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The Power of Books – and My Reading List

The power of books

You can learn – and do – absolutely anything you set your mind to. You don’t have to know everything – just be passionate and willing to learn.

 “You will be the same person five years from now as you are today, except for the books you read and the people you meet”

There are no two factors that more strongly affect your life. There is another quote that says “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”. There may be seasons in your life, where you realize those five people may not be the type of people you would like to emulate, and the question arises “How do I meet such people?”

The oxymoron is to become the type of person you want to be. You can’t instantly change the circumstances of your life, but you can instantly change your actions, reactions and how you spend your time.  Books shape you.  They change you at your core.

Books are great for impacting your mind, as the more you read, the more thoughts you are exposed to, which changes and develops your perspective and train of thought. I once read an article that said in order to master anything, read one hundred books on the subject. And so, I started to read books – books about marketing as I am determined to be one of the best – I love it and am passionate about it.   I also started to read motivational, personal development books – books which solidified the fact that I can in fact accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Since this blog is about pursuing your dreams, and on a personal level, books are a huge part of that – I have decided that every month, I am going to post my Reading List. I meant to start in August, but somehow time warped forward and it is now the end of September! So, here is my reading list for August & September:

Disrupt Yourself by Jay Samit

This was one of the best books I have read in ages! I expected it to be more personal development, but it was actually fairly business oriented. A hybrid of business and personal growth, I found it to be incredibly insightful and motivational.   Here are a few quotes that stood out to me from the book:

Nobody writes books about those who don’t take risks.

Isn’t it better to walk alone than follow a crowd going the wrong direction?

Data may disappoint but it never lies

Problems are just businesses waiting for the right entrepreneur to solve the problem.

An average idea enthusiastically embraced will go farther than a genius idea no one gets.

I’ve never heard a good idea come from someone in a negative state

Failing is trying something that doesn’t work. Failure is giving up.

Businesses don’t sell products, they sell solutions

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

On a personal level, it wasn’t my favourite read, but I did get a few ideas based on the book. That said, the book isn’t written for marketers – it’s written for small business owners. For a small business owner, this would be an excellent resource – perhaps invaluable. It covers all the basics of marketing, gives practical ideas that are easy to implement and gives tools that are available in order to do it.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

This was a very positive, motivational book and an extremely easy read. None of the concepts were new or revolutionary, but still, I loved the book. It’s one of those books that does push you forward in pursuit of your own dreams and encourages you that no matter what circumstances or situations come your way, you can use the experience to catapult you forward into a better person with a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

“Your level of success will never pass your level of personal development” – this was one quote , which surmises the essence of the book.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I absolutely loved this book. Every marketer should read it, as well as every entrepreneur. The book explores why some things really make it – hitting the tipping point to success – while others don’t. He focuses on three ‘agents of success’ – Connectors, Mavens and Influencers. Connectors are social people with a wide network of friends, always introducing people and widening circles. Mavens are passionate about the subject at hand and wanting to know everything about it – regardless if it’s science or fashion. And Influencers are basically the trendsetters who influence society and what becomes popular mainstream… and how the relationship between the three is often what leads to success.   The book is filled with fascinating and insightful stories and examples. A must-read.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

I had heard about this book for a long time, and after The Tipping Point, I looked for it. I’m so glad I did – it was absolutely fascinating! The premise is how we make judgments quickly, within a flash of a second.   The book starts out with the story of a piece of art, which was to be purchased at a great price – and the art experts who knew instantly that it was a fake, without being able to explain why. All the data and information about the piece would lend towards the piece being original, and yet their instinct was correct. However, the book also explored how our flash judgements can be incorrect – based on subtle biases or racism that we may be influenced by culture and we are unaware of. The book explores how to use this instinct to our advantage, and also how to break it’s limitations. A truly excellent book.

Failing Upwards by Benjamin Chapin

Hmmm… I think I set the bar pretty high with all the amazing books that I read these past two months, that I was a bit disappointed with this one. It’s not that there was anything I disliked so much, but it didn’t have the same depth or insight, it was more like an airy pep talk than something truly motivational.


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