Monday, June 22, 2015

My Reading List as of June 22nd

I set the goal to read 50 books in 2015.  It's a lofty goal but I am on my way.  I have been asked for a rundown of my list so here we go!

Here is a quick update of the books I have gotten through so far!

Start by Jon Acuff:  Great book to start off the new year!  I like Jon's style and it's a great motivator if you want to get yourself going!  Love the line "Punch Fear in the Face!"  (Side note:  Since I wrote this I saw Jon speak...awesome.  If you get a chance you should see him!  He has a new book called Do Over!)

Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf:  Not a bad read.  Ties bible lessons to science on happiness and productivity.

The Self Made Billionaire Effect by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen:  Not bad but probably my least favorite so far this year.

Transform by Jeff Haden:  Really liked this one.  Lots of Jeff's best stuff in one place.  Great book to read one chapter per day.  Jeff was also nice enough to spend some time on my web show! 

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz:  Love this one!  Several times I felt like he was following me around!  :)  Highly recommend this one for anyone who has a business.  This has really changed the way we account in ours.  Mike was also a great guest on Delivering Marketing Joy! 

What To Do When It's Your Turn by Seth Godin:  Really good reminder that it's always our turn to step up and make a difference.  Quick read...great one to share!

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish:  This was a good one but I should not have gotten it on audio.  This would have been better as an actual book.  Great things to make me think...but would have gotten more out of it if I could see the references.

Pumpkin Plan: by Mike Michalowicz.  This is another great book for those trying to figure out how to grow your business.  "The riches are in the niches."  I really like Mike's books.  Recommend for sure!

Mastering Monday:  by John Beckett.  This is a good reminder that Monday does not stink if your work (and your life) have a purpose.

New Rules of Sales and Service:  by David Meerman Scott.  If you are not a believer that you can make a huge difference in your business by "giving first," read this one.  He lays out a great case for being a content leader.

The Automatic Customer:  by John Warrillow.  This is another game changer for me this year.  This one opened my mind that nearly any business can be a "subscription business."  I am getting ready to launch a new business and the idea came from this book!  Love it.

Duct Tape Selling: by John Jantsch.  The beginning of this and New Rules were similar.  But I liked that the 2nd half dug into the "how" a little more.  Good one.

Invisible Selling Machine: by Ryan Deiss.  It's a quick read for sure.  But if you want to become a real pro in email marketing, this has some weight.  I use Infusionsoft and I am going through this book to make sure I am setting sequences better.

Train Your Brain For Success: by Roger Seip.  Love the tips in here on how to read faster and remember more.  Once you get through that, good tips on being more successful in life.

SCRUM:  The Art of Doing Twice The Work in Half the Time:  by Jeff Sutherland.  Scrum is a concept created in software development.  If you are getting ready to create a new company or launch a new project, this is a great read first!

Awesomely Simple: by John Spence.  So many times in business, we over think.  We over analyze.  In reality, business success is simple.  This book highlights the down and dirty truth about success in business.

The Undefeated Mind: by Alex Lickerman.  If you are struggling with any issues in life, this book is a great resource to show you how to be resilient.  Dark at times...but shows real life examples on how to overcome.

The Power of Money: Several Speakers.  I thought this was a book but was actually a compilation of teachers.  There are always nuggets of wisdom in any book (and this one had them) but it was not what I expected.

Mastermind Dinners: Jayson Gaignard.  This one was definitely short and sweet.  Jason takes networking to the next level by curating Mastermind Dinners.  Interesting concept for sure.

Nail It Then Scale It: by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom.  Real similarities to the Scrum concept.  The book says the way we create businesses is broken.  I enjoyed this one.  It's on my mind as I ready to launch a new project.

It Takes More Than A Big Smile, A Good Idea and a Twitter Account: by Wes Schaeffer.  This has some real nuggets.  It's a compilation of blog posts from Wes.  Great for sales professionals and sales managers.

Procrastinate on Purpose: by Rory Vaden.  I really liked this one.  Good for anyone that is trying to "manage time."  Not easy!  Good insights in this one!  

The Talent Code: by Daniel Coyle.  Coyle studies the "talent hotbeds" of the world and discovers that the secret is not in their DNA, it's in a chemical inside our brains called Myelin.  Really interesting stuff about how to get better at ANYTHING.  Really.

The 10X Rule:  by Grant Cardone.  I had actually read this before.  But this is a no nonsense kick in the pants kind of book.  Need a reminder to work harder?  Here it is.  You are not thinking big enough or working hard enough.  Grant reminds you!

The Art of Social Media: by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.  Want to know some real no b.s. tips and tactics for doing social better?  This is a good one and a quick read.  Recommended.

Bold:  by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.  I will say that this one started slow.  But I was really glad I stuck with this one because that last 2/3 of the book really got me thinking!  I love that!

I have more books on the way!  But I will continue to update here!  Any suggestions or recommendations are welcome!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tell Them About It

I have a rule in my life that goes like this:  If I ever catch myself saying something nice about someone--behind their back--I need to reach out to them and let them know.  (There are plenty of people that say things bad about someone behind their back, but that is not what I am talking about!).

It's not as awkward as it sounds.  But as Billy Joel once said, "Tell them about it!"

You never know what those kind words might mean at the time.  Call them.  Send a text, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or letter.  Whatever.  Reach out and let them know that you were bragging about them.  It will (nearly) always mean a lot to them.

Just let them know. 

You will never be disappointed by pushing good out into the world.  We could use more of it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Words You Shouldn't Use

I am a believer in the power of words.  The words you use (and how you use them) can absolutely make a difference in your life (and the lives of others).

But there are some words you should not use.  These words make you the victim.  If you want to have a happy and productive life, these words will hold you back.   Here they are:

THEY:  There is no group in the world that is blamed for more than "they."  This is the group that should always "be doing something about that!"  They should be paving our streets.  They should be making the work place better.  They should bring in new business.  You get the idea.

Stop using "they" as an excuse.  If you want something to change, YOU do it.  It's amazing how exciting life becomes once you get that.

DESERVE:  This is another overused word.  It seems like everyone thinks they "deserve" something.  And don't just point fingers.  We all have a little "deserve" in us.  But the fact is, you don't deserve anything.  If you want something, go earn it.

Stop using the word deserve.  When you want something (and they will not do it for you...which they won't) go out and earn it.

Your life will change for the better.

What other words should we remove from our life?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Voices I Listen To (In Business and Life)

When you are on the road of sales or entrepreneurship, it can be a lonely journey.  Though you (hopefully) are talking to clients and customers on a regular basis, you have the responsibility to make lots of decisions on your own.  That's part of the blessing and the curse of business.

Sometimes it's nice to have a few trusted voices that help to inspire and guide you.

So here are some (just a few) voices that I listen to that help guide me.  Some of these folks I know...some I don't.  But each of them are voices I listen to...and I think you should too!

Gary Vaynerchuk:  If you follow me at all, you probably already know this.  But if you are trying to grow a business, you need to be following the king of #hustle.  Gary has grown two different businesses to prominence and is an author and speaker on growing your business and social media.  His latest book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is like a text book for doing social right.  Oh, and his #AskGaryVee web show is great too!

Jeff Haden:  Jeff Haden is a ghostwriter, speaker, LinkedIn Influencer, and contributing editor for Inc. He's written more than 50 nonfiction books, including six Amazon Business and Investing No. 1's, along with hundreds of articles and reports. And he's collected four years of tips and advice in his book TransForm: Dramatically Improve Your Career, Business, Relationships, and Life... One Simple Step at a Time.    Jeff was also kind enough to be on my web show Delivering Marketing Joy not once but twice!

Seth Godin:  Seth is the godfather of marketing.  I read his blog nearly every day.  The lesson here is that he puts out a blog post EVERY day!  Seth has written 12 best-selling books and is a truly original thinker (we need more of that today).  One of the real highlights of my year was when Mark Graham and I were able to interview him for a PromoKitchen podcast.  It was a real thrill.

Mike Michalowicz:  This year I have read all three of Mike's books.  They have all been really good.  I really enjoyed the Pumpkin Plan.  The book Profit First, however, has really changed the way I think about accounting for money in my business.  I have recommended it to most of my entrepreneur friends...and I highly recommend it to you!  Mike is a straight shooter and really understands the entrepreneurial journey.  He was also kind enough to be on my #MarketingJoy show.

Patrick Clark:  If you have not heard of Patrick, you should.  Patrick is a close personal friend and has one of the best entrepreneurial minds I know.  He is founder and CEO of Meridios, a software development company in the healthcare field.  Patrick is constantly learning and thinking.  And when I have a crazy business idea, he is the one I want to run it by.   Want to be a better entrepreneur?  Get to know this guy.  I also love his advice for entrepreneurs on Delivering Marketing Joy

Mark Graham:  Mark is a creator.  He and his lovely wife Catherine (who is also awesome) have created multiple businesses including RightSleeve and Commonsku.  In doing so, he has certainly created the credibility to be respected.  But he has also been instrumental in creating PromoKitchen, which is a non-profit in the promotional products industry that wants to elevate the industry through education and mentorship.  Good stuff. Mark is also a two time veteran of Delivering Marketing Joy

Bill Petrie:  Bill is the founder of Brandivate Marketing, which is a consulting business for people in he promotional products world.  He is a veteran of the industry, but keeps a very fresh perspective.  In his role as "consultant" I find him to be willing to give.  He gives thoughtful advice and counsel...and advice that is full of tactics, not just fluff.  He has a great blog that he updates multiple times each week, and yes, he was on the #MarketingJoy Show!

Amy Hasseman:  In the interest of full disclosure, Amy is my wife.  But that is not why I listen to her.  I am lucky that my best friend and roommate also happens to have a keen business mind.  She helps to reign me in when I am being too whacky.  But she certainly gives me enough rope to explore too.  She is a great partner in Hasseman Marketing and a great mom to our kids.  She is also a lot of fun on our Facebook page.  Thanks Amy!  :)

So there are just a few.  There are lots of other great voices that I value.  But this list is made up of awesome people that I think will help you as well!  Enjoy...and feel free to share some voices that I should have included!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sometimes Only Results Matter

We live in a time where "participation" gets you a trophy.  We (as a culture) work very hard not to hurt any feelings and to play nice in all situations.  There are many times when this makes life less unpleasant. 

But it doesn't lead to results.  And sometimes, results are what really matters.

My oldest daughter is in the process of looking for a summer job.  She has gone and applied.  She has interviewed.  She has followed up (multiple times).  She could be given a trophy for effort.  But she doesn't have a job yet.

The same is true for sales, business and many other endeavors in life.  We spend hours showing that we are spending hours.  We hide behind activity to justify our existence.  But in the end, let me know what you sold.

Don't get me wrong.  The right effort, applied consistently will (most often) lead to results.  But just know that the results are what you are measured by.

Sometimes...only the results matter.

Push Through The Baby Steps

If you have tried to learn anything new recently, you know that it can be slow going.  The analogy to a baby learning to walk is a good one.  You struggle to get up.  You take a step.  You fall.  You get up again.  In doing these micro-moves, you build pathways in the brain that get stronger (and more insulated) each time you do them. 

The book The Talent Code really does an amazing job of explaining how this works.  Really interesting.

The over-arching lesson though, is keep trying.  Break down the task into "micro-tasks" and practice in deep concentration.  You can get stronger.  You will.

Then, once you understand that you really can get better at ANYTHING with the right practice, a new question comes. 

What do I want to learn now?