February 2016 Book Review Post
I stepped the game up this month with more pages under my belt than ever before – 5 books. However; keep in mind I am not a practitioner of information overload, I would much rather focus on mastery. Writing these posts is a fundamental step of my information aggregation system, or IAS for short.
The Ten Laws of Wealth and Abundance: The mastermind I am a part of was lucky enough to spend an evening with the great Joe Calhoon, who is a respected business and life coach who has worked with the Coveys and Ziglars of the world. This book is revered as one of his favorites, and quickly became one of mine after I devoured this book of the month. Instead of diving into one, I am simply going to list the ten laws of abundance here for you, and you can decide if you’d like to go read this gem.
- Choose to be the master of your destiny
- Fix your mind on specific objectives
- Trim your expenses to weigh less than your income
- Set aside for yourself a part of everything you earn
- Increase your income by multiplying your value to others
- Invest with the greatest prudence and safety
- Borrow only what you have the ability to repay
- Establish good habits and they will establish you
- Choose to associate with wise, successful people
- Increase your wealth by sharing it
Long Story Short: Read, re-read, and then read this again. It is all here. Enough said.
Steal Like An Artist – In this short, fun, picturesque book, Austin Kleon takes the notion that there is nothing new to create, and flips in completely around. This 130 page book is chalked full of great quotes and references to back this up as well. One of my favorites is: There are no new ideas, only stolen ones – “nothing comes from nowhere.” The good book also says that “There is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9. What does Austin mean by this? Let’s refer to his manifesto which states:
“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use and do the work you want to see done.”
Wow, this is almost as profound as the cover of the book where Austin gives more content than most 200 pagers I read we he says that:
“NOTHING is original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, then remix and reimagine to discover your own path. Forget the old cliché about writing what you know: Instead, write the book you want to read, and make the movie you want to watch.”
Long Story Short: this book will get your creative juices flowing with practical tips packed in every page.
The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes – Lewis is one of my all-time heroes and my first love in the podcast world. His way of asking great guests even better questions is unquestionably entertaining. Lewis is a genuinely great person who has a huge vision to help many people. I would recommend this book as a fun loving, feel good book. While there are some action steps given, this is definitely a beginner’s guide to personal development.
Long Story Short: Everyone needs to create their definition of greatness, but start with Lewis’s definition he gives: Greatness is what happens when your talent and your vision face adversity, and you persist in the face of it to learn the language of the new, the scary, and the unfamiliar.” Profound.
Steal the Show Michael Port – Michael Port comes on to my radar with big bang for the buck content. From successful movie actor, to faking it until he was making it by landing a huge corporate gig with no experience, to running a successful company and being one of the top paid speakers in the world, this guy knows how to get his message across. Port’s book has a of detailed information, especially for speakers and the like; however the two main takeaways I delved out of this gem was how to use contrast to keep any audience engaged and how improvisation can help communicate to and influence other people. Port goes on to explain the three types of contrast which are:
- Structural contrast – this is how you organize your material and use different types of content
- Emotional contrast – this is how an audience experiences your performance emotionally or how you strike up different emotions in your audience during the performance
- Delivery contrast – this relates to how you deliver the content physically, orally, and visually. Examples include vocal tonality, timing, and pacing.
Master the different types of contrast and implement them successfully into your speeches, toasts, or next sales meeting and you will have your “audience” giving you a standing ovation! The second key takeaway from this gem was how and why people who are not speakers can use this technique to better the dialogues and “performances” they are experiencing throughout our lives. So, why use improv? Port says First, that improv gives you confidence to adapt to any situation, not only presentations. Second, a focus on improv can makes your presentation more relevant to the moment as it is happening in the room because it creates positive, interesting moments that make for a bigger, better experience for your audience. Lastly, you can use improve to sharpen your skills for saving difficult moments during a performance. Things will, and do go wrong. When they do, will you improvise, or lose the sale? Long Story Short: Want to win a room over? Nail a big presentation? Close a huge deal? Then you better rehearse, rehearse, and then rehearse some more. There is no such thing as over-preparing. Use contrast, and learn improv skills.
Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig – This fun book which tells an amazing story about how to focus your priorities in life was given to me by one of my mentors, Doug Bax, it is even signed by the author! Juggling elephants reminds me of Gary Kellers book the “One Thing,” which aims to help us become more productive by focusing on what is most important to us in any given circumstance. It has been said that you cannot be great at more than 3 things. So why try to push the envelope? I would rather double down on my efforts in a few areas than be a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Long Story Short: Identify your top 3 priorities in life. For example, it could be your relationships, yourSELF, and your career. Within these three “rings,” as the author puts it we must identify what the most important “acts,” are as well as the order those acts should be in. We also need to ensure at any given time that we are in the right ring, with the right performers. Fun, quick read which gives a great perspective that anyone and everyone can and should adopt into their lives.
There you have it, another edition of Logan’s Book Reviews (LBR). If you want me to read and review a specific book, feel free to send me a copy, and I will get reading ;).
Be Great, Nothing Else Pays.