I found the book to be a good reminder to think long term.  Andy points out several times that we don’t always see an immediate effect from our actions.  That doesn’t mean there are no consequences.  The analogy of the path leading to a destination is useful.  We sometimes get off track…make a poor decision.  Each action or decision is a part of our journey and compounded those actions and decisions do lead somewhere.  Where do you want to go?  It is useful to ask yourself if what you’re doing leads down the path toward the destination you choose or if you’re defaulting down another path.

My only gripe with this book (not saying I agree with everything…I’ve never found that book/author) is that the audio book is not read by the author.  Most books I’ve listened to that are not read by the author lose some of the feeling–the inflections aren’t in the right places.  I think this is especially true of books written by speakers, like Andy Stanley.

One thing Andy pointed out that I found especially helpful: talk with people who are where you wish to go.  People who have already traveled the path know the best route.

Book Review Tuesday: You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

In You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader, Mark Sanborn gives a good overview of leadership skills.  Sanborn defines a leader as someone who influences others.  By that definition we all are leaders.  The author challenges us to use that influence positively.  He shares many stories throughout the book to illustrate the ways that people lead others even when they hold no authoritative office or position.  We can bring positive change to our workplace, community, and relationships without being the boss.

Sanborn is also an excellent speaker.  I saw/heard him speak at Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’ memorial service.

Book Review Tuesday: 100 Ways to Create Wealth

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Steve Chandler and Sam Beckford put together a collection of 100 essays (most are two to four pages each) for becoming a more complete person in 100 Ways to Create Wealth. The small sections provide food for thought.  Treat it as a quick mental stimulant for the day…many of the topics are cliched and unoriginal, but still very valuable to contemplate.  Chandler and Beckford want you to spend time thinking of ways to add value to your world and truly create wealth as opposed to waiting and hoping something good will come to you.

I wrote about Chandler and Beckford’s fiction book here.  If you like Chandler and Beckford at all, be sure to read 9 Lies That are Holding Your Business Back. I’ll write about 9 Lies soon.

Book Review Tuesday: Scott McKain’s Collapse Of Distinction

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Collapse Of Distinction: Stand out and move up while your competition fails by Scott McKain has been on my nightstand since April.  I received this as a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review program.  I like the topic and was excited about reading the book.  I kept having trouble “getting into” Collapse though.  Ultimately, my take is that the book is just OK.  The author  seems–at least from the bio– like someone I would really enjoy speaking with.  He is a successful businessman and speaker.  Unfortunately, the book didn’t hold my attention the way I imagine McKain’s speaking would.  The core of the book was solid, if uninspiring:

1.  Clarity

2.  Creativity

3.  Communication

4.  Customer-Experience Focus

More interesting was Thomas Nelson’s try at something different with the sales of this book.  When buying the hardcover, you are given access to the ebook version and/or the audiobook to read or listen as well.  The idea was unique.  I didn’t love it in practice though.  The audiobook required too many different downloads…too much like work=)

The bottom line for me… Collapse Of Distinction contains solid content.  There are valuable insights especially if you haven’t studied differentiation and distinction before.  If you are interested in this topic at all,  make sure you read the 30 year old classic, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. Al Ries and Jack Trout are marketing legends and give plenty of real life examples to get your mind turning to come up with your own distinctions.