March 2017 Reads: Start With Why, Sell With A Story, and More!

reads Apr 19, 2017

Over the first three months of the year I have now read 23 books total (my goal is one per week), which leaves me already 10 books ahead of my goal. WOW! March was probably my favorite month so far because I feel like I'm discovering a whole new world of learning. If you are doing something similar, I highly recommend using a traditional notepad or an app like Evernote to read or listen to your book while also taking notes. It's a simple concept but very effective. I am able to retain much more information while note-taking and referring back to later. Here are my books for March 2017!  

Do Less, Get More by Shaa Washmund

I read this book last year and decided to review it again. It was definitely the first book that caused me to deeply rethink the way I was approaching work (and life). In the midst of a busy life that is always filled with places to be, people to see, and projects that need to be done, this book takes a different approach. By reading this book, it forced me to re-evaluate my calendar's a workflows and analyze them for efficiency and effectiveness. What I found was that my life was filled with a while lot of clutter and busyness, but not enough quality. Shaa Washmund addresses all of the pain points many people face when they feel like they are running 100 MPH but feel overwhelmed. She addresses how many of us can feel overworked and underutilized, leading to burnout. She also suggests corrections that you can make in your life to live life on your terms, focusing on choosing only to do the things that will help you achieve your overall goals in life. When we take a step back and intentionally declutter our lives, we can make a larger impact in what we really want to do. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )  

Self-Discipline for Entrepreneurs by Martin Meadows

In March, I decided to read a few books on discipline as I began writing content for my Millennial Leadership online program. This was the first of 3 I read, and probably the most generic of the three. This book takes you through a few examples and stories of entrepreneurs who have "hacked" their life to develop extreme self-discipline. I must say I did learn a thing or two from this book even though it was fairly short. One of the concepts that I am looking to apply is how to pretty much force your way into discipline. There is a story of an entrepreneur who gave his friend a $1,000 check and told him, "If I don't accomplish my goal by this date, go ahead and cash the check." This is a bit of an extreme measure, but the point was taken. Sometimes you perform best when something of value is on the line, when it is crunch time, and when there are consequences for not accomplishing your goals. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )    

The Power of Self-Discipline, No Excuses by Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy hits the nail on the head with this one. If you want to read a book about self-discipline, look no further! I found myself FILLING UP my notepad with quotes, ideas, and key takeaways from this book. I constantly had to pause, rewind, and review the content that was expressed here. There are many sections that are so meaty that I couldn't keep up... This usually means the content is rich, and it was! Every now and then when I am listening to a book that has a lot of "fluff", I tend to put the audiobook on 1.5x or 2x speed (because I never quit midway through). This is one that remained on on normal speed and even slowed down. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and I will definitely be revisiting this one sometimes later this year. ( iTunes: Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )

On Fire by John O'Leary

This entire book was a series of stories about John O'Leary, who was burned badly in a fire when he was a young boy. This is not an autobiography, but a story of heartbreak, perseverance, and overcoming all odds. When I read books, I usually look for informational books, so it was a bit different to transition to a story style. That's when I realized that I need more books like this one to mix into my informational reading. This one greatly inspired me to be the best version of myself at all times. It reminded me how blessed I am, even when I think I am not... I truly am. The story of John O'Leary is one that I will remember forever. His descriptive writing cut straight to the core of my heart and captured my attention throughout. Rather than stopping to rewind the audiobook, I would pause it for a moment of silence to soak in the moments of life I have been blessed with. This book truly puts things in perspective. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars in the inspirational category. If you want to be inspired, check this one out! ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )  

How to Get A Meeting With Anyone by Stu Heinecke

Hmmmm... I thought I would keep this one my dirty little secret, but I can't do that to my audience. Ha! How to Get A Meeting With Anyone by Stu Heinecke is a book that all professionals should read. It has definitely expanded my creative thinking into a world of possibilities that exist in networking. There are many great ideas and concepts that I learned throughout this book along with ideas that I generated on my own just from the thought provoking content. The book goes into detail on a form of marketing that doesn't get practiced much, contact marketing. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars as well. ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )  

Sell With A Story by Paul Smith

One of my weaknesses has always been storytelling. When I try to tell a story, it sometimes ends up out of order... You know what I'm talking about. "The fox jumped over the fence, and then when he... Well, let me back up, I forgot to tell you why the fox did that in the first place. You see he was running from... You see what happened was the day before..." Yes... maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that I'm horrible (at least I feel like I am). I needed as much help as I can get, and this book provides not only good content to help you deliver impactful stories, but it also shows you how to use them in the sales world. With actionable content mixed in throughout the book, it also allows you to work through some of your very own stories that you can use in the future as analogies. I rate this book a 4.8 out of 5 stars. ( iTunes: Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )  

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

This book, written in 1999, has definitely set the stage for many online businesses to thrive with this concept. Permission Marketing gets rid of all preconceived notions of the typical (old-school) way of advertising per impressions. The reach and/or impressions of an advertisement are not nearly as valuable as developing a trusted relationship with the client first, and then guiding them into the sale (almost as if it were their idea in the first place). Have you ever seen the movie Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio? It's kind of like implanting your product or idea into the customers mind so that they feel like they are the ones making the decision to buy the product, and not simple caving into your sales pitch. If customers perceive that they are the one's who came up with the idea, they will never feel like they are being sold something. Permission Marketing has now run many successful online businesses with the concepts discussed here. This book was simply way before it's time, and is still a good read for many marketers. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars do to the timing of the read, but in 1999 it would have been a perfect 5 out of 5. ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )  

Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich

I actually bought this book by accident. I thought I was buying Guerilla Marketing by Jay Levinson. I know, I know... How does that happen? Well, I was actually stuck in traffic listening to a podcast where the host mentioned the Guerilla Marketing book. I decided to buy it on the spot with my attention half on the traffic moving 15 MPH. So here goes my review on an accidental book read. It actually wasn't bad. It wasn't the best book that I ever read, but it definitely was not a waste of my time. I picked up a few random things from this book that I have actually applied to my life. Gorilla Mindset actually talks about business, mind, health, and body. I enjoyed the balanced approach this book took and even bought a few items that this book advocated for, like Greens+ Superfood (which is now my favorite thing ever). I give this book at 3.5 out of 5 stars. ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )

Counter Culture by David Platt

If you are a Christian leader, whether at church, at work or at home... This book is necessary. As we live in an ever-changing world that seeks to destroy what we believe in, we have to choose whether to live up to what we believe in or not. It is essential for a Christian leader to stand firm and "Counter Culture." This book takes you through many very deep and sensitive topics, some that even had myself questioning my beliefs. Poverty, same-sex marriage, racism, sex slavery, immigration, persecution, abortion, orphans, and pornography are all main topics of this book. If you want your world to be rocked and beliefs tested, read this book. Personally, I think that it is healthy for people to test their beliefs by listening to other perspectives. It's not politically correct, so beware! I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )  

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

This is a leadership must read! Note: If you don't know WHY you do what you do... There is a problem. The crazy part about the whole concept behind this book is that everyone knows what they do, few can explain how they do it, and even fewer can actually identify WHY they do it. Starting with why is something that is essential to every leader. I highly recommend watching this YouTube video that gives you the concept behind this book. But before you watch, just know that I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! Watch Start With Why TedTalk by Simon Sinek ( iTunes: E-Book, Audiobook   |   Amazon: Book )   In a recent post "Life Hack: The 90 Minutes Difference That Can Make All The Difference", I outlined exactly what you can accomplish if you take on my strategy.

"If I only include weekdays, I spend approximately 23,400 minutes in my car per year. That’s a lot of learning time, in fact, that’s almost as much as you would spend in two semesters worth of college. With this amount of time, I should complete 78 Audiobooks this year. … And so can you! IN YOUR CAR!!! It’s crazy to think that the average American reads one book per year."


  Over the course of this year, I will be publishing updates on my reading. Keep up to date by following us on social media and subscribing to our email newsletter.


Oh, and by the way...

Here's a sneak peak at my April 2017 list:

  • The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
  • Ask by Ryan Levesque
  • The Power of The Other by Henry Cloud
  • Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Simplify by Bill Bybels

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