Books

New year resolutions are meant to be broken right? The one I kept (Consume 1 book per week) has proven to be enlightening beyond my expectations and highly recommend it to everyone. I have reached the 25 book milestone this week, and thought I would share the list with a quick comment per book. Most of these books are worth it, however the top 10 books have provided me great insight and highly recommend them to anyone. Looking forward to the rest of the year, hoping to hit 52 titles.

The 25 Books I read this year.

25) The Ten X Rule by Grant Cardone: The book has a great lesson, whatever your objective is, lets say 100K income, set a goal 10X higher. What does it take to hit 1M in income, making 50 calls a day? Well you get it, make sure you make 10X that amount of calls, etc… You may not hit the 1M goal, but for sure you will hit above the 100K goal, and that is just fine. The book could have articulated the message in 10X less pages…

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24) The little red book of selling by Jeffery Gitomer: This is a Rah Rah Rah sales person get up and get going type book. Easy to read, good tips and advice if you are starting up in sales. A bit pitchy about how great the author is, but still worth a read.

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23) The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande: I had heard a lot about this book. I finally got through it, just like the Ten X rule, the book could have articulated a simple message fast. Checklists are important, they are used in most high risk environment (Airlines, Surgery, etc…) They don’t take the thinking away, they remind you what to think about, and the benefits of that are many, reduce accidents and save lives, etc…

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22) The Decoded Company by Jay Goldman: I had to get through this book fast as I was going to have a chat with the author, so I listened to it as an audio book. A great intro into Big Data and what insights it can unlock. The book is about “Genome” a product (Ticketing/CRM system) Jay’s company uses to service customers and get insight on employees. Demonstrates the power of big data and how close you can come to crossing the line… Read it and you be the judge.

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21) Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine and End of France, by Michael Steinberger: This book is quite interesting if you are a foodie. What happened to French food? Is France in big trouble? Why is Spain producing great chefs now? A good study in food trends and changing consumer taste patterns.

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20) Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi: Hate cold calling? Hate it when the screener picks up the phone? Want to get to the decision maker? This book gives you good tips on how to just connect with the right folks and get the screener to do the work for you. The power of Friendship at work…

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19) The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow: A great book on how to turn customers into repeat clients. Very relevant these days with SAAS type services popping up, and companies trying to enhance LTV by using subscription based services.

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18) How to Work a Room by Susan Roane: Good read if you are not confident at chatting it up with strangers at events. A few good tips especially if you are starting out.

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17) How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp: I wanted to love this book, I had high hopes, but ended up not so in love. Don’t get me wrong, the book has great information, well researched, and hard hitting with facts about what junk marketers or more so those who think they know marketing spew out. The 7 laws of marketing discussed are excellent. It’s just the book was so negative, and offered little recommendation on how to improve things and was quite large brand centric

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16) Taste, Surprising Stories and Science About Why Food Tastes Good by Barb Stuckey: This book will leave a sour taste in your mouth if you are not a food geek. It is quite technical/scientific, and deep dives into the science of taste, and even teach you how to taste. Yes, you been doing it wrong all your life :). Be warned, only buy this book if you are really into food, other wise you won’t like it, I on the other hand LOVED it

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15) Cracking Creativity the Secrets of Creative Genius, by Michael Michalko: If images of hip over priced marketing consultants with cool glasses come to mind when it comes to creative thinking, this book is there to teach you otherwise. It outlines several processes and strategies from tree diagrams to asking why, why, why, why, and why, to get to the root cause of the problem being solved before finding the right solutions.

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14) Spy the Lie: How to spot deception the CIA way, by Philip Houston: A great read and a lot of lessons learned about how people answer questions to mask their true intent and hide the truth. Well worth the read.

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13) The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and WOW by Joseph Michelli: An inside look at what makes Zappos so special. If you are a service company or work for one, this is a must read.

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12) The great fragmentation and why the future of all business is small by Steve Sammartino: The book has a lot of basic content, however the chapter on 3D printing is well worth the read. If you are a company that produces anything, you have to find a strategy for adapting to the reality that soon, a customer does not need to buy the widget you produce, they can just print it at home… You have been warned.

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11) Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want by Peter Bergman: Yes the title of the book takes 4 seconds to read :). But that is not why it’s a good book. There are a lot of useful lessons in it. The difference between a bad and great outcome can often change with a short pause and some reflection as you are confronted with a new unexpected situation.

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10) Secrets of Closing a Sale by Zig Ziglar. I admittedly loved this book because I did not read it. I listened to it as an audio book in Zig Ziglar’s voice, and I think that is why I loved it. While most content is about selling cook ware, the lessons are universal and touch on human psychology. A great addition to your book stack

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9) Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, by Ben MacIntyre: I was not really sure what to make of this book when I got the free sample from Kindle, but I was quickly drawn in. A handful of people with very different back ground, objectives, and issues, manage to change the course of history working as double agents. So many lessons for business in this book as well, from strategy, risk taking, positioning, messaging, to down right deception. (Inflatable tanks to fool the enemy? You kidding right?) A must read…

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8) How google works by Eric Schmidt: This is not an SEO book. A fascinating look inside Google practices, leadership style and innovation.

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7) The Emyth by Michael Gerber: The idea of this book is simple and powerful, entrepreneurs come in many different types from the plumber to the techie, they are all practitioners of a skill. They all go on the journey because they love what they do and hate working for a boss. However many fail simply because being a great baker does not mean you know how to run a bakery. Key lesson, one must build a business as a franchise for it to have a chance at success. The book does take an odd turn at the end, but still well worth the read.

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6) The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene: What can I say about this book, 48 chapters, each more fascinating than the one before it. Just go and read it.

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5)  God’s Bankers by Gerald Posner. If you don’t get completely sucked into finishing this book I will refund you the money 🙂 Politics, money, religion organized crime, drama, business, money laundering, do I need to keep going?

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4) Contagious. Why things catch on by Jonah Berger: A must read for marketers and anyone thinking viral is a about a silly video you post on Youtube. Lots of lessons to be leaned. STEPPS is a powerful recipe to be understood by marketing folks.

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3) Influence. The psychology of persuasion by Robert Cialdini: It’s not what you are thinking, because it is not what I was thinking I would get when I bought it. This book is just well done. Too many insights on how humans think, and how they consume information, and what influences their behavior. Another must for anyone in sales or marketing.

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2) The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue by David Sax. I don’t get cup cakes, I don’t get why people spend so much money on a muffin with icing, so I bought the book. This book has opened my eyes to trend making, be it in the food industry or any other industry. I now understand why people like cup cakes, I don’t like them still, but I do like this book. Read it.

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1) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Caine: By far the most powerful read this year. To summaries it is tough. You know the book is delivering when you stop highlighting because it feels like you have highlighted every page. I have read it twice now. I really hope you read it as well.

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Have you read any of these books? What do you think? Which books would you add to this list? What should I add to my must read list for the remainder of the year?

 

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