#50Books in the Bag

by | Jan 15, 2016

I did it!

My goal to read 50 books has been a daunting one.  But I must say, it has been HUGELY impactful to me as a business owner and a person.  People have asked me all year, “Where do you find the time?”  That is one of the lessons I have learned.  We all have time.  Maybe you don’t have time to read 50 books (maybe).  But you probably have time to read more than you do.  It’s your call.

Here is my completed list of 50 Books!

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 Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michaelowicz.  This is a no nonsense book for people interested in being an entrepreneur.

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!

Creativity, Inc.  by Ed Catmull.  From the very beginnings of his career to running Pixar and Disney Animation.  Some great lessons here, especially on managing creative companies.

 Relentless (From Good to Great to Unstoppable) by Tim Grover.  Not bad.  Good if you need a kick in the pants and motivation.  Got a bit repetitive after a while.  But some interesting stories from the trainer of Kobe and Michael!

Difference by Bernadette Jiwa.  Short and sweet.  I liked this one.  Reminds you that if you want to be a succesful business today…you need to strive to make a difference!

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson.  This one was a struggle for me.  I bought it thinking it was a business book…but it was history.  Great if you are into that…but not what I was expecting or looking for.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.  I liked this one (though sometimes it was a little dark).  But it talked about the many challenges a CEO faces…with no sugar coating.  Good insights into growing a company.

Brandscaping by Andrew Davis:  This was an interesting take on how to grow your business by creating great brand partnerships.  Interesting for sure.

 Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.  If you want to write better, but want a book that is read-able, I think this might be a good solution for you.  We are all creating content.  Ann just gives us ways to do it better.

I WILL by Thomas Rainer:  Very simple concept for Christians that remind us if we want a better church, we need to be a part of the solution.

The Virgin Way by Richard Branson.  Branson is such a cool cat.  He spins a great yarn about his experiences, and I think, gives great insights along the way if you are paying attention.  What a great entrepreneur to look up too!

The Real Life MBA by Jack and Suzy Welch.  This one was very tactical.  I liked it because it dug right in.  I changed my company’s goal structure based on this book.

The Purple Goldfish by Stan Phelps.  If you want your company to stand out, you can do it with that Little Something Extra.  Stan does a great job with examples that everyone in your company can relate too.

If You’re Not First, You’re Last by Grant Cardone.  Grant Cardone is the perfect antidote for apathy.  I think this is a great kind of book to listen to each morning to give you a kick in the pants.  You have to go get it!  Grant reminds you!

Learn Spanish with Paul Noble:  This audio book was a total departure…but really interesting.  Great way to learn.  I am hardly fluent…but better!

Make Me by Lee Child:  I know.  I know.  This is the one fiction book of the bunch!  I promised to read things that made me better.  Reading these make me want to be like Jack Reacher…and that is better.  🙂

So You Want to Start a Brewery by Tony Magee.  This was a really interesting book that tells the tale of how Lagunitas Brewery got started…and succeeded.  It was weird, interesting and cool.  I have a feeling Tony is too.

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge.  If you want to create a sales process born in today’s business environment, this book is a good place to start.  Great, process driven sales book.

Customer Development for Entrepreneurs by Mike Fishbein.  I think this book would be really good for someone who has never started a company, but wants to.  Great short read for beginning entrepreneurs.  Not great for experienced business builders.

Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi.  I really liked this (and not because Joe was nice enough to do my show!).  All joking aside, Joe is the master at Content Marketing and he shares his playbook here.  I highly recommend this one.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  This is one that I would like my daughters to read.  The concepts of the Compound Effect are simple…but powerful.  Oh, and I said simple…not easy.  I liked this one.

How To Brew by John Palmer.  If you want to learn a LOT about homebrewing, and how to do it right, then this is a great book for you.  Hopefully the beer I brew will be better for it!  🙂

12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran.  This is a great book to read (or listen to) if you want to take your goals and your activity to the next level.  Really like this one.

Living with a Seal by Jesse Itzler.  This one was fun!  Dustin Haywood turned me on to this one and I am glad he did.  The big lesson?  When you think you have pushed yourself as far as you can go…you can go farther.   I listened to this one and I think it would be better this way.

Ask by Ryan Levesque.  Interesting concept about building products around what your customers need…and letting them tell you.

That is 50!  I really got a lot out of this exercise.  I will continue to aggressively read in 2016…just not sure if I will set the goal at 50 or not.  Either way, I am blown away by how this has helped me grow.  If you have any questions about any of the books from this list, let me know.  I will give you my opinions!

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