March was a roller coaster. What did I do great? Read. A lot. 6 books and a magazine actually. I have omitted one of the books and magazine because I think the information below is plenty to digest. sharing these posts is all a part of what I call my Information Aggregation System, or IAS for short. Basically, I don’t want to forget all the time and effort spent learning from all of these books. One of my favorite motto’s is:
Mastery versus Information Overload
I hope these book reviews help you garner a golden nugget of information that might be exactly what you need today!
They Can’t Eat You by Marc Sparks – Out of all the great real world, applicable lessons Marc shares with us in his book, one in particular stands out for me. I have never heard of this approach before – Build your packaging (box or website) first…everything else will come. Stay with me here. Marc said it has always been his style to first and foremost focus on packaging the product he is selling. Marc notes in his experience, simultaneously building your packaging and product creates a canvas that allows you to develop a MUCH better product. He calls it his “designing the box first” strategy. I will leave you with a quote from Marc – “Your packaging determines who you are.” Best get it right.
Long Story Short: Marc is a true entrepreneur. He has built businesses and made tons of money, then lost it all. His book is full of “Sparks” that will undoubtedly help guide anyone who is interested in building a business, or anyone who owns a business and is looking to take it to the next level.
Relentless by Tim S Grover – Tim writes that the word relentless is used to describe the most intense competitors and achievers imaginable, those who stop at nothing to get to the end result. He adds that being relentless is a state of mind that can give you the strength to achieve, to survive, to overcome, to be strong when others are not. It means craving the end result so intensely that the work becomes irrelevant. This book took my mental game to another level, because Tim describes a level of mentality I have never even heard of, and few ever attain. The likes who have accomplished what Tim calls the “Cleaner,” perspective are the Jordan’s, Kobe’s, and Wade’s of the sports world. Tim gives some behind the scene looks at these amazing performers, and beaks down how we can all strive to attain the same levels of mentality.
Long Story Short: What is a cleaner? A step up after the “closer.” A closer can win the game if given the opportunity, but a cleaner creates the opportunity! Cleaners never feel as if they’ve achieved success because there’s always more to do. That’s the “Cleaner,” mentality. Good is to Great as Great is to Unstoppable. A Cooler is to a Closer as a Closer is to a Cleaner. Failed? How can you fail when your worst day is better than most people’s best? You know exactly who you are and could care less what others think. Cleaners don’t compete with anyone, they make you compete with them.
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen – “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Allen notes that a man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of his thoughts. Allen creates an analogy that I believe sums this whole book up in a few sentences: “Man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated, or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
Long Story Short: James says that a man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. I agree. So often we seem to make an excuse, or blame the circumstances around us for not accomplishing our goals. However, Allen writes that even though a man cannot directly choose his circumstances, he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances. We must remember that “Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.” I will leave you with one final thought – “Self-control is strength; right thought is mastery; CALMNESS is power.” Thanks Mr. Allen for the most thought provoking 30 pages I have ever read.
On the Same Page by Joe Calhoon – “Vision describes where you’re going. Mission articulates why you’re going there. Values define who you are at your core, and how you treat each other along the way.” If you are a business leader, or aspiring to become one – this book is for you. I love practical, and that is exactly what this book is. The authors, Joe and Bruce are both business coaches and created a system called the PriorityAdvantage. This system aims to re-align employees, grow revenue, increase profits, and re-invigorate owners. Joe and Bruce outline 4 practices:
I learned more about how to run a business in the short book then I did completing a master’s program.
Long Story Short: Hands down, this is one of the most efficient, straightforward business books I have ever read. Joe and Bruce were definitely not trying to sell fairy dust in this book, it is all practical steps you and I can take to improve and re-align our businesses. I shared with Joe my “one liner” for this book and we came to the conclusion that every successful business must start with an inspired vision that is powered by our mission and fueled by our values.
Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry – Everything you see, hear, smell, and taste travels through your body in the form of electric signals. These signals enter your brain near the spinal cord, but their end destination is the frontal lobe where logical thinking takes place. However; along the way they pass through the limbic system, the place where emotions are produced. This causes us to experience things (situations, events, people) emotionally instead of rationally. There are four emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are paired up under two competencies: personal competence and social competence. Under personal competence falls self-awareness and self-management skills which Bradberry says focuses more on each of us individually than on our interactions with other people. He notes that this relates more to our ability to stay aware of our emotions and manage our behaviors. Bradberry goes on to explain that social competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills; and is defined as the ability to understand other people’s moods, behaviors and motives in order to improve the quality of your relationships.
Long Story Short: People with the highest levels of intelligence (IQ) outperform those with average IQs just 20% of the time, while people with average IQs outperform those with high IQs 70% of the time. What’s the difference? Emotional intelligence. Intelligence is your ability to learn. Intelligence is the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. Emotional intelligence is not related to IQ. EQ is a flexible skill that can be learned, unlike IQ. If you are not convinced yet, studies show that the link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary! Time to take this test and get studying!
That’s a lot of information. Create action plans, then implement. Don’t move on to the next one until these are a part of you or your business!
“Be Great, Nothing Else Pays.”